Today is the kind of hot summer’s day where furniture sticks to your skin, the kind of day where your noisy desk fan whirs dangerously close to your eyebrows, the kind of day where you genuinely contemplate an assassination attempt on the sun itself. It is, as a wise man once said, too hot.
While you sit and moan about how warm you are though, please spare a thought for the mountain biking maestro Nico Vink – a man who’s been riding his bike through the fires of hell itself (more or less).
‘From The Ash’ is the result of a collaboration between Nico, a bunch of forestry professionals, and the Boy Scouts of America. It’s the most extraordinary mountain biking edit we’ve seen in a long time.
“It’s the most extraordinary mountain biking edit we’ve seen in a long time”
No prizes for spotting that the video features fire, and lots of it. What we’ll say about that, before anyone flags it up, is that no forests were harmed in order to make this film happen.
In May 2018, the Ute Park wildfire burned 36,740 acres. The crew putting ‘From The Ash’ together were granted special permission to film on location in the forest’s burn scar, in a controlled setting.
Speaking about the ‘From The Ash’ project, Vink said “Riding through the fire wasn’t too bad. The smoke got kinda sketchy because I wasn’t able to see the features… I rode some of them blind. Most shoots I do are based on the features we’ve built. It becomes a completely different thing if you add the elements of fire and smoke.”
Needless to say, the film took a long time to put together. We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes legwork with jumps and features needing to be set up, as well as equipment such as smoke machines and the like. The crew also had a limited light window to wrestle with – something which anyone who’s heard the infamous production story of the Leonardo DiCaprio film ‘The Revenant’ will know can really drag out production.
Writing about the project Liam Mullany, the ‘From The Ash’ cinematographer, thanked the firefighters who deal with real wildfires – urging people to be responsible this wildfire season.
If you need us, we’ll be gaffer taping Cornettos to our forehead. We were warm before and watching this film has, to be perfectly honest, only made things a bajillion times worse.