RETURN TO THE RIDGELINE!GEE ATHERTON, & THE AM.200.M GO HARD
Oct 6th, 2022
Gee is well known as one of the most progressive and most fearless mountain-bikers in the World we chat to him about his most recent edit and the role of Atherton Bikes in his spectacular return to our screens.
“The confidence that this bike (the AM.200.M) gives me drives me to take things to a new level. Having this amazingly strong, amazingly stable bike to play with was a definite factor when I started to think about these Big Mountain Projects - and in me being able to ride a Ridgeline less than 18 months after the last attempt.
Making a film like this there are physical issues and there are mental issues, of course given recent history both were very present. There were definitely times in the run up to this film when I was thinking, 'Will I be able to ride again?” never mind on a Ridgeline, but I love these projects, the freedom, the raw speed, the exposure at the top of the mountain, being in such a beautiful place… it’s a big part of me, of who I am, that thirst for progression and the likelihood that I’m probably going to push things a little bit too far…
Having this bike that I’ve been so involved in every stage of its development was definitely a factor in my return – at the least I’m sure that I’ve come back earlier… I might have got to this stage eventually with another bike but having that degree of trust, in myself, in Athy and Rach and Dan Brown and the brilliant team of engineers that we’ve worked with over the last four years, you can’t begin to estimate how important that is…
Big Mountain edits like this are always pushing me beyond my comfort zone, that’s what makes them so rewarding; but usually when you build these lines you’re learning how to ride it as you build and it’s all in one piece of time, there’s a momentum that will carry you through, but with this one… the build was practically finished back in June 2021, in fact it was about a week before I wrote myself off, so it’s been waiting for me for a long time… I’ve had 18 months to stress about it.
In those 18 months the weather (and the sheep) had taken a toll but we soon had the track back in shape...people talk about me being “ daring” but in reality all risks are very calculated, I can’t pretend that standing at the top of the ridge was anything but massively intimidating, there’s steep bowls either side and big step downs all the way down but this bike was made to take big hits…
Its super strong that’s the first thing, but strength was only one part of the equation. This line is absolutely flat out and to be honest, I’m still not physically 100% so the combination of amazing support from the DW6 suspension platform and the stability offered by our frame compliance was key. I’m still very aware of the need to protect my leg so the progressive nature of the DW6 was spot on, it has enough small bump sensitivity not to get chucked offline but then it’ll ramp up so its firm enough to hold me up on the big landings.
Right from the start of selling our products “confidence on the bike” has been something that customers mention all the time, I 100% agree. - Gee
WATCH - RIDGELINE II - THE RETURN - GEE ATHERTON