Throughout the next couple of weeks, we'll be casting our eyes back over 2011 and taking a look at the best products, videos and moments of a monumental year.
Yesterday we fixed our gaze on a selection of our favourite road videos from the past 12 months, so today it's the turn of mountain biking. From Mountain Biking UK catching up with returning hero Danny Hart on his own patch at Hamsterley Forest following his World Championship triumph to the 'How to' series from the Bike Riders United crew, here is a collection of our favourites.
Hart hits Hamsterley
Britain's Danny Hart was just another young rider, albeit a prodigiously talented one, before an epic World Championship-winning run at Champery in September catapulted him into the upper echelons of downhill racing. MBUK caught up with Hart in his own back yard at Hamsterley Forest last month to talk about his victory in Switzerland and where he plans to go from here. He also put on a dazzling display for our cameras in the video below, demonstrating just why he's one of the hottest properties in the sport. To read the full interview with the World Champion, pick up a copy of MBUK 272, on sale now.
Semenuk's flip-whip trick
In front of a dumbstruck crowd of 25,000, this amazing stunt by Brandon Semenuk, where he kicked his bike 360 degrees while he spun the same rotation in a backflip, proved to be enough to propel him to his first win at Whistler's Kokanee Crankworx festival in July.
Strength in Numbers
While it won't be released until next spring, Strength in Numbers, Anthill Films follow-up project to their hit film Follow Me, has garnered plenty of attention thanks to trailers like this one we posted in August. Featuring some of the top freeriders on the planet, this first teaser showcases some amazing Matrix-style super slo-mo footage from Semenuk, McCaul and co.
Bike Riders United take us back to school
Bike Riders United, the mountain biking collective formed this year by stars of the UK riding scene including Steve Peat, Sam Pilgrim and Martyn Ashton, have had a busy year, not least with their popular ‘how to’ skills series. Back in October they asked fans to submit skills they’d like to see the crew cover, with videos on how to manual, bunnyhop, corner and do drops developed, complete with cheeky bonus footage tacked on as post-credit bonus features. Shown below is our favourite, 'How to Bunnyhop' with the ever-enthusiastic Sam Pilgrim.
Rider jumps train
From the Inside Out, Anthill Films interim film between Follow Me and Strength in Numbers, was a collaboration with British Colombia's Coastal Crew and it was this stunt of one of their number attempting to jump over a train that really caught our eye. We don't see the full stunt here, but given the finished film had its full DVD/iTunes release earlier this month, it won't be too hard to find.
As part of his convalescence from shoulder surgery, Specialized-sponsored freerider Matt Hunter turned adventurer during a two-day mountain bike trek in the Canadian wilderness. Check out the video below to see Hunter hitch a ride on a floatplane, camp out, catch his own dinner all while keeping an eye out for grizzly bears.
Ben Berden's cyclo-cross mashup
If you've never tried cyclo-cross racing but always thought of giving it a go, don't let this video of US professional Ben Berden put you off. It paints his world as an unapologetically gruelling and filthy sport, which is our idea of fun.