Our Nation rider weeks kick off on Monday with Forest Bailey. But in the meantime check out his interview from our September Issue.

Take The Trip

An interview with Forest Bailey

By Liam Gallagher

Forest Bailey is a little tripped out.

He doesn’t know what to say. He stumbles over his words. Pauses a lot. Keeps saying things like, “I don’t know,” ‘It’s crazy,” “Wild,” “A whirlwind,” “I can’t believe it.”

Forest Bailey. PHOTO: Tim Zimmerman.

“Everything’s just happening so fast. I’m kinda blown away. Just how quickly it’s all happened. And now…to be getting this interview…I don’t know. I’m kinda speechless. It’s just crazy how far snowboarding has taken me in the last four, five years. It’s wild. I just can’t really believe it, sometimes.”

Then silence. Seriously, he’s speechless.

Forest is at the wheel. Seeing perfectly straight. Headed for Mt. Hood. I’m sitting shotgun. We’re going up to ride, try to, Windell’s. It’s cloudy and threatening rain, but Forest really wants to go. He’s a fiend for it. And then after a minute, talking again…

“There’s tons of homies up there right now,” he says. “I think it’ll be fun. Hopefully, not too stormy. We’ll see.”

Then some more small talk: The Summer is off to a great start. He’s loving living in Portland. He’s been here a couple months now, he’s sharing a place with his sister and her boyfriend, and his girlfriend is living with him. He’s got a garden, Burnside is just a bike ride away and Hood is about an hour drive. He’s got a pass to Timberline and he’s psyched to ride a bunch this Summer. Even more psyched to be able to cruise back to Portland at the end of the day. Avoid some of the chaos of Govy. Lurk less. Hang at home more. He’s part introvert. And balance is becoming increasingly important for him. It’s been a little off lately. Literally. He jacked his ankle skating a couple weeks back and it’s still feeling a little tender. It’s not that bad. Not bad enough to stop him today. He can’t wait to ride.

“My addiction is serious,” he says. “All I want to do is snowboard and skateboard. I just can’t take a break, even though I know I should. Maybe that’s why I always tweak my ankles right around now. I subconsciously hurt myself for like a month or two in the summer, so I’m forced to let my body heal.”

We laugh, knowing he’s only half joking. Knowing, yes, the subconscious is a powerful thing.

Forest gets a text. It’s a weather report from Hood: “Pretty misty up there, clouds, low visibility.”

“Huh. Well… we’re already going, right? What do you think, should we just go?”

Yeah, we’re going.

“What else are we gonna do?” That’s a good question.

For Forest, snowboarding’s been it, forever. His first love. His longest obsession. All he’s ever thought about. Well, that and skateboarding. Always both. He grew up out East, in Jamaica, Vermont. It’s a sleepy little artist/hippy/tourist town just outside Stratton. He was introduced to the snow early. He lived just minutes from the base of the mountain. He tried skiing a couple times but remembers hating it. His dad carried him off the mountain crying. But, the next winter he got a snowboard.

“And that’s all I’ve really been doing since I was five years old,” he says. “Yeah, snowboarding and skateboarding and school. But, school obviously didn’t last very long.”

Forest is a drop out. He never finished high school. He actually left home when he was just 17. Went West.

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