Pray For Rain

Aug 29, 2012
by Bruno Long  
Been raining lots lately but with nuclear greens like this no one s complaining.
  The image that started it all...

For most in the Northern Hemisphere, the month of June is the lead-in to summer, with rising temperatures, melting snow and days at the lake after a sunny bike ride. However, here in the Interior of British Columbia, June usually signifies one thing: rain. And lots of it. This particular spring in BC brought more than double the amount of dreary, rainy days, wreaking havoc on highways, roads and trails. On an almost daily basis, I would hear from other riders about it being 'too wet to ride' or that 'the mud is bad for my bike'. Suck it up buttercup. If there is one thing I know about the Interior, it's that if you don't ride in the rain during the 'June Monsoons', you don't go riding very much at all. Sure, my drivetrain probably took a three month beating in about three weeks, my bearings, pivots and BB felt like I was grinding rocks into concrete dust, while my riding gear all seem to have a permanent brown streak up the back, making me look like some sort of confused skunk. But with all the bad that comes out of riding in the rain, there is inherently some good that filters through. For me, it's the greens.

  Newly-crowned Canadian DH Champion and Queen of Crankworx , Casey Brown does some early season training in her hometown of Revelstoke

  Here, she trains with Sam Poarch, another up-and-coming rider from our local scene. The trees and moss are a wonderful contrast with the steep, brown sliver of trail leading down and down and down...

A recent POD of mine (top image of the series) and the ensuing debate over photo doctoring and color correction got me thinking about this little photo essay. The interior rainforest that I happen to live so close to and ride my bike in on a daily basis is something that I often overlook. I've grown so used to the lush forest, heavy canopy and enormous trees that I sometimes forget that many people have never seen or ridden in this type environment. When most people think about the rainforest, they picture an Amazonian jungle or coastal British Columbia. In Revelstoke and some surrounding areas, we enjoy the beauty of an inland rainforest, one of the only places on earth with this type of environment. Enormous trees, tacky dirt and soft loam make the riding experience unbelievable but in the spring, the greens are what really stand out in my mind.

  Feeling pretty small in a pretty big forest.


  As the snow melted in the spring, different trails showed their spring colors at different times. Searching around for green areas on every trail makes every ride a sort of 'treasure hunt'.

  One of my favorite trails, simply for the aesthetics. Moss for miles...

  ....with a few ferns and Devil's Club thrown in the mix.

The forest comes to life after being blanketed all winter in deep powder snow. As the snow melts, plants begin to absorb water and are injected with new life. They thrive the more it rains and the vibrant colors radiate in the forest. Ferns grow tall, Devil's Club bloom their beautiful yet dangerous leaves and moss turns from yellow to green to nuclear green. It is sometimes hard to even ride in some areas because the forest feels so alive that it is almost vibrating, a tangible feeling that stirs at your very being. For my photography, it makes things very simple. My singular focus is to find the greenest areas possible and then work from that. Keeping things basic and allowing the environment around me to dictate what I shoot is a very freeing activity for me. I've put together a collection of images that portray my personal vision of riding during the rainy season. In the past few weeks, the rains have subsided and the sun has finally made an appearance. People are stepping out into the bright sunshine, eager to shed the rain gear, throw their legs over the top tube and burn their pale white skin under the blazing heat of the sun. People's dispositions have flipped faster than Brandon Semenuk at Crankworx, with depression turning to elation over the course of a few days. And all it took was for the clouds to part and for a small, yellow orb in the sky to show it's warm face.. I, for one, am on the opposite end of the spectrum. The appearance of the sun and subsequent wilting of the foliage has got me in a funk. I had grown used to the cool temps, whereas now I, like the foliage, am also wilting in the sun. The heat has slowed my pace. Dealing with shadows in the forest has reduced my photographic motivation. And the greens just don't have the same vibrancy as when the rains fell from the sky. While most riders were harping about the rain and wishing for warmer weather, I was content with the monsoons. Now that those riders have gotten their wish, I stand mostly alone, wishing and hoping for the clouds to roll back in. Pray for rain....


Note to readers: I wrote this piece in early July and since it is now mid-August and alpine season is in full swing, I may not be praying for rain as much as earlier this year so that I can enjoy the alpine experience. And with the alpine experience, comes wildflower season. The last couple of images have me thinking about the next installment of The Color Series. Stay tuned....



Posted In:
Stories



48 Comments

  • 19 0
 I dont get skunk stripes, it just looks like I shot myself in my white TLD pants after muddy rides on neds, I like these "soul" type articles they remind you what riding is all about
  • 5 1
 *shit, could be awkward if i came out of neds with bloody pants...
  • 2 0
 nvm, clicked wrong reply button.
  • 1 0
 like the username, just had to say it
  • 8 1
 Smashing great photos, the colours are stunning... We have some amazing trail colours here in New Zealand, but nothing like that green, it is infectious.... Whistler here we come next Wednesday, 6 days till leave, bring it..
  • 3 1
 Your heading there at the best time possible. Schol is back in so lines are smaller, temperatures are not so hot and a little moisture is finally making the trails nice and tacky again!
  • 2 17
flag Maveri20 (Aug 29, 2012 at 10:24) (Below Threshold)
 ... colors* are stunning.
  • 7 0
 Fucking americans...
  • 2 0
 Maveri20 don't try and take my job
  • 2 0
 Wow, this is really true for me in australia, where always pray for rain to have moist tacky trails and dirt that actually holds together, instead of the sweltering heat of summer where you can't ride for 5 minutes without being drenched in sweat and having dust stick to you !
  • 1 0
 Which part of Australia do you live in? I don't know about you, but dusty trails for 2 weeks in wollongong with only a tiny bit of rain is feeling like a god send at the moment. I barely ever ride dusty trails here haha.
  • 1 0
 In Albany Just 10km from the most southern tip of W.A. my gravelly trails turn to dust in summer and my jumps are only rideable in winter!
  • 2 1
 I here you. There is nothing I love more then early spring here in the Ozark hills. Fog every morning that covers the hills and hollows. I love being out in it when you cant see more then several trees down the trail, the dirt is wet, and everything smells like, moist loam, and you see that its its alive and growing. Green is a wonderful sensory experience. I would love to experience the temperate rain forest. I will one day.
  • 3 0
 Amazing images, those trails look amazing. If you need rain, come to the UK for summer.
  • 2 0
 Ah Revy...my fave place to ride. Nicely done / shot Bruno...good mix of trails selected. Nakusp/Blanket/Boulder. Got me stokeeeedd!
  • 1 0
 I think there was some MacPherson there too? Nice shots Bruno
  • 1 0
 You guys have it right. All four places.
  • 1 0
 haha, i thought that was the springs trail. If you want to see more 'kusp trails give me a shout
  • 1 0
 I'd love to check out nakusp trails. All I've seen is Kuskanax and Silvercup Ridge which really isn't near anything
  • 1 0
 Beautiful. After a weekend of riding some awesome loam on the damp side, there is nothing quite like it! Definitely looking forward to the fall when things tighten up a little bit! Yeah Mel and Andrew!
  • 2 0
 Bruno, your shots keep getting better and better! I saw that kooteny mag piece at Tristan's, you made ol' J-town look great! Keep it up bro!
  • 1 0
 Thanks brother. J-town is such a special place to me. Can't wait to come back.
  • 2 0
 My philosophy for mud: If you can still see the colors/designs of your shirt through the mud, you have not ridden hard enough
  • 2 0
 Beautiful trails and shots, certainly beats the scorched fire trails of the south of France
  • 3 1
 come to ireland we've got tonnes of rain to spare, hasn't stopped for weeks!
  • 3 0
 All the UK has had this summer is rain. Give us sun to dry our trails!
  • 1 0
 I've ridden on some fern covered trails in Pennsylvania that look like some of these pics. You don't really notice till you stop and take a look around.
  • 1 0
 I must agree, i miss the bright greens that light up the forest, I also miss the rain.. All the trails have turned to dust where I ride.
  • 1 1
 the trails look super buffed though barely any mud in the pictures and if you've got those trails in your backyard it would be a waste not to ride them
  • 2 0
 I wish it would rain here in socal. I would take some mudd over moon dust.
  • 1 0
 man if you want rain come to scotland its been raining for ever.I wish i could just get out on my bike and shred.
  • 1 0
 Beautiful shots, awesome colors. Wish they were wide screen for dual monitor wallpaper though!! Need something new!
  • 1 0
 is that colour corrected shots or not? some look heavily corrected but then again I've never ridden in Revelstoke
  • 1 0
 Great piece! The photography is stunning. The story makes me want to go out and ride. Cant ask for anything more.
  • 2 0
 beautifully done sir
  • 1 0
 Well done Bruno!!! Now come down and shoot some photos on Oahu!
  • 1 0
 Someday soon bud. And I'm gonna eat so much tuna poke, I'm probably gonna get sick.
  • 1 0
 Props to the dog for keeping pace
  • 1 0
 Definitely makes me want to move up North, haha.
  • 1 0
 is that lost boys i see in there too? pics look great bud!
  • 1 0
 I Can't wait till my forest is this green...
  • 1 0
 i envy you with that woods!
  • 1 0
 great article bruno. very inspiring
  • 1 2
 Foreign nice, I have not found a way 国外真好,我这里还没找到这样的路
  • 4 0
 wut^
  • 1 0
 its buteafulWink
  • 1 0
 Awesome Shots Bruno!
  • 1 3
 West Lake /Hang Zhou/China

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.025729
Mobile Version of Website