Rip Van Winkle and the RedBull Dreamline
(updated: Nov 11, 2014)
Ever hear of the legend of Rip Van Winkle? Well, he went into the woods to escape his nagging wife as the story goes, follows a dude with a keg up a hill, meets these strange people and drinks and gets confused or lost I don't really know, and the next thing you know, he's back in town and everything's changed. It's like 20 years later or something. You know, my kid was reading that story for school and I kept thinking, "Well, that sounds like me". For example, I went into the woods to escape. I met some other bikers on the trail and they had beer. What do you think happened next? After drinking the beer of course.
Well I got lost. This is nothing new for me. I am always getting lost. I get other people lost too. But this time I was far off the trail. After an undetermined amount of time bushwhacking to try and find the trail, I started hearing noises. It sounded like a loudspeaker and crowd noises. I started heading toward where the noise was coming from. I followed it down the mountainside. As it grew louder, the brush grew thicker and the slope steeper and steeper, until I stumbled upon a trail, which took me directly to the source. I saw hundreds of people, people I assumed were mountain bikers and bmx riders like me. Then I saw some massive jumps, and 12 of the best bmx pros in the world who were brave enough to hit them, and do all sorts of crazy tricks on them, seemingly defying gravity for a brief instant. It was pretty amazing.
It was the Redbull Dreamline. And watching it I realized that the small town of Brevard had all changed. I don't know how many years I was lost in those woods, but I awoke to a place that had gone from a relatively unknown world-class riding spot for the dedicated to a destination. It had breached a tipping point and all of a sudden mountain biking was a "lifestyle" to be discussed in corporate strategy sessions, packaged, marketed, and sold.
Which brings up another thing I learned from attending the event, other than the fact that Oskar Blues beer tastes really good and Mama's Little Yella Pils is my new favorite beer . . . That it's really easy to photograph professional athletes. I mean, a professional sports photographer? That's arguably the easiest job in the world. I always thought it was really difficult to get a great shot. That photographers needed housands of dollars worth of equipment, pack mules and sherpas to carry all that gear up a mountain range, hours and hours of set up time, and the patience of an oyster just to get that magic shot. Now I just realize all they need is an iPhone and someone who doesn't suck at riding bikes.
So here are some non-sucky photos and video highlights from the Redbull Dreamline. Now maybe if I head back into the woods I can go back in time instead of flying forward.
Highlights from the 2014 Redbull Dreamline
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