TLW: Certainly there must be some tweaks made to your bike for the intense terrain of Virgin, Utah. What do you change about your daily setup on your Rocky Mountain Maiden?
CS: Wider tires, and stiff suspension with slow rebound!
TLW: Could you tell us what a successful line at Red Bull Rampage looks like for you? What do you look for when you stare up at the ridgelines?
CS: I try to find the terrain that best suits what I excel at riding the most, which isn’t a specific thing. I look for anything that gets me excited but at the same time, I look for things I know I can ride with confidence.
TLW: As a competitive freerider, what does Red Bull Rampage mean to you?
CS: It is the pinnacle of mountain biking, and carries massive exposure. I am just honored to be a part of it, and it definitely fulfills a major childhood dream.
TLW: Having attended the event in person, I can attest that there is a heavy vibe present amongst the riders and spectators. As a professional athlete who has been there before and prepares for this, how hard is it to drop in when it’s competition time? Does it get easier the more you do it?
CS: Virgin, Utah never gets less gnarly or easier to deal with. It’s all about the mindset going in. I am going to have fun, and focus on not letting pressure or expectations get the best of me. It’s all about the thrill of it all.
Cam McCaul and Carson touch up the landing of Carson’s Rampage training stepdown at The Lair.
TLW: How important is it to you, to win this event?
CS: It would be the most epic feeling ever, I know that!
TLW: Any predictions or Babe Ruth callouts that we can expect to see from you this year?
CS: No comment!
TLW: For all your fans and spectators who are going to be out there cheering you on, what do you want to see from them?
CS: I want to see positivity and enjoyment. The Utah landscape is the best big mountain terrain in the world, get stoked to watch us push the sport as we ride down that mountain!!
As we sit here editing text, sifting through images and editing video, Carson is probably somewhere in the middle of Nevada. Carson had just 24 hours after returning from a movie premiere in Vancouver to build his Rampage bike, pack his truck and get two more interviews out of the way. What’s crazy is that as Carson checks off the miles en-route to Utah, his stress level is actually dropping. The countless hours of practicing, riding and digging have left him confident and no amount of interviews will stop him from returning to the red cliffs to show the world he’s ready to huck.
The Black Sage FEST event was held at the Oregon Dirt Park. The huge facility is one of Carson’s side projects and he hopes to continue using it as a training facility while also making it a destination for moto and mountain bikers to come have fun.
Check out more riding and behind-the-scenes photos below.