Most of us pop in a set of headphones when we’re at the gym, going for a run or taking a bike ride, counting on our favorite tunes -- and a Red Bull! -- to help us power through the workout. Not so with the freeride mountain bikers gathering in Utah this weekend for Red Bull Rampage. While many said they get amped by listening to tunes before their run, it's vital to keep all sense tuned into the bike, the terrain and the competition.
Cam McCaul: I never listen to music while I'm riding. I've tried and it’s bad news! I ended up paying more attention to the song than to where I was going, so I ditched the headphones and I've run into fewer things ever since. There are so many cool sounds going on during contests (especially Red Bull Rampage) -- announcers, helicopters, crowd cheering, rocks crunching under your tires -- I wouldn't want to miss out on any of that!
Curtis Robinson: I wish I were able to plug in and jam when I ride, but when I’m riding rough, challenging terrain it’s really good to hear what’s happening around me and hear my bike so that I know all is good!
"Riding with no music gives me the ability to hear my bike if something goes wrong. For example, if I spin too early off the lip I’m able to hear my tire catch on the take-off." --Casey Groves
Wil White: In general I love listening to music when I ride, but for the competition there's so much going on you really can't have headphones in. You have to listen to the announcers, the coordinators, the start guy, and the interviews at the end. Plus during my run I really need to be able to hear my bike and make sure I haven't broken a part on the way down. But during practice you can bet I'm listening to something, anything that's just amp-up music.
Mike Kinrade (pictured above): I find that music is kind of distracting. I really love how the bike responds to the input you give it as a rider; the feedback sounds help give you a clear picture of how it is interacting with the environment.
Casey Groves: Riding with no music gives me the ability to hear my bike if something goes wrong. For example, if I spin too early off the lip I’m able to hear my tire catch on the take-off.
Greg Watts: I don't ride with music. I feel like it distracts me too much. I don’t really listen to the sound of my bike either; I’m more focused on what I need to do to get down the course. The more distractions, the harder that is to do.
Kelly McGarry (pictured above): I do like to ride with music playing but when it comes to competitions I don’t. There is so much going through your head and so much for your brain to deal with, so I like to keep it as simple as possible.
Tyler McCaul: I love listening to music when I'm off of my bike, but when I'm riding I like to have all of my senses clear and focused, especially at a contest like Red Bull Rampage.
Check back tomorrow to find out how the riders prepare for Red Bull Rampage.
Follow Red Bull on Twitter for more news, updates and exclusive info.
- Red Bull Rampage 2012 competitor info
- Check out a gallery of XL sequence photos from Red Bull Rampage
- Watch the full Red Bull Rampage 2010 DVD online now