Mike Hopkins: Loam Factory

Date Sep 4, 2012

Plans made on paper rarely see themselves realized in exact form. Sometimes, your final product is the result of a complete abandonment of initial expectations. Imagine our surprise when renowned freeride star Mike Hopkins turned out to be a wash on the streets…it was truly a disappointment. With hopes of a groundbreaking urban edit dashed, we made quick plans to redirect our focus into the forests of BC. Hopkins had sculpted a series of loam lines that promised to provide ample film content, so the cameras, cranes, and cables were hauled into the bush for a few days of abuse. We buried cameras, slung them from tree to tree, and let Mike run over them, all because he couldn’t manage a simple barspin on the streets. The things we do for visual gold…

Mike Hopkins Loam Factory Absolute Zero Liam Mullany David Peacock

Our time in Rossland was spent on some of the steepest, fastest forested lines we’d ever seen, hauling cables and waiting for light. We spent a week with Hopkins, a week that included some highlights, some lowlights, some crashes, some perfect moments, some rookie mistakes; we were in constant flux, from stoke to frustration. From the start we knew that the riding was going to be fast. Mike’s first run down the main line of loam was a treat to watch; he’s definitely at home on his big bike going mach speed. Interestingly enough, one of the scariest moments of the week was the mineshaft berm, the slowest of all the obstacles. Reviewing the footage, it’s one of those shots that doesn’t quite do the move justice. The corner didn’t line up well, and any fall would have required a seriously life saving retrieval. Hopkins’ only serious mishap came on a mellow berm in the forest, courtesy of an accidental bar-drag. Hitting the ground shoulder first, he let out a massive grunt and we were all certain our shoot was over. Luckily enough, after a day of rest and a nervous X-Ray, Hopkins was good to go and we were able to resume the filming. Possibly the scariest moment, though, was when Liam suffered a vicious spider bite on the trail, causing his ankle to swell to the size of a cantaloupe. Crutches and anti-biotics in tow, our second trip to the ER was in the books and we were once again shooting. Transient mountain bike encyclopedia Scott Secco also joined us on the shoot, providing the perfect mix of entertainment and stoke. Secco, it was a pleasure to have you around. 

Mike Hopkins Loam Factory Absolute Zero Liam Mullany David Peacock

As soon as we wrapped shooting, earlier than expected because of skunky light and busy schedules, we all had to go our separate ways. Hopkins headed to Whistler, Secco went to Retallack to shoot (we’re still waiting for that BTS, Secco!!), and we headed home to get ready for Crankworx. The video we’ve created is a testament to the fact that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, Mike will likely not receive a hardtail from his bike sponsor next year, and he might have lost the respect of some adoring city slickers. In the meantime though, we hope the Loam Factory has left a few of you itching to ride your favourite “brown pow” lines.

That should be enough to get you stoked for a mid-week ride…

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