Rampage Perspective | Cam Zink
Downloading the thoughts of heroes.
There is no other mountain bike event in the world that stirs as much emotion and curiosity as Red Bull Rampage. Sure, there are races against the clock that reward ultimate fitness and speed. And there are epic endurance tests that are designed to test what a human athlete can withstand. Closer to Rampage, there are slopestyle events that showcase the most stylistically perfect rides down a beautifully engineered course. And then there’s Rampage.
Rampage, and its larger-than-life natural terrain, is special in its ability to speak to the imagination of almost every mountain biker. No, the rider who pulls on the spandex every weekend, and whose goal it is to keep both wheels on the ground, won’t relate to the famous canyon gaps. And the kid who’s just coming up to speed at the local dirt jumps probably can’t begin to grasp the severity of some of the steep and technical lines. But everyone who turns out — or tunes in — to Rampage can relate on some level to what they’re seeing. Apprehension and accomplishment are relative experiences — but they’re universal.
Have you ever wondered what the heroes of Rampage were really thinking? How they felt about their runs, the judging, the event as a whole?
We asked our athletes a few questions. Their answers might surprise you.
First up: Cam Zink | 6th | 89.25
SRAM: Describe Rampage in ONE word.
Cam Zink: Heavy
SRAM: Rate your level of nervousness 1 - 10 (10 being most nervous) when you were at the top of the hill just before the start of your first run.
SRAM: Briefly describe what you wish you could've changed about your line/run?
CZ: Destroy it and just ride the ridge.
SRAM: Whose run was your favorite? (Okay to say your own)
CZ: This one is tough. I was fortunate to have a build crew to facilitate (over two years) building the steepest, scariest, technical chute I have ever seen, into the hardest triple drop I've ever seen done (which I almost killed myself on in practice), the biggest dirt 360 drop ever, hips, canyon gaps, the second biggest flip step-down I've ever done. We built it because it had everything, and if I rode it I thought for sure it would win.
Sometimes things are brought to your attention that you never thought of. It's learning, enlightenment — but sometimes just witnessing something that changes your preconceived notions.
I built my line because I thought it was the best way down the mountain with everything I love about Rampage and think the event is. Then I saw Brandon's run and it upped the level of a different style of Rampage. His fluidity and mix of original tricks was bitchin to watch. If you asked me on the day, I would have said I deserved the win — maybe tomorrow I'd say he deserved it, and the following day vice versa…. Either way I think we should have been 1 and 2.
SRAM: What does Rampage mean to you?
CZ: I don't know anymore. I have had some of the best times of my life out there, but it is getting way too complicated on too many levels to discuss. Time for change.