Chris Van Dine Interview
We get a chance to chat with The Cut rider.
Author: Chris Armstrong | Created: 2008-08-06 09:44:15 | Location: Whistler, BC
Chris Van Dine has been a fixture on the world cup circuit for the last few years. The former PA rider now calls California home, but you wouldn’t know it by how many flights he has been on this year. We were able to catch up with him between flights from to and from Austria.
WMB: What got you into riding?CVD: Well, my dad's an old Appalacian hill billy and one of the things he was into when i was growing up back in the 80's was bush-whacking new trails to ride through the woods on his bicycle. Before long weekend warriors from all over the east coast were coming to a festival called "Mountain Bike Weekend" in my hometown of Jim Thorpe, PA to ride my dad's trails.
WMB: Who were your early influences?
CVD: Gunnar Shogren, Floyd Landis, Myles Rockwell, "Tattoo Lou" DeAngeles, Jason McCoy, "Earthquake Jake" Watson, Eric Carter, Missy Giove, Juli Furtado, Terry Tennette, Kirt Voreis, "Pistol Pete" Loncarevich, John Tomac, the list is long.
WMB: When did you start to think that biking could become a job?
CVD: When did mountain biking become a job?
WMB: You had a nasty run of crashes and breaks in the past, which one would be the worst?
CVD: They've all sucked initially, but helped me become who i am today in one way or another. Injuries and setbacks are just a part of life, so i try to accept them, learn from them and move forward. They can definitely open up growth in new areas.
WMB: Did you end up having a "mental block" because of it.. Or did you move past it easily. (I always have to re-ride a crash to break past it.)
CVD: I've never really had too much trouble getting back after it, which is probably why I've had so many injuries. Coming back to race World Cups right after an injury is really hard. Confidence is such a crucial aspect and it just takes time to build and get sharp over 90%.
WMB: What type of riding do you enjoy the most? (ie, tight and technical, fast& flowy etc.)
CVD: I've been told that variety is the spice of life and I think that holds true with riding bicycles. There is so much you can do on a bicycle and for me changing terrain and styles is a big part of staying inspired. No matter what type of riding it is, going fast always keeps things more interesting for me. Lately it's been really hard to beat a big, flowy, well build rhythm line at the jump trails.
WMB: Favourite course in the world?CVD: Hmmm, good question. La Parva in the Chilean Andes is pretty impressive with almost 9,000 feet of vertical, and the VCA urban downhill race around the corner in Valparaiso is definitely one of the most fun races I've ever done. Schladming, Austria is one of my favorites, and the old world cup course in Durango, Colorado was one of the all time best. There really are so many amazing tracks I've been lucky enough to ride.
WMB: What is your favourite bike to ride?CVD: I treat my bikes like i'd treat my kids (if i ever have any). Can't really pick a favorite, they all have their moments.
WMB: With some of the next fastest fastest riders coming from So Cal are there any up and comers that we should be watching for?CVD: Aaron Gwin
WMB: Do you see gravity racing increasing in North America to the level in Europe?
CVD: It definitely could, our sport is only as good as the events allow them to be. I think we are on the brink of some really big things in the gravity world. I'm currently running for the athlete trustee position at USA Cycling to try and do my part. From a commercial standpoint I think Urban DH/Freeride events have huge potential here in North America.
WMB: One spot, one bike, one hour. What would you ride? (ie if you had 1 hour to ride any spot in the world, where would you go and what would you ride)CVD: No question, I'd take my hardtail to the POSH trails in PA.
WMB: What would you change in mountain biking right now?
CVD: The governing bodies.
Chris Van Dine is sponsored by:
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