When Making History Made History | The Moment 3

Somewhere between the gravel pits of Kamloops and the deep dark woods of the Shore, a new sport was born. This is the story of The Moment.

When Making History Made History | The Moment

As we hurl ourselves down another mountain aboard our incredibly capable shredding machines, enjoying yet another perfectly sculpted trail, it's easy to forget that the sport that we love so much has come a really long way in quite a short period of time. When did it all begin? The very first "bicycle" was apparently built in 1817, and although it took quite a few years until somebody would figure out that these contraptions could be used for going off-road as well, it's probably fair to say that kids will be kids and there is just something about rolling around on two wheels that has always invited us to push the envelope to see where it might take us. To that point, the first cyclocross world championships were held in 1950, while "On Any Sunday" is widely credited with setting the stage for BMX to take over the world in 1972. It wasn't long before "clunking" was a thing too, at least on Bay Area fire roads. The first mass-produced, commercially available mountain bike went on sale in 1981, and it's been all downhill since then - pun fully intended!

 

This is the story that BC filmmaker Darcy Turenne explores in "The Moment", a trip down memory lane featuring mad skills, rebellious attitudes, and enough cringeworthy crashes to make Jackass proud.

Back to the future, we're in 1994, and spandex ruled mountain biking in the USA. It was all about racing at the time, but there were rumblings from north of the border about the crazy Canucks getting up to no good...apparently, they were going "freeriding" with little regard for life or limb. This is the story that BC filmmaker (and ex-pro freerider) Darcy Turenne explores in "The Moment", a trip down memory lane featuring mad skills, rebellious attitudes, and enough cringeworthy crashes to make Jackass proud.

Before you say 'I'd send that'...
...just remember these guys did it with almost no travel, shitty geo, tiny flat transitions and bikes that would often implode on impact.
Sure, the freeride revolution and subsequent improvements in technology and know-how would eventually have taken place anyway, but that doesn't matter - because what we are seeing here is what ACTUALLY happened, and we are all living the aftermath to this day.

Digging deep in the archives of the sport, Darcy deftly navigates between old footage and new interviews, the narration essentially time-line based and all of it leading up to defining The Moment. When exactly that was has multiple answers depending on who you ask, but everybody involved gets their share of the limelight leaving the rest of us to feel thankful that they did what they did when they did it. Sure, the freeride revolution and subsequent improvements in technology and know-how would eventually have taken place anyway, but that doesn't matter - because what we are seeing here is what ACTUALLY happened, and we are all living the aftermath to this day.

Brett Tippie showed up late to this shoot so he had to send the big stuff. The inspiration for these early lines came straight from the world of ski movies.

The story within this story is the vision of Christian Begin, the filmmaker behind the first three Kranked movies. To be a fly on the wall during those early years is truly a privilege, made possible by Darcy's talents as well as Christian's dedication to digging up and digitizing the old footage. From the first helmet cams to Schleybletops, the pioneering work for what the GoPro and Facebook generation now takes for granted was nothing short of ground- and bone! -breaking.

As the story of the first Kranked movie is told, the venerable old print mag is also given its due share of the glory. Bike Magazine and Sterling Lorence are household names today, and much of that is probably down to them having the vision and the courage to follow the crazy characters who were pushing the sport forward back when. A lot of that early work still stands the test of time too, as viewers of The Moment will soon come to realize.

Was it all fun and games? Of course not, because when one group of people is out enjoying the fun and games, there's always somebody who wants to stand in the way. The Moment tells the story of building on the North Shore, of trails getting torn down and environmentalists getting sand in their knickers every time somebody would drag a brake down a scree slope. In other words, everything changes but nothing has changed: riders gonna ride, and haters gonna hate.

Dangerous Dan Cowan sending one of his crazy creations.
Todd 'Digger' Fiander travels back in time to inspect some of the madness from back when.

For those of us who were born before the internet, it seems like the 90's were only yesterday - although that's probably just a mix of denial and dementia talking. In the grand scheme of things however, it really WAS only yesterday. So the next time you want to complain about some bike manufacturer coming up with some new standard just to spite you, take 5 minutes and to reflect on how good you really have it. To help you do so, no better way than to check out The Moment, a wonderful history lesson and a rad mountain bike movie, all in one. Well done Darcy and crew!

You don't get to be called the 'Godfather of Freeriding' for no reason. Wade Simmons and THAT truck jump in 2002.

The Moment is available to buy or rent on iTunes and other video services.

Reliving the moment, the crew came together 20+ years later to celebrate the movie and film the most worthy of ending scenes.


Words by Johan Hjord

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