Artist Kyler Martz, with his dog Penny, on his custom 333fab bike.
Community

Constant Evolution The winding career path of artist Kyler Martz

The 500-pound cephalopod’s tentacles stretch out, reaching into every corner across a three-story space.

Normally hidden in remote underwater locations, this brown-and-tan speckled specimen made its home in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood—in a PCC Community Markets to be exact.

An elderly man passes beneath the gargantuan octopus and exclaims, “I’ve never noticed that before!”

Nearby, Kyler Martz laughs. This is his...

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Artist and athlete Brooklyn Bell holds one of her original illustrations made in partnership with RockShox and Ground Keeper Custom.
Community

Community Expansions Improving Bellingham's Trailhead Access

Nowhere else in Bellingham is mountain biking’s surging popularity more evident than on Samish Way near Galbraith Lane.

There, on any given day, throngs of riders, hikers and dog walkers vie for just 30 coveted parking spots in an old lot originally made to serve a fraction of those who now come to enjoy the trails of nearby Galbraith Mountain and Lake Padden Park. Once the lot is full, the only option is to park along the narrow...

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Morris Vasser speaks at a Sweetlines mountain bike coaching clinic at Duthie Hill Park in Issaquah, Washington. Photo: Cole Gregg
Diversity

Where Are We Now? Inside the Effort to Diversify Cycling

Last summer, the bike industry went into a frenzy.

Like someone noticing an open wound they’d been oblivious to, companies were having “oh shit” moments right and left. To me, it seemed as if many were finally realizing how underserved and misrepresented people of color are in outdoor spaces.

The brutal killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a Black man, by former police officer Derek Chauvin struck a nerve even among...

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The waterways of the Skagit River estuary.
Environment

Donut Hole Debacle A River's Health in Flux

An old friend once posed a provocative idea: that geographic borders be determined by watershed boundaries and not by arbitrary lines drawn on maps, such as the one that marks the 49th parallel between the United States and Canada.

They argued that this method of demarcation would make for less controversial water policies and fewer water wars. Management practices would be, as a result, designed with the entire watershed in mind. If...

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A handful of Michael Jaross’ honeybee colonies live behind the Dollar Lot, off Galbraith Lane, and thrive on the Himalayan blackberries and fireweed flowers nearby.
Environment

Pleas for the Bees Michael Jaross, Bellingham, WA’s Beekeeping Guru, is Helping Local Colonies Adapt

Between April 2019 and April 2020, more than 40 percent of honeybee colonies within the United States died off,

according a survey published by the Bee Informed Partnership. Additionally, that annual loss number has been hovering between 30 and 45 percent for the past decade.

For Bellingham, WA-based beekeeper Michael Jaross, this is a fact he drops relatively nonchalantly as he gives a tour of one of his hive clusters—yet it...

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Danielle Schön in her Squamish, BC shop with the bike she built for the 2019 Philly Bike Expo behind her. The hardtail mullet-style bike is the perfect amalgamation of Schön’s artistic skills and Squamish’s burly riding style.
Profile

A Mover and a Maker Danielle Schön is Leaving Labels Behind

The adrenaline that comes from weaving in and out of traffic, dodging cars and racing through the gridlocked streets of Toronto isn’t for everybody.

But for Danielle Schön, a rider, racer and fabricator who now lives in Squamish, BC, it was this exact rush that sparked her love of bicycles. She’s equally comfortable coated in dirt riding coastal singletrack, chasing cars on a road bike or holding a torch in a  garage. In a class all...

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Ethan Keruger digging his wheels into the tacky dirt of the Spine Trail.
Culture

This is Freedom The Fast-Paced Progression of Adaptive Mountain Biking

The air is rich with the thick scent of dirt.

Trail-side blackberries accompany beautiful vistas at each stop. The muffled sound of tires cutting turns through deep loam is etched into the mind. A weekend of riding equates to mountain lakes, remote towns and warm nights drinking beer around a campfire with your friends. This is life at its best for a mountain biker. Yet these experiences are something we often take for granted, and...

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Gray-day vibes in Port Renfrew, BC and early morning surf checks—the perfect conditions for some locally roasted coffee. Photos: John Rathwell
Coffee

One Good Cup Deserves Another The Origins of Beach Camp Coffee Co.

Maybe it was the mist rolling off the Pacific Ocean, or the Douglas-fir-scented air,

or maybe it was the flames licking the sides of the cast iron pan in which a handful of green coffee beans were toasting—but the aroma that surrounded John Rathwell was exciting. The campfire roasted the beans to dark brown, and the steaming brew that was produced wasn’t half bad. But when the campfire died down, a spark remained in Rathwell’s mind...

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Scott Veach maintaining Dark Crystal— the product of a previous unemployment stint and recently revamped thanks to CERB.
Culture

The 2020 Canadian Extreme Recreation Boom Whistler, BC's Workforce of Unemployed Trailbuilders

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Whistler in March 2020, it was like a cross-check to the teeth.

Overnight, the town’s economic lifeblood of destination tourism screeched to a halt, and paychecks disappeared soon after. The ski resort closed two months early. Nonessential businesses were shuttered. Hundreds of people picked up and left. It went from full-on harvest season to ghost town, real quick.

The Canadian government...

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Profile

Metallic Musings Aaron Loveitt’s Explorations of Art and Earth

A thicket of bronze vines lays on the ground in Aaron Loveitt’s studio, branches weaving through each other in a methodical and ornate layout.

This installment, which will eventually be a driveway gate for a client, has been his focal endeavor for the past four months, a suitably solo activity that’s kept him busy during the coronavirus lockdown.

As the sole proprietor of Canopy Art and Iron, Loveitt’s Bellingham, WA-based...

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Environment

A River Runs Free Restoring Access to Long-Lost Habitat on The Nooksack River

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”—Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It, 1976

Between the banks and along the meanders of the Nooksack River in northwest Washington are endless confluences where snowmelt flows atop lava deposits from historic eruptions on Mount Baker. Braided channels weave together like age-old stories of the Nooksack Indian Tribe and Lummi Nation, carrying centuries of...

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Culture

The Cycle Capital Washington State's Celebrated Passion of Cycling

Whether you’re cruising a Seattle neighborhood greenway or pedaling singletrack to the top of a mountain, it’s undeniable that Washington state is good to cyclists.

In fact, the state has owned the number one spot on the League of American Bicyclists’ bicycle-friendly state list every year since the organization began ranking in 2008.

The roots of this cycle culture run deep—more than 140 years deep. The first bicycle arrived...

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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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