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Pyrenees with Dirt Mountain Bike Magazine and Reset Films

Dirt Mountain Bike Holiday Pyrenees
Some great pictures from Dirt Magazine and ResetFilm's mountain bike trip with BasqueMTB. __________________

Filming with Dirt Magazine in the South Spanish Pyrenees

Sometimes the best adventures happen when you just sketch the outlines and let life do the painting. So it was when Mark, (from Reset Films), asked if he could come and shoot in some of the mountain bike spots he’d seen in my photos. The conversation went something like this. “Fecking hell Doug, those shots are amazing”. “Thanks, wanna film here”. “Yeah! Lets sort out the details”. Somehow we never really got to the details.
Clifftop berms, what could possibly be cooler than that?
Some of you may remember Mark filmed FIND here back in 2009 with Rowan Sorrell. This new project is sort of a follow up from that.  Mark took James McKnight, the Euro Pikey, Downhill Racer, Enduro Star, Skills Trainer, Writer for Dirt, Nice Guy, Destroyer of Impossible Climbs, Writer of Books and I’m sure many, many other things. Over the course of a week we rode many trails in the Basque Country and across the route of our South Pyrenees mountain bike holidays. Read on for plenty more photos and a few stories that probably won’t make it into the magazines or films!
Me photographing Mark filming James ripping on the coast.
The first day I picked up the guys from Bilbao airport. The sun was splitting the sky and we rode on the coast near Bilbao for a few hours. We rode on lovely singletrack and had lunch in a little bar, packed full of surfer men and pretty surfer girls, all of whom seemed pretty interested in what we were up to. Relax girls, we are just a couple of professional mountain bikers making a movie!
James flying down these loose ridges.
   After riding for longer than we expected we had to make our way down to the middle of the Pyrenees for a rendezvous with some local riders. I had organised a big day out, with a 4×4 uplift and a 14km descent afterwards. As we drove down the spine of the Pyrenees we realised it was getting late and stomachs were demanding food and throats screaming for beer. The sun had long since dropped below the snow capped peaks and the road still stretched a long way ahead of us. I made the call to stop over in Jaca for the night. Back at base Amaia managed to find us a couple of cheap rooms in a very nice 4* Spa Hotel and we quickly dropped our kit off before grabbing some food and wine. The next day it was an early start as we drove through the stunning Ordesa valley to reach our destination.  
One of the trails on the way down! A lack of falling here would be good.
  Jorge, El Escoces de Ainsa, and Oriol, ripper and grower of amazing tomatoes, met us in a bar in the local town. We climbed in Jorge’s 4×4 for what seemed like ages until we were halted by the snowline. The first part of of trail was under a virgin covering of snow, meaning Mark would only get one take before the trails were spoiled by tire tracks. What a descent! We were riding in a train and all took our positions. I was riding behind James… best seat in the house as he manualled down the technical trail and took crazy lines over the rocky sections. He also did a power cuttie that was so gnarly that one of the chickens in the local town changed sex. Great fun. The trail was perfection, even passing by a mountain bar halfway down where we took a break for some cold beer. The trail ended up in what can only be described as a natural pumptrack, cut through the rock deposits left by the river, see the picture at the top. This section of the film is going to be amazing. James had to overcome his fear of caterpillars here to move some nasty little critters from his line in one berm. That boy suffers for his sport!  
This picture tells the whole story.
  The next day we returned to the end of yesterday’s descent to grab more footage of nature’s pumptrack. James was loving it and Mark was full of ideas about returning with a remote control helicopter and “shooting the shit out of it”! Everyone was pretty excited about the trails but sadly something had come up at home and Mark had to get back. I returned him to the airport and he left me with James, his precious camera and instructions to film as much as we could.  
James dropping down “All Along the Watchtowers” at Sunset.
  The next trail on our agenda was “All Along the Watchtowers”, back on the Basque Coast and a regular on our mountain bike holidays. We had just set up the camera on my tripod and I was pointing out the Pro Lines to James when there was a gust of wind. Let’s spin back a second, my tripod is a cheap one, it’s good enough for my GF1 but with Mark’s camera and lens it was a bit top heavy. The camera fell, S.M.A.S.H. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was a a slow motion arc as I started diving to try to catch it. I could feel the ligaments in my arms and shoulders stretching to their limits as I reached for it but I missed. The camera was OK but the lens broke. Gutted. So, we were continued filming with Mark’s camera and my little 20mm lens. Until Mark’s battery failed! So, the rest of the holiday was filmed on my camera, which also meant I couldn’t take any more stills.  
Some video stills from our ride in Spanish Utah… you’ll have to wait for the video!
  If you have read Dirt Magazine (read the Dirt Mountain Bike article here) then you will have read about James’s adventure to ride down in the desert. A place we call Spanish Utah. I didn’t take any stills so here are a few grabs from the video I shot. James was blown away by the trails here, we rode about 30km of singletrack, all perfect and he described the final descent as “the ultimate enduro trail”! All I can say is that it was great fun trying to stay on his back tyre!  
Riding on the coast in perfect light.
  The last couple of days we took it a bit easier. We chilled and had evening rides along the coast. A bit of filming and some time just riding with friends, old and new. We rode into San Sebastian and watched the sun set over the coast while we had a beer. Like James said, it feels like we’ve known each other for ages but really it’s only been a pretty hectic 8 days! In that time I’ve shared a bunch of places that I feel are special with him and I’ve watched as he’s appreciated those places just as much as I do. I’ve also watched as James has enjoyed the scene and people I ride with, the same way I do, and has felt the same same sense of privilege as people have shared their homes, trails, beers, stories, laughs, uplifts, shits and giggles with us, purely because they can see the same sense of passion burning behind our eyes. We were welcomed the way any addict welcomes and other addict when he comes to share his needle and spoon. Long live bikes and long live those of us who ride them!  
All trips should end like this.
Here are all the rest of the photos from the trip:   [AFG_gallery id=’8′]

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