Fluidride Online was founded out of Simon's desire to reach more students and to continue to build the mountain bike community in the PNW and beyond.
Read our brief history below to find out how we came to be, how we created our content, and what makes this online community so unique and truly a reflection of its students, past, present and future.
Learn about how Fluidride Online started
Discover how we filmed and captured all the footage
Develop a little patience while our team sorts out a few bugs
Progress both on the bike and personally with newfound confidence (just as we did making this website...)
Where Did Fluidride Online Come From?
Simon Lawton has been teaching technical mountain bike skills and inspiring riders for over 20 years. If you ask him what his biggest reason for success has been, he'll likely say it has been his effort to build community and empowering of riders with newfound skills.
Simon help to found the first ever mountain bike park here in Seattle, WA - Colonnade Park. He then put his efforts into helping secure the land to build what is now the home of Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park located in Issaquah, WA. Simon also funded and helped to create the areas most successful racing series, the NW Cup - Formerly the Fluidride Cup. Simon's efforts aren't just specific to the NW. He has also spent significant time in Chile, where he helped with the growth of the sport and now spends time riding in the Alps and in the Italian Riviera every year.
Simon is constantly being asked to provide instructional classes and private lessons which has left him little time to get back to being a steward for the sport. This is one the main reasons he founded Fluidride Online. It's a way for him to connect with students all over the world while still allowing him the time to give back to the mountain bike community which has brought him so much joy and success.
How did we start?
In a day an age where Kickstarter campaigns seem to rule the airways we quietly started buying gear, making phone calls and talking to our amazing Fluidride Alumni who have provided guidance, ideas, and enough enthusiasm to keep us up late at night plugging away on things we knew nothing about like filmmaking and web design.
Simon has always preached about the power of being a student in life - constantly giving credit to his students for his inspiration. Mindfulness, breath work, yoga and a dedicated meditation practice have further shaped his views on how to best teach mountain biking and to give back to the world in a meaningful way.
The Team at Fluidride have zero formal training. As a matter of fact, Simon is not even a certified instructor. He created his own method before any others existed. We're just a group of like-minded folks with a vision and a belief that you can build a website or hit gap jumps if you create the vision and proper understanding of where you want to go. As you might imagine, some days in the office were best spent drinking coffee and watching Movies for Your Monday because after all, we're really just a bunch of mountain bikers with a passion for the outdoors and connecting with people.
It all began with a few post-it notes and a sharpie
How Did We Do It?
Slowly. We've been working on Fluidride Online since January of 2019. We started by finding the biggest screen we could which ended up being a 70 inch Dell display. Simon stands at 6'4" so anything smaller would probably have looked funny.
We bought two Lumix G85 cameras, a heap of lights, a drone, some GoPros, some light gear and those really sweet dual-folding Chinese screens you will see in some of our older videos. We set it all up in Simon's living room and just started going for it. Oh, and we used software developed by the team at Open Board to present with. Literally making it up as we go - the way we like it at Fluidride. We try to keep it fluid and always embrace a challenge. That's what keeps life interesting, right?
It was with quite a bit of trial and error that we started to find a format that seemed to work with the flow of information. Our editing skills started to get better (we still think there is room to grow) but that's the mentality of our team at Fluidride. We're all looking to progress both personally and professionally. We see our work as an extension of our lives, and are eager to grow and learn constantly. We are stoked to have you as a part of our ride.
Fluidride Forward To Today
Travel through time - and you've finally landed here at snapmtb.com! It's been a fun, but often challenging year. We finally moved the studio out of the living room, which has been nice since we had to tear it down each time we filmed. We've dialed in our workflow by moving the studio into Simon's master bedroom so we can help meet the demand for content down the road. Thanks for taking the little room Simon!
Simon truly believes that Fluidride is a reflection of what his students want to learn. Our goal was to launch Fluidride Online with enough content to be interesting but not so much that when our online members started asking for content we were too cemented in one direction. To start, we've encapsulated all the skills we teach in our crazily busy classes with Fluidride. We still have room to breath and find our own flow with everyone on the trail as you make recommendations to help us shape this site going forward. We all thank you for being a part of this dream.
-The Fluidride Team