This short film is about our relationship with trails. Because if you don't have trails, where would you ride?
As riders, our experience is always attached to the trail. We may focus on our bike, personal fitness, skill, or any number of outside factors. All of which play a part in our experience, but to me, nothing means more than the trail in front of you.
For this video, we picked three different styles of trail that we personally felt connected to. We started in the alpine, highlighting natural beauty via a ribbon of trail moving through old-growth forest, alpine meadow and rocky peaks. My eyes fixate on my surroundings as much as the dirt under my wheels. And motivation coming from the desire to catch the sunrise plus be immersed in the landscape.
We wanted to display how some trails are a canvas for a rider's creativity to shine for the next section. Much like a playground, here you have endless options to choose from, with each lap looking different from the last. Underneath a thick pacific northwest canopy of trees, loamy and loose soil provided a landscape to jib, slide and gap anything and everything.
To finish off the film, we wanted to slow down a bit and turn the viewer's attention to the little moments in time floating in the air. It seems somewhat counterintuitive that we spend so much time perfecting a jump trail of dirt just so that riders can spend time in the air. But these moments mean everything. They excite us, inspire us, and have us constantly pushing back up for another lap. So much happens in these precious few seconds; the speed, the pop, the trick all coming together in an instant to make a successful hit.
This video highlights three trail styles that we are passionate about, with many more existing out there that mean something to others. That may be the best part about trails. They can mean something different to everyone. With no better or worse, right or wrong. All just for the love of trails.
I'm happy to have had the opportunity to work with my friend Cameron Hotchkiss on making this idea come to light, and I hope everyone enjoyed seeing what trails get us excited and headed out the door to ride.
Words by Skye Schillhammer (rider/co-director)
Video: Cameron Hotchkiss
Photos: Oliver Parish