Video: Lars Sternberg - Loam Ranger

Dec 17, 2014
by Scott Secco  
Views: 118,766    Faves: 1,048    Comments: 39

LOAM is a term I try and refrain from abusing.

It used to be a word used only to refer to those really special conditions, days spent so deeply engulfed within it, that it was hard to see. To simply utter the phrase would result in an acknowledging nod from another member of the club. Like a secret password. A word shared between a few who were lucky enough to experience it.

Today you can read and hear it in modern MTB culture everywhere. It's become something used in so many incorrect ways it's lost its effect. Everybody's out there to get it, shred it, blow it up... what was once a word only to be busted out when trying to recapture those truly magical moments or trails, is now the primary candidate for many a jabrone attempting to recount their epicness.

With any luck it will get used and abused, chewed up and spit out. Someday it will fall out of favour for the next flavour of the month, just like every other 'next big thing' or hot shit trend. And when it does, we'll be right here to pick it back up, and take it out to share like a secret password again. I feel it's safe to use here.

Lars Sternberg

Secco, Paris, and I shot this over the course of three days. We intended to get back out and capture more of the trail. I spent most of the previous fall/winter scouting and building here. And the video has been under lock and password for the better part of nine months since. In the end we could never coordinate again to get out and finish it up, and we decided to cut it loose and move on to something different. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

This is a Mountain Bike video, and how I think it should be when I want to go riding. A bike, some great gear, and a mountain. Nothing more, nothing less. This is how I've always pictured it, and how I will continue to picture it. No flavour of the month.

I dreamt of it. Went and found it. And got buried. Get some. - Lars Sternberg

Lars Sternberg
Lars Sternberg
Lars Sternberg
Lars Sternberg
Lars Sternberg
Lars Sternberg
Lars Sternberg
Lars Sternberg

Supported by: Transition - Kore - Fox


Video: Scott Secco
Photography: Paris Gore
Words: Lars Sternberg



MENTIONS @TransitionBikeCompany @foxracingshox @scottsecco @parisgore




145 Comments

  • + 256
 so much better than watching some dude whip every jump at whistler.....
  • + 47
 Agreed for me, although both have their place ;-)
  • + 61
 And simple the best choice of tunes I have witnessed in a long while.
  • - 33
flag Danielpfal (Dec 17, 2014 at 4:13) (Below Threshold)
 #meathucking
  • + 2
 couldn't agree more. But that is primarily because there are SO many whip videos on slopestyle tracks....
  • + 3
 Such a good change of pace. Lars tore that trail a new pooper. Love watching him rip.
  • + 6
 thats the sort of riding i do..... except at half the speed.... maybe less
  • + 112
 the bunny hop to manual over that rock was awesome! cannot wait for my next ride now Big Grin
  • + 25
 Funny, was gonna say he's the unsung hero of making people wanna ride their bikes. In my opinion.
  • + 4
 I thought the same thing.. I know exactly where I'm gonna practice that move!
  • + 35
 Looking forward to part 2 - The Humus Whisperer
  • + 7
 The Mud Magician.
  • + 8
 The Dust Devil.
  • - 4
flag reto (Dec 17, 2014 at 11:50) (Below Threshold)
 The Loam Ranger
  • + 75
 The story of a poor rider that gets left behind at Christmas - Home Aloam.
  • + 5
 If I ever have a bad day from now on, I'll just read Pinkbike comments.
  • + 1
 a douglas squirrel comes to christmas
  • + 1
 The Sultan of Soil. The King of Crud, The Doctor of Dirt. Shall we start a team and make kits?
  • + 30
 It's the new transition Patrol. 155mm 650B slayer. Can't wait til mine shows up and I can putt around the trails pretending to be able to ride like Lars
  • + 6
 Was trying to get a better look at the wheels. Are we sure this isn't the Suppressor. 155mm 26in slayer. The suppressor comes in the raw tint on transitions website. The patrol is either black or orange.
  • + 4
 Lars have been running a prototype from the brand earlier in raw this year, so.. I could confirm that´s the patrol Smile
  • + 2
 Never mind. Got a freeze frame and tires look like they have 27.5 on the sidewall. A patrol it is. Now where can I get the patrol in the raw tint.
  • + 1
 Same here! Is it March yet???
  • + 2
 That bike just went on my N+1 list earlier this morning. It's like fate for something.
  • + 5
 Hi guys, the bike is indeed a Patrol. The raw was a proto, but Transition sells it in orange and black.
  • + 6
 Tempted by a Patrol. Even more so if it came in raw. Bikes look better naked.
  • + 2
 I totally didn't realize the suppressor was available raw, it looked white to me at first. Definitely want that to be my next bike
  • + 2
 Yeah. It's a beaut too. 26" also. Oh the choices.
  • + 20
 Mmmmmm, Hendrix.
  • + 1
 Yup. Awesome video. Made me want to ride my bike ánd play my guitar.
  • + 1
 I could do half that. I want to learn how to play a guitar now.
  • + 12
 How to be cooler than you presently are:
Step 1: Be more like Lars Stenberg.
  • - 28
flag HutchJR (Dec 17, 2014 at 3:50) (Below Threshold)
 step 2: ride a 26 incher
  • + 51
 Step 3: Ignore step two and just ride your bike no matter what wheel size you're on!
  • + 7
 The crazy part is that he's getting that loose with clipless pedals. I admire his confidence to ride on the verge of traction clipped in and being able to clip back in quickly after a turn/slide. I only ride clipless during racing or good weather for that reason, and flats for the bad weather and when I'm just "riding for fun".
  • + 2
 watch him and joe barnes, great examples of a loose clipped in style, same with Fabian barel, he's a bit more tight and precise though
  • + 12
 It's pretty easy to get loose while clipped in, once you're properly used to them, it's no different to flats.
  • + 2
 slide the cleats back a touch and it doesn't feel far different clipping in and out to put the foot down if required too (at least riding time atac pedals it isn't, i struggled to do the same with shimano but that could just be where i'm not used to it)
  • + 5
 Anything from Crank Brothers is really easy to get out of in a flash. Step down and you're back in with ease. The connection to the bike and the ability to unweight yourself through the tech is SOOO much better than having a chunky ass bear's claw waiting to tear open your shin when things get dicey. (IMO of course)
  • + 4
 I use Shimano, feels pretty natural to me, and having a small cage helps for when you really can't get back in!

+1 though, very nice not to constantly have huge gashes in my shins.
  • + 4
 "riding for fun"... that there's any other way to ride confuses me.
  • + 7
 I think this thread has answered the age old question of why people use clips. Is it because they help you pedal? Because they allow you to hop through rock gardens? Or because your feet never slide about? No, it's because flats eat your shin meat like a beaver on crack.
  • + 3
 Reading that with a kiwi accent makes it even better.
  • + 3
 I have an English accent which allows me to buzzkill like a batch of cold crumpets Wink
  • + 7
 Cold crumpets are the worst.
  • + 8
 "A bike, some great gear, and a mountain. Nothing more, nothing less."

Couldn't have said it better myself. It's called Mountain Biking. Cool vid!
  • + 5
 What a damn fine riding video that is. Lars seems like such a stud. I just ordered a Transition Patrol and am heading up to OR,WA,BC next summer and hope to channel a bit of Lars' sweet loose style and with some luck find some trails and nice as that one.
  • + 9
 he chopped it down with the edge of his tire
  • + 8
 lars rides like jimi plays.
  • + 6
 Greatest six string slinger ever paired with the sweetest dirt conditions = Epic !! Video made my morning cheerios taste that much better !!
  • + 6
 If you have Voodoo Child as your soundtrack the video has to be epic......I wasn't disappointed!!
  • + 1
 Local Washington State flavor!
  • + 2
 Considering most trails are hardpacked it nice to see some virgin loam being destroyed. How much fun it must be to build your own line down a mountain and then rip it. Trail has a nice flow with good speed. Great fucking song. Great job with editing and videoing. I'm so envious.
  • + 2
 I dont know what just I see here....great camera angles, awesome body work whit leg and brake condinations, a sick soundtrack....wth was that!?!?! SICK VIDEO!!! THANKS for make our weekeng finish whit that piece of art!
  • + 4
 Sometimes I wonder if I can go pro, then I see videos like this and stop wondering. I can't.
  • + 1
 Du bon, du brutal, du fond sans fioritures superflues à l'instar de la bande son génialement raccord ,avec l'esprit du ride qui se donne à nous !! 2 minutes d'engagement façon TRANSITION comme une flèche rouge tirée par Robin des Bois à travers sa forêt d'adoption et qui vient se planter au bout du trail.
Waouh !!! Smile
  • + 4
 Sternberg always ripping!
  • + 4
 Can we see the crash reel pleeze?!?
  • + 3
 So GLAD they didn't smear that one with the outtakes. Was cringing that the would show up and ruin a fine bit of Vid. Great riding and PHOTOGRAPHY!
  • + 2
 i usually hate the song comments, but I would be happy if every video ever used this one. The riding was super inspiring too.
  • - 4
flag hellbelly (Dec 17, 2014 at 16:26) (Below Threshold)
 Horses for courses. Every time I hear Hendrix, especially a popular number like that I think I am being sold a cell phone or some credit card. Now hate all you want, but it's the baby boomers of my parents generation that now run the credit and cellular companies. F#*k them; that generation gave us more bs than any other. Nonetheless, I will not deny Hendrix's genius, but I find him boring as he has never said anything to me. Nice riding though; I will just listen to something else. The Buzzcocks "Fast Cars" works nicely with it.
  • + 3
 Exactly why I hate music comments - opinions, assholes, everyone's got them, etc.
  • + 4
 Possibly the best video I've seen on pinkbike!
  • + 2
 I am always stoked when a vid of Lars posts up....that guy rips. One of the few times I would say..."I'd love to go shred with that guy" !
  • + 2
 Sick trail, filming, riding...2nd vid this week w/crash the camera ending tho..
  • + 1
 "A loam with my bike". Sure would like to ride some dirt like that. With all this rain we're getting here in California, might just get that chance.
  • + 4
 Lars = Legend
  • + 2
 you sure you want to swim in lake whatcom? haha. it is our drinking water after all.
  • + 3
 Looks more like Lk. Samish to me.
  • + 1
 l think you are right…looks cleaner. jk. nothing wrong with bham water
  • + 1
 Samish
  • + 3
 only complaint, should've been like 2 minutes longer
  • + 2
 Brown pow, Hendrix and a man ripping on his bike makes for a siiick video!
  • + 2
 The guy is f*cking smooth! & that wheelie over the rock! class!
  • + 1
 When I ride my bike, I feel like I'm not even sure I'm doing the same thing as this guy. So f'n smooth.
  • + 1
 Also, I'm kinda surprised by how far back he appears to keep his weight while blasting through these corners. ^_^
  • + 1
 that what you call getting all the ingredients right! more of the same please
  • + 3
 holly cow he's fast!
  • - 4
flag Snowytrail (Dec 17, 2014 at 23:24) (Below Threshold)
 You do realize there was a ton of fast motion in that...right?

Really nice move where he manuals the rock at 0:55.

Slight Return!
  • + 6
 @Snowytrail None of this is sped up, Lars is just really, really fast.
  • - 3
 @scottsecco No way...look at the dirt flying at 0:15 and the way the bushes are moving around for most of the video. I don't doubt that he is a really fast rider but the video has been sped up.
  • + 5
 @Snowytrail I made the video, and I promise you that none of it is sped up. That's the cardinal sin of bike videos man, Lars is just fast.
  • + 4
 @scottsecco dude, you are a top notch cinematographer, keep up the good work, you found the sickest angles
  • + 2
 @Snowytrail ......SIGH....*facepalm*
  • + 2
 Oh my, this made me miss summer so much....
  • + 2
 Pretty excited to change my name to 'Tmacksmuggler'
  • + 2
 Slow down Lars! sick video buddy!
  • + 1
 don't mean to be a smart ass, but technically you could not have misused the word "loam" more
  • + 2
 That man can corner on a bicycle!
  • + 3
 damn, i enjoyed that.
  • + 2
 Excellent shreddage good sir.
  • + 1
 His speed is amazing and the Video just great to watch!Smile
  • + 1
 yup, i do wanna go ride now..
  • - 3
 "LOAM is a term I try and refrain from abusing.
To simply utter the phrase would result in an acknowledging nod from another member of the club. Like a secret password. A word shared between a few who were lucky enough to experience it"

WTF! it's mud for Christ sake, mud made up of sand, silt and clay. that's it no more no less. it's not a secret password or some lucky experience....it's mud!!

What you were doing in your write up was actually abusing the term loam by overselling it as some magical MTB term when in fact....MUD
  • + 7
 Squidboy - You are wrong -
The term Loam in soils science refers to a proportionally balance mix of sand, silt and clay. In mountain biking Loam refers to organic soil that has very little mineral (sand,silt,clay) because it is mainly decomposed plant matter. When its wet its called muskeg and when its dry its also called peat. Loam does not destroy bike parts because it is organic while "mud" generally refers to wet mineral soil which is very destructive and sticks to everything. Just like eskimos and snow we need articulate our soil conditions so we don't sound like surfers. The "loam" Lars refers to is dry organic soil while "mud" is wet mineral soil. It's the opposite type of soil matrix. Get it?
  • + 1
 yup I understand. In science Loam is a balance of sand, silt and clay. but in mountain biking you needed a different word for types of soils so in this case you chose a new word (Loam) to describe the soil type that contains little or no....sand, silt and clay

whether I said mud or soil or dirt it still doesn't change the fact that it's not a password to the lucky few. or a term to be nodded to secretly. it's the sh*t we ride on.

oh, and if you want to stop sounding like surfer dudes stop saying steez, gnar, shred etc.
  • + 6
 Actually it's duff, being the proper term. But "Duff Ranger" just doesn't flow. We get the point.
  • + 2
 Loam definitely has its place in the mtb vernacular @squidboy like @maituk said, Loam doesn't come every day, its usually only there when a track is in its infancy or been left alone for a while to be covered in fallen and decomposing plant matter. The fact people band around the word is because its trendy, but it still has its place surely. Loam (in mtb speak) is not mud dude.
  • + 2
 Squidboy is correct, maituk you are wrong

yes, loam (in scientific terms) is any two MINERAL soils mixed together. there are many forms of loam, however "loam" contains ZERO organic soils

when mountain bikers needed a word to describe the brown pow they chose the word loam, however that does now make them rite. If i wanted to name that perfect kind of powder to ski in and decided to call it beach sand (thats pretty much what happened, they just used loam) everyone would call me a retard cause they already know what beach sand is, unlike loam

when someone uses the word loam to describe that 'rake n ride' trail, they are wrong, it could not be any more opposite of "loamy"

It does not matter that loam mean to bikers, we are misusing the word and sound like f*cking retards

You wouldn't call snow sand, and yes calling organic soils loam is the exact same thing

A-line, crank it up, dirt merchant, freight train.....now that shit is "loamy"
  • + 1
 norton07
I appreciate your candor but you contradict truth enough to not need anyone to argue with.

In the Pacific Northwest loam refers to organic detritus that constitutes the soft organic (woody) and non-mineral soil featured in the video under discussion.

The trails you refer to are packed sand, gravel and clay composite. This is not what loam means to bikers in the part of the world I live in. But what do I know, I''ve just been mountain biking 20 years longer than you've been alive and own an environmental engineering firm. Words are just words until you get paid to use them. Being under contract to "harden" trails built of "loam" is enough for me and the state of Alaska to accept that definition.
  • + 1
 I to live on North America's West Coast, and although you might call "organic detritus that constitutes the soft organic (woody) and non-mineral soil featured in the video under discussion" loam, you are wrong. The term was around long before mountain biking existed. I am well aware what loam means to mountain bikers, but that IS NOT LOAM. loam is simply a mixture of any two mineral soils, plain and simple. clay+sand=loam, silt+clay=loam, clay+silt+sand=loam

loam
lōm/
noun
noun: loam

a fertile soil of clay and sand

Geology
a soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay.
a paste of clay and water with sand, chopped straw, etc., used in making bricks and plastering walls.

If you actually own an environmental engineering firm, and call "organic detritus that constitutes the soft organic (woody) and non-mineral soil" loam, that is just crazy. It is not loam. Wood is organic. Loam DOES NOT contain organic what so ever.
  • + 1
 I use to call it loam. I live on the sunshine coast, I am well aware of what the stuff you refer to as loam is, I use to be all "oh shit, look how green and lomy that trail is." Then one day I was in Trail building class in mountain bike school (oh ya, it actually exists) when my instructor, who has many years of trail building experience and university degrees, heard me use the word loam in reference to the woody organic matter you are talking about. He then proceeded to rip into me for the next 20 minutes explaining what loam ACTUALLY is, why mountain bikers miss use the word, and how f*cking retarded you sound to someone who knows what they are talking about when you call organic materials loam. It's like calling snow sand, people might know what you are referring to, but that doesn't make snow sand.

type loam into google images, it will provide you with a nice little triangle graph that shows how to determine what type of soil you have.
www.had2know.com/garden/classify-soil-texture-triangle-chart.html -------that might help you out to.

so that would mean, that even in the pacific north west.......you are still wrong
in a group of mountain bikers who all agree organic material is loam.......you re still wrong

I'm not trying to be condescending, but you are flat out wrong if you refer to organic materials as loam
However if you can find something, even ONE article or study that at any time refers to organic material as loam I would love to see it

Anyways, I hope you have a fantastic day, keep shredding both the loam trails and organic material trails Wink
  • + 1
 I concur with you. The textbook definition is correct and as mountain biking culture makes up own word definitions, we appear lame. The absolute truth is often less important in popular culture than what is believed to be true. I got tired of correcting people, like your teacher prolly did too, and finally relented to accept that loam meant something different to bikers and that I should rethink relying on truth. I appreciate the gentle bitch slap and agree that descriptions like: duff, palustrine, bog, mire, non-mineral soil or humus are far more technically accurate. I'm in Hawaii shredding 29er enduro TLD on volcanic soil for a month so I won't run into any loam rangers here.
  • + 1
 Great edit, but I don't want that guy on my tracks piss off.
  • + 1
 Sweet baby Jesus thats just the best!!!
  • + 1
 I love his riding style, the dudes a legend
  • + 2
 Awesome vid Scott!
  • + 1
 Thanks @stevelloyd! Hope you've been shooting lots lately too.
  • + 2
 So much Brap!
  • + 1
 Had to watch this twice for it to sink in!!!!
  • + 2
 Scott Secco = Genius
  • + 6
 haha I wouldn't go that far. Glad you enjoyed the video though!
  • + 2
 Where is this trail?
  • + 2
 Definitely saw some sections in the vid from a trail Lars didn't build.
  • + 3
 My bad, didn't actually claim to build, just "dreamt it...found it..." So did the motos.
  • + 1
 He said "I spent most of the previous fall/winter scouting and building here." That would be interesting if he didn't build it.
  • + 1
 you know all these years thinking that sick pro riders just show up to ride trails that others have built, it is very cool to know that lars does some scouting and building too. one of the fastest PNW shredders.
  • + 2
 So much loam! So sick.
  • + 1
 that was rad! i could watch lars ride bikes all day
  • + 1
 Says not to abuse term loam, yet he skids the loam all the way down.
  • + 1
 Loam skidder.
  • + 1
 You should try it , it's great fun !
  • + 1
 smooooth
  • + 1
 JESUS!
  • + 1
 u fast
  • + 1
 POWEEEER!
  • + 0
 Look at the Loam! LOOK AT IT!
  • + 1
 Yeah Larsy!
  • + 1
 Just awesome!
  • - 1
 Loam is a pretty general term. Don't get too precious with it.
  • - 1
 PCC! Pinned Cornering Clinic
  • - 2
 #f*ckhashtags
  • - 2
 fox 34 or 36 ? (34 I think )
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