After limping through with a virtual festival last year, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic still causing havoc, it was great to finally come back together for the first time since November 2019 for the Kendal Mountain Festival Trek Bike Night supported by Wheelbase. The annual, unmissable off-road, two-wheeled gathering returned to its usual venue in Kendal for a night of fast-paced mountain bike movies along with star guests and some really interesting conversation in between each of the films. As the capacity-audience found their seats and got settled the evening kicked off with our very own sponsors message!
We opened the show with our sponsored message from Wheelbase and Trek.
The Trek Bike Night was hosted by Steve Jones who you may know from the eMBN eMountain Bike YouTube channel, before Steve presented eMBN he was the editor of the iconic gravity-focused magazine Dirt and is on first name terms with most of the great and good of global mountain biking. Alongside him was Lauren MacCallum, a Scottish television presenter who has also raced Enduro and is well-known within the UK mountain biking fraternity. The two hosts kept the pace high and the conversation flowing throughout the evening and got some great insights from each of the special guests.
Steve Jones (eMBN) and Lauren MacCallum (BBC Scotland) were our hosts for the evening.
Early on in the evening the audience was introduced to two of the UK’s brightest hopes in competitive cycling across multiple cycling disciplines. Trek athletes Evie Richards and Hattie Harnden both hail from Malvern in the south of the UK, a hotspot for mountain biking talent Malvern is also home to the downhill and Enduro legend Tracey Mosely and former cross country racing star Liam Killeen. Both Evie and Hattie explained how growing up there under the riding guidance of these cycling luminaries has made a massive contribution to there early racing careers. Evie has had an outstanding year in 2021, with a slow start to the season she peaked slightly after the Olympics in Tokyo to take the coveted Elite World Champions Jersey in cross county, beating all of her nearest competitors in what was her first full season racing against the seniors. To back that result up she went on to win the final 2 rounds of the season-long world cup series, proving that she is now a legit competitor at the highest levels of international mountain biking. Listening to her gave us some great insights into how she races and trains.
Harriet is just as talented and is spreading her focus even further than Evie by not only racing cross country mountain bikes and cyclocross, but racing the Enduro World Series too! Hattie has bags of bike-handling talent and has already asserted herself within EWS racing, taking a win this season and becoming the youngest ever winner of an EWS stage.
Evie Richards and Hattie Harnden in conversation with Steve and Lauren.
Here’s a snippet of Trek’s race documentary following Evie Richard’s amazing XC Mountain Biking race season.
The ‘Girls Gotta Eat Dirt’ crew stole the show with both their short film and their appearance on stage. The film is really worth a watch and portrays a group of college friends who came together through their love of riding and went on to spend over 5 years living together and shredding the trails of Colorado. The girls were there on stage too, having been reunited to talk to Steve and Lauren about their film project. Clearly they’d had a few drinks to clam their nerves before the evening had started and stole the show with their infectious laughs and quick wit. One of the main talking points was their ‘Jorts’ (jean shorts) which where made specifically for mountain biking duties by small clothing brand Ripton & Co. After some confused questions from Steve there followed an impassioned manifesto on the merits of riding in Jorts much to the amusement of the audience.
The ‘Girls Gotta Eat Dirt’ crew stole the show with their Ripton & Co. ‘Jorts’ manifesto.
Watch Ripton & Co’s ‘Girls Gotta Eat Dirt’.
To bring this brilliant evening to a close we were treated to Danny MacAskill’s latest offering – The Slabs. Shot on location on Danny’s home island of Skye in the West Highlands of Scotland this amazing film was great to see on the big screen and took our breath away despite most of us seeing it before. After the film Danny talked us through just how quickly the shooting of it was done, bringing together everyone he need to capture the ride during the summer of 2020 when some of his original filming plans had been curtailed following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Danny explained how his visually-stunning film ‘The Slabs’ came about.
Already seen by over 3 million viewers on YouTube it was awesome to see ‘The Slabs’ on the big screen and listen to Danny talk us through how it was done.
The Kendal Mountain Festival Trek Bike Night supported by Wheelbase was a fantastic evening of entertainment and it was great to see see some fantastic new riding films and hear directly from their creators and contributors. After a difficult couple of years it was brilliant to be able to all get together again and share our love for the sport of mountain biking. If you missed out on attending this year, make sure it’s in your diary for next November. People travel from far and wide to join us; being in the foothills of the Lake District Fells it’s the perfect opportunity to spend the weekend socialising and riding on some of the most exciting trails in the UK. See you next year!
Written by Johnny Dodgin.