November 14, 2013
We Sell A Dream
Dave and Sim make like Joe Barnes and head for Ben A’an.
Words by Dave Flynn, pictures by Sim.
In my corner of the bike trade, we sell a dream; a hedonistic ideal, an adventure through life which many aspire to but few will ever fully realise. We want to build an appetite for riding, to encourage everyone to get out and experience something new, to test yourself and replicate some part of another’s achievement. The bike industry is far from unique in marketing product through interesting people, in creating stories about real characters who inspire. The important part for me is that it has to be genuine or it’s just hollow sentiment, fake and half-hearted.
In their most sterile realisation stories can be little more than a branding exercise, an attempt to create an image, a smokescreen, mere boardroom dexterity. When it’s heartfelt it’s completely different, it holds real power and makes their achievements your compulsion, inspired to not only ride but to do something exciting, daring, something fresh. So-called ‘marketing’ for me isn’t just about selling a product, it’s about developing a relationship with the sport, pushing what you do forward so it adds something to the scene. Yes, if the brand sticks in someone’s mind that is indeed an achievement, but a bike without aspiration is just a product. I want to work with mountain bikes.
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Social media marketing bollocks it may be, but pick up your bike and get STOKED, all we want to do is ride…
MTBcut’s Stu Thomson is responsible for Dave and Sim’s misadventures (and probably plenty more besides).
He tells us why Ben A’an and Joe Barnes are the ones for him…
Joe and I had been talking about filming on Ben A’an for several months. The hill is only an hour from my house and I’d actually been there and ridden it myself several years ago on a shoot with Mark Huskisson of Reset Films. We didn’t really get enough footage that trip to create an edit but I’d been planning for a few years to head back and film there at the first opportunity. I knew Joe was the man for the job as for me he’s pretty much the best five-inch travel rider in the world and one of the few who would tackle and thrive off such a technical trail.
For me, this is the type of riding I enjoy most as a rider, so I think that is reflected as a filmmaker; I love showing what riders like Joe are capable of. The vast majority of riders would consider that hill unrideable, yet there is only one short stretch in the middle of the hill that Joe didn’t ride (approx 10 metres). I love the fact that you guys went and gave it a shot off the back of our film – when you see the trail in real life, it is much tougher and I think Joe’s ability hits home even more! The best thing is that it just widens the respect for Joe Barnes as one of the world’s best mountain bikers.