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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 107 > A QUESTION OF PERCEPTION

A QUESTION OF PERCEPTION

ARE THOSE COLOURFUL, HIGH-ACTION MOUNTAIN BIKE VIDEOS INSPIRING FOR UP AND COMING RIDERS? OR DO THEY PRESENT A RED RAG TO LAND MANAGERS WHO’D LIKE TO SHUT US DOWN? MOUNTAIN BIKE GUIDE AND ADVOCACY CAMPAIGNER TOM HUTTON AND RIDER AND COLUMNIST MATT LETCH GIVE US TWO OPPOSING VIEWS.

TWO DIFFERING VIEWS ABOUT ‘SICK’ VIDEO EDITS.

Tom Hutton

Image is everything. Access to the countryside is an ever-moving feast. If we want a seat at the table when it’s being served, we need to show we know how to share. I don’t generally get excited about mountain bike videos. I prefer to be out there doing it. But last week one caught my eye for all the wrong reasons.

It was a short point-of-view clip of two guys riding at high speed down a grassy trail in Shropshire. I cringed as I watched the first time, almost too scared to look in case a walker, dog or horse rider flashed by. Thankfully none did.

So no big deal, right? Actually no, not right. Not in the bigger picture.

Now before I’m accused of being a spoilsport, fun police or worse, let me explain.

I can see the guys in the edit can ride – no doubting that. And I can see they know the trail well. I can also see the sightlines are decent, and the shadows suggest it was probably shot in late evening or early morning when the trail was at its quietest. If pushed, I’ll concede that it was a pretty responsible effort at high-speed riding on a trail open to the public.

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About Singletrack

International Adventure: Southern nights, endless trails: Rickie Cotter's truly epic trip down the length of New Zealand, complete with beautiful watercolour illustrations by Beate Kubitz. UK Adventure: Be careful what you wish for…" We nearly broke our editor while riding some of the Howgill Fells remotest singletrack. Classic Ride: The Dark Peak: The riding around Hope Cross in the Dark Peak is definitely on the ‘must do’ lists for every UK mountain biker. It's a Classic Ride for a reason. Not ridden it for a while? NEVER ridden it? Then you need to get yourself to the Peaks... Grouptest: GPS Units: David Hayward puts six GPS units through torture to see which is the best for trail use, mapping, Strava and finding yourself again. Bike Test: Proper mountain, mountain bikes: Barney looks at three 160mm bikes from Focus, Scott and Specialized designed to get you up the big hills and back down again with fun and style. Racehead: Scotland the awesome. TweedLove and the Fort William World Cup are proof of Scotland’s superiority over all - at least for a month every summer. Last Word: A question of perception. Tom Hutton and Matt Letch go head to head in discussing how mountain biking needs to be presented to the wider world if we’re to increase (or even defend) our trail access. And, as they say, much much more: Product reviews, columns, tests and random burblings for all!
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