Red Bull Ride to the Hills 2006, Update

The second day of the Red Bull Ride To the Hills competition was, in a nutshell, a bit of a struggle. The nine remaining riders (Robbie Maddison is out due to a crash on day one) all scoured the mud hills in attempt to find something new or big to jump, but the barren and desolate Ocotillo Wells landscape was just not providing enough opportunities to please most of them. Nearly every jump discovered was an old one that most of the riders had hit in years past, a number of the hits dating back to the original “Crusty Demons of Dirt video.

The obvious solution for some competitors was to dig deeper into the desert in search of something fresh, but with a television feature to produce and a tight schedule to keep, the show must go on; the riders were basically told to make due with what they had, like it or not. Some embraced this as simply the nature of such an event, went with the flow, and did the best they could off the jumps that were there. Others loudly vocalized their thoughts and even began to mock the small gaps by doing silly tricks off of them (Mike Mason threw out a REALLY extended one-footer on one of his two attempts off a 40-foot double).

As for the actual competition side of things, this too struggled somewhat, but by the end of the day there were plenty of worthy jumps to be seen. Because of the large camera crew and overall expansiveness of the event as a whole, each shot took a long time to set up. Signage and event flags must be erected, each different camera has to set up their shots with a perfectly clean background, and so on… All of the extended downtime added up throughout the day to really limit the amount of jumps that were found, hampering the riders’ creative ability to find new and challenging terrain. Still, the consensus in the Red Bull tent afterwards was that although it was a long day of riding on mostly sub-par jumps, it was still great fun to be out in the hills and freeriding with the boys.

No matter how hard the event might struggle to keep pace, with a cast of riders this talented plenty of great action is still guaranteed to go down. This was proven true throughout the day on Tuesday, and although the jumps themselves might not have been epic, the riding was. Each and every one of the Ride to the Hills competitors rode amazingly in Ocotillo Wells, as you’ll see in the attached photo gallery.

For more photos click the link to the far right.

Check out Red Bull’s video footage of Ride to the Hills:

Glamis was scheduled to be the second and final stop for the Ride to the Hills road crew, but high winds and generally poor conditions made it impossible to ride. However, a winner, based on judging from the riders themselves, will still be declared on Thursday evening. Stay tuned to for the final results from the 2006 Red Bull Ride To the Hills contest.