Video: Episode 4 of Anthill's 'In the Blink' - Community

May 2, 2019
by Anthill Films  

Ask almost any mountain biker what they enjoy the most about the sport and they'll likely give you the same answer: riding with friends. The short-of-breath chats on the climbs, the hoots and hollers of a joyous descent, cracking a beer and toasting to a good ride while kicking back on the tailgate. These are the moments that define us as mountain bikers, when we enjoy the connection to each other as well as the environment around us. They're also the moments we sought to capture in the Community segment of Return to Earth.

The backbone of mountain biking culture is the community behind it. Born out of gatherings at ragtag local races and eventually morphing into veritable clubs and organizations that have real lobbying power, these communities have connected people through their shared values since the nascent of mountain biking itself.
For the fourth episode of In the Blink, the Anthill Films crew traveled to Oregon, Colorado, British Columbia, Switzerland and the UK in search of what makes mountain bike communities tick. We asked a few of the crew members their thoughts on the role communities play in the sport.

On the growth of the global MTB community…
bigquotesAs mountain biking grows and more people get into the sport it’s only going to mean more trail advocacy, more trail building and more areas that will get opened up to mountain biking. If you look back 20 or 30 years… There are way more mountain bikers than there used to be and there’s also way more places to ride. More mountain bikers is ultimately a good thing.Darcy Wittenburg, Director

On the personal connections…
bigquotesIt’s so much more than the buzz of adrenaline. Mountain bikers are pretty social and like to discover the sport together. The fact we can get away, get on a trail and move through the landscape with some fresh air… That’s what connects us. Nobody is ever going to say ‘No, you can’t come ride with us.’ You see groups of two merge with groups of three and all of a sudden you’re an eight-pack ripping down the trail together.Sterling Lorence, Photographer

On the community in geographic locales...
bigquotesThere are places like Crested Butte where biking is ingrained in the community. You see a bike in every person’s yard and they all ride. There are only a few places around the world where the community of biking is so strong.
Now you’re starting to see local governments getting behind the sport. They’re seeing the benefits to having people come and ride in their town and are employing people to build signature trails that will attract more riders.
Darren McCullough, Director and Lead Editor

bigquotesYou have all these enthusiastic mountain bikers that choose to travel or live in Lenzerheide, it’s probably the most representative of a group of people that share the same pastime. That same passion goes all the way up the ranks of the people who organize and plan the resorts.Colin Jones, Director and Cinematographer

On transcending cultural barriers...
bigquotesMountain biking seems to be a pretty big sport, but the scene of freeriding is really small. You have freeriders that do Rampage and film or sloperstylers that just compete. But overall it’s maybe 30 people that you know. Mountain biking is a shared passion between all of us. A few years back I could barely speak any English at all, but you don’t need to speak the same language to have fun with someone else.Thomas Genon, professional slopestyle athlete

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 5: "Party in the Woods” when we gather the athletes in Hawaii for an off-the-grid camp trip.

Watch Episode 1 "Fall Colours" with Thomas Vanderham and Ryan Howard
Watch Episode 2 "Creativity" with Brett Rheeder
Watch Episode 3 "Youth" with Jackson Goldstone and friends

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.

MENTIONS: @anthill


  • + 8
 Did anyone else get into mountain biking because it WASN'T what everyone else was doing? I really enjoyed doing something different and challenging that got me away from crowds and bandwagon trendy idiots. And DirtMcGuirk I completely agree, more people has meant more wear and tear on the trails. Definitely more builders now but not enough to compensate for the surge in riders.
  • + 6
 I started mountain biking after doing a coast to coast tour across the north of england - I had a rigid Raleigh mountain bike and went with a group of mates - some of our route was forest roads and a couple of bridleways (horse/foot/bike paths) that were a hoot to ride - started going for rides in the forest with a few mates after that and was hooked.

Peace, quiet, nature, fitness, blood pumping in your ears, I love riding alone and love riding with friends. I love riding.
  • + 11
 Looks like those fine gents in the last photo could use a Sensus BACHELOR PAD YYYEWWWWWWWWW
  • + 8
 Definitely didn't get into biking to hangout with my buds. It's the bikes that got me into it. Being able to zip away from home to a friends or off on a trial to escape. Just a personal opinion but its fucking annoying to be riding behind the bro train or get to a fun down and the huge group ride is sitting there stroking each other off before they drop in.
  • + 2
 I didn't want to say it but that is exactly what I was thinking. The packs of bros and wooo girls at the trailheads kind of ruin the experience. I've heard them called "scene" kids... they need to be seen being the center of the scene. They are the ones dripping with whatever is hot at the moment and that is all they talk about.

OK, now get off my lawn! Also, riding solo is therapeutic but there is no replacement for sharing the experience of a good ride with friends.
  • - 3
 @highfivenwhiteguy: Is it even possible for someone to have fun on a bike without them constantly yelling "woohoo"???
  • + 3
 @highfivenwhiteguy: you might want to try having some friends.. its a bit different than you think it is..
  • + 2
 @laxguy: Please read the last sentence of the post you replied to.

My point is that riding solo and with friends are both good experiences for different reasons. And you are correct, having friends is great! My complaint isn't against riding with other people, it is against dealing with crowds.
  • + 5
 Most of the time i only see the bro-pack folks at flow trails and bike parks. I think the trails way out there with long climbs and technical descents will probably remain safe from the expansion of mountain bike culture, at least untill E-bikes become affordable, then all bets are off.
  • + 1
 Agreed, hence why I don't like the idea of E-bikes. Having to muscle up climbs and ride risky descents seems to scare away the riff raff. Mountain bike culture is luckily still fairly healthy here in the PNW but there is definitely an influx of materialism and consumerism driven trends. This is what I think of as the new mountain bike culture. This site has become a part of it. You think about the types of articles that litter the front page, tons of "who's wearing what" and "who's riding what". As sponsored riders they are walking billboards. Don't get me wrong, I am glad they can find a way to earn a living doing what they love, but when that materialistic culture infiltrates everyday riding experiences in the forms of groups of people who are slaves to trends I take issue with it.
  • + 4
 Ask almost any mountain biker what they enjoy the most about the sport and they'll likely give you the same answer: complaining about how much bikes and parts cost, bitching about trail design, gripe about how many people are riding now compared to "the good ol' days", moan about geometry, criticize new technology, grumble about new standards, lament press-fit bottom bracket shells, fret about Five Ten reliability, groan how no other flat pedal shoes are as sticky as Five Tens, protest the lack of size 14 flat pedal shoes, ridicule bro-bike culture, renounce 29 inch wheels. . . .
  • + 4
 We don't take kindly to people that don't take kindly 'round har.
  • + 3
 I guess I would like flat pedal shoes in my size. I definitely enjoy riding with my friends, I have buddies I have been riding with since the 80s, and we try to get together every year for riding or skiing even though we live 1000's of km apart.Most people I meet out riding are pretty nice, a higher percentage of nice than not riding. Its true lots of people want the pics for their social media and are making the scene but that is true of everything. More people riding mean more trails, there are just way more and way better trails than at any previous time. There are even way more people making unofficial, quasi-legal, and illegal crazy technical trails than there ever has been (of course just like always they aren't telling everyone). I am always unsure what to think about the consumer treadmill of the bike industry - new bikes are nice but consumer lifestyles and profligate consumption are destroying the natural world we value in empirically observable ways - but of course there are only resources and political will available to support trails and mtn biking when it is profitable. You can have a lot of fun on pretty much any type of trail on pretty much any bike. It tends to be more fun with other people.
  • + 2
 Well said!
  • + 5
 Genon is the man. Rooting for you.....
  • + 1
 So many more people picking up rakes nowadays...amazing, and not talked about much...trailbuilding is growing and hopefully nearing the end of all the shutdowns and negative vibes from communities! Some places are great mtb communities already and many more are on the rise!
  • + 3
 NT DIRT is such a cool place!
  • + 2
 I don’t show people my spots...
  • + 2
 depends on where you live I showing off new spots I build...although they still stay pretty secret around here...not so many bikers actually hitting up knarly trails or jumps around here...always have to beat all the grass and brush back myself esp this time of year!
  • + 1
 More is good if it meant the same ratio of new trails, except most new mtbrs don't dig and build anything.
  • + 1
 What trail is the dessert redrock with the rock drop and little booter?

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