The Making of B-Rage
An Interview with Brage Vestavik
How did this new trail come about? Was it something you’ve been planning for a while?
I’ve loved trail building since I started riding, but I have always just been building by hand. So, to get a big crew of shapers and machines has been a dream for years. I have been riding for Trysil Bike Arena for a few years, just haven’t been digging for them until this year. Me and the Boss Olve have been talking about building my own section for a while and we finally made it happen this summer. So pumped and really thankful Trysil Bike Arena gave me this opportunity and trusted me.
Why Trysil? How did your connection with the arena start?
I have always been a fan of Trysil and how they get normal people into loving bikes. Everyone can enjoy Trysil and I’m having as much fun on the blue trail as the black trail. The trails have a lot of variation and gives you a good opportunity to be creative. Riding around in the park is like an adventure in the woods, haha! I started riding for Trysil Bike Arena a few years ago and been loving it. To see families and people that never rode before smile and love it, inspires me a lot. It also fits really well because it’s a GT Bike park and if I were to say one word about the park, it would be GoodTimes.
What was your inspiration for the track? Did you model it after something you’ve ridden before or is it something that you haven’t seen and wanted to ride?
I think most of the inspiration for the track just comes out from my head and imagination. From things I have seen in edits and places I have been riding. When I was about 7 years old I got my first MTB DVD, called NWD 7. Legendary movie. I watched that every day and other DVDs seeing the Freeriders build stuff out in the woods. I started building in my yard at that time and had trails in my yard till I was around 14. For sure a lot of inspiration from that time. To be honest, I didn’t plan too much. We waked the track before building it and had an idea of where it was going and kinda went from there the day after. I had some features in mind, but a lot of the digging was freestyle.
You’ve built a ton of trails in the past, but this was your first time working with big machines. What was that like?
It was really cool to just point and than 30 minutes later there is a huge pile of dirt moved by the machine. The fast progress was for sure fun. It was also pretty different and hard to have that fast progress. Normally when I’m digging with spade we can spend a few weeks working on one jump, and you can test and get the speed right. Now, building with a few machines, suddenly we had 3 jumps in a row without testing one of them, and they just had to work haha. So, I have defiantly learned a lot.
Do you prefer the big equipment or building by hand?
It’s hard to say what I prefer… it depends what and how big you are building, also how much time you have before it has to be done haha. But by heart I think the shovel and hands stand the closest! Most of the work I have been doing during this project has been by spade, anyway, shaping and making everything smooth by hand tools.
What was the hardest part of building this trail?
The long steep landing of the step down near the bottom was defiantly one of the hardest parts. To shape and pack it, we had to use ropes and a few people up and down the steep hill with the heavy Wackerpacker. But the whole build in general was pretty hard for the body. Getting up at 6 every day and digging around 12 hours a day gets heavy after 3 weeks. We kinda had to be done with the trail and filming it within one month. The last few days of digging was heavy, and I ended up pretty burnt out in bed sweating for a few days before we started filming. To cover the whole trail in the next few days we had to go deep in the sesh, with filming from morning till night. But super stoked we got everything done! :) That whole month is one of the sickest, but also one of the heaviest months of my life.
What’s your favorite feature of the track?
I’m stoked on how the trail flows together and that you have different options to ride a few of the features. But I think my favorite feature on the track must be the wall ride section with the small hip into the wooden wall ride. You also have an option to ride the small hip straight and just use the lip for the wall ride as a step down! Good Fun! :)
What was the inspiration for the big boner log entry to the track?
Its inspiration from old school free ride for sure. I love that stuff and have always loved it since I was a kid. I used to build skinnies like that in the garden when I was a kid, just not as tall as this haha. And it’s cool to start the trail off with a proper send. The start of the trail is also located in a really public place, and I think the big wooden drop looks really cool and sets the vibe for the trail.
What do you think people will enjoy most about the trail?
I think people will enjoy that it’s pretty different than any other Bike Park trails, especially in Norway. I feel most Bike Park trails you can just do lap after lap. But I feel this trail is more like a line of Dirt Jumps, the features are steeper and more tech. You kinda get more respect for the features and it’s enough to just sesh a few of the jumps in the trails rather than doing lap after lap. I miss that sesh feeling in the Bike Parks, it used to be a lot more of that when I was a kid and Dirt Jumping was more popular.
The weekend we released the edit we went up to Trysil to have a little test session on the trail with a few of my friends in Norway and honestly its been a long time since I’ve seen them that stoked. They had never seen any of the trail before and we just went to the top of the trail and worked our way down. We didn’t hype up the session for the public, but we still got a big crowd of hyped people and kids watching, loving it, it was so awesome to see. It was almost as cool to see them ride it than for me to ride it for the first time. To see the stoke and the screams from them hitting the features was such a sick feeling.
What was the most fun part of building the track?
The whole building process was so much fun and everyone had such a good time together. Such a cool little group of people. We had a lot of fun together every day and we figured out everything together. Everyone talked together and agreed before moving on. Times I will remember for the rest of my life and I think everyone learned bit from everyone.
Do you have any plans on building more tracks like this?
I would definitely love to build more like this in the future. This trail is a double black and has some big gaps, but I think it would be really cool to build something in-between this trail and what’s already in Trysil. I don’t have anything this big planned at the moment, but I would love to work on something next year for sure! :)
I’m in my hometown Mysen at the moment and super fired up to start digging some new stuff I’ve been thinking about all summer here in the local woods by spade!
What is your long term hopes that this trail will bring to Trysil?
I hope it will bring some stoked people. Especially stoked kids that can shred it in the future. I even think it’s really good for the little kids to just ride past and see, so they know it’s possible to ride, and have something to dream about riding in the future. I also really hope we can bring some international riders over to shred and enjoy the trail! It would also be awesome to run sessions and a jam with my friends from around the world! I wanna bring the stoke and the love for bikes. I’m pretty sure it will bring that after seeing the riders from the test session.
You have been working with the Blur media guys for a while and always keep it creative and fresh. What was your filming goals working with them?
I love working with my bros, Blur Media. Always good times and we always go deep in the sesh. I just want everyone to perform the best they could. Everyone work so well together, and we are not afraid to tell each other stuff. They got a new camera, and this was our first project with it. Working with two big cameras was really helpful for everyone. I would say my filming goal working with them, is just to go out there and do our thing. Normally, we don’t plan stuff too much, we just go out there and make it happen. I feel like we are always creative and are able to come up with some sick stuff together.
Stoked on everything and can’t wait for more! :)
Photos by: Jonas Sjögren, Trysil