Eminent Person Learning Centre

Here is the link to my learning centre websitehttps://diggerlearningcentre.weebly.com

Interview reflection:

This year, I was lucky enough to get an interview from my eminent person himself, I messaged him and got an interview a week later. I got a lot of valuable information that I wouldn’t have been able to find online as well as information that I missed or misunderstood from the websites I used. For example, I had seen somewhere that he had been influenced by Dan Cowan and that Dan had brought features to his trails but in my interview, he said that wasn’t the case.

So, what else did I learn from the interview which I wouldn’t have been able to find from research? Like I said, I learned that Dan Cowan wasn’t an influence of his and neither was anyone else. He was the first person to be building trails in BC and he was the first person to be putting features on trails in the world like a ladder bridge and a teeter-totter. People like Dan Cowan and other trail builders in the area took inspiration from his work and built similar trails and put features like his on their trails. I learned that he also had to adapt the way that he built trails over the years. Originally, it was only a few people riding the trails, so sustainability wasn’t an issue. Nowadays, however, Thousands of people are riding them so he must armor them and make them sustainable so they will last a long time.

Something else I was curious about which I couldn’t find online was why he wanted to make his first North Shore Extreme movie. I couldn’t find any answers to this question online, so I had assumed it was either to show off the riders or the trails or just to make money. It turns out that he had just been filming his buddies riding his trails for fun and compiled the clips into a movie over two hours. He had no intention of selling the movie or publishing it, it was just for his friends to see. Eventually, a local bike shop started to play the film for the customers to see and one of them liked it so much they bought it off him. After he realized people would want to buy it, he started to sell more copies of the movie and eventually made nine more of them, the riding getting better in each one as well as the editing. He had no editing experience, but it was the first mountain biking movie, and the riding was good enough that lots of people wanted to buy the movies. This worked well as he had to take up to six months off work to make each one, so they had to be successful for him to keep making them.

Other than what I mentioned, I had a few things clarified for me like how he created the NSMBA where some information was available online but not all of it. The information that I got from him was helpful for me, especially with the speech where most of the information came from this interview. The information has also taught me more about the history of mountain biking and the North Shore as well as helped me get along with my learning center. I left the interview with all my questions and more answered and I am very grateful I was able to talk with my eminent person and that he was willing to help me.

Thank you Todd Fiander!


Annotated Bibliography (Excluding Interview):

  1. “North Shore History.” North Shore Mountain Bike Association, https://nsmba.ca/history/.

This article talks about the history of the NSMBA, how it was created and who created it. This information is important as Todd Fiander is the co-creator of the NSMBA and it is one of the most important things he has worked on. From this article one can learn a little about Todd Fiander as well as learn about the evolution of mountain biking on the North Shore. The information from the article is valuable because the information comes from an association that he started. It has lots of accurate information about Todd and the trails which wouldn’t be here without the work of the NSMBA.

2. Lau, Lee. “Trailbuilders of the Shore – Part 3 – Digger.” Pinkbike, 1 Dec. 2010, https://www.pinkbike.com/news/shore-trailbuilders-part-3-digger-2010.html.

This article is an in-depth interview with Todd Fiander done by Pinkbike which is a prominent mountain biking news platform and website. The interview has much more detail and questions than mine did and a lot of the questions I asked were based on what I thought they missed. This was probably my most helpful resource alongside the interview I did. It went in-depth about every point of his eminence and provided further information which benefited me in the speech and the learning centre.


        3. Todd Fiander’s Website. https://diggerknowfear.com/.

This is my eminent person’s personal website which is mostly used as a store however has articles and information about him. It talks about the NSMBA, trail building, and the North Shore Extreme movies which are the three main points of his eminence. It doesn’t go too far in-depth however it gives information that more research can be done off of and it’s guaranteed that all of the information on the website is accurate.

4. Vendetti, Marc. “North Shore Trail Builders.” Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, 5 Mar. 2016, https://mmbhof.org/north-shore-trail-builders/.

This article is on the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame website, and it talks about the contributions of Todd Fiander and Dan Cowan. Essentially, it tells us about the eminence of the two because to be put in the hall of fame you must have some massive contributions to the evolution of the sport. It goes in-depth about their early trail work and trail building contributions as well as a brief look at Todd’s North Shore Extreme movies and their contributions.


Thanks for taking the time to look at my learning centre. I’m glad that I could share a bit about Todd Fiander and the evolution of mountain biking. Feel free to leave any comments on my blog!

14 thoughts on “Eminent Person Learning Centre

  1. Hello Todd,
    I really enjoyed all the images you chose. It helped to show your impact and why you care about mountain biking. The information on how you changed the mountain biking community so hugely was very interesting. One thing I was wondering was what you think about how dangerous the sport can be and how you deal with it?

    • Thanks, I’m glad you liked my pictures. Obviously, the sport is dangerous but as we move forward with bike technology and trail building, the trails are getting smoother and safer. This is good for people who are new to the sport or are just learning but for people like me who like the adrenaline and rougher, harder, steeper trails this can be somewhat annoying so I like to keep my trails old school and real. I do understand though that this is for the better of the sport and we must do what we have to do and as long as there is always some old-school trails around I won’t be complaining!

  2. Hello Todd! I really enjoyed your intuitive website and had quite the ride browsing it. I never realized how one person was so influential for the development of biking trails in Vancouver. I could imagine the movies you produced played a big part to Vancouver’s mountain biking popularity, what made you first come up of the idea to combine mountain biking and filming? I would love to hear a response from you. Thank you so much for the bike trails that you have created and this sssiiiiiiicccckkkkkkkk learning centre.

    • Thank you! I briefly went over it in the learning centre but I actually had no intention of making a movie at first. The first film I just wanted a video of me and my buddies riding my trails to show a few people and so my buddies could see their own riding. Someone liked what they saw and bought it which made me realize I could sell more and taht’s why I made the next eight movies.

  3. Your website was clear and well designed. You also synthesized your information really well, which kept it all easy to read.
    You did a lot in your career. Which achievement or aspect of your career would you say was the most impactful or important for you?

    • Thanks Sarah! I would say that the most important thing that I’ve done is my North Shore Extreme series. Building the trails was one thing but these movies showed my trails to the rest of the world. It encouraged people to make trails like mine and it encouraged other people to make mountain biking movies. The movies played a massive role in, trail progression, rider progression, and even bike companies stepping up their bikes so they could be featured in films like these. Without my series we would be far from where we are now in the sport.

  4. Hi Todd, nice website! It was very crisp, clean and aesthetically pleasing. I also like how well the images you chose showed you’re personality and work very well. My question is, why’d you want to write a book? Was there a certain motive behind that?

    • I’m glad you liked my website Athena! I’ve done movies, presentations, interviews, and Youtube but I thought that it was time to do something new. My physical condition is the greatest right now so I am spending less time building and I am unable to ride so I have lots of free time to do so. I also feel like it will showcase what I want to show off the best compared to a movie or anything else I’ve tried before.

  5. Hello Mr. Fiander, I really enjoyed going through the leaning centre as it was really easy to navigate and the pictures gave it a nice atmosphere. Do you feel like mountain biking can become even better in the future, and how would you improve it yourself?

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my website! Absolutely, mountain biking will always be getting better, as more and more people take on the sport, more trail builders are appearing along with more trails. The NSMBA is constantly getting more sponsors who are interested in our trail adoption program which means we have more money to work on new trails or improve other trails. Myself, I’m an old-school guy, I don’t like the flow trails or massive straight jumps but that’s the direction the sport is going which is ok because that’s what more people are interested in. As I get older and my fitness worsens and I get older I think it’s time to pass the torch to the younger builders and let them carry the sport forward however they want.

  6. Digger. thanks for making the sport more accessible to more people. I hope your knee surgeries have been successful. What is your next project?

    • Thanks, my knee surgeries have been very successful however I am nowhere near the shape I used to be in. Like I said, I’m not in the best condition right now so there’s less building going on and absolutely no riding unfortunately which is why I’m starting my own book. It’s going to be a coffee table book with lots of pictures and talk about my inventions and the evolution of mountain biking on the North Shore. Unfortunately, though, it’s far from being done and it will probably take a couple more years and lots of professional help. Check it out once it’s published!

  7. Hey Todd! Thanks for sharing some of your life with us! It was very informative and really drives home how Vancouver and the surrounding areas are mountain biking hotspots. I am someone who has just recently gotten into mountain biking and the idea of trail-building fascinates me. What advice would you give to folks who are wanting to pioneer their own trails? Anything specific to look for or avoid?

    • Thanks, you’re definitely going to want to avoid the city if you’re building your own trails haha. The NSMBA offers trail days though so you can volunteer a few hours to work on a train for a day with a group of up to 30 people! I’m not leading as many as I used to but if you’re lucky you might be able to catch me out there. If you are building your own trails just make sure you check out the terrain beforehand. Where I built in North Van it was really swampy which is why I invented the ladder bridge!