Carson Storch’ WW2 desert bomber Maiden
Rocky Mountain’s history at the Red Bull Rampage starts back in 2001 when Wade Simmons won the very first Rampage. Over the next 17 years, our riders competed every single year but one, including an impressive eight-year stint from Thomas Vanderham. Now, Carson Storch is carrying the freeride torch in the Utah desert and is ready to battle it out for his fifth Rampage appearance.
Carson’s custom painted Maiden was a collaboration with his friend, KC Badger. Carson and KC are both from Bend, Oregon and they wanted to bring elements from their hometown into the WW2 bomber themed paintjob. Taking inspiration from both eastern Oregon and the Utah desert, details of the artwork include a Rocky Mountain rattlesnake headtube, a “Maiden” cowgirl with an Oregon shaped body, rivet details, and five bombs signifying each of Carson’s Rampage appearances. The frame is hand painted from start to finish using enamel paint, just as they would’ve done on the original planes.
“I’m a big fan of both KC’s riding skills and his artistic abilities, so for him to hand paint me this frame for Rampage truly is an honour. It’s based off a WW2 plane I saw at the Museum of Flight in Seattle…and I can’t wait to get it up in the air next week!” – Carson Storch
“Sure, it would have been easier to just design some custom decals, have the bike painted and slap them on, but we wanted to try and emulate Carson’s riding through the paint job – NO SHORTCUTS.” – KC Badger
“I’m beyond thankful to Carson for trusting me to do this bike for him. I hope it brings him good luck, keeps him safe, and I think it’s going to look even better with a first place medal strung around it!” – KC Badger
The Grom Reaper
What’s it like to experience Whistler through the eyes of a kid? In short, it’s awesome. You get to eat ice cream for lunch, there’s no such thing as a to-do list, and your mind is set to cruise control, focused in on having as much fun as possible. Whether you’re chasing your heroes down the trail, or unexpectedly leading them, the world looks pretty good from a grom’s eye view.
Dane Jewett’s a 12-year old kid from Squamish and has been tearing it up on the Reaper for the past three years. Starting on 24” wheels, he moved up to 26” for this season and is looking to take his first ride on the all-new Reaper 27.5 later this year. Dane Jewett is the Grom Reaper, and he’s pretty fun to follow.
Carson Storch, Thomas Vanderham, and Dane Jewett took a few laps together down Crabapple Hits.
The Reaper can tear up singletrack, smash technical descents, and slay bike park laps all day long. And, because we know that kids grow (and have younger siblings), the Reaper is easily convertible from 24” wheels to 26” wheels and vice versa. We also have the new Reaper 27.5 option, to keep your kids shredding longer!
Reaper 26 and Reaper 24
East of the Divide
Straight to the Point
Every rider has ridden at least one bike that for whatever reason is unforgettable in their mind and holds a special place in their heart. With the occasional tall tale of greatness backed by the lasting proof of visible scars, the remembered fondness of this bike comes from conquering races, epic adventures, and even the simplistic motion of spinning on two wheels. For Andreane Lanthier Nadeau, the Rocky Mountain Vertex is this bike, and even today as a full-time EWS racer she still finds herself drawn to riding her cross-country hardtail.
Andreane Lanthier Nadeau, or ALN as she’s known to friends and fans around the world, began her love affair with the Vertex in 2010 as a cross-country racer in Quebec. At the time, she was racing on 26” wheels and had moved up from provincial racing to compete at the international level. 2010 was also a very special year, as she had earned the opportunity to race her Vertex at the World Championships at home in Mont Sainte-Anne, QC.
From 2010 through 2015, ALN was riding and racing her Vertex 26” and Vertex 29” almost religiously. In 2015, ALN joined the Rocky Mountain Altitude Rally Team, marking the start of a new chapter in her athletic career as a professional enduro racer. In joining this team, she had committed to racing on the re-designed Altitude at each EWS stop around the world, but the Vertex always remained in her fleet.
“If I want to check up on my riding – like to figure out if I’m on point or not – I’ll take my Vertex out for a rip. It keeps me honest out there on the trails”– ALN
ALN is making waves on the 2018 EWS circuit as a member of the Rocky Mountain Race Face Team, competing against the fastest enduro racers in the world aboard her Instinct BC Edition. At home and in the off season, she still finds herself throwing her leg over the Vertex. She loves the challenge and finesse that’s required to ride aggressively on a hardtail, and more than anything she loves that she’s still creating riding memories aboard a bike with the same namesake year after year.
“I feel like I owe it to the Vertex for helping to shape me into the rider that I am today.” – ALN
Its lightweight frame provides incredible stiffness and rolling speed, while its modern, aggressive geometry inspires confidence everywhere on the race course—even technical corners and descents. Available in a next-generation Smoothwall HBO carbon layup for even lighter weight. See the models
Bike For A Buck Charity Auction
We've teamed up with TASCO MTB to help with a World Bicycle Relief charity raffle. TASCO MTB founder Nate Miller said “We are extremely excited to be able to raise money to help the World Bicycle Relief mobilize people in need, through the power of bicycles!”
World Bicycle Relief is empowering people across Africa. So far, they've provided over a quarter of a million bikes in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
How the raffle works: During the next several weeks, anyone who buys a $1.00 raffle ticket has the chance to add this shiny new Rocky Mountain Sherpa 27.5+ overland bike to their quiver! Miller went on to say “Just putting some of your coffee money into this raffle will give you a good shot at winning—Plus that money will be put to good use, as 100% of the raffle proceeds will go to World Bicycle Relief! The winner will be announced December 21, stay tuned!”
How to enter: Head over to tasco-mtb.com/bikeforabuck and purchase tickets directly on the website. Also, for every $10 in product purchased, TASCO will credit you an extra entry. Enter today and enter often.
Sam Schultz on Starting the Montana NICA League
In the last few years, I have been putting a lot of off-the-bike effort into getting a National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) League started for the high school and middle school kids in my home state of Montana. It’s been a big project, it has been daunting at times, but luckily NICA has an incredible support structure to help get new leagues up and running, and I have connected with an amazing team of core volunteers throughout the state who’ve made this project super fun. Last year was our first season and we came out of the gates as the largest first-year NICA league with over 300 young Montana rippers taking part in the program!
There wasn’t much of a teenage riding scene in Montana when I was growing up. Luckily, I had incredibly supportive parents, a couple of great friends who were equally obsessed with racing and riding, a cool local bike club, and a support system that didn’t blink an eye at the prospect of driving 6 or 7 hours to compete at regional races with a small handful of other kids. NICA first came squarely onto my radar at the Sea Otter Classic during the premiere of the documentary, Singletrack High, back in 2013. At that time, I was a full-time professional cross-country racer who had taken the sport to the extreme. I was the current US National Champion and had competed in the Olympics the year before. My initial reaction upon learning about NICA’s high school and middle school programs was the same as many adults when they first learn about it-- “How sweet it would have been to have a bike team at my school, regular practices with my friends, and a statewide race series with an amazing community of families camping out and shredding on bikes together… “
Fast forward to last fall, and our inaugural Montana NICA season. I remember holding the starting horn to the air, with more pre-race butterflies in my stomach than if I was racing myself, giving the final countdown before a quick blast of the horn. Watching category after category of young rippers tearing down the track was so much more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. The raw emotion of kids overcoming their fears on the starting line was inspiring and seeing the teams, coaches, and parents hit their stride, building a thriving community of young Montana riders throughout the season was amazing.
Racing bikes for me while growing up has always been a family affair, spending many a weekend loading up into the family van and driving to races across the country. With the recruitment of my Dad as Race Operations, my Mom as Volunteer Coordinator, and my brother as Head Coach of the Missoula team, this project has been no different.
Thomas Vanderham - From The Collective to Return to Earth
The Collective and Anthill Films have made seven full-length mountain bike movies over the last 15 years and Thomas Vanderham has been in all of them. From the opening scene in The Collective to his moto-sized senders in Seasons, following Sam Hill at home on the North Shore to the release of Return to Earth. A lot of the major moments in Thomas’ riding career have been captured in these films.
We first signed Thomas 19 years ago when he was just a kid in high school and at that time the North Shore freeride scene was beginning to gain momentum. Local photographer, Sterling Lorence, had just gotten his first cover shot of BIKE magazine and shortly after he and Thomas began to work together on their home trails.
Sterling has been the main photographer for all three movies from The Collective and stayed with the crew as they restructured for four more as Anthill Films. Being present for all seven films has given Sterling and Thomas a unique relationship. They’ve grown their careers in parallel with one another and documented some of the finer moments along the way.
“The Collective made a big splash when it first came out – and I’m not sure that any of us were really expecting that. The timing was perfect with freeride mountain biking emerging, but until this film, it’d largely been covered through single hits and big features. The fact that The Collective even showed singletrack felt different. I think it was more relatable to riders.
The opening shot set the stage for the whole film. It was a candid moment and it happened without me even knowing. We’d gotten up at 4:45am to shoot the opening drop at first light, and for me, at the time I was lining up a big drop. I was so focused on what I had to do and was waiting for the go-ahead from the team, I didn’t even know that the filmer, Jonathan Schramm, was behind me shooting.”
“Before this trip, I’d travelled internationally to Europe to ride and that always felt pretty easy and straight forward. Morocco was my first real adventure to the other side of the world; we all got sick, didn’t know where we were and weren’t sure what would happen if things went wrong – it was a totally different world.
The impact that trip had on me continues to sink in to this day. Mostly because I can’t believe how remote we were. That road gap was so far in the middle of nowhere! I’ll never forget it because we found the spot, built it, and then I spent 4 hours sitting at the top of the run in waiting for wind which eventually forced us to extend our trip. Like my story from The Collective, we had to wake up super early the next morning and drive 2 hours to the gap to get the shot before the wind picked up for the day. Maximum stress.”
“To this day this was one of the most involved projects I’ve ever worked on. I was working with ‘Big Red’ Ted Tempany on the build and we visited five or six ranches around BC before finding a place that would let us build the way we wanted.
It took four separate shoots to get the segment done because I took some really big crashes. The line was moto-inspired which made for some of the biggest jumps I’d hit to date. I wanted to push the limits of how high and far I could go on my mountain bike and I remember it being a huge relief when I finally put tires to dirt. After the first day of practice runs, I finally hit the big step up. I’d put a computer on my bike to look at speed and the highest number I saw during the shoot was 85 km/h.”
“I grew up in North Vancouver and the trails on Mount Seymour descend right to my house. The whole theme of Follow Me was to have riders paired up, and it was pretty cool to be able to show Sam Hill around my backyard. Sam was one of the fastest DH riders in the world at that time.
I’d spent some time building lines for the shoot and it was pretty cool to see Sam riding unfamiliar terrain and one-off features when he was known for smashing race tracks. It was amazing to watch his bike control on the slippery, technical, unforgiving North Shore trails. A lot of people struggle on The Shore the first few times they ride here…Sam didn’t.”
Strength in Numbers
“Aggy and I went down a month early to scope and build for the Utah segment, which basically turned into the two of us rallying quads in the desert. The goal of the shoot was to ride big mountain lines while also incorporating Green River’s natural landscape into big hits.
This shoot happened in November and I ended up taking a massive crash and separating my shoulder quite badly. It forced us to delay the rest of the shoot until February, which was just 2 months before the world premiere. When Aggy and I went back to get the remaining shots, I ended up manning a camera for a shot that got used in the film. I’m pretty stoked to have an ‘additional cinematography by’ credit in closing titles!”
“Concept shoots are hard, and this was one was especially difficult. The idea of dirt falling from the sky was inspired by trail builder and longtime Whistler Bike Park rider, Adam Billinghurst. The Anthill crew had to ‘re-dress’ the frame after every run through, which meant a ton of time was spent distributing fresh dirt, raking out our tracks, re-covering the trees, etc. For us as riders, it meant there was a lot of waiting around and then going from zero to a hundred in order to make the film as entertaining as possible.
The Whistler Bike Park has been an amazing place to have up the road for me. I’ve done countless laps over the years and it’s definitely helped shape my riding to where it is today. I’ve shot many videos in the park, but this one was especially cool as it featured the park in a different way.”
Return to Earth
“Similar to unReal this was another concept shoot that was difficult to make happen. We were shooting the autumn colours in Quebec and needed to re-dress every scene. The major difference between this and the unReal segment was that we were fighting against nature’s clock. Everyday we’d wake up to more leaves that had fallen from the tree branches and throughout the day big wind gusts would leave more branches bare. The whole shoot was a crazy balance of waiting long enough for the colours to be perfect, but not so long that the leaves left the trees bare.
I think the concept of the film really came through in this segment. Return to Earth is all about being aware of the time you have and making the most of it. Living by the moments that are the most important to you.”
Thomas and Sterling have had an incredible ride together through the release of these films. With Return to Earth, Thomas’ riding mixed in with a specific concept has helped bring the imagery we see today to a whole new level.
The Jank Files - Episode 2
For the Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team, the long trip and the short stay in Madeira made for a whirlwind trip. Coming from Vancouver, the 8-hour time difference and hot island temperatures had everyone in a daze - and that was before rattling through jagged boulder sections and the loose corners of each stage.
From unforgiving race tracks and talking to parrots, fresh haircuts, and a ridiculous hat for Jesse. This is Episode 2 of The Jank Files.
Presented by Smith Optics
Filmed by Caldwell Visuals
Photos by Dave Trumpore
A big thank you to all our sponsors!
Race Face, Maxxis, Fox, Shimano, Smith Optics, WTB, OneUp Components, Stages Cycling, Peaty’s Products, EVOC
Riding in Ecuador with Tito Tomasi
Story by Tito Tomasi
I live for travelling, adventures, and riding new places. The allure of riding new trails and expecting the unexpected has become a way of life for me. When I first began planning my trip to Ecuador, I reflected back on my first visit there which was in 2012. I wanted to revisit some of my favourite places, but I was also ready to go further and sink my tires into something new.
This time around, I was lucky enough to be travelling with one of the best guides in the country, my friend Mateo. Mateo is a passionate rider that loves to explore (like me), and always comes up with crazy ideas for the next big ride. He rides super hard and isn’t afraid of taking on the big epics.
I’ve always loved sketching and painting, and my artwork has allowed me to keep the memories from my trips alive long after they’re over. From brightly colored paintings to simple pencil drawings, my art is a reflection of what I’ve seen and experienced along my adventures.
I started my trip from just south of Quito and was in awe of Ecuador’s beauty from the minute I stepped off of the plane. The first part of my journey would take me towards Laguna de Quilotoa, a stunning lake that shifts in color as the sun moves across the sky. Mateo and I’s were joined by our friend Dani, would join us for the first major ride around the Quilotoa crater rim. The Quilotoa rim trail is both technical and very physically demanding, making it an aggressive way to start off the trip.
Riding at 3900m elevation was slowly wearing us down, and the threatening rainclouds had us worried about overexhaustion and exposure. The clouds were moving quickly, so we dropped in from rim trail and headed towards the town of Chugchilán in the valley far below. Navigating through farm lands and sandy singletrack, it was an amazing experience passing through villages along old roads, and eventually being rewarded with food and shelter.
The terrain in Ecuador is incredible. After Quilotoa, we travelled north from Quito towards the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, an area which was very different than what I expected. As we approached the area it appeared like all the other dry mountains nearby, but the reality was it couldn’t have been more different. When we finally arrived and dropped into the crater, we were treated to a winding singletrack through an endlessly lush rainforest.
Everywhere we went seemed to hold some sort of historical significance. We were riding deep inside a volcanic crater on ancient trails and learned that we were actually riding through lands that belonged to a pre-Incan culture, the Yungos. The Yungos community used this fertile land as trade leverage during colonialism. In between the land they used for farming, they had developed an intricate network of trails and paths for moving through the area, which were now perfect for mountain biking!
The black sandy trail was surrounded by walls of vegetation, and we were navigating what was one of the most unique trails I’d ever ridden. From weaving through the dank humid rainforest to emerging into a dry dusty desert, the dirt under our tires turned from black to red. Ecuador switched it up on us once again. We had gone from rainforest jungle to a desolate crater-like area that was appropriately nicknamed, “the moon”.
From the Pululahua crater we drove south passed Quito and Machachi to the base of Cotopaxi, an active volcano in the Andes. We set up in a mountain hostel for the night hoping for good weather, but this was a story I’d seen unfold before.
Cotopaxi is a very special place to me. When I first came to Ecuador in 2012, I was on a 19-day bikepacking trip and I spent 4 days waiting for the clouds to clear but never actually saw it. I was always drawn to come back but would again strike out on this trip.
The snow was low, but we decided to make the most of it. The soil was incredibly soft, but still ran insanely slightly frozen ground and cold temperatures. The feeling of freedom and happiness from riding these lines surrounded by deep canyons and crazy colors is something I’ll never forget.
Mateo and I tried three separate times to approach and ride Chimborazo, and on the last attempt I had one of the best rides of my life. We descended from Condor Lake at 5100m into the low-lying jungle at 700m. From the volcanic rock field and sand slopes, to the high mountain ridge lines and impossibly thick jungle, we had proven once again that Ecuador has some of the most diverse riding on earth.
After two weeks of riding in Ecuador and visiting many of the places I’ve dreamed of, I once again feel incredibly lucky for getting to travel to ride my bike. Everything from the adventurous riding to the unique culture and passionate people, has made my experience in Ecuador unforgettable. I would like to thank Mateo and his company Ride Equadorfor his help.
Whenever we travel we leave certain expectations in our mind and assume we know how things are going to go, but once your hands are on the bars it’s always a little bit different. Once you’re there, the only thing that matters is the trail in from of you. This is when you know you’re living 100% in the moment.
“Vive la Vie”
Last Fall a group of Rocky Mountain athletes, ambassadors, and friends took a road trip through some of the best riding networks in Quebec and the Northeastern United States. We set each of them up with our new Thunderbolt, to ride the style of trails in which the bike was designed for. Built for technical climbs with the ability to power through the rough stuff, the Thunderbolt is a quick, nimble, trail weapon, meant to excel on demanding trails.
It’s amazing what you can pack into a long weekend with a solid crew. Our EWS team rider, Peter Ostroski, his sister Sophie, and Rocky Mountain Sales Rep, Sean Rudzinsky, headed north across the Canada-US border to meet up with the Canadians, Christian Gauvin, Kevin Simard, and Ian Hughes. Christian is based out of Bromont and has been a Rocky Mountain athlete for 10 years, Kevin has been with Rocky Mountain for 5 years, and Ian is a coach working for the Centre National de Cyclisme de Bromont (CNCB). Packing up for the weekend, stop one would be at Vallée Bras-du-Nord.
“I couldn’t believe how hard I could push the Thunderbolt on descents and still make quick work of the climbs. The snappy nature of the bike makes it ride light and is easy to handle, and its maneuverability and quick acceleration allowed me to get creative on the downs!” – Peter Ostroski
Action, agility, and acute adjustments, the trails in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States demand focus and quick corrections. Often overshadowed by the trail lore of the Pacific Northwest and tales of the endless BC backcountry, the east side of our continent doesn’t seem to get enough credit. Riddled with technical singletrack and daunting rock moves, it pays to ride with purpose and precision.
When we re-designed the Thunderbolt, we brought the rear travel up to 130mm, increased frame stiffness, and lowered the suspension rate curve. We also added the option of our BC Edition platform, accommodating a longer stroke shock to provide 140mm of rear travel. Both the Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt BC Edition have RIDE-9™ adjustments, giving you control over the geometry and suspension characteristics, so you can be ready for any trail.
Christian charges hard year-round racing fat bikes in a true Canadian winter, racing XC and enduro in the summer, and helping out with demo days and local ride events. He lives in Bromont, right next to the trails. The mountain biking scene is strong here, and with a passionate drive the community has helped move mountain biking forward through volunteerism, fundraising, and commitment.
“We have an incredibly strong trail building crew here in Bromont, and there’s definitely no shortage of talented riders. The builders are all so passionate about riding, I think it’s their personal commitment to both building and riding that makes the trails here so fun!” – Christian Gauvin
Rocky Mountain has been working with Vallée Bras-du-Nord since they first began developing mountain bike trails in 2007. The trails are the work of an incredibly unique, at-risk youth program where they work in groups of 10 for nearly 6 months at a time, building and maintaining all the trails in their tenure. The vision is that working in nature can be used as a kind of therapy and connecting youth with the outdoors is a way to help them build skills and self-confidence. The dedicated program managers are building out a network that truly represents the riding in Quebec, with trails that breed creativity. The network here is growing quickly, and for good reason.
We’re truly lucky to get to ride and work in such a beautiful place. We have everything from flow trails to the more classic, technical riding you’ll see in Quebec, and have developed the network to weave amongst the natural features of the environment. It’s pretty epic here!” – Mathieu Dupuis-Bourasssa, Operations Manager at Vallée Bras-du-Nord
''I love how hard the trail building community is working to grow our sport in Quebec. There’s so many great networks in close proximity, we as riders have seemingly endless choices of where to ride.” – Christian Gauvin
Peter Ostroski grew up in New Hampshire, and after a 6-year stint in Alaska, moved back to the Northeast settling in Burke, Vermont. He’s been a member of our EWS team since the beginning, starting with a spot on the original Altitude Team alongside teammates, Kevin Soller, and a young Jesse Melamed. But his history with Rocky Mountain doesn’t start there. He first rode a Rocky Mountain at 12 years old, hopping aboard an extra-small Instinct that he reflects fondly on calling it, “his dream ride”. Peter’s known for his ultra-quick precision and solid power on the pedals, both of which he developed as a cross-country racer charging hard on the tech trails out his back door.
The trails of Quebec and Northeast US don’t get the same level of exposure as the West Coast of North America, but things seem to be working just fine. The trail centres have developed a unique culture that’s helping to shape our sport in a meaningful way, and the riding still offers everything one could want.
“The mountains aren't as big as the Alps or BC, but they pack a punch and offer tight, challenging steep terrain if you know where to look.” – Peter Ostroski