Who We Are

Who We Are Who We Are Vol. 12.3

The word “progression” gets bandied about a lot these days,

from the realm of scientific research to the ever-evolving world of action sports. With each passing year, humans continually expand the boundaries of imagination. And at a time when billionaires are on the verge of being blasted into outer space and a pandemic-curbing vaccine can be developed in a single year, it’s easy to lose sight of the little things that actuate progress.

In mountain biking, the term “progression” is often used to describe developments on the cutting edge of our sport, from breakthrough manufacturing technology to benchmark performance achievements such as the stomping of an unprecedented aerial maneuver. While such accomplishments are inspiring—and ultimately benefit us all—it’s important to remember that progression is also a relative concept that can be applied to each of us. Whether it’s a seasoned freerider landing a debut double-backflip or a beginner overcoming basic technical obstacles, every step forward contributes to the advancement of the broader community and our legacy.

This edition of Freehub is a celebration of successes big and small. In the vast and rugged state of Nevada, former mining towns are steadily reinventing themselves through outdoor recreation, with mountain biking and trailbuilding leading the charge. From the rocky environs of Las Vegas to the mountains surrounding Reno, the efforts of impassioned individuals—from a lifelong rancher to a freeriding luminary such as Cam Zink—are helping to revitalize communities by providing outlets for two-wheeled pleasure that are slowly transforming once-stagnating economies.

The passion and personal vision of self-proclaimed “serial outdoor-recreation entrepreneur,” Greg Mazu, has revolutionized his boutique trailbuilding company, Singletrack Trails, into a multi-faceted outdoor-recreation developer. By shifting his founding role as owner-operator to “chief encouragement officer”—thereby incentivizing proven staff to step into key positions—he established a management paradigm that might well be mimicked by other forward-looking firms. In the process, Mazu has engendered a loyalty and dedication that this year resulted in the hard-fought completion of the ambitious Palisade Plunge trail, which descends a total of 8,000 vertical feet from the top of Colorado’s Grand Mesa to the banks of the Colorado River.

Nestled deep in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the city of Harrisonburg boasts a hardcore mountain-biking heritage that continues to infuse each generation of riders with a heartfelt appreciation for the value of old-school, technical singletrack. It’s a place where the old meshes seamlessly with the new, and even modern flow trails are ingeniously designed to take advantage of existing natural elements.

As another tribute to the unique arenas that blend past with present, this book’s photo gallery takes us to the hallowed slopes of Vancouver’s North Shore, where decaying remnants of iconic freeride structures are juxtaposed with the latest testaments to gravity-driven greatness. In these near-mythical, mist-filled forests, original freeride pioneers still mingle with their ultra-talented progeny, proving to one and all that progression is a constant—and that it begins with each of us.

— Brice Minnigh, Editor in Chief

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