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Video: Pillars of the MTB Community in Bellingham, WA

Sep 4, 2018 at 16:09
by Freehub Magazine  

Pillars // The Entrepreneurs: Kathy Salisbury & JC Canfield

Bringing a business to fruition is often quite literally a dream come true, be it a locally owned bike shop or a hand-made hip pack. For Kathy Salisbury, co-owner of Fanatik Bike Co., and JC Canfield, owner of High Above, their businesses are their livelihoods, but also a way to support and contribute to the local mountain bike community.

About the Series: Every community has its cornerstones, the people making forward progression possible. Bellingham, WA, has a thriving mountain bike scene with so many people contributing in every possible way imaginable. However, there are a few who epitomize the community as a whole, simply through their actions. — Presented by Kulshan Brewing

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MENTIONS: @FreehubMag @fanatikbikeco

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Member since Apr 28, 2009
162 articles

  • 20 2
 This video is fake news.

I for one would like to save you all the trouble if you're considering making such a huge and complicated, financially draining move to Bellingham.
Unemployment stays pretty constant at 19.8%. The housing market is really bad and very little inventory and what's left, expect to pay upward of $400K for a fixer (this is true), it rains pretty much constantly and the music scene sucks. The breweries model themselves off of Bush Lite and the local population suffers from gingivitis and 86% have herpes while the other 14% are denying it. There's a certain depression that settles in quickly, giving you less hope with each passing day. If you don't hear from me again, I've ended it and know that I am in a better place than that crap hole.

Might I suggest someplace warm and sunny like California?
Best wishes.
  • 10 0
 The last time I went to Bellingham people thought I was some sort of public dog and would try to pet me but I am not a public dog thank you very much. 3/10 would not recommend.
  • 3 3
 Ha. Second Bellingham video that was followed by "don't move here" notes. I feel ya. I'm pretty sure half of California decided to move to Portland in the last 5 years. All the same problems. Suddenly we have rush hour most of the day cause' it's the same damn 3 hiways that we've always had. Housing and job market sucks. All the cool things are being killed off so they can build McMansions, or McMalls, or what ever the hell they think people need. All that, and we don't even have local trails! ????

How about Pacific NW residents heading north? Um, my mom was born in WA. Do I get a pass? ????
  • 3 9
flag mkotowski1 (Sep 11, 2018 at 17:34) (Below Threshold)
 Don’t hate on another riding spot just cause you can’t handle the lack of wealth, go fck yourself dude...really
  • 2 0
 @mkotowski1: Was that aimed at me cause if so, nothing you said makes any sense. My first post was about how I loved hanging in Bellingham this past weekend, and the second was about how every time there is a "check out my cool town" video on here, locals pop up and post "we are full" and "don't move here" posts. I said I get that, being that my own home town of Portland has exploded the last few years with people moving here.
  • 2 0
 100% true or not, that was some funny shit Johnnygolucky!
  • 2 0
 @metalvelo: sry bra it was actually aimed at Johnnygolucky
  • 2 0
 @TPLRacing: Unfortunately everything he said about the job and housing markets is completely true... I'm not so sure about the stats on herpes though...
  • 7 2
 With the obvious exception of The Mayor, it's funny these pillars of the mtb community are all industry peeps with something to promote for profit/income. Definitely not disparaging anyone featured so far, but the pillars who come to my mind are the ones who have spent their personal time and money building/maintaining these trails and advocating for mtb for years...yes I realize some of these peeps dig. The roots and history of these trails run deep, and I realize not everyone can be featured, but it'd be nice to see some of those OG folks in these films.
  • 5 0
 “Sully “ the God father started it all.
It would be a crime to not feature him!
  • 2 0
 @MX298: I remember doing wimpy rides with Jim when I first came to B'ham many years ago. He's a fantastic guy!
  • 3 1
 "industry peeps with something to promote for profit/income"

You mean people who are so passionate about mountain biking that they have created careers around it? In the video, JC is literally riding a trail that he created...
  • 6 1
 @JRutter: You're not wrong. My point is *most* of the folks in the "pillars" videos so far are enjoying the wave after efforts of many years of prior (and present) local building and advocacy. A recent transplant building a rad trail in the past 2-ish years and makes nice hip packs and coffee and teaches yoga and travels on bikes and industry freelances doesn't make a "pillar" of the community. All those things are made possible by the pillars. It's not meant to be a personal dig, but the title of the series is mostly presumptuous and disrespectful of past or current "pillars" of the Bellingham mtb community. Anyone who's been here a few years knows that. Sorry.
  • 5 0
 @Hamhound: "A recent transplant building a rad trail in the past 2-ish years and makes nice hip packs and coffee and teaches yoga and travels on bikes and industry freelances doesn't make a "pillar" of the community. All those things are made possible by the pillars." Nailed it.
  • 1 0
 @MX298: Jim is still a huge trail advocate in Nor Cal and keeps up with what's happening in the 'ham. He will ALWAYS be the Godfather of our scene....always! That said....MP, Craig, Tom, Missy, Fleenor, Mellick and many of the original WHIMPS are still in town and contributing as well.

@Hamhound , this series was produced by Freehub Magazine and supported by Kulshan Brewing. The folks in this series are all contributing to our community in various ways and are truly awesome people.
  • 2 0
 @ebxtreme: Can't disagree with you there. That said, most of the people featured in these films owe a huge debt of gratitude to the ones who created the environment. There's a lack of self awareness and recognition that they're standing on the shoulders of giants. The fact someone can afford to plunk down here and make a paycheck in mtb media or sewing niche mtb products or designing bikes or soft goods doesn't make them pillars or self-made. There's a tone of privilege that doesn't sit well...as if their passion alone is the main driver of success. Presenting these fairly recent folks as pillars or cornerstones to a community and culture that's taken decades to form is kind of impudent.
  • 6 1
 Just spent the weekend up there riding for the first time. Two days at Galbraith. Rode SST, Oriental Express, Evolution, etc. All top notch trails. So much fun. You guys have something special there. So many awesome trails and we probably only scratched the surface. Even hooked up with a local (forgot your name if you happen to read this) on the way out and not only did we get the rad lap, (favorite of the weekend) we also got an education on the trail and forest management up there. Got super lucky on that. Right place, right time I guess. It's a damn shame that Portland hates mountain bikers. We have the space, and could pull this off, but it's been a 20+ year struggle that really isn't any better than when I started way back then. Till then, I guess I just need to count on escaping to other communities for the weekend like Bellingham, Hood River, Bend, etc that get it. Cool video. I like these.
  • 5 1
 I read, "Even hooked up with a local (forgot your name if you happen to read this)" way wrong the first time. Apologies for thinking you were a D-rhymes-with-oosh.
  • 3 0
 @mtnallen: Married with a kid so using the term "hooked up" didn't even cross my mind as anything but "meeting up with". Hell, even in my single days it wasn't a term I used and didn't mean what you thought. haha. Funny though.
  • 4 1
 The folks at Fanatik are super awesome.Went up there last Fall with the Mrs to ride Gabby. The shop guys were helpful in identifying trails to skill level and took all the time we needed. We bought a map. That was it, and we got that level of service. And the folks at Kulshan make some of the best beer I've had - including the 20 or so breweries in Bend that I've been to. The house favorite is Bastard Kat IPA. But, if you can visit the brewery directly, you should, of course, pick up a 6 pack of PNW.
  • 2 1
 A bike shop that sells fun. A bike shop that has a welcome feel to it. A lack of hype. A bike shop that is part of the community supporting small local buisness. There are a few of these shops around and i am glad to give them my hard earned dollars. Those hand crafted trails are built with the same passion. Truly inspiring.
  • 2 1
 I've had my High Above bag for 2 seasons now and aside from a little dirt from never washing it, it is as good as new. I can't recommend riding with one of his packs enough, it's such a game changer and I haven't looked back since! That being said, I have a hard time with Fanatik talking up the local businesses when they have an online direct to consumer model. Please prove me wrong, I'm looking for perspective here.
  • 5 1
 To be fair, Fanatik is a local brick and mortar shop with a online portal...and they support the WMBC bigly. And if I'm not mistaken you can also order a High Above pack online.

  • 2 0
 jubilee55 nailed it. And they're not just a token brick and mortar counter with a huge warehouse behind the curtain. Fanatik is a great bike shop (and there are lots of other great shops in town, too) with lots of good merch that you can touch and feel, helpful staff who give real advice, a full-on service counter separate from the retail side, and mechanics who will get you dialed. Kathy is showing us what a bike shop can be in today's world where franchise shops and online discounters are becoming the norm.
  • 2 1
 @JRutter @jubilee55 , thanks for the input. Having only visited Bellingham for less than 24 hours it was hard to get a feel for the scene. I'm also the type who likes to support local businesses, so seeing ads online makes it seem not so local. It sounds like Fanatik does a good job supporting community and trails and it's hard to get mad at that!
  • 2 0
 I would guess from the Santa Cruz he's riding JC isn't related to Chris and Lance?
  • 2 0
 Yep. No relation!
  • 1 0
 @oronaut: Thanks, somewhat unusual last name figured I'd ask.
  • 3 0
 @ZappBrannigan: Somewhat unusual chap, that JC.

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