Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Hazy Summer Memories Part Deux (Evolution)

A Note before I start...
I gotta say, this isn't a definitive list, more the stuff which have been important to me, if you've been around biking for a little while, check out the links for some "Oh Yeah!" moments, if you haven't, take a look to see how things used to be.. either way let me know what you think.

I remember thinking I was a little strange when I was younger, and not for a lot of the normal reasons typically associated with teen angst (although I had my fair share of that too).  Regardless of my age, I remained obsessed with all things pedal, friends started leaving bikes in respective sheds for longer and longer and then, when cars replaced bikes as the main method for geting around many were finally shelved for good.

Not mine, instead of saving for expensive stereos and bucket seats for xr2i's I was dreaming of things like this..

The Girvin Flexi-stem... ahh.

It's worth mentioning at this point I was about 14 when this came out and that everything is relative...

When I wasn't looking through magazines for expensive add ons I was watching rather grainy biking videos in an attempt to get a biking fix.. MBUK used to give videos out with their magazine, including the rather fantastic Dirt Video.  This was great for the teenage me, when I wasn't able to get out and ride I was able to sit in my room and watch other people do it instead.

These first videos were simple things, riders hooning down fields, poking out their tongues at the camera and wearing typical early 90's oversized tshirts, the bloke behind the lense appeared to be attempting to keep everything in focus whilst being repeatedly kicked in the nuts with a heavy pair of workboots.

Then there was the racing (rare and hardly ever seen on tv) showing the early heroes, Tim Gould, Caroline Alexander, John Tomac, Missy Giove and of course, the legendary JMC The sight of a MTB race in the tv listings had me excited and glued to the tv.. Check the out the colours  1990's bike race

Fast forward to the era of the Playstation and, in my mind came the export from Australia which did something to make up for  Rolf Harris. Mud Cows  This, although still grainy, contained both substance and style.. it was still seemingly filmed by a bunch of mates there was a range of camera shots, humour and bike skills that made me watch over and over, all alongside a soundtrack that I lapped up.

Now, in a pre-ride ritual I could either watch crazy Aussies injure themselves for my amusement or fire up the PS2 and play this... No Fear Downhill Racer

 And now we hit the You Tube generation, biking has gone mainstream and big name companies are making lots of cash, sponsored riders get familiar brands into houses up and down the country through their increasingly mind blowing riding and now mates are able to make professional quality videos with a laptop and a camera costing a few hundred quid.  A favourite of mine these days is The Collective Seasons

Incredible riding, beautiful scenery and big budget camera shots are now the order of the day and some that I've seen in the last few days are dropping my jaw in the way that Mud Cows once did. Life Cycles   La Palma - Dusty Days
Regardless, to me the effect is the same as it was back in the early 90's to keep the desire for riding going when my bike is out of reach and long may the film makers continue.