Video: Riding Northern California Trials Before & After the Wildfires

Jan 27, 2021 at 20:31
by Jack Hanson  

For this video Austin Jewett rode the Northern California forest before and after the wildfires with an original song to go along with it. "Surfing down the ash chutes was definitely one of the coolest experiences I've had on a bike" - Austin Jewett

Canyon sent over their enduro bike, the Strive, for us to film on. We set out to capture riding through the torched forest and ashen ground. It was a surreal experience seeing the desolate landscape with the smell of smoke still lingering.

Teli Pinkerton (the truck driver) said, "it was kinda sad and depressing at first, no life at all, but now it's cool because you can see the new stuff growing back." The already growing small green plants sprouting from the ash was a constant reminder of what once was.

This played into the name of the project "Renascence" as it means the revival of what used to be, in this case the rebirth of the forest after the fire, in contrast to the original forest. We continued this theme of old and new with modern bikes and the vintage truck, and even in the song.

Finding music for this video was extremely difficult. We needed to capture the raw beauty of the landscape as well as the tension and dramatic sombreness of it. After multiple hours of searching nothing came up that really matched this. At this time I thought too myself, I know exactly what I want in this song, so why not just create it myself. I then sat down and within an hour had the basis for the majority of the track. The piece has a constant piano riff that continues throughout the track to represent how time always keeps moving, like how the forest always grows back. I used vintage piano and synths which contrasted the modern guitar. This furthered the effect and theme of the video, old and new.

The result of the scenery and soundtrack create a dynamic experience which represents the tumultuous passing and continuance of time.


  • 52 2
 Where are the ash shoots? Looked like riding on a dusty day..
  • 14 3
 Lol I thought the same thing..the last 15 seconds looked to be the aftermath of a fire maybe..clickbait tittle.
  • 34 7
 Utilizing the wildfires to promote an uninspired trail riding clip is just clickbaiting.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 Yup . I was expected burned and black trees and soil. I drive by the Louis Creek fire zone. That happened 03 , and there is still signs of it. This looked like a end of spring , to end of the summer comparison.
  • 1 1
 Right? I switched to "incognito" when I read the title. Very disappointed...
  • 25 1
 When Pinkbike changes your title to a clickbaity douche sounding one without telling you
  • 2 0
 What was the clickbait?
  • 38 18
 Not much ash there, aside from one short section. Poor taste, trying to capitalize on such horrible disasters for so many people. ????
  • 10 5
 For me the fires came a little too close for comfort, had friends lose homes, lots of property damage, loss of life and so on. Maybe Canyon should be donating to a charity or helping re-house people who to this day are still displaced by the fires.
  • 38 3
 @chamoisbutt: canyon had nothing to do with the content in this video. They simply sent me the frame. The content and ideas behind it was all my responsibility. I never intended this video to be hurtful in any way. I simply wanted to document the changes in the forest. I apologize for any harm this causes
  • 14 4
 @squidmedia: don't even acknowledge the trolls....
  • 14 5
 @englertracing: I don't think anyone here is trolling. As a Californian who lives with this every year and has experienced the recent horrors first hand, I have to agree with those guys. It's not great form to focus a video on our fires.. there are literally people bodies and homes in that ash. I'm not mad or anything, just saying it's in poor taste to highlight our fires for entertainment.
  • 9 14
flag Jared124 (Jan 31, 2021 at 15:53) (Below Threshold)
 @chamoisbutt: read the article snowflake
  • 20 1
 @Squinned: Thank you for the feedback. The original intent of this video and article is to show how the forest is growing back, and to focus on the renewal. Most of the clips are in a normal healthy forest, and I had no intentions of disrespecting or using the fires to gain attention. The title of the article was not something I wrote or had control over (the pinkbike editors changed it to that after my access was locked), and I disagree with the message it portrays (I am working on getting it changed). My intentions with this video are clearly outlined in the article; to focus on the forest growing back, and the beauty in that.
  • 5 4
 Yea tbh this is just badly reading the room. Not the biggest deal but there’s something for the video creator to learn here. Also don’t do burnouts out there. The locals and rangers already hate the massive influx of new riders coming over the hill enough.
  • 1 0
 @Squinned: yeah I'm in Los Angeles one of my weekly ride spots santa anita got burned
Its closed but I've already surveyed the damage....
  • 23 0
 @squidmedia: Regardless of whether your video is harmful and disrespectful or not, I applaud you on the social and emotional maturity you showed in your response.
I am not sure why this video suddenly stirred up controversy when 10 other videos showing dudes gouging out fresh fall line loam trails or riding in slop get nothing but praise.
  • 15 3
 This edit is sick Jack. Don’t let the haters get you down ????????
  • 7 0
 Great video/editing! Always good to see someone shred the hometown, keep the stoke alive homie!
That one trail is so much steeper in person...
  • 8 0
 Make sure to wear your white troy lee pajamas for this one
  • 7 1
 Hey! That trucks not a Tacoma. What’s going on here?
  • 2 2
 Pretty sure my Tacoma is in the video @0:25, so not all is lost
  • 4 0
 My trails burned in one of the recent wildfires, this didn't look as ashy, but riding in the ash is something different for sure, clean up gets a little rough though haha
  • 6 1
 Just got up to watch some PB vids. Think I'll go back to bed.
  • 5 0
 Bro this looks pretty good! Makes me really wish I could ride again
  • 4 0
 FYI- Out of this entire video he is riding in post-fire conditions from 1:33 to 1:46
  • 5 0
 Damn I didn't even know renascence was a word
  • 3 2
 I knew a girl named Rena once, who had her own brand of science, maybe that's what it meant. Of course she was from Santa Cruz.
  • 4 0
 Good video jack, congrats
  • 21 21
 All you dudes living in buttf*ck nowhere hating on a 17 year olds post who can ride and film better than youd ever even dream of acting like some critics while you ride your hardtails down fire roads and xc trails are lame. Does it give you happiness to make other people feel like they are bad and ruin their day? maybe go try film your own videos on your own trails and lets see how good you can do.
  • 14 1
 Damn, Austin's Mom is pretty up set.
  • 2 0
 Why did it feel like I was watching Footloose for bikes?
  • 4 3
 So glad to see most of the trails made it through the fires! The ash riding looked hella sick. Can’t wait to see more!
  • 2 0
 Sickest tail dragging edit ever!
  • 3 0
 The Ford truck is cool
  • 3 0
 Ash chute Gesundheit
  • 2 0
  • 2 1
 Nice truck
  • 1 1
  • 5 8
 Yes, breath in all that carcinogenic dust. Your lungs will thank you for it
  • 5 0
 I’m glad someone said this. The reason firefighters die in early retirement
  • 6 0
 @Small-Tales-Epic-Trails: Because they go back to trails after weeks or months later and breathe in dirt?
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