Mountain Biking

The Volcanic Island of Miyake-Jima Was Evacuated in 2000 Due to a Massive Eruption. It’s Now Stevie Smith’s New Spot for Downhill Mountain Biking…

Stevie Smith takes on a volcano that's caused 17,500 earthquakes in the past 15 years...

Photo: Hiroyuki Nakagawa/Red Bull Content Pool

The volcanic island of Miyake-jima saw tragedy strike in the year 2000 after an eruption meant the entire population of the place – around 3,600 people – had to be evacuated.

They were forced to live elsewhere for over four years until being allowed back on their island home in 2005, though poisonous gas is said to still rise from the earth due to the high levels of volcanic activity.

“I didn’t think it would look like that. It was a straight up volcano and I was standing on the edge of it…”

Over the past 100 years, the volcanoes of Mikaye-jima, which is situated around 180km south of Tokyo, have erupted six times, with a mindboggling 17,500 earthquakes following the aforementioned eruption 15 years ago.

This didn’t stop Stevie Smith and Red Bull from thinking that the place looked like a perfect spot for filming some downhill of course, and the resulting video features some truly stunning views.

Photo: Hiroyuki Nakagawa/Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull write that Smith “was granted permission to explore the volcano by bike. This is a record of the first successful filming of the peak approved by Miyake Village since the eruption in 2000.”

Photo: Hiroyuki Nakagawa/Red Bull Content Pool

It didn’t come easy, either. The mountain was surrounded by fog until what was meant to be the team’s last day, forcing the crew to extend their stay. The conditions were unpredictable too, mixing ash with light lava and large rocks.

Here’s the end result, as well as a behind-the-scenes feature that gives a great look into the feature:

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