When enduro first entered the mountain bike world in the early 2000’s, the phrase “downhill is dead” jokingly began making its way around the community as more and more riders began experimenting with longer travel trail bikes. Fast forward a decade or so, and “downhill is dead” has transformed from a tongue-in-cheek expression, to something closer to a three word obituary.
Granted, the World Cup circuit is more competitive, exciting and professional than ever. Even so, today’s North American downhill scene is a shadow of what it once was. With race organizers quietly cutting downhill from schedules, bike manufacturers removing downhill bikes from their product offerings, and bike park lines overtaken by “surprisingly capable” trail bikes, the now-common saying “downhill is dead” is one that has started to become frighteningly true.
But despite the mainstream decline of downhill, the discipline is still kept alive in small, die-hard factions scattered across the continent, haunting the woods aboard their ghost machines.
Downhill is dead. Long live downhill.
G H O S T M A C H I N E