Simmons Wades in at the deep end
It’s not every day that we get to wag off work early, but today was a day we’d been looking forward to.
Wade Simmons, to give you a little background, is the man that is largely responsible for the massive growth of the Freeride scene. Hailing from British Columbia, he featured alongside Richie Schley and Brett Tippie in Bike magazine’s pivotal “Sick” shoot that brought extreme freeriding to the attention of the world. Wade is certainly the most filmed rider of all time and opened the gate for a whole new breed of mountain biker. If you want to get a feel for Simmons’s riding style just check out the awesome black and white scene at the end of The Collective movie.
We hooked up with Wade on a sunny afternoon at Silverfish, UK distributor for all things North Shore, which had dragged him over to the UK to attend the forthcoming Bike Show, this weekend. It was pretty obvious that he was tired – the guy had spent 24 hours travelling – but he was still up for a ride and a chance for us ride with him and get a few shots of the main man on our home soil.
Shred/Bikemagic.com team rider Ashley “Mundane” Mullane was also along for the ride, still gloating after a screaming 9th place in Elite at last weekend’s Nationals.
We took Wade to our local secret spot. This place is sweet for all sorts of mountain biking and whilst access is currently heavily restricted there are plans in the pipeline to open this area up. So if you know where it is then respect the owners and if you don’t know where it is then watch this space.
Out on the trails and it was quickly becoming obvious that Wade was up for just about anything. He has a keen eye for what looks insane in shots and also what feels good to ride. Some crazy corkscrew sections were given an added hip jump, a lofty ladder drop was tweaked into a full X-up and a brand new jump was perfect for a quick no-hander or flat tail whip.
Mullane was getting sucked into the action and as always in these situations the guys were pushing each other a little further each time. I was expecting to see Mundane hitting the deck but local knowlednge worked to his advantage and it was Simmons, after landing a big fat totally flat hip jump sideways, that hit the deck. One thing is for sure he must be used to crashing – if that was me I’d have been staying down on the deck for a while.
As the light dimmed and the call of Plymouth’s bars whispered to us we headed for home, Mundane staying to cram in a few more DH runs. Our afternoon with Wade had been a cool experience. No matter who they are, average Joe or full factory pro, when you meet another mountain biker you always have something to talk about and can have a laugh, especially when you get them to sign your rucsac.
You can meet Wade Simmons and Cove Junior rider Gully on the Silverfish Stand at this weekend’s Bike Show. You’ll also be able to catch the new issue of Shred magazine (complete with more Wade), or you can subscribe online at www.shredmagazine.com.