Digger Kneeds Knees - Video

Jul 31, 2017
by Christine Reid  
Views: 6,957    Faves: 7    Comments: 1

Make a donation to the Digger Kneeds Knees Campaign.

It’s hard to think of what hasn’t been said about Todd “Digger” Fiander. He’s an icon, a leader, and an intensely passionate advocate for trails, conservation, and the sport of mountain biking. The impact he’s had on the bike community and industry cannot be overstated.

DIGGER - Joystick Team
Living the Dream

Ever since getting his first taste of trail building, working on the then-new Baden Powell trail, Digger is now as much a part of the North Shore Mountains as they are a part of him. What started as no more than a few reroutes through hiking trails quickly blossomed into a 30-year obsession, creating trails for two wheels that hasn’t subsided. The North Shore landscape was the perfect inspiration as Digger went on to create lines and features that allowed for the evolution of not only trail building, but mountain biking itself.

This evolution first began locally but soon spread internationally when he started gathering the sport’s up and coming riders to film the North Shore Extreme videos from 1997 to 2010. After each video’s release, the limit of what trails could be and what was possible on a bike rocketed and Digger’s vision for the future of trails grew to new heights.

As the years went on and the trails continued to evolve, bikes evolved to tackle them with a new style of riding, “Freeride”, catching on globally. Bike companies kept designing and building better bikes, events like Crankworx and Redbull Rampage were created, and people started referencing Digger and the North Shore as the birth spot of this new style of riding!


Like any true leader, Digger kept doing what he loved, at whatever the cost or hurdle. But years of digging and dealing with all the resistance has taken a toll on his body. His knees were the first to go but he continued on, dragging himself up the mountains to pick up his shovel and lead others as not only trail builders, but stewards of the forest and advocates for mountain biking as a positive force in the community.

Today, Digger continues to work on the trails daily but despite all his physical pain, he will always greet you with a smile, word of encouragement (“this trail will kick your ass”) or maybe even an old North Shore Extreme DVD. For he is living his dream under the canopy of the North Shore’s Forests.

Tyler and Dan filming.

Now the time has come (actually a couple years overdue) for Digger to get new knees. Yes, both need replacing and the first one is scheduled for August 16th, 2017. While the surgeries are covered by B.C. Medical, Digger has living expenses—months of physio—not covered by insurance, health plans or employers, so we are looking to the local and international communities who have been touched by the North Shore trails in any way to chip in so Digger can have as comfortable of a recovery as possible and not lose any ground in his quest to keep the North Shore trails World Class.

Please donate and take a few minutes to share with your riding friends. Digger is one of a kind and his tremendous impact on the community, the bike industry, and the world is unquestionable. Whether you are a North Shore local or visiting from out of town, as mountain bikers we all owe Digger a debt of gratitude.

Thank you to everyone who has already donated and supported Digger and his knees. The campaign has only been shared locally over the past month and the response has been overwhelming. Thank you for all your generosity and kindness to this legend.

Our hope is that Digger is back on his new knees as quickly as possible and so moved by the community’s support, that he will be around for decades of trail building and bike riding to come! Yes indeed, with his new knees, we hope that Digger will be riding some of the trails he has worked so hard on.
Digger Kneeds Knees
Video by Connor Macleod

MENTIONS: @NSMBA / @christetrault


  • + 61
 Absolutely huge respect for this man - happy to donate.

In addition, I'd like to call on some of these bike companies who have hugely benefited from his selfless work (in terms of being able to market bikes/components towards shore riding) to manage to find some room in the budget to help this guy out. We don't have many legends like Digger around - most sports aren't even so lucky as to have a single individual who is willing to spend so much of his own time developing terrain for the rest of us to freely use. If the consumers and enthusiasts in this industry can pony up to help this guy I'm quite certain the companies we support can manage to do so as well.

Let's see some Digger branded parts with proceeds to his recovery? Decals/clothing? Digger edition swag?
  • + 38
 We donated. And we have boxes of Joystick Digger saddles and Digger handlebars. $10 from each item is money in Digger's pocket.
  • + 4

That's awesome! Thanks Matt!
  • + 33
 Ironic that I'm now contributing money to the knee rehab of a man who created the trail that I ripped my own knee apart on. Thanks Digger for building trails we can brag about riding to the rest of the World! Hope to see you back on the hill soon as possible.
  • + 17
 Yeah dude, I really don't have the money to spend right now, but I'm gonna have to donate anyway. That video is hilarious. Let's get this man some new knees... Thanks for all your work, Todd!
  • + 14
 I'm so glad that I can help the man who probably had the greatest influence on the sport, period. Disagree? Go ride your 8k enduro/freerider bike down the sidewalk. Trails builders make the sport possible.
  • + 11
 I donated a while back, but a comment regarding the NSX videos made me think. Could they all be able to purchase on-line as a way of raising funds? Some of the early footage is pretty amazing but it's likely to disappear forever.
  • + 2
 That's a great idea. Hopefully it can happen.
  • + 5
 That is a good idea, I was just thinking Dig's needs to look at getting that stuff up on Youtube as his own content so he gets the hits and the revenue instead of someone ripping his content. But also a Itunes pay to download. Will mention it to his this week.
  • + 7
 Happy to contribute! Not only has he helped shape the style and type of riding on the north shore, he is an absolute beauty to run into on the trails. Constantly stoked and wanting to know what you've ridden that day, talking about all the trails he's built and you can see how proud he is of them. Dig on, heal quickly!
  • + 6
 Just gave you a $1 for every cut, scab and bruised ego you ever gave me since 1997 Digger. Couldn't possibly afford to pay you for all the good times. Thank you for everything you do for us.
  • + 8
 A worthy cause. Thank you Digger for your many years of service!
  • + 6
 Ignore the marketing and enjoy this little bit of North Shore brilliance. Little clip of Digger:

  • + 3
 Digger was there at the start of the Free Ride era. He built and filmed a whole new way of thinking what can be done on a bike. Those old pics remind me of a current video posted on PB filmed in Squamish. Todd still maintains the trails he built and more. The mans a living legend.
  • + 7
 Well thats now the third time I have donated haha.
  • + 5
 Please replace 'understated' with 'overstated' at the end of the first paragraph. I'm pretty sure that's what you meant.
  • + 1
 Not sure why someone down voted you when you're right.
  • + 2
 @bernieships: Haters gonna hate. Looks like Pinkbike fixed it though. Glad to see they weren't trying to rip on the guy at the same time they are spreading the good word about his fundraiser.
  • + 1
 How lucky we are in France! Last year i seriously break my ankle during a ride, i have been stopped for 7 month... It cost me nothing for the saving, i still have my salary during the period and all the rehab and surgery were free....
  • + 1
 Biking shaped my life in a profound way and I'll never forget my first trip to the North Shore! I supported Digger with a 20$ t-shirt 5 years ago (remember the 20 years ladies only party?), here's another 20$. Get well!
  • + 1
 I owe Digger big time for all the work he's done. If he's calling in a favor I'm happy to pay off part of my debt. I think I still owe him at least a couple of beers. Thanks Digger!
  • + 1
 I hope the major film companies who have profited off these trails will donate. Anyone know if that's already happening?
  • + 1
 No offense here and forgive me for saying A 100k really . I'm happy to donate but I have to say that's alotta cash
  • + 23
 If this guy was paid for all the hours he's worked to make trails we all can ride I bet he'd have made over 100k. Instead he's volunteered, and now he needs our help. 100k is definitely a lot but considering all he's done for the sport we love it's time we pay him back somehow.
  • + 19
 Think of it as $3000 per year salary to turn this place into what it is.
  • + 4
 @north-shore-bike-shop: Yep, excellent point. I kind of thought 100k seemed high until I realized how much work he's been doing for free over the years. The least we can do is make sure he has a relaxing recovery. Especially given that half the wear and tear is likely due to working on the trails in the first place.
  • + 2

True he's done a lot for the sport in bc
Like I said I'm happy to help
  • + 2
 @mxmtb: at first I thought your comment was a little dickish but now I understand your point. It is indeed a lot of cash. But life in North Van ain't cheap. He's not going to be getting a new car or big-screen tv out of this. It's really just food and home maintenance money. I hope Todd doesn't slack on the rehab. Done properly, this procedure can give him a second life.
  • + 1
 All the work hour comments are true, however any rehab treatment (e.g. physio) is insanely expensive. 100k is very much on the lower end of what a full rehab can cost.
  • + 1
 We're almost 1/2 way there. I put 10 on it under the name Pink Biker. They should accept Paypal though.
  • + 2
 FREE healthcare??? haha!! I wish!
  • + 2
 We got it good compared to 99.9% of the humans on earth
  • + 1
 Trails, tales and other lies blew my mind. A small contribution from a student on it's way!
  • + 1
 Done !!! He deserves it !
  • + 0
 don't Canadians have free healthcare? why are they charging this guy 100k?
  • + 8
 "While the surgeries are covered by B.C. Medical, Digger has living expenses—months of physio—not covered by insurance, health plans or employers, so we are looking to the local and international communities who have been touched by the North Shore trails in any way to chip in so Digger can have as comfortable of a recovery as possible and not lose any ground in his quest to keep the North Shore trails World Class."
  • + 4
 The surgery itself will likely be fully covered, but you're on your own for recovering after the surgery. Two knee replacements will be a lot of time off work, and physio/rehab may or may not be covered by medical insurance.
  • + 3
 To add to what others have said estimated recovery time is one year. Physio sessions are about $100 a pop and there will be some other costs associated with the surgery. I think the breakdown is 50k for additional medical expenses and 50k for living expenses. Additionally living expenses might also extend to dependaants
  • + 1
 @ScandiumRider: wow thats kind of f*cked. still better than our "lets f*ck over the consumer" model of healthcare here.

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