Harry Kinney: BIKES
Age: 31 | Vitals: 5′ 10″, 155 lbs. | Years riding bikes: 26 | Years mountain biking: 20 | Years riding downhill mountain bikes: 8 | Current Residence: Wilson, Wyoming
I grew up in Connecticut, where I started riding BMX bikes at a very young age. After buying a Gary Fisher Aquilla in 7th grade, I rode XC almost everyday for the next two years. In the winters, my dad would take me skiing in Vermont, but I later switched snowboarding because it was the cool thing to do.
By the time I graduated high school, I was sick of the East Coast and knew I wanted to move closer to the mountains out west; I decided Colorado State University was the place for me.
I quickly learned that I had made a terrible choice for access to snowboarding. Fort Collins is two hours away from most ski resorts in Colorado, but I was very happy with the XC riding options on the Front Range. After my Gary Fisher was stolen off my porch sophomore year, I bought a Specialized FSR, then a Klein Palomino, which I loved. After parting with the Palomino because of financial issues, I bought a hardtail single-speed Ionic and really enjoyed it’s simplicity.
Throughout college, I spent spring breaks and Christmases at a buddy’s house in Driggs, Idaho, snowboarding at Grand Targhee and Jackson. Both resorts made me realize how much more I enjoyed the smaller crowds and conditions here than in Colorado. I planned on moving to Jackson eventually, but after college decided to move to Telluride for the summer.
Telluride had excellent trails and allowed bikes on the gondola for free. I purchased a used Yeti ASX and quickly realized that my superlight single speed XC bike was not the right tool. The trails in Telluride were pure DH: steep, rocky, rooty, and intense. I was hooked on DH immediately, and knew then that I would not be riding XC again until I was an old man.
That fall, I moved to Jackson because it’s the best ski resort in the country, hands down. After my first winter, I sold the Yeti and bought my first new downhill bike, a Transition Dirtbag, followed by a used Specialized Demo 7. Last year I decided that because DH was the most important thing in life to me, I’d have no problem spending all of my disposable income on bikes, parts, and gear. I bought a new Transition TR250 worth much more than my car and still think it is the perfect bike for me.
I prefer smooth A-Line style trails to technical trails. I love trails where there is very little pedaling or braking. I’m not looking for a cardio workout and hate going uphill more than anyone you know. Since taking up Downhill in 2004, I have not been on a single XC ride. I consider it a different sport that just does not interest me.
Other sports interests: snowboarding, snowmobiling. That’s it. I don’t run, hike, road bike, XC bike, swim, or do anything that isn’t adrenaline intensive. I never participate in any kind of team sports whatsoever, and despise mainstream organized sports because the games are all exactly the same, and their media coverage overshadows extreme sports.
Some Favorite Bike Equipment:
SRAM drivetrains, Fox suspension, Rockshox suspension, Avid Elixer CR brakes, Transition Bikes, Canfield Bikes, Maxxis Minion DHF, Race Face bars, ODI lock-on grips, 5.10 shoes, Smith Goggles, Dakine Packs, Fox pads/helmets, and Troy Lee Designs helmets. I like expensive, high-end equipment and value quality and performance over cost every time.
All Content by Harry Kinney
The Fox Launch Pro Knee Pad offers subtle styling, fit, comfort, and performance for downhill and freeriders.