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Stephen Matthews: The Shore

Matt Dennison Video for NSMB Team

Words by Stephen Matthews
April 16th, 2013

My experiences riding on Cypress are completely and will forever be divided. No other mountain on The Shore presents me with such uncertain outcomes, every ride is a different animal entirely. The mountain’s terrain presents everything from fast technical riding, to creeper rock lines and drops – it’s really a downhiller’s dream. Matt Dennison and I managed to schedule a shoot that aligned with good weather, and we got an early start to a personal favourite trail. Although it’s fun to point and shoot rock faces, I’m always a fan of carving into rich dirt, and zig-zagging my way through the forest.

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The trails on Cypress demand a bit of respect, and they tend to bite back. I’ve had a few spills on the network that have left me with my tail between my legs and not wanting more. I like that though, the feel of intimidation, not the real pain itself. A lot of the features here put you in your place, and they make you think twice.

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I’m pretty happy with my division of DH/AM bike time this winter. Through North Vancouver’s winter months, when the snow line was low, I felt quite fortunate to be regularly riding my AM bike. But as the snowline receded, my DH bike beckoned and it anxiously was brought out into daylight. I absolutely love getting back on my downhill bike after an extended period of AM riding. Everything about them screams possible, and as the speed of the ride increases, so does the opportunity for fun.

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With the beautiful start to Spring we’ve had, it’s tough to spend any amount of time inside looking out. I hadn’t done a filming project with Matt since last season, and it’s always inspiring to see how he all puts it all together. Enjoy the video, and I’ll see you on The Shore!


Dirt surfing and helicopters – does it get any better? Great job boys!

Paul Stevens in Squamish

Paul Stevens and Matt Dennison Make Magic

Words by Paul Stevens
March 18th, 2013

This winter, with Whistler and Pemberton sitting under a blanket of snow for the last few months, most of the riding I have done has been in Squamish. The majority of the time I have been on my new Range, pedaling over a lot of ground under my own steam, and accessing trails that you simply can’t drive to.

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I have learned a lot of new rides, and on the way down certain trails, have often thought how fun it would be to have a downhill bike on some sections. I didn’t need to be asked twice when Matt Dennison mentioned that he wanted to make a video with the big bike. I threw the Aurum on the car and ripped down to Squamish to test out some of these trails with a bit more travel underneath me.

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Holy crap was it fun! Obviously downhill bikes are faster on burly, rough and steep terrain, but I sometimes forget how a piece of relatively simple terrain can be transformed by the technology of a bigger bike. The extra travel, softer, wider tires, more powerful brakes, more sophisticated dampers, they all enable you to shift up a gear, and give you that margin for error that means you can ride faster and stay in control. Suddenly you are up to a speed where the trail isn’t so simple any more, because it is coming at you so fast!

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It was great to get the downhill bike out again, and to feel like I was riding totally different trails because of what the bike was doing for me. It was also great to have Matt there to capture some speed and some experiments on the trail. Please enjoy!


It’s no doubt that Paul has settled in on his new Aurum. The winter did not slow Mr. Stevens down! You dig it?

Shore to Stay

Stephen Matthews Gives in to the Shore

Words by Stephen Matthews Photos by Morgan Taylor
March 14th, 2013

The criticism I received upon my decision to leave Calgary for Vancouver always floats around in the back of my mind. Not because I have ever regretted my decision, in fact it’s quite the opposite. More as a reminder of the hilarity in the labels and judgments made from those outside looking in. “It rains everyday!” and “You won’t see the sky for months” is what they said. Well I’ve found that you get any season you want in Vancouver, and on February 2nd I did an unforgettable trail ride with blue skies and double digit centigrade, something that wouldn’t be a reality in the prairies.

NSMB Team Stephen Matthews North Shore Cypress MEC Ghost Bikes

Winter on the Shore means riding bikes! Photo Morgan Taylor.

In past years the winter months have always been about planning out my summer effectively to enable as much time on the bike as I can get at. Now that I’m not bound by a cold and snowy environment, the planning still goes on but the focus has switched to staying in shape, building lines for filming, and getting out for rides as often as possible. I’ve gotten into night riding with friends from work, filming on the weekends for upcoming projects, and perhaps more exciting than anything is riding on a full new fleet of bikes!

NSMB Team Stephen Matthews North Shore Cypress MEC Ghost Bikes

Airtime is just not an option in Calgary this time of year, unless it’s indoors. Photo Morgan Taylor.

The new year was brought in with the development of a new relationship and then solidified further by maintaining my commitment to my current ones. My involvement as a rider on the NSMB team and on the Chromag Family is renewed for 2013, but to add to that is a sponsorship with Mountain Equipment Co-op on Ghost Bikes. The sky is the limit with this opportunity, and I’m proud to be riding with MEC. They’ve taken me on and I am now backed by a company that has so much enthusiasm for mountain biking and has taken on retailing the German branded company, Ghost Bikes.

Last season MEC as a sponsor of the NSMB team set me up with a Ghost AMR Plus frame to get me out on the trails pedaling the local network. The bike was an absolute charging machine, capable of handling the North Shore even at its grimiest and most gruesome moments. I’d like to pay regards to those who helped get me that bike, as it played probably the biggest role in the success of me learning about The Shore, and set up the opportunity to move fully on board in 2013.

NSMB Team Stephen Matthews North Shore Cypress MEC Ghost Bikes

Season two on Ghost bikes, and a new partnership with MEC. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Come to present day, I’ve been set up with a brand new 2013 Ghost DH 9000 to start out my winter, and a Ghost Cagua 650b is to follow! Over the last month I’ve been sampling a carbon AMR Lector 29er, but I will be sticking to downhill and trail riding this season. The DH 9000 sports a 63 degree HA, and handles as a true downhill race bike. The bike comes stock with an absolute dream part spec, and after subbing in the Chromag highlight components, I can honestly say I’ve never been happier with a build.

NSMB Team Stephen Matthews North Shore Cypress MEC Ghost Bikes

Chromag cockpit brings familiarity to the new sled. Photo Morgan Taylor.

NSMB Team Stephen Matthews North Shore Cypress MEC Ghost Bikes

The Ghost DH 9000. Photo Morgan Taylor.

I’m proud to say I’ve found home moving to Vancouver, and can’t wait to capitalize on the sponsorship opportunities that have come my way. There’s a great community of riders and riding history here, and I’m doing my best to live and learn it. Summer adventures are stirring in my brain, and planning trips are only interrupted with riding itself, because it’s winter in Vancouver and everyone’s still out there!

NSMB Team Stephen Matthews North Shore Cypress MEC Ghost Bikes

February on the Shore. Photo Morgan Taylor.


Stephen has finally learned what it is to be from the Shore, and we’re glad he’s decided to stay!

Introducing the 2013 NSMB Team

Sending it in 2013

March 12th, 2013

This is the 12th year in our team’s existence, and it’s dialed. We have had some incredibly talented riders, big personalities, and great people on our team over those years, but never has The Force been this strong. It is with great pleasure that we’re ready to introduce our team for 2013, and we’re even more stoked about the thought of all the inspiring photos, video, and great moments we expect to share with you as a result of their adventures in the upcoming season.

We’ll introduce the riders individually over the next few weeks, but we felt it was time to get the word out as photos and videos start to hit the airwaves. We’re also pleased to announce our sponsors for 2013. As in past years, our riders will be on a variety of companies’ bikes, but rather than starting with frames, our riders are now starting with full bikes as spec’d.

NSMB Team 2013

Once again we’ll be putting in hours on Expresso with co-adopter and title sponsor MEC, with heavy lifting from our other title sponsor, Toyota. Photo Morgan Taylor.

Our presenting sponsors for the year are MEC and Toyota Dealers of BC.

MEC have been terrific partners to NSMB over the past few years, as team sponsors as well as supporters of our Trail Fund (which has supported building projects on King of the Shore, Ladies Only, and Expresso), and co-TAP partners on Expresso. MEC is supplying jerseys for our riders, and carries a lot of the gear they’ll be using as well from Urge helmets, 5.10 shoes, and Race Face shorts and padding.

Toyota make trucks so tough, not even our team can break them. Our ’06 Tacoma is still running strong despite more adventures than we’ll ever know about, and we’re eagerly anticipating the addition of a new chariot to the team, but more on that later. We are very grateful for the support of the Toyota Dealers of BC over the years, and pleased that it will be continuing in the future.

NSMB Team 2013

Rain or shine, we’re putting tires to the dirt – see you on the trails! Photo Morgan Taylor.

MEC also appears as a bike sponsor, with two of our riders, Stephen Matthews, and team captain Trevor Hansen, both getting in touch with their German-engineered sides, riding Ghost bikes for 2013.

2012 AIRPrentice Mark Matthews continues to put his hard-won bikes from the summer to good use, thanks to longtime team supporter Specialized. Jerry Willows will also continue with a big red S on his chest, as he continues to supply feedback to the Specialized R&D crew.

Paul Stevens has a made a switch and at the same time we’d like to welcome Norco to the team. Paul has already broken in his Aurum and Range Killer-B, and is a happy man indeed.

Mason Mashon has been busy this winter and we’ll have updates on that later, but for the summer season, he returns aboard his longtime sponsor Evil.

NSMB Team 2013

Last year’s Team road trips were a huge success… we look forward to another year of adventures. Photo Mason Mashon.

On the equipment side, we’ll also be seeing continued support from Cycles Lambert, who will continue to support us with tires from Michelin, Maxxis and Schwalbe (all those tire choices will keep the lads very happy indeed), tools from Lezyne, and bike maintenance products from Muc-Off. Spank got us hooked on their Spike pedals last year and there was no doubt about running them again. We’re pleased to be continuing with long-time sponsors Dakine (gloves, truck pads), Camelbak hydration bags, and new for 2013, Dissent Labs compression socks will keep the boys’ feet happy inside their 5.10s. And, as usual, Whistler Mountain Bike Park will be serving the team with endless laps in the park all season long.

Thanks to all of our sponsors. Keep an eye on the Team Page for updates, our collective Instagram feed, and follow the guys on their respective social media networks linked below. Now, let’s introduce the team.


Mark Matthews | Victoria | Specialized

Instagram | Twitter

NSMB Team 2013

Mark, our 2012 AIRprentice winner, on one of the Team’s big mountain trips last year – now immortalized on the 2013 BroCard. Photo Mason Mashon.


Stephen Matthews | North Shore | Ghost Bikes / MEC

Instagram | Twitter

NSMB Team 2013

Stephen’s finding his way on the Shore after moving here last year. Photo Morgan Taylor.


Paul Stevens | Whistler | Norco

Instagram | Twitter

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Paulo putting his 2013 Norco Aurum to work. Photo Morgan Taylor.


Mason Mashon | Whistler | Evil Bikes

Instagram | Twitter

NSMB Team 2013

Mason gets on both sides of the lens. Photos Mason Mashon / Mark Matthews / Callum Jelley.


Jerry Willows | North Shore | Specialized

Twitter

NSMB Team 2013

Years after this photo was taken, Jerry’s still sending it on the Shore. Photo Cam McRae.


Trevor Hansen | North Shore | Ghost Bikes / MEC

Instagram

NSMB Team 2013

Team Captain Trevor ripping it up right up the hill from home. Photo Morgan Taylor.


The NSMB Team is supported by:

Toyota Dealers of BC | Mountain Equipment Co-op

Ghost Bikes | Norco | Evil Bikes | Specialized

Race Face | Cycles Lambert | Maxxis | Michelin | Lezyne

Whistler Bike Park | Dakine | Urge | Spank | Dissent Labs


Follow the Team HERE, leave a comment below…

Stars, Hoodoos, and Rivers

Wallpaper Wednesday Camp Vibes

Words by Mason Mashon
February 20th, 2013

This week’s wallpaper is a trip to Farwell Canyon on BC’s Chilco River with NSMB’s trusty Toyota Tacoma. This shot comes from Mason and Mark’s Fall Lines story, but the zone itself – well, you now know where the trail ends.

NSMB Wallpaper Wednesday Farwell Canyon Chilcotins Mason Mashon Mark Matthews Toyota Tacoma

Farwell Canyon with the trusty Tacoma. Photo Mason Mashon.

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Previous Wallpaper Wednesdays:

January 9, 2013
January 16, 2013
January 23, 2013
January 30, 2013
February 6, 2013
February 13, 2013


Have you spent much time in BC’s interior deserts? Because this shot really makes me want to…