Video: Bonnie Burke Gets Fresh Tracks on a Steep Loamy Line She Built

Dec 22, 2020
by Transition Bikes  
Views: 7,180    Faves: 35    Comments: 5

For some of us, riding is only half the experience of mountain biking. For Bonnie, grabbing a shovel is as natural as a handlebar. This fall she found herself out in the forest, finding a line and sculpting turns through the landscape. A therapeutic journey to create something challenging and fun from top to bottom.

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke
"Half the fun is just being in the woods." -Bonnie Burke

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke
Foot out flat out for Bonnie B.

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke
While Bonnie did most the digging herself, friends such a Hannah Bergemann joined for some dig days as well.

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke
Dropping in...

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke
"It’s a fun landscape to work with. It’s not all just easy to ride, and I like that." -Bonnie

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke
The final move of her trail is this drop, which has quite a presence with the lip shaped into a massive, fallen old-growth tree.

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke
Bonnie said she usually rides this trail on her Scout, but it just felt more fun to throw around her TR11 for the video. We agree!

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke
There was no shortage of dirt moving.

Photos for Half the Fun Video with Bonnie Burke
Fresh tracks on a beautifully sculpted feature, does it get any better than this?

Video: Skye Schillhammer
Photos: Oliver Parish

Posted In:
Videos Transition


  • 28 1
 Nice camera work showing how steep the lines are! It's tough to capture that, but this really shows that she's going straight down. Love the creativity of using that massive redwood as a drop as well. For me, the aesthetic of the feature often matters just as much as the size. Really enjoyed this!
  • 21 1
 So stoked to see a video of a girl who builds trail and rides it!
  • 15 1
 So sick! Log step down was dope!
  • 12 7
 Seems like a plethora of trails being built in the PNW during lockdown. Are these mostly renegade trails? Is the trail building process easier there than most places dealing with government and environmental groups???
  • 17 1
 You just get out in the woods and do you. The more people you tell, the more attention and problems you run into.
  • 8 0
 Bellingham has the most progressive legal trails in the us.

The best stuff is still rogue/private though like everywhere else.
  • 19 3
 I'm starting to question if these articles (Transition press release?) are going to come at a price with land managers. I also know that this is the essence and culture of mountain biking and these are the kind of trails I cherish the most. What I do know is we had a surge here of activity recently sparked by apathy towards the government built trails from both the land managers and the users/volunteers. Here is their press release which the local media picked up, clearly asking the public to report this activity. They want nothing more than to bust the builders.
Let's see if PB wants to look at this issue, it's not just us,
  • 9 7
 @dirtpedaler: And how many poorly constructed wildcat trails get inspired by some of these edits? Build your own secret trail just for you, probably not a big deal. But film your own secret trail and put it on a website and use it for promotion, and even if no one knows where it actually is, it still influences the MTB community to do the same.
  • 10 8
 Sorry you're getting down voted, because you do bring up good points. Personally, I'm all for trails built on the down low with no fanfare. But, assuming this is illegal work on public land, it chaps my ass to see a bike company using this part of the culture for marketing. They did it when the new Scout was released too, jeapordizing the hard work of other builders in the area. Not to mention jeapordizing the work of legit trail organizations trying to maintain positive community/government relationships. But I guess if you throw enough money and cool kid vibes around none of this matters. Kooks gonna kook.
  • 8 3
 @jubilee55: if you guys think transition is damaging their local community then you are massively misinformed.

There is almost nothing like blue steel on public land in the us. That is a 100 percent legal trail. Making videos that are representative of what many mountain bikers are doing is not a bad thing. I build illegal trails, where I ride has more than tripled in popularity since I started doing so and we are starting to get enough commited guys we may start an advocacy group and try to get the trails legal in the next few years.

If you are going to build rogue trails then you need to accept the consequences and you better build shit people love to ride. I’d be stoked to hit the trail in this video. Pretty cool to see a company featuring a sweet trail built by a female. Don’t see that too as often as you should.
  • 8 9
 @bulletbassman: LOL. Blue Steel was shoehorned into that trail network without advocacy board approval. After the fact they ran into permitting issues. You should've seen them shitting their pants when someone broke themselves on it prior to "official" approval. Last I heard the long term survival of Blue Steel is tenuous. Not what I'd deem 100% legal, but different strokes I guess. I could be wrong, but I'm not aware of Kona or EVIL publicly pimping the local land and community Transition style. Again, I don't care who's building illegal trails but don't blow up the spot for your global adverts, let alone social media.
  • 8 2
 @jubilee55: Its fine that you carry your opinion about illegal trail building and filming, but you are spreading misinformation about Blue Steel. If you want to reach out and chat with me, shoot me a message.
  • 7 6
 @schilly: Actually the info I put out there isn't a secret. When you duck the approval process some folks get bent about it. With all due respect, I'll take a board member's account of how that line came to fruition over yours, for what I hope are obvious reasons. But I mean really...even if it was installed 100% above board you're still pimping the community and land for promotion. Not everyone gets gate keys and permission to shuttle riders, photogs, and drone pilots. A little discretion could go a long way.
  • 5 0
 @schilly: I know the city sent someone up there in an official capacity within the last couple of months. I think they had an issue with seeing excavators in December moving dirt inside the watershed in the TR launch video. I’m all for blue steel and glad we have it and hope to one day be able to ride it. I do find the debate around filming on illegal trails to be valid though regarding product promotion. I’m curious other peoples thoughts
  • 5 2
 @jubilee55: I think it's a bit of oversimplification to blame one company or entity for what's happening in Bellingham, everyone is contributing. The entire culture and history of mountain biking here has always revolved around building unauthorized trails, and some have become legal and some haven't, and it was fine 20 years ago or even 10 years ago but now it's blown up and droves of mountain bikers have moved here and want to be a part of it. Hordes of kids want to be a trail builder and cut new skid lines and youtubers and pro mountain bikers want to shoot thier videos and post it online. It's a giant snowball that keeps rolling and getting bigger and bigger and Covid just made it more massive. Is Transition part of the problem, maybe, but so is everybody else that's moved here and contributed to the proliferation and advertises themselves on social media. It really doesn't matter what trail it's on, every video filmed here is a move to Bellingham advertisement. Sure I miss 25 years ago when you could build a line and the loam stayed on it for years not weeks or days but there's also been some rad new stuff built so I take the good with the bad. I don't know the politics of Blue Steel but the story doesn't sound much different than most any other trails around here, some degree of asking for forgiveness instead of permission.
  • 4 3
 @shami: Certainly not blaming TBC as the sole offender. This just happens to be another advert they're broadcasting to the world, which is why we're discussing the company here. But I agree with you, there is definitely aggregate effect. This said, it would be nice if entities with significant reach and influence would behave as responsible examples for others to follow.
  • 4 0
 @shami: I agree with you, it’s in the history of the area. I moved here in 2010 and the whole scene has changed a lot which brings mixed feelings. I do feel like a good number of the new folks are from the Seattle area and seem new to biking. I’ve noticed especially when it comes to trail etiquette. That’s not to say all new folks are the same but just an observation.
  • 3 0
 @jubilee55: I can't say I disagree with you entirely. This trail is probably (hopefully) way out in the county and not causing any issues. The problems start when people who want to emulate it build in the watershed and draw attention to and comprise existing stuff. A lot of newcomers don't have the sense to find less high profile zones to build in and there's just too many damn people here now.
  • 14 4
 @shami: no one said this trail was anywhere near Bellingham. It seems you are bringing more attention to the trail scene here on the World Wide Web than anyone.

Jeez guys.... cmon
  • 4 2
 @bonnieburke: haha, fair enough although the attention has already been brought, not spilling any beans that haven't been already spilled. Sorry to to go on a grumpy old man rant on your video comments though, it's a good watch.
  • 9 2
 People, this is straight up First World Bellingham problems. Go ride your bikes. Be nice to one another while you’re at it. Life is too short. Killer video by the way. Awesome to see an edit of a builder riding their own work! Keep on diggin!
  • 4 1
 @robbiekane: Seems like sound advice.
  • 5 0
 @bonnieburke: I see you've been posting this trail on IG for months. Your employer has over 200K followers with over 9K likes related to this video. It's on the front page of PB and on FB. Tell us how this discussion is the problem again?
  • 1 1
 @jubilee55: Take it easy dude.

@bonnieburke: I apologize again if my diatribe above seemed like it was directed at you in any way. It wasn't intended to be but I see after the fact that it probably came across that way. I actually don't have anything against people making cool videos and new trails around here and think that most of the changes that have happened are positive, but as the population increases in this area people in general (and this is not directed at you) do need to be aware of the impact unauthorized trailbuilding has.
  • 4 0
 Living in the Northeast and never ridden anywhere but the east coast I have to say that is the most beautiful dirt I have ever seen! My loam shelf on my Transition gets filled with sand and pine needles.....jelly of that loamy fluff!
  • 1 0
 As a fellow North East dude there's some decent loam to be found if one knows where to find it, but the PNW stuff looks next level!
  • 6 0
 Previous comment was supposed to be a high five. Great work and riding!
  • 1 0
 Such a rad trail and great riding, nothing beats being out on your own chipping away at some trail invention you've imagined. Just spent a year building my own trail and its the most fun trail ever, plus almost no one knows where it is
  • 3 0
 Always great to see videos about trail builders. Without them mountainbiking wouldn't be as fun!
  • 4 0
 BonBon! You look good, lady! Way to give that steep stuff the business!
  • 4 0
 Thank you Transition for sponsoring some incredible female athletes!
  • 1 0
 Yes! Nice work Bon Bon and Skye. Sick trail, riding, filming etc. Hands down, Transition has always been the most supportive company to the local building scene. Thank you.
  • 3 1
 Outrageously sick. That's a trail that dreams are made of. And ridden to perfection. Damn!
  • 3 0
 Rad edit! No Dig, No Ride!
  • 3 1
 Nice work Bonnie! Such a ripper.
  • 3 0
 that trail looks so fun
  • 2 0
 I miss riding my bike : /
  • 4 2
 Hell yeah Bonnie and Skye! Dirt Surfin!
  • 3 1
 Yesssss Bonnie. A great gal and absolute pinner on two wheels
  • 2 0
 Yea Bonnie, nice dirt art
  • 2 0
 Reminds me on Vancouver Island! Loam like chocolate cake
  • 2 0
 Just from watching Bonnie ride, it looks like she rips on skis...
  • 1 0
 Board. And yes.
  • 2 0
 Hell yea that was rad
  • 2 0
 That was sick
  • 3 1
 Shred on Bon Bon!
  • 2 0
 Shredding Bon!
  • 1 0
 Sweet riding and great editing. I love just watching someone shred.
  • 2 1
 Nice work Skye! I love loam lines, good job capturing them!
  • 1 0
 SO sick! Awesome riding style as well nice n drifty
  • 1 0
 Rad video! Ignore all the keyboard warriors.
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Kakaw! Times change, people don’t ????
  • 1 0
 Sick edit!
  • 1 0
 Nice one Bonnie!
  • 1 0
 This is rad!
  • 1 0
 savage !!
  • 2 3

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