In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham and Sam Schultz

Oct 16, 2017
by Rocky Mountain Bicycles  

Stretching through high mountain meadows and down deep winding valleys, the trails of Sun Valley, Idaho are absolutely world class. The trails themselves hold a special feeling, built from the legacy of pioneers and visionaries exploring the region. Rocky Mountain Bicycles’ athletes, Thomas Vanderham and Sam Schultz, set out with their sights set on singletrack, tapping into their instinct for adventure.

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

bigquotesSpending a week exploring Sun Valley with Sam Schultz on the new Rocky Mountain Instinct was somewhat of a blur. Not just because chasing an Olympian up mountains at altitude is tough business, but because I quickly realized that there's a lot more to Sun Valley than the picture perfect single track it’s famous for.” - Thomas Vanderham

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

Mining, farming, and tourism have swept through Blaine County to meet the changing demands of passing decades. Adaptation and perseverance has kept Sun Valley alive, and forward thinking has led to developments such as the world’s first chairlift in 1936. Connecting with the area in a more traditional sense, American legends like Ernest Hemmingway lived out his life here, hunting and exploring the Wood River Valley, with an inspired take on the natural surroundings.

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

bigquotesEven after we rode some of the local classics, shredded new purpose-built singletrack, and climbed into the alpine to stay in a local piece of mountain history, it felt like we had just scratched the surface. I can't believe how much fun I've had riding the new Instinct. I was blown away by how effortlessly the bike carries speed, while improvements to the geometry and stiffness keep it nimble and stable. Next time I'll have to come for month, and I probably still won't run out of trails to ride." – Thomas Vanderham

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

The Pioneer Cabin was built by the Sun Valley Company in 1937 to help increase accessibility for skiers in the Pioneer Mountains. Ascending more than 23 relentless switchbacks through both wide-open grasslands and thick forest, the statement painted on the roof of the cabin, “the higher you get the higher you get,” is awfully matter of fact. The cabin builder, Averell Harriman, decided that the remote area around Sun Valley would be the perfect location for staging adventures, allowing people to spend more time exploring the backcountry.

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

bigquotesLiving in Missoula, MT, I have no shortage of pristine, buffed out singletrack right out my back door. The big difference in Sun Valley is the immense quantity of trail and the ability to ride right from town and get deep into the rugged mountains surrounding the valley. It had been awhile since my last visit, which was in 2012 and I managed to take the win at the XC National Championships.” – Sam Schultz

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

The world has become a smaller place, yet the opportunity for creative rides and unlikely trail connections are still very real in Sun Valley. In a combination of paper maps and downloadable apps, navigating legacy routes is a harmonious blend of historical and modern adventure.

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga


In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

bigquotesI’ve admired Thomas’ riding in videos for years, watching in awe while grinding on an indoor trainer all winter as a 16-year old racing fanatic. I was truly blown away to see his precision on the trail in real life. Every turn, technical feature, and jump was nailed with absolute perfection - Sam Schultz 

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

bigquotesI knew the trails were sweet and I was pumped to head there for more exploration on a bike designed for exactly the type of riding that has inspired me the most lately. The Instinct and I immediately felt like a match made in heaven. It was the perfect blend of Altitude and Element; fast feeling 29" wheels, plenty of travel to ride aggressively, rocket-like efficiency, all in a nimble package that is quite simply put, incredibly fun,” - Sam Schultz

In the Valley of the Sun with Thomas Vanderham amp Sam Schultz. Photo Margus Riga

bigquotesIt is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.” - Ernest Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway was an American Novelist and Nobel Prize winner who moved to (and was buried in) Ketchum, Idaho.

Presented by Rocky Mountain Bicycles
Featuring the all-new Instinct

FILM
A Film by Liam Mullany
Cinematography by Liam Mullany & Andre Nutini
Featuring Thomas Vanderham & Sam Schultz
Edited by Liam Mullany & David Peacock
Colour by Sam Gilling
Post Production Sound by Keith White Audio
Typography by Mike Taylor
Photography by Margus Riga

Thanks to Gabe Schroeder, Sun Valley Resort





MUSIC
Denmark/ Van Gogh & Gone
Written and Performed by Psychadelic Porn Crumpets
All rights reserved. Used with permission.




49 Comments

  • + 128
 Still dreaming to find a place where I climb for 20 seconds and ride down for 5 minutes,like all mtb videos.
  • + 1
 Easy, get to the choppa!
  • + 57
 God damn that is a strong moustache.
  • + 24
 Moustache maketh man.
  • + 9
 Spend more time in Missoula, we all have mustaches.
  • + 4
 Looks like an absolute pornstar of a moustache!
  • + 5
 I heard that Sam Shultz is so manly, he actually trained his bike to grow a moustache, and run the chain through it.... rather than a chain guide. Just incredible
  • + 10
 That head-on shot of the 'stache, sunnies, and that slow-mo hair... gives Ron Burgandy a hard run for his money
  • + 19
 My kind of commercial. Great job. Not planning to go out and buy a Rocky Mountain, but I have a greater admiration for your brand now. That well represented mtb soul and emotion. Exceptional production.
  • + 9
 I don't currently own a Rocky Mountain, but everything I have seen by them this year makes my next choice them. Their relationship with us seems to be one of the most genuine "We want you to continue loving what you do."
  • - 7
flag rideonjon (Oct 16, 2017 at 17:45) (Below Threshold)
 @AdustytrunkMonkey: Drink the Kool aid bro.
  • + 12
 Pink Bike poll:

Best Video Edits. Yeti or Rocky Mountain?

Always stoked when either of these companies release a new video..
  • - 2
 Yeti by miles
  • + 3
 @Alexthemtbr: I was thinking Yeti as well but that last edit by RM when they were in Fernie was insane.
  • + 4
 This video made me think of Yeti's marketing angle. I'd consider this one in the same vein, but better. A stunning commercial.
  • + 1
 Transition
  • + 7
 The riding is epic but you have to earn those turns. I have friends who live in Hailey. Those guys are complete animals. Living at 6500 feet and having backdoor access to those rides makes you a hard man quick. I wish I could live there and be able to support my family. You have to be rich, or work for the uber rich to survive there. Its a tough one. But a visit isn't too hard except they don't really have much oxygen up there.....
  • + 1
 You can live in SLC, utah, where the economy is the fastest growing for the middle class in America, and be 20 minutes away from rides that top out at 10,000 feet, and lift access to bike parks at 5 different ski resorts within an hours drive:

www.stevelloydphoto.com/Portfolio/Biking/31
  • + 8
 Fack yeah! Bikes rule!
  • + 4
 Q: Tom, Sam, seeing as how you both got to ride the same set up but with or without the kashima coating... did you find any noticeable difference in the ride quality offered by the factory finish?
  • + 2
 @landscapeben No, especially since neither paid for it. That would be the only difference.
  • + 4
 How can the man with the moustache, having only a 34 and no external reservoir, keep up with the man who was a 36 (the orange one too) and a shock with reservoir?
  • + 3
 It's all in the facial hair...
  • + 2
 i heard that all that and not wearing knee pads makes you fast enough
  • + 5
 choosing a new wallpaper just got a whole lot easier
  • + 1
 agreed, really nice colours imo
also, orange+blue still works
  • + 5
 Bike and coffee.
  • + 2
 Still remember the first vid of this place.. ROAM’s segment with Steve Peat an Andrew Shandro!
The most chill and beautiful thing from my early mountainbike memories
  • + 2
 Nice trails, Nice sunset, nice bike, Nice Clint Eastwood the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Voice segments, Nice riding........yeah Nice vid.
  • + 2
 Anyone know what that pumpy/rolly trail is in the middle of the video? I know the first segment is Pioneer Cabin trail. Maybe that's Warm Springs trail?
  • + 3
 Almost positive it is Forbidden fruit. Great trail for sure. Hope they build more. One of my favorite places on earth, but I want more gravity trails...lots of climbing there.
  • + 2
 I'm very certain that is Forbidden Fruit, such a fun trail although it seems much much longer in the video.. Also, they seem to pop off the step ups farther than I've ever seen anyone before.
  • + 4
 Sam rules.
  • + 2
 An absolute visual and audio delight right there - beautiful edit on the spirit of mountain biking.
  • + 3
 Solid work all around team!
  • + 3
 Vanderham and Matt Hunter life style... inspirational riders!
  • + 2
 OMG! Got to dig what looks like perpetual flow trails!
  • + 2
 So that's where Sam has been. That guy's a ripper.
  • + 2
 Any unbiased and/or objective review of the bikes?
  • + 3
 Perfect video.
  • + 1
 Miso horny for the new instinct and those dope trails!
  • + 1
 Deadly video! First RM I've been interested in since my RM7.
  • - 2
 Kinda glitchy a bit eh? Does the vid skip backwards every 20secs or so for anyone else? Me thinks the dude who uploaded it might have been downloading questionable videos at the same time
  • + 1
 Awesome clip! Wow.
  • + 1
 Epic!
  • + 1
 Song?
  • + 2
 In the credits at the end... Denmark/Van Gogh and Gone, performed by Psychedelic Porn Crumpet
  • + 1
 Good stuff!
  • + 0
 nice stache!

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