Bralorne, Crankworks … It’s been too Long!

Published on September 9, 2012, by in News.

It’s been way too long!  No excuses.  First up, what happened to summer?! Some how September snuck in the mix and I’m not sure about you, but I’m not so happy about it.  Summer’s been treating me too well, making me not all that interested in the winter months that stand on the doorstep.  Perpetual summer bring it on!

So I guess I have some explaining/catching up to do.  We’ll start at Crankworks, no let’s begin a couple days before because I had a chance to link up with my good swedish friend Mattias Fredrikssen for one power day of shooting.  All I can say is that Mattias knows how to get things done.  It was probably one of the better single day shoots I’ve had.  Rompy DH runs and sunset single track always a good time.

 

Then it was off to Crankworks  where in-which my stay was a little too short for my liking.  Three days there felt like an afternoon.  I mean I only have myself to blame as I probably didn’t do enough partying, but the real failure that broke the genuine Whistler experience was the lack of a night at Sushi Village.  So disappointed in myself.  It’s just so good.  Speaking of disappointment… I even had to miss “Whip-Off World Champs”, which was a massive bummer because in my eyes that has to be the best event at Crankworks.  Hooligans, big o’l booters, the best athletes in the world… what could be better!  If you haven’t heard of it, do yourself a favor and look it up… it’s a spectical.  Bottom line though three days is still better than none, and “big-ups” to everyone at Norco for taking care of us athletes.

The answer to waltzing away from a Crankworks early lies in one magical little word … Bralorne.  For months I have been working on a Project alongside The North Face and Sherpas Cinema, and on August 17 it was time to put that plan into motion.  I packed the truck, prepared for 8 days of camping, and made my way to Kamloops to pick up the other athlete who would be saddeling up for this adventure.  While putting this project together, it was suggested that we  bring along another rider so I wouldn’t be standing atop these massive lines fearing for life itself all by my lonesome.  And so, I made the natural choice and brought along someone I had never met.  The type of riding we were exposing ourselves to on this trip is not for the fella that moisturrises his hands of a daily basis.  I made the selection off what I had learned on the internet (not always the best way of making a decision, but in this case it was dead on) and after hitching up a couple ATV’s I picked up Matty Miles and we made way of the mountains.

 

On the Eastern edge of the Coast Mountains lies layers of peaks seemingly undecided in which direction to reach.  Some tower skyward, others have given way to gravity and pressures of time, beginning their slow top-down degradation.  This tectonic playground is home to one of mountain biking’s most exciting environments.  It is one of the only places that truly blurs the lines between skiing and riding a bike.  We traded the confides of trails for steep open faces and tight coulouirs of rock.  There is only one way I can put it into perspective… It’s what Alaska is to Skiing, but for Biking.  The goal of this project was explore the uncharted potential of the area, and chalk up a few first descents.  And oh buddy, did we accomplish our goal.  I could write a novel about this trip but I won’t.  I am just going to dangle the carrot. Having Shperas Cinema, the most talented production team in the game covering all the angles, and Blake Jorgensen capturing each turn of the excursion moment by moment, it would be rude for me to lay all the details of the trip in a spoiler blog.  The film and imagery we captured even blows my mind so I figured we better do it justice with a proper release.    Although you have read this far so instead of leaving you so the least I can do is give you a couple insightful tasters… Insanely Beautiful Landscape, Float Planes, Snow, Alpine Base Camp, scaling sketchy rock walls with Bikes, fastest moments ever on a bike (and my back brake was fully locked), Helicopters, 2500 ft. first descents, escaping lightening stroms, flipping quads, bush whacking, Snow Roads, Breakfast laps, carving, roosting, countless “High-Fives”, close calls, Gnarly drop-in’s, epic sunsets, the most scenic bathroom of all time, feeling like a pioneer, wicked crew … Trip of a Lifetime!!  The Carrot has officially been dangled.

 

 

Huge Thanks to Everyone who saw this trip through, especially The North Face, Sherpas Cinema, Blake, Matty… insanely stoked!

 

Now off to Fernie…

 

 

Lake Jumping Anyone?

Published on August 9, 2012, by in News.

Mike Hopkins – Slopestyle Training from Scott Secco on Vimeo.

Quality Summer Days

Published on August 7, 2012, by in News.

The past weekend was exactly my idea of summer.  Friends, lakes, bikes, parties, heat… it was awesome.  Last week, I was down in Salt Lake giving a presentation for The North Face at a distributor meeting before the Outdoor Retail Show, which was a cool in-run for the weekend.  Before this year I hadn’t done any public speaking but now after a few kicks at it, I feel like I am starting to figure it out, and it’s pretty sweet.  Salt Lake was one of those real business style trips, a day traveling, spend the following day shedding a little insight on the new North Face duds, sleep for a couple hours, and jump on a plane and bump home. Just under 48hr round trip.  A quick and dirty couple days but it wasn’t short on fun.  The North Face Crew are a bunch of characters so it’s always a good time.  I flew home to nab the nuptuials of two of my good childhood friends.  Like most most weddings it turned into a make-shift reunion, which naturally goes hand in hand with a few beverages and entertaining antics a plenty.

Yesterday it was back to the bike.  Scott Secco needed a few pick-up shots for his new video, so we made the most of the morning, crushed it out, and finished the day off with an “Epic!” Lake Jump session (Video coming soon).  Love this summer business!

Cheers Mike

Man on the Move!

Published on August 2, 2012, by in News.

Well let’s just say it’s been a busy 12 days since I last put a few words down on this not-so printed page.  Since my last blog things have been wicked busy.  I filmed a ridiculous new edit with my buddies Dave Peacock and Liam Mullany, in a new zone I have been working on for a good majority of the Spring.  There are few things that put a bigger smile on my face than having a series of trails and features ride and shoot exactly how you pictured it would.  Using my avid action sports linguistics skills I have to say Liam and Dave absolutely “Crushed It”.  Cables, cranes, tripods, trees, mud, mine-shafts, those boys put their cameras through the ringer.  Other than the eyebrow raising tactics used to stop the maching cable sled the boys were running a legit pro-show.  We even had mountain biking’s front running super-fan and all around action sport archive Scott Secco on hand capturing all the behind the scene antics.  Antics which included the expected (my trip to the hospital after a hefty slam) along with the slightly odd (Liam’s battle with crazy bite that laid him up in the emergency with an ankle that looked as though it had been borrowed from an elephant).  Good times all around.  Super pumped for this edit to hit screens so I’ll be sure to let you guys know when it drops.

The day after wrapping the shoot I grabbed the wheels and booted it down to North Vancouver for Norco’s 2013 Product Launch.  I’ll just say that these guys know how to show a fella a good time, and next years bikes are looking absolutely ridiculous.  I don’t want to give away the goods before the media launch at Crankworks, but let’s just say whether it’s “pre” or “post” ride your going to have a hard time tearing your attention away from these modern day marvels of art and engineering.  Bold claim? Oh you just wait!  Riding with the distributors on Fromme, hanging with the crew and team, eating good food, amidst next years eye-candy… not a bad way to spend a few days.

 

After the final festivities consisting of leg of lamb and belly dancers (for reals, weird indeed), I booked it home for a day of hanging with my girl at the lake, before heading up to Retallack to join the likes of James Dorefling, Secco, and a mint crew of characters.  I only had two days of shooting at the lodge, which was a bit of bummer because that place is way too much fun.  2500 vertical of fresh loam… nough said.  That trip was cut too short, but I am planning to head back up in 3 days once I get back from Salt Lake City where I am meeting up with The North Face for the Outdoor Retailer Show.  I am actually sitting in the Seattle airport soaking in this 3.5 hour delay I have on my hands, writing you folks and having a beer.  Either way the last 2 weeks have been killer but I actually gotta fly, literally.

 

 

Cheers Mike

The Boys Behind “Baraka” Are At It Again

Published on July 31, 2012, by in News.

SAMSARA Theatrical Trailer from Baraka & Samsara on Vimeo.