I was born in Kamloops, British Columbia in 1983. Singletrack zigzags through the hills behind my parents' house; bikes were freedom. I explored the hills and trails wherever and whenever I could. I was 12 when I got into XC racing. I was really into it until I was about 15, when I started focusing more on DH riding. Some of my friends who I raced with made the same transition, and we started to learn together. We started building big jumps and aggressive trails. We filmed ourselves riding and I made a short video. I entered the video in an online contest, the "Ultimate Freeride Challenge" and ended up winning. That was the beginning of my sponsored career in 2003. Specialized sponsored me then and I have been with Specialized ever since.
My focus has always been shooting photos and filming video segments, that is what I love to do. I really enjoy finding adventure in the mountains - whether it be challenging moves and airs or maybe it's a multiple day ride.
I like watching big mountain skiers and snowboarders, the way they shred the mountains in the snow inspires me on dirt. Besides riding, I surf, fish, and backcountry ski as much as I can.
Sponsors: Specialized, Shimano, Clif Bar, Chromag, MRP, IXS, Fox Racing Shox, Dakine, Contour
When it comes to secretsJuly 20, 2012
When it comes to secrets, it seems they are either easy to keep or very, very hard. But what happens when your secret is a bike? You can't completely hide it - you're riding it around, it's in the truck box on the road, it's a bright blue-super-sick-future-lookin-bad-ass-carbon-mountain-taming-suspension rig! To a mountain biker, it's as eye catching as a new model sports car is to a motorhead.
This has been a problem for the past couple of months, my secret to keep. My new Enduro has been in my eager and sweaty hands for a while now and while mountain people scope it pretty hard when it goes by, the secret has been safe and sound.
In Utah last week, the cat was out of the bag. I traveled there to join a group of journalists for the launch of the new 2013 Enduro and many other bikes. I had a great time, and everyone else there did too because we are all riders who were invited to a mountain town surrounded by singletrack, and all told to go test ride the future.
This area features one of my favourite trails ever. It has a stunningly fast singletrack descent. The kind where your hands still shake at the bottom and just one high five doesn't seem like quite enough. I posted a video of the last time I rode it but managed to forget just how amazing the trail is.
Well, we rode it again and I think it got better. It's just so fast. There are huge rock sections that pass underneath you in one bunnyhop, and long, smooth corners that don't require brakes. Blazing through aspens on a flowy roller-coaster. Yes, it's that good.
My excitement got the better of me on my birthday ride on this trail. The day previous, my grip lost a chunk of rubber to an inside cut off log on a smooth right hand turn, but I stayed upright. It was a close call but no price was paid. The next day, on the same log, I wasn't so lucky. I clipped my bar and went pinballing through the trees at high speed! I emerged almost unscathed except for a little piece of wood sticking into my left cheek from where I hit a tree. I consider myself really lucky to not have been hurt any more than this.
Either way, it was a great trip to Utah. I'm writing this as I'm on my way to my next adventure, Specialized Days in Japan.
Go for a ride!
Whether or not the weather was plotting against us was in questionJuly 11, 2012
Whether or not the weather was plotting against us was in question. The hot July sun shone on every mountain around us, but we shivered through the sleet on our jackets and goggles as we ascended the mountain on the Comet chair.
It turned out to be the only few hours of bad weather the entire week of Elevate mountain bike camp. The dark cloud came along for half a day to remind us of how sweet the sun and tacky dirt really were, then Silverstar was once again summer riding paradise.
Myself, along with fellow coaches Thomas Vanderham and Kenny Smith, joined a group of young mountain bikers for a week of berm shredding and airtime. We rode Silverstar's finest trails in perfect conditions. We laughed and rode and ate and rode then slept then rode some more… We did a lot of riding. Silverstar is known for its flowy trails and smooth terrain and a hard working trail crew. The mountain was ready for us.
It's quite an experience to coach a group of young riders in a lift accessed bike park. The excitement level is totally off the charts and the groms are always ready for more. Gigantic amounts of vertical can be chalked up on a long July day with a chairlift at your disposal.
After a full day of shredding, all the corners and airs, manuals and scrubs, steeps and rock faces fade into one big smile. Thomas, Kenny and I kick back and crack a beer. One thought stands out from each day: Damn those kids are stoked on riding. And it's contagious.
I'm already looking forward to next year.
Spring shred travelsMarch 20, 2012
Old man winter still has a solid grip on BC, so when I got an invitation to a mountain bike birthday party in Arizona I jumped at the opportunity. I have been having a great winter at home (I have made some winter modifications to my bike that you'll see in a video coming soon!) But the lure of desert trails was as powerful as the AZ sun.
The birthday party was an all time event, with 11 Canadian buddies who were all fresh out of the deep pow of BC and keen to rip it up in the sun.
After the birthday party I flew to SFO and rallied my rental to Santa Cruz, where I slept for a couple hours then was up at dawn for a morning surf session with a few of the guys from Specialized. Surf in Santa Cruz was small that morning but the waves were clean and we had a blast. I was amazed at the phenomena of walking from your front door to the waves at the end of the street - what a contrast for this inland dwelling Northerner whose surf trips usually require airline travel!
The next couple days were spent at the Specialized office in Morgan Hill where I had the chance to meet with product developers and talk about new gear. There are some great things coming to riders in the next year or two and it's fun to have input. Also, working on the top secret stuff makes me feel like a secret agent.
The next mission was to obtain some quality photos of mountain biking to be used in a catalog. The sun was out in full force so we went South to Laguna Beach and rode the dusty trails through the scrub brush. My friend "Two Girl Names" showed us the trails and we stayed at his house, a cool bike haven in amongst multi million dollar pads and we weaved through the Porsches and Ferraris of Laguna in his VW bus... I always prefer to stay with friends when I am in a new town, living out of a hotel room gets old and having a guide to the best trails is a key ingredient.
I returned home with one of my biggest projects of the year right on the doorstep. Filming my segment for Strength In Numbers has been an ongoing plan that has been delayed and put off due to winter weather and injury recovery, but the time has come and I'm really stoked to shoot it now. I have built a nice collection of lines in the warmest, lowest elevation area I know and the weather has been great. The dirt has frozen and thawed over and over again so the frost heaves make it extra soft at this time of year. Conditions couldn't be better for tires and dirt.
Gotta get out there!
Mountaineering Bike AdventuresFebruary 28, 2012
I can't say no to a good tale. Listening to a friend tell one… It always ends in laughter or disbelief, usually both. The short days of winter leave more inside hours for fireside entertainment, and spending time with friends who can tell a good yarn is a lot of fun. I have never had the gift of a great storyteller but I do like to try. Seeing as it's winter here and I have some time, I'll tell a story here. It's similar to one I told here before but it was a different ride.
On a recent winter road trip I was reminded of a great adventure that my Demo and I had a few years ago. BC's Fraser River runs through some amazing country, and I like to get out and explore the land whenever I can. It's a couple hours from Kamloops but the way the river has cut through the mountains makes for some crazy terrain, and it is always worth the trip.
One mountain in the area stands out because of a gigantic scree slope down its west face. It looks like a smooth avalanche path of rock, it really gets my imagination going. A buddy and I decided to try and ride it. We had our bikes, food and water. We started the ascent. After 15 minutes of wading through the constantly sloughing rock, and making no progress, we called it off.
Failure on the first attempt made me want to ride it more. I went home and fired up the google Earth. I found a route up the backside of the mountain that looked doable. Now that I had a route to the top, I decided to film my second attempt with the Collective boys. I called them up and they agreed it would be a good first shoot for the season. (We were filming for Seasons)
The route to the top of the scree slope was challenging, and because I hadn't done it before I wanted to get an early start. I drove to the spot in the dark the night before, and slept in the back of my truck. I was up in the dark, hiking up the mountain with my bike in the glow of my headlamp. After many hours of climbing I peered over the top. The slope looked ridiculous. It was steeper than I thought and the rocks were much larger. I felt like a fall would result in my cartwheeling over the rocks, all the way to the bottom. I sat at the top for over an hour debating what to do. I could easily hike back to my truck the way I had come up. Definitely the safer option, but also the lamest. the filmers would be there soon. They would understand if I didn't want to ride it, but they would also be disappointed. My mind swapped back and forth with indecision. At one point I had almost convinced myself to ride it, and just then my radio crackled. Darcy, laughing. "Dude, you look like a tiny ant up there!! We can barely see you!" Hearing that the crew was down below settled my nerves and I committed to riding it.
The first third of the scree, the rocks were really big and loose. As I rode over them they would break loose and bounce down beside me. It was pretty gnarly because some of them were big enough to really hurt. I had to go really slow; I was still afraid of a rock yard sale. As I got closer to the bottom, the rocks got smaller and I was able to carry a lot more speed. It was an amazing feeling to carve big GS type turns on an untouched mountain face.
At the bottom I was greeted by the crew and we had a laugh about starting a shoot without meeting first. Unfortunately we didn't get the big shot we wanted because I rode the top of the slope was so slowly, but on the faster turns near the bottom we did get a short shot that made the movie.
This shoot was one of the most unique lines I have ridden, and I have been back to ride it a few times since then. I have ridden it with friends and everybody gets a bit mind-blown by the bottom. Check out this google Earth image of the scree slope and also Sterling Lorence's (eyeroam.com) sequence photo from the top of the slope.
Switz Sampler PackSeptember 12, 2011
One thing that is really popular in Europe is "trekking". I'm not sure what makes trekking different from walking around or hiking, but from my observations, it involves a lot of extra gear like special poles and long socks with knickers. Spandex is also popular.
I like trekkers. They are usually really friendly, and often they have good trail knowledge if you need to know where to go. But the main reason I like trekkers is because they make great singletrack. People have been trekking all over Switzerland for centuries! Old people and young people and everyone just session the trails in their trekking boots and poles, churning up the swiss soil in ribbons across the Alps.
My last blog post was a weirdly philosophical BS paragraph about something related to riding. It was late, I couldn't sleep, and I was sitting on a plane over the Atlantic on my way to Zurich. Enough with the excuses but I was really excited for that trip, so maybe that explains it.
We went there to film a segment for Strength In Numbers. I brought a specially built up S-Works Enduro as my trail shredder. It was the right bike.
The trails around Verbier and Zermatt are hard to describe. They are really long, mostly alpine, and usually follow a perfect (fast) grade. A lot of them have trains or trams to the top. There are a lot of intersections with other trails, so there are lots of options. It makes for a pretty amazing time on a mountain bike! If you ever find yourself looking for a place to go ride, this one delivers the goods.
The film trip was a success. The sun cooperated with us, the mountains were big, the glaciers were huge, the trails were fast. I didn't want to go home when the time came, but lucky for me I had another good trip planned when I got back! More to come about that trip soon.
PilesAugust 25, 2011
I think it would be cool to look back at a year and quantify the amount of riding that has been done. I would like to see it in piles. There could be a pile of rubber that was shredded off tires, all the tiny pieces spread across rocks, dirt and roots. Sintered metal burnt off brake pads, maybe also a collection a broken and worn out chains, hangers, bolts and seals, and surely some dented or broken wheels. Half a pint glass of chain lube. Some killed soles of riding shoes, a bunch of bent pedal pins... Maybe a bit of skin and some blood, cartilage and bone. Trail dumps. Brain cells. I want to stand back and look at the wear and tear on bikes and body, the price paid to ride, and just see it all.
Imagine a lifetime collection of these things!
Welcome to my late night weird thoughts. I'm on a redeye to Switzerland to shoot a segment in the Alps for Strength in Numbers. I can never sleep on airplanes so I sit here, listen to music, and think about piles. The last weeks have been very full. I coached some great young riders this year. A crazy week at Sun Peaks with BC's best young guns, then another week for SGC in Whistler with a more international, absolutely stoked crew of rippers. Then the filming started. I filmed an overnight ride in the chilcotins, followed by some loamy demo 8 lines in the Shuswap backcountry with the Coastal Crew. A trip to the Yukon for Bike magazine delivered some fast, scenic rides and some beautiful fish too. Now I'm off to Switzerland to ride with Wade Simmons, looking forward to even more adventures through September and October.
I'm not sure why I am so lucky to get to go all these places and ride. I get to live my dreams and have these adventures with great friends. I get to "work" at sharing my riding with people who love bikes. I feel like I'm getting away with something illegal or something, but I'm just going to keep doing it until there is a reason to stop. I hope it never comes.
Ramping upAugust 5, 2011
A good start to a road trip is when the tailgate is full. My Demo, SXT, SJ EVO and my Enduro were resting across the tailgate of the truck ready to roll.
Destination: Whistler. You never know what bike you might need. And at Crankworx, you never know who you might be riding with, so the quiver was necessary.
If you haven't been to Crankworx, it is hard to imagine. There are so many people there. People watching, cheering, partying... but mostly riding. There are so many people riding it is insane. Whistler mountain is like a big dog that's infested with little mountain biker fleas that just shred all over it.
The park was in amazing condition, and although the weather wasn't very summery it was a great time just the same. I got to ride with a bunch of friends and we had some amazing laps.
Anytime I ride with someone who lives near the trail we're riding, I always like to follow them. The intimate knowledge of a person who has ridden the trail a hundred times is so cool. Secret lines that they have developed over countless laps are now yours to know. I guess it's a bit like cheating but it's sure fun.
I rode the bike park, some XC trails at Lost Lk, and perhaps a trail or two I am not allowed to talk about on the internet. The festivities carry on through the week and through the nights. It gets pretty tiring!
After Crankworx, Whistler really clears out. It's almost like a big house party; you just wake up in the morning and everyone is gone, empties scattered.
I did a week of coaching for Summer Gravity Camps, and it was awesome. The kids who come out are always so stoked to be there. Riding with a young rider who is doing their first few laps in the bike park is really a cool experience, their excitement is overwhelming.
I'm back home now to get ready to get started on some filming. All my camping gear, shovels, and chainsaw are packed up and I'm heading into an area to build some really exciting lines.
Young GunsJuly 15, 2011
It takes me about 45 minutes to drive to Sun Peaks. The road goes through some beauty forest and passes right by a couple of my favourite fishing lakes, then climbs up to the village where the chair lift is spinning into the alpine. 45 minutes isn't a very long time, I can't even get through a whole OCMS album if I'm feeling like a hick, or At the drive-in if I am getting real fired up. But it feels like it takes forever because I can never wait to get there.
Last week was no different. With 42 of BC's finest young shredders ready to ride, it was an unreal experience. I was there to coach the young guns but what we did was mostly just joke around and carve the fresh sun peaks soil to bits.
I have been coaching the camp at for about 5 years and it just keeps getting better. The kids who come to ride are always smiling and itching for their next run, even if the weather doesn't cooperate or their bikes are barely holding together. We make nick names for everyone and try to buzz each others' tires on the trail, there is some friendly heckling and maybe someone gets roosted with dirt of you get the chance.
I use the term "coaching" quite loosely here. I don't spend a lot of time going over the basics of riding and telling campers how to do certain things. Instead, we just have fun. I think the kids just really want to ride their bikes a lot, hit some new trails, and jump a ton of jumps. So we take turns following and being followed, going inside then outside on the corners, boosting some jumps and buzzing the grass on others. We spend a lot of time on our bikes, and towards the end of the week it's amazing how much better everyone is riding.
It's also awesome because of the other "coaches"there. They are Kamloops' best riders; real experts at having a good time on a bike. The energy that these guys put into their riding has shaped their whole lives, and when young riders with a similar attitude see this, the reaction is electric. It's a chance for me to witness some of the best things about mountain biking - the absolute pure joy of riding, and sharing those good times with your friends.
I can't wait till next year's camp.
I feel like a kid in a candy storeJune 29, 2011
I feel like a kid in a candy store right now. I am packing up my Enduro and some super light camp gear, and heading out on what should be an awesome trip. I haven't told anyone where I am going and when I'll be back so I guess this is a good a place as any. I'm hoping to make it to 51° 3'6.77"N 123°10'12.60"W to camp tomorrow night.
If you don't hear back from me before next week then the sow grizzly with four cubs that I saw here last year probably got me.
It should be fine though, I'm bringing bear spray so if I see the bears I'll spray it all over myself so they don't like how I taste.
Wish me luck!
Hermit CrabMay 31, 2011
Well the past few weeks have been pretty amazing for me... I have gone through a transformation very similar in the way a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Or maybe more like a hermit crab moulting, whatever.
Anyways, I finally healed up my shoulder ligaments enough so that my arm won't fall off when I am gripping my bar and I hit the type of bumps commonly encountered whilst riding off-road.
I started delicately riding my bike around the block and then I took it to the ultra smooth dirt around Kamloops, and I am feeling better every day.
But hold on a moment. This isn't a story about how well (or badly) I'm riding at the moment. It's a story about how riding has affected my brain reecently.
During my "time off", I thought I was doing pretty OK. Keeping busy, trying to stay healthy, the usual. But in retrospect, I wasn't really keeping that well. And I know this because of the sheer contrast of THEN vs. NOW.
- some days I manage to have some fun
- I'm up to date on the cool new internet videos, yeah honey badger!
- a beer tastes pretty good
- my room is clean
- No, I'm too full for seconds, thanks.
- Dude that was the sickest ride! this is the best day EVER!
- oh, right, I should check my email some day soon
- What kind of beer is this? Oh, warm Pilsner eh? It's unbelievable! best F*&^ing beer ever!
- it would be really great if I could find my bed, I KNOW it's in here somewhere
- Pass me another moose steak, I'm starving!
I know most everyone can relate to this state of mind, there are so many reasons that can get in the way of consistent riding. I know that for me, after a few months away from riding, to be back in it and loving it so much... The huge increase in my quality of life is just too much to ignore.
May mudMay 9, 2011
Riding in the rain isn't something that I do very much. It's not that I have a problem with it, it's simply that I live in a really dry area where it just doesn't rain often. When I do ride in real, soppy, water pouring down in your eyes, torrential rain, it definitely changes the way I ride. I stick to the ground and avoid any wood features or jumps until the deluge stops.
On Saturday I drove to North Vancouver for a cool shop event hosted by John Henry bikes. They had a jump jam at the event, a couple plywood ramps to gravel pile landings on the street in front of the store. I was one of the judges, and there was some serious talent because of the North Van factor.
The practice for the jam went really well, the clouds threatened and drizzled a bit but otherwise it stayed pretty dry. When we decided to start the contest things got really interesting.
The clouds just opened up and the rain started coming down. Loud, huge drops. I was scared and hid under the judges tent.
Well, the riders just kept shredding. They put on goggles so they could see, and really lit up the slippery lips and soft landings. It was impressive to see the riders step up to the challenge of the nasty weather. At one point near the end of the comp, the rain was so heavy that there were small rivers of rushing water flowing around my feet, the tent I was under was at risk of collapsing under the weight of the water, and the landing of the first jump was visibly slumping like a mud slide. One of the riders dropped in, did a nice 360 table on the first jump, pedaled hard through the puddles and threw a big flip whip on the last jump! It really made me think of how bad ass mountain biking is. It's a sport where a rain delay isn't an option. Deal with it. Just keep givin 'er!
I returned back to Kamloops that night, the next day was a big race day. The Bicycle Cafe hosts a race every spring called the Unicorn 5000, as you can imagine it's more of a fun event than a serious one. It's a fun local-style event, the race course is top notch and the talent pool runs deep, so it's a really good time.
In past years I have raced the Unicorn, but this year my shoulder still wasn't quite ready for it so I drove one of the shuttle trucks for the racers to get to the top. The weather was pretty nasty again, it rained really hard and the shuttle road became more of a 4x4 hillclimb event. We got so much snow this year that the road had to be plowed so there were snowbanks on either side of the road which was a slippery mud slide. I heard from the racers that the track was about the same.
In the end, the event went off smoothly, and everyone had a good time. In true Kamloops fashion, the sun even came out just in time for the awards ceremony. Some beers were cracked and a lot of muddy faces were smiling. I don't think the spring weather stands a chance against mountain bikers who have been dreaming of riding all winter.
Utah Shoot AdventuresNovember 19, 2010
Utah has been a classic mountain bike destination forever. The trails are legendary and the desert terrain begs for freeride bikes. Since people have been riding Utah for decades, one may think that the potential for exploration had been tapped dry.
This was weighing heavy on my mind as I boxed up my Demo 8 and my Enduro for a flight to Utah. My goal was to go to Utah with my friend and photographer Sterling Lorence in pursuit of new and unique freeride features and to document our search on video with the help of Freeride Entertainment. One thing that really gets me going is setting my eyes on new landscapes and new trails, and heading to good 'ol Utah didn't seem like the right direction.
Boy was I wrong.
We arrived in Green River after dark and I didn't get much of a look at the desert on our drive in. If I had, I might have been better prepared to have my mind completely blown in the morning.
The land around Green River is a mind bending maze of lunar dirt sculptures. The mesas have eroded to create features of a mountain riders' dream. There are cliffs and ridges and boulders and berms and perfect landings everywhere. There are dirt slopes that look like powder fields for DH bikes. ( I think Utah is pretty sweet.)
Like I mentioned, our goal was to get some unique photos and to document the way that Sterl and I work together. We have been shooting photos together for seven years and we both enjoy exploring terrain and the way light can bring the landscapes alive for mountain bikers.
Going on a photo shoot for freeride type shots requires a different approach. You don't just go ride a trail and shoot the good corners, you really have to get out there hiking around to find something cool.
We hiked around looking for three days. We found a lot of lines to ride but we were looking for something special, so we kept looking. I was starting to get pretty worried about it because we hadn't found anything; I was hoping to find a really high speed line with a nice air. ( I usually try to find fast jumps, I feel more comfortable on them)
We found the slowest drop in the world. It was a hip from a dirt cliff-island to the base of a dirt spire. It required me to creep off the edge to hit the landing below.
We built a little bridge out of rocks to get me over to the island take off, and we fixed up the landing a bit and then waited for the light. When I say "waited for the light" I mean we went back to the hotel, slept, got up in the dark, and hiked in to the area as the sun came up. This is Sterl's specialty, he knows exactly when to shoot to make the photo look as rad as possible. I can tell when the the light is getting good because Sterl gets really excited and starts talking faster.
I landed the drop. It was a really interesting sensation to ride so slowly off of something so high. I had to leave my good friend, momentum, behind. But everything worked out, I had a good time, and we bagged some great photos.
We spent the next couple days seeking out some singletrack. I had my S-Works Enduro with me and I was itching to ride it; we also wanted to get some more photos. The trails we found were unbelievable. Nice soft dirt to carve turns real deep, in beautiful landscapes, with stunning light... You really can't ask for anything more. I got to ride fast too, which makes me happy.
I have just one bad memory from the Utah trip. I saw a billboard from the freeway that read: "Wind dies, Sun sets: You need reliable coal and gas powered energy". I can't believe that people are allowed to be so stupid.
The trip home went smoothly, the rental car agency didn't complain about the missing front bumper too much.
Hey everyoneOctober 27, 2010
Hey everyone, I just wanted to put up a few photos from my summer. I had these shots emailed to me from a friend and thought they were pretty sweet. It has been a really fun season so far. I haven't gotten to ride everywhere I wanted to, but I guess that's what next season is for. Lots more to come this season still though!
Specialized Days in SpainSeptember 14, 2010
Specialized Days in Spain has been a really fun time. I have been eating steaks and riding with Christoph, Ned, Burry, and Sam. The event was at a bike park near Madrid, they have a chairlift to access some cool DH trails.
Sam and I did some DH riding together and with the Spanish riders at the event. Everything was going great until I had really quick hard crash, then I had to sit out the rest of the day. It was the kind of crash that comes as a complete surprise, just riding along and then the next second you’re slapped on the ground. I hit my head when I fell so I was feeling quite confused about things, but my head cleared up eventually.
The next day we did a big group road ride and that sure was an experience for me! I haven’t done a road ride before so it was pretty exciting. I borrowed a Tarmac that weighed about the same as a wheel for my mountain bike, the bike was insanely fast. I was kind of nervous because of my inexperience and because of all the other riders; there were probably 300. Alberto Contador was there so there was quite a bit of excitement around him. Ned, Sam, Susi, Burry and I all started right at the front with Contador, the start was so crazy! It was a downhill section for a few km’s and we got going over 80! I was feeling really sketchy with the road bars and everything, but the DH World Champ was right there feeling about the same so I didn’t feel so bad. Sam and I settled into a pack and started to plan our strategy. “I reckon we’ll sit back here in this pack and then overtake Contador in the last climb” was Sam’s idea. I agreed it was a good plan so we held our pace. At one point I pushed ahead for a while to see what Ned, Susi, and Burry were up to, they were near the front having a casual conversation while everyone else was gasping. Pretty funny.
We stopped for a drink and a snack about halfway, and Contador left in a car so Sam and I didn’t get to execute our plan. We were pretty happy though because we were still riding after Alberto was too tired to keep going.
The rest of the ride was pretty challenging, I got really thirsty and tired but managed to finish after a few clif blocks and water from some friends on a motorcycle. It was a big day, we rode 120 km total. Definitely the furthest I have ever ridden in a day, I was happy.
Afterwards we drove to Madrid for a team dinner, where we ate even more steaks. I think that’s all we ate for dinner the whole time. I needed it after the road ride though.
I’m headed home to BC now for some sweet fall riding. Can’t wait.
There is something about yellow leaves on singletrackSeptember 11, 2010
There is something about yellow leaves on singletrack. For me there is such a crazy positive association when I see it… It is usually accompanied by cooler temperatures and shorter days, but fall can’t be beat. Seeing those little yellow signs lying there brings back so many great memories of perfect fall days, crisp air and damp dirt…
I’m daydreaming about my ride yesterday as I sit on the plane to Madrid. The weather forecast is 31 degrees Canadian so it’s going to be summer in Spain, but this should be a different kind of adventure for me. I’m going to Spain for a really cool event organized by Specialized. My 2011 Demo 8 is below me tucked away safely in its Dakine bike box, I’m going to ride some DH laps and other riding with other Specialized riders. Sam Hill will be there to teach me a thing or two on the DH track, Ned, Susi and Burry will be there shredding XC, and one of the days I have agreed to go on a road ride with some guy named Contador.
Ummm yeah. Well, for my first road ride I might as well go with someone who knows what he’s doing, right?
I feel really lucky to get to hang out and ride with the best riders in the world of each discipline. I have my mountain biking niche that I love but I’m really just a bike geek - to get to meet and ride with this crew is pretty insane.
I hope I can keep up for at least 5 minutes.
Keep an eye here for what is guaranteed to be an interesting experience.
Here comes fall, get out and ride any way you can.
Well it sure has been a whileAugust 26, 2010
Well it sure has been a while since I have updated here. It seems that between riding, traveling, coaching, and summertime in general my e-life has been taken over by real life. But back at it.
I just got back from a video shoot in a top secret location East of Kamloops. In said location there are big mountains, and the trail that we were shooting started at the top of a really big one. We were able to drive to the top; the trail starts right up in the alpine. With the Selkirk mountains nearby, it's hard to imagine a more beautiful location. (this is a hint)
From there it descends a LOOONG way down. One of the coolest things is that this trail was built by the Canadian government in what is called an "economic stimulus". I felt extremely stimulated.
We got some great shots that you should see here soon in video on iamspecialized. I was riding my new Demo 8. I have had this bike since Crankworx 2 weeks ago, and I am loving every second on board.
Check out some shots from my summer so far.
Crested ButteJuly 2, 2010
Finding place to camp in the dark can be tough. Sometimes a spot will look great in the headlights of the truck but when the daylight reveals your surroundings you are in somebody’s front yard, in a city park or just in a weird spot. My roadtrip companions and I arrived in Crested Butte well after dark, we drove out of town and started searching.
We drove for about 5 minutes and found a road leading into some trees. We were tired of driving so we picked our spot quickly.
In the morning I didn’t know what to expect. I unzipped my tent and had a look at an amazing mountain valley and a clear river. Not bad! Needless to say we were quite happy with our lucky camp location. Check out the pic.
After breakfast we headed to a trail called Doctor Park. After a tough climb we dropped in. UNBELIEVABLE descent. So fast. I actually can’t describe it, it was so good. All I know is that I will definitely be back to ride this one again.
A good camp dinner around the campfire, a ride in the morning and then tomorrow we leave the cool high country to go roast in the desert. Look out Fruita/Grand Junction!
See you on the trail.
Colorado Dreamin'June 29, 2010
I have been in Colorado for a few days now and what a good time it has been. I am here for the Specialized Global Press Launch in Keystone. At this press launch we are riding the new (2011) bikes.
There are around 80 journalists here and many of the Specialized staff. There is a chairlift with some good DH trails as well as some high-grade singletrack in the area.
Yesterday I rode an all-new bike. It’s called the Camber. It is a 120mm trail bike that fits in between the Epic and the Stumpy.
My first ride on the Camber was on the Colorado trail near Keystone. The trail has some good climbs that take you to some world-class singletrack descents. The Camber was unreal on this trail. I was riding with some super fast Specialized folks and we were seriously putting those bikes through their paces.
Lots of the trail was high speed smooth ripping, super fast through nicely spaced aspens. Parts of it were rough with some roots, there were also some switchbacks that would sneak up on you and require 100% braking force. Throughout the ride there were all kinds of natural features that just begged to be ridden. I was amazed with the Camber, it was stable at speed and felt great in the tight sections.
I am a rider who really enjoys suspension. I spend 99% of my time on bikes from 140mm and up.
The Camber definitely felt like a shorter travel bike, but it didn’t leave me looking for more travel. It was smooth on the small bumps and didn’t bottom on the big ones. It was perfect for the trail that day. It was just the right amount of suspension and nothing more.
I’m not sure when the Camber will be available, but when you get a chance you should check it out, it is definitely designed for maximum fun on the trail.
I’m packing up now for a really cool trip. I am going to travel around Colorado, camp and ride for almost 2 weeks. My road trip partners are Doctor Spider and Meathorse (road trip names). I have my Sworks Enduro and I plan on riding every trail I can. I also have my flyrod and I want to do some fishing. Hopefully I can combine riding and fishing at some point and ride a trail to a cool fishing spot. Keep an eye here and I’ll post some road trip stories.
Shootin' some shotsJune 9, 2010
Shootin' some shots
I have been on a lot of different photoshoots. Some of them are in the rain, some in the sun, deserts and jungles. It's always something different.
I did a shoot on the weekend, it was great. John Gibson came to Kamloops and we had a great day of sun. We went for a ride in the morning and shot some classic desert singletrack shots, then we headed for the higher hills and shot a drop that I rode on my Demo 8. It was a cool rock to rock natural drop with a perfect sheep trail runout at the bottom. I hit it a few times on my Demo and then remembered that I had my Enduro in the back of the truck. It really got me thinking and I decided to ride the line on my Enduro. It was perfect for the drop and the singletrack that followed.Check out the pic, my bike is on the takeoff and you can see the sheep trail runout below. Not a bad view too! It's really crazy to me how capable that bike is, it makes me want to ride it even more.
In fact I think I'll go ride it right now!
Tire thoughtsJune 4, 2010
I don't live in a muddy area. Kamloops is a pretty dry place, even after it rains things can dry up pretty quickly. We often joke that the dirt here is thirsty.
This spring has been unusually wet. I was away for a week in Japan and it rained every day while I was gone... I came home to some soft dirt - unusually soft conditions.
I have been waiting for these conditions to try out the Storm DH tire. Until yesterday I hadn't had a really good chance. It rained all morning and then cleared up in the afternoon, and I was ready. I had a fresh set of Storm 2.3's on my Demo 8 and I watched from inside my garage as the rain stopped.
15 minutes later I was dropping in on one of my favourite trails, and my mind was being blown. It is unbelievable how different those tires feel in the mud. It really is a whole different kind of traction. I hope there is still enough mud left today so that I can shred those tires some more!
I guess this blog is about making small changes to your bike, and then noticing big differences in performance. Recently I noticed that my air pressure had leaked a bit, I think I was down about 2 or 3 PSI. After I fixed the problem I felt like I was riding 25% faster! Tires are our only contact with the ground and they make such a huge difference how they are set up. I really love experimenting with tires and feeling the changes.
Next time you prepare to ride pay special attention to your tire setup. Make sure your pressure is right and if your tires are worn, recycle them and go for some new rubber. Sharp new tires can make a normal ride feel like a new trail.
I did not recognize any of the foodsMay 25, 2010
I did not recognize any of the foods. There were at least a dozen different plates in front of me at the table and besides one item which appeared to be a dried fish, they were all unidentified.
The dinner turned out to be delicious.
That is the way this Japan trip has gone so far. There have been a lot of really new experiences which I was unsure about, but it has been nothing but good times.
Yesterday I raced my Enduro in an XC race. I think I was a little overgunned for most of the course but it was amazing on the downhills. I also found out that the command post is the ultimate for XC racing.
I was attending a festival near Nagano. It is a really beautiful area, there are deep green jungle covered mountains all around and the festival had very interesting events. Hands down the coolest event was the dual slalom race. The course was reminiscent of a mid 90's track; just slalom gates on a grassy hill, but the really special treat was the last class to race. The final class was called "Old Timers" and it was part bike race, part museum showing, and pure nostalgia. The rules for the race stated that the racers must ride the oldest bike they owned, which was usually accompanied by a perfectly matching outfit from that era. As darkness fell and the lights of the ski run lit the grassy slope, the racers absolutely shredded the course on their ancient steeds. I haven't been so entertained in a long, long time. At the awards ceremony I got to hand out the prizes. Tioga carbon disc wheels and an Offroad flex stem were handed out to the winner. Hilarious.
Today we are traveling to Tokyo. Tomorrow there will be a premiere of "Follow Me" in downtown Tokyo. I expect to have some more surprising and amazing experiences. Keep an eye out here for some words and maybe an interesting photo or two!
Witness the FitnessMay 19, 2010
I had a big party on Saturday night. In order to get my friends together and see some ridiculous outfits, the theme of the party was "witness the fitness". Everyone came in crazy neon spandex, leotards and leg warmers. There were also a ton of old school riding kits. The costumes were impressive.
We had aerobics going on the back deck, skip rope contests and people bench pressing very light weights. There was also a keg of beer that was consumed and some great music. After a big day of shuttle runs with friends, it makes for some good times.
I am currently planning a trip to Japan. I am really excited, I have never been to Japan before. I'm heading there with my good friend Thomas Vanderham. I am going to bring my trusty Enduro and shred some Japanese trails. Shimano is bringing me there for a "Follow Me" premiere as well so that should be very interesting. Sushi could very well be my favourite food, so I will also sample some fine fish. Hopefully I will also get a chance to get to talk to some Japanese whalers and tell them to cut it out!
I'll be blogging about my adventures here so check it out (when you are done riding)
As I write thisMay 6, 2010
As I write this I am sitting in the London-Heathrow airport, waiting for a return flight to Canada. I am going home from a trip to Italy for a bike festival. It’s a fun festival, lots of friends there and great Italian culture (food). The mountains around the festival area are really steep and the trails are covered in big loose rocks. The rocks are so loose that climbing is impossible on many of the trails; they roll too often to maintain traction. Overall, the terrain is not as easy to enjoy as the forest and desert trails I am used to riding.
The trails can be really frustrating. I am used to fast riding and generally if I am not riding fast I feel like I am not riding well. So the riding in Italy ends up being a mental game for me, it’s like my brain is split into two teams and they are battling it out as I ride.
One half of my brain is telling me “this sucks man. That last corner was pathetic. I can’t believe how slow this is. Watch out for that rock, you will puncture for sure.”
My other half: Whoa, that was cool. It’s fun to roll these rocks all over the trail. Even the straight stretches are tough to stay on track with these loose rocks. More entertaining than straight stretches on dirt. Try and double up those two rocks now. Nice mini backside.”
I guess this makes me seem pretty schizo. Fotunately, I know that my brain does this and I can control it. If I focus more on the good than the bad, I am able to almost cancel out the negative and enjoy the small victories. Instead of thinking about how slow I’m going, I focus on other cool things that are happening.
So the riding in Italy was not my favourite, but it became a new kind of challenge and it was great to ride some different terrain. It was fun to get through some of the rocks without dabbing, it was cool to have to choose lines more carefully, to feel the fork work separately from the rear suspension.
I’m about to board the plane now. In 9 hours I will be back in Canada, and tomorrow I will make it home to Kamloops where I will ride some fast trails and carve some soft dirt. Mountain bikes can travel across so many different surfaces. That’s one of the unique things about them. Surfers only get water. Climbers only get rock. Road cyclists get asphalt. But mountain bikers get to ride all different kinds of surfaces. And it sure keeps it interesting.
It is my third day here in ItalyMay 1, 2010
It is my third day here in Italy and another nice spring day. It has been a great trip so far. I am here with Darren and Trond, we are doing some filming on our Sworks Enduros.
Yesterday we did a crazy ride. We rode and hiked our bikes up a really wild old trail. It was pretty much a rock ledge that switchbacked up one of the steepest mountains I have ever ridden. Near the top we came to a church-type building that must have been built using helicopters, I can't imagine how else the consruction materials would get there.
One the way up the mountain the trail looked pretty rough, unrideable in sections. It wasn't the most inviting trail, just a lot of steeps, switchbacks and rock ledges. But when it was time to ride down, it ended up being really fun. We were able to carry a lot more momentum than we thought and the speed smoothed out the nasty rocks. I have had my Enduro for almost a year now and it never fails to impress and surprise me with how capable it is.
Lots of thumbs-upsApril 29, 2010
I awoke to a wickedly sore throat, the kind that makes you question the necessity of every swallow and word spoken. My voice started to crack and eventually grew into a hoarse whistle. Then it got real quiet.
For the past 2 days my voice has been completely missing. I can’t make any volume above a whisper. Phone calls are especially funny. I whisper to the caller that yes, this really is Matt, but I can’t talk properly. Just send me a text.
Fortunately, I don’t lack any energy or feel sick; I have been riding lots and I feel healthy.
Losing my voice has given me a good chance to do some more listening, and made me realize that I say a lot of pretty useless stuff. Most of these things can be replaced by a simple gesture. When I am riding with my friends I like to heckle and cheer them on. Not lately. I pretty much rely on smiles and the good old thumbs-up. Lots and lots of thumbs-ups.
Now I am a plane to Italy where I will meet up with Trond and Darren to do some riding on our Enduros and attend a Festival at Lake Garda. I still have no voice at all. My thumbs are going to get tired.
road tripping with my favourite allyApril 17, 2010
Well, I can't say for sure that my S-Works enduro is my FAVOURITE... my Demo 8 still has a special place in my heart for that. But it is one of my favourites.
I have been in California for about a week now, it's been a great trip. My first few days were spent in Morgan Hill at Specialized. It was really good, I got to tour around and see everyone who I work with over the phone and email. I got a chance to have some input on some really cool products but best of all I got to do some great riding.
I rode in Santa Cruz with Brendan and Troy from the downhill team and some of the engineers and product managers. It had recently rained and the trails were in top condition. It is super fun to ride with the DH racers and see the way they pick lines.
Tonight is the premiere for Anthill's "Follow Me". I haven't seen the movie, and I am very excited to se it tonight for the first time. Hopefully I can stay out of trouble afterwards!
That's a wrap!April 9, 2010
Last week was a monumental milestone for me. Well, that might be an exaggeration but I did finish filming my segment for "Follow Me". I had one big move left to shoot and with the film premiere fast approaching I had one day to get 'er done!
This film segment has had its challenges for me. Injuries have been persistent so it has been tough to get a bunch of footage. Luckily for me the Anthill film crew has been patient - we have had a few shoots not turn out as we planned - but we have also had a few really good days.
Last Sunday was a really good day. I hit a big technical air and we got a great shot; it was a step up into a curved wallride that I have been looking at all season. Everything worked out really well and I am happy to have that one in the movie. Most importantly, it was one of the most fun jumps I have ever hit! I would try and describe it here but it is best left to the story told on the big screen.
get out and shred!
Old School good timesMarch 31, 2010
It's been a week since I dislocated my shoulder filming for Follow Me. I took some time off my bike to let my shoulder heal, then I got hit pretty hard with a cold around the same time so I really needed some rest.
Yesterday I went for a mellow ride to see how my shoulder was feeling. When I started out it was feeling sketchy but eventually it started to feel a bit better and I was having a lot of fun. I was trying to keep my injury in the back of my mind so that I didn't get too carried away and hurt it again. I was out riding my Sworks Enduro through some terrain that is close to where I grew up; trails that I got started mountain biking on. I never stopped riding in this area but my route choice has evolved to hit only the best trails in the area.
I have really been overlooking some of the trails that I had ridden every day as a kid. I thought I had grown out of those old trails but with "keep it chill" in the back of my mind I opted to ride those old classics yesterday. Little did I know I was in for an amazing shred, adrenaline and nostalgia combined. It was so great to ride those trails again. Obstacles seemed smaller, the corners seemed better and I almost forgot about my shoulder!
So sit down, look through your dusty old memories of "back in the day" riding and if there are some trails you have been overlooking, go ride them again!
Get out and ride!
Follow Me teaser releasedMarch 11, 2010
Yo check it out! The teaser for Follow Me has just been released. I have ridden for this film in Kamloops, Sun Peaks, and Punta San Carlos, Mexico. It has been super fun, and having been to a lot of these shoots makes seeing the footage very funny and exciting. (If you haven't noticed, I get pretty fired up about bike movies)
Like I said in my last blog, we still have a few special shots we need to get but the premiere is coming up and I am getting stoked!
I think my favourite shot is the corner at 1:47 - front tire roost!
This winter has been amazing for meMarch 10, 2010
This winter has been amazing for me. December and January are my off-season; I am off my bike for most of the time and it gives me a chance to heal up, spend some time in the gym, ski and surf as much as I can. It started off with an Anthill film trip to Mexico (my last blog entries were about this) and then the mexico trip turned into a family vacation. We surfed, fished and camped our way through the southern Baja. Perfect waves and crispy fish tacos on the beach. I returned home to winter in British Columbia and quickly switched from water to snow. I had many unforgettable days in the snow with my friends backcountry skiing.
I got an email from my team manager at Adidas Eyewear; he was coming to Canada for the Olympics and wanted to get his riders together for some good times and lens testing. A plan was created and before I knew it I was in a helicopter flying to Baldface lodge in the interior of BC. My bike friends Darren Berrecloth, Ryan Berrecloth, Geoff Gulevich, Mike Kinrade and Richie Schley were there. It was really cool to shred powder with the guys I usually shred dirt with.
When I got home from that trip spring had arrived to Kamloops and riding conditions were getting good. I didn't manage to film all the lines I wanted to last fall; it was time to get serious. I spruced up some of my stunts that I had built last year. Fast forward to yesterday....
The Anthill film crew showed up the night before so we could get an early start. Light was just coming over the mountains as we hiked into our filming area. I had built a nice piece of trail that ran along the edge of a cliff. The trail ran for about 80 metres and then ended at the cliff edge. The landing area was about 6 metres below ran out to the valley bottom.
The ground was still frozen hard from last night's frost when we arrived. Frozen ground isn't the best for cornering hard so I waited until the sun had softened it up a bit.
Time for action. I rolled through the corners at the top of the run in and before I knew it I was nearing the take off. The take off for this particular drop was a hard left turn that wrapped around the ridge and then cornered off the cliff edge. I took off to the right of where I had planned. Instantly I spotted my landing. Unfortunately it was about a metre to the right of where I was planning. Time to hold on!
I landed in the rough. The area was not smoothed out into a landing, but fortunately for me it was still quite steep. My Demo 7 took the heavy landing solidly. I held on through the wild runout and arrived unscathed at the bottom. WOOOHOOO!
That was the first thing I filmed for 2010. I went back up and hit the same drop 3 more times until I landed how I wanted, then we went and shot some more of my lines.
I haven't finished up filming for my segment in "Follow Me", I still have a few jumps to film. But I sure had a great first day of filming this year, and I am looking forward to many more.
Below is a photo of the jump I described, my first landing was out of the frame on the left.
Get out and ride!
We make bike movies!December 16, 2009
Those big dark clouds finally dumped their water and took off. The dirt on my lines got a nice watering, and the light got good. For the riders and film crew of Follow Me, it was time for action.
I have mostly been riding my Demo 7 on this shoot, but today I pulled out my SX trail because I had a scrub jump to shoot that the SX would be better for. It was a technical run in; a tight right corner into a drop, then about 15 metres to pedal before the jump popped me up and over a ridge of dirt. I was hoping to crest the ridge flying very low and flat, but the move proved to be a pretty technical one. It took me about 10 tries before I was able to get the speed I needed. Once I slipped a pedal on the takeoff and lost my bike in the air, I did a couple backwards cartwheels down the landing but I shook the dirt out of my helmet and I was OK.
Eventually I was able to get the motion I wanted. As I was on the jump I would dump my weight to the right and start my corner as I was taking off, then fly over the ridge and land carving down the landing. It sure was fun to do, I don’t know if it showed up well on film- but I definitely had a good time.
That evening I went for a shred on my Enduro. As I was heading back down to the camp where an ice cold Pacifico was waiting, I did a little drift through a soft left turn and the ocean came into view. It sure is sick to be able to go to Mexico and ride.
What are those clouds doing in the sky? this is Mexico!December 14, 2009
We have all the trails, jumps and features built. We have watered the takeoffs and packed the landings. My bike is ready, the cameras are ready... We should be making movies, but instead... we are surfing.
OK, I know, that doesn't sound so bad. But we have driven over 40 hours to get to this peice of mexican desert to shoot a mountain bike film segment, and while it's great to be getting some waves, we only have a few days left and we need to get the shots in the bag.
We have some really out-of-the-ordinary weather systems rolling through right now. Big, nasty dark rainclouds come and go and there has been an impermeable high ceiling that is making the beautiful baja mountains look kind of plain. So, we wait.
I have been on other film trips where we get skunked by weather, usually there aren't waves nearby. At Punta San Carlos, there are awesome trails to ride and there is a nice point break right out front of our camp! Pretty amazing, that's for sure.
If the sun doesn't poke through that thick layer of water by tomorrow morning we will go film anyways. But I sure hope it does, because it just doesn't look like Mexico without the sun.
The wind howling across the desertDecember 8, 2009
The wind howling across the desert cut coldly through my jersey. Luckily for me, I am warm blooded. The rattlesnake was considerably cooler than me and it was really affecting his ability to move quickly. The cold weather which slowed him down so much allowed the film crew and I to have a nice close look at him and take a few pictures. After we took a few shots of him I thought it would be a good prank to put him in Cam McCaul's backpack which was nearby. I tucked him in there just as Cam was walking over to see what the fuss was all about. He was pretty surprised to see who was his pack's newest resident!
One of the issues that we have been dealing with on this shoot is some serious wind. Since the wind can have a really negative effect on airborne bikes, I have been forced to keep my bike on the ground more than usual. Fortunately, the terrain here has a lot to offer for on-ground riding. I have been having a great time riding the mountains of dirt out here in the desert and I have been able to ride some lines that I usually wouldn't be looking for. I think it's going to be a pretty cool segment, I can't wait to see it at the Sea Otter premiere! Keep an eye here for the lowdown on tomorrow's action.
get out and ride
Baja shred seshDecember 7, 2009
Wow. Sometimes we travel to film segments only to find that the terrain isn't as good as we hoped, and we have to struggle to find lines that are fun to ride. Other times... It's like this!
I have been down here at Punta San Carlos on the Baja for 5 days now, and it is insane. The first few days we were here we spent a lot of time finding the zones that we wanted to shoot, then we spent a couple days building the lines to ride, then yesterday was sick! We rode!
I had found 4 lines that I really wanted to ride. The hills out here in the desert are really crazy, some are fully mountain-sized. One in particular had a near vertical peak on it that stayed really super steep for around 100 feet, then it drained out to a super soft dirt scree slope that was just begging for my tires to carve. The evening light was blazing, the cameras were ready, and it was go time.
I hiked up to the top of the peak and almost got blown off! The wind was really howling up there, it was really difficult to even stand up. I had to move a few rocks out of my entrance to the slope but other than that the line was all-natural. Reminded me of skiing.
The drop in was heinous. On my first attempt the wind gusted at the wrong time and I had to lay my bike down just before I went over the crux into the steepness. I hiked back up to the peak and tried again. This time the wind cooperated (barely) but I got into the steeps and had a look at where I wanted to go.
Because of the steepness of the slope I hadn't been able to really check out my line as I usually would. I knew there were a lot of ruts from the water draining down but I couldn't see how big they were.
As I dropped over the rise into the steeps, I was pretty surprised by the size of the ruts. They were a lot bigger than I had expected... The only thing to do in this situation was to get off the brakes and hopefully float over the ruts. I started to bump across the top of the ruts like I had expected, and before I knew it I was into the soft scree slope where I got to crank 2 big turns in the pow before I hit the dried creek bed below. What a rush. It was so amazing to be able to come and feel like that in such an amazing place.
After that we moved the cameras and crew over to a really crazy toilet bowl-like descending wallride. I had never done a wallride like that but it worked perfectly. i had to go really fast so that I stuck to the curved wall but it was a really amazing feeling as i flushed out the bottom. So stoked!
I am off right now to go shred some more mexican soil. Keep an eye here for more stories!
Baja BoundNovember 27, 2009
I live pretty far North on the 'ol globe. It's not an extreme climate or anything... but Kamloops has decently high latitude numbers. At this time of year we lose a lot of our best trails under a thick white blanket. Ski season is approaching but the the hills are still a bit bony. I don't mind riding the lower elevation trails for a while, but the days get so damn short! There just isn't enough daylight to get it all done! Then when I am stuck in the garage working on some project or other my mind starts to wander to places with longer days and less ice on the trails...
It was at one of these dark times when my phone rang and then Darcy from Anthill called asking me if I want to go do some filming in Mexico. Hmmmm....YEAH!
The Baja is one of my favourite places. A friend and I drove down on an impulsive surf trip when I was 19 and I have been back every chance since then. To me the Baja is a lot like BC. It's easy to get lost, there aren't too many people, there are great trails, great fishing and there can be really great surf. Plus, there's better mexican food!
A plan was developed and I got ready. We are going to film a segment at a place called Punta San Carlos on the Nothern Baja. I have never been out there but the pictures look like a really cool zone to ride. I have packed up my truck with my Demo 7, my SX trail and my S-works Enduro, my surfboards, fishing rod, speargun and snorkeling stuff, canoe, and a ton of camping gear! I am ready for adventure. I am planning to ride and film in Punta San Carlos for a couple weeks and then meet up with my family and friends. We will head South to ride, fish and surf afterwards.
I am leaving tomorrow morning early for this excellent adventure. Man I am stoked. I will try to get to a computer as regularly as I can to update here with the adventures.
Late Season filmingNovember 4, 2009
Filming a segment for a mountain bike film isn't easy. Ideally, a location is selected... then a few weeks are spent preparing the lines, then the film crew shows up and the sun shines and the wind stops blowing and the stars align and BANG! Segment in the bag.
Unfortunately sometimes it doesn't happen that way. This season while filming for Anthill films I have had some tough times. I had a couple crashes that resulted in hospital trips, and while I have been able to recover from them... it ends the shoot until I am healed, and then we have to get the stars to align AGAIN. Not easy.
Anyhow I don't want to dwell on the negative and the challenges but just to make it clear that filming is a tough thing to do well.
I blogged recently about a crash on a wallride that ended a film session. There is a story at this link http://www.nsmb.com/3358-dedication It talks about the way that trip went before I got hurt. I think it is an interesting perspective because Phil, who wrote the story, has never been on a film trip before. Enjoy.
Get out there and shred!
Sick RideNovember 2, 2009
Well the past week has been pretty boring. I got the flu, not sure if it was the swine variety but I have been man-down for a while trying to get it cleared up.
It's crazy how a bike ride can really get you feeling healthy again (even if you aren't!)
My first bike ride of the week was last night. I met up with 4 of my best riding buddies and we shredded one of our favourite old haunts. At the beginning of the ride I was feeling really sick, all stuffed up and achy...
Then something happened. I hit a couple of corners pretty well, did a couple sprints and all of a sudden I felt like a new man. 5 minutes into the ride I blew my nose a couple times and I was feeling pretty near one hundred percent!
The cold air and the perfect dirt conditions really healed me right up. I really love how a good ride with good friends can heal. Whenever I am feeling stressed out, sick, or unhappy for any reason I know that I can just get on my bike and things will work themselves out.
Riding and crashing my bike has sent me to the hospital many times over the years, but I know for sure that without mountain biking I wouldn't be as healthy - mentally and physically - as I am today.
Get out there and ride!
building and filming and buildingOctober 14, 2009
Filming can be really challenging. There are all kinds of variables that need to be just right. Light, wind, dirt conditions, trails or jumps, it all has to come together.
I have been trying to finish up filming my segment for "Follow Me" all season. The first time the crew was out to shoot I had a weird crash and hurt my neck.
The filmers have been really busy and they haven't had time to come back till last week. I really wanted to get my segment wrapped up so I worked really hard to get all my stunts and lines ready to shoot. The weather was perfect, cold but clear, and the fall light makes everything look awesome.
I filmed a couple of my trails to get warmed up, then decided to go shoot one of my features I have been working on. Near my house I found a naturally curved cliff face that I wanted to jump onto like a wallride. I built a big wooden jump onto the wall and a run in to get the speed. Everything was looking pretty sweet.
The morning we went to shoot the wallride was pretty windy. When I had done my practice run ins I had a tailwind, but now I had a pretty stiff headwind. I smoothed out some of my run in to help with speed, I needed all the speed I could get for this one.
The film crew was all ready and the light was perfect. I had done a couple run ins that felt like enough speed so I gave them the signal that I was going and pinned it.
As I was nearing the take off I could feel that my speed wasn't right, I wasn't going fast enough. It was too late to try and stop by the time I knew, so I just pumped really hard and popped the jump. Too short. I hit the wall below my landing target and rolled to the ground. I had so much dirt in my mouth I was spitting thick mud! I felt pretty good except for where my bike had hit me. I had a pretty good cut. Damn, off to the hospital again. Another shot for the crash reel.
The film crew packed up and headed home. It was really disappointing to see them leave without the footage that we were trying so hard to get.
I'm off to build a bigger run in for my wallride. I'll get it next time!
InterbikeSeptember 28, 2009
This past week I have been attending Interbike. It's a huge event that thousands of cyclists attend. All the cool new gear and bikes are on display. It's a rare event that gets almost everyone who works in the bike industry together.
The expo centre is huge. It would take probably 15 minutes to walk a circle around the room, it's massive.
I think a common trait of cyclists is an appreciation of the outdoors. It's an important part of bike riding. Also cyclists seem to appreciate healthy living.
That's why it is so confusing to me that Las Vegas is the site chosen for Interbike. The trade show is in a windowless hall. The lack of windows makes me feel sick and it's almost impossible to stay oriented. To get to the hall, you must walk through casino after casino, full of blank-faced fat people smoking and playing blaring slot machines. The air is recycled and oxygenated and scented with some kind of synthetic "fresh air" scent. It's seriously gnarly.
Interbike can still overcome and be a fun time. There are some great bike film premieres and it's fun to see everyone again. It's just that vegas is such a synthetic tourist mess. I hope that we can have Interbike somewhere else one day. Until then... I guess we'll all just keep going there and making the best of it.
Wow, this is really negative blog post. Too many days off my bike! I am heading home now and I'm going for a ride. then I'll feel better.
Headed home from IcelandSeptember 8, 2009
I write this as I sit on the plane flying back to Canada from Iceland. The passenger sitting beside me is a big fellow and I don’t have much room to get comfortable. Although I could really use the sleep, my discomfort gives me a chance to look back on a great trip with some awesome friends.
Our Iceland trip had all the aspects of a great adventure. We had challenges, some bad luck, and we had some amazing fortune. There was solitude and mountains and weather and there was crazy dancing and party crashing. We had mechanicals galore with our big diesel van and my bike performed flawlessly. Water flowed in the doors as we crossed deep fast glacial rivers on the way to remote trails. We patched and cursed at the tires on our van. We were the first bikes to touch and slash unsuspecting hiking trails and we rode through the steam of hissing geysers. The sun peeked through the clouds when we needed it to and the rain poured down, turbocharging the green of the moss for us.
We played some serious practical jokes and had epic laughs. It’s hard to describe the comedy but anyone who has been on a real adventure with great friends understands how funny even the simplest jokes can become.
We had an interesting discussion about the trails in Iceland. They aren’t built for biking. There are hike a bike sections on the climbs, and there are some corners that just don’t work. But the landscape overcomes these imperfections. Being out there in those amazing hills, feeling like you are riding on a different planet… It’s so special that the trail seems less important. It’s more about the mountains. There are glorious sections where the trail flows and there are natural berms and jumps, and those sections are what you remember when you are sitting in the hot springs.
Sterling shot really amazing photos. There will be magazine articles about our trip with all-time pictures. It’s exciting to go out and shoot images that will share the beauty of that place with people who read the articles. We rode all the trails we could but I feel like we barely scratched the surface. There are some real epics that we didn’t have time to hit. We were teased by the sight of the trails on opposing ridges disappearing into the horizon. I absolutely have to go back and explore those places.
Iceland is a tough place to score good conditions, it’s way way up there on the planet. Some of the trails we rode are only open and rideable for 3 weeks of the year! Go too early and they are super soft and muddy with the snow still melting off them, and a week too late and they will be covered up again. I feel so lucky that we had the weather and conditions that cooperated and we had the crew that we did. So stoked.
Keep an eye out for the photos and story to run in your favourite magazine in the next few issues.
Amazing ride, still no gnomesSeptember 4, 2009
We saw the trail from kilometres away. It was just a faint line on a massive mountain of shale, steam vents shooting skyward to accentuate the hints of trail. That was our first day in Iceland. I had been thinking about riding it since I saw it 4 days ago.
I couldn't imagine the trail being any sicker. The little ribbon snaked its way up the ridge and ended way, way up there. For anyone who loves mountain biking, it was exactly what we dream about.
We were told that we were the first bikes on Blue Mountain, but the trail looked like it was built for riding. Andrew, Joe, Sterling, Mitch and I were totally freaking out - the sun was shining, the trail was fast and flowy, and we were in the most beautiful landscape any of us have ever seen. Every roll in the trail, every time we were treated to a different view we stopped to stare. Iceland is pretty damn cool. The climb was long but the temperature was perfect and the views kept everyone from noticing the grind. The trail down was even more ridiculous. It felt like we were the first riders ever to shred on the moon. Totally nuts.
When we got back to the trailhead we were completey out of energy. Crashes, hike a bikes, long days in the saddle had all added up to make us all feel pretty beat.
Luckily for us there just so happened to be a perfect natural hot spring pool - right beside where the trail ended! What a day!
The only thing that would have made it better was seeing a gnome or two. Maybe tomorrow.
S&*t Storm in IcelandSeptember 2, 2009
We encountered some serious adversity today. This was my third day here and today was our day for difficulty. I think I'll make a list to show what happened. Our goals versus our problems.
1. get up early and go for a ride, get some photos.
1.The hotel staff didn't wake up to open the kitchen for breakfast. Since there are not even any other buildings for at least 60 km in the opposite direction, we had no choice but to wait.
2. It was pouring rain. The sun barely showed itself through the thick clouds. Pretty hard to shoot photos with no light.
3. We got a flat on our van while trying to get to the shooting location, the rough Iceland rocks tore our tire to shreds.
4. The tire iron didn't fit the lug nuts on our van.
5. We had to search through 6 different tire shops to find a tire that would fit out ford 4x4 van.
6. The North Atlantic Ocean was especially cold today.
So the tally is 1 to 6. By the looks of it, we should have had a pretty bad day. But things were awesome. We rode an unbelievable trail that rivaled yesterday. It was just singletrack through neon green moss. Iceland continues to impress.
The last point of adversity on my list is that the North Atlantic ocean was really cold today. Since I knew I was coming to Iceland I have been planning to swim. (actually I was hoping to surf but a body surf would have to suffice) I am not sure when I will have a chance to swim in the North Atlantic again. So today I went for a dip. It was ridiculous. I had an overwhelming feelin that if I stayed in the water I would die. I have never felt water that cold. I had an instant headache and earache. I am glad I survived, and now I know what it feels like to swim in the North Atlantic.
I have included a shot of the landscape we rode yesterday. When you look at the shot, remember: YOU CAN RIDE ANYWHERE. Feel free to paint an imaginary line of where your own line, that's what I was thinking.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's adventures.
Iceland: A different PlanetSeptember 1, 2009
My main fear was that I was going to burn my face off in a steam vent. The corner we were shooting photos on was a little off camber and if I went off the trail high-side then I would probably fall into the bubbling geyser that was shooting hot steam 10 metres into the air.
But everything went well. The photo we got was really cool because of the steam and there was a sweet corner on the trail. The mountains in Iceland are crazy perfect for mountain biking. They are almost devoid of vegetation, and they are just really smooth shale rock that is totally perfect for riding. There are all different colours of rock, the moss growing on the rocks is white and neon green, and you can ride almost anywhere you can see. Add to all this the fact that there are geysers of steam rising out of the ground pretty regularly and it all adds up to feel quite like you are riding on another planet. It is really unbelievable.
My enduro is the perfect bike for the riding here. It is definitely all-mountain, we are actually riding THE MOUNTAINS. It's amazing, there is a sweet ribbon of singletrack made by hikers but because the soil is so perfect and because there aren't plants growing, you can just ride anywhere. I love the way I can just use the command post to drop the saddle, flick the switch on the fork and then feel like I am on a long travel bike.
I can't wait to see what we find tomorrow - hopefully more epic trails. Since I didn't see any gnomes today I will keep my eye out for one tomorrow.
So stoked! I'll try and get some pics posted tomorrow of this stunning place.
Iceland Mission beginsSeptember 1, 2009
I am sitting on the Toronto airport now, waiting for my flight to Iceland. Last night was my little sister’s wedding so I am feeling really tired, I was up late dancing and then woke up early to get on the plane. Although I’m tired I am really excited because I think this Iceland trip is going to be amazing. I am meeting with photographer Sterling Lorence, writer Mitchell Scott, and riders Andrew Shandro and Joe Schwartz. The other guys are a day and a half ahead of me because I had the wedding to attend.
They have been sending me text messages about how great it is and Sterl sent me a phone pic of sweet looking singletrack that they rode today. I can’t wait.
I usually travel with a demo 8 in my Dakine bike box, but for this trip I brought my new Sworks Enduro. For the first time ever I didn’t have to haggle with the airline about my bike box being overweight! I have been doing a lot of research into the trails and terrain that we are going to ride, and from the shots I have seen Iceland looks like a trail riders’ dream. I also found that there are gnomes in Iceland. They are really hard to see but I am going to keep an eye out while I am there, I really want to see a gnome because we don’t have any in Canada.
5 more hours to go! I’ll update here as soon as I can.
DustinessAugust 22, 2009
The past few days I have been filming in Kamloops for Lifecycles. The theme of the shoot is dust. Dust in the air, dusty corners, dusty trails. Well August in kamloops is the right place for dust! It has been pretty tough because when it is so dry in Kamloops it is impossible to do any building because the dirt is so dry. Fortunately I came across a massive water tank last week so I have been filling it up in the back of my truck, squishing my truck suspension flat and driving to the filming area with the water. It has been really helpful. Last night there was a crazy lightning storm. There were flashes every 5 seconds for over an hour, it was the most lightning I have
ever seen. So today there are a bunch of new forest fires burning in the Kamloops area and the sky is really smoky. The smoke gives the sunlight a really reddish glow so maybe tonight we will get some really cool footage in the evening. We are heading out now to go shoot a trail this evening, We'll see how it goes!
Whistler GnarlAugust 17, 2009
This week in whistler was some serious sensory overload. I am pretty used to having my senses bombarded - every time I ride my bike. Usually the overwhelming feeling goes away when you stop and take a break on the trail. At Crankworx there is no escape. There are people everywhere, the trails are busy, the village crowded, there are a hundred friends in the lift line, the announcer is going off with race commmentary... I don't want to sound too negative, because the riding, the spectating, the socializing, the partying, everything is really really fun. It's just hard to get a break from it.
Some really cool stuff happened at Crankworx. I was in a photo contest for the first few days. I was shooting with John Gibson and we had a great time. We were a two man team, which was simple but also a lot more work. We made a really cool slideshow that told the story of one day riding the bike park. We shot everything from waking up, riding all day to going to sleep. We didn't win but the slideshow was cool and it told a good story. I would like to do a contest like this again.
The Specialized truck brought my new Enduro to Whistler! I am so stoked. Right after I built it up I took it on a sweet 3 hour loop. That bike really is amazing. I have ridden the new enduro lots now, but I was always just borrowing one. Now I have my own and I can't wait to get out on some interior BC epics. I have some rides that the bike will be perfect for. I'll bring my helmetcam along and you can check the video here.
Now I am home and preparing for another film shoot. This time it's with a production company from Rossland.
Keep it pinned!
Crankworx bike family reunionAugust 9, 2009
Whistler has been great. The cool thing about Crankworx is that there is something here for everyone, so it's like a big annual reunion. I get to see friends from all over the world who I have met through biking. I have been riding the park with everyone from world cup racers to the top freeriders to endurance athletes and even some good budies from back home. It feels like a big birthday party.
This year at Crankworx they are having a photo contest called the Saint Deep Summer Photo Challenge. It's a contest for photographers, they shoot for 3 days and make a slideshow of their images. I have been shooting for the past two days with John Gibson. We have been getting up early and staying out late for the best light. It has been really fun because Gibby is a fun guy to hang out with and we have a similar vision for how we want the shots to look. I hope our slideshow shows how much fun we had making it, because it has been a really good time.
The coolest thing that happened yesterday was Kyle Strait winning the dual slalom. He beat Brian Lopes in the final. I am really stoked for Kyle, I think it's sick because he was joking around and having fun the whole time while Lopes was super serious. Kyle is amazing to watch ride DS. Unfortunately I didn't get to see the final race because the evening light was good, so Gibby and I were out shooting for the photo contest.
OK I'm out, gotta go shred!
Whistler laps with the teamAugust 7, 2009
Epic riding today! I am just sitting down after a really sick day of riding the bike park with some of the gravity team. My fingers are so tired from holding the bars that typing hurts!
I got to Whistler two days ago for a media camp. We are here to ride the park on the new long travel bikes, and then stay through till the Crankworx.
Trond Hansen, Sam Hill, Darren Berrecloth and Brendan Fairclough are all here. The reason that today was so insane is because Trond, Darren, Brendan and I all got to ride together. We were doing laps, filming each other with a POV camera. The things that I saw were ridiculous! We were all riding in a train, and everyone was going crazy. Massive whips, scrubs, yelling, seat bouncing take-offs, high speed manuals, roosting dirt all over the place. I think we got some really good footage but more importantly we all got to ride together and had a wicked time. I hope to get a lot more riding in with the team, I really learned so much because all of those guys pick different lines and ride differently and it really expands the way I see the trail. Stoked!
check here for the helmet cam footage of our runs!
Summer shred time Filming at Sun PeaksAugust 4, 2009
This last week was amazing. Once again the Anthill Films crew came to Kamloops to do some shooting. I have been having a lot of fun working on my segment with these guys. This time Thomas Vanderham came along too, Thomas is a good buddy of mine and we ride together as much as we can.
Since the temperature in Kamloops was about 20 degrees too hot we decided to go do some shooting at Sun Peaks Resort. It's a short drive from Kamloops and the increase in elevation makes it quite a bit cooler. I like riding there in the summer.
We filmed the bike park for 4 days and got some great shots. Sun Peaks is a downhillers paradise, the trails are great for going really really really fast. So that's what we did!
One of my favourite shots I got to do was a berm slash where I sprayed the camera with dirt. The filmers put a cover on the camera and then we found a suitable corner to spray some sun peaks soil. It worked out really well, when we reviewed the footage the screen went to black from so much dirt! Check out the shot of the camera lens here.
I'm off to Whistler now for Crankworx, unfortunately I have to drive through Vancouver to get there ( the really long way) because of all the forest fires burning in BC have so many roads closed!
Keep an eye out here for some of my updates from Crankworx.
Bike Piracy!July 28, 2009
Recently I was filming my segment for "Follow Me" in Kamloops and we ran into some really weird issues. We lost a bike for a couple minutes and when we tried to get it back it had fallen into the hands of one of the worlds' slimiest residents. A bike pirate. I could tell the long story here but just click on this link to see the story with maps and pictures of our misadventure.
We had to change our filming plans because of the pirate and so right after this we took off for Sun Peaks resort to film some seriously high speed bike park action. Stay tuned for the Sun Peaks segment story dropping soon!
Coaching weekJuly 14, 2009
The last few days I have been coaching my camp at Sun Peaks. It has been a really good time, we have definitely had a mix of weather. My campers definitely had a chance to work on their mud riding! It rained hard for a couple days, but when the clouds cleared we had epic conditions - soft dirt with a few nice puddles for splashing each other. Couldn't ask for better dirt.
One of my favourite things about riding in BC is that you can see all kinds of wildlife. This is definitely the case at Sun Peaks, where you can see animals right from the chairlift. Yesterday I saw 3 deer and 6 bears in the bike park! Pretty awesome. My campers were pretty excited about it too.
The Anthill film crew is coming back to Kamloops to film some more next week, so I am off to do some digging!
Utah Shredding!July 1, 2009
This trip to Utah has been amazing. I am here to ride the new Enduro and Stumpjumper, and the bikes are so sick! The ride today was awesome, the highlight for me was when I beat Mr. Ned Overend to the top of the climb. I was blocking the trail, panting and grinding in my granny gear - and he was casually talking to some other riders… and I didn’t tell him we were racing… but I arrived before him so I was pretty excited about that.
I have been lucky enough to ride my bike all over the world. I have ridden trails in Africa, Europe, Asia, Central and South America and all over North America. The descent that we rode in the Wasatch national forest was one of the smoothest, fastest, flowiest trails I have ever encountered. I was on the new Sworks Enduro and it was perfect. Definitely one of the best trails I have ever ridden. I am definitely coming back to ride that one again. Watch out for the helmetcam footage that I shot on my V.I.O. camera.
I am headed back to BC soon to do some more filming with Anthill for “Follow Me”.
We shot this interview last time the Anthill crew came to shoot. ( Jason can you insert the video here? I think you have the vid. Let me know if not.)
Enjoy the long daylight hours and ride till 10!
Riding again!!!June 29, 2009
I'm back on my bike! After some involuntary time off, I am back shredding.
My back is feeling really good. I still have some aches but nothing that keeps me from riding. I rode my Demo 7 at Sun Peaks resort a couple days ago and it was awesome. The lifts hadn't opened to bikes yet but the guys at the resort wanted me come up there and do some filming before they opened. Man that was a good idea! The trails had all been raked clear of rocks and braking bumps and all the berms and lips were buffed up to perfection. The winter frost had softened up all the hard packed areas and the dirt was amazing. I was riding with some of my bros from the Bicycle Cafe in Kamloops, we had a great time. There was so much dirt flying in some of the berms that I felt like I was in a motocross race!
Right after the Sun Peaks session I flew right to Utah to test Specialized's new rigs. We hit the weather just right, bluebird skies.
There are two bikes here that are completely blowing my mind. There is a new Stumpjumper and a new Enduro. I haven't been as stoked on changes to a bike since the Demo came out in 2004! The bikes are amazing. I have had more time riding the new Enduro and it is so awesome. The bike climbs really well but where it seriously shines is once you point it downhill. The bike feels so stiff and solid that I totally forget I am riding a carbon bike that I climbed the mountain on. I found myself popping off roots and rocks and jumping the bike as comfortably as an SX trail. I am really excited to get one of these bikes and do some really epic rides with serious descents.
Stay tuned for tonight, I am going to ride the new Stumjumper right as soon as I am done typing this!
take er easy
Down TimeJune 16, 2009
Hey everybody, another update here to let you know how my season has been. A couple weeks ago the Anthill film crew came out to Kamloops to do some shooting. We spent 4 days hiking around to my different trails and stunts to put the finishing touches on them, and to decide how the crew would film them.
We got everything ready and decided to shoot a trail that evening. This particular trail parallels a gravel road for about 150 metres. In that stretch there are three really nice burmed corners into a big step down gap that I built. We decided to film it from a truck driving on the road beside the trail. The trail was a blast to ride. Coming in hot to the three berms on my Demo 7 and ripping through them felt like the coolest run in to the big step down! The line felt so sweet. The footage looked really great too.
The next day we had another trail to shoot with a medium sized hip jump on it. It seemed like a simple line. I decided to ride the line and warm up while the cameras were getting set up. I did a few run-ins to the jump to get my speed right, and then went for it. I made a big mistake. I had forgotten to account for the fact that it was a brand new jump, and so it was still quite soft.
The jump pulled at my tires as I went off. I was flying through the air very nose-heavy. NOT a good feeling. I held onto the bike to try and ride it out but when I landed I couldn't save it. I hit the ground hard, taking a huge impact to my head and shoulders.I rolled over at the bottom of the landing and tried to catch my breath. I knew I had crashed really hard, so I was trying to do an inventory of my body to see where I was damaged. The film crew told me I had been unconscious for about 6 or 8 seconds and I had some pain between my shoulders. I was off to the hospital.
At the hospital they told me I had a concussion (obviously) and they said that I had broken a spinal process in my back. They told me that this bone is the part that sticks out from my vertebra that muscles attach to. It is the "bump" that you feel on your back when you feel
your spine. I had to take some time off the bike to heal up. I am pretty shaken up from my crash. The seriousness of that kind of injury is scary. The doctor told me I need to relax for a while before I can ride again, so it looks like I will have a few days fishing. I learned something valuable from my crash. I must always make sure I acknowledge every aspect and risk involved in riding a certain line, even if it seems easy compared to more difficult lines. Healing time for me, I'll let you know how it goes.
This week has been crazy!May 11, 2009
This week has been crazy! I am going to be filming with the Anthill crew this year for their new film, "Follow Me". Darcy and Schramm came to Kamloops to look at some stunts I had built and to talk about my segment in the movie. I am really excited to start filming with these guys. It is the same crew as I filmed with last year for "Seasons" minus one person. I have found and built some really cool lines to shoot, When we start filming I'll get some pics posted up here. Below are a few pictures from our days in Kamloops preparing to film. This week I am off to shred some Swiss singletrack and eat some cheese, check back here for more pics and stories!
Darren visits KamloopsApril 29, 2009
My friend and teammate Darren Berrecloth came through Kamloops yesterday and called me up. Darren and his girlfriend Megan were in the area scoping for some good filming terrain, and decided to take a break from hiking and cruising backroads to go for a ride with me and my girlfriend Nikki.
We decided to do a shuttle run of Kamloops' finest singletrack. Darren definitely approved. The bit of video we got shows us goofing around on some jumps on the trail. Afterwards we decided to drive up to one of my favourite lakes where we did a bit of fishing, had a big fire and camped out. It was awesome to have Darren come out to ride and hang out in Kamloops. Stay tuned for when I visit Darren on Vancouver Island and we go some riding and salmon fishing there!
Back from UtahApril 27, 2009
Hey, Matt here. I just got back from a quick trip to Utah. I went to Salt Lake City for one of Specialized's new concept stores. The shop is called Bingham Cyclery, and it is awesome! There is a huge showroom with a bunch of big garage doors that open to make the shop seem like it's outside. The snow was persistent again in Utah ( seems like it's like that everywhere this year) but we rode some really fun jumps that were nice and dry. I had a really good time at the i street jumps, we had a really big group session and everyone shredded hard. I am looking forward to heading back to Utah to do some more riding soon.
Thanks to all the guys from Bingham who showed me their jumps and good times!
Spring riding has definitely arrived!April 10, 2009
Hey guys, Spring riding has definitely arrived! After a late winter, the snow and ice is gone from some of my low elevation trails, and I have been riding every day. I'm really happy with the way my shoulder feels, I dislocated it late last season and then worked really hard over the winter rehabbing it. It feels better than ever before, I can't wait to start filming with the Anthill crew! www.anthillfilms.com I just did an interview with a really cool web-zine, check it out here http://trapdoorsun.com/sports/matt-hunter.aspx Some early season photos of the riding in Kamloops.
Get out and shred! Matty
I wish it was Summer....March 10, 2009
February 24. Looking out the front window into a world of white, there is a blizzard happening. It doesn't look like I will be riding any local trails any time soon! I can only imagine the singletrack under 2 feet of snow.
I remembered some old VIO helmet cam footage I shot of my favourite trail in the summer, and dug it up. It's hard to get excited about watching helmet cam footage in the summer, when you can just go shred and see it for real, but right now it sure gets me going! I thought I'd post it up here for everyone to check out. This is my favourite local trail, Rio Escondido. Shot in summer 2008 with my VIO P.O.V. helmet cam. Check it out!
I love living in B.C.February 25, 2009
I love living in BC. The riding is amazing, the mountains are big and there is always something to do outside. Unfortunately the winters are really long and I start to really miss my bike after a while. Skiing can fill the void for a while but then singletrack dreams start to wake me up when February rolls around. So I came up with a plan. I knew of an area in BC's interior that has some really warm days and very little snow. The mighty Fraser river flows nearby and warms the valley, and the mountain has a perfect West face that gets a lot of sun. This mountain in particular also has the largest scree slope I have ever seen. I rode it last year for a shot filming for Seasons and it was an amazing descent. Unfortunately the only way to the top is to hike it - and it takes about three hours, but these are desperate times.
So I called a couple of friends who I knew were also itching to ride their Demos, we packed up the truck and it was on. We had to take our bikes apart and tie them to hiking packs, and the
climb took us about 3 hours. The following photos tell the story of our trip. It was awesome.
July 20, 2012
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