A familiar trail is a different animal when you can find new ways of riding it.
That’s mountain biker Kenny Smith’s philosophy, and he discusses it deeply in his latest video, Chasing Trail. In the video, Smith hits Whistler Park in British Columbia (featured on our best downhill mountain bike parks and courses feature), careening down the dirt paths that he calls his “home trails.” Hitting a mountain is all about freedom, losing control and giving the mountain everything you’ve got. As Smith learned through a few hard knocks, that freedom can be the most exhilarating feeling on earth or the most frightening, if your brakes give out.
He’s been riding since, what he calls, “the rigid days,” and knows that you have to count every variable to get a real ride. To get the most out of the trail, he relies on breaks that give him enough drag to take sharp turns, without locking his wheels. For Smith, that balance is the sweet spot that helps him discover new ways of riding a trail he’s already done countless times before.
Smith says that riding the same mountain bike trails every year is a progression. With newer and better equipment comes the discovery of hidden lines on your favorite trails.
This evolving relationship with the roads is what keeps Smith coming back to same spots time and time again.