This spring I was lucky enough to grab the reins of a polished red Kona Supreme Operator and it was quick to become the wildest ride of my life. In the past 5 months I have grown extremely familiar with the flashy machine and people really recognize it as mine. I have been spending so much time on it that I had felt forced to give it a nickname, the “Red Dragon”. To most a dragon is nothing more than a chapter of European folklore soaring over snow capped mountains in serpentine prowess. To others, a mere marvel and masterpiece of digital cinematics. Something to watch in wonder and never believe to be real. But I know this dragon slightly more personally. In the break of spring I pulled the Red Dragon from his cardboard cave and assembled him carefully. With smooth rose scales shimmering in the light of the morning we quickly began to survey the Kamloops landscape in sibilant silence. There was nearly no time spent adjusting to each other, everything felt perfect. So we leaped from the head of the trail and we began our flight across the waves of rock and sand.

Soaring through terror and storm the Red Dragon destroys anything that may cross our path. Digging his massive claws into wherever he may stand and tearing apart the terrain beneath him. Spreading fire and flame to all rocks who wander and certain death to any sky who may present a challenge. The Red Dragon is graceful in flight, nimble and delicate until it’s absolute fury is called upon. I have never touched a bike so confidence inspiring in the nastiest conditions but so fun and so capable as a jumper. I have come to know my Red Dragon well and although no words are spoken, communication on the trail flows continuously and effortlessly. I have become so comfortable and confidant with this bike, my eyes and tires wander further than ever before. Stumps and rocks that used to be in the way are little take-offs now that allow me to pop and pump from corner to corner. Every bump in every trail is another place to play.

Flying through the trees on the back of my red dragon has taken me all over the place and I never would have expected to cover so much ground in so little time. We have been everywhere together. Smashing over rocks and roots on the soggy shores of North Vancouver, blasting past tall black pine trees with their red needles burning in a Kamloops summer sunset. Slashing through the loam of the Yukon Territory and flying high above the cool breeze in Heffley Creek. Lately we are spending our days bombing through the rock faces and long mellow lips of Sun Peas Resort. It seems like August has opened up and I will be able to chill at home a bit more until the exploring gears start turning again in September. Then I will hit the road again with the dragon for trips to Nelson, Whistler, and the Deep Cove. I can hardly wait to get my shiny red Operator up to speed and off the ground for the cameras again.

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