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In The Hills Gang is an underground freeride collective. An inclusive family brought together by the love of riding and creating. They are a community of action sport hardliners that share values, good times, and the pursuit of mastery in their craft. One of their most important values is being inclusive to everyone that loves to get dirty. The more homies, the better. Always staying open-minded, the best sessions are the loudest ones.
After supporting ITH on their Heathens Voyage we asked them to put our pants to the test in their Colorado backyard. They wear what looks good, feels comfortable, and holds up to their shenanigans, so 686 gear was a perfect fit. Their style is influenced more by skateboarding and BMX than mainstream MTB and with this mentality they believe that personal style is something to celebrate and that everyone belongs on the trails. We checked in for some filming updates and wild travel stories in-between sessions…
If ‘In The Hills’ were a corporate business what would your general mission statement be?
We are a family that has been brought together by the love of riding and creating, whether that be with bikes, boards, clothing, video, or jumps and trails. We are dedicated to pushing ourselves and each other to get the most out of what we love doing.
Many action sports seem pretty closed off whereas ITHG looks very inclusive. True?
One of the most important values we share is being inclusive to everyone that loves to be out there. The more homies, the better. Growing up in a place with lots of riding spots meant there were cliques that didn’t always mesh. This always felt close-minded. The best sesh’s are the ones when all the dogs are out.
The trend these days is A.D.D social clips whereas, you guys put out 3 long-form video projects last year totaling nearly 1.5 hours of footy, while also remaining somewhat elusive on Instagram. Are you consciously bucking the trend or what’s the strategy here?
We just make what we like to watch! We’d probably have a lot more exposure and success on Instagram if we put more time into it, but we are just passionate about making long form edits. We are inspired by other sports like snowboarding/skiing, moto, skating, and BMX. It seems like compared to these; mountain biking has a lot of 3-minute-long BS videos that are mostly b-roll. Not everything needs to be a commercial. This summer we are planning on putting out multiple short films for individual riders or locations, and the idea is that these will all add up to be a full part.
The last part of Heathens Voyage toured up into Canada. Knowing that border crossing well I can’t imagine it went totally smooth. Any stories?
One of our filmers was joking about smuggling something through the border in his texts and the border agent ended up going through his phone. They made those guys unpack everything from their car before letting them through, haha. Luckily, they made it, just a few hours behind the rest of the convoy.
Any time you pack a bunch of friends in a van and hit the road ridiculous things happen. Give us one great tale from Heathens.
We were dry camping for 2 weeks straight while in Canada, so you could say we were not the sharpest when it came to hygiene and clean laundry. One night, we thought going to Garfs (a nightclub in Whistler) was a good idea, but it turns out they have some standards on who they let in. There were some words shared at the door because they didn’t believe our US IDs were real, and we were kicked out by some British bouncer wearing a Yankees hat and a fake gold Ak47 chain. Later that night, we ended up linking up with Emil Johannson and Erik Fedko at another bar that didn’t have much going on. They were going to Garfs for the end of the night, so we thought by association we could probably get in as well. As soon as we got to the door at Garfs, we were instantly thrown out again causing a whole scene. Emil and Erik tried to get us in, but the British dude really didn’t like us, haha! We ended up heading to the skatepark where we had a few beers and skated all night. We also had our buddy Connor break his nose in the mosh pit at the YT party a few nights before this, so maybe the clubs aren’t really for us.
What type of clothing do you guys mostly wear while biking? Seems like you’d catch more air if you were wearing spandex?
We wear whatever looks good and is comfortable. We don’t believe you need a crazy matching kit to have fun, but it’s definitely nice to get dressed up in a sick fit when you're riding. Skating and BMX has such a huge emphasis on personal style compared to mainstream mountain biking and we align with this mentality more than the idea that you need a certain kit to look like you belong on the trails.
What’s the future for ITH hold?
No matter what happens, we are going to keep doing what we love. You will be able to find the crew digging, riding, and filming until the wheels fall off. We plan to throw more events out in the desert this year, and years to come. We want this to be our full-time job, and we will keep grinding to make that happen. We want to continue to grow our community. The goal is to have a property to build whatever we dream of, where people can come, stay and ride the most insane bike park ever. Maybe even grow our own food and build our own housing, haha. Go full cult mode.