There’s no denying it, social media has forever changed how we communicate, how we educate, how we shop and how we sustain relationships. Since launching Velo Me and my social media accounts in July 2015, I’ve participated and watched how social media has played a big role in the mountain bike community, for better and for worse. One of the most rewarding things to have emerged over those years is the growth of mountain bike bloggers and influencers. So here are a few MTB social media accounts that I enjoy following, and I hope you do too!
It was 2017 when I first met Emily at a women’s MTB week in St Moritz, Switzerland. After getting to know Emily, her background in racing and her keen passion for high-alpine adventures, I was absolutely stoked when she began her YouTube channel earlier in 2020.
Emily’s video tutorials are easy to follow, non-patronising and concise, which for me, is great because I bloody hate waffle and faff. With clear instructions and perfect demonstrations, Emily’s videos can help your riding progression come on leaps and bounds.
Lady Bicycle Prankster
You know those unrealistic, often sexist, bicycle brand ads that have appeared at some point or other in your feed? The ones with professional models, awkwardly straddling a bike they can’t ride while looking like a seductive chipmunk to the camera? Well, Gravel Tryhard recreates those ads with a heavy dose of realism and it’s bloody hilarious – see here!
Cranky Betty is a great place for MTB info; reviews, interviews and event coverage. It’s been going for a few years now spearheaded by MTB enthusiast and super lovely human, Grace Zarczynska. I’ve been following Grace’s work since her website launched and have enjoyed seeing her work develop and evolve to create insightful and engaging articles. Did I mention that she’s a super lovely human as well? She really is, so give her a follow and get stuck into her articles.
Other than fail videos, admittedly, I’m not on YouTube as much as I am other social media platforms. However, when I find out Dave Jenvey has a new video coming to the ‘tube, I clear my schedule.
What I love about Dave is that he’s perhaps the biggest TRIER in mountain biking. Documenting each ride, each attempt, each fall and every success, Dave is the living embodiment of every mountain biker. He isn’t afraid to show how hard the sport can be and how much it can take a toll on your body, but in every video, you find yourself silently cheering him on to land his next attempt successfully. With frank honesty, body-mangling failed attempts and pure frickin’ elation, Dave’s videos has it all. I would recommend starting his videos from near the beginning of his early days when he was quite bad because seeing his progression over time is amazing!
Becci Skelton is arguably the embodiment of stoke when it comes to social media mountain biking. Her feed is full of sends, insane fitness workouts and, of course, adorable pupper snaps of Esme. Her down-to-earth and light-hearted personality makes for entertaining and inspirational posts, the kind of posts that make you think “damn, I want to ride my bike”. If like me, you need whipping into mountain bike shape, then Becci is your lass. Before nailing myself and breaking my arm in the winter, Becci had me on a workout regime that saw my body transform into feeling really solid and strong on the bike… until I broke myself, woops.
If you’ve ever met Ben Cathro, you might think “bloody hell, he’s a tall chap”, and standing at 9ft tall, he really is! (ok, I don’t know how tall he is). But aside from his height, Ben has amassed a cult-like following on social media, in particular, on YouTube. His World Cup track walks and analysis is better than most, and his approachable presenting style is a breath of fresh air from the many loud personalities that are seemingly in it more for themselves than the sport.
What I love about Ben’s content is that it’s not dressed in faff or frills. He’s like the Louis Theroux of MTB, without the precarious situations and questionable characters (well, for the most part). As a former racer turned World Cup track line master, this year we hoped to see Ben in race action as PinkBike’s Privateer, but COVID and injury pooped on that.
What’s the point in having your own blog if you can’t promote yourself?
Since leaving the corporate world of MTB journalism, my freelance work has enabled me to continue creating content, but through different channels and mediums. I love what I do, and that’s to tell engaging stories, compose helpful guides and generally offer help and advice to anyone who may need it. Yet, over the years I’ve collected a number of followers that, to some, constitutes me as a ‘social media influencer‘. It’s strange (no pun intended) because I don’t consider myself as an influencer as such, not like real-life influencers such as Shayy Irving who creates wicked social content as a singer, actress and all-the-things. It leaves me to question, what does a mountain bike influencer look like, and does our sport need more? Perhaps that’s a question for next time…