When Kitsbow Mountain Bike Wear looked for a location to shoot a promotional video to launch its brand in 2012, it could have easily just pointed the camera right outside its Larkspur, California back door.
Instead, they headed north.
“We like riding where we live, but we didn’t want to only tell a Marin County bike story.,” co-founder Charlie Cronk told us. “We scouted Central Oregon and loved the variety of the terrain all within an easy drive from Bend. We could get the riding of 3 or 4 different states all in one place; high dessert-like, alpine-esque and general Mid-Western flowing, rolling types of trail. The area simply represented a broader cross-section of the riding we love.”
From the opening scene at Smith Rock State Park to the trails at Newberry Caldera and Tumalo Falls, the video showcases Kitsbow’s high-end, high-tech clothing along with the diverse riding options throughout the region.
“The terrain was just stunningly beautiful,” Cronk said.
The group, which included local riders Derek Stallings, Damian Schmitt and Alex Criss, hit the trails in early September – experiencing chilly mornings and warm afternoons.
“It was crystal clear weather – beautiful and super fun, incredible riding,” Cronk said. “We were thrilled. I’ve since sent many people that direction and pointed them to the trails we really liked. We’re all huge fans.”
The company Cronk and co-founder Zander Nosler started in 2012 is still building momentum, targeting serious mountain bikers “pretty in tune with his riding and now he’s looking to make his entire ride even more flawless.”
Along with the promotional video, much of the initial photography for the company was shot in Central Oregon.
“There was a lot of strong, favorable commentary on the photography. People wanted to know where it was at.”
“For a start-up business we were concerned about budget for our first photo/video shoot,” Cronk said. “The Bend area provided a no-brainer solution.”
Cronk said the Central Oregon riding is a lot like their philosophy when it comes to mountain biking clothing – something different.
“That was what really attracted us to the Bend area,” he said. “We were excited to find a place where we could very easily represent varied terrain, different styles of riding, the fun of the sport and the beauty of the place all in one location.”
As far as the style of Kitsbow?”
The biggest thing for me is how stuff looked,” Cronk said. “It’s more out of respect for nature than anything else – toned down. I don’t want to stand out when I’m on the trail.
“We love being outside. We’re not racers. We love the sport and love to ride.”
And in Central Oregon, it’s the trails that stand out.