In our busy, scheduled lives there seems to be less and less time for the simple things. Things like sitting around a fire and sharing food, drink and stories.

Gathering nine of the world’s most talented mountain bikers from a variety of disciplines (plus 13 crew members) in an off-the-grid location, free from worldly distractions, will have everyone returning home with their own memories and stories to tell for years.

Here are some of those stories from the Return to Earth Hawaii shoot.

Photos by Sterling Lorence and Margus Riga

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Brett Rheeder

“The campground is made up of all these shipping containers with living areas built into them. There’s a common area tent where we have all our meals and a couple of big umbrella trees that we hang out and chill under. The container I’m staying in faces the property where we’re filming and I can see the landings of the jumps through the window right from my bed.

It’s kind of surreal seeing all these athletes here that you never really see together on an Anthill shoot. You wouldn’t expect to have Matt Hunter and Casey Brown in the same shots as guys like Thomas Genon, Emil Johannsen and Carson Storch. It’s such a wide range of mountain bikers.”

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Thomas Genon

“I feel I’m in Hawaii more here in camp than down at the beach. It’s super green with wild animals around, just the crew and the riders. Since I got here we’ve riding bikes on trails and the skatepark and spending time at the beach. It’s good to see this group of athletes outside of competition. We’ve got racers, freeriders and slopestylers, it’s a sick crew to be riding with and I feel lucky to be here with them.”

Marcus Riga photo

Casey Brown

“We’re camped right by the river. Everyone falls asleep to the sound of a babbling brook every night. We’re on solar power (with a little help from the generator once in a while). It’s a nice little commune of mountain bikers out here.

I’ve been on some big rides on my trail bike just exploring other parts of the island. You find fruit while you’re just pedaling in the woods, it’s awesome to live off the land like that.

Returning to Earth to me is airplane mode. You have to switch off. There’s only certain places where you get to do that, places where you have no choice, like here at camp. When you get to go somewhere where you actually switch off, you start to engage with people and relate to them on a whole different level.”

In the Blink is a six-part web series that dives behind the scenes of our upcoming feature film Return to Earth. Stay tuned for Episode 6: "Fruits of Labor” where we look at the day-to-day processes that made Return to Earth happen.

Watch Episode 1 "Fall Colours" with Thomas Vanderham and Ryan Howard.

Watch Episode 2 “Creativity” with Brett Rheeder

Watch Episode 3 “Youth” with Jackson Goldstone and friends

Watch Episode 4 “Community” with riders from the world over

Sterling Lorence photo

Return to Earth. Summer 2019.

Presented by: Shimano, Trek
In association with Evoc, Sony, Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Pink Bike, Freehub Magazine, Bike Park Lenzerheide, Spawn Cycles, Clif Bar, Rocky Mountain Cycles.

Riders: Brett Rheeder, Ryan Howard, Casey Brown, Brandon Semenuk, Thomas Vanderham, Matt Hunter Jackson Goldstone, Jakob Jewett, Dane Jewett, Tahnee Seagrave, Kaos Seagrave, Kade Edwards, Joey Schusler, Thomas Genon, Emil Johansson, Reed Boggs, Carson Storch.

A new film by Anthill Films with art direction and creative by Good Fortune Collective.