August 14, 2005 – The Rocky Mountain Business Objects Freeride Team, Wade Simmons, Richie Schley Thomas Vanderham were joined by young Alex Pro and our German Freerider Rob Jauch to do a film trip in Czech Republic the first week in June. This trip in to new territory gave them an opportunity to hit some new terrain and help check out a proposed bike park on the Czech border. Whistler Bike Park Manager, Tom Prochazka, who was born in Czech, made a celebrity appearance on the trip to help with some ideas and logistics for the new bike park. The boys also got an opportunity to work on some filming for this fall’s New World Disorder Video before taking a break in the beautiful city of Prague. Just enough time to sample a few Czech beers before getting back to business for the 2006 Marzocchi Product Launch in Austria the following week.
The trip tied in perfectly with the Marzocchi 2006 press presentation in Saalbach Austria, and the Saalbach Slopestyle competition the following weekend. The Marzocchi presentation is their annual product launch for the international media. As Marzocchi has been a team partner for many years, it was good to get the full team over there for the launch. Thomas, Wade and Richie have been big contributors to the profile of Marzocchi as a leading Freeride company. The three were given a special on stage introduction to the guests by Bryson Martin. Dirk Janz took the Bike Action/Rocky Mountain Motorhome and Expo to show of the Rocky Mountain Bikes. Daina Carmichael and Ed Wright of the Marketing and International Sales depts flew over from the Rocky Mountain factory in Vancouver to support. Star Rocky Mountain Business Objects Marathon XC Racer Karl Platt took time out from training to take some of the press out on the XC single track trails. The Marzocchi Presentation has been held at Whistler Bike Park the past couple of years, which is exciting for the European Media, but Saalbach was a welcome venue for the North Americans Here’s what Cam McRae of NSMB had to say about Saalbach, Austria “As we rolled into Saalbach there were no surprises; the Von Trapp family would be right at home prancing and singing on the pastures and mountains that surround the tiny Austrian town. The place appears to have deep roots but a little research will reveal that there was nothing much here before around 1975. This started to become clear after some odd experiences. On the day I took an XC ride with Rocky Mountain Business Objects rider Karl Platt and some others our climb ended at our lunch destination which looked to be a centuries-old alpine hut. As we walked inside two ancient looking wooden doors silently slid open and into the door frame. The bathroom in the basement had auto flush urinals – in fact everything was auto from the towel dispenser to the taps. The place was made to look old but all the fixtures were state of the art which was all a bit eerie.” The guys hung out and rode with the International Press in the spare time from practicing on the Slopestyle Course for the weekend. The results of the competition were solid, with Vanderham posting the best score in 6th place for Rocky Mountain.14 year old Alex Pro won the amateur Slopestyle which was held on a different course. Full Results and pictures of the competition can be found on www.adidas-slopestyle.com and www.nsmb.com check out the huge stunts.
GRAVITY AND SCHLEY CAMPS
Both Thomas Vanderham and Wade Simmons coached at week long Gravity Camps leading up to the Crankworks Festival. They had a pretty stoked bunch of intermediate to advanced kids from 14 to 18 years old, who came out to learn from the Pros. There were 42 and 30 kids in each of the Camps with some coming from as far as Ecuador. Who knows where the Mountain Biking is there….These kids have the memories of a lifetime riding for the week with their Freeride Heros. Richie Schley has his own signature 2 day Whistler Camps offered to adults. These are also maxed out to capacity for the week following the Festival with 36 riders attending.
For anyone who has not seen the Whistler Bike Park phenomenon, this was the weekend to take it in. By accounts from Whistler and many merchants we spoke to…..this was the busiest weekend EVER. Not many people know that Whistler is unlike many ski resorts in that it is actually busier in the summer, although fewer people are using the Ski Hills. But even that record was getting pushed. Whistler broke records of attendance in the Bike Park day after day. Maxing out at just under 2000 riders per day. There were line ups all day long.
The village was jammed with vendors and bike industry folks putting on displays and showing their products. The DH events of the weekend were the Air Downhill on the famous A Line Trail that features sculpted jumps all the way from top to bottom. Our only entrants from Rocky Mountain were Thomas Vanderham who finished 10th , Ryan Vanderham who finished and Micayla Gatto who took top spot on the Junior Womens Podium. Bonus entry was one of our sponsored Bike Park Coaches, Freeskiing star Jenn Ashton who took second place on the Pro Womens podium, surprising many of the regular players. The big focus of the weekend was the Pro Invitational Slopestyle on Saturday night. The course was designed by Richie Schley with the advice of a few Pro consultants. The stunts were massive as was the crowd that gathered from 5 to 8 pm to watch the show. There has not been a crowd like that at a Whistler event since the days that Whistler hosted World Cup Downhill skiing and Canada had a kick ass team. It was barely possible to see for the crowd lining the course. The Slopestyle is a judged event. Style, Amplitude, Line and Tricks all come in to play in the scoring, and it is not often clear what will bring the highest scores. Here was an assessment by some notable media types.
“¢ Wade Simmons is currently featured as British Columbia’s Poster Boy for Injury Prevention. His TV ad is being run nightly.
“¢ Richie Schley recently did a segment for MTV. Digital – The reach is 800,000 digital subscribers to Razer across Canada (channel 98) Conventional — The reach is 4 million on Toronto 1 (channel 15 in Ontario)
“¢ Alex pro did a segment with MTV in the Bike Park following Crankworx
“¢ Thomas Vanderham was featured on MoJo radio station for a 1 hr show on the art of Mountain Biking
“¢ Richie offered a celebrity ride for the iCoke promotion during Cranskworx. This was an on line promotion. The iCoke.ca web contest featured win a trip for 4 to Whistler during Crankworx. www.iCoke.ca