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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Farwell Canyon with the trusty Tacoma. Photo Mason Mashon.
While many riders have hung their wheels for planks, we are lucky to have a mostly snow-free winter here on the coast of BC. The NSMB Team riders are among the die-hards who get out on two wheels no matter what the weather or time of year. We’ll have a closer look at each rider’s plans for 2013 in the coming weeks; Stephen Matthews’ recap of their annual winter trip to the Sunshine Coast sets the stage for these introductions…
Everyone loves an annual road trip. The excitement and anticipation of departing is only fueled further by the reminiscing of past year’s hilarious antics and close calls. There’s always a push of encouragement to get the same crew together to re-create what’s already happened, and to raise the bar further by stoking everyone’s imaginations. This year we couldn’t get the usual group in its entirety, as unfortunately schedules weren’t aligning, but there is always room for change.
My first trip to the Sunshine Coast was in April of 2011 with my brother Peter, Joe Schwartz, and Calgary friend Kurt DeFreitas. The plan was for a few days of exploring The Coast while camping out of Wilson Creek, and it couldn’t have gone better. To this day it was one of the more memorable trips I’ve ever been on. Meeting up with some of our local friends, we were taken on a few of the true gems in the area and shown how to enjoy your time in Roberts Creek.
The next trip was in February of 2012 (clearly we were all finished with winter a few months earlier that year), and it only improved upon the previous year’s adventure, especially having added a few more members to the dynamic. There’s something special about the Sunshine Coast, and I think the secret is in a genuinely shared feeling of enjoyment both in company and in activity.
Don’t be afraid to pedal your downhill bike a bit, descents are usually worth it.
It can be hard to find the perfect recipe of individuals to ride with. Not necessarily because of the varying scale of people’s skill and abilities on a bike, but rather one’s personality. I’ve always found it to be the varying outlooks and approach people take on a ride that can flaw a group’s overall ride impression. I like to travel with people who are willing to explore and find the unknown. Following the same trail down the mountain is a fantastic way to learn that single line, but the experience is often much more meaningful if you’re willing to take a turn away from repetition.
Peter Matthews railing a corner in perfect tacky dirt.
The trails out of Roberts Creek were hit hard with severe weather this winter, and the resulting deadfall has definitely left its mark. The locals who have helped clear the trails have done an incredible job – it’s an absolute jungle in there – so Thank You! With the amount of downed trees, the group was opportunistic and decided to dabble into a few unknown trails, finding further coastal riding success.
Trails I’ve never ridden before? Twist my rubber arm… Conditions were absolutely stunning.
The group was split half and half on scheduling this trip, and some were forced into only a day trip. I was part of the lucky crew to book a night at the Up the Creek Hostel in Roberts Creek. The hostel was familiarly fantastic and accommodating, and has seen new improvements for mountain bikers. Martin has set up a very functional bike wash to keep the rigs running clean and proper. Just minutes from the main trail network access, and up the street from the coffee house, this is one conveniently situated rider’s oasis.
“Topographically speaking, this trail should work out perfectly.” says Stephen Matthews. Photo – Dan Graham
Out of the dark trees, and into the flow.
As another mid-winter mountain bike trip has come and gone, it’s pretty amazing how lucky we are to be on the West Coast of Canada. The Roberts Creek trails that I’ve been familiarized with have grown in clarity as I’ve put more time into the trails and understanding the logging road networks. The opportunities for riding in Roberts Creek are seemingly endless, and for our group, we’ve found a place that every time we’re there to repeat the past, we’re left with more fuel for future.
NSMB Team rider Paul Stevens cruising down one of the more popular trails in Roberts Creek. Mach Chicken is running perfect right now!
This is the first winter that Stephen’s escaped the icy confines east of the Rockies, and he’s taking full advantage. What are your road trip traditions?
Bike Co‘s Pemberton shop has made a lot of dreams come true this winter, lending their fleet of balloon-tired two wheelers out to the Sea to Sky’s adrenaline junkies for weekend blasts without traditional gear. NSMB Team rider Paul Stevens recently had the chance to swing a leg over some heavy steel. We’ve just about got the 2013 NSMB Team riders and sponsors finalized; keep an eye out for that article soon, but for now enjoy Paulo’s visit to Fatcountry…
Somewhere on the Duffy Lake road, I unloaded a bike from my car with tires so fat that the chainstays taper inwards from front to back. I shone my headlight over this weird machine, wondering what kind of eccentric mind dreams up an idea such as this. Then I realized that it is probably the same kind of person who thinks that riding bikes through the snow to a backcountry ski cabin, in the dark, mid winter, seems like a rational and normal way to have fun. When you put it like that, I guess that makes us just as weird as the bikes we were riding.
Pete gets to grips with the monster 4.7″ tires of the Moonlander.
We had picked up three fat bikes from Bike Co for our overnight adventure. Throwing a leg over and pedalling around the parking lot, our grins were as wide as the tires we looked down on. These were like circus bikes, or a child’s drawing of a bike, surely not something you could actually ride! But as soon as we rolled the tires off the road and onto the snow, it all began to make sense. The mammoth treads float on top of the soft stuff, and suddenly open up a whole new world of opportunity for winter riding.
Big tires and big packs, ready for a night in the backcountry!
The access road was pretty well packed in by ski and snowmobile traffic, but there was some soft snow at the end on the way down to the cabin. Feeling confident, we decided to test the limits of the fat bikes. In a foot of powder, we found them pretty quickly Front wheels disappeared, and heavy packs cantilevered us over the bars. We dug ourselves out, and dusted ourselves off in fits of laughter, before rolling down to the cabin to warm up.
Not a place you would usually find yourself on a bike, mid winter.
We woke as it began to get light outside, and peering out the window, we quickly realized that it was snowing pretty hard.”We should probably get moving, eh?””yup”So, knowing the fat bikes’ powder capabilities, or lack thereof, we hastily packed up, dusted the snow off the ridiculous sized rubber donuts, and began the descent to the road. With a bit of momentum, the bikes floated surprisingly well, but with a few centimetres of fresh powder, there was definitely no lack of bails on the way down!
Waking up to find fresh snow covering the bikes. This would make things interesting.
Finding the limits of the fat tires once again.
Fat bikes are a lot of fun, and for the conditions we have had here recently – a significant lack of fresh snow, but an abundance of stubborn, stale snow that will not melt – they are a hilarious alternative to your every day winter activities.
Picking up the fat tires off the ground was not easy, but we had to give it a go!
Pete Fowler, Fat tire shredder.
If you rode a fat bike, would you tell your friends about it?
The mild winters we experience here on Vancouver Island are amazing: significantly less rain than just across the Georgia Strait in Vancouver, and the past month has been pleasantly drier than usual. The lack of rain has allowed me to ride almost every day and spend most of my time on the hardtail riding dirt jumps; getting out on downhill rides in Victoria can be tough sometimes.
People are products of their environment and the mild weather and lack of quick access to good downhill riding creates an awesome scene of dirt jump shredders in town, but finding the time during the week to go for a quick downhill ride is more challenging. I had taken a break from the downhill bike and was greatly anticipating my next chance to get out for some fast trail riding.
When Matt Dennison told me he wanted to come over to shoot for the weekend I was 100% in! This is what we came up with in a few days… good times!
Nothing like a little Island vibe to start the week right. Great work from Mark and Matt on this one – and thanks to Scott Secco and Jason Lucas for providing production support.