Photo: The year I finally followed through with building a quarter at the trails.
2016 - wrapped up
Where am I heading with this piece? How can you condense a whole year into a few words? The initial concept was to round up my favourite videos of the year as I’ve done previously, but so many significant events happened in that time I feel can’t be ignored.
It was the year of voting against the establishment, of wanting change and sticking a finger up without a care of the repercussions. Brexit, Trump; unexpected outcomes the majority regretted once they became reality.
2016 was also known as having more celebrity deaths than usual and the world of BMX was no different. Kelly McGarry and Dave Mirra; two legends in MTB and BMX that were tragically lost. Lets also not forget that Scotty Cranmer and Robbo are currently fighting the biggest battles of their lives to hopefully, one day, get back on their bikes.
This isn’t sounding particularly positive... Don’t get me wrong, rad shit happened too but damn, 2016 really shook things up.
Over at getabmx things were a little quiet. I haven’t made so few videos since owning a camera, however filming for So Big 4 went on behind the scenes and the site wasn’t totally forgotten about. The article about running a BMX website and the interviews with Alex Boyd and Nathan Beddows aimed a spotlight at topics I felt had been lurking in the shadows. That trip to Austin was also a blast.
Oh yeah, I can’t forget that I, at long last, got a 20”. On a personal level getabmx is no longer ironic and I’m not the odd one out at BMX spots; changes I’m still getting used to.
So lets finish this how it was initially going to begin: an incredibly subjective wrap up of some of the ‘best’ (most memorable and replayed) videos that came out in 2016, in order of release.
So here’s to 2017. To riding as much as possible, to shouting over the voice of caution, to more trips, laughs and good times, to camping in the woods and getting the camera out. To living in the moment and staying true.
Jonny Mackellar - Welcome to Back Bone
Here’s the first of a few solid edits that came out of Australia in 2016. This video is stacked with heavy clips and the best bit is you can tell that’s just what goes on whether the camera’s out or not. There’s no need to try when you ride like this.
So Cal Weekends with Matt Cordova and Nathan Sykes
These guys absolutely rip. You won’t see a nac that’s more extended than the one in this video.
Villa Road - Bob Manchester - Drink Dry January
A perfect mix of an incredible bowl and a group of riders who sure can ride it. Lines and flow all the way through. I especially suggest watching this before your next trip to Corby.
Live slow, ride fast
Most BMX riders strive for a simple life filled rich with good times rather than stacks of money and meaningless possessions, as portrayed in this video. It captures an essence of the life of former contest rider Russell Brindley and his family and merges it with a stack of smooth skatepark and trails riding. Watching it may make you consider moving to Australia, opening a vegan cafe, starting a family and riding a little faster and higher.
The ramp II: Trey Jones and Colt Fake
Give a small portable ramp to a rider or two and see what happens; what a great concept. Trey and Colt weren’t the only ones to play with this but in my view they did it best. Their talent and creativity AND a ramp results in the most enjoyable street edit I’ve seen in a long time.
Pure Darkness 3
JUST LOOK AT THAT ROLLIN! After a few years of FEST series some of the main guys headed out to South Africa and got absolutely crazy building their big air playground. This is the MTB equivalent of some of the stuff Dane Searls (RIP) did. Give this interview a read to get some insight and don’t forget Matt Macduff’s attempt at the biggest loop that went on at this very place. Going big will never die.
Brandon Semenuk - Raw 100 V2
Brandon Semenuk is widely regarded as being at the forefront of slopestyle for his innovation in tricks and huge style. It was hard to pick one video of Semenuk, this edit nearly made it here, but the last trick in this is possibly the best thing I’ve seen and no-one expected it. The fact that this was shared among BMX media says it all. I can’t wait to see what he has in the bag.
Villij days - Robbo, Dylan Lewis and Matt Roe
Despite having all the right ingredients - the riders, the trails and footage, I wasn’t loads into this the first time I watched it; I just didn’t feel the vibe. I went back and re-watched it a few times and it really grew on me however, so here it is. It’s great to see some footage of Roey since he decided to take a backseat in BMX in 2016 too.
Jonny Machellar and Dylan Lewis - Typical Snakewoods weekend
The best voice over introduction to any BMX video. These guys are one to watch out for and Snakewood looks like a blast. James Fox is pro at capturing great vibes. Check out the Going pro edit of Dylan Lewis by Mutiny too, he’s on fire. Get out and build trails and let the good times roll.
Matt Priest - The dog days
To put it lightly Matt Priest has had a difficult 18 months with injury. I struggle to comprehend how he can ride like this before he’s even fully recovered.