We’ve always known that Gee Atherton is tough. Throughout his career, Gee’s spectacular crashes have set the internet alight – from the snow-jump in Tignes 2008, to Red Bull Rampage 2012 and a close encounter with a cliff, or the Insta360 shots at Mont St Anne when Gee’s 60km/h tree hug left him checking that everything in his trousers was still attached!
Gee has always ridden at the very limit of what is possible on a bike saying “If you’re in control you’re not going fast enough”. It’s his can-do attitude and the crazy locations that Gee sees as an irresistible personal challenge that have enabled him to push the boundaries of the sport time and time again – most notably through events like Red Bull Hardline designed with brother Dan. One of the main drivers for Gee and his siblings to establish their own brand “Atherton Bikes” was to manufacture bikes strong enough to keep up with the demands of his riding…
Gee’s daring has brought him huge plaudits and in recent years millions have enjoyed spectacular edits such as The Ridgeline and the Slate line, but the risks involved in these “Big Mountain” projects are horrific.
In June 2021 when filming “The Knife Edge” Gee had a horrendous crash with a huge list of injuries… “There was a high-impact fracture to my femur, so 5 or 6 pieces were blown apart, which blew through all the muscle and fascia around the bone. I broke 4 or 5 ribs, which also punctured my lung. An open fracture on my radius came through the skin, and there was a lot of nerve damage. I fractured my eye socket, broke my nose, and to top it all off, I knocked myself”; – Gee Atherton.
Gee’s recovery was a long process with a long stretch of soft tissue therapy, a revision to the op on his femur which wasn’t healing as planned and no guarantees that he would ride again but the thought of “the new Ridgeline” (built way back in 2021 before his accident) was a huge motivation.
Gee said “I have to admit the first day up on the new ridge was challenging, I’d been riding chilled bike park laps and suddenly I was back at the top of a Ridge with all the knowledge of what had gone before. But I do these projects purely because I love it. I’ve always enjoyed that creative side,.. the freedom to build things as hard as you want. There are no boundaries, and I always end up making them a little bit harder than I should. As soon as I dropped in I was back where I belong”