We stayed up way too late and awoke the next day ready to go ride some local trails. We hooked up with a local named Vance and he took us up to some trails that wound down the mountain with some interesting stunts on them. Tyler and Steve managed to style out some drops that were pretty cool. That night I went on a renegade mission to try and find some viable places to build a hip of a step up that we could session the next day. I have never seen such powder like conditions and to anyone who has ridden in that stuff and you can appreciate how hard it is to take off and land in dirt that is the consistency of Pompei volcanic ash...very sketchy. So with the building out of the question because of the severe dryness it was back to the beach for some cocktails.
This is where it got interesting. Jared was being a regular wise guy most of the trip with his antics and was busy trash talking me on the trails to the camera. So, I decided that with the hot weather we were experiencing he would be much happier with a nice mullet instead of what he had. With the help of my grappling skills and this scary razor knife I picked up at the Chinese market, the plan was set into motion. Tyler Klassen and Steve Romaniuk agreed to duct tape his hands and feet after I held him so that he wouldn’t get cut or try and poke out my eye or something. Mike and Tim were interviewing Tyler because of a certain bike that was run over in the campground, which meant that the cameras were rolling and there was enough light from the trucks that it would all be caught on tape. I came up behind soon to be mullet boy and was about to turn him into a new and improved version of his sketchier self. It all went good until the commotion and the words “cut it” got confused with “cut him” scared the other campers and most of all the owner of the campground. Soon the police were on their way to a “murder” or a “rape”, they weren’t quite sure. I guess a tattooed guy on top of a duct taped lad holding a knife with a crowd chanting “cut him” means something other than “this kids getting a mullet” in Penticton. Go figure
After a much needed cool down period and a talk from the producers we were not kicked out of the campground, Jared had a wicked mullet if I do say so myself, and I was not in jail. Onto day three.
The next day we thought it would be a good idea to head out of town and make our way to Tony the Milkman’s (IDUN Monkey Style) cousin's house. We were told that behind his house in the orchard was some stuff that we could ride. Dirt jumps and some gaps. Nice. We managed to weave the bus up the trail and headed into the unknown. This place had some cool stuff and was all made because someone got tired of bitching that there was nothing to ride and decided to pick up a shovel, put down the game boy and make it happen. Tony’s cousin Brian was the wiz kid that got it done. There was a pretty hefty gap to mini sandy landing and a cool hip that was hard as concrete that helped my smashed heels to feel the love. Tyler and Steve launched the gap with Tyler boosting super high some how off a flat ladder and Steve “Kaiser” Romaniuk doing some super sick flatties. Watch out for that kid. We did some cross lines with three or four people in one shot that had Klassen flying over me whilst I approached the hip which I finally landed a wrong way - 360 off. I think it ended up being a four hundred or so and then we headed to the Oliver skate park.
The park was super mini but also had some potential. Steve was boosting a gap with some silky style that made my pants tighter and Jared “Mullet Boy” was doing some manual lines to hair flips that were sick. Jared also did a crazy line up onto a hand rail and over to the other side. He also tried to grind the rail, which ended in some carnage.
We were struggling to get some footage for the episode so we figured we would try and find a place to do some lake jumping. We found a super small place that had a dock to launch off and set up the ramp. I rigged my bike up so that it would float and everyone just seemed to watch and not get ready. The wind had picked up and the sun went away which did not make for any fights for who went first. I launched into the water and trying to swim with my bike and crawl up the slimy dock swallowed about a litre of BC’s finest unpurified. This did not make for any jealousy and I was on my own. I hit it twice more to much the same affect and felt much worse after I crawled out for the last time. We were then mobbed by a bunch of kids at the bus and all I wanted was to change into some dry clothes, have a beer and sit down. So we handed out stickers and made our way out of there.
We were finished with the desert so we headed into Kelowna for Canada day and Tony’s birthday. It was a full on night with some antics going down that will make you laugh. Some highlights would be Dylan using the “I have SARS” line on the ladies, seeing a renegade bunch of metal heads named “Anonymous” with a modified budget rental van that had creatively been re-labelled to read “f*cked” instead. Also was my friend Brad talking about greasy sausages behind a vomiting man on the street that was on all fours. We couldn’t get a cab, and out of the blue rode Brad and Dylan. We eventually got a cab back to our awaiting parking lot that we were “camping” in and stayed awake till the sun came up. It was my last night so we made it count.
The next morning, well, three hours later Dylan and I were stupid enough to think that we might as well start on the Kelowna segment while it was like 38 degrees. If only 98 degrees were there to cheer us on. We went to the new skatepark and scoped out some fun stuff. It was so hot that we needed multiple refills on our saline drip IV’s that Mike had hooked us up with. Those producers are always thinking of us. I was trying to kill myself by trying to transfer from a seven-foot bowl into a three-foot tub doing a no-footed topside can-can. It didn’t turn out so good, so I kept trying until I ripped my seat off with my nut sack and put the end of my bar into my armpit. That was enough to convince me to try again next time. So I thought it was the right time to drive back to Calgary to get ready for the real world again.
After I made it home I realized that I met some really cool guys that sure like riding their bikes. The riding could have been more full on but, considering the conditions and what we found it was more of a social trip than epic mountain biking. But in my travels I have learned that I usually remember the nice people I meet more than the riding. I will be back for some dirt jumping in Golden and some Calgary antics for sure. Dropin was super fun and you have to ride your bike everyday for more than a week straight to realize that it is amazing that those guys throw down the stuff they do on that show. Lack of sleep, broken bodies and not knowing what you're riding till you hit the lip the first time needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Those guys are on film on their worst days, their best days and every condition you can think of so take note when you watch from week to week that it is non-stop for seventy days, not once a week.
Thanks to all of the people that made this happen and especially my wife Stacy and all of my sponsors. Without all the support I would not be able to ride as much as I do. Pinkbike was the one that started it all for me by getting me into the Red Bull Freezride. Without that trip I would not have met all the people that asked me to go film and ride. Thanks Mike. Calgary Cycle for the endless backup and bike parts on no notice. If you have never been there you should go say hi to Derek and all the boys. Thanks Block Eight for hooking me up with the burliest cranks, pedals and bars out there. IDUN for the clothes on my back and the love from Roy. Smith Optics to protect my eyes for tattooing and keeping me looking hot for the ladies.
And last but not least. The foundation of all my riding comes from the THUNK frame between my legs. If anyone has seen me ride I spend most of my time trying things that often end in disaster on concrete. Thunk has made a bike that has taken far too many ghost rides to cement after a gap or spin doesn’t go quite right. That thing has been mint in all conditions and likes to eat dirt on a daily basis with no hint of dying. It is indestructible as of yet. Check it out at www.calgarycycle.com/thunk/index.html
Well, see you on two wheels…
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