Filmed by Brad Holmes & Drew Lederer
Photography by Eric Parker
Words by Cam McCaul
Nothing is really anything until it turns into something, and nothing-specific is exactly what we were aiming for when we did our first “Badlands” trip earlier this Spring. Any of the things that it could turn into were fair game and by keeping the recipe simple, we figured the “something” we would end up with would be exactly the something we’d like to have.
That simple recipe goes something like this:
- Like-minded friends looking for an excuse to spend time in the desert
That’s pretty much the extent of the recipe.
Badlands trip #1 yielded an action edit and an action / BTS mashup (Cats Don’t Need Dollars.)
Often these days, a mountain bike video project starts with very opposite origins to these Badlands shoots. There’s a brand message, and the video is a conduit to deliver that message; or there’s a new product that needs content for its release. There’s nothing wrong with these types of projects, but if these are the only projects we are ever involved with, it would become easy to forget why we started doing any of this in the first place. There are barriers that exist with brand projects that prevent riders from shooting together because they have separate sponsors. There are boundaries on what types of riding can be featured depending on what product is being promoted, etc.
We all started doing this out of pure enjoyment for mountain biking, and the challenges involved with setting up little goals for yourself and accomplishing those goals. At the time of writing this, I just had a nice little 45 minute visit with the guy who got me into mountain biking in the first place about 22 years ago. Talking with him took me down memory lane and I could remember how it felt to just be utterly enamored by the endless possibilities that a mountain bike and an area with terrain could represent. It was only natural that at some point we would want to document these moments in order to relive them on more mundane days. This is the point where the camera got involved. All of a sudden when a camera is introduced, you have an extra boost of motivation to set goals for yourself because just like a hunter keeping the antlers as a trophy, you now have a tangible creation you can take home to serve as a reminder of that good day, that adrenaline rush, and that feeling of accomplishment. This process is a blast. It’s even more enjoyable when there are no strings attached. The reason to do it, is simply to do it.