BUILDER: Stephen Matthews

Jun 18, 2015
by Scott Secco  
 
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Builder



BUILDER


Stephen Matthews


Photography: Margus Riga // Story: Scott Secco




Desk Jockey


Stephen Matthews, 26, works in downtown Vancouver at a shiny three story office. He’s the Ambassador Coordinator for Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) a major outdoor goods retailer in Canada. He’s a desk jockey, spending 40 hours per week behind the glowing box of his computer, ‘’coordinating a team of Ambassadors for content curation, design feedback, event involvement, and supporting their own initiatives.’’ Whatever that means. Basically he makes sure MEC sponsored Ambassadors are doing cool stuff, and promoting their adventures effectively.






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bigquotesTrail building gives you a new perspective on mountain biking. Once you spend time patching holes or building corners, you start to realize how much hard work has gone into every trail you ride. I think putting time into building can give riders a deeper connection to the sport.


Stephen Matthews




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#ForceOfPeter



Peter Matthews, 28, is Stephen’s brother and spends his winters on the slopes of Whistler, driving a Sno-Cat and grooming runs for skiers and snowboarders. During the summer, he works as part of the Whistler Bike Park Trail Crew and maintains the trails we’ve seen on video so many times before. Peter rides in all of Whistler’s marketing videos and he may be the most seen - and least recognized - rider in the sport. He moved from the Matthews’ hometown of Calgary, Alberta strictly to live in Whistler and to ride his bike as much as possible.



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bigquotes Peter and I grew up riding on the bike paths and trails of Calgary's Bow River Valley, and now we're living among some of the best trails in the world. Riding has always been about having fun and exploring, and the sky is the limit in this part of the world. He's a super solid rider, and when we get out and ride it's still nothing but good times!


Stephen Matthews





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Weekend Warrior


Virtually every athlete in Builder is a full-time professional; they ride bikes for a living and spend their days behind bars whether it be riding with friends, on photo shoots, or in the woods with a shovel. Stephen is the everyman, the kind of guy you’d ride with after work, who kicks your ass up and down hill, who used to ‘’do a bit of racing, a few hucks back in the day.’’ He built stunts for the movie on his own time, during fleeting moments of weekend possibility. Stephen is more motivated and organized than most career athletes combined: he has to be in order to balance his marketing job with the life of a part time professional rider. in 2014 alone he built and rode for his segment in Builder, organized a photo trip to Iceland with Mattias Fredriksson, and went on numerous adventures with Reuben Krabbe in search of double page gold in various magazines.





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bigquotes Working in the bike park has provided me with some of the most amazing and frustrating experiences in my life. There's nothing more amazing than rebuilding a section and sessioning it until the rope drops, and nothing more frustrating than seeing your work crumble into dust. It's provided me with a lot of great lessons in impermanence. You can't get attached to things. Everything changes whether you want it to or not. I think trail building truly is the glue of the sport. It creates identity, unity, and camaraderie within the culture, and helps shape the next generation of riders.


Peter Matthews




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Raw Fear


Riding for a paycheque forces a different headspace upon riders: if you don’t progress then you better look for a new job. Missing a season due to injury can be catastrophic for a rider’s bank account and career prospects; one has to find the right balance between risk and reward (i.e. media coverage) to ride sustainably. Guys like Stephen have a desk job waiting for them on Monday morning and can’t take the risk of severe injury. However, there’s still that inexorable pull of testing one’s limits, the personal satisfaction that comes from scaring yourself and overcoming raw fear.




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Borderless


Stephen and Peter grew up riding street in Calgary and left the province in search of new trails and a lifestyle devoted to riding bikes. The work that Peter does at the Whistler Bike Park is ridden by thousands of different people from across the world. And while Stephen’s stunts may never be touched again after this movie, if they can inspire someone, somewhere, to pick up a shovel, then we’d consider their segment a success. Trails really are universal - appreciated by any mountain biker from any province, in any country, and in any language. The thrill of riding is borderless.




Builder is available now
iTunes - Google Play - Vimeo on Demand - XBox Video - Amazon Video

Pre-order your copy of Builder on DVD/Blu Ray here







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Builder World Tour Schedule
World Premiere - Monterey, California, USA - April 17
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - April 23rd
Corvallis, Oregon, USA - April 25th
Mt. Buller, Australia - April 25th
Victoria, BC, Canada - May 6th
Sooke, BC, Canada - May 8th
MSS Bike Park, Quebec, Canada - May 8th
Prince George BC, Canada - May 9th
Vancouver BC, Canada - May 15th
Kaupanger, Norway - May 15th
Kendal, Cumbria, Uk - May 15th
Whistler BC, Canada - May 16th
Mission BC, Canada - May 16th
Squamish BC, Canada - May 17th
Boulder, CO, USA - May 18th
Quadra Island, BC, Canada - May 22nd
Merritt, BC, Canada - May 22nd
Coleman, AB, Canada - May 22nd
Extreme Zone Cycles, Santiago, Chile - May 22nd
Banbridge, Northern Ireland - July 2nd
Cordoba, Argentina - May 22nd
Moscow, Russia - May 22nd
Krakow, Poland - May 22nd
Angelfire Bike Park NM, USA - May 24th
Campbell River, BC, Canada - May 26th
Novato, California, USA - May 29th
Valemount, BC, Canada - May 29th
Rossland, BC, Canada - May 30th
Bristol, England - June 4th
Hood River OR, USA - June 4th
Bracknell, England - June 8th
Revelstoke, BC, Canada - June 11th
Bellingham, WA, USA - June 11th
Penticton, BC, Canada - June 19th
Nelson, BC, Canada - June 22nd
St Louis, MO, USA - June 24th
Koblenz, Germany - June 24th
Silverstar Mountain Resort - June 27th
Glasgow, Scotland - June 27th
Stowe, VT, USA - June 27th
Juneau, AK, USA - June 30
Innsbruck, Austria - July 7th
Canmore, AB, Canada - July 8th
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes, France - July 11th
Monthey, Switzerland - July 11th
Taichung City, Taiwan - July 25th
Tucson, AZ, USA - July 29th


Please contact rose@pinkbike.com if you are interested in hosting a premiere











Story: Scott Secco
Photography: Margus Riga
Rider: Stephen Matthews

pinkbike.com/builder #buildermovie


MENTIONS @pinkbike @trailforks @scottsecco @Hayescomponents @intensecyclesusa @KNOLLYBIKES @FiveTen @Maxxis @Contour @SRSuntour @iXSsports @mountainequipmentcoop @sterlinglorence @Margus @parisgore @RedfernMedia @cmac @bhawley @BangBangTheMovie @claw @dbaker @EeehhZink @stephen @thomaswalker @mattmacduff @goldsie


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27 Comments

  • + 13
 Awesome I love these type of stories! Especially on the crew from Builder. Scott has done a good job I have to say. He has done amazingly with this and I hope he keeps banging out the goods. Keep it up Scott and Co.
  • + 4
 " I think putting time into building can give riders a deeper connection to the sport."

I moved from the sweet andes trails to an Island with no MTB and I learned this the hard way, biggest truth you can imagine, also biggest reward you can imagine...

ps: it comes to a point where you have several shovels hidden here and there and the temptation of putting those 10 min in the trail is inevitable.
  • + 2
 Hahaha Pancho, I joke with my wife that I probably have half of Home Depot hidden in various places on the trail I'm working on.
  • + 1
 hahaha @wideload46

no kidding!!! keep rocking the building!!!

Cheers from the Chiloe Island in Chile!!
  • + 4
 Awesome write up! I was so excited to see the Mathew's brothers on the big screen, both mega talented riders, both committed to the sport in a very positive fashion and still way humble. Good people! Keep on building and shredding gents!
  • + 3
 Great article, enjoyed it. I used to ride with these guys 10+ years ago at COP in Calgary, its great to see how far they've come. Congrats to both Stephen and Peter for following their dream, moving to another province, and embracing the biking lifestyle. I know it's not an easy decision. I myself stayed in Calgary and went the corporate route, and sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing. There are perks, but I don't ride as much as I'd like....

Anyways keep up the good work guys, looking forward to whatever is next!
  • + 2
 I gotta be completely honest, and I know I'm probably gonna get negative propped out the ass for this, but honestly I didn't think builder was anything special. Yeah it was good, but there's nothing about it that was memorable or that great or anything. And it didn't highlight building as much as all the hype was highlighting. Good video, but I will probably never watch it again and it certainly didn't live up to all the hype.
  • + 3
 I'm all for this photo layout, it looks sexy asf and i cant find a single thing wrong with any of there photos, but it just doesnt work when you're using photos at such a low resolution.
  • + 2
 It's interesting to see the comparison between full-time pros, or bike-as-a-job guys (like the park crew) and desk-jockeys like myself who love to ride. I think there's way more of us "the latter" types, so insight into tailoring your profession to maximize your passion is helpful. thanks!
  • + 2
 I had a chance to ride with Stephen a few time and just couldn't keep up with no matter how hard flat out straitline almost dying I tried... I enjoyed every bit of that segment.
  • + 1
 Awesome post!

I was planning to do some mountain biking road tripping in Europe this summer, but looking at this list.. seems like I just need another working holiday visa for Canada!

Can't these builders go on tour and build these awesome trails around the world?

(mm still shows the canadian flag from my time in Whistler, but I am actually just from the Netherlands)
  • + 2
 You'll likely never meet two nicer guys than the Matthews brothers and they shred harder than most. Great write up and amazing photos.
  • + 1
 Stephen and Peter, you guys rock. Genuinely good people and the love for biking flows through them. The quote by Peter in this article is deep! Way to go boys.
  • + 3
 dirt looks so magic in BC
  • + 1
 Why does it matter with iTunes what country. They won't let me download here.
  • + 1
 Hi @Roving-Tom! If iTunes doesn't work, then I would recommend trying Google Play or Vimeo on Demand! Hope that helps.
  • + 1
 I have tried every link for ordering this video. Every one of them blocks me from purchasing / viewing because I happen to not be in the states. This kind of censorship is bullshit.
  • + 2
 "The thrill of riding is borderless." this quote!!!
  • + 2
 Amazing man! Cool article, good to see it's not all pros in the film
  • + 1
 Loam and Granite slabs. I love B.C.
Thank you to every one who builds /maintains trails!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Why is it only SD on Xbox Video @scottsecco ? No HD? Frown
  • + 1
 Never mind, apparently you can't buy HD in Australia (usual story)
  • + 1
 Hey @meakesy, I'd say you should try Google Play or Vimeo on Demand, HD is definitely the better option! Hope that works for you.
  • + 2
 CALGARY REPRESENT!
  • + 2
 lol []Deter
  • + 2
 This makes me wanna dig
  • - 2
 Wow cool first post .... Yes neat things about neat people ... I think mtn biking is really neat

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