Introducing the new Instinct: Q&A with photographer Margus Riga

Introducing the new Instinct: Q&A with photographer Margus Riga

A legend in the industry, Margus has been an integral piece of Rocky Mountain’s captivating photography for over a decade. Naturally, he was our first pick for the new Instinct photoshoot and turns out he already had a location in mind. With his passion for multi-day adventures, and having already teamed up with Sam Schultz for the Element campaign two summers ago—during which they spent three days in the remote Chilcotin Ranges—it seemed fitting to bring them both back for this launch.

To celebrate officially welcoming Margus to the Rocky Mountain team, and the launch of the new Instinct, we asked him a few questions:

How do you feel about the term “Riga’d”?

“It’s a strange feeling having your last name used as a verb. Especially one that connotes getting sandbagged in the worst possible way. I love it.”
Sam midway through the Element photo shoot in the Chilcotins, experiencing getting Riga'd for the first time.

Is photography the main driver of these epic adventures you like to do?

“Photography was why we started going on these trips in the first place and what pays for them. Couldn’t have one without the other. At least for me.”
Margus on the tools.

What do you have against Oatmeal?

“It’s the consistency, and the fact that you need to add something sweet to make it palatable.”
Margus midway through a can of sardines: the inspiration behind our Instinct launch video (Sardines and Singletrack).

Why Toby Creek for the launch of the Instinct?

“A friend once showed me photos from Toby Creek back in the day. It was a picture of him shredding this high alpine ridge. It reminded me of my favourite riding spot, the Chilcotins; only the mountains were much bigger. I went there for my first trip only a couple of years ago, and it exceeded my expectations in every way. It’s now my favourite spot to ride in BC.”
The crew coming down one of many alpine ridges before dark.

What would we find in your bag on these trips other than camera gear?

“Food, clothes, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, headlight, bike parts, tools, two power banks, a phone, toothbrush and toothpaste, a couple of band aids, ski straps, a drone, and maybe a cigarette (depends on how Riga’d we get). It’s a lot. I basically need to fit a large duffle bag of stuff into a tiny ultralight backpack. Blows me away every time.”
Don't forget the Calabrese Salami in the PenaltyBox™ 2.0!

What’s your earliest memory of a bike adventure?

“It was in the Chilcotins back in the nineties. Four of us drove out there from Whistler in a beat-up Ford Escort. We camped at Jewel Bridge campsite, and in the morning, we drew a line in the dirt to mark the start and finish. Ten hours later we crossed the line again coming from the other side. I was hooked.”
The Mars-like landscape of the Chilcotin Ranges. No wonder it keeps drawing people back.

What keeps you coming back for more?

“Knowing that one day I won’t be able to physically endure these trips. Until then, I’ll keep on pushing.”

Learn more about Margus