A Year In The Life, A Pinkbike Photography Retrospective

Dec 27, 2012
by Ian Hylands  
Gee Atherton rides his new GT Fury near Laguna Beach California

I live in the Northwest, so my winters are usually a little dark and wet, if not down right gloomy sometimes. So I usually look forward to any chance to travel somewhere warm. My year usually starts fairly slow, but this year Aaron Laroque and I spent a week in California in January working with the Athertons, which was an awesome treat. You can check out two of the posts from that trip here and here. Then February brings the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival and to me this is the real beginning of the bike season. You can check out this year's Jamaica FTF story here. Returning from Jamaica into full on winter in the Northwest usually results in a deterioration of motivation to do bike related things, and a bunch of time spent skiing...

The first real road trip of the year usually ends up being Sea Otter, a drive to California. The road to California is long, and stops are definitely scheduled for riding and shooting photos, and this year was no different. While I can't show you any of the photos yet, this years trip involved some great shoots in Bend with Kirt Voreis and Carl Decker for Fox Head. Actually you can check out some of the photos in the Fox Head Catalog, and possible even an ad or two... This year Sea Otter was a bit of a bonus as well, kind of like Christmas in April actually. Suzuki gave Pinkbike a brand new car to play with for the summer, a dedicated vehicle for road trips and other adventures.

Ryan Howard at the Sea Otter Rain or Shine Jam

This year at Sea Otter was the Strength in Numbers Premier, and also the FMBA Rain or Shine Jam, and we also featured a bunch of new products.

Immediately following Sea Otter was the 2012 Underworld Cup in Port Angeles. This years event was a US National Pro GRT event, a NW Cup event, and a US Grand Prix of MTB all in one. I also took a bit of time to finish up some Fox shooting with Josh Bryceland.

After arriving home from Sea Otter the first adventure planned with the new ride was a trip down to Hood River to check out a few Ellsworth 29ers and shoot some photos with Sam Pinner. It was a short trip, but a good one. It gave me a chance to feel out the car, and come to the quick realization that if I was going to use this car for work it needed a bike rack. There was a little bit of trunk space, but it filled up quick with my Santa Cruz Nomad in it...

  Arriving in Hood River the first stop is almost always the Dirty Fingers Bike Shop and the Ten Speed Roastery. Coffee and a tasty breakfast before the ride, and post ride beers after. These guys know what's up...

  What goes up must come down. Sam Pinner and Mitch (owner of the Dirty Fingers bike shop) rip up a bit of beautiful Hood River singletrack.

After the Oregon trip we wasted no time in getting things dialed in with the car, setting it up with a double rack on the roof from Yakima. Gas mileage was going to suffer a bit, but it would be functional.

  Fresh back from Oregon upgraded with a sweet rack from Yakima, the Kizashi is ready for a summer of fun...

While the Hood River trip was a great little test run, he first big trip planned was the Peel Out Festival in Williams Lake, BC. Back in the day before I was responsible (married, mortgage, and a 4 year old) I used to get up to the puddle a fair bit, whether it be for film and photo trips, or just to ride the Caribou single track and hang out with friends like Mark Savard from Red Shreds Bike and Board. Williams Lake has a plethora of great rides, and they just keep getting better every year, so when the festival was announced it was an easy decision to make the 7 hour drive north for a long weekend full of adventures.

Driving 7 or more hours by yourself without a break is not always the most fun, so I decided to stop off in Kelowna on the way and go for a few rides with Johnny Smoke and Barb Haley. Unfortunately planning is not always my forte, and I ended up missing them by a few hours as they were headed North to the puddle as well. No big deal, I still got to ride in Kelowna, and I picked up a passenger in need of a ride to make the drive a little more interesting. Monica McCosh had just worked her last day at her job in promotions for Tree Brewing in Kelowna, so she was ready for a riding road trip, and she had a bunch of beer. Sounded good to me, and the fact that I like her taste in music only made having her as a co-pilot a bit sweeter. Peel Out was an awesome event, and it happened to be on the May long weekend, which meant an extra day for most. The first two days of the event were spent racing and enjoying the general festivities, camping at Marks out on the lake, and in my case photographing these things. I also took a little time out with James Doerfling and Shreddie to judge the dirt jump comp.

  Doerfling and Cory Brunelle, taking turns down Sick and Nasty

May Long weekend at the Peel Out event in Wiliams Lake BC.
  Sunday night started mellow but picked up quickly out at the lake with a bonfire and a few drinks that lasted well into the evening. Far enough into it that Monday morning came very slowly for most, but we eventually got organized to run a few shuttles on Desous before packing up and heading back home. All in all an awesome weekend... Look for a story on the event itself sometime next spring.

Less than a week later it was up to Whistler to get the scoop on suspension tuning with our good friends at Rockshox. And then off to Sloquet hotsprings to shoot a little something with Holly Feniak. You can find some of those photos in her Women who Ride feature. While the Kizashi has push button all wheel drive and was more than up for the 60 miles of gravel to Sloquet, we opted to leave it behind and take the Kranked rig. Probably a better decision anyway with 4 people and gear.

RockShox rear shock testing at Whistler. Photo by Ian Hylands
  Sorry Kizashi, you're just not big enough for 4 people and gear...

The next real trip was Jump Ship in Victoria a few weeks later. Not much of a road trip, it takes about two and half hours to get there from here, but the ferry is two of that. Check out a few fresh photos from a little session at Boss' jumps before the event.

  Sam Dueck getting his stretch on...

  Nick Tingren was killing it til he went down for a little dirt nap. Time for a new helmet...

After Jumpship I took a little break from road trips and went a little bigger. First off was a trip to Chicoutimi, Quebec, to check out the new Devinci Carbon Wilson then pretty much straight off to Sun Valley for the Scott Genius and Gambler Launch, followed by a trip to North Carolina for US Gravity Nationals and a catalog shoot for Specialized. Check out a few little extras from those trips...

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Scott Sports 3 ROX Racing team rider Geoff Kabush is excited about the new Genius and will be riding the 27.5 version in the Trans Provence race this fall.

Unfortunately I can't really show you anything we shot for Specialized, but it was a great trip. I worked with some awesome people, and everything started off on a great note when we arrived at our house for the week and found a fridge stocked with Dales compliments of Dale himself. Can't beat that! If you're in Brevard next year be sure to check out the new Oskar Blues Brew Pub that should be opening there sometime in the next months.

After that it was home for a few days before heading back to Vancouver Island for the Bearclaw Invitational Our photography team for the event consisted of myself as well as Fraser Britton and Ale di Lullo, so we played a little game of see how much stuff you can fit in the Kizashi.

The hardest work of the summer is usually Crankworx, and this year I added Tippie's wedding and Deep Summer to that. Basically start off a solid week of photography work with four 18 hour days in a row. But I think it was worthwhile...

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Flip Barspin over the creek gap

The two biggest highlights of Crankworx for me were probably Steve Smith winning, and Jamie Goldman's huge superman.

Goldman was the first to really trick this jump during the Joyride Slopestyle Qualifiers and even after the main event this is still my favorite shot on this jump. Huge
Goodbye Crankworx it was swell
  Goodbye Crankworx, it was swell...

After that it was back home for a bit, and I threw in a quick session at the bridge jumps for this article by Ryan Berrecloth.

Tippie and I have been trying to get a few things shot for a while now, and I finally got a chance to shoot with him up in Kamploops. The weather wasn't perfect, but we still managed to get a few awesome shots in the bag.

  Tippie, slashing at the edge...

Next up was Vegas for Interbike. Another big road trip, and time to drop off the Suzuki after a summer of fun driving. On the way down I hooked up with the Ryders eyewear crew who were doing their own roadtrip to Vegas, and I got in a few rides in Hood River and Bend, Oregon. That was followed by a drive to Reno to shoot some stuff for Deity with Cam Zink, can't show you now but you'll see it soon enough.

Bend Oregon Hooking up with the Ryder s Eyewear crew for a ride
  The Ryder's Eyewear crew drove to Vegas in an old VW Window Van...

  Kirt Voreis has been working on some new ramps at his new house, can't wait til they're done!

While I was at Interbike I did a fun little promo shoot for Steve Romaniuk, who is now riding for Vampt, and I spent a bit of time hanging out with the new Jr Women's DH World Champ, Holly Feniak.

Troy Lee set up with their moto trailer for Dirt Demo that s a seriously large amount of space in that pit.

Interbike is another huge week of work, shooting photos, checking out new stuff, hanging out at the On Dirt Demo, and going to a bunch of parties. Top of the list was the Where the Trail Ends Premier.

It s hard to find a bigger billboard anywhere in the world and this one features HD Video screens. Welcome to Las Vegas

Interbike was followed up by a very quick road trip up to Retallack Lodge for a shoot with Kirt Voreis, unfortunately that didn't go as planned (story to come) and I ended up doing a shoot with Lindsey Voreis instead.

Lindsey Voreis rides her bike in the Alpine above Retallack Lodge near Kaslo BC
  Lindsey, tearing up the alpine above Retallack Lodge.

Then it was straight back down to the desert for 5 days of Red Bull Rampage madness.

Zink was looking great all day with some big plans for tomorrow. But then he overjumped the canyon gap and this years Rampage may well be over for him...

Rampage usually marks the beginning of the end of the Mountain Bike Season, and it was the same this year. Just one event left, and one more road trip. This time down to San Francisco for the SF Bike Expo, and AT's Showdown. I also spent a little bit of time catching up with Alex Reveles and shooting a bit with him in the hills above Santa Cruz, and then stopped by to visit Terry Cox at College Cyclery in Sacramento on the way home...

  Alex, still killing it, way more style than you...

While this is a pretty big list of events and shoots, it's still a partial list. There were many more studio shoots, product shoots, and non mountain bike shoots that I did in between all these this year. And next year will probably be busier...


  • + 39
 Thanks for doing this article Ian, cool to see what you get up to. You sure do get around don't you!
  • + 2
 These are awesome Ian! Thanks for sharing. We are looking forward to seeing your work in 2013!
  • + 1
 thanks guys!
  • + 9
 im a high school junior, with no money, no license, and multiple overly-abused bikes... wanna trade lives?
  • + 6
 no thanks, been there already...
  • + 4
 haha that makes me feel better that you turned out so successful. you've got one hell of an eye for photography!
  • + 5
 Sooo... where's the rest of the Vegas/Holly Feniak shots??? I have seen 2 and they're both A+....
  • + 6
 Both Steves had some wins up there.
  • + 4
 Ian it's so cool to ride, hang and chill with you in a fi bush. All the bestest in the new Irie year.
  • + 5
 awesome write up ian, I enjoyed that. you are one busy dude.
  • + 3
 The beautiful trails of hood river... ruined by riding a POS Ellsworth. YUK.
  • + 2
 Met you at Nationals. Did you get to ride Pisgah proper (Black Mountain, Farlow Gap, etc) or just film in DuPont? I hope you got to ride some Pisgah as a reward!
  • + 1
 We rode a few different things in the area, but it was mostly shooting, not really any days of just riding. Definitely need to come back and ride!
  • + 4
 Great read and great photos. What I'd give to do this for a living!
  • + 3
 Always been a fan of Ian's. Good articles great photos and always has hot chicks in an article
  • + 4
 Awesome write up, great pics!! Youre living every mountainbikers dream
  • + 3
 Great read for my Saturday morning, thanks Ian!
  • + 3
 And for my Friday night Smile
  • + 3
 The superman at crakworx over that 60footer was effing ridiculous.
  • + 2
 is it me or do the chicks go down in tan shade?
  • + 2
 hahaha i defiantly got a new helmet! thanks Ian!
  • + 2
 Wait. How big is A-Rev's chainring? 40t?
  • + 1
 after reading this, i ask myself once again: why am i studying business administration????
  • + 2
 Steve Smith look very happy with girls
  • + 1
 An amazing year Ian, thanks for posting all of this. Well done.
  • + 2
  • + 1
 Nice retrospective but man, so much of in embargo. Can't wait to see it Big Grin
  • + 2
 great work Ian
  • + 1
  • + 1
 jokes just saw 9th photo haha
  • + 1
 Great work and job Happy Holidays!! And a shredding New Year 2013!!!
  • + 1
 Good job Ian! You were (almost) everywhere!!
  • + 0
 the guy in the 8th photo is mad, why ride up when u can ride down
  • + 1
 because you have to get to the top before you can ride down. Simple physics...
  • + 1
  • + 1
 that was kay sweet
  • + 1
 nug life!
  • + 1
 Awesome post, thank you!
  • + 1
 what an epic year
  • + 1
 Dat. Roost. Pic.
  • - 1
 Ian have you got the number of Holly ?
Write an PM please Wink
  • + 2
 Still creepy, dude.
  • + 2
 Oh dude it was a joke...C'mon Wink
  • - 1
 anybody know what brand the roof carrier on the Kizashi is?
  • + 3
 Photo says yakima.
  • + 1
 Photo says jelous!
  • + 2
 try saying jealous with a lisp
  • + 1
 I looked top to bottom 3 times and missed that -_- cheers

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