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Shootin’ The Gap

Matt Montandon Waxes Poetic

Words by Matt Montandon. Photos by Kurt Defreitas.
September 21st, 2011

New trails
Riding Mountain bikes is pretty awesome. There is so much to such a simple idea. When I’m riding my bike there is a lot more going on than just me having the time of my life. It all comes quite naturally but if you slow down and think about it there is so much happening simultaneously.

matt montandon, nsmb team, sram, specialized, AIRprentice, whistler bike park, 2011, 2012
  Take that stump

matt montandon, nsmb team, sram, specialized, AIRprentice, whistler bike park, 2011, 2012  Shootin the gap

In the Bike Park for example when riding a trail like A-Line, that you’ve been down a number of times, you don’t have to think so much what is coming up next because you probably have every rock and hole memorized. Now you can start thinking about where you can get in an extra pump or think about what you want to do on the next lip. 

matt montandon, nsmb team, sram, specialized, AIRprentice, whistler bike park, 2011, 2012  Skinny to rock roll

On a more technical, slower trail like In-Deep let’s say, there is a whole lot more to memorize. So if you know the next section you can concentrate on more important things like picking your lines, body and bike position. When you’re picking your line you are looking for the path of least resistance. Previous line choices, track conditions and other riders come into play. If the trail is drenched then the high road might be the better choice, and if there is a rider standing in the middle of your line well I guess you are going to have to pick another one. As far as bike and body positoin goes, picking your line is one thing, riding through it the way you want is another story. There’s a lot to think about; where your pedals are in relation to the ground and stumps or rocks, the angle your bike is to the ground or berm, if you are too far over the front or back of the bike. Those are the type of things that are running though your head when you are putting all you can into your bike. All of that and more happening every instance is pretty amazing. I think that is one of the reasons why mountain biking is so exhilarating. Nothing is ever the same, everything is always changing. There are so many thoughts and actions and adjustments all happening at the same time in perfect harmony.

matt montandon, nsmb team, sram, specialized, AIRprentice, whistler bike park, 2011, 2012  Upsidedown question mark tree

Last summer here I heard about a trail called Ride don’t Slide that ends up in Creekside. This summer one of my roommates was telling me he heard of trails breaking off of bike park runs and running further south down the valley. About two weeks before my surgery Kurt and I went looking for one of these unmarked trails. We weren’t sure what we found but we definitely found something. The start of the trail we found was a bit of bushwacking and pushing but as soon as we got on our pedals the hoots and hollers were non stop! It was soft and loamy, there was steep and technical, there were roots and big burly rock rolls. It was one of the most fun times on my bike this year. The fact that it was new to me made it such a blast. Not knowing what was around the next corner keeps you on your toes. You must be on the top of your game and that’s what makes it so exciting. It reminded me of dirt biking with my old man and my brother when I was younger. Riding all day, no destination, just ride.

Bikes are fun…  Go explore!

More banger shots from Kurt.

matt montandon, nsmb team, sram, specialized, AIRprentice, whistler bike park, 2011, 2012 matt montandon, nsmb team, sram, specialized, AIRprentice, whistler bike park, 2011, 2012

matt montandon, nsmb team, sram, specialized, AIRprentice, whistler bike park, 2011, 2012

matt montandon, nsmb team, sram, specialized, AIRprentice, whistler bike park, 2011, 2012

matt montandon, nsmb team, sram, specialized, AIRprentice, whistler bike park, 2011, 2012
  I Heart Whistler


Matt is recovering from ACL surgery right now but we’re sure he’ll be ready to go by the time the powder is knee deep. Say anything here…