Strength in Numbers: Behind The Scenes - Green River

Feb 15, 2012 at 22:41
by Anthill Films  
Views: 37,067    Faves: 280    Comments: 7


bigquotesOatmeal, grits, french toast, biscuits and sausage with gravy. Denver and Western omelets. Ham and cheese omelet. Salsa verde...

Routine is the last thing you expect to encounter on a mountain bike film trip. But we know the routine so well in Green River after a few days we already have the breakfast menu memorized as Carlos verbally reads it to us each morning. Eventually he stops reading it aloud and some of us are simply having the usual. Time seems to slip away in the desert.

strength in numbers - utah

strength in numbers - utah

strength in numbers - utah

Green River, Utah is basically a modern day ghost town. It looks like it happened almost overnight once the I-70 was built to bypass the main strip through town. This is definitely one of those places people only stop if they’ve been driving too long and need some eats or a place to crash for the night. Empty streets and buildings are swallowed up by an even emptier desert stretching out in all directions. Nothing is “near” to here. Moab, the closest town worth mentioning on a map, is about an hour drive to the south. The rocky range of the San Rafael Swell runs off into the distance in the west. North of town lies what are known as the book cliffs, which just so happen to be the mother lode of freeriding terrain. This is why so many film crews have been here over the years and it’s why we’re here now.

strength in numbers - utah

strength in numbers - utah

It took us 2 days to drive here from BC. We have pickups, ATV’s, motos, shovels and picks and have been scratching away at the raw landscape with the goal of creating a progressive segment for our new film Strength in Numbers. The fact that we are even here has a sense of irony to it. We want to create a piece that will stoke people to ride and help push the sport forward but clearly very few mountain bikers will ever come to a place like Green River just to ride. Just like Alaska for skiers and snowboarders, or Jaws for surfers, these remote mesas seem reserved for the adventurous few.

strength in numbers - utah

strength in numbers - utah

strength in numbers - utah

Utah as a whole has shaped the face of freeriding as we know it today. All of the top riders, film crews and photographers have shot here. It’s a place with deep freeride history. Careers have been shaped and names have been made. It’s as gnarly or as safe as you want it to be. The scale is just right, not too big and not too small. Soft landings and hard lips. Ridges, ridges and more ridges everywhere you look. And the light…. clear desert skies and far away horizons are the ideal recipe for insane sunrises and sunsets daily.

strength in numbers - utah

strength in numbers - utah

It’s all here but it’s a war of attrition to pull a seggy out of an untamed landscape. It starts with wandering and scoping for days. Lots of staring and looking at things from different angles waiting for inner creativity to flick on the lightbulb. Lips, run-ins, corners and landings are everywhere but do they line up? What unfolds over the course of days is reminiscent of the scene in A Beautiful Mind when John Nash sees the mathematical patterns in everything. To a certain extent, the same thing is happening here. A world only mountain bikers can see. Riders have to visualize lines that have never been ridden and cross reference that with their own personal limits and that of their bikes. Is that dirt hard or soft? How steep is that? Is there enough speed or too much? Too much kick on the lip or not enough? Get it wrong and it can get ugly fast. Get it right and the sport inches ever forward. This defines freeride mountain biking and immense respect is due for the riders who excel at this process. It inspires and captures the imagination. It makes freeriding one the great communities within our world of biking.

strength in numbers - utah

strength in numbers - utah

strength in numbers - utah

Any freerider willing to go a little deeper than the last crew and willing to look at the landscape from a fresh perspective will never run out of new lines to ride. It could be in a small valley no one has set foot in or right in the footsteps of those who have passed before. New eyes and new bikes constantly open doors in a place like this. We spent three weeks in total working a couple small areas maybe the size of a few hundred acres. With shots in the bag and bodies battered it eventually becomes time to head home. As we pull onto the highway and head north we drive for a solid hour all the while passing a-grade rideable terrain. Every two minutes someone says, “I can’t believe this is still going, it’s endless, just absolutely endless”. Eventually it does end and the landscape turns back to plain rolling hills and shrub trees but the humbling feeling remains. It’s all laying out there somewhere, waiting for the right rider to come along at the right time of day to see something no one else has.

strength in numbers - utah

Story by Anthill Films
Photos by Sterling Lorence
_____________________

Strength in Numbers is presented by the Red Bull Media House, Shimano and Trek, in association with Contour HD, Clif Bar, Pinkbike and PRO Components. Additional support for the film is provided by the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Kona, Toyota Trucks, Scion, Oakley, Easton, Evoc, Big Mountain Adventures, Verbier St. Bernard and Ride Nepal.

Anthill Films is an award-winning action sport production company based in Squamish, B.C. Anthill is owned and operated collectively by Colin Jones, Darcy Wittenburg, Darren McCullough, Ian Dunn and Jonathan Schramm.

Follow Us:
facebook.com/anthillfilms
twitter.com/anthillfilms

71 Comments

  • + 47
 I feel bad for the coyote.That's a shit way to die.
  • - 31
 Hahaha, it's a guy's farm and he usually has a bunch more hanging up... not sure if you can see this or not but here's another picture of the fence... fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/230055_621557302467_44605689_33807343_6657681_n.jpg
  • + 19
 not sure i wanted to see that.. each to there own i guess..
  • + 7
 maybe the Wile E. Coyote is the reason for the mushroom cloud. And the farmer is underneath it... now that would be Hahahahaha !!!!.......
  • + 2
 hahaha, my bad guys. Unless you want to see a bunch of dead animals strung up, don't go to that link I posted above.
  • + 1
 why are its legs tied to the fence???
  • + 9
 its not a sense of adventure that makes these trips happen. its ca$h.
just sayin'.

as for the ol boy strung up on the fence..........
score another one for the roadrunner.
beep.beep.
  • + 3
 I spy quite a few PODs
  • + 3
 I know a few ranchers who do that to keep more coyotes away from their sheep during lambing. Sad but the yote was dead before he was strung up.
  • + 1
 Driving though there tomorrow, hoping I can hit just a couple lines before we need to get back on the road!!! Also hoping I can talk my GF into taking a couple shots of me riding... I've only been dreaming of hitting lines like this ever since I started biking.
  • + 1
 ^ i hope you've got more than a day otherwise you'll just be driving through and not hitting anything haha. that is unless you know exactly where to go...
  • + 1
 Never been before, never had anyone tell me... But I've found numerous "secret" backcountry spots in Colorado just judging off of one photo with a small view of the landscape in any direction. Topographic features are a dead giveaway, especially to a landscape photographer; and with all the angles of the butte that are given to me here I'm pretty confident I can at least chart it... Even if I don't have time to ride Wink
  • + 2
 True but when you get there, the problem isn't finding rideable areas, it's getting out to them Wink good luck!
  • + 1
 Highway 6 (191) between Price and I70 just east of the road there is so much to ride it's ridiculous. Plus half of it's within 5 miles of the highway. There are dirt roads everywhere. Also off of I70 and highway 10 is awesome.

As for yotes, looks like the state is setting aside $$$$ to get rid of 20,000 of them. As for the coons on the fence, kill them all. They're non indigenous and wreck havoc on the water fowl and other upland game. Most of our water fowl just stop in the state to lay eggs and raise chicks. Coons are bad news in UT.
[Reply]
  • + 16
 So stoked about this. It's going to be awesome!!
  • + 1
 Same here because there's so much area there that it's cool to see what other people build and how the interpret the land that's there. Also the more attention this place gets, the more people will go and the more business the town gets which is awesome... assuming the riders visiting don't all go to the Subway and Arby's... haha.
  • + 2
 Some of the shots here can be POD
  • + 2
 lol he sounded so scared when he said "droppin in"
  • + 1
 Can you blame him? Looked like a hell of a run in to me, + who knows what other gnarliness awaited after the camera shot stopped...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Very well-written. This is one of the best quotes I have seen pertaining to trail builders and riders:

"A world only mountain bikers can see. Riders have to visualize lines that have never been ridden and cross reference that with their own personal limits and that of their bikes. Is that dirt hard or soft? How steep is that? Is there enough speed or too much? Too much kick on the lip or not enough?"

The steeper the terrain, the more time it takes to choose a path for construction, and this is some gnarly steep stuff.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 UTAH WILDERNESS WANTS TO CLOSE THIS AREA TO BIKE USE!!!!!! Sorry for yelling but everyone should know. Utah Wilderness wants to close the entire area of the San Rafael Swell and much of the surrounding area. They have federal backing. Please write to let them know you don't support what they are doing. If what they wants gets passed only foot traffic and horses will be allowed in the area. Cars will have to stay on marked roads and bikes will be entirely banned, along with atvs and motorcycles. Bug these guys as much as possible!!!!!! www.utahwilderness.org
  • + 1
 The've been trying to designate this and other area as wilderness for decades. Writing to the author's of the legislation at www.utahwilderness.org is not going to stop it, I promise you.

If you want to stop this area from becoming closed to mountain bikes then it is important to NOT support any politician who backs the idea of wilderness designation. That includes your own elected Congressperson and Senators; write to them and let THEM know your opposition. If they support wilderness, then vote for the other guy. Vote them out! The list for cosponsors(the bad guys) of the bill is here-
www.suwa.org/issues/arrwa/cosponsors-of-americas-red-rock-wilderness-act-in-the-112th-congress

Second, boycott any business or organization that has supported this bill in the past. There is a list here- www.suwa.org/business_members
Write to them and explain the reasons why wilderness designations are harmful and, you will not support their business.

Third, write to the Utah delegation; that includes the Governor, the Senators and Congresspeople of Utah. They are the one's with the most power to block this legislation. Luckily most of them oppose it, so it is safe for now; but it doesn't hurt to let them know that this is an important issue. Keep their feet to the fire.
  • + 6
 Sorry guys but without wilderness designation and conservation issues respected mountain biking will not get support. Overdevelopment is a destroyer of ecosystems, the very ones that mtb depends on. MTB should be friends with the nature it uses, not a destroyer. If they want to change mtb access to areas it is with good reason. I'm all for freedom of access but not at the expense of natural wellbeing, and I'm appalled at your response sumarongi. Over in Canada and the US you enjoy so much access that most of the rest of the world does not. Don't abuse what you have and keep your sensitive natural areas safe by respecting the wishes of those in the know. Because generally, they're on your side, and you'll find many of them are skiiers, bikers, snowboarders, surfers, people who love and want to use the wilderness as much as you. I'm one of them and I'm one of you.
  • + 2
 Redrook has this one right. If not for folks like SUWA, the entire Canyonlands would be open to oil and gas drilling. So, instead of being myopic about one area closing off, consider supporting or revising legislation to consider mixed use as appropriate. Otherwise, mountain bikers will be the same as gas companies, support the same "in the pocket" politicians and guess what? At the end of the day you're LAST on their list friends. Think twice, keep our wild places wild. It is our right to want Wilderness. If we're lucky, we might get to ride some of these lines. Leave the rest alone.
  • - 2
 If you think by supporting wilderness that mountainbiking will all of the sudden garner respect and support, you are incredibly naive. Wilderness designation is antithetical to mountain biking and will cause it to die. If wilderness passes in Utah, you or any of your kids or your kids kids will NOT be able to access and ride those places. That mean these awesome places will be OFF LIMITS. . SUWA is full of scumbags, and they lie about the threat to the ecosystems of these places. Nothing grows on the book cliffs of green river. it is a desert, there is hardly any life plant or animal, that need protection. There is hardly any water; people are not going to build high rises there.The places that are good for mountainbiking are not good for hiking or backpacking. There is no threat from development. There has been oil, gas, and uranium mining in southern Utah for almost a century and the place is just fine. Wilderness designation will destroy it. Leave it alone.

If you want to support wilderness and destroy mountainbiking, do it in your own backyard , but don't screw up the future of mountain biking in Utah by supporting the SUWA bill.

Stop shooting the mountainbiking movement in the foot. Oppose wilderness designations.
  • - 3
 Stop shooting the mountainbiking movement in the foot. Oppose wilderness designations.
  • - 1
 Some people are very naive. Without electricity that is produced from coal and natural gas not a single one of us would have a bike or a vehicle of any kind. The developers of this kind of energy in utah have been pretty responsible and until people are willing to give up anything that can be traced back to that origin they simply need to keep their "save the world attitude as long as it does not effect me" thoughts to themselves. There is more than enough wilderness set up in utah, let alone the rest of the United States. When there is a viable alternative to oil and gas I am all for it but if the technology was perfected today we are looking at 25 to 50 years to set up the infrastructure period. So we have at least that long to rely on oil and gas.
  • - 1
 Anybody notice that this bill is not sponsored by a single Utah senator or Representative? Maybe that's because the people of Utah do not want this act to be passed. Lets not let the Senators and Representatives from places that won't be affected by this pass it.
  • + 3
 Daft hicks don't realise that you can't have what you destroy. The entire oil and gas industry is realising this, hence they invest billions into alternative energy research. You are naive if you think that without wilderness designation and support mtb will be able to thrive. Take Whistler for example. They operate under The Natural Step sustainability framework, ensuring that their operations can continue without detriment to the environment that they RELY ON. MTB and conservation go hand in hand, and not like you imbeciles suggest, in opposition.
  • + 1
 Redrook is completely right. You can use nature but not completely exploit it. Too many people in one place will wreck the place for everyone including the bikers. Daft hicks is right, derp.
  • + 0
 Hey REDROOK and rbeach, if American style wilderness were designated in Whistler, MOUNTAIN BIKING WOULD BE BANNED, as in AGAINST THE LAW, meaning YOU COULD GO TO JAIL FOR IT. I don't know how hard that is for your puny Eurotrash CHAV brain to understand. American style Wilderness designation has nothing to do with Whistler, so don't even compare the two. The American and Canadian systems of land management are completely different. In America you can protect the land WITHOUT wilderness designations, but you CANNOT have wilderness designations and have Mountain biking, because in an American Wilderness designation mountain biking is NOT ALLOWED in the wilderness area. That in no way is conducive to or good for mountainbiking. Speak only about things you understand fool.
  • + 0
 Euros stay out of American politics please, you've screwed up your countries as it is, don't screw up ours.
  • + 0
 Redrook, I've known many of the SUWA people over the years. I use do be one of them. I can tell you that they are SCUMBAGS. They will lie and cheat to get what they want. If you are not in total agreement with them, they will try to destroy your reputation in the most heinous way. They are not 'in the know'. Most of them are very naive and idealistic. They are greedy and political and will stop at nothing to ruin the access that we have to these beautiful areas. Please don't pretend to know something about which you know nothing. It's not about protecting the landscape for them, but rather about control and telling people what they can and can't do. Mountainbiking is doomed if even mountainbikers can't or won't defend their right to access the land. Mountainbiking in the USA is doomed if mountainbikers themselves are not educated about the horrible impact that Wilderness designations will have on the future of the sport here.
  • + 2
 Just so you know, they would like to close down all of Moab. Not sure if you have heard about that place or not but it rocks (sarcasm, if you haven't heard of it you just started riding yesterday.). 70% of our state is protected land from development. Our state is half the size of Spain. To reiterate the point; wilderness area means no biking. Horses and hikers only.

No one in Utah wants the bill to pass, because it hurts the state, but then again when the Grand Escalante Stair Case area was taken from no one in the state wanted that either.

I write and contact all of my elected officials and try and post as often as I can against it. Save Utah Mountain Biking. Go ride the green River area. It's magical.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I don't know what is more entertaining...the feature film or the making of footage?!?!?!?!?!

These guys can do NO wrong.

Vanderham for President!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is the sickest type of riding in my opinion. its like a giant sandbox with the right resources you can do whatever you want to.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thanks for sharing this wonderful images.
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[Reply]
  • + 3
 What's with the mushroom cloud? Did Aggy crash n' burn on his atv?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 PERFECT PLACE TO BIKE i JUST GOT A NEW RIDE www.2wheelbikes.com/sx-mountain-bike.html LOVE CANT WAIT TO GET OUT THERE
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Look at all that *sobs* dirt and dust
WHEN WILL WINTER END
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this movie needs to be finished so i can watch it 500 times and still love it!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 And Anthill Films present, a new spectacular movie ... LIFE OF A RAKE!

So stoked Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Any film those guys do will get me stoked to ride and want to push it!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Utah! I live and love this state, can't wait to see it. Dig hard ride harder that's what make life.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 the things you can do with gopro's
  • + 8
 That was all Contour.
  • + 3
 holy POV batman
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sterling Lawrence photography, nuff said! So good!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 A mushroom cloud in Utah? I thought the US stopped Nuclear testing?? lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Someone iscenjoying their new camera mount toy. Good craic
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what bike does howard ride
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Vanderham looks like Clive Owen....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that last POV line. Holy F-word.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is going to be amazing!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 aptos part will be sick!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Now if we can only get the Utah state legislature to figure out that Freeride Mountain biking is a currently untapped source of revenue. Then maybe there will be more places like Green River all over the state.
  • + 1
 Same with Colorado.
  • + 2
 taldfind, there's plenty of areas like Green River but you don't need Utah state legislature to tell you if you can go or not. Just make sure that where you ride that it's public BLM land...
  • + 1
 Sadly, there isn't any BLM Land in Cache Valley Frown
  • + 1
 The Utah State legislature is very friendly to multiple-use land policy. It is the Feds, and pro-wilderness environmental movements that are the problem.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 These kind riding-down-steep-dusty-chutes videos were interesting and new..... in 1997
  • + 2
 Yet 15 years later they still get everyone stoked on riding... Except you.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Yes please!!!
  • + 1
 the dogs in the gas station lol
  • + 1
 hahaha...ew
[Reply]

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