Three riders a the top of thei individual disciplines com together in cataclysmi clash of style, skil and backgroun for a different kind of bike movie. Watch the movie here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pToyAVyUxlA
Danny MacAskill, Martin Söderström and Daniel Dhers are titans in trials, MTB freestyle and BMX respectively. Whether they're winning golds at X Games and Dew Tour comps, stacking up millions of views on YouTube or simply defying gravity on two wheels, these three riders make jaws drop around the world. But what happens when you take their combined energy and drop it in one of the most beautiful locations in the world? Eager to find out, POC brought the super stars to Stockholm for six days this May and let them loose in stunning spots, including the rugged islands of the archipelago, with top-end film technology. The result is spellbinding. But what was the experience like for the riders? POC Mag caught up with them all to find out.
What was it like filming in Sweden? Martin Söderström: It was very cool that Danny and Daniel came to Sweden and I had the opportunity to show them around some spots that I’ve been riding. It's interesting because every rider has their own thoughts when they come to a place to ride; what you can do and what you’re good at. When you’re riding with people who have totally different riding styles, they turn up and think something totally different. So it’s really cool to see how many different things you can do, that you didn’t think was possible. Danny MacAskill: It was really refreshing and a lot of fun. My previous films have all been just me working with a filmer or a couple of filmers, but it was really fun riding with Martin and Daniel - it made for quite a relaxed atmosphere. [...]
I’ve been out to Stockholm once before but that was in the middle of winter so everything was covered in ice and I didn’t really know what to expect. But loads of the islands on the archipelago have this amazing smooth rock, because they were all made by glaciers, so it was really great to ride.
Daniel Dhers: For me it was really crazy! I’m not really the filming guy, I’m more of a contest guy, so getting to ride with the best guys in each of their disciplines, filming and just riding different stuff, was really cool. I think the overall [theme] of the trip was, ‘What [are all the different things] you can do with bikes?’ So that was a challenge. It was my first time in Sweden, which was cool. It was daylight for twenty hours a day and everybody there loves sports, so that was pretty interesting - coming from one of the most obese countries in the world, and going to what seemed like one of the fittest.
How did you find the terrain? Söderström: I guess the whole idea was to ride what wasn’t meant to be rode on and we found some really good transitions. We went to these islands that no one had ever been to before. I guess it was easy to film because everything was so beautiful. Definitely harder for me and Daniel to ride on the islands, though. Danny can ride anywhere! We got some good stuff, way better than I had expected. MacAskill: My trials bike is very versatile so I can ride on everything whether it’s street, or islands in the middle of the archipelago, or skate parks. I tend to stay away from parks because I’m not so good at that but POC picked some really cool locations. Myself and Martin did okay on the islands because we could put our mountain-biking skills to use there. It wasn’t so easy for Daniel. I mean he just won the X Games gold again this year, he’s a pure park rider and rides pretty much nothing else, so it wasn’t so easy for him. But we had such a good time out in the islands and also in the streets of Stockholm - the city’s so cool-looking, with all these old buildings and cool architecture.
Dhers: I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was seriously beautiful. The archipelago was good, I had no idea what it was going to be like and one of the days we ended up in a boat, like a ship, it’s just a really, really beautiful place. A lot of beautiful people too! I don’t really ride much street but every time we went to a park I loved it, I was just in my element. After watching Danny and Martin, I came back here to the States, and was just trying to look at riding differently, to come up with something out of the box.
Did you find that there were similarities between your styles even though they’re all different? Söderström: Yeah I guess all of us have in our mind that we want to get better in our sports so we’re happy for someone to help us out with that, and share our experiences. Definitely in our minds we’re totally the same, just riding different things. That was really cool. We pushed each other and helped each other out. If you’re good at something that someone else isn’t good at, you just tell them how easy it is! It was a good time.
MacAskill: We’re all very different but you kind of feed off each other. If someone’s having a good time and getting the tricks they want, it’s cool for the other person to also try and do the same thing. There was no competitiveness at all, everyone was really chilled. Dhers: At the end of the day we’re all riding bikes, so it can translate. I guess they’ve never really seen me ride park, so they were psyched for that, and I’ve never seen Martin ride street so I was really psyched for that, too. The same with Danny. I seriously can’t believe what Danny jumps. It’s massive, I was freaking out. It was funny ‘cos through the whole trip, we would find things, and if Martin and me couldn’t do it, we’d like, ‘Oh well, Danny can!’
Is it important to do something different in film, to keep it fresh? Söderström: I really think so, to bring something new. I’ve never really seen any other movie where there’s three totally different riders from different backgrounds, riding together. [...] The filming was, well, it really felt worth risking your life for actually! Because on video it was even better than how it felt when you did it. The filmers did an amazing job. Dhers: I don’t think that anyone has ever done anything like this before. There’s some kind of [volatility] between BMX and mountain bike, I mean I don’t really care, but I think it’s going to be funny when BMXers get to see the stuff that Danny and Martin are doing. [...] When I film I try to do stuff that throws me way out of my comfort zone.
MacAskill: It’s important to have a different feel to the videos. [...] Niels and Andreas from Antimedia had a lot of cool film kit, which made it really interesting. They were using an RC helicopter, which was really cool. It’s incredibly difficult, but they managed to get some cool footage of Daniel in this skate park underneath a motorway flyover. We had a Phantom camera too - which is basically a camera that can film, I think, 2500 frames per second, so you can film ultra slow, really high quality, slow motion. If you burst a balloon in someone’s face, you’d be able to see the rubber moving around the water before the balloon shape disappears. It’s an unbelievable thing. We were all really pushing that to get some cool stuff.
What were the highlights? MacAskill: Watching Daniel and Martin in action in a skate park was just crazy. We’d turn up to local skate parks in the middle of Stockholm, and the kids would just be cruising about and suddenly Daniel Dhers and Martin Söderström would turn up and I would just sit on the sidelines watching. It was so funny seeing the looks on the kids' faces. Daniel would just drop in, do maybe two airs and then fire a flair downside tailwhip or something. The kids just couldn’t believe their eyes - it was so cool. I think I was there with the kids as well, eyes open with the same surprise!
Söderström: Most of the islands are just rocks, but it worked out on every island - you could find something to ride on. I think my favourite spot was probably one of the islands where the military had concreted the whole island for military use. It was like a concrete park on an island, with transitions everywhere. [...] It was amazing going to different spots with Danny, just riding along the streets and looking at him going on fences and over fences and riding things that you don’t really think about if you’re not a trials rider. He did a really big gap going on to the boat from the [jetty], and that was crazy. [...] Daniel Dhers is a machine in the park. He turned up and killed it straight away. It was really cool to see. It was like watching an X Games round every time he dropped in.
Dhers: Danny and Martin were both seriously non- stop. Martin does dirt-jumping and park and street, which is stuff I kind of relate more to, but it’s really crazy to see him do what he does on a mountain bike – it's huge! And then Danny, he really impressed me, because I’ve never really seen anything like that before. I would maybe not look at a spot twice and he will find the line and just jump, all the way to hell! [...] One of the days we rode, I guess it was at a school, and there was a little spine made out of concrete, and we ended up filming clips, all three of us jumping onto, over and into it. That was one of my favourite spots.