Rocky Mountain Team Trip to Kamloops.

Jul 14, 2011 at 22:10
by Rocky Mountain Bicycles  
Winter can be depressing for mountain bikers. Luckily, living in Vancouver, we have the luxury of riding most of the year, even if the trails more resemble a well-trotted pigpen than singletrack.



So, come Spring, riders, especially the ones who make their living on a bike, get a burning itch to go somewhere dry and wear off the winter rust. The closest place for lower mainlanders to go is Kamloops. This semi-arid desert is probably one of the first places to be rideable in the early season. And, given the aforementioned semi-arid desert distinction, this is absolutely the best time to ride here. Imagine dark brown clay-based dirt resembling a ganache cake providing velcro traction: dry enough in spots to drift, and wet enough to rail…perfect!


thomas vanderham in kamloops bc
  Kamloops - a bit dryer than North Vancouer.


Spring is also the time sponsored riders get their new rigs! For Thomas Vanderham, Geoff Gulevich and myself, that meant getting fresh Rocky Mountain Flatlines kitted out with Pro components, Shimano Saint gruppos and a new Maxxis DH tire to test. We had now the perfect ingredients for a team trip to break the rigs in. We were lucky too, with photographer Sterling Lorence having a hole in his hectic two-kid life to partake in the antics, as well as videographers Ambrose Weingart, Tam Forde and Matt Dennison documenting the action.


wade simmons thomas vanderham wade simmons in kamloops bc
  The boys getting ready to drop in


It’s no secret that Kamloops is a mecca of mountain bike landscapes and it’s probably been featured in every great mtb movie filmed. Now, with Thomas Vanderham welcomed back to the Rocky Mountain Freeride team from a two-year hiatus, and Gully and I just a couple of hard-working guys itching to sink Maxxis teeth into the thawed ground, this would for sure make for some history on film!


Wade Simmons in Kamloops BC
  Wade still sends it. He pedaled into this wall in full sprint.


The three of us have all spent great times in the “Loops”: Thomas and Gully have both filmed here often, satisfying their latest movie offerings, and I, having grown up here, always felt at home in the sage and dust. The terrain in Kamloops is conducive to all types of riding. It has buttery smooth hard pack singletrack, multiple DH shuttle areas, a local government sponsored in-town bike park aptly named the “Ranch”, long skidder gravel/sand slopes made famous by the “Froriders”, and more recently, big wedge style booters. The latter are the remnants of what is happening now in the latest mountain biking movies. These booters are dotted everywhere in the hills; a riders battleground from past, that can be resurrected for the pleasure of whoever is willing to send it: “C’mon Gully, Thomas, you’re gonna hit that…aren’t ya?”.


geoff gulevich in kamloops bc
  Gully exudes big air style.


I must say though, that first afternoon sitting at the top of “the River”, each of us on a bike that hadn’t seen dirt…ever, on our first of 5 days in Kamloops, with two guys who I know will push my limits, and with ground so ripe with shred that we would be constantly high-fivin’ happy beyond words after the first turn was, well…. truly humbling. We are somehow doing something right. Right here, in he birth place of freeriding.


  Thomas' 2012 Flatline Blackout Edition. Murdered.


Wade Simmons
Rocky Mountain Bikes

Photos by Sterling Lorence
Must Read This Week

49 Comments

  • + 26
 These 3 guys have all my respect, nice to see Wade riding, we don't see him often enough...
  • + 7
 That dust makes everything cooler and more intense!
  • + 1
 great riding. i actually did a little report on thomas vanderham for school. love that dusty dirt makes everything better!
  • + 0
 the fork looks like its really compressed in the back of the truck.
[Reply]
  • + 15
 first person to say anything about "but how can freeride be dead??? This is freeride!" I will personally come over to your house and bitch slap you.
  • + 10
 Man, that video was so ace. With this whole talk of freeride being dead, this video is a great one for the non-believers. I mean how can freeride be dead???This is freeride!
  • + 6
 If free-ride is dead im seeing ghosts all over the place.
  • + 3
 pimpslayer3000 im gona let this one go just for your name
  • + 3
 Haha thank you man I appreciate your kindness!
  • + 1
 freeride will never die. remember back in the day when bmx died? not so much!
  • + 0
 are you lot joking?
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Wish I lived in Canada Frown
  • + 8
 only during the summer.....
  • + 5
 ... and only in Vancouver / Rocky mountain regions.

Ontario is worse than most other places.
  • + 1
 In Quebec we have Bromont and Mont-Saint-Anne!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Awesome, Kamloops is my backyard. I rip it everyday! Such an awesome place to be.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 3 legends right there.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Nice video, good to see Vanderham on a Rocky again! Any changes (besides the color) to the 2012 Flatlines?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 HOLY CRAP!!! this is the Best freeride mountainbike video i ve ever seen in my Live!!!! soooo freakin awesome!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Kamloops: maybe not the place to rock white grips? Sick as hell riding regardless!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Hey Wade, where did you lose Tippie?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 sick photos by mr lorance as ever. still the best mtb tog by a long way.
  • + 1
 Word. These are fantastic, my personal face is wade's wall ride. Some awesome use of lighting right there!
  • + 1
 Erm, face = fave. iPhone autocorrect has failed me once more.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 nice stuff! BTW, which BRMC album is that ...cuz i have all their albums and I never heard that track.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wow... those three together like that, kinda basically Canada's Backcountry MTB royalty, all slaying together! NICE.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 awesome riding, but damn... zoom out! I can't see what the fack is going on in half the shots
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I wonder if the prototype wheels are the same gee is running. and is the seatpost already out?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Anyone in Vancouver need any roof work doing. I promise I won't spend all day riding
[Reply]
  • + 1
 One of the best videos for me in a long time. I love this big mountain FR vibe! RideOn boys!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 okay, well that was awesome.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I could watch Vanderham ride all day.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Is vanderham rockin a moustache?!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i have the same blue and black helmet
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i have the same blue and black helmet
[Reply]
  • + 1
 SICK! SAINT IS SO SIMPLY BEST! VOD!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 where's Tippie?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this webpage is too wide...I now have a sore neck...but I loved the vid
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Love these guys, brings back the reason why we all ride!! Tons of respect
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Good riding, like old school FR
[Reply]
  • + 1
 THATS THE BIKE IM BUYING!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 yea! nothing beats the loops!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Three of my favorite riders of all time. So much flow between all of them.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This 3 guys rocks!! Awesome!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 looks like some fun riding
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looks great!! well done boys
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looks real good!
[Reply]

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