Darren Berrecloth, aka “The Claw” or “Bearclaw,” is one of those insanely talented freeride mountain bikers who is known for taking lines that other riders wouldn’t even consider. He’s extremely dedicated to the sport and has more than earned his legendary status after exploding into the scene with a third-place finish at the 2002 Red Bull Rampage along with several podium finishes, magazine covers, and epic films under his belt.
Berrecloth has a career that many only dream of. Despite a break to his back in 2011, he got right back to competitive riding the very next year in 2012. The release of “Where the Trail Ends” during the 2012 Interbike tradeshow depicts the extremely heart-stopping lines and untouched terrain that Berrecloth experienced along with fellow riders that included Kurt Sorge, Cam McCaul, Cam Zink, Tyler McCaul, and Andreu Lacondeguy. If you haven’t seen it yet, trust me when I say, you MUST see it.
With a sold-out Red Bull Rampage in full force this weekend in Virgin, Utah, I was able to find out more about “Bearclaw,” his experiences in the mountain freeride scene, and what we can expect from him in the near future.
Action Sports Examiner: Do you remember the first bike you ever got when you were a kid? What kind of bike was it?
Darren Berrecloth: My first bike was a Specialized Rockhopper. It was a cross-country bike.
ASE: What has been your absolute most favorite bike you’ve ridden and why?
DB: My favorite bike I’ve ridden in the last ten years would have to be the Specialized Enduro. It’s just so versatile. You can pedal uphill like a champ then spin it around and shred the downhills.
ASE: What is it that got you into the discipline of mountain bike freeride?
DB: I love the freedom of freeriding, the ability to go big and take my bike to any location in the world.
ASE: “Where the Trail Ends..” is one of my all-time favorite mountain biking films. It always gets me pumped to get out and try new crazy things on my mountain bike, and it’s the first film I put in my friend’s hands when they ask if I know of any great mountain biking films. What would you say was the most epic moment during the filming of this incredible flick?
DB: Definitely shredding the slopes of China. That’s the most unreal feeling. Imagine shredding your bike like a pair of skis on a fresh pow run. It’s one of those things where you just have to experience it.
ASE: It’s got to feel good having a permanent feature on Vancouver Island with the Bearclaw Invitational and knowing that’s something you built and have shared with others to experience. What is the most rewarding element of the invitational for you?
DB: The most rewarding element is bringing all the boys over to the island and having a good old shred fest!
ASE: Red Bull Rampage 2013. Are you fully prepared and completely psyched to take on whatever the course will throw at you? How do you mentally prepare for it?
DB: This year, unfortunately, I have to sit out. I have a disc extrusion of my L5 S1 so I’m on the sidelines for the 3rd rampage in a row.
ASE: Some of the riders were asked the question, “How should Red Bull Rampage Evolve?” What’s your take on it?
DB: I say we keep the big mountain creativity in it and not build a bunch of lame features. The last thing you want is guys rolling in and riding past lines and prebuilt hits to only do a trick or two and take it home.
ASE: What projects or other ultimate awesomeness might we see from “Bearclaw” in the near future?
DB: Oh man, I got lots on the go. I’m partnering up with KB from kbperutours.com and we’re starting a killer all action sports Web site, globalepix.com. We are going to be starting filming Where the Trail Ends 2 soon as well, and I have a TV show host gig also on the table.
It’s definitely extremely unfortunate that we won’t get to see the spectacular riding of Darren Berrecloth in this year’s Red Bull Rampage, but we have a lot to look forward to from him in the near future. The stoke factor in “Where the Trail Ends..” was at its ultimate, but “Where the Trail Ends 2?” Let’s just say the anticipation is beyond high. We wish Darren a speedy recovery and look forward to more shredding from this master of freeride mountain biking.
A live broadcast of the Red Bull Rampage will take place on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. MST. Go to www.redbull.com/rampage to watch the riders take on the best lines down near-vertical sandstone ridges near Virgin, Utah.