Seattle Premiere of From the Inside Out: a benefit show
The Northwest mountain bike community has a kind of magic to it: a little something that tags along in the hearts of the people who make it up, mingling out on the trails and flickering through groups of ride friends. But Monday night in the dingy hall of a dive bar up in Seattle’s eclectic Capitol Hill district that magic was tangible, and it was golden.
Three hundred riders, friends and family crammed into Chop Suey show venue for a benefit premiere of Coastal Crew’s acclaimed film From the Inside Out. The event was a fundraiser for Evan Choltco-Devlin, a fellow rider and industry engineer who’s recovering from a major crash in Peru a month ago that’s left him with severe head injury and a mountain of medical bills from nine days in a Peruvian hospital.
Evan’s known as a quiet guy. He’s humble. He’ll tell you the helmet saved his life. And, as the screen shot above portrays—a mock conclusion to Tim Zim’s Deep Summer Challenge photo show—Evan did cheat death. But in doing so, he inspired a celebration of life. And the mtb community rallied to hoist back up one of its own.
Support for the cause flooded in, literally, in thousands of dollars worth of product, including a Fox fork and Diamondback frame, for raffle prizes—donation dollars. The event was spearheaded by Lacy Kemp, social media director for Contour and all around pillar of the local ride community. See, it was Lacy’s idea to take the Peru trip, and she’s been front and center of the chaos since the crash. By all accounts, she orchestrated Evan’s medical care and exit back to the states. Like Evan, she’s humble—tough, but humble. She’ll tell you the helmet saved Evan’s life. We tell her, she did, too.
It wasn’t a light crowd that came out to show support. Hell, it was an mtb reunion of sorts with folks from Oregon on up to Canada. Big names among the crowd: Jill Kintner, Bryn, Lars, Geoff Gulevich, Billy Lewis, Nick Simcik, faces from Diamondback, Transition, Kona, Shimano, Contour, Pinkbike and K2 snowboards. No one in this field is a stranger to crashes, and perhaps that’s why the love was so abundant Monday night. That, and because, as Tyler from Diamondback said, “Bike people are just good people.” Learning to ride a mountain bike tends to humble the cavalier spirit; there’s a kind of rite of passage before you can strut. Therefore, most egos are left abandoned to seep into the dirt early on. Evan crashed over-shooting a stepdown.
Lacy played emcee throughout the night, raffling off the gazillion prizes while the 21+ crowd partied. Before the film, the audience was treated to Tim Zimmerman’s savory slideshow from this year’s Deep Summer Challenge contest in Whistler. Tim’s theme was “cheating death,” personified by the Grim Reaper who haunted mountain bikers as they shredded the park. Well, the end was changed. Evan got the better of the Reaper.
And then, to an eager crowd, From the Inside Out took to the screen. The hailed first feature film by the Coastal Crew was shot entirely in British Columbia in a year, and captured with some brilliant cinematography. Though the locales weren’t new, the shots left the mind wanting for nothing else but to be up there shredding in that sublime scenery: stunning peaks, alpine trails, ridge lines, sheer consequence; north shore trees, perfect loam, beautiful technical style.
The riding maneuvers were pretty insane. That tingle that you feel…magic.
You can call it a party, a reunion, a fundraiser, a benefit show, whatever. Evan’s family is calling it a blessing. Lacy called it all mind-blowing—the support and love. She said it was the first time since the crash that Evan had a sparkle in his eyes.
That’s why I call it, what else? Magic.