Garett Buehler is deeply introspective. In the dark hours of the night, when worries creep unbidden to the front of the brain, he wonders: what am I doing? Why am I risking my blood and bones for a job with no pension, no safety net? Should I be in school? Am I missing out on other, richer, life experiences? It’s a delicate question to answer, and one that provokes a ‘’stop whining, you have the best job in the world!’’- type gut level response from weekend warriors. But riding this close to The Edge comes with severe consequences; one needs to be calculated in order to stay healthy and keep riding at this level. If you’re hitting big moves with no regard for your own safety, you won’t be a professional rider for long. Doubt is necessary for self-preservation. Riders like Buehler are confident, not madmen.
Garett Buehler going huge in Nelson. Photo: Margus Riga
Just received the December issue of New Zealand’s finest mountain bike journal, Spoke Magazine. Great to see my shot of Mike Kinrade running as a double page spread. We shot this back in August at the legendary Retallack Lodge. Amazing trails, and incredible people there.
Ryan Berrecloth has a legacy on The Shore built from cedar and dirt. His iconic line ‘Dr. Greenthumb’ was first seen in Kranked 7 and it’s still visually stunning to shoot and technically challenging to ride; he thought it was worth revisiting to put his new IXS signature gloves to the test.
James Doerfling is 27 years old, he lives with his girlfriend Julie and their dogs Sarge and Chewy (short for Chewbacca), in a house he bought not far from downtown Williams Lake and the Tolko Industries lumber yard. His neighbourhood is quiet, except for the roar of lifted diesel trucks, seemingly a prerequisite for any red blooded male living here. You’d never guess that a big mountain superstar lives in the house on the left. His porch holds water bowls for his dogs and a collection of muddy shoes stacked neatly in a rack. His living room and kitchen are bereft of mountain bike imagery, he’s modest to the point of anonymity, but there’s a bear pelt mounted on the wall for decoration.
It’s not until you enter his garage that you get a sense of the man. The garage is grimy with dust, grease, and oil; there are beers in the mini fridge, and a couple empty tins of Copenhagen Smokeless Tobacco in the trash. You can see his Red Bull Rampage number plates in a place of honour above his workbench, beside a row of battle-scarred helmets. The other walls feature a scantily clad pin up girl and a shot of Doerfling airing into the sunset on the Gobi Desert while filming for Where the Trail Ends. There’s enough room here for a car, but instead the garage houses a dirt bike, a quad, and a quiver of Knolly bikes. The garage has the understated elegance of functionality – everything from the tools on the workbench, to the two-wheeled toys, is designed for the pursuit of fun in the mountains. James Doerfling is an outdoorsman and an adrenaline junkie; this is all he needs.
A few weeks back, Hadfield Marketing approached me about doing a video for the brand new Morpheus Loki, a 650B trail bike. Morpheus has a fantastic roster of riders (including: Mitch Chubey, Anthony Messere, Brayden Barrett-Hay, Casey Groves, and Liam Wallace) but they’re known more their slopestyle results than for their trail riding. Thankfully Chubey grew up riding the gnarled slippery roots and rock faces of Vancouver’s North Shore. It’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about riding fast on technical trails. Chubey was a pleasure to work with and didn’t mind going the extra mile for ”just a couple more” shots at the end of a long shooting day. I hope you enjoy the video.