We are so excited to partner with Henry this year, not only does he have some ridiculous skills on a bike but he's one of THOSE dudes, the type that puts in massive time actually building what he wants to ride. We asked him a few questions to get to know the man behind the handlebars...
Alright lets go for the basics, when did you start mountain biking? Do you remember your first ride?
Gosh, my pops got me started early when I could hardly walk so can’t say I remember my first ride. I wasn’t into XC riding and all that stuff, so I finally saved up to buy a Specialized BigHit when I was 13. I remember shaping up old dirt scooter jumps in my backyard and hitting them everyday after school!
What’s led you on the path to where you are today with biking?
Building. If I hadn’t constantly helped out trail building/built new lines by myself, I wouldn’t have half the friends/connections I have today. Also staying relatively injury free for 15 years and having the privilege to own and keep bikes maintained.
Has biking helped you in other areas of your life?
I don’t think I would have made it through sophomore year of college without my bike. I had just built up my first trail bike, and it was a relief to escape my anxieties at school for an hour a day in nature.
Picture By: Trevor Lyden
What’s your absolute favorite thing about riding?
The feeling when you pull something off that was scary. Its straight invigorating and elating.
And what’s your least favorite?
Arrogant brosifs that only care about how they look on the ‘gram.
What are some of your bike goals?
Finish a build/film project! I put soooo much time and money into building, and I always seem to get shut down in some way. This year will be different!
What are some of your life goals?
Have as much fun as possible with people I like and care about, while making a difference when I can!
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not on the bike?
Geeking out on geology most likely...I like those super nerdy papers about why a roadcut looks the way it is.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Empathetic, agreeable, practical
What are you listening to right now?
First to Die by Windhand
A lot of us ride trails and don’t think about the shovel time that goes into them. You’re one of those guys who puts in a lot of build time. When did your passion for building start and why?
I was always inspired by old NWD movies thinking “I want a jump line like Andreu had in Virgin to Bring the Noise by Public Enemy,” so I’d try to go build it. I also believe digging is a way I express my vision and creativity, so I love taking the extra day or two to make a jump or berm last forever and stand out as art.
What’s the longest you’ve worked on a trail?
I spent a year or so working at my trail in Washington called Big Cheese. I was working full-time as a geologist, which left me only a few hours to dig some days. It was pretty much just me out there every other day, making these mounds higher and higher. Some friends pitched in every now and then, especially when they saw things come to fruition!
Ok let’s get personal, injuries never happen at good times, but you had some last year at a point in your progression that was particularly frustrating - how’s the road back been?
I spiral fractured my tib/fib and broke the head of the tib last February while trying to dial in this quarterpipe-to-stepdown feature. This was my first large injury, and it was hell. Constant pain for months from tendonitis, hemorrhoids, extreme atrophy, and misalignment of my bones. I wasn’t quite back fully when I broke my femur in August dialing in a trail I was working at here in Oregon. So, it’s been a long, looooong road. I finally got my ass in gear to do PT everyday, get custom insoles, get shots, etc., and that helped immensely. However, the mental game is so freaking hard. I’m way more scared now.
For all the riders out there (because this sport inevitably means you’ll have some scrapes), do you have any advice for mindset when you’re on the mend?
Do your PT! As my doc says, the more you do, the more you progress. Also, believe in your ability as you start to come back. You haven’t lost it all!
Watch Letterkenny if you haven’t already. And if you have, watch it again...it gets better.
Favorite trail to Ride? Tres Hombres!
Clips or Flats? Flats for tricks, clips for rides!!
Whips or Flips? Flips
Coffee or Water? Water
Burritos or Burgers? ‘ritos!
If you were on a deserted island what three things would you bring? A shovel, a bottle of cholula...