Do you remember what it felt like to get your very first bike? The shiny new frame and brand new tires just begging to be covered in dirt? Or that first crash that reminded you that you aren't invincible? Well we sat down with Kali Krew member, Forrest Riesco, a 26 year old World Cup downhill racer who resides in British Columbia and survives on peanut butter... lots of peanut butter and sweet hero dirt of course... and he shared some of his most memorable "firsts".
What was your first bike? Do you remember the first time you rode it and was that the first time you learned to ride a bike?
It was a black “Batman” themed rigid bike! I would guess it had 16inch wheels on it.
I think I learned to ride on a smaller bike that had training wheels, but the first memory of riding was on this bike. I remember riding it up and down my driveway and then venturing to the Elementary School down the road from my house. I spent a lot of time in the coming years finding anything I could huck myself off of, built a good base of skills and also bent a lot of handlebars. Haha.
First Crash? or at least first memorable crash since I'm sure you may have taken a few tumbles learning to ride :p
There are far too many to go into for sure. But a memorable one would be wheeling off a picnic table when I was nine-years-old. I thought I was pretty cool climbing up onto the table in front of all my friends. It all went wrong very quickly though as I took the first pedal stroke and realized I was in my hardest gear! The front wheel shot down and I face planted straight to the gravel. My Mom wasn’t pleased with how I looked when I came home from riding that evening.
What was your first DH race? How did you feel? How long did you train for it?
The Rat Race was my first DH race. I was 12-years-old and it was my local track. I placed first in my category. I had been waiting a few years to be old enough to compete, so I was very excited! The only training I did was pre-riding the track a handful of times. I don’t remember the run at all except for that I didn’t crash. And I did beat my best friend, so I was stoked on that. I don’t think of myself as a super competitive person, but to be a racer you do have to have some level of competitiveness in you, and there are always one or two of those people I just couldn’t stand getting beaten by.
Do you remember the first time you thought you wanted to make mountain biking a career?
It was always the dream. When I was 16, or so, I started to see that it was a viable career. I’m 26 now and everything I do revolves around riding my bike. I wouldn’t say I’ve “made it” yet. There’s a lot more I want to do and accomplish, but saying that riding my bike is my job is kind of cool. It isn’t all fun all the time, as I’ve had a lot of injuries and lost a lot of races. But that's not what I remember when I look back, it's the friends I’ve met and the places I’ve traveled. I’ve learned to enjoy the experience regardless of my results each weekend. You can’t control everything in downhill racing, sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t. You just have to put yourself in the best position to succeed and take it as it comes. I wouldn’t trade the memories I have from racing for anything.