Handbuilt | Chapter I - Old Roots

Handbuilt | Chapter I


Words: Tyler McCaul
Photos: Long Nguyen
Second Angle: Isaac Wallen
Filmed/Edited: Calvin Huth

This is HANDBUILT, CHAPTER I. HANDBUILT is a new series I’ve started that will live on my Youtube channel, and it’s my first go at self-producing my own projects. The goal is to not only showcase riding in these videos and photos, but to also showcase the hours on hours of digging that goes into these projects. In a day and age where a lot of riders rent tractors and pay other people to build sections of trail for them to film, I take pride in the fact that this series will all be Handbuilt.

Chapter I takes place at a spot deep in the woods that I had been digging at by myself for years. The goal was always to finish building it so that one day I would have more stuff to ride in an area that riding spots are becoming few and far between, but also so that I could film and shoot photos on it. Year after year it never materialized and became a huge monkey on my back to finish it, until my impending move to Utah last month forced me to buckle down on the shovel all winter and get it done. This video is a look at my first and last hits at the spot I had dug so hard on for years before I packed up and left California for the Utah desert.

I had Calvin Huth fly down to film, Long Nguyen shoot the photos, and Isaac Wallen shoot second angle. This is Chapter 1 of what will hopefully be many chapters to come. Chapter 2 will take place out in Utah and I hope to start digging for that soon, with an anticipated release of early 2020.

Handbuilt | Chapter I - Old Roots

In hindsight, now that you’re a Utah desert dweller, does watching this video make you miss home?
In a way, yes, but also it’s good to look back on that and reflect on how much work it was, and realize how much easier it will be to have stuff to ride in Utah. The hills are already here, and there are a lot of things you can ride without having to spend weeks on end digging. The ridges out here are endless and one of my favorite things to ride.

What was the hardest part of this project?
Keeping the place maintained. It was such a long hike in and out that there was no chance of bringing water in to patch lips and stuff once they dried out and started to crumble, so I could only dig out there when the conditions were perfect. If it rained too much the whole place would get flooded out and there would be streams running through all the flat-bottoms.

Handbuilt | Chapter I - Old Roots

What is your favorite shot and is that different than your favorite section to ride?
I think my favorite shot was one of the whip shots in the beginning where you could see that rain falling through the trees. That was also my favorite jump to ride out there.

Have you already got your eyes set on some hits for Chapter 2?
For sure. It will be filmed out here in Utah and I’ve found some pretty cool things to shape up and ride already.

What do you miss most about Santa Cruz?
The climate there is pretty unbeatable. I’m sitting in my house right now watching 30 mph winds rip through our neighborhood. Conditions can change so quickly out here and you definitely can’t get out and ride every day. The weather in Santa Cruz is pretty perfect on most days out of the year.

What are you loving most about Utah?
The lack of people and freedom to do whatever I want on my bike. There are so many things to ride, and for me that’s what I need to keep myself motivated and not get jaded on riding the same thing every day.

Handbuilt | Chapter I - Old Roots
Handbuilt | Chapter I - Old Roots
Handbuilt | Chapter I - Old Roots