In mountain biking and skiing, a big part of the experience is the terrain. In skiing, the way snow accumulates and is supported by the ground below can create wild formations. The experience of ski drops, couloirs, ridges, and couloirs also correlates to how the bike paths meander and meander through the country. What we do on the track is fun, but it’s the “where we are” factor that really draws me to either environment.
In the early 2000s, the local Utah mountain bike chapter I was skiing with took me under their wing. My friends back then had fully embraced the freeride lifestyle and culture. My path to freeriding took a common route in the form of dirt jumps on a DH bike, then shuttles and finally building stunts, jumps and drops. Our location was conveniently located near the southern Utah desert and the freeriding mecca of Virgin, UT. Our crew made semi-annual trips to the promised land to camp and ride each year.
Early on, the big mountain terrain and riding style spoke to me as a skier looking for the same experience. As the bikes and my own riding style evolved, I slowly embraced the adventure and reward of climbing and climbing. Much like backcountry skiing, spending an hour or more on a long climb or bike ride, followed by the freedom of a happy descent was something that resonated easily.
Mountain biking has remained a constant force in my life, and the philosophy of freeriding, which has evolved for me personally, has remained strong.
Video: shot and edited by Jonathon Chandler
Photos: Jules Jimreivat, Pete Alport, Jonathon Chandler
Music: Portrayal-Lost Souls https://portrayal.bandcamp.com/
Kudos to Carson Storch (the original builder of the big drop in 2015) and Cam McCaul (for towing the guinea pig).
Filmed on the land of the Klamath tribes: Klamaths, Modocs and Yahooskin.