Ash Smith riding roots on his Heckler MX ebike

Ash Smith

Ash Smith riding roots on his Heckler MX ebike

Ash Smith

Portrait of Santa Cruz Free Agent rider Ash Smith

Ash Smith

Location

Bourg St. Maurice, France

Bike
Nickname

Susan

Instagram

It's surprisingly rare to find someone who can envision a grand journey even remotely as well as Ash Smith. An engineer by trade he gave up developing Swiss railway systems to devote himself to engineering a route by singletrack through the Maritime Alps that he lead others to experience the true mountains and what he felt was true mountain biking. In 2007 he organized a small gathering for friends but looking back it's clear that it was a prototype for something much bigger.

The Trans-Provence, as it was named, was a melting pot of mountain biking's finest ingredient elements – long rides through breathtaking scenery, spiced with 24 timed (mostly descending) stages – or indeed a manifestation of what Ash believes MTB is all about. The event ran for ten installments from 2009 until 2019 as a rally-style race which many past participants will tell you is more about the adventure of ""live trail discovery"", than the time on the clock. So what's next? All we know is that Ash is always 'just scouting'...

Danny MacAskill riding the Slabs

Free Agents

Locals from all over the world

Danny MacAskill riding the Slabs

Free Agents

Locals from all over the world

PayDirt is our commitment to increasing access to trails by supporting the work of people who make it happen.

PayDirt is our commitment to increasing access to trails by supporting the work of people who make it happen.