Photo courtesy of Casey Brown
At 26 years old, Casey Brown is one of the world’s best mountain bikers.
She came to the sport on an unlikely path, but her athleticism and determination have helped her climb the ranks of the competitive mountain biking world at a rapid pace. She first unearthed her biking talents when she moved to Revelstoke, B.C., where she and her siblings cruised around the steep, tree-studded trails together. In the years since, she's made a name for herself for her willingness to take on lines that most in the mountain biking world would balk at - like her recent first decent of Corbet's Couloir.
In all of the sports she undertakes - skiing, biking, you name it - Casey seems more comfortable in the air than on the ground. Her tinkering with gravity has an unmatched precision and creativity that is visible in every aspect of her approach to mountain biking. It has also won her sponsors, championships, and film roles, all of which enable her to build a life around the sport she loves. Thanks to this, she’s got her gear down to a science - so here, we present you with her favorite equipment for a couple of hours on her bike.
1. Protective gear
Falling is a natural part of most action sports, and biking is no different - except for that the falls are usually more intense. There are no soft landings on a mountain devoid of snow, and when it comes down to it you’re flying down a winding, rocky hillside on a twisty piece of metal. That’s what makes it fun, but it’s also what makes Casey emphasize the importance of her safety gear. She never leaves for a ride without her Dakine Slayer knee pads, Bell Stoker trail helmet, Dakine Covert gloves, and Oakley riding glasses. She also advocates bringing an emergency jacket, which is “great for that quick stop at the peak or when you get a flat tire.”
The next category of gear essential to a day on the trail is tools, to fix whatever problems come up along the way. When your success is largely determined by the functionality of your bike, it’s crucial to be able to correct errors that would otherwise be out of your control. Casey typically brings a multi tool, Bontrager tire levers, a Bontrager mini pump, a Bontrager tube, Dynaplug tire plugs, and a Bontrager C02 canister. Her favorite items on the list are the tubes, tire plugs, and CO2 canister, because all three can be lifesavers in the event of damaged tires. Of the plugs and canister, she says, “for the Dynaplug, you can plug the damaged tire and also restore the tire pressure with one move, turning a potential 15 minute stop to a 2 minute fix.” That’s a huge win in terms of trying to maximize your time outside, and trying to minimize your time spent messing around with equipment while other riders pass you by.
Even if you’re only out for a couple of hours, food is absolutely never a bad idea. Go-to snacks will vary by person (I’m a firm believer in peanut butter M&M’s, for example), but Casey’s must haves are an organic banana, Clif shot blok two packs, a Clif Nut butter filled chocolate peanut butter bar, and a water bottle. Like any good trail snack, each item on Casey’s list is chosen for two main factors: utility and deliciousness. According to her, the banana is for “pure energy,” the Clif shot bloks are “for sharing - the easiest way to make a best friend,” and the Clif bar flavor she mentions is just “so freaking good.” All three, with the addition of plenty of H2O, sound easily justifiable for the weight they’ll add to the ride.
Finally, there are three extra pieces of gear Casey loves: her GoPro, her Dakine hip pack, and her phone. GoPros have been a staple in the action sports industry since their inception, and they have also been a staple in spreading the stoke to people with all levels of access and abilities. Even if most of us will never reach Casey’s degree of expertise, at least thanks to GoPro we can experience that degree from her POV. Her second extra item, the Dakine hip pack, keeps the sweat off her back while she rides. Finally, she brings her phone for emergencies - which obviously includes looking at pictures of her black lab mix, Snuffy. Hopefully he gets to tag along sometimes as well.