When Joey Russel from Take a Hike shop in St Charles, MO says he's got a super talented young rider who knows how to rep your brand, he means business. Justin Rauch, AKA OneMTB is proving that neither size, nor age can hold him back. So how do you start a Youtube channel, get sponsored, and be a force for change in your MTB community? Read Justin's story below to find out.
My Name is Justin, I am a 14 year old mountain biker and the aspiring YouTuber OneMTB. Not a day goes by without touching my bike. Would you believe me if less than two years ago all i did was sit inside and play video games? You see, growing up I was always the smallest in my class, by a lot. My view was that to be active and outside you had to play soccer, baseball and so on. Being small for my age made those sports out of reach, so I stuck to video games. But I was never really happy with that. I wanted to be an outside kid.
One night my dad pulled into the driveway and told me to come outside. He opened the truck and to my surprise I saw a mountain bike! One of my friends had outgrown it and gave it to me! The next day my dad took me out for my very first real ride. From that moment, my feet never left the pedals! My dad and I made it part of our weekly routine. We rode every chance we got! Progressing, and having an absolute blast! We both had found our new passion!
Until one day my dad had a bad crash, and tore the ligaments in his wrist. This put him out of riding for at least two months. Without him to take me on rides, my only trail was the neighborhood so I made the best of it. Practicing every day, jumping curbs and hammering the basics! I developed a unique skill set in this short time that truthfully made me the rider i am today! When we got back to the trails I was astonished by how much better I had gotten. The progression inspired me so I grabbed my phone and a tripod and made an edit! I showed it to a local bike shop owner and he offered me a deal on my first full suspension bike in return for making more videos and promoting him! I of course said yes, and after a month of creating content, I was on my first full squish! Not only did my riding skills progress, but so did my videos! Around this same time I discovered trail building and joined my local trail building club (GORC) My videos started inspiring others to get outside and even some bigger YouTubers caught wind of my channel and shared my videos!
I met Joey, owner of TakeAhikeShop.com, and instantly became friends. He connected us with the community! He ended up inviting me and my dad on our first ever trip to a DH park! The trails we rode on the trip changed the way I viewed what mountain biking could be! As soon as I got back I started pushing for more progressive trails in my area. I wasn't the only one advocating for this, as a group called GORC Gravity that brings jumps to St. louis had formed. Lots of hard work had paid off as projects got approved. Skills parks, pumptracks, and even a world class DH park were in the works.
Soon I started outgrowing my bike, but a new bike just wasn't in the budget. After Joey from Take a Hike Shop became a dealer for Eminent Cycles, I fell in love with their bikes. My dad and I decided to contact Eminent about the ambassador program and sure enough our puzzle pieces fit together and I was able to get an Eminent Haste 27.5! Not only was the bike amazing and perfect for me, I was excited to get to work with the amazing people from Eminent! I am more stoked on riding and videoing than ever and super excited to see what the next chapter holds!
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ONE LAST THING! Justin in entered in the Teton Gravity Research (AKA TGR) MTB Grom contest. CHECK IT OUT