A Year in Photos

Best of 2021 : Deniz's Perspective

Photos Deniz Merdano
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Photographic Evidence


Mike Wallace on the edge of a special rock


January didn't have a great start for me with a leg injury sidelining me for the first half of the month. 10 days of living with 9 stitches did little damage to my ego. With Cam's affirmation of youth ride around the corner, spirits were high for an excuse to get the big band back together. This was all fun and games but the real treat was my very first ride ever with Uncle Dave to shoot the Norco Shore. Intimidated you should be, riding with the Uncle, for he is an architect of language and possessor of opinion. I was delighted to find out he is also man of the earth and a great sport for pushing the big old Norco up the hill a few times for the photograph. The lack of snow made some great riding on the local bump while testing out new bikes in the middle of winter.


Graham with the energy and the tools to plug a yet another wasted DHR II to the traction goddess.


Uncle Dave and I rode bikes and talked about proper eyewear while riding rejuvenated woodwork on Fromme


Elladee Brown ducked and dove under trail debris for a dramatic photograph.


Marin Lowe has dominated every XC race she entered this year.


Generally a great month, that bitter February, it can make or break a man if he is not careful with his pastimes. It can easily fall into the grasp of the never ending winter, even though there are only 28 days to kill on this damned month. But I start with a celebration. A celebration of my own existence and it is spent with nice people. As cold as it is, there can be great riding in February. As we found out when Cam took the Honzo down some frozen dirt. Not long after that, I managed to find a way to dismantle the scaffolding of my right shoulder on a snowy ride crash. I tried to stay positive through this ordeal. The arm hung in a sling and my head in shame as I passed the days with plotting out my game plan. All the gym work was useful for something as it turns out. I was back on the bike in no more than 6 weeks.

The highlight of the Month was definitely riding with the Ride Like a Girl racers. There's nothing better than feeding off the explosive energy of young athletes going places. Ran by a team of volunteers, the Ride Like a Girl Program matches Professional Enduro, XC and Downhill Racers with a select bunch of young athletes. The idea is to provide speed and resilience through mentorship. I was excited to document couple of the bigger gatherings on the North Shore.

Ride Like a Girl


No dab zone


Maddi and Zoe try riding bikes between giggle attacks


Fun shoot with the local ripper Fraser Vaage


Wade Simmons on the proper Boogieman line


After a few weeks off the bike, it was refreshing to get back to the task at hand. A fun little trail bike, in the shape of a Rocky Mountain Instinct, showed up for testing. It was just the right amount of lightweight trail ninja to get back on the trails. I could do a long lung busting ride on the lightweight Instinct and make up for the lost time easily. It was fun to become a temporary member of the Rocky Mountain family. With a stacked field of ultra athletes and grandfathers of the freeride scene. it was an intimidating group to ride with and photograph. I savoured every moment of it as I knew it was going to be special.


Ryan Walters "airing" into what most creep down on.


Gully with his signature style of making something out of nothing.


Trevor Hansen on a comeback ride


continued what March had started. Eager for the warmer weather to arrive at my doorstep, the itch to travel internationally was palpable. There were lots of local connections for me through this stay-cation we were forced into. An ALN-lead clinic by RideLikeaGirl was another highlight of this month. Meeting the likes of Konrad, and Mike G and doing bike checks on some really cool rides for Pistons and Pivots definitely kept the moral up.

Konrad Kaminski's BMW E39 M5 & Forbidden Dreadnought

Mike Grimwood's Forbidden Dreadnought

Duelling Evils of Vince L. and Trevor M.


ALN leads the train up to do some cone drills for Ride Like a Girl


Loose, flat corners can be fun


Most fun car I've driven in this year. Konrad's E39 M5


Get your self a man who looks at you like Major looks at his test Titan


May was looking busy as ever. As the industry ramped up the hype for the season rolling in. We tasted and shot lots of new gear and bikes. The highlight of course was watching Major ogle his Banshee Titan in the woods. I also shot the biggest bike in the world owned by Alex , His XXXXXXL Geometron was as wide as the railroad tracks and it was super fun.


One of the best corners on the mountain taken with Joy by Cam


There were also constant reminders that our trails are raw, gnarly and and full of anacondas.


Alex and his Geometron


Possibly the Photo of the Year for me.. Tim Coleman riding the Elevator shaft. The light and the vision came together for this one.


Turns out Uncle Dave is a great subject for photos. Just don't ask for him to go back up more than twice...


Junuary in full swing on the shore and the conditions are prime


It was an especially wet May and June for us on the shore. But we just had no idea what was about to happen. The month started with typical cold and misty shore conditions that make for excellent photography. Halfway through the month, the sun came out and decided to move back in the attic without notice. The temperatures quickly started climbing up the 20s to 30s. Life was good and the living was easy. We got vaxxed and started traveling in medium circles through the Province.

Bike companies decided that Hype-Pivot was the new thing and Norco released the new RANGE HSP. Ryan was the natural pilot for this beast and we had some fun taking photos.


Ryan Walters going around the tree with a limousine


For some reason Pete decided to leave us for browner pastures with way more sunshine and tackier dirt. He may have given up big mountains but brought the Magnum along for some FSR driving


An interesting developments on the cockpit front found its way on to my bike. It is still there and I quite like the feel.


Photo taken at 8:00pm on the Shore with atleast another hour of riding light left is a feeling I miss as I type this in -15°C winter's day


OK it still hasn't rained since mid June. This is rare for this part of the world. The effects of Climate Change were really starting to show it's ugly face. The light was garbage for photography and the trails were a dust bowl but not washing up gear and grabbing a light jersey to go for an all day ride was sweet convenience at the expense of humans destroying the world.


It was fun to get in front of the lens for my Rocky Mountain Instinct Review Photo: AJ Barlas


ARRIVAL of the most anticipated bike of the year and It hasn't rained in 2 months.


We Are One Arrival...drool


It was time to take some time off and explore some new places


It was great to escape the hot and dry for the cool and misty


Still no rain since the last drop of June 15, 2021. It has been a dry and trying summer in BC. Temperatures soaring to 49°C and lighting the province on fire. Lost quite a bit of motivation to go riding especially locally. Apart from a couple of outings, I needed to reset and relax. Explore a part of the province I'd never been before. Packed the glamping van and the bikes and headed to North Vancouver Island. A week of out of cell reception. Didn't even touch the bikes apart from a day in Cumberland because there is a great Taco place for a post ride bevvy. It was really what we needed as a family. On the return, the trip seemed short but not rushed. I can't wait to go back up there for some more time in the nature.


Truly an amazing place we live in


Well visited and up-kept storm shelter


Memorabilia from all over the world


There was some riding too in the form of fast trails and rowdy bikes. Mike Wallace on SC Bronson MX


Got to play with painting with light under the strange looks of Andrew Major and my Partner. We were all pleased to see the results in the camera


When the rains finally arrived, the forest took a deep breath. but it would be months before the bone-dry soil would soak up any of the water falling on it.


Finally some rain.


Got to ride with a very special young mountain biker.


Graham trying to get reacclimatized to riding on slippery rocks and roots


Cooper on a Transition Spur that he seems to get along with very well



-Look Coop, it's just like your bike but with Nino Schurter hiding in the bottom bracket. - Cam( in my head)


25°C and Sunny... In the company of family, this was a wonderful time


I'm out of here.... Covid seems to be over. I see planes in the air. Lets see if I can get this carcass to Europe to see my family I haven't seen in two years!


Lovely architecture in the Valencian Countryside


The early morning light on the dewey cars


European Piston are always fun to spot


Gully with a text book downside at Coast Gravity Park


Well it hasn't stopped raining since it started raining in September and Covid seems to be back in action. So we'll see what the next few months bring.

The beauty of it all is that I installed a hot water line to the backyard and post-ride cleanup has been the most pleasant ever.

Looking forward to visually telling you guys the story on NSMB for 2022.

Happy New Year

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+4 Vincent Edwards Paul Stuart rolly Pete Roggeman

Such a visually rich article, and so many amazing shots. Great work behind the lens, and putting this together. I'm looking forward to shooting with you again in 2021! And I'd love to get a ride in that M5 one day!



Lets gooooo.. Im sure you have some fun things we need to shoot!


+1 Pete Roggeman

Love all of this! The shots are so good. The Telegraph Cove shot was so beautiful. A darker version of that is going to be my wallpaper at some point.

If you have a pic of Ryan with his bike where you can see his face, could you post at some point?  I'd love to show that to my hockey-loving friends/family to inspire them to try mtb.

Thanks again for this!


+2 Pete Roggeman Deniz Merdano

Not the first time I’ve been mistaken for the hockey player. But I regret to inform you, I suck at hockey. I was always too busy riding bikes. 

Beauty pics Deniz! 👍


+1 Andrew Major

110% Hockey face!



Cover shot for next months issue of Hobo Biking.



I've got the same jersey and as good a scruff.

I'm sure i've seen Ryan on Fromme.

I would say it's a winter thing but it's sunny in that shot.

It's like a gasket inside the fullface for the winter rides.

Nice shots, thanks.


+1 Pete Roggeman

Stunning photos!



thank you Poconoj! Are you from the Poconos by any chance?


+1 Pete Roggeman



+1 Pete Roggeman

I made it almost all the way through without getting jealous - until the backyard hot water line. :)


+1 cheapondirt

It is about the simple things.. I don't know how I lived without it. Now Im planning to install an outdoor shower too..



What a year, Deniz!



thanks Pete.. It is great to be here



I want the name Marin Lowe!


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