In Part 2 of our SIGHT LINES series from Trans-Cascadia, Riley Seebeck gives a photographer’s perspective.
What’s better than camping, discovering backcountry gems, and riding with friends new and old?! The Trans Cascadia offers an energy like I’ve never felt before.
First Impressions from Trans-Cascadia
I’ve shot many point-to-point races, from Atlantis to British Columbia, but this was my first time shooting the Trans-Cascadia. Actually getting into the race was a five year process and each of those years, I’ve watched the event travel to some of my favorite places in Washington. To have a race on high alpine mountains is one of a kind. This year we explored the Methow Valley, a little known gem that most Washingtonians don’t take advantage of. With sweeping views of the surrounding jagged peaks, glowing yellow larches that seem to take their color directly from the sun, and five adventurous stages, the Trans-Cascadia really packed a punch for me as a photographer. This event seriously rekindled a love for riding bikes that I haven’t felt in a long time. Overcome with awe as I reached the peak of the Angels Staircase trail, I was reminded of why I love biking so much: it always is and always was about the adventure.
Most races I’ve shot come with some level of “race” vibes that can leave me distracted from experiencing the bigger picture. I have always believed my photography is about capturing the landscape first and placing the rider within that magical space second. Just four hours from my home, the Trans-Cascadia truly felt like I was shooting in my backyard. The landscapes and trails called to mind moments from past trips with Cody Olsen but were no less inspiring this time around. These are a different flavor of trail, as if the trails were painted by some mountain biking deity. Engaging end-to-end, the trails weave back and forth throughout the mountains with a perfect sense of Mach 10 speed. Scattered with granite rock that had perfect doubles and lippy roots that float you over chunder, these trails just kept providing.
It seemed that everyone in attendance shared an unbridled love for mountain biking. With a vibe more geared toward having a good time than competition, the atmosphere at camp was infused with a sense of intimate community, as if we were all already the best of friends. People openly shared laughs and stories and, as fire season had ended weeks before the event’s kickoff, the campfire illuminated our home base each night. This event was a joy to shoot. I wouldn’t miss the next one.
Photography captured by Riley Seebeck @flowphoto_co
Follow Riley on Instagram @flowphoto_co
Trans-Cascadia is not just another adrenaline-inducing Enduro event. The organizers work all summer to restore and maintain remote backcountry trails in the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington, then release 100 riders onto them with a blind format. The party continues over four days of racing, food, and backcountry camp vibes. But the impact of the event lasts much longer as mountain bikers from far and wide get to enjoy the trails after. We’re proud to partner with Trans-Cascadia and are excited to offer a limited-edition Summit jersey to celebrate and support their efforts. We’re donating $10 from the sale of each jersey to Ten for Trails to keep the good work rolling.