High humidity makes for perfect dirt and the Northwest has no shortage of either. Skye Schillhammer tunes up a berm on North Mountain.
Culture

Trails of Change Recreation and Recovery in Darrington, WA

Whenever someone asks me where I’m from, my answer, “Darrington, WA,” tends to generate a puzzled look and the response, “Where’s that?”

Nestled against the western slope of the Cascade Mountains, 75 miles north of Seattle, Darrington is a small logging town home to some 1,500 people.

It saw its heyday at the peak of logging in the 1970s and suffered the same fate many industry towns did in the ’80s. Falling timber prices left...

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Every descent in the Chilcotins is hard-earned, but totally worth it. Frankie Devlin drops into Lick Creek Trail with Carpenter Lake in the distance.
Environment

The Blueprint Conflict and Revolution in BC's South Chilcotin Park

In 2016, when BC Parks needed a strategy to guide their planning for the South Chilcotin Mountains, Tom Barratt put his hand up.

It’s not every award-winning landscape architect’s idea of a dream project, but it was different. The final product would help BC Parks navigate the conflicting passions that were at play in the park—preserving wilderness, supporting recreationalists and honoring the place as traditional territory for...

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Profile

Subtle Shapes Maddy Marshall and the Various States of Flow

The first surfboard Maddy Marshall ever shaped, he miscalculated the amount of resin needed for the fiberglassing process.

To work around the slight shortage, he opted out of placing a leash plug, which meant when it was finished, there would be no way to connect himself to the board.

“I wasn’t that great of a surfer at the time, so I remember I got my first wave, [then] lost the board and had to swim in to get it,” he says. “...

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A business built by the community will be supported by the community—that’s the idea behind Flying Bike. Being in the business of beer certainly helps, too.
Fermentation & Spirits

Beerocracy Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery is By the People, For the People

When I first heard about the not-yet-realized vision of Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery, I was cynical.

It seemed nothing more than an exercise in creative financing, just another scheme to start a brewery using other people’s money. Almost instantly, some 300 people joined the co-op, exerting their will as owners, influencing the brewery’s direction and proving me wrong.

In most respects, the taproom looks much like any other...

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Late nights, long hours and a lot of paint make Gretchen's murals come to life. Photo: Paul Kelly
Profile

Mountain Shrines Gretchen Leggitt's Church of Creativity

It’s 1:00 a.m. in November. Gretchen Leggitt’s breath hangs in the cool, dark night like slowly billowing smoke against a black abyss.

Twenty-five feet above the nearly frozen ground, she’s perched upon metal scaffolding and intimately close to a stucco wall. Shadowy figures lurk in the alleyway nearby. She moves methodically against a pre-imagined grid that, when finished, will reveal an astronaut whipping its bike in a wonderland...

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With five flats in the span of fewer miles, this shortcut was anything but. When the crew finally made it back onto the highway, the detour had cost them an additional two hours. But after bombing the loose descent into Clinton the way only mountain bikers would, drifting through corners, nobody seemed to care. Photo: Graeme Meiklejohn
Adventure

The Ride of Your Life Eight Friends, 11 Days and 1,600 Miles

In the late afternoon during the 10th consecutive day of riding, about 60 miles north of the British Columbia/Northwest Territories border somewhere along the Liard Highway, Huw and I were lying on the mossy floor of a sparse pine forest.

We had been fading in and out of sleep for an hour, the stunted trees providing us with just enough shelter to cut the harsh westerly wind, while still letting the sun sneak through the canopy to...

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McPherson dials in the details of a mural in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Leandro Olgiati

Made With Intention Connor McPherson's Art Pairs Well With Any Beer

While every beer has its own taste and aroma, these attributes are rarely conveyed at first glance.

It’s impossible to judge a beer through the walls of a dark glass bottle or an aluminum can. With regard to its characteristics, craft beer needs visual representation, and art is the perfect means to achieve that.

This relationship comes alive through the cans and bottles of Bellingham’s Aslan Brewing Co. The company emphasizes...

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Dialed & Devoted More Than Rah-Rah at the Sturdy Dirty Enduro

Bright colors weave in and out of trees, emanating from tie-dyed racing jerseys, Hawaiian shirts and at least one unicorn costume.

The sound of hoots, hollers, laughter and festive music reverberates through the forest. As the 2019 Tiger Mountain Sturdy Dirty Enduro kicks off and 150 women prepare to drop into their race runs, palpable electricity is in the air.

Six years ago, a group of five women founded Sturdy B*tch Racing...

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While the beautiful vistas of Colville National Forest won’t be changing anytime soon, recreational access could be.

Change On The Horizon Access for All in the Colville National Forest

If “Kettle Fest” were a verb, it would be used to describe the action of waking up, cooking breakfast, looking at a map and then riding a mountain bike until you no longer could.

It seems almost old-fashioned to call Kettle Fest a “mountain bike trip,” though to describe it in any other way would dilute its purity.

Traditionally taking place the second week of July, Kettle Fest attracts a small group of dedicated riders from...

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Bellingham's Galbraith Mountain offers no shortage of singletrack to explore, and something for everyone, first-timers to pros. Photo: Maggie Kaiserman

Vamos A Galbraith Connecting Latinx and Mountain Biking Culture

When someone moves to Bellingham, WA, it’s only a matter of time until they see a bumper sticker or hear someone say, “Welcome to Bellingham, now get on your bike.”

The statement proclaims the importance of cycling as transportation and gives nod to Bellingham’s prominence as a mountain bike town. “Get on your bike” has dirt-y connotations, and that isn't changing anytime soon. Having this phrase associated with the town is special,...

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Wick, the purveyor of funk—and good cocktails. Photo: Paris Gore

The Dude Abides A Mission To Keep The Future Funky

The mountain bike world has many dudes, but only one Dude.

A chill character who (literally) takes on the role, he’s known simply as Wick to his many friends and acquaintances. While he’s often dressed in an homage to Jeff Bridges’ character in the 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski, donning plaid shorts and a Westerly cardigan, with a gray goatee and bushel of flowing hair to match, bowling isn’t exactly his thing. Rather, it’s...

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While Squamish, BC has long been known for granite slabs, its progressive land-management strategies might soon be the talk of the town. Stephen Matthews and Sid Slotegraaf drop into Dirk’s Diggler with stunning views of the Howe Sound. Photo: Reuben Krabbe

A Bright Future Visionary Land Management in Squamish, BC

The next time you find yourself riding in a Squamish bike lane, look down.

The bike logo looks a bit different than the average—front fork, rear shock and even some extra-knobby tires—and is just one small piece of a pie that makes Squamish one of the most progressive and quirky mountain bike towns in North America. 

When settlers first moved to Squamish for its conveniently located port and surplus of lumber, nobody thought...

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Whittingham’s workspace is a place most mountain bikers only dream about. Running a business out of a shop is no easy task though; it requires a knack for organization and an ability to stay focused.

Finally Naked Sam Whittingham's 20-Year Journey to Bike-Building Simplicity

In 2008, Sam Whittingham won the President’s Choice, People’s Choice and Best in Show awards at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

His endearing fixed-gear creation combined 1890s wooden rims and grips with modern hubs and disc brakes. Maybe even more notably, he won the attention of show-goer Lance Armstrong, who bought the award-winning bike and flew Whittingham to Austin, TX to ride it with him. For a custom bike builder,...

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Elements of the Wild The Interconnected Art of Kate Zessel

You could say Whistler-based biker, skier and illustrator Kate Zessel’s business started in the back seat of her family’s car in the 1990s.

It was there that, while road tripping from Vancouver, BC to Whistler on weekends to ski with her family, Kate’s dad would capitalize on the chance to impart some business knowledge to Kate and her two siblings.

“He’d put us in the car at like 3 p.m. every Friday and drive up to Whistler,...

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Every problem is solved one part at a time. Newton finds some suitable bearing replacements for a bottom bracket at the BC Bike Race.

Fraser Newton Successful Nonconformity

Below Fraser Newton’s name on his Anthill Films business cards is his title: “The Swiss Army Knife.”

And really, there is no better way to quantify not only the multitude of skills Fraser brings to a job, but also his appetite to get the job done.

Throughout the last decade, Fraser has managed bike shops, run mechanic programs for renowned international mountain bike races, run point for conventions, tech’d for boutique gyms,...

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For Bellingham’s hardcore bikers, the Bike Ranch is a frequent hangout during winter months. Billy Lewis blasts out of the quarter pipe as the rest of the crew watches on.

A Work in Progress All are Welcome at the Bike Ranch

It’s a drizzly January evening as I step out of my car at the end of a long gravel driveway in rural Whatcom County.

I can make out a handful of vehicles, each with a bike rack, although there’s no one in sight. Occasionally a faint whoosh tha-thump echoes in the distance, the sound of bike tires on wooden ramps. Not far off, an old horse arena is ablaze with light in the winter darkness. Welcome to the Bike Ranch, a lighted, covered...

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Photo: Dan Cole

Coffee is Art Experiencing the Third Wave in Seattle

It’s no secret Seattleites love their java, but many might be unaware the city is known as the birthplace of second-wave coffee.

The first wave, which kicked off in the 1900s, introduced coffee to the masses, while the second refers to the drink becoming an experience, rather than just a cup of caffeine.

The city far from disappoints when it comes to excellent craft coffee roasters and brewers, and a good cup of coffee is...

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While individual adjustments of sound might be minor, collectively they give video a whole different feeling.

Superb Sounds The Undetectable Work of Keith White

You don’t see Keith White’s artwork, you hear it—and ideally, it goes unnoticed.

He’s the master mixer and audio engineer behind many (if not most) of the action sports world’s feature films and polished edits. When you hear the unmistakable whirring of a hub, a tire slow-motion drifting through a loamy corner or birds chirping in the distance, chances are it’s a sound White added or enhanced to bring beautiful shots to a new level...

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The Skagit Valley and Bay deliver a beautiful backdrop to the region's farmland. From grain to yeast, Garden Path Fermentation strives to source local. Photo courtesy of Skagit Valley Malting

Beer Gone WIld Live Performances at Garden Path Fermentation

Brewing beer is a science, and an integral part of science is experimentation.

But more often than not, there’s one ingredient that brewers want to stay consistent: yeast. Traditional-style beers are brewed with specific yeast strains in a controlled environment to create different styles and flavors.

Garden Path Fermentation, a brewery/winery/cidery/meadery in Skagit Valley, WA, is taking a different approach. They use 100...

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*Meat eaters, rebel and use corned beef and real smoked gouda!
Recipe

Frankenbike Sandwich Santenello's Snack

While new bikes are a beautiful thing, they never stay that way for long.

As parts begin to break and are slowly replaced—maybe a bent derailleur at first, then eventually a wheel—they become a heterogenous mixture of matching graphics and paint. These creations are equally as exquisite in their own right and often have more personality. Known as the Frankenbike—maybe even complete with different-sized wheels front and back—these...

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Personalities

Drawing Her World Diversity, Inclusion and Connection with Brooklyn Bell

I couldn’t help but sneak looks whenever she shifted her journal into view.

On the pages of Brooklyn Bell’s small notebook were detailed and magical destinations, swirling with colors and full of mountains. We were sitting next to each other onstage in North Vancouver, speaking at a NSMBA conference on diversity in media. The confident and bright lines that had caught my eye were a stark contrast to Bell's nervously tapping foot....

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Winter water temperatures of Northwest rivers can fluctuate between 36 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit—or incredibly cold. Matthew DeLorme casts into the frigid waters of the Sauk River.
Lifestyle

The Off Season Photographer Matthew DeLorme Finds a Fresh Perspective on the River

For us in the World Cup press corps, winter is a venerated time.

Summers usually consist of grinding 12- to 16-hour days and they take their toll. Don’t get me wrong, we are lucky to witness the moments we capture on our cameras as intimately as we do. As far as a job goes, hanging out with your mates all day in the dirt cracking jokes and shooting photos is pretty damn great.

But when the season ends and I’ve come home and my...

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From routing and cutting to gluing and welding, the list of tools required for a full-scale buildout is not short. Tyler Earnheart puts in some late night hours on Jill and Bryn's van.
Adventure

The Things That Matter Most Building Jill Kintner and Bryn Atkinson's New Adventure Van

As inhabitants of planet Earth with an innate curiosity to explore, it’s only natural we feel the urge to move.

Searching for new vistas and being dwarfed by new mountain ranges proves a never-ending quest, and nothing enables us in that pursuit more than a mode of transportation. Two wheels provide ample possibilities, but four with a roof increase those opportunities to a near-infinite number when considering distance and...

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Photos courtesy of Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance

Dirty 30 Three Decades of Building Washington's Mountain Bike Community

I used to have a kickstand on my mountain bike.

My naiveté prevented me from recognizing this flagrant offense within the world I had just discovered.

A weekend trip to the Methow Valley with a childhood friend gave me a taste for knobby-tire two-wheel machines, and I spent the ensuing months ravaging through old copies of Mountain Bike Action magazine. I needed a bike. Stat.

And once I had that bike—a yellow Giant...

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Northyards Cider Co.’s offerings are the result of many years of learning and experimenting— combined with even more years of disliking beer— and they’re delicious.
Fermentation & Spirits

Changing the Game North Yard Cider Co. Does Things Differently

You can wade through a lot of muck, without sinking down into it, if you have a dream. Alison Round would know.

Lanky-legged and flat-bummed, she’s poorly built for hauling ass up and down slash-filled mountainsides, so after five years of uninspired tree-planting, she segued into an 11-year career as a Canada Post mail carrier. She hated every second, and was sustained only by the outlandish idea of becoming a craft cider maker....

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