VIRGIN, UT – King Kong. Among mountain bikers, the name conjures a mix of fear, respect and excitement. It has been called “the only shuttle-able Rampage style line on the planet,” by Darren Berrecloth and has been known as a proving ground among fans and freeride legends the world over. Dropping into the exposed knife-ridge over the Utah desert takes not only skill, but a degree of mental fortitude.
Young team rider and Virgin local Lorin Whitaker recently decided to up the ante by dropping in on a trail bike—his 2017 Canfield Brothers Balance. The 18-year-old high-school senior says the inspiration came from none other than Lance Canfield who rode the infamous line on the previous generation Balance several years earlier.
“Lance is so much fun to ride with, and he’s always pushing me,” said Whitaker. “I knew he rode it on a Balance, and I wanted to test my skill and test the new bike. It’s so capable.”
Although he’s ridden it countless times on his Jedi, he acknowledges that his first solo run on the Balance was a bit unnerving.
“My mom was waiting at the bottom with the shuttle, so I thought, ‘I’ve got to get down in one piece.'”