Back in 2008, Michel Plonka started a blog with one goal in mind; create a platform to promote the eastern canadian Freestyle scene and it’s community. Despite not yet being called The Rise, we like to refer to it as The Rise’s official starting point. After a bit of brainstorming with the boys, the name The Rise came up and we ran with it.

Right from the start, The Rise carried an open-minded and optimistic attitude, which quickly sparked the scene’s interest. The Rise was always driven by nothing but the will to have a good time riding bikes, and it’s mission is to motivate others to have fun riding bikes. We quickly started showcasing it by creating exclusive videos and the response has been amazing. Vincent Allard’s initiative to create a full length movie right from the start hit the internet by surprise and pulled a lot of attention towards The Rise. A Few months later, we met Louis Lhomel; a funny character that happened to be extremely talented at both riding and making videos. To this day, Louis Lhomel created about 80% of The Rise’s visuals and shows no sign of slowing down. At first we had a blog, then started making videos, and slowly we evolved from selling stickers and T-Shirts to having our own Freestyle MTB frame called the Partymaster V2.

A lot of companies pretend to be rider owned and operated, but The Rise really is. We started from nothing and did everything ourselves. Whether it’s filming, editing, running websites, designing and selling products, organising events, we taught ourselves how to do it all and made it happen. The guys that operate The Rise are the same dudes you see in the videos and that will never change. 

What have been the biggest obstacles for @therisedotcom to stay alive knowing that there aren't that many riders on mtb street?

The lack of representation of MTB Street in the media is a drastic change from just a decade ago. In the past, MTB street was a prominent part of MTB movies and websites, big videos like New World Disorder, Kranked and Chain Reaction all had some MTB Street parts in them but this is no longer the case. It has become difficult to find recognition for this style of riding in the industry, but it is still an important part of our sport. We believe that companies should continue to support the MTB Street scene, as there are so many possibilities that can be explored on these bikes. Slopestyle competitions can be a great way to reach the public and demonstrate the beauty of our sport, but it is not relatable to the average person. With Street riding, literally anyone can walk out their house and start riding right away. Therefore, we need to look for other ways to show the world what MTB Street is all about: riding, exploring new cities. having fun with friends and pushing our limits. 

In mtb street, mtb dirt the media that publishes video parts are almost scarce despite that, what are the changes you expect in the industry during the next 7 years?

We are not huge fans of how media and it's consumption has evolved. Nowadays with social media, the only thing that seems to matter is how long you can keep someone's attention, not the quality of your content and it's very unfortunate in our opinion. People are in a kind of race to get the public's attention for as long as possible, so they are creating loads of content with very little focus on the quality of it. Nowadays everyone feels forced to post something online everyday, and the next day no one remembers it already.  It's very hard to say what changes will happen in the future, but what we would like to see is more riders and brands releasing quality projects and video parts that will have an impact in the long run, and will be remembered, you know? Taking your time and putting your efforts into something you will be proud of, whether it takes weeks, months or years, that's what should matter the most. The "throw-away" fast-paced content is getting boring and I think a lot of people are starting to realise it so hopefully we see some kind of switch in in the future where quality wins over quantity.

How do you see the growth of the rise in the next 5 years?

We have a lot happening lately. We just moved to a bigger warehouse here in Montreal, we are in the process of expanding our online store to carry different parts from other brands. We are making The Rise a one-stop online shop for Freestyle MTB with everything you need to build a decent bike, only with parts we fully trust so we are working on that lately. We are also slowly growing our network of bikeshops which is awesome to see. In 2017 we started our biggest project which was the Partymaster Tour series, after 3 years we put it on hold because it was really a lot of work to put together, so after that we decided to go on easier trips just to ride by ourselves and not have to worry about organizing 7 events at 7 different spots in 10 days on the road and it's been awesome. We definitely plan on keeping producing quality content, lately we've had a blast going on 1-2 big trips every year with a solid crew of riders, these trips have been the best! We released our NY_B video along with a photobook to go with it, and we have another video in the works from a trip to Tenerife last february. Another trip to a secret location in the works already for september 2023 with a solid crew, we just want to keep going and ride bikes as long as we can, stay healthy and showcase it to motivate others to get out there and shred! To be honest how many views the videos get nowadays is almost irrelevant to us, the vibes when we ride with the crew are so good and that's all that matters and we enjoy creating videos to immortalize it. If a video gets 10k views, we know these 10k people enjoyed every second of it and are hyped to go ride, and that's all we care about. 

 Finally, do you hope one day to see mtb street or mtb slopestyle (again) at the xgames? 

To be honest it would be great for exposure for the sport of course, but we don't think we care about it being in Xgames or not. It feels like when this type of extreme sports becomes too much about competition, the variety within the riding slowly disappears and the riders start to all do the same tricks. For example if you look at BMX Park in the past few years, it's pretty much all the same, the courses are all very similar and the riders just keep adding a barspin here and a tailwhip there. The trick variety has shrunk dramatically since the 2000s, same goes for the Skateboarding Street series. The level of riding progresses very fast, but the variety of tricks and originality slowly fades away and that's very sad to see. We like the freestyle aspect of it, no rules, no judges, get out there and do whatever you want on your bike, that's the beauty of it.