PHOTO: MARGUS RIGA

Bike (USA) - - Start -

I don’t want to se­ri­ously in­jure my­self or die as much as the next guy, but I like to put my­self into sit­u­a­tions where that vari­able ex­ists. I choose my friends based on this mantra too, be­cause there’s noth­ing as in­vig­o­rat­ing as be­ing in a sit­u­a­tion where pain and/or death is one mis­take away, look­ing over at your bud, and laugh­ing aloud at the ab­sur­dity of the sit­u­a­tion, while sheer adren­a­line is the only thing keep­ing you go­ing. Kenny Smith is one of those friends. Al­ways push­ing it just a lit­tle bit past the line to keep it ex­cit­ing. ÑMar­gus Riga

Kevin Landry, Fraser New­ton and I headed out to build a new trail and promptly saw this wicked rock bluff hid­ing in the woods—there she was, star­ing at us. Plan al­tered: We de­cided to only build this beast. Lit a fire, drank a bunch of beers, and my girl­friend Nina came in and cleaned up our mess of a rock pile, which she crafted into this beau­ti­ful runout.

It was the first big line of the sea­son for me. It’s al­ways nerve-rack­ing to drop into lines like this. You pretty much know how it’s go­ing to ride, but there are al­ways un­known vari­ables. This line hap­pened to have an over-vert en­trance. I wasn’t to­tally sure that the bike wouldn’t flip over and buck me down about 60 feet. These days it seems like every­one I know is hav­ing or has kids, so we de­cided to call it ‘Strap­ping Young Dad.’ —Kenny Smith

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