Brett Rheeder – the boy behind the bike
Situated in the vast expanse of Canada’s eastern province, famous for its Great Lakes, Ontario isn’t the obvious place you’d look for mountain-biking talent. But Brett Rheeder, Ontario born and bred, turned heads from an early age. Now aged 25, he is now one of the greatest Mountain Bikers of his generation, 2018 winner of the infamous Red Bull Rampage.
Growing up on a farm, Brett enjoyed hot, humid summers riding a purpose-built track in his back yard. ‘He was always had that passion to get on his bike,’ remembers his mum. During the bitterly cold winter months, Brett would drive an hour to Joyride 150 – an indoor bike park in Markham, Ontario. ‘Without Joyride 150 I definitely would not be here,’ admits Brett. ‘It enabled me to ride all winter long; it’s the spot where me and my friends built up our careers.’
As Brett gained skill and confidence, he grew restless, aware that he was not getting the attention he deserved on the MTB circuit. However, his first two years of competition in 2010 and 2011 gave him the necessary experience to transition to bigger events. These saw him make a name for himself and get noticed on the international stage.
Brett kick-started his rise to fame at the Claymore Challenge in 2012. He had learned a new trick that year and executed it flawlessly in his run to the podium. That front flip on the flat drop remains a life-long memory. Brett continued to snag podium positions at every major Slopestyle contest, but he was still missing one thing – a Crankworx title.
It’s said that failure can be the best teacher. In 2015, Brett experienced a huge setback in his hunt for the Crankworx Triple Crown. He won the first stop at Rotorua. He won the second stop at Les 2 Alpes. Could he win at Whistler?
The pressure was too much.
Brett imploded in front of thousands of fans, crashing on both his runs. The Triple Crown was no longer a reality and he decided to take some time to assess life and work on his game.
And he came back stronger.
Since 2015, Brett has been in a different headspace. Enjoying his riding, accepting the pressure that comes with greatness, and – perhaps most importantly – winning titles.
On his recent Rampage victory, Brett posted on Instagram:
"Never in my life did I think winning Rampage would have been possible when I showed up for my first Rampage in 2012… I was so out of my element as I was new to DH bikes, mountains and riding down them, let alone in Virgin, Utah. I almost went home on my first day of digging because I was so scared of falling of the exposed cliffs. But I stuck it out, worked against my own grain, kept digging throughout that first week in 2012, and eventually got on my bike, rode the line that I built, and went from there.
Here we are 7 years later. I’m comfy with the area, I love riding the terrain this place has to offer, and this year I was finally able to push myself with the line I chose. I ended up putting down a clean run walking away as the winner. Never give up. Never discredit what you do. Even if it’s not as good as what someone else has going on. Eventually you will be the best and will come out on top. It’s only a matter of time.
Very thankful to hold this title."
Witness the mindset of a true champion. Someone who is completely at ease with them self and their sport. Brett sets goals and achieves them. From his dream win in Whistler to conquering Red Bull Rampage, Brett has already done enough to cement himself as a true legend of Mountain Bike.