If you exclude New England, warm weather and sunny skies are bringing on the first signs of spring for the United States. Unfortunately, most of us have to work. But that's what GrindTV's must-follow mountain bikers on Instagram are for. From enduro riders to dirt jumpers, here are our picks for riders whose photos can help you feel the sun and dirt vicariously—even if you're stuck in a windowless cube.
Curtis Keene @curtiskeene
Self-description: “enduro rider from Cali”
Why we like him: Keene made his mark in downhill racing more than a decade ago, claiming many podium spots at events such as the Sea Otter Classic and the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals. Despite his impressive résumé, it wasn't until enduro races developed that Keene found his calling. In 2012, he won the overall title on the North American Enduro Series, which also happened to be his first year competing in that discipline and where he continues to dominate today.
What to expect: Concise, to-the-point captions and lots of Red Bull.
Mike Hopkins @mikejhopkins
Self-description: “Mountain Biker, Freeskier, Traveler”
Why we like him: In truth, Hopkins is a double athlete, spending most of his 365 per year either riding the trails or hitting the slopes. Hopkins first got his claim to fame in 2006, when he took the championship title in the Canadian Big Mountain Tour series. After a couple years competing as a big-mountain skier, Hopkins put more energy into his true passion: mountain biking. Now he's become a top freerider and is a regular at such events as the Red Bull Rampage. He also has been featured in such iconic videos as "From the Inside Out" and "Life Cycles."
What to expect: A mix of biking, skiing, and mountainside trail running. Stunning images.
Josh Lewis @loosedoglewis
Self-description: “[email protected] 21 years old #allthelads creator of ladlife videos and elite racer for @stifcycles”
Why we like him: A fun-loving punk, Lewis has started to make a name for himself not only as an enduro racer, but also and especially as a filmmaker. In 2014, Lewis placed fourth overall in the Gravity Enduros and was set to be a top performer until a snapped ACL ended that for the year (though he still managed 37th overall). He has made a few viral-worthy videos, including a comic jab at another video, "The Spirit of Enduro," that he titled "Enduro Warfare." The video grabbed the attention of both Bike and Dirt magazines.
What to expect: All the stoke and bro-brah of an up-and-coming 21-year-old enduro racer, snapshots of videos.
Josh Bryceland @ratboy_bryce
Self-description: “Lovin' back wheel since 1990”
Why we like him: At only 24 years old, Josh Bryceland has been a force to be reckoned with on the elite downhill racing circuit for years. First winning the European Mountain Bike Championships Youth division in 2006, Bryceland has secured different championship podium spots in 2007, 2008, 2011, and finally in 2014 with first place at the British Cycling National Championships and between first and second among four UCI World Championship events. Match Brycland’s skills with his loud personality and long, curly brown locks and what’s not to love?
What to expect: Punk kid having too much fun on a bike, lots of mountain bike videos, a bit of early-'90s flair, extensive foot recovery, big brown hair, and an even bigger smile.
Rebecca Rusch @rebarusch
Self-description: “Author- Rusch To Glory, Six-Time World Champion. Four-time Leadville 100 Champ. Adventurer. Firefighter. @thequeenofpain #jointherusch”
Why we like her: Rusch’s nickname is the Queen of Pain, which is appropriate given the races she enjoys and the photos she posts. While most famed bikers hit downhill or enduro, Rusch likes to count among her many victory titles different ultra-endurance race wins like the Dirty Kanza 200, Leadville Trail 100, and 24 Hour MTB World Championships. To switch things up completely, Rusch works as a firefighter and EMT with the Ketchum Fire Department in Idaho.
What to expect: The Queen of Pain in all her sports and the biggest smile anyone can have while pushing through some of the toughest terrain on fat tires.
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