Photos by Sterling Lorence
One of the ways a mountain biker can freely express themselves is to draw their own lines on the landscape, much like the stroke of a paintbrush on canvas. When Brett Rheeder recently traveled to Bigwater, Utah for the Creativity segment of Return to Earth, he brought his own artistic interpretation to the terrain.
Utah has long been a staple backdrop of mountain bike films. The barren yet colourful landscape features shapeable dirt and near-endless line choices that allow riders a creative freedom seen in few parts of the world. Despite winning Red Bull Rampage earlier in the year, Rheeder had yet to add a Utah film segment to his resume. So with a crew of six filmers, four diggers, one photographer and an excavator, we set out to help Brett put his own artistic stamp on the coveted Utah desert.
“Something we really wanted to do with Rheeder was to approach this segment with all the resources possible; the excavator, water truck and a big digging crew,” says Anthill director Darcy Wittenburg. “That way we really wouldn’t be limited by anything other than our own imaginations.”
Switching between his downhill and slopestyle bikes, Rheeder rode a medley of lines he and the dig team (Matt Macduff, Ben Byers, Dustin Gilding and Austin Davignon) had constructed. It was here he found his creative muse, where distractions faded and all focus was on the moment.
We pulled Rheeder aside recently while filming Return to Earth in Hawaii to get his insights on his time in Utah, the stress and rewards of competition and finding flow in the creative process.On filming in Utah...On pushing his limits…On peeling back distraction...On Returning to Earth... On Sterling Lorence’s “Drone Strobe” shot, currently in the running for Pinkbike Photo of the Year:In the Blink is a six-part web series that dives behind the scenes of our upcoming feature film Return to Earth. Stay tuned for Episode 3: "Fun” featuring some of the sport’s youngest shredders in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.Watch Episode 1 "Fall Colours"
with Thomas Vanderham and Ryan Howard.
Return to Earth. Summer 2019.
Brought to you by Shimano and Trek Bicycles featuring Brett Rheeder, Brandon Semenuk, Casey Brown, Reed Boggs, Matt Hunter, Thomas Vanderham, Ryan Howard, Joey Schusler, Thomas Genon, Emil Johansson, Tahnee Seagrave, Koas Seagrave, Kade Edwards, Jackson Goldstone, Jakob Jewett and Dane Jewett in association with Pinkbike, Trail Forks, Evoc, Clif Bar, Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Sony and Freehub Magazine and additional support from Rocky Mountain Bicycles, Spawn Cycles, Arosa Lenzerheide. A new film by Anthill Films with art direction and creative by Good Fortune Collective.