Sometimes you sit down and watch a bike movie or edit and you get all stoked to ride, sometimes you feel like you've lost grasp of the fundamentals of physics and sometimes you get more than you bargained for.
A couple of weeks ago Bikeaholic hosted a short film showing. It was put together by local GC Mark Nickolls. He arranged some free beers and some eats in exchange for a few dollars. There were about 30 or so locals there. Usually it's Mark giving stuff away in support of fundraisers, this time he was doing the fundraising, it was a bit of a turn of the tables. It sparked a bit of interest on a cold, wet winter evening.
The headline attraction was a short film "RJ RIPPER".
I won't spoil it for you but essentially it's about a young Nepali fella and his unsaitiable desire to ride bikes... fast.
It's good, it's really good.
It is a gentle reminder of the ease with which we live our lives, the fortunate circumstances with which we generally find our way into biking. RJ has had to work a little harder to get there.
It provides us with some inspiration of new places to ride.
It shows some of the effortless style that we like to see in bike films, epic riding in epic places.
Most of all, watching that film makes you want to see this kid succeed. He's on his way.
After the film, Mark gave us a bit of a run down on what RJ is up to.
Mark met RJ about 3 years ago when RJ was 18. It was about this time that Fox and Yeti came together to help RJ out and give him a foot up.
RJ has been working hard for H and I Adventures, a mtb guiding company in Nepal. He's been racing in any event he can get to, and hanging out on the podium at the finish.
The problem is, as Mark told us, is that not everyone is as free to roam as those with a Kiwi passport. Despite having financial backing, the support of a major film festival, several bike companies and National Geographic, RJ still couldn't get a visa for the US to attend showing of the film, nor to do a few races.
RJ is desperate to get out and hit the EWS. It seems he has the talent, but getting there is a problem. When your folks have a monthly income that wouldn't buy a half day ticket on the gondy, it's pretty difficult to afford a plane ticket, let alone a visa, travel insurance, etc.
Mark and his buddies are trying to get RJ down here for the TransNZ Enduro next summer. This would be a great place for RJ to kick off his international career and get some more exposure. It would be rad to see him here shredding some beech forest.
If you want to help out, throw a couple of bucks at the go fund me page https://www.gofundme.com/rj-ripper-rajesh-magar-fund
If you missed the film, have a look here : https://vimeo.com/275506930
If you think you can help RJ some other way, get in touch with Yeti or Mark Nickolls, and he'll point you in the right direction."