Photos by: Jarrett Lindal
Blending art and creativity with mountain bikes, the new Shimano Original Film Blueprint started with a simple idea – to watch sections of trail come to live before the viewer’s eyes. Following the build process of the new Blueprint trail in Cumberland, BC, the build team that was headed up by Mark Matthews was inspired to challenge themselves to create something that pushed their creativity further than ever before. The corners were just asking to get stacked bigger, faster, and smoother. Mark and his team visualized, developed, and pushed the limits to create something special for all riders to enjoy: a hand-built, blue-square level flow trail you’ll want to lap all day long.
Mark has been building one-off features and short freeride lines for more than a decade, but he’s never built a full-length trail before, let alone something that’s inclusive and equally enjoyable for all skill levels. In order to pull this off for the film project, Mark and his co-director Scott needed a trusted, seasoned crew. Trail builder Chris Snodgrass of the Ridgeline Crew was the man for the job while photographer Jarrett Lindal came on board to capture still photography of the project. Everyone brought their own unique skillsets to the table, and by the end of the project, everyone had become trail builders.
“I’ve known Mark for a few years now and worked on some of his bigger features,” says Snodgrass. “Since we met, we’ve been discussing making a trail building film. This project united our skills, vision, pushed our abilities, and created something we are extremely proud of.”
In the end, Blueprint became much more than a video idea. The entire journey became an unforgettable series of events that led to a new sanctioned trail for the Cumberland community. It took one year to take an idea on paper and turn it into a trail in the forest.
“I’ve always been creative and artistic,” says Snodgrass. “Trail budling is just another way for me to express myself and my love of mountain biking.”
Mark’s goal with the Blueprint is to inspire riders to get creative and contribute to their mountain bike community while having fun with it too. For trail builders, the trophy is so much mor than just a trail: it’s an extremely rewarding process. When you have a good crew to share these moments with, it adds a whole new layer of passion to it.
Disclaimer: Always build trails legally. Blueprint was built with the support of the landowners through the United Riders of Cumberland’s trail application process. These private lands are managed by Mosaic Forest Management for which the United Riders of Cumberland has an agreement with to build, maintain, and use trails. Please reach out to your local trail association or visit IMBA.com when building new trail.