16 year old Rory Kirk boasts tonnes of natural talent and is already making a name for himself in the gravity Mountain Biking scene. He’s got the speed, the skill, and the ability to take on all disciplines from Downhill and Enduro racing to Dirt Jumping and Freeriding, all with ease and incredible style!
Get a taste of Rory’s riding capabilities in Alternate Playgrounds – video and interview feature.
Full name: Rory Kirk
Year riding: Just over 2 years
Riding style: Downhill, Enduro, Dirt Jumps
Bike setup: My Transition Patrol carbon Enduro bike is capable of doing everything, from going down super rough and rocky decent to backflipping dirt jumps. In my opinion it’s the best all round bike to have fun on at all times
Sponsors: Transition Bikes, ANVL Components, cSixx, Fox Racing, Liqui Moly, Dragon Energy Drink, DT Swiss, Cogent Industries, Nutrigen and Charger Socks.
What first attracted you to the sport of Mountain Biking, and which disciplines are your favourite?
I have always been surrounded by 2 wheels, since a very young age, and I think it was always going to happen, it was just a matter of time. Bicycles came into my life shortly after dirt bikes. I started riding, just messing around with some of my friends, until I got my first real dual suspension Enduro bike, and that’s when things started to kick off and I found that I had a bit of natural talent for the sport. Downhill is definitely my favourite discipline, although I can ride just about anything and have fun, and to me that’s what’s important.
How do you feel the different disciplines of riding actually compliment each other?
Each discipline helps one another. Enduro helps with overall fitness, short bursts and inertia, the Dirt Jumping helps so much with bike control and understanding how the bike moves with the rider and how you are manipulating it with your body, and movements.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I see myself overseas racing UCI Downhill World Cups, and hopefully with a few Fest Series events under my belt too. I have big ambitions and I’m never going to give up.
What goes through your mind when you’re out riding?
My mind is blank, but when I’m thinking about it, it’s usually about how fortunate and how blessed I am to have come this far in such a short space of time, and how lucky we are to always be out on our bikes.
Dirt Jumping and Free Riding, what’s the best part?
I think the energy created with your riding buddies is the best part. It’s what makes me push myself, as I am quite competitive, and it’s such a great feeling when you are riding with your mates learning together and progressing.
Downhill and Enduro racing, what’s the best part?
I love the raw speed, and the competitive nature of racing. Everyone is still having so much fun together, although everyone is looking to get to the top step of the podium. It is an amazing feeling when you are rewarded with a podium position or a win, and it proves to me that hard work does pay off.
What does the average day in your life consist of?
Currently, my lockdown schedule is fairly open, with school work up until lunch time, and then off for a quick training ride or out riding the local dirt jumps with my mates.
On the first day of filming for this project you had a massive crash. Take us through what happened?
Yeah, unfortunately I ran out of talent, and bought a big piece of land. From what I can remember clearly and from what I understand, I was riding slightly over the limit as I wanted the project to come out as best as possible. I was going slightly too fast, and scrubbed far too low with my front wheel catching an edge and then my rear wheel, leading into a rather sizeable high-side, onto my head. From the video, it seems to me like I got let off the hook, very luckily with that one.
The Crash Video
What was the experience of shooting for Alternate Playgrounds like?
It was honestly so eye opening to see how hard everyone works for a project like this. It was a really amazing experience for me as it’s my first real video project, that hasn’t been shot on an iPhone.
Which part of the video is your favourite?
I think the whole thing was just really fun and I don’t think I would be able to pick a best moment. Although, on the second day of shooting, the cameraman managed to get twisted in a knot, whilst I fell at the same time [laughs].
If you weren’t riding Mountain bikes, what would you be doing?
I would really love to be riding Motocross again, as I was raised on dirt bikes and I will always miss it.
Massive shout out to Dragon Energy Drink and LW Mag for giving me this opportunity, you guys are truly the best in the business.
Shot on locaton at Scout Hall Dirt Jumps and Grootfontein Bikepark.
Filmed and Edited by Grant Lucas.