What does a 50ft step down sound like close up? And a 15ft drop through the trees onto sketchy roots? We snuck inside the course tape at the Red Bull Hardline to find out.
This year’s Red Bull Hardline was probably the most technically demanding race in the world. Sketchy drops, slick rocks and massive gaps helped ramp up the difficultly in North Wales, where Bernard Kerr took the honours.
Why was the Surrey Rider so fast then? A quick look at Bernard Kerr’s helmetcam footage shows him taking the high lines across the off-camber rock sections, high up the mountain. Plenty of other riders were dropping down low and losing time.
And our video also shows how smooth he looks on the big road-gap, he’s the second to last rider you see.
Perhaps Kerr’s smooth style let him float over the rough stuff rather than catching lips and bottoming the suspension out, like Taylor Vernon does at about 9 seconds in.
So what does the Hardline sound like? Shock-popping, rim dinging and tyre ripping cacophony of sound, that’s what.
We count 21 jumps and drops in this video, just a small taster of the incredible amount of air time at Hardline. One of the most impressive sights though is the rock drop in the woods — not big by Rampage standards but with a relatively flat and tough landing it made even seasoned pro riders look like the rest of us on tricky drops: sketchy.
It’s a shame spectators aren’t allowed as close to the action as we got on the day, because the road gap, close to the bottom of the track, is about as close as paying punters could get.
We reckon the Hardline organisers need to free up the whole hillside to make the event more viewer-friendly. It’s easier said than done. The health and safety aspect must be a nightmare. But it would make a great event even better.