Article and other photos by Tennille Barber
This weekend was the busiest I’ve ever seen the Revy Riders parking lot. It was due. Everyone deserves to know how rad the Revy Riders area has gotten for real. A week ahead of time the machines were grooming the track. 2 weeks before, the parking lot was made bigger. The berms were in amazing shape and the trails were given some love. Thanks to the rain the conditions were perfect and a lot of rippers came to put it to the test. I’m not sure I’ve seen the track ridden harder than it was this past weekend. All thanks to a big push by Chris Pawlitsky, the event went off without a hitch, most walked away with some swag, and everyone rode away with mud on their faces.
It also seems like dirt biking is one of the most family oriented sports I’ve been introduced to. The little riders have no fear. Full on riders would zip by the little ones and it only seemed to make them hit the throttle harder. Many mothers could be seen riding alongside their children, and the kids track was busy, although many of the kids had enough talent to rip the full size track. Wow. The girls. So many girl riders, I can only hope to have more riding partners next year. I’m sure hotels in town noticed the event brought people into their rooms. Get a dirt bike Revy! The trail pass is $70 for a year and the trails are amazing!
Top Left: Stephen Shannon on the enduro cross track
Top Right: Random teenager killin it on the track, berms in sick condition
Left: Chris Pawlitsky – Revy Riders
Saturday’s events wrapped up with a show at Glacier House that wasn’t to be forgotten. Reagan Sieg came out to give Revelstoke its first aerial show, one that had most of the crowd dropping jaws for the first couple jumps. Scott Duke had to remind the crowd to cheer, everyone was just staring in awe. It was possible none of us had seen the feats he was performing ever before, except maybe on tv. Jumping the gap was enough. Performing an Indian Air, letting go of the bike while jumping, was another trick altogether. In between jumps he would catwalk the bike on what seemed like an unbelievable angle, tapping the brake, twisting the throttle in harmony, keeping it in perfect balance. Not once did I see an action he didn’t seem confident in or a fluttering move that may have been considered a mistake. I got a chance to catch up with him as he was loading his trailer of gear, his 3 bikes, and breaking down the massive jump that folds into a trailer after the show.
Left: Greg Ryan on the enduro cross track
Bottom Left and Right: Brock Hoyer on the track making it look easy
So, you live in Vernon and grew up there, the riding must be stellar.
No reason to leave. Best mountains and scenery, best snow on average, in the winter it’s a pretty awesome place.
Someone actually called you the godfather of freestyle tonight.
Well I’ve been at it for awhile so I probably have a longer career than most people in this industry. I wouldn’t call myself the godfather tho..
You’re being modest. What do you think has allowed you to stay in it for so long?
Stubborn. Work through bad injuries. Never wanted to get off the bike even when I got hurt bad a few times. Kept going with it, it opened alot of doors for me. I got to travel alot.
Best place you’ve ever been?
Ever? Prague is probably my favorite, I’ve been there alot, got good friends there. Been all over Europe, probably been there over 45 times, done shows all over the place. I’ve been to Kitar in the Middle East for a few shows.
Worst bone you’ve ever broken?
(He shows me his foot. It looks mangled even though he wouldn’t currently call it broken. He’s wearing sandals and good thing because I’m not sure it would be comfortable in most shoes…) Shattered both my feet. Ankles and heels… jumping.
O-M-G. I can’t believe you did this on pavement. You’d have to be so confident!
You do, but it is nice because if it rains you don’t have to deal with wet ground and you don’t get ruts on pavement. You have to be right on point, but it is kinda nice for these kind of setups. We do it inside arenas and in tight areas. I’ve got years of jumping in weird situations so something like this isn’t too bad.
Pretty scenic here, Glacier House is amazing.
Oh yah, I’ve been doing this for 13 years now. We live only 1.5hrs away and we’ve never done a freestyle show in Revelstoke. So I’ve been kinda just waiting for a chance to do something and with the new owners here it’s awesome. I come here to sled alot too. I started racing here in Revelstoke too so it’s just good to get out and support what everyone’s doing. That’s the main thing.
What kind of mods do you do to your bike to make it worthy for aerial stunts?
For the freestyle stuff, my Kawi, we changed the handlebars out for some taller bent ones, shaved the seat down so it’s a little bit lower and to make our grab holes nicer. Cut out the plastic to make grab holes in the back. The biggest mod is the suspension gets upgraded bigtime to make it really stiff. It’s a pretty much unridable bike for most other stuff. It’s just specifically to take big jumps and big hits.
Do you do the same thing for your Timbersled?
I’ll run my really stiff freestyle suspension on my Timbersled, but I don’t do as many mods as far as holes or anything. You gotta get it set up with some wide foot pegs, put a headlight on it, really just deck it out for the backcountry and the mountains, then get out there and ride it.
My fresh tires go on my moto bike and I beat them up, then I put used tires on my freestyle bike. I would just wreck a brand new tire on asphalt right now. Maybe if I was on dirt I would put on a new tire but we have expanded metal on our takeoff and it just kills tires. Nothin worse than having a brand new knobby and wreckin it on something you don’t need it for. I do lots of burnouts and donuts and stuff.
Moving from Kawasaki to KTM, what are you liking so far?
I don’t have too much time on my KTM, but the biggest problem with Kawasaki was they came out with air forks this last year in 2013. So there are no springs in the front forks and to me it’s not very safe for freestyle. Then when I used them in the snow they went flat and can’t handle the cold and the air with the seals. So to me it was just not versatile enough for everything I do and I couldn’t sell that to a customer right off the showroom floor and tell them it was going to work for a snowbike. So I had to change because I do so many things and I need a bike that does it all. My freestyle bike is a 2011 Kawasaki because they have normal forks. A spring will always suspend the bike and an air fork, if I jumped too far and landed flat, it would just slam right to the ground and I would really hurt myself. I’m not even willing to take that chance when the old stuff works just great.
I never ever have to get off my dirt bike. I can ride it all year round. It’s not riding a different machine, and you get to see really cool country that sometimes sleds have challenges getting into. With the maneuverability and the fact that it only has one ski, we can side hill anything and we don’t get tired. It’s effortless, you’re too busy laughing.
Amazing. Thanks alot for answering my questions! Let’s watch this premier!
PS- Did any of you know there is a swank bar in the bottom of Glacier House? Whoa!! Reagan’s section was definitely the best in Braaap 13. Here’s hoping this annual event just gets bigger and better every year. Thanks Revy Riders!
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