Mountain Biking

Video: Braydon Bringhurst’s Inspired Trail Riding in ‘Solace’ –

“The challenges of 2020 can seem overwhelming,” says Braydon Bringhurst. “I feel so fortunate to have a bicycle to get out and ride—it’s for my soul.”

Recognizing current issues, Bringhurst recognizes the extraordinary opportunity to enjoy a simple trail-bike ride in his life—during this unique time in history.

“The feeling of getting through an incredibly tough climb followed by the thrill and stoke of the descent gives me hope,” says Bringhurst.

Having cycling through these hard days has helped me find solace—Braydon

With Solace, Bringhurst set out to create inspiration for others and showcase the beautiful world that mountain biking can take you. “Biking isn’t changing the world,” says Bringhurst, “But it is helping me to get through these difficult times and my hope is that it inspires others to do the same.”
On his motivation behind Solace:

Braydon Bringhurst: I wanted to create something that resonates with other riders to showcase just how fortunate we are to have mountain bikes to get out and be free. I can only speak for myself, but having cycling through these hard days has helped me find solace. I think any form of cycling is far more unifying than dividing. I think there is a unifying element for people who use two wheels to find comfort these days. For me, ever since I was a little kid, I would go ride my bike to deal with life—for good or for bad.

To do your best work in life, you have to love what you do—Braydon

How he got started in cycling:

I grew up racing BMX in the Utah race scene. I raced and traveled the country with Mitch Ropelato. We were some little dudes, but we always found the craziest gaps and enjoyed taking out some of the biggest riders in the corners. Some riders that I respected the most and raced against were Kris Fox and David Herman. They were always some of the most stylish and fastest racers, but were always so nice and down to earth. I have really enjoyed and have been inspired by Kris Fox with how he has gone in his own direction and not followed the mainstream direction of where BMX is going.

When he hung up the BMX and why:

I was 18 years old. I loved BMX racing and finally earned NAG (National Age Group) rankings on both class and cruiser. I could have gone professional, but didn’t feel true passion for it then—so I went another direction in life and that was a two-year mission for my church in southern California. After my mission, a pole vaulting scholarship presented itself and I took advantage of that to earn a degree in filmmaking from Brigham Young University.

His greatest achievement in NCAA:

I earned the “All American” status as one of the top NCAA vaulters in the country and then placed 7th at the elite level USA Indoor National Championships in 2014—18-feet or 5.5 meters was my personal record.
I was the smallest in the field at 5’9” and because of that I had to acquire a 36.5 inch standing vertical jump to make up for the lack in height. I also had 4% body fat. Lots of hours training, sprinting, weight training, dieting, etc. to get to that level.

I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to be doing what I love—Braydon

How he discovered mountain biking:

I always followed Mitch and Cody [Kelley] on social media and was so proud to see their success. I never thought about getting to their level—as I would say I’m still far from it—but I just saw how fun it looked and knew I missed riding my bike. In 2016, my father-in-law bought me a $1,800 trail bike. I was so stoked and texted Mitch. We went for a ride in Draper, Utah, and he encouraged me to learn as much as I could. It also helped that he inspired me and showed me what could be done on a trail bike. It was then that I knew this mountain bike thing was something I wanted to be a part of. I never considered getting to a professional level, but more wanted to use my mountain bike to explore and find peace as I worked on pursuing my goal of a master’s degree at Boise State University.

What made him start pursuing mountain biking more seriously:

I would ride with my good lifelong-friend Mitch Ropelato and he would say, “Dude, you are one of the most talented people I know,” and honestly, I had a hard time believing that—and I still do. When I started my biking Instagram account, I was at a point in my life where I was satisfied with everything I wanted to do athletically. I just wanted to connect with other bike riders and share the stoke of getting out on the trail. Switching gears, I always felt kind of “dumb” or that I wasn’t “smart” as to traditional education, so I was fully engaged in earning an MBA. I was terrified, but as I pushed myself mentally I grew so much and learned that I have a unique talent of riding my bicycle. I learned that in order to do your best work in life, you have to love what you do. And, to be honest, I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to be doing what I love. I have no feeling of inferiority or superiority to any other rider or person in the industry. I compete against myself and encourage everyone to focus on being the best individual that they can be. Results don’t matter as much as how you feel about yourself and if you did your best.

How long it took before he was taking MTB seriously—as serious as childhood BMX and college athletics:

I got a message from Canyon Bikes in 2018 that said: “We love what you’re doing. How can we support you?” I was doing local clinics to help beginners, doing group rides, and posting some clips that got some good stoke. I knew I wanted to continue doing community stuff, but I also knew I wanted to make MTB films. I figured the more support I could get for making films and riding, the more I could do for my community and make a real difference right around my home. I proposed to get a couple film budgets to make some films. I would have never asked to get paid for just riding, but getting some film budgets was something I felt appropriate. After the first film Transcend in Moab, I really felt the support and encouragement come. It was then that I started setting time aside to really develop more and more skills to become the best rider that I could be. I think the thing that excites me the most is that the possibilities seem endless—both in my community and my skills on the bike. My buddy Kirk Cheney, myself, and pretty much everyone else in Boise started the Boise Mountain Bike Festival. Boise is an incredibly tight-knit cycling community and I am so fortunate to be a part of it. And as far as riding, I feel I have a ton of work to grow and develop in becoming the best overall mountain bike rider that I can become—the sky is truly the limit for both of those aspects.

Showcasing mountain biking the way I enjoy it: Climbs, descents, jibs—I love it all—Braydon

With a BMX racing background, and competitive background in NCAA, why he didn’t race MTB:

I was competing all the way up till I was 19 years old with BMX racing, skiing, wakeboarding, and pole vaulting. Then when I was 21, I went to college and spent 5 years training 6 days a week with 100% focus. When I got my mountain bike, I just wanted to chill a bit and enjoy the ride. I hadn’t raced an MTB, but weirdly I already felt burned out. Maybe I was just burned out of typical head-to-head competition. Focusing on personal skill development to enjoy my daily ride and then getting involved with my community is what gets me stoked. So that is where my passion and energy goes. I also love making films and showcasing mountain biking the way I enjoy it: Climbs, descents, jibs—I love it all. It’s not a typical approach, but it works for me. I would go as far to say that I don’t consider myself a mountain bike athlete. I would more consider myself a mountain bike enthusiast and ambassador. I feel way more passion and excitement in that area. I just love riding mountain bikes and getting people involved and into the sport.

His biggest strength on the bike:

I would say my biggest strength on the bike is eyeing stuff up and being able to measure the effort and pop it would take to clear the gap or make a climb. I enjoy picking apart a seemingly normal trail and putting lines and gaps to it that would never be considered prior.

My wife and I know how to work with each other—Braydon

Any weaknesses he has identified and worked on:

I have had to work hard on cornering a mountain bike. I watch riders like Mitch Ropelato, Bryn Atkinson, or Cody Kelley and pay attention to how they cut through the dirt. There is no skidding. There is this sense of fluidity. No jerks, yanks or skidding—just fluidity. I strive regularly to get that in my riding. I also love clipless pedals, but know the consequences of not being able to get out of them. I’ve had to practice ejecting to get out of bad situations when they come. Thank goodness because the backflip in this video is a perfect example of that practice coming into effect.

Who was on his production team for Solace:

Like our other films—Transcend, The Whole Shebang, and Interpret—it’s mainly my wife Nicole and I. The relationship between the filmer and rider is something that can never be overlooked. My wife and I shoot weddings and we know how to work with each other for the most part. We also are raising two little girls so learning to work together is an ongoing effort. Making a bike video is nothing too out of the ordinary for us. Additionally, we had my really good riding buddy Greg Montgomery capturing behind the scenes moments and some second angles. After we finished shooting everything on land, I asked my other good friend John Webster to come grab some of his beautiful drone shots. I can’t begin to describe how much this team helped this film come about. It was a major team effort from getting the shots to giving encouragement during the whole process.

During this time of distress and difficulty, many of us are turning to our bikes—Braydon

With his wife behind the camera, what the dynamic is like:

It’s honestly the best scenario—I would never want to work with people that just want to get “the shot” over my safety and well being. I know that my wife is 100% trusting of my riding efforts and because of that I feel like I’m able to ride to my best. I think, for the most part, we just want to do a good job. We’re just grateful for the opportunities we’re getting and to be working with the companies and people we get to work with. Not to say that when I film with other filmers that I don’t trust them, but the added level of love and concern that comes from your spouse being there is something I really enjoy when we’re filming these projects.

Some of the trail advocacy programs he’s involved with in Idaho:

I really try to do my best to help riders ride. I’m always trying to do better, but last year—with the help of my sponsor—I was able to put together a raffle that raised around $14K for my local trail organization, SWIMBA. Mountain biking is only going to continue to grow if support is given to those that advocate and get their hands dirty building and maintaining the trails—without it, the sport will plateau or fade. I have a major passion for helping this sport grow, so sharing my resources to help that cause really isn’t that much of a sacrifice. I feel fortunate to be part of the mountain bike community and finding ways to give back is an expression of that gratitude.

We are determined to get bikes in the hands of the underprivileged—Braydon

What trail advocacy efforts he is contributing to this year:

This year has been obviously full of challenges, but I want to organize something to not only help and support our local trail org. but help with some other inspiring non-profits, as well. There are two more non-profits that I want to be able to help get some funds to and the first of the two is Dirt Dolls—a women’s organization that has over 300-400 participants each year coming out for group rides, get-togethers, clinics and it’s all for women to have that comradery with. They are truly doing incredible things and they are one of the many reasons why Boise has such a wonderful cycling community. The second is a non-profit called the Boise Bicycle Project. Together, we are determined to get bikes in the hands of the underprivileged and those that can’t afford a newer bike. The funds that would go to them would go specifically to a program that support mechanics in training to help get bikes rolling again. So between SWIMBA, Dirt Dolls, and The Boise Bicycle Project there is a major need of help in my area. During this time of distress and difficulty, many of us are turning to our bikes. I hope we don’t forget to support those that have helped build the sport and are out there trying to fight for more trails. If you can give, please give. If times are tough and you’re unable to give, no worries.

What bike he chose to ride for Solace:

I chose the Canyon Spectral CFR.


Frame: Canyon Spectral CFR
Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate, 150mm, 95 PSI
Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate, 200 PSI
Cranks: SRAM XX1, 175mm
Chainring: SRAM, 34t
Cassette: SRAM Eagle XX1, 10-50t
Wheels: ZIPP 3Zero Moto
Tires: Maxxis DHF EXO 2.5”, 29 PSI (F), 31 PSI (R)
Handlebar: Deity Brendog, 760mm
Stem: Deity Copperhead 35mm
Grips: Deity Waypoint
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS, 170mm
Saddle: Deity Speedtrap

His response to the label “Insta Famous”:

I’m fine with it. Ha ha. It’s the reality of today and how I originally got recognized and made a connection to those in the bike industry. I hope people realize social media isn’t the end all be all, but I’m fine having it associated with how I got into the mountain bike world. It’s similar to Tom Wallisch getting into the ski industry with YouTube back in 2007 with his super unknown edit. Instagram is simply a tool to connect with others and that is what I use it for. Having legendary people and brands push my stuff is a true honor as well—working with Canyon, along with Maxxis, Smith, Deity, SRAM, Zipp, RockShox, and Patagonia to promote my approach to MTB is definitely motivating to keep doing my own thing.

Plans to compete if racing starts back up again:

The type of racing that seems fun to me is a little dual slalom action. I definitely think it would be fun to jam with the other big baller riders in a dual slalom race and specifically Sea Otter and Whistler Crankworx. I want to compete on a course where some really good trail bike cornering skills are needed. If I can hang with the big dogs on one of those courses, I’d be stoked. I’ll definitely be looking for the gaps and will probably try them in my race runs.

Adivce he would give to a rider of any age, with a bike and a dream:

Seek out and go after what you are most passionate about. If going after a massive 24-hour ride gets you feeling stoked—do it. If sending huge cliffs and pushing the envelope of what can be done riding certain terrain gets you stoked—do it. Ride your bike for the reasons you love it. Life is too short to ride a bicycle for reasons you don’t love. Riding a bicycle is meant to make your life more enjoyable.

Produced by: BurstMedia
With support from: Canyon USA
Featuring: Braydon Bringhurst

MENTIONS: @Canyon-PureCycling