After the craziness of 2020 we were hoping that 2021 would be a little bit better… and it was.
Public spaces began to open up, we could meet and ride with friends, even travel a bit further afield than the previous 12 months. Not a complete World Cup season, but racing was in full flow once again. We still have quite some way to go to get back to ‘normal’, but things are definitely more positive than they were this time last year… and we always have our bikes and the good times that riding brings us.
Through all of the ups and downs of 2021 we have looked back to some of the high points and we’ve put together our Top 5 INTENSE moments for you to relive and enjoy.
CHRIS KOVARIK’S ‘METAL MAYHEM’ M29
I mean come on! Put together Chris Kovarik, INTENSE, some skulls, blood splatters and the pro skills of Fresh Paints of Whistler and you have this gem… full on Metal Mayhem. Chris went all-in with this paint job and build to celebrate ‘22 years of blood, sweat and beers’. Along with Neko Mulally’s retro inspired race bike it might just be the coolest M29 we have ever seen.
OSCAR HÄRNSTRÖM’S KISA MTB PARK
Our super stylish Swede did something pretty crazy this year, he bought an old disused mini ski resort and built his own bike park! Talk about making your dreams a reality. KISA MTB Park is located in southern Sweden and has some great features, including an assortment of jumps, loads of natural terrain and of course ‘that rock boulder’! It’s even got an INTENSE trail.
NEW INTENSE TRACER SNEAK PEEK
We have been desperate to give you more information and news on our all-new Tracer. The next generation Tracer 279 has been completely redesigned and engineered from the ground up. It’s our hard-hitting 170mm (6.7”) travel Enduro bike… and in our eyes it’s the ultimate modern day long travel mountain bike. We still don’t have a launch date, but we hope it will be sometime in the first half of 2022… and we can’t wait.
4 RIDERS BIKE PARK AND THE ‘INTENSE’ LINE
We were so happy to be involved with the 4 Riders Bike Park as one of their sponsors. Located in Avia, just north of Barcelona, the park is the brainchild of Jordi Junyent, and he and his team have worked tirelessly over the last few years to make this dream a reality. With a mix of natural and man made features the park has a bit of everything, and just like KISA we also have an INTENSE trail, designed with the help of our very own Bernat Guardia. Not only that, you can also rent out an INTENSE bike for a day at the park.
SHAUN PALMER’S 1996 WORLDS RACE KIT
We called this article Searching for Gold, and that was for a good reason. It’s not often that you get invited into World Cup and World Champion Steve Peat’s loft to look at his priceless collection of race jerseys from the world of mountain biking and motocross. But the one we really wanted to check out was the legendary Shaun Palmer’s 1996 Fox World Championships (from Cairns in Australia) jersey and pants. Almost the Holy Grail of MTB race kits. It’s a piece of history that we love.
SEA OTTER EUROPE
OK, so this is actually number six, but we really wanted to mention Sea Otter Europe. After countless Zoom calls, WhatsApp messages and FaceTime meet ups it was great for the INTENSE Europe team to finally be together, face to face at the 2021 Sea Otter Europe in Girona, Spain. Not only was it great to see everyone again, but it was also the perfect opportunity to meet some of you and to see you enjoying our INTENSE bikes on the demo days. Sea Otter Europe was a total success for us, and we look forward to welcoming you all again in 2022...
… 2022 AND BEYOND
And what can you look forward to in 2022? There are quite a few exciting bike related projects on the go. The continued testing and prototyping of our new downhill race bike, the launch of our new Tracer, plus a few other ‘secrets’! Then there is some big team news from the INTENSE Factory Racing team (don’t forget that the first World Cup is in March 26-27, in Lourdes, France), the continued expansion of our Ambassador program, further growth of our Demo and Service Center network, and plenty of other things that we can’t really tell you about just now!