Bell Sixer

Bell Sixer

Behind the Scenes with R-Dog

Words by Drew Rohde // Photos by Ian Collins

After being unveiled last year, the Bell Sixer is finally shipping to dealers around the US. We had already been testing the helmet for a couple of months before being invited to take part in Bell Helmet’s photo and video asset collection trip. Bell hit the road with a video team and photographer, Ian Collins to help capture the good times ahead. The crew, along with Ryan (R-Dog) Howard and Andrew Taylor made their way to McKenzie Bridge, Oregon while stopping to ride and film along the way.

Rob Salcedo (Chuch), marketing manager for Bell Helmets, and wrangler for the trip, invited us out to partake in some behind the scenes action. We met up with the crew at the Horse Creek Lodge and quickly changed for our first shuttle. With the threat of incoming rainstorms and a long list of shots left to collect, the pressure was on. The trails around McKenzie Bridge were recently used for the TransCascadia stage race and made for a perfect location to test the new Sixer trail helmet.

Just before we hopped in the van, Chuch handed me a fresh black Sixer with some fluorescent accents. I put the helmet on and began adjusting the straps while R-Dog, AT and Ian talked smack. On the shuttle ride up I got familiar with my new helmet, its features and fit.

Bell Sixer

After the crew wrapped, we spent some time chatting with Ryan talking about what it’s like having to fulfill these types of trips on a regular basis.

TLW: Are there ever days when you’re just not feeling it but you still have to be out on trail waiting for cameramen to yell “Go” or “No”?

R-Dog: Not necessarily. I’ve always said I would rather hike a trail 100 times before I did one contest run. It’s part of the job and usually you hit a section better every time so it’s worth it.

TLW: What’s the hardest part about creating content like this?

Keeping stuff original is the goal but sometimes for shoots like this it’s more about the product than the riding. We got pretty lucky on this shoot tho. Sick loamy singletrack with a rad crew so I feel like we did pretty well!

TLW: What is your favorite part about these types of projects?

Road tripping with the homies exploring new trails. I really like riding in new spots and see what these towns and trail systems have to offer.

TLW: I’ve heard some actors don’t watch movies that they’ve acted in. Do you watch all the videos you appear in when they launch to the world?

Ehhh most of the times I watch the video before it’s released to make sure I am happy with my riding. Don’t really want any B grade material out there. But as long as it looks fun I’m usually content!

TLW: How do you schedule these trips in with all your other obligations?

I’m a pretty last minute kinda dude. I try not to plan a head a ton so when I get calls from Chuch a week before asking if I can go on a shoot in a couple days, I’m available.

Bell Sixer

TLW: None of you had been to this location before shooting, what did you think of the riding there?

It was sweet. Pretty fast ripping single track in Mackenzie River. Then we moved onto Rogue River which was a super fun flow trail built by Randy Spangler. From there we spent the rest of the trip in Ashland Oregon which is always a treat. Wild Bill showed us the goods and we ended with a trail called Time Warp. The trail name speaks for itself I’d say.

TLW: What was the most memorable part of the trip?

A.T. bringing a Tinder chick home, well, back to the RV, haha.

TLW: I definitely tested the Sixer’s protection capabilities after fatigue led to a boner move, what has your experience been with the helmet so far?

I’ve never really been a fan of wearing trail helmets cuz they look weird and never really fit my head. But when I first tried the Sixer I was convinced that this was the right trail helmet for me. Plus the Fasthouse color scheme is dope!

TLW: What do you like best about the new Sixer?

The Fasthouse colorway as well as the different options of adjustments on the lid. Bell really thought this one through!

TLW: We heard about some cool new projects with Bell and Fasthouse, your new clothing sponsor. Can you elaborate on those at all?

Just gonna be traveling around with some dudes that really like to ride bikes and have a good time and look good while doing it! Just gonna keep things fun and fresh so hopefully people will be stoked on it. I know we are!

Ride or die,

As a media hack I’ve been involved with plenty of group rides, photo shoots and media camps. These “rides” usually involve a lot more stopping than riding as photographers and videographers need to set up, tear down and move ahead. My day of getting to chase a couple pro riders quickly turned into a giant game of shred and go wait.

After spending what seemed like 6 hours to cover about 9 miles, I had a deeper respect for the unglamorous side of riding that results in lust worthy photos and video edits. The upside was I got to spend a lot of time breaking in my new helmet.

Photo Below: Speaking of breaking in my new helmet, after spending more time riding my office chair than a bike since starting TLW, my fatigue ended up getting the better of me. Lesson learned: When riding with your heroes, if you’re hungry, out of shape and tired, listen to your body. Sit one out and eat a sandwich.