Pole has been an integral part in the development of a downhill riding
community in Hoopa Valley, CA. In a few short years Amos, and others,
have created an impressive network of quality DH runs in their home
town. Numerous races and pirate rides have taken place on these
trails, Amos talks to the development of the scene and the state of
shred in Hoopa.
Rider Profile - Amos Pole
Could you begin by telling the readers a bit about your background on two wheels? When and what did you start riding?
I and my bros have been riding fire roads for about ten years here in Hoopa, Orleans, and on the coast. Going for all day rides that consist of 50 miles. Not any real down hill. Till about Seven Years ago. I met this guy named (Hank) in Willow Creek. I was riding a giant iguana because it had disk brakes. Thatís when I started to ride downhill. Soon after I realized I need a downhill rig. (Bad) So I purchased a giant DH and was hooked!
At what point did downhill bikes enter into the equation?
After we Held our first downhill race (where the trails return) in the summer of 2000
What about downhilling has kept you at it to the present?
The challenge that every ride is different and more complex .The fact I have more confidence in my bike to go bigger, faster longer. And it keeps me busy and in shape.
Today in northern California, I would say, that Hoopa and downhill biking are synonymous. When did this marriage begin and how did the union come about?
I my, brother Nathan, and Patrick (Jackson) met Hank and several other riders and asked about trails in Hoopa. At the time there was none. So the three of us decided to form a non-profit race team.(trinity river pirates) And we went in front of the tribal council and asked for permission to build DH trails here in the valley. After a lot of Training on how forestry, wildlandfire wants the trails to be made. So in 1999 we invited a bunch of riders up to throw some ideas around about trails here in Hoopa and our first trail was made.
What about Hoopa has helped it to become the developed mountain biking scene that it is?
I think itís the steepness and the dirt, rocks, trees that make Hoopa the prime scene that it is.
In your mind what positive changes would you like to see come to the valleyís riding scene and trails?
I think things are looking good so far, a lot of people here in Hoopa are getting more interested in whatís happening on the hill. More of the younger kids are trying to buy bikes appropriate to the DH trails. Just something for them to do besides getting in trouble is positive. As far as changes just more building would be good.
We, the riders, owe a huge debt of gratitude to you and other Hoopa locals who have donated countless hours developing and maintaining the DH trails there. What other individuals have helped make this possible?
Well there is a lot of people to thank but off the top of my head I would like to thank Nathan Pole , Patrick Jackson , Norma McAdams , The Hoopa Valley Tribal Council ,Hank Matheson , Brian Hapgood , Greg Newkirk , Gregís Dog (teran) , Allie Hostler , Shane OíNeal , Rob Rall SR,JR , Ezra McCampell. Adam Harris, Zack. If thereís anyone I missed Iím sorry believe me you are appreciated. Like I said itís off the top of my head!
Do you see the tradition of trail work and riding, established over the last several years, continuing indefinitely in the Hoopa Valley?
I wouldnít call it a tradition. But yes over the last few years things have been snowballing and getting bigger I hope it never ends. As long as Iím here and alive I believe DH biking will indefinitely survive.
What could you tell readers about this monthís new race course, the Rubber Ducky DH?
Well the rubber ducky is an offshoot of the slippery eel trail. Toward the end of the eel was steep and strait, with a severe 5 foot drop to flat. Fun but not that much flow. So we decided to make the rubber ducky. The ending is shorter but much more flow, We also did a bit to the top of the slippery eel by widening the trail and putting in some more kickers, and a ladder! Should be tons of fun!
Could you put a number on the ride able DH trails in Hoopa? And of those which would be your favorite and why?
As of right now there are ten ride able trails. Magic Mushroom, Spotted Owl, Red Tail Hawk, Slippery Eel, 801, flying Squirrel, Wood Rat, Dream Catcher, Tish Tang, AKA(Break Neck), And The Crack. There is some secret trails also SHHH! I think my favorite is the 801-woodrat-redtail. The 801 is a fast fire road where you can top out on water bars to the woodrat for some off camber turns w/ a nice log drop and tall knurly burm a small flat and on to the red tail hawk. The hawk has so much flow stunts, steepness, rocks, just a round about sweet trail. Ya!
Are there any specific plans to expand the current number of organized rides in the valley? Is the tribe supportive of this?
Oh Ya. We are currently looking for sponsors for the 2007 race session. And threw the Tribal wellness grant we are looking at a valley wide bike/walking trail. The tribal counsel has interest in the DH trails as well. As long as we continue complying with forestry and wild land fire there should no hang ups.
What have you seen, experiences, at other events outside of our area that you would like to incorporate into Hoopa Valley events (if any)?
The only thing Iíve seen at other races is people who are paying to race. Not saying we need to charge riders to race. I think its hella cool to not have to charge a fee for someone to ride as long as we have sponsors like the lucky bear casino, Hoopa valley Tribe, Revolution bicycle repair and Henderson center bikes, Fritz Sexton things are rocking. We do need more ladders!
Any other points we have omitted please touch on here.
I was raised here in Hoopa and there is so much this valley has to offer besides just DH trails. The Trinity River, our Traditional native dances, and the most beautiful country in the world. We as Native Americans have been labeled as trouble makers and outcasts for many years. As a tribal member and living on a reservation I know how racism still exists today. Not saying I have felt any negativity or racism from any of the people who come out here to ride but to be part of a minority is a hard thing to deal with. I believe we are one nation one people all for the same cause. I would like to invite any one who is open minded and opened hearted to come here to Hoopa and share this beautiful land.
The hospitality shown by you and others is unparalleled in welcoming outsiders into your home, any closing thoughts regarding the now annual pilgrimage of gravity riders to the Hoopa Valley?
Ya the trails out here just keep on getting bigger and better. More stunts more turns and more ladders. The more I ride the more new lines pop up. You know people are all different so that give a variety of minds coming together for one great cause DH. Keep on showing up and weíll keep building. Peace see you out on the hill!