View from the bike

“From busting big skids down gravel roads to riding to friends’ houses around town, riding bikes has always been a passion of mine, ever since I was a kid. Another hobby I have is exploring back roads and trails, which is where the pictures you see here come into play. “I was checking out Google Earth around a lake near town. I had heard that across the lake, near the top of the mountain next to it, there were trails. Not knowing where to begin looking I figured I would go with what looked like a small lake or pond. I zoomed in fairly close, close enough to see the old gravel roads that led down from the lake. Following them backwards and eventually meeting up with the highway, I wrote down the directions, called my girlfriend and began to explore.

“After the very bumpy, washed out, overgrown road started nearing the top of the mountain, there it was. A beautiful little lake, complete with a view of another nearby mountain top, a cool little island in the middle and to top it all off, an awesome lake jump! The jump immediately looked familiar. It was from a movie I had seen with ‘The Claw’, aka Darren Berrecloth, a professional free-rider for Specialized.

“Having found the lake and jump, I was eager to test it out with my bike. Me and a buddy went up to groom the run in and do a little fixing up to the jump itself. On the first roll in I was a little nervous, but after a couple times hitting it my nerves had settled and I felt pretty good. Trying backflips was #1 on my to-do list, and after about three or four tries I had them pretty much dialled. I’ve been using my good hardtail – it’s a Dartmoor 26Player, a nice light little bike. I’ve been giving it regular oil afterwards and everything seems to be in tip-top shape despite all those mighty high-divin’ lake dunkings.

“Ever since then I’ve been heading up there several times a week to get a few hours in, trying new tricks, having a good time. Lake landings are pretty much pain free – it’s cool how fast you can improve and evolve your tricks when the fear of getting hurt isn’t there, although I have had a few pretty gnarly bails to my face.”

by Derek Cappus

View from the camera

“It works well for me as a photographer having a good buddy – a cousin in fact – who not only rides well but is always stoked to search for new areas to build, ride and shoot. So one weekend, Derek gives me a dingle to see if I was going to be in town. He told me that he had found something that would be fun to shoot. He never disappoints when it comes to situations like that, so without hesitation I was in.

“Saturday, we drove around all morning asking friends for a bike-rack we could use for the day, but none of them seemed to work. So we ended up using the one Derek had originally, which held only one bike. At the base of our climb, we met a local fella that rides too. He had a friend with him, two greasy little dogs (one that was balding), and his girlfriend. The plan was to take Derek’s ’94 Jeep YJ up to this spot. So in the end we had a jeep with four seats plus a bike rack that held only one bike – but five humans, two dogs, two bikes, a shovel and a rake plus a load of other trail-building tools, a couple of backpacks, wetsuits and food!

“We ended up having to tie a rope onto the frame of a bike and someone had to get towed along on it, bouncing along behind the jeep. It was a pretty rough, narrow path, basically an off-roaders’ trail. The branches of the trees were scratching the paint on Derek’s ‘adventuremobile’ like nails on a chalkboard. We made it to our destination with everyone intact (even the balding dog that wanted to sit on the front seat with me, but that wasn’t going to happen).

“So there we were, beside this small lake at the top of a mountain: quiet, secluded and beautiful. You could hear birds singing; see the snow glistening on the surrounding mountains. But the most interesting thing for us was this amazing wooden jump constructed beside the lake. While some people head to Whistler to enjoy their heated air dome stunts and foam-pit landings, Derek enjoys putting on his wetsuit and feeling the rush of a crash landing in a chilly lake. He’s just that kind of guy.”

by Drew Glaser

Photography by Drew Glaser / Words Derek Cappus & Drew Glaser

Go top