PNW SQUAD: AUSTIN HEMPERLEY

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Photo by Aaron Harris, peek his gallery here and follow him over on IG at: @aaronharrisphoto

We are happy to introduce you to the newest member of the PNW Squad: Austin Hemperley. We love being able to support up and comers, athletes that are products of the PNW ride scene. These riders elevate our products and help us get better at what we do, so when you get our components in your hand you know they are tested by people who put the ultimate amount of strain on a product. So we asked Austin, Oregon native and wizard on two wheels some questions to get to know the man behind the handlebars:

PNW: Quick, use 3 words to describe yourself...

AH: Adventurous, Stoked, Thankful

PNW: What's led you on the path (besides your bike 🙃) to where you are today with MTB?

AH: Growing up racing motocross and bmx fueled my energy to swing my leg over a mtb. Also, After winning my bike in a raffle at our local bike shop I found a new freedom on learning trail systems and sharing that with friends! 

PNW: You've got some serious Dirt Jumping abilities, how did that evolve?

AH: A lot of practice, a skatepark in between my commute to school and having friends/ pros to push limits on local jumps and there houses. Having a solid crew is key. Jamie Golman and Kirt Voreis are bend locals. Carson Storch is one of my good friends too.

PNW: OKAY, we’ve heard some rumors that you had a really interesting Enduro race this year...

AH: Yes, haha... I sure did. Silver Mountains NAEC, race day number two, we pedaled up to a motocross trail called Monday/Tuesday for Stage 7. Dropped in and held on for a high speed rush down the ridge. Got to the bottom and noticed my x2 had leaked out a lot of oil from the piggy back. Luckily I had brought my extra shock so I made my way back to my car. Mobbed down the road to my car and got my shock back on by the help of Patrick from the FSA tent. Pretty upset from the 5 minute penalty I received I almost called it quits on the race. I went back to our camp gathered more food and told myself I’m not a quitter, got back on the bike starting pedaling back up the mountain.

After pedaling over 10,000 feet I made it to stage 8 to meet back up with some of my friends that I had started the race with. Survived that stage and then went on to have my best run of the weekend on stage 9 to end on a great note. Finishing 36th out of 41 after two days of awesome racing. But, if I didn’t have the penalty I would’ve gotten 10th. All in all I was very grateful to be able to compete and thankful all my friends and I survived the weekend! Look forward to it next year.

PNW: You’ve also been a victim to the classic bike injury, the broken collarbone... how is rehab going?

AH: Preparing myself for my next race on the Cascadia Dirt Cup series I made my way to Raging River trail system in Snoqualmie, WA to pre ride the course. I got up there about 3 o’clock on Saturday and got geared up and started pedaling up the road. I called my friends but they were already half way done with the loop so I made the decision to just go to the top and ride some of the rowdy trails. After a small detour and a couple hours I made it, rehydrated and dropped into a trail called No Service. Impressed by the trails tech and flow I was having a great time. Got to an option line and took the expert line which is a good sized rock roll to root section, g out to tight right hand corner. I had to much speed from the rock roll and my front tire didn’t make the corner which slammed me on my shoulder and head. In a daze I gathered myself and calmed down. Felt my shoulder and bones were crunchy I knew my collar bone was busted. Tried to get ahold of my friends but no answer so, I walked for about two hours until I got ahold of them. With me being so far away they called for help and the local fire department sent a ambulance to pick me up. 

Rehab right now has been a lot of Pinkbike and movies! I had surgery on July 30th went smooth so I have to lay low 4 weeks. We’ll find out more after my first appointment but I think 6-8 weeks small movement. Two months hope for full range.
PNW: Anything unique about your bike setup?
AH: Preferred Suspension set up is pretty stiff and Cush Core is a must. I run about 6-10psi difference from my front and rear tires. 
PNW: What are you listening to right now?
AH: New Travis Scott album 
PNW: What do you enjoy doing when you're not on the bike?
AH: Maintaining/Building trails, jumps, dual sporting with my dad and spending time with family. 
PNW: Tech or Flow?
AH: How about some Tech-Flow?! Haha I enjoy flow more coming from a dirt jump background but can’t go wrong with some tech for a challenge. 
PNW: What wheel size hits your sweet spot?
AH: Dirt jump 26 of course! Trail rig, 27.5 has been delightful... I don’t see a need for the wagon wheel yet.
PNW: Favorite trail to ride?
AH: So far Silver Mountain has been my favorite place to ride.

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