Thomas is known for going big but his approach to mountain biking is technical and calculated..
Thomas Vanderham has a big presence in ‘Follow Me’ the 2010 feature film by Anthill. Thomas joined Matt Hunter for a rip in the bike park at Sun Peaks resort near Kamloops, he hosted Sam Hill for a DH tour on the classic North Shore trails and he wowed us with a progressive look at lines within a line in the Whistler Bike Park riding with Brendan Fairclough. Thomas is known for going big but his approach to mountain biking is technical and calculated paralleling that of a world cup DH racer even though his canvass is hidden lines in the forest and the open hills of the backcountry. Thomas uses the Whistler Mountain Bike Park as a training ground for working on precision maneuvers and building a familiarity and consistency on his bike that he then applies to large moves in select event venues and lines in the backcountry.
I recently caught with with Vanderham after a session in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park to get his thoughts on the Whistler segment in Follow Me. Here’s how our conversation went…
JS: Hey Thomas how are you doing?
TV: I’m doing great, really enjoying the season so far.
JS: So to begin with can you please explain the theme of the Whistler session and share the prediction you made at the time of filming last fall with Brendan Fairclough?
TV: Well the theme was how to have the most fun you can in the bike park, and for us that is finding creative and challenging lines. I guess my prediction last year was that a lot of people would be eyeing up the lines we hit in the segment.
JS: So what’s the update on that prediction?
TV: Every time I rode Dirt Merchant there was a crowd of people standing around the rock [Pre-jump step down at 9:44 in ‘Follow Me’ BC Bike Parks segment] . A lot of the locals are now hitting the line, which is so cool to see.
JS: Who were you just riding with and how was your day?
TV: I was riding through the weekend with all kinds of rippers, Kenny Smith, Curtis Robinson, Dylan Dunkerton, Kevin Bartowski, Harry, Flanders, and Curtis Keane.
JS: Kenny’s got a bit of reputation for riding gnarly lines. Did he hit the new approach to the rock step down line you and Brendan hit on Dirt Merchant?
TV: Actually, it took Kenny a couple laps before he tried it. He was definitely hearing it for not hitting that line yet, but he had it by the end of the day. That shows you though… if riders are going to Whistler to look at some of those lines, be safe, make sure you are comfortable with them before trying anything. The bike park can be very unforgiving.
JS: How is your summer looking? What are you looking forward to this season?
TV: My season has been awesome lots of riding, digging, shooting, and a little bit of racing. I traveled to Europe and Japan earlier in the year for a couple Follow Me premieres. I’m looking forward to more of the same, next I’m off to do some coaching at the Summer Gravity camps in Whistler.
JS: How is your bike running?
TV: It’s awesome, the changes we made to the Revolt last year are working well.
JS: Have you been following the Tour? Any predictions?
TV: I had been following the World Cup more closely. Maybe I can follow the Tour after the Netherlands’ crushing defeat.
JS: Are you looking forward to Megan Fox’s replacement in Transformers 3?
TV: Haha, ya Megan Fox ran her course. Her replacement is looking pretty good but Adrianna Lima is still my number one.
JS: You’ve just finished a great day of shredding in the bike park what are your go to beats these days for the drive home?
TV: I recently got a remix Mos Def album called Mos Dub, its dope.