Matt Miles and Matt Hunter—
Big Water, Utah (2015):
We were filming a project
for Sweetgrass Films called
Darklight. It was all filmed
during the night, and we had
sophisticated lighting systems
that illuminated the Utah landscape in a creative way that
was designed to feature the
terrain and make safe passage
for the riders.
Since Sterling has been both riding and
shooting mountain biking for the past 20
years, we asked him to name some of his
favorite places. He singled out six of his
all-time favorite riding areas.
1) Chilcotin Range,
Just north of Whistler in British
Columbia is the Chilcotin Range, a
unique, high-alpine terrain that is less
steep and rocky and is full of old gold-rush trails created by horseback travel.
There’s limited access with no roads
anywhere, just miles and miles of pristine, high-alpine singletrack epics with
true backcountry exposure and stunning
views. Rides are easily six to nine hours
long, and they go through multiple pass-es. No easy way out—just high-reward
loops for good riders.
2) Moab, Utah
I think Moab is the coolest place to
ride a mountain bike in the world. The
smooth, colorful, rocky terrain is so
unique, and the scale of it all is perfect
for bikes. The flow through the terrain
feels otherworldly. Many of the trails in
Moab are purpose-built for bikes, therefore so much fun.
3) Queenstown, New Zealand
I haven’t experimented with all of New
Zealand, but judging by the small sampling around Queenstown, it has become
a favorite, with lots of flowy singletracks
through jaw-dropping terrain and a
community of local people that celebrate
cycling and support trail building. And if
you like dirt jumping, they are world class
in that arena as well.
4) Ketchum, Idaho
Whenever people ask me where the
best singletrack I have ever ridden is, I
say Ketchum, Idaho. The mountains there
are a bit more relaxed in scale and have
perfect, smooth dirt, and it makes for a
perfect blend of non-braking flow on but-tery-smooth trails with “gulch” loops that
are of nice length. The scenery
Matt Hunter—Nagano, Japan (2014): We were in awe at many of the trails we rode in
Japan. The topography and soil type on the volcanoes leave segments of trails to be
ridden like a half-pipe. The flow created was completely stunning for us.