Instinct BC

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The 2020 Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team

March 06, 2020

We’re excited to return to the Enduro World Series this year with our existing Canadian partner, Race Face Performance Products. Over the past two years, the Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro team has made its mark on enduro racing and we’re thrilled to keep up that momentum. 

Over the past few seasons, we’ve watched Jesse Melamed, Andréane Lanthier Nadeau, and Rémi Gauvin come together as a team and add their own flavour to enduro racing. We’re proud to have all three of them on board this year and excited to bring the world along for the ride with a second season of “The Jank Files”.  

With the recent news of race cancellations in South America, we'll be ready as a team for when the race schedule is back to normal.

Peter Ostroski has been riding for Rocky Mountain in one way or another for 18 years! He’s been on every enduro race team we’ve ever had and these days his race schedule includes a mix of EWS races, the Trans Madeira, and the BC Bike Race. 2020 marks a particularly exciting season for Peter, with the announcement of his home tracks being raced at the EWS #6 in Burke, Vermont. 

Previous Feature An Argentina Adventure 5 part video series. This trip wasn't about finding big hucks, shredding scree slopes, heli-shuttles, or filming for a feature movie. It was about finding a true mountain bike adventure and sharing it with close friends.
Next Feature Guiding in the Dolomites I’ve spent several years riding my mountain bike through remote, little-known places around the world. Usually, I’m barely back at home before the next wave of wanderlust comes over me and I feel the pull to set off again. 
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Frozen Bikes and Big Descents: Thomas Vanderham takes on the Variables of Trans-Cascadia

January 17, 2020

“Some of the best riding I’ve done – I don’t even know really how to put it into words.” - Thomas Vanderham

With a career spanning two decades, Thomas Vanderham has dabbled in just about every style of riding going – he’s clearly best known for his freeriding edits – but it’s been some time since he’s participated in anything with a timing chip. “This was a little bit of a departure for me, but I’m always open to new experiences,” he says of his experience at Trans-Cascadia; a 4-day backcountry enduro held in the depths of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington state.

Despite spending a little time reading up on the event, having seen coverage from previous years, and hearing first-hand accounts from past participants, Thomas found prepping for the event quite the challenge. With a variable weather forecast that called for the possibility of freezing temperatures and snow, there was a lot for him to consider about what to bring and how to best set up his bike.

“I talked to a few people who had done it and definitely heard that 29-inch wheels were the way to go just because of how much pedalling there was and the type of terrain.” Thomas built up an Instinct BC and lightened it up a little with a different rear shock and a few other changes. Based on what he had heard about the length of the days and stages, he put 203mm rotors on the front and back. “This wouldn't be my like typical setup, but it ended up being so clutch.”

Thomas was also really happy about was his tire selection. After debating for a long time about weight, compound, width, and tread pattern, he ended up with a DHR2. “It’s not a mud tire, but it's the closest thing to a mud tire in a more normal tread pattern.”

The next challenge was what to bring for clothing and gear. “Packing was quite difficult – you're only allowed to bring one bag and I wanted to be as prepared as possible.” He threw in multiple jackets, layers, and extra gloves, socks, and eyewear. This allowed him to approach each day of the race like he was prepping for a day of ski touring – ensuring that he had warm and dry options in his riding pack for all occasions. “I probably over-packed every day, I certainly had a heavier pack I think than some of the other riders out there, but I just never wanted to be uncomfortable. I had a warm layer; a light puffy jacket for rest stops. And then I had two rain layers in my pack just in case one got really wet. I saw some of the serious racers rolling around with next to nothing, I was pretty impressed with that.”

Coming into the race, Thomas didn’t know a lot about the details of the terrain. “I came in without any expectations – and it was a week of standouts! They were some of the best trails. They were as good or better than advertised; incredibly long sustained downhills” – especially on Day 3.

On the morning of Day 3, Thomas and the other racers had woken up to snow in the campground and frozen bikes and tents. “It was just clear and cold and when we were riding there was no problem with temperature, we were nice and warm. The approach to the first trail was incredible. It was really misty with the sun coming through it was so beautiful up on this ridgeline.” Racers pedalled up a 1000-foot climb from Takhlakh Lake and took in some incredible views of Mount Adams along the way. The first stage of the day was an 1100-foot descent over 1.2 miles of super-fast gravity-fed flow, following that they traversed along a road to the top of the next stage and to 1200 feet of descending over 1.5 miles with a little rolling climb – and easy grind – in the middle. At the bottom of the stage, they were treated to a big fire and hot lunch. But what truly made Day 3 a favourite among racers was yet to come.

After lunch, they got a bump up in shuttles to the ridgeline on the non-motorized side of the Gifford Pinchot. From the drop-off point, racers had a 1-1.5-hour pedal with a couple of playful descents as they traversed. The snow at the top of this next stage made everything a little more exciting, and the Strawberry mountain trail which had been universally described as “an insane descent” and “deep loam” and “12/10, best ever” did not disappoint.

“I think that was an 11-minute trail and it just felt like you were going mach speed the whole time,” says Thomas. “It’s something I don’t get to ride very often, and I was just loving it!”

Unfortunately, the day was cut short due to weather. “The whole day was incredible until the end, we got cut off the last stage because a big snowstorm rolled in. [Before that was] some of the best riding I’ve done – I don’t even know really how to put it into words.

[The Trans-Cascadia team] do an amazing job of creating really good sightlines so that even though you are riding it blind, you can really see what's coming. They do a good job of making it safe in that way. A lot of the trails are formed by motos, so they have this incredible sort of arc to the turns. With the good amount of moisture in the dirt too, it made it so fun to ride. It was tacky. A little bit was muddy, but it was awesome.”

Although Thomas wistfully wonders what Trans-Cascadia would have been like had it been sunny and warm the whole time, he also felt that the extreme weather added to the overall experience. “It wasn't the easiest, but it was cool. It created some incredible scenery; seeing the snow on the mountains and the trails. The trails were just this perfect brown ribbon framed in with the white snow on the side. It was pretty spectacular! It was a week full of hooting and hollering and high fives. And I thought on numerous occasions through the whole week that my bike was feeling so good. I think I brought the perfect bike.”

Previous Feature Electric Adventures Greg Hill has spent the last two years of his life focused on proving the potential of electric adventures. He gave up using fossil fuels to access his adventures and has worked hard at the idea of exploring what it means to adventure sustainably.
Next Feature Thomas Vanderham Slayer Raw Starting with Carson Storch in Utah, following up with Rémi Gauvin on Vancouver Island, the Slayer Raw Cut series wraps up with freeride legend Thomas Vanderham riding Kamloops, British Columbia.
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The Jank Files - Episode 6

October 15, 2019

It’s been a long season for everyone and what better way to end it than at a new venue in some of the most impressive mountains in the world. With 360-degree panoramic views of the Monte Rosa, the famous Matterhorn, and glaciated valleys, Zermatt is impressive in every sense of the word. Traditionally a hiking and mountaineering town, the riding here is tight, technical, and for the lack of a better word – jank.

New for this year was the Trophy of Nations, described by the EWS as an event to “Work with your team, strategize, pace each other, and share the experience.” All that is true, but when we asked the Canadian Men’s team, comprised of Rémi Gauvin, Jesse Melamed, and Kona’s Rhys Verner, their opinion, they put it simply as “a party train going 100%.”

The Trophy of Nations event also featured the Industry Trophy, a race on the same course as the pro's where brands could put together a team of staff, athletes, or anyone they wished. We looped in our team rider, Peter Ostroski, Brand Manager, Stephen Matthews, and Product Manager, Ken Perras to form “Team Slayer”. The team started strong flexing custom Race Face jerseys, tapered in the middle with a leg hematoma, and finished strong with good memories and beers on the beach.

Filmed by Caldwell Visuals
Photos by Dave Trumpore

A big thank you to all our sponsors!
Race Face, Maxxis, Fox, Shimano, Smith Optics, WTB, OneUp Components, Stages Cycling, Peaty’s Products, EVOC, RideWrap

Previous Feature Carson Storch Interview – Ready to Rampage Going into his fifth year competing at Red Bull Rampage, Carson has already experienced nearly all the highs and lows an event of this magnitude can offer.
Next Feature The Jank Files - Episode 5 Between Rémi’s budding slopestyle career, Jesse’s broken hand grip mods, and ALN’s on-the-fly packing, the team joined Peter Ostroski in America and took on California in style. Now that the dust is settled, check out Episode 5 of The Jank Files.
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The Jank Files - Episode 5

September 04, 2019

We all expected Northstar to be dry, loose, and rough. Well, it delivered on all fronts. The tracks raced were some of the gnarliest we’ve seen this year and the combination of moon dust and boulders meant staying upright was a gamble on every stage. Jesse, Rémi, Andréane, and Peter navigated the jank and put down some incredible runs and impressive results.

Between Rémi’s budding slopestyle career, Jesse’s broken hand grip mods, and ALN’s on-the-fly packing, the team joined Peter Ostroski in America and took on California in style. Now that the dust is settled, check out Episode 5 of The Jank Files.


Filmed by Caldwell Visuals
Photos by Dave Trumpore

A big thank you to all our sponsors!
Race Face, Maxxis, Fox, Shimano, Smith Optics, WTB, OneUp Components, Stages Cycling, Peaty’s Products, EVOC, RideWrap

Previous Feature The Jank Files - Episode 6 From $80,000 watches and litres of fondue, to mega party trains and grimace-purple hematoma’s. This is Episode 6 of The Jank Files.
Next Feature Climbing ain't dead From climbing up features he never dreamt possible to picking routes that mine as well be the Penrose Stairs, Camille’s having as much fun on the climbs as he is on the descents.
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The Jank Files - Episode 4

August 20, 2019

There’s something special about being able to race at home. Fortunately for this crew, they get that opportunity every year at the Enduro World Series in Whistler. Jesse, Rémi, and Andréane all live in the Sea to Sky corridor and are proud to race on their home tracks in front of their friends and family. Crankworx is an festival for mountain biking, as it brings riders together from all over the world. For the Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team, that means their American teammate Peter Ostroski comes up to join the crew and put down some fast times!

From sketchy lunch laps on the North Shore, fancy showrooms, fresh kits, and taking the top spot of the team podium; this is Episode 4 of The Jank Files.




Filmed by Caldwell Visuals
Photos by Dave Trumpore

A big thank you to all our sponsors!
Race Face, Maxxis, Fox, Shimano, Smith Optics, WTB, OneUp Components, Stages Cycling, Peaty’s Products, EVOC, RideWrap

Previous Feature Climbing ain't dead From climbing up features he never dreamt possible to picking routes that mine as well be the Penrose Stairs, Camille’s having as much fun on the climbs as he is on the descents.
Next Feature Oscillation Back and forth, forward and back. Mastery on the bike comes from constant repetition.
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The Jank Files - Episode 3

August 01, 2019

Rounds 4 and 5 of the Enduro World Series were scheduled back to back this month. With only a few days in between each race, the schedule presented the perfect opportunity to set out on a European road trip. Crossing Italy and ending in France, the hot temperatures, cold gelato, lengthy playlists, and wild bike races were an incredible recipe for spending a few weeks abroad.

From dirt kart racing and glacial river baths to podium finishes and the hospital visits. This isn’t your average Euro trip; this is Episode 3 of The Jank Files.

Filmed by Caldwell Visuals
Photos by Dave Trumpore

A big thank you to all our sponsors!

Race Face, Maxxis, Fox, Shimano, Smith Optics, WTB, OneUp Components, Stages Cycling, Peaty’s Products, EVOC

Previous Feature Oscillation Back and forth, forward and back. Mastery on the bike comes from constant repetition.
Next Feature THE SLAYER – Official Trailer release The film, from the writer-director, features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the iconic horror films of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Watch it, if you dare.
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The Final Trans-Provence

July 07, 2019

Story by Peter Ostroski

What makes the Trans-Provence different than all the other stage races? It’s the combination of a massive amount of vertical metres descended, the number of hours in the saddle, countless switchbacks executed, and the camaraderie formed between riders. In my mind, it’s one of the hardest mountain bike events in the world as it tests your physical, mental, and mechanical stamina over six unrelenting days. This year marked the 10th and final year for the Trans-Provence and it finished just as it started – incredibly. This race has always delivered the ultimate adventure for like-minded riders looking to move through the mountains, interpret trails on sight, put down some fast times, and feel a true community vibe.

I was anxious about heading into the Trans-Provence. It’s such a legendary event with a long and documented history. But even though my anxiety was growing it shifted to excitement as soon as I arrived in Barcelonnette, France to kick things off. The schedule was set for the next six days, and although it was daunting the vibe at camp couldn’t have been more relaxed. New riders were introduced, past riders were reunited, and everyone was stoked to get going as we organized our tents and gear.

The Trans-Provence is all about blind racing so when you’re charging down old donkey paths, predictability goes by the wayside and the good choices you make begin to outweigh the risky ones. It’s quite unlike an EWS race that lasts only one day or two. At the Trans-Provence, you’re tasked with managing your own decisions and support to sustain nearly a full week of racing.

We were greeted by unfamiliar but awesome trails day in and day out. As the entire group rode through the Maritime Alps, we navigated everything from high alpine singletrack to technical rocky crags at sea level. The style and flow of each trail changed dramatically, putting even more strain on our bikes, body, and mind. Even though I was completely exhausted, it was the other racers at the Trans-Provence that helped to keep me going in the adventure. Riding with friends, swapping stories, and having coffees in small villages made for an unforgettable journey.

The idea behind the Trans-Provence is simple. You camp in tents and change locations each morning, manage your own gear, keep your bike and body running, and get through each day. It sounds simple enough, but I can assure you it’s far from it as you navigate from valley to valley and cover hundreds of kilometres and descend the height of Mount Everest two and half times.

The Trans-Provence is a race model that’s influenced an entire culture of mountain biking and pushed the limits what’s possible from an event. It truly is an incredible mountain bike adventure.

Previous Feature Digger's back Wade saw the surgeries as an opportunity to help out a friend who had given him so much over the years. It was his idea to support Digger with an Altitude Powerplay, because he knew the assistance from the bike’s drive system would help get Digger back riding.
Next Feature Thomas Vanderham - From The Collective to Return to Earth The Collective and Anthill Films have made seven full-length mountain bike movies over the last 15 years and Thomas Vanderham has been in all of them.
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Je me souviens

February 15, 2019

Story by Andreane Lanthier Nadeau

I was lucky enough to discover riding at a very young age. I was so young, in fact, that my mom had to attend every training session for my first year on my development club. In Québec City at that time, if you mountain biked, you raced. As a kid, racing was much more than results, it was a means to live life rich with experiences. A means to learn about setting goals and to experience camping trips, friends, and travel. Plus, I truly loved racing, so pursuing it felt like a win-win scenario.

Four years ago I relocated to Vancouver Island in British Columbia to train with the cross-country National Team. Moving away from Québec and leaving behind my community was difficult, but it was becoming clear to me that I needed a change. Over the years my love for riding had gone adrift. My years of focusing on numbers and results had taken their toll and I was no longer having fun. Yet, I knew that biking and I were far from being done and I hoped that the West Coast would offer a new perspective.

My immersion in this new riding culture was a turning point for me. On the West Coast, I found a more adventure-focused, fun-driven approach to riding. It was a new experience to be in a community that rode for fun, where friends gathered on the weekends with their bikes, and people loved the sport without racing in it. The challenge of the new terrain was a catalyst that put me back into a beginner’s mindset where I could start fresh with biking.

The move was a good one and it did not take long for me to fall back in love with riding in the Pacific Northwest forest. It was the best reminder of why I ride bikes; because I love it. It took me back to the days before racing, to the days of playing on bikes as a kid in Québec. We spent our time smashing through as many mud puddles as we could, riding our bikes backwards, singing out loud while bombing down the road, scaring each other during night rides, washing our hair in the campground’s creek, and cooling off from the scorching summer heat one gulp of Slurpee at a time. This return to the fun side of mountain biking allowed me to put the pieces together to transform my passion into a career and to find myself racing as a professional mountain biker all around the globe.

While I was back home for a visit this fall, I met up with one of my best pals, Antoine Caron, a filmmaker and shredder of all types, to discuss shooting an edit about our stomping grounds. I wasn’t sure how it would feel to return with my big bike, to experience the same trail networks that I had trained on as an XC racer. I came back to fresh new trails weaving through the old ones I used to hammer out intervals on. Coming back to fun, challenging new trails was a very refreshing contrast.

We arrived at a cold and snowy trailhead parking lot on one of our filming days, but we realized we did not really feel like shooting. After running into old friends, we decided to leave the camera in the car and head out for a ride. We saw people out there, smiling, enjoying being out on a ride, and getting stoked about new trail features. Seeing how the trails evolved and how the Québec mountain bike community is changing to incorporate what I foundon the West Coast was a truly heartwarming feeling. I realized that these are still my people, they watched me grow up, and I was surprised to find that they have followed my career. I realized that even though I have moved on from XC, Québec will always be my home, in my mind they were so tied together, until I brought my big bike and rode it!

Thank you to Mathieu Dupuis-Bourassa from La Vallée Bras-du-Nord for agreeing with all our bad ideas of quad follow-cam. Thank you to the unknown master builders of the jump spot by the train tracks. And finally, thank you to the whole crew at Les Sentiers du Moulin & LB-Cycle for building not only great trails, but an awesome mountain biking community in Québec.

Previous Feature The Coastal Collaboration The Coastal Collaboration is a technical apparel line designed around function and high performance.
Next Feature Journey through time When I was young my adventures started small – riding horses through the fields and woods near my childhood home near Lichtenfels, Germany – and grew to be grander over time. With each ride, I pushed myself to go a little further than before.
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East of the Divide

September 24, 2018
Previous Feature The Grom Reaper What’s it like to experience Whistler through the eyes of a kid? In short, it’s awesome.
Next Feature Straight to the Point Every rider has ridden at least one bike that for whatever reason is unforgettable in their mind and holds a special place in their heart. For Andreane Lanthier Nadeau, the Rocky Mountain Vertex is this bike, and even today as a full-time EWS racer she still finds herself drawn to riding her cross-country hardtail.
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The Jank Files - Episode 2

June 10, 2019

For the Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team, the long trip and the short stay in Madeira made for a whirlwind trip. Coming from Vancouver, the 8-hour time difference and hot island temperatures had everyone in a daze - and that was before rattling through jagged boulder sections and the loose corners of each stage. 

From unforgiving race tracks and talking to parrots, fresh haircuts, and a ridiculous hat for Jesse. This is Episode 2 of The Jank Files.

Presented by Smith Optics
Filmed by Caldwell Visuals
Photos by Dave Trumpore

A big thank you to all our sponsors!
Race Face, Maxxis, Fox, Shimano, Smith Optics, WTB, OneUp Components, Stages Cycling, Peaty’s Products, EVOC

Previous Feature Thomas Vanderham - From The Collective to Return to Earth The Collective and Anthill Films have made seven full-length mountain bike movies over the last 15 years and Thomas Vanderham has been in all of them.
Next Feature Sweet escape To us, rolling through familiar neighbourhoods was a welcomed return to our normal day to day. The ride we’d accomplished had left its mark and was exactly what we all needed. Today’s the perfect example of why bikes are the ultimate tool for the modern adventure.