Wade Simmons and Brett Tippie are two of the most recognized names in the sport of mountain biking. Both riders are Mountain Bike Hall of Famers who have played pivotal roles in defining the sport we all love. Whether it be movie segments in classic films like the Kranked series and Ride to The Hills, or the countless epic shots in Bike Mag, these two legends have influenced how and what we ride beyond measure.
Both Wade and Brett live on the now famous ‘North Shore’, a place whose notoriety they each had a major role in creating. If The Shore had a walk of fame, these two would be on it. While they may not be risking life and limb as much as they used to, they are still riding hard, nearly daily. These two OG ‘Fro-Riders’ are still some of the most amazing bike riders on the planet. Honest-to-god bike honchs that can rip anything on the globe a new one. The only thing more incredible than their impressive bike handling skills is how stoked these two are on riding.
Ontario is not a place one would describe as the nucleus of epic mountain biking on the planet. We all know this. That is the case with many other areas of the world as well. There is incredible riding here however, if you’re willing to go look for it. There is so much great riding here in fact that you could easily ride a new trail every weekend during the summer and never need to ride the same trail twice. Despite this reality, many perpetuate the myth that the riding here is not up to snuff.
Wade and Brett recently came to host a skills Camp at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood. Wade has done this camp for several years now and this year brought Brett along as his guest coach. While in town, we also had the opportunity to take them out for some good old fashion trail riding.
Wade and Brett have ridden on more continents than most of us can even name. They have shred some of the world’s most pristine singletrack from The Shore to Zermatt, Switzerland. Heck, even their bikes have traveled more than most of us. If anyone has the clout to yardstick our trails or turn their nose up at them, it would be them, but both were just as stoked to ride here as anywhere.
“Sometimes I can’t help thinking that the Mountain Bike is mis-labeled. Road bikes are used on the road; so one would think mountain bikes are only used in the mountains. In Ontario, a province with modest vertical relief, there exists great “mountain biking”. Maybe not on mountains per se, but the riding delivers. There is a multitude of super challenging technical trails, and hundreds of km’s of varied singletrack. Always something to explore. And plenty of shredders do!” – Wade Simmons.
Whether it be Brett’s gut-busting laugh or Wade’s way or making the simplest section of trail exciting, these two ooze fun. Brett lists “Director of Good Times” on his résumé and anyone who has spent any time with him will agree. While Rampage results and movie credits will be recorded as part of their mark on the sport, it’s their character and genuine passion that will be their ultimate legacy. They are the best ambassadors this sport could ever want. When you are on the trail with them, you feel empowered and just as stoked on riding as they are. No matter where or what you’re riding. It’s infectious! When you stop and think about how many riders these two have shared trails with around the world, you begin to appreciate just how much of their passion they have bestowed on mountain bikers. We are all so caught up in competition and results, but what these two have given us transcends that.
“The beauty about mountain biking is that even if you’re not in the most wicked big mountains of all time with loamy trails, you can still have the time of your life anywhere on any kind of terrain. You can shred your bike in the foothills, prairies, lot at the end of the street, desert, jungle, big mountain or small hills with cheap thrills and have fun! ha ha I really didn’t expect to have so much of a good time riding in Ontario but it was killer and I’m already stoked on visiting again next year!” – Brett Tippie
“One aspect of mountain biking that I love so much, is the fact that you can have fun and challenge yourself anywhere. Whether it be cleaning a technical climb, sessioning a jump, riding a fallen tree, dropping a cliff, or simply flowing some smooth singletrack, the mountain bike will always put a smile on your face. Sure, one can always dream of riding in the MTB meccas of the world, but the truth is you can find the same challenges in any landscape. And that is why it’s the best goddamn sport in the world!” – Wade Simmons
If you ever have an opportunity to ride with these guys, don’t miss it. I equate it to seeing the Who or Zeppelin. It’s just something that you don’t want to miss. You will never forget it and a part of them will be with you on every ride.
The images in this article could be from anywhere in the world but they are from Ontario. Mountain biking is about exploring, bikes, friends and fun. Whether you’re in Moab, B.C. or Ontario there are good trails to ride and good times to be had.