Richie Schley

Richie jumps off a ramp across a driving car.
Richie Schley‘s Logo
Richie Schley
Ergon Factory Rider
  • Richie Schley
  • Mountainbike Legend
  • Laguna Beach, California

Richie Schley

The Canadian Freeride pioneer is not known for his fame in the racing world. Richie shines as one of the most influencial figures to the sport of mountain biking. To this day, the Freeride pioneer is still one of the most exciting and stylish riders in the world. No other rider exudes the passion as the rider from Whistler, British Columbia .

What is a typical day in living as a Mountainbike Pro in California?

Morning Cappuccino, working of the computer for a few hours, planning doing interviews, social media and all the behind the scenes, that fulfill this job. Then some kind of exercise, mountain bike rides locally most days. Checking the surf conditions has become a part of my day, since I am newly stoked on SUP surfing and a bit of regular surfing. If conditions warrant, the water time it is. The bike trails are always good, so the condition specific sports take priority, when its right.

The days in Laguna Beach usually end with epic sunsets, so celebrating that with friends is a fairly regular assurance, if there isn’t an evening photoshoot. Dinner, wine, sleep, repeat.

Richie Schley looking at the sunset.

Is this the way of life you ever dreamt of? Why?

Yes, this is the way I dreamed my life being because I have a lot of freedom. For me freedom is everything.

What fascinates you in Mountainbiking?

I am fascinated with all of the technology. The products keep evolving and getting better, when they seem like they couldn’t get any better. This allows me to go more places, further and do more cool things.

Richie Schley mid-ar during a jump in a forest.

How did you become a Mountainbike Pro without taking part at contests?

I was a Freeskier and was just taking my BMX skills to the mountains in the summer, trying to emulate skiing and some filters and photographers saw Tippie and I doing this and thought is was the craziest thing they had ever seen on a bike. There was a lot of room in the bike industry at that time for something non race related and cool. It was like Ski, snowboard and surf culture. I saw the opportunity to make it a legitimate way to be sponsored and get companies I worked with in the spotlight of all of the hype and the rest is history. Well, there is much more too it…

Together with Wade Simmons and Brett Tippie you are known to be the pioneers of Freeride Mountainbiking—how do you remember your time as a Rocky Mountain Frorider?

It was awesome! We were 3 childhood buddies traveling the world that we hadn’t seen much of, together, meeting people that would show us their most prized riding spots and pushing the limits of what could be done. It was a dream come true. I love those guys. We still try to do at least one trip together every year, thanks to Ale Di Lullo.

How has Freeriding developed from that time in the 90’s till now?

Well, now it is a lot about contests, which was never my idea, but it is good for the progression of things. The jumps are bigger, the tricks or so much more technical and the bikes are way better.

Do you have any tips for hobby bikers?

Have fun, take a lesson, try to be safe because injuries last a lifetime. Most importantly go ride in the Sea to Sky Corridor Vancouver to Pemberton. It will blow your mind!

How important is ergonomics, especially for technical riding?

Very important, which is why I have been with Ergon so long. They have great solutions and they listen to the riders feed back and implement it into the products always.

“At the beginning nobody understood what we were doing—but we soon opened the door for a new style of riding and rider.“