I was stoked when I received an invite from Sarah Leishman to be one of the featured riders in this year's GoPro Dirt Diaries at Whistler's Crankworx. After watching some of the best videos from the previous year, I was at a loss of what direction to go. I didn't want to shoot just another shred-edit with a hand-picked, star-studded crew. I wanted a different angle. There was this idea that I had in my head for a while, but I thought it was too ambitious for a 6 minute video. In the end I decided to go with it anyhow, and with much complaining - "dude you are trying to tell too much of a story....
" - from my chosen filmer/editor Connor Macleod we got rolling. After the first shoot, Connor realized the story I was attempting to capture, and got committed!
The riders in the video are "legends
" in their own right. Quite the eclectic crew that shared with me their passions of this sport that helped shape my direction for the past 25 years. If you listen close, rules are broken and claims are made, which of course are all true. These guys are true to themselves and are living how they want to live. They instilled in me what they love about this sport:Epic - Brian Coulter
. Brian was one of the owners at Robson Cycles, the first Vancouver bike shop I worked at in 1992, and at the time the riding scene was all XC and epic (basically getting lost in the mountains
). He dragged me out on my first epic ride and I nearly died on that 8 hour tour, but witnessed the splendor of alpine single-track. Brian is now living an outdoor enthusiasts dream based in Rossland, BC and he still pioneers bike and ski epics while building magnificent timber-frame homes in his down time.Race - Cory Leclerc.
Cory and I spent many summers in the mid to late-nineties hitting up the local DH races and causing shit. As with most good friends, a fierce rivalry burned and we banged many a bar sprinting towards the first jump. Funny that we both have a BC Cup dual slalom championship jersey, mine from 1999 and his from 2003. Now Cory runs a MTB coaching/training business called C4
based in Squamish, BC and shapes the next MTB champions.Adventure - Johnny Smoke.
Smoke and I ran the wrenches at the Cove Bike Shop in its heyday in the late nineties into early 2000's. The Cove was, and still is the epitome of "cool
". We would meet before work and shuttle the "darkside
" right into the Cove and start work. The drop was 3500 ft of sweet Shore gnar; best way to start a day of work! The adventure never stopped. Smoke is a legend in his own mind and the minds of people lucky enough to be treated to one of his tours. He absolutely provides the best MTB tours found in BC, and will keep you in stitches while filling your head with great music. Who else could legitimately own a business named Bush Pilot Biking
.Freeride - Richie Schley and Brett Tippie.
These two need no introduction. I'm lucky to be a friend of these two legendary characters for as long as I have. The spirit of Freeride drives their lives as it does mine. It seems that when you are this ingrained in what you do, it is possible to transcend industry trends and hypes. We are testament to this. We love what we do and that is passed on to other people. I thank them for the great times along the way and I'm looking forward to many more in the future!
- Wade SimmonsCheck out this throwback that spawned Wade's GoPro Dirt Diaries video.
Mentions: @cmac @RockyMountainBicycles @MarzocchiMTB @bretttippie @smoke @raceface