[WLF] PRO-Files: Chris Hunt - 02
RIDER: CHRIS HUNT
RESIDENCE: PORTLAND, OREGON
GARAGE: 2013 Yamaha WR250R // 2015 Triumph Tiger 800 XCX
RIDING TYPE: OFF-ROAD - DUALSPORT
Chris Hunt // RIDING HISTORY:
When I started playing with the Rubik's Cube my first year of college, I became so addicted that I spent almost every waking moment learning how to get faster at solving the thing (I had to re-take most of my classes). One year after picking up the cube, I was averaging 17 seconds and ranked #24 in the world at speed solving.
A few months later, I read a book on memory techniques and started learning how to memorize large bits of random stuff. The first thing I memorized was my credit card numbers, then my bank accounts, then the phone book, then shuffled decks of cards. Eventually I applied those skills to the Rubik's Cube and started to solve the puzzle blindfolded. At the World Rubik's Cube Championship, I was ranked #6 in the world at solving the Rubik's Cube blindfolded.
My addiction to motorcycles began recently in January 2015 when I moved to Portland and accidentally stumbled on The Raiden Files. That video introduced me to a whole new world of motorcycling and I spent the next few weeks reading way too much stuff on the internet about "adventure". I became really excited about the idea of riding a motorcycle to the pretty places I was seeing other folks riding their bikes.
Two months later, I had myself a shiny new 2015 Tiger 800 XCX, did a couple dirt training schools, and continued to ride over 40,000 miles through most of the Western United States and Mexico. I explored each of the Backcountry Discovery Routes, had my first few flat tires, and learned how to enjoy camping (something I've not enjoyed in the past). The folks at the Triumph dealer were getting concerned about the 2-year unlimited mileage warranty.
Riding that motorcycle was certainly fun, but the thing that kept me coming back for more was all the beautiful scenery. This type of riding was showing me things I had never seen before. Once I left the pavement, I was able to see nature without the guard rails, neon signs, speed limits, and traffic. The trees were greener, the water was bluer, and I felt like I was stumbling on places that had not been seen for quite some time.
I started taking photos of my bike in these pretty places, sharing them on Instagram, and making my tracks available so others could go out and explore as well. Finding new places and sharing them with people has become a large part of why I ride and I often tell folks that I would probably not get on my motorcycle if I couldn't bring a camera.
In December 2015, I convinced myself that I would be happier on a much smaller bike and decided to replace the large Tiger 800 with the lighter Yamaha WR250R. I am very happy with the change. It's a whole new world on a smaller bike and the further I get from the pavement, the prettier things seem to be. I'm now that one person in the room trying to convince folks that they don't need that large "adventure" bike for their large adventure. Every bike is suited well for adventure and the 250 is the right one for me right now.
PRESENT & FUTURE:
If you follow me on the internet, you might think I just ride around on my motorcycle all day, but it's not true. I have a job and an awesome family and many other hobbies (the Rubik's Cube is still one of them). I work from home as a computer programmer and use my flexible schedule to ride as often as I can. The reason I started programming in the first place was so that I could have the skills to build my own cool projects. One of those projects is mytracks.co.
mytracks.co, as it exists today, is where I share all my GPS tracks, photos, videos, and notes from my adventures. I just returned home from a 5 week trip through many beautiful parts of the Western USA and it's great to have a place I can share it. Every mile I've ridden can be downloaded for free used as inspiration for your own adventure. The tracks can loaded onto a computer, GPS, phone, or tablet. My hope is that these tracks make it easier for other folks to go out and explore on their own.
Another project I'm excited about right now, and it's kind of top secret, is a printed dual-sport map of Oregon. I live in Portland and have put down more miles in this state than any other. It's one of the most enjoyable places I've ridden. I want to take that experience and highlight some of the most unique and beautiful riding that I think Oregon has to offer. I want this map to be accurate, durable, and pretty. I want it to be the map I wish I had when I first moved here. Building a printed map is quite a bit different than building a map on the internet, so I'm looking into some partners now with mapping experience that can help me with the details (design, licensing, printing, etc.).
As for the future, who knows! I can guarantee it will involved lots of adventures on motorcycles and lots of fun projects to share those adventures. I could see myself focusing more on video production and riding skills over the next few months.
CHRIS HUNT IMAGE GALLERY - CLICK TO VIEW
Riding Community Involvement:
My riding style is kind of strange. I'm not really thinking about the awesome traction or sweet jumps, I'm thinking about how I might be able to make this brown washed-up road look cool in a photo. My favorite moments are turning around a corner and seeing the trail twist up a hill or when the clouds open up and cover me in some heavenly light. I ride slow and this sometimes makes it difficult to ask other folks to join me. I don't want to be that super annoying guy in the back that keeps stopping for a photo. This is why many of my adventures are solo and many of my photos just have my bike in them. :)
All those things said, I love to mix things up and ride with other people when I can. This is how I find new places to ride and how I make cool moto friends. My PNW shortlist includes @motoguru, @onelostmoto, @thegeardude690, and most recently @jfelk. These are some seriously great people and I'm thankful to have them as riding buddies. When folks are in town, we'll meet up early Sunday morning at See See Motorcycles to get the adventure started.
Another group that I like to follow is PNW Dual Sport. This is a relatively new club, but they've organized a few multi-day events in the area and quite a lot of people show up to ride. I've been to one of the events myself and will be leading one at the end of September 2016. We are going to be exploring some of my favorite roads near Mt. Hood. I'm pretty stoked to see all the new faces. Anyone is welcome to join, so stop by if you're in the area.
Chris Hunt // Videos:
Message From The Team:
Chris has been an inspiration to the entire WLF team. He has a style and consistency in composition that is very rare in moto photography. It's been a blast following his journeys, watching his videos and exploring new locations with him through his content. Chris has always been a solid supporter of our operation here at WLF, we were stoked to be able to feature him as number 02! Putting this article information and media together as a rider is no easy task. Chris put a ton of work into this piece and we couldn't be happier with the result! Thanks for checking taking the time to view this Pro-files article on Chris Hunt! Make sure to check out his media outlets and follow along in the adventure!