What We’re Watching — August, 2021


Our What We’re Watching series has taken a bit of a hiatus — and we’ve been busy in the meantime, publishing our first ever Mountain Bike Buyer’s Guide, launching the Blister Summit, putting out about a billion different reviews, tons of podcasts, and a whole bunch more. But now it’s back, and we’ve got an assortment of videos short and long; goofy and important; and relaxing to very high adrenaline.

And for even more ways to procrastinate / get excited about getting outside, see all of our previous video roundups.

Red Bull Hardline Highlights

David: After a covid-induced hiatus in 2020, Hardline came back in 2021, and the course was even more terrifying than ever. The full replay of the race is absolutely worth a watch, but if you want a more condensed version, the top three runs will do nicely.

The riding on display is outrageous, per usual, even without Gee Atherton in attendance due to an unreal slate of injuries he just sustained in a crash (I don’t think I have it in me to watch that particular video). But reigning World Champion Reece Wilson is also a delightful surprise, joining Rob Warner in the broadcast booth and providing excellent commentary.

Luke: Yep, Hardline is just ridiculous. Only thing I’d add is that some of the behind-the-scenes stuff was also wildly entertaining. Most notably, what happened when Red Bull decided to put all the riders on brand-new pit bikes and have them race. The result was hilarious, and you can check it out at the beginning of this video from Matt Jones:

Andreu Lacondeguy and Nico Vink — The Hole

David: Some of you reading this might have a jump line in your backyard, but it probably doesn’t look much like Andreu Lacondeguy’s. Andreu and Nico Vink recently gave the jumps on his property — dubbed “The Hole” — a substantial makeover, and then proceeded to go absolutely huge on them.

There’s not much messing around here, just two freeride legends sending — and tricking — truly massive jumps, with a bit of tricky drone camera work and a heavy metal soundtrack to round things out.

Matt Jones — Backflip to Frontflip Caveman

David: Matt Jones is not only an incredibly talented slopestyle rider, but he’s great at talking through the process of dialing in new tricks and the unbelievable amount of time, energy, and planning that goes into figuring out something new at that level. His video documenting his efforts to land a backflip to frontflip caveman provides a fascinating insight into the commitment needed to land a world-first trick, and the payoff is remarkable.

Dusty Wygle — It’s a Rental

David: After about 10 years with the same frame sponsor, Dusty was feeling out of touch with the rest of the bike market — so he decided to rent a bike to do something about it. He ends up with a Transition Scout (except when he doesn’t — you’ll see) and subjects it to a whole lot more backflips in two days than most rental bikes probably see in their lifetimes. Some friends also show up to get in on the fun. This one’s a quick rip, but very fun and lighthearted, with a whole lot of great riding in the mix too.

Yoann Barelli & Steve Vanderhoek — Tour de Gnar

Luke: A video from Yoann Barelli is always entertaining to me, and this one is a doozy. In Yoann’s words, “I had this idea for quite some time already, sending all the gnarliest and some of the most iconic features of the Sea to Sky corridor, in one day, from Pemberton to Vancouver for a new and burly episode of Into The Gnar!”

The 50-minute run time means you’ll need to set aside some time for this one, but it’s legitimately awesome for every second.

David: Yep, I was going to include this one too, but Luke beat me to the punch. Yoann is entertaining as always, and he and Steve have great chemistry together — to say nothing of their considerable bike skills. Crack a beverage of your choice and sit back for this one — it’s worth it. And — spoiler alert — we’re going to be talking to Steve about filming this, and a whole bunch more, on Bikes & Big Ideas next week.

Tight Loops — The Quest to Catch Maine’s Rarest Fish

Luke: I have a soft spot for catching native fish in fairly difficult-to-get-to places, since that’s what I spent most of my free time doing during the summers back home in Wisconsin. I also like a good conservation story, and this series from Tight Loops is both of those things, and it’s produced with a level of quality that I’d expect from a documentary I’d have to pay for to watch.

The first two episodes in this series, dubbed “For Wild’s Sake: The Rare Trout Chronicles,” follow the Tight Loops crew and friends as they search for the nearly extinct Blueback Trout (which is actually a type of landlocked arctic charr). It’s a great nature documentary in itself, with outstanding footage and editing, but it’s also a really cool history lesson on the extraordinary lengths folks went to in order to try to save this fish.

If you like fish, fishing, conservation, interesting history tidbits, and / or just want to watch a very well done, relaxing nature documentary, I highly recommend these two episodes — and I look forward to seeing more from the series.

Jack Moir and Dean Lucas — Ripping Pleney – Morzine with Deano

David: Jack Moir’s vlog series has been highly entertaining, and the latest entry is no exception. What it lacks in production value it more than makes up for with hilarious banter between Jack and Dean (and a bunch of other EWS pros), and does a great job of capturing the feeling of two friends just out for a casual ride, including a whole lot of heckling. It also features the pair riding what Jack says might be the steepest trail he’s ever ridden — and the fact that Dean goes quiet for a bit is probably a good indication that it’s a lot steeper than it looks on camera.

Luke: Another one where David and I are very much in agreement. When I first watched Jack’s vlogs I wasn’t an instant fan — it is, after all, basically him filming random stuff with his phone and GoPro all day. But for me, it’s been all the behind-the-scenes stuff and banter between him and the rotating guests that really make them entertaining. And with that in mind, I also loved this episode, with the highlight for me being Ed Master’s commentary and surprisingly numerous crashes throughout the day:

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