Three veteran mountain-bike adventurers—freerider Kenny Smith, photographer Margus Riga and journalist Brice Minnigh—head deep into the Chilean Andes in a multi-day search for singletrack, scree chutes and some elusive, black-powder bowls. Seasoned in the self-styled art of unsupported wilderness bikepacking, the longtime friends adopt a loose expedition plan that leaves plenty of room for spontaneity and shenanigans in a laughter-filled mission that is equal parts Spaghetti Western, The Three Amigos and a twisted Stephen King novel.
A piece of me wanted to be stuck in the Andes.
Special mentions to those who made this unforgettable adventure possible
Kenny Smith // @kennysmith9
Margus Riga // @margusriga
Brice Minnigh // @bricemag
SportVibes Chile // @sportvibes.cl
Freehub Magazine // @freehubmag
Kenny Smith reached elite-rider status thanks to a repertoire of gnarly feats. “If I wanted to ride groomer-style terrain all day,” he says, “I would have just gone out and bought a dirtbike.” Instead, Smith gravitates toward the kind of ultra-technical, exposed rock terrain that makes lesser riders whimper. Those endeavors have graced everything from magazine covers to our favorite freeride vids. And as a connoisseur of The Hein—an expression Smith conjured to describe the heinous nature of the beast—his stuntwork has left indelible impressions on gawkers around the globe.