Ash Smith does a different kind of riding to most of us. It’s barely a month since he announced there would be no Trans Provence in 2018, though it seems it will be back in some form, eventually. The reason he cited was not having the time this year to discover the new trails he wants to keep the event fresh, and as becomes obvious in this video, it’s not simply a matter of gawping at a map.
Follow Ash as he heads out to explore the mountains, and approaches the trails with a completely different outlook to most of us: rather than seeking a new five minute descent or a local loop, Ash is getting to know an entire landscape, with the aim of threading an enormous race route through it. The locales are ancient, with long neglected, sometimes unrecorded, occasionally overgrown trails that might be centuries old and have had nobody now living use them.
Not every day goes well, and not every trail is gold – or still there. Ash has highs and lows, but ultimately even the worst days support his overall aim. Photographer and videographer Sam Needham followed him for a while this year, and made this beautiful short film along with a short interview about the process (you might know Sam from his Instagram filled with certifiable bangers).
(No video? Try a link).
This is part one of three, so make sure to head over to Vimeo and give Sam a follow.
“Part one of three in the Itinerology film series. The Workspace offers an introductory glimpse into the life of Ash Smith, the founder of the Trans Provence adventure mountain bike race and how 2018 will be shaping up for him as he spends the year finding, opening and crafting new trails and itineraries in the French Alps.”