It's a surreal feeling when you get the opportunity to film with a rider of Richie Schley's prestige. Especially since if I had not seen him ride 14 years ago I would likely have never started riding bikes the way I did and thus, certainly never would have picked up a camera. I can remember being 13 years old working on my XC bike with my Dad in his garage and hearing on the local events section of the radio that there was a mountain bike movie playing at a local bike shop that evening. We left the bikes to head down and see what it was all about. That movie was Kranked 1 and after seeing it my riding style changed dramatically. Freeride was born!
Many people feel that the Schley name is synonymous with Whistler and B.C., but Richie has expanded his home turf into the US, moving part time to Laguna Beach California. In true Schley style he has set himself up with a great place to live. He lives across the street from one of his sponsors; Crank Brothers, only a few blocks away from the beach and is surrounded with other legendary riders such as Brian Lopes, and Hans Rey. Having come from B.C. and being constantly surrounded with mountain biking I wasn't sure what to find in an affluent area of the United States. Would we be looked at as side shows, did people even know what mountain biking really was there, and was there any other riders in the area? I was shocked to find that mountain biking was hugely popular there with riders everywhere and even many other pro level riders. While we were shooting, the Athertons were even in town training. Laguna has a strong riding history rooted in the area, and the community was very welcoming and enjoyable to experience.
I had intended on just shooting a riding section, but after experiencing Laguna the lifestyle oozed its way into the filming and I felt it also needed to be represented in the section. Shooting with Schley was great, easy, and having the opportunity to experience his new stomping grounds was an excellent experience. A big thanks to Richie, and IXS for making this section happend and allowing me to film in this amazing place.
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Photo credit goes to Root One Media.