060 – Find Your MTB Stoke In Alaska with Matt Sanders
Matt Sanders – We chat to Matt about living and riding MTB in Alaska and how he got the lead role in the newly released movie series Alaska Photo Ventures, from Dan Redfield an Emmy Nominated Filmmaker and Photographer
On episode number Sixty we are chatting to Matt Sanders. It was awesome to get Matt on the show and chat about what riding is like in Alaska and how the scene has been growing over the last couple of years.
Matt has a really interesting background which started in a bike store in Las Vegas (see links below). Matt then felt like a change and joined the Army. That took him away from mountain biking for a number of years but he was soon sneaking his mountain bike on to planes and taking it on missions with him.
Since that time a few things have happened to Matt that have changed his life and some may say for the worst, but Matt has taken things by the horns and has opened up a new chapter in his and his family’s future. And of course it heavily includes mountain bikes! Matt had a major injury when on patrol with the Army that basically ended that stage of his career and life but he found mountain biking helped him get over the lows and made him push ahead, get focused for recovery and get back on the saddle.
We chat to Matt about how mountain biking has played such a large part of his life, what his future with mountain biking looks like and why we all should head to Alaska and session those awesome sounding single tracks.
- How Matt got into mountain biking via BMX
- How Matt got his first job because of a burst tyre
- What the scene was like in Las Vegas at that time
- Why Matt and friends got into it with horse trail riders
- What the Cowboy Trails are and the story behind them
- How mountain biking started with the Buffalo Soldiers (great story, see below)
- How Matt was dreaming of mountain biking while in boot camp and Afghanistan
- How Matt sneaked his bike on to Army planes
- What happened to Matt forcing him to leave the Army
- How Matt dealt with this mentally
- Why mountain biking helped him through this difficult period
- How Matt got involved with Dan Redfield and the Alaska Photo Ventures
- What the trails are like in Alaska
- What the scene is like in Alaska
- How Matt helps kids get stoked on mountain biking
- What the future holds for Matt and how to find out more on mountain biking in Alaska
I found Matt on Facebook (or did he find me, I can’t remember) anyhow, I checked out the movie he was staring in which was one of a series by Emmy Nominated Filmmaker and Photographer, Dan Redfield called Alaska Photo Ventures (see links below). It is available on Amazon Prime and it just looked cool, different and interesting mainly because it was set in Alaska. And as mountain bikers we don’t really hear that much from Alaska so I was immediately drawn to it. The episode that Matt is in is the third in the series, so just for ease I watched them in order. I was a little worried that because Dan was not a mountain biker he would struggle to get the correct angles and views etc.. that us mountain bikers are used to seeing or what to see. I was totally wrong. The footage and angles are just awesome. Dan nailed it.
The movie was so good and interesting I just had to ask Matt to come on the podcast. He was so cool and was keen to come on and share his story with us and a great story it is. It is easy to see that Matt is super stoked on mountain biking and that it plays a major part in his life. Matt also gives a lot back to his local community by volunteering his time to work with kids, introducing them to mountain biking and getting them out on the trails. He also works with the local bike co-op, getting bikes to people that can’t afford them, helping ease the burden of commuting to work etc.. Matt also helps with maintaining his local trails and plays a large part in bring groups together to make sure the trails are kept in great condition throughout the year. So you could say mountain biking takes up quite a large chunk of his free time.
It was really good to chat with Matt and find out about his trails and what his local scene is like. Matt would love to see more mountain bikers travel to Alaska to try out their trails, experience the wildlife and have an awesome time (check out the Alaska Facebook group below for more information). So if you want to find out about mountain biking in Alaska through summer and winter, you need to go no further. Just click play and enjoy!
To Connect with Matt:
Resources in this Episode:
For info on mountain biking in Alaska see following Facebook Group: Alaska Mountain Bike Group
Alaska Photo Ventures: www.alaskaphotoventures.com
Las Vegas Cyclery: www.lasvegascyclery.com
Group Matt Coaches: www.mightybikes.org
Buffalo Soldiers Story: www.historynet.com/the-buffalo-soldiers-who-rode-bikes.htm
Fat Back Bikes: fatbackbikes.com
907 Bikes: www.907bikes.com
Single Track Advocates: www.singletrackadvocates.org
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Massive thanks to Matt for coming on the show and sharing the story of MTB Alaska and life in general.
Thanks for listening and being part of the Tribe!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!