Rampage Perspective | Kyle Strait
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 — and 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.
Third up: Kyle Strait | 10th | 82
SRAM: Describe Rampage in ONE word.
Kyle Strait: 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.
KS: Once it is finals day, I run about a 7. The hardest parts are in practice when you are trying your line for the first time. I run about a 10 at that point because there is so much more of an unknown.
SRAM: How would you score your best run?
KS: Ahead of most.
SRAM: Briefly describe what you wish you could've changed about your line/run?
KS: I would have liked to clean up the bottom of my line. I had a few mistakes there and I think I got heavily docked for it. After coming up a tiny bit short on the big drop, I had to muscle out of the softer landing and get back on line. Before I knew it, I was at the lip of the jump and just made a mistake in my preparation for the superman. Luckily, I held it together and rode out of it.
Photo by Adrian Marcoux
KS: I liked my run a ton, of course, it was really fun, fast, flowy and burlier this year than last, but Zink's run would have to be my favorite. I mean, the dude did one of the gnarliest lines up top while also stomping a mega 3 and a big flip drop. He added so much more flow to his line this year and carried speed throughout. We all thought at the top — after watching his run — that he would for sure win.