When Anthill Films decided they wanted to showcase a faster, more big-mountain style of riding on the classic mountain bike trails of Vancouver’s North Shore there was only one man to turn to – Thomas Vanderham.
But when asked who he’d like to ride with, the Canadian king of the moto whip eschewed the normal big names from the freeride scene and instead picked Aussie downhill star Sam Hill, who had never even visited the Shore before.
Of course, Hill didn’t let that stand in his way. As the reigning World Cup downhill champ, he’s got the skills to excel on any kind of terrain – which in this case included a 15ft cliff drop and 25ft hip jump.
Anthill film-maker Jonathan Schramm said: “As we finished the cliff drop line we began to wonder if Sam would hit it. We had no doubt that he could but we weren’t sure if he’d want to. We wondered if he would reject the line as being too wet and freshly built, and not worth the risk to his health.
“After all, Sam is the World Cup downhill champion and he has fulfilled all of his sponsor obligations this year to the highest degree; he obviously has nothing to prove. As things turned out, Sam was stoked to hit the cliff drop. He said he hadn’t ridden anything like [it] since he’d started professional racing.”
You’ll be able to see the results of the session in Anthill’s first film, Follow Me, due out in spring 2010. For now, here are some photos from Sterling Lorence to whet your appetite. Also, check out the Anthill blog for more about the shoot.