Recently, we got an invitation to find
out exactly what that kind of life is like.
Longtime riding buddies Richie Schley (aka
The Schleyer) and Darren Berrecloth (aka
Bearclaw) were both down in Southern
California doing some riding together, and
Richie contacted us to see if we’d like to
join them for a day. What could we say?
We told them we’d meet them the next
After breakfast, we met Richie and
Darren at some trails in the hills near San
Bernardino that all local rider had told
them about. When we got to the location,
we were met by Schley and Bearclaw, as
well as Italian photographer Ale di Lullo.
Ale was going to be shooting photos of the
two riders for their sponsors, and we were
going to be shooting for Mountain Bike
For the next couple of hours we shot
photos as the guys rode the trails and hit
the big jumps there. As we were getting
ready to leave, Darren and Richie both
decided to do a major road gap that the
locals had created at the location, one with
about a 20-foot vertical drop. It looked so
risky that we thought it was better to pass
it up. One minor error in judgment and
either one of our riders could end up in the
hospital. Darren wanted to do it, so Richie
agreed to do it, too, and they both pulled it
off perfectly. They both deserved a week’s
pay for that gap jump alone.
FUELING UP FOR
THE NEXT RIDE
After driving back into town and grab-
bing some lunch, we headed off to our next
location about an hour away. For those not
familiar with Southern California, the moun-
tain ranges run mostly parallel to the coast-
Paid to play: There’s photographic gold in those hills. Darren and Richie head off into
a dramatic landscape to search for the kind of picture opportunities that can keep their
sponsors in photos for another year.
On the edge: Richie cuts it close to
the edge of a tall cliff, while Darren
follows close behind.