One of my biggest goals for the summer was to get in as much riding as possible on my local trails before moving out to UBC in the fall. For the past six years, I have been living in the village of Anmore, just outside of Port Moody. Anmore provided me with an abundance of forested areas to explore, but through my exploring I quickly discovered that nobody had really tapped into the area’s full potential. In my first summer here, I quickly set my sights on developing the riding around my home. I decided to start this quest in my own backyard. At the time I was fascinated by the skinnies and ladder bridges of North Vancouver, so with some leftover lumber from the construction of our deck I crafted some of the most awkward and sketchiest bike stunts ever known to man. After having multiple stunts collapse underneath me, I began to refine my technique. By the time I was able to build structures that were actually safe, I found I had outgrown the little corner of forest in my backyard.
Luckily for me the next zone was only a couple hundred feet down the road. An undeveloped strip of forest zoned for housing provided me with more room to progress my vision as both a builder and a rider. In these woods I learned how to use dirt to shape takeoffs and landings, but the short elevation drop made getting any speed for these jumps a challenge. This forced me to work on fundamental skills like cornering and pumping, and as I got better and better I found I was able to build bigger jumps and open new lines that I had previously never considered. Eventually riding the same fifteen second runs over and over got boring, so I recruited my friends to help me build something that would really progress my riding.
We decided to build in an almost completely untouched area of forest within a short five minute ride of my house. Our goal was to build a short, fast and flowy trail and start a private zone for ourselves. However, when we realized that there was potential to build something bigger, we quickly became preoccupied with the construction of a single jump. With only handsaws and shovels available to us, it took nearly a year to complete. However, the final product was something we could be proud of; a legacy we could leave behind to our local riding community.
In this video I chose to showcase these zones, as well as a few other local spots. The terrain around me has served as an inspiration for as long as i have been riding. The days I spent riding around my local woods have ultimately shaped me into the rider I am today. It saddens me that for the next eight months I won’t be around to enjoy or maintain them, but I look forward to mastering new zones, and hope to return back to my local spots with a fresh perspective.
A couple of us spent the weekend up at Sun Peaks riding the bike park. It’s different from Whistler to say the least; The trails are much steeper, rougher and looser than anything at Whistler. Berms and speed are definitely the positives of Sun Peaks with overall raggedness of the trails and lack of jumps and being the negatives. There are also no lift lines whatsoever and probably 30 people max in the park on a busy day. Our favourite run was Barn Burner to Holy Roller to Arm Pump. All in all, Sun Peaks wasn’t a bad or disappointing experience and is somewhere we wouldn’t mind riding again.
This year’s Crankworx was memorable for sure. We arrived on the day of the dual slalom but unfortunately did not catch too much of that event as we were pressed for time to make the screening of the movie ARRIVAL. While the rain was coming down heavily it did not dampen the excitement among those who came to the screening.
However, what we really came to Crankworx for was to see Joyride, the biggest event of the week. This year’s competition was intense to say the least. With a roster of some of the most talented riders in the world, every single competitor was pushing the boundaries of what is possible on a bike. With thousands packed in areas surrounding the course the energy was running high and everyone was looking forward to the start of the competition. However, this festive mood was dampened by a major crash on the first run. Brayden Barrett-Hay went down hard on the first drop of the course after overshooting a tailwhip. Needless to say we are all worried about his condition and wish him all the best. The rest of the competition was filled with action packed runs, the most memorable of which was Brandon Semenuk’s. During his first run he crashed out on the last stunt of the course but he did not hold back on his second and final attempt which yielded a score of 96.4, the highest score ever recorded at Joyride. With Martin Soderstrom as the last rider to go, he was pushing incredibly hard for first, throwing down massive tricks including a triple whip. However, Martin went down hard on the final jump after attempting a 360 double tail whip and ended up breaking his tibia and fibula. We wish Martin all the best in his recovery.
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed everything at Crankworx this year. From the expo, to the actual events, and to the massive amounts of free stuff we got, everything pulled together to make this year’s festival memorable. We are already looking ahead to Crankworx 2014!
com·pla·cen·cy: self-satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, trouble etc.
Despite the unforeseen events that arose during the past year, this is the word that best describes how we feel about what we have been able to accomplish. The past year has been plagued with hardware failure, injuries, poor weather and time constraints that prevented production from going as planned. Originally, we aimed to shoot a minimum 30 minute long film for mountain bikers everywhere to view. However, as time went on we soon discovered our ambitions would have to change.
Bryan Gregory tabling the stepdown on a misty day
Our goal was to show how the bicycle can be interpreted in different ways and to show how a rider’s uniqueness can be expressed through their goals, style and vision. Something many mountain bike films aspire to do is label our sport as a specific thing; Going as big as possible, exploring new locations, riding with friends, and pushing the limits are all themes that come to mind. In our eyes, all of those things encompass what we perceive mountain biking to be, not just one. The purpose behind our efforts was to show how all members of the sport of cycling express their vision of the bicycle.
Nathan Moo riding a rockface/ladder
As we began shooting the film, we discovered that things were much easier conceptualized than executed. An unfortunate crash in Whistler last year caused myself to be inadequate to work a camera, let alone cable cams and equipment, for a long time. Broken bones and sprained joints also affected some of the riders we planned to shoot. Time constraints due to work, school and personal matters lead to only being able to shoot when there was poor weather. Perhaps the most poignant factors that caused our production to come to a halt were computer and hard drive troubles. Un-recoverable hard drives prevented us from editing the footage we had collected and ultimately from finishing the movie.
Jonathan Kang enjoying B.C. loam
Our final thoughts on what is left of this film can be described as complacent. Considering the amount of trouble we’ve had, we are satisfied with what has come out of it. We were also genuinely surprised and humbled to have earned awards for our work; 12 awards at student film festivals in the past year have shown us that the general public appreciates the sport of mountain biking and has inspired us to continue with it. We will continue to make edits and hopefully what we present to you now is collateral for an unfinished project. Please enjoy this segment of our film and look out for more from us in the near future!
Crankworx 2013 just opened today and needless to say, all of us at Foxwood Films are very excited. For anyone wondering, Crankworx is an annual two week festival and expo held in Whistler, B.C celebrating all things mountain biking. We have attended Crankworx for the past two years and we will be in attendance again this year, mainly for Red Bull Joyride. The festival is always a great time for us to see all of the new product being released next season and of course it is also one of the best opportunities for us to take photos and get footage of the pros in action. We will be at it again so stay tuned for what we have in store!