In the world of bike films, I can’t think of a more popular realm than Freeride and Slope Style. With the release of recent films like the Collective, Roam and Follow Me, I think we’ve watched bike films evolve from, well, bike films, to a level of cinematic art that matches the artistry of the riders themselves. One of those riders, is Geoff Gulevich, Canadian Freeride and Slope Style madman, who recently took some time out of his training schedule to talk about what’s it’s been like riding for Rocky Mountain, working with Anthill Films and how his career as a pro rider may be evolving.
You’ve been with Team Rocky for a couple years, now – what’s your experience been like with them and how are the new bikes measuring up?
GG – Being with Rocky has been unreal. They are very receptive to my input and just all around great people to work with. The bikes are incredible so far, and seem to be improving every year, so no complaints coming from my end. My all around confidence has jumped %500 since beginning to ride for Rocky. All around great support and top end tools to do my part of the job on.
What’s your current ride of choice from the Rocky arsenal?
GG – Hmmmm… I don’t know if I could pick just one. It really depends on the mood I’m in that morning. I will ride whatever bike, just happy to be out on a bike I have.
How did you get hooked up with Anthill Films? What’s it been like making films with those guys?
GG – Originally, I was hooked up with ‘The Collective’ crew through Adidas Eyewear. That got my foot in the door. When they evolved to ‘Anthill Productions’, I knew them all well and we were hungry to film some progressive big moves. Working with that crew is just awesome; can’t really call it work because we’re always joking around and making every shoot feel like recess.
There’s no question the Collective and Anthill Films are all about progression, so are there any specific shots you guys were trying to get that stick out in your memory?
GG – I’d have to say the wall ride I shaped out and made in the Baja for ‘Follow Me’. Nothing was going right with it at first and the crew had lost faith in making it. Harookz stuck with me and we made it happen. Turned out to be my move of the trip for sure! I definitely would like to work with the Anthill crew again; just waiting to hear what they have in the works for the upcoming season.
Slope Style – how’d you get into it? Has it always been your focus?
GG – Well I’ve never been a racer… I can ride fast and I’m competitive; however, I’d rather more than anything find alternative lines, be creative and answer the question, “can it be done?” I never really made a choice, I didn’t like racing but I had to be on my bike.
Seems like there is a big difference in the culture between Slope Style and the other kinds of competitive mtb. Is that a factor?
GG – Ohhhhh yeah!!!!! Racers and free stylers are two different breeds. Seems like every racer wants the people in the gate to crash where in free style it seems like a more positive vibe.
What’s your preparation like for a big run, or big hit?
GG – When focussing before a run or move, I prefer to run it through my head a few times, can’t really describe mental preparation. It’s kinda like preparing for a test… You’ve practiced things similar to it, enough to know how to apply your knowledge to the current situation…
Do you do any other kinds of off-the-bike training, or do you just focus on riding to keep up your fitness and skills?
GG – I often hike, snowboard, play hockey, build and do yoga when I’m off my bike, however, I’d rather just ride, ALL THE TIME!!
Plans for 2011 season – where are you hoping to be riding, competing, and filming?
GG – Got most of the SS circuit to hit up, no Rampage this year, unfortunately. I’ll be in Europe coaching with Wade’s camps in Switzerland. It is going to be a pretty awesome season!
Rampage is a big event to miss. Is coaching a new thing for you, and would you see yourself doing more of it down the line?
GG – Well i’m not really missing Rampage, mentally I miss it but it isn’t taking place this year. Coaching isn’t too new for me, I never really knew how to tone it down and pay attention to other people’s riding. I’ve learned to have more fun coaching, kind of chill out and look at riding more relaxed when I coach. Yeah, I could definitely see myself coaching down the road.
It’s going to be awesome to see where Freeride and Slope Style goes in the next couple years with young guys like Geoff always pushing the limits and looking for that new line. Hopefully we also see the films continue to progress as well. HD and Blue Ray seems like a natural. Here is a vid by Harkootz from 2010’s Rampage showin’ off Geoff’s work: