The Brevard, N.C., area and southeast cycling community was privy to a very cool event this past weekend: Red Bull Dreamline came to town.
The recently created REEB ranch was a perfect venue for this event. Flanking DuPont State Forest, this property was graced by the brightest minds in dirt trail building, and the result really is something out of a daydream… some of the biggest jumps ever hit or witnessed in BMX riding. Pro rider and event conceiver Anthony Napolitan and expert builder Adam Aloise truly outdid themselves with this one.
Arriving on-site just in time to see practice start before the 12 athlete Finals, it’s quite obvious that the 3,000 ticket holders are in for something special. Rider after rider charge the jumps, flying 20-plus feet higher than the lips, performing trick after trick. One impressive run showcases riders doing backflip after backflip, with up to three athletes in the air at once!
As the wind picks up, the early leaves of autumn fall around us, and the moody weather gives the riders a sense of urgency. There are few more beautiful places in the world than NC this time of year. The event kicks off, and the taps flow generously. After about 30 minutes of riders cycling through their initial runs, the rain hits, and the event is temporarily put on hold.
In spite of the weather, the majority of the crowd hunkers down, steadfast and determined. The clouds clear after about two hours, and what happens next is simply a gift to everyone present. The sky opens, and it turns into the most spectacular fall afternoon imaginable. The roar of the crowd grows, and the competitors bring the heat!
Some incredible tricks start going down…triple tail whips, flip whips, cork 720s, supermans, front flips, and everything in between. The riders are putting on a clinic, and the crowd is absolutely loving it. It’s a really special thing to see the NC trail riding community join and celebrate the BMX and freestyle aspect of the sport. It just goes to show that in spite of the different styles of cycling, we all have the same passion.
As the riders throw down, the NBC cameras, octocopter drone, and cable cams zip around and catch all of the action. It’s an amazing demonstration of athleticism.
In the end, 35-year-old veteran Ryan Nyquist takes the Dreamline crown, with James Foster in 2nd, and Aussie Kyle Baldock in 3rd. Spectators filter out of the event pumped by the positive energy, cool vibe, and most importantly — the desire to go and jump on their bikes!
Tune in to NBC on November 8 at 5:00 p.m. EST for the full-length broadcast of Red Bull Dreamline, and check out the Red Bull Highlights Video here.
–Chris Gragtmans, based in Asheville, N.C., is a Contributing Editor to Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine and an internationally-ranked professional kayaker. Other ventures include the annual Live Your Dreams Speaking Tour, and serving as Pro Team Manager for Dagger Kayaks. In his free time, Chris likes to mountain bike, ski, shoot drone photography and hang out with his girlfriend and faithful hound.