TRP Advert Photoshoot (& E-Bikes!) - Pedal Progression


6 July 2019

TRP Advert Photoshoot (& E-Bikes!)

Sam and I have been involved in a fair few photoshoots over the years but this one was particularly fun. We were to spend the day in Wales, riding bikes fitted with some mysterious new TRP brakes. The photos would feature in an advert and the photographer was tasked with getting an ‘aspirational riding shot’ on a bermed corner. He came armed with a photo of Aaron Gwinn doing just what he wanted to capture. No pressure then…

** NOTE – This shoot happened in July 2018 but we weren’t allowed to release the photos below until the product had been launched… **

The photographers commission stipulated that one shot should have us riding e-bikes and the other, the Marin trail bikes we ride every day. We’d both ridden e-bikes (Sam now owns one) but at the time, had never spent a day riding them in anger and so needless to say, we were pretty excited! The bikes were top end Specialized Levo’s which boosted our bike boners. Up until this point I’d felt particularly impotent around the latest mountain bike trends. I was about to find out if e-bikes were worth the hype.

We headed to Pontypool for our first few turns. If you’ve not ridden up that way, it’s steep, packed with features and today it was desert dusty in the 28 degree heat. The greenery was in full HD and on the rare occasions where no one was talking there was a beautiful peace about the place.

This was a spot where weeks earlier, local trail builder Ryan Bullimore sadly passed away whilst riding the trails he created and loved. There’s no doubt he did an incredible job. The spot where tragedy occurred was taped off and marked with wreaths, trail building tools and notes, paying their respects. We had the privilege of meeting Ryan’s Dad, Jason and girlfriend, Ceri too. They have vowed to continue Ryan’s legacy as they push for the spot to be granted ‘bike park’ status.

As the five of us hauled our bikes and various bags full of camera kit up the hill, it became very apparent that e-bikes are still extremely heavy which is when it dawned on us… why were we pushing them!?  We found the first spot and began to bed the brakes in with a couple of runs on the e-bikes.

Photoshoots consist of riding the same piece of trail a bunch of times over and over. You then move to another bit of trail and begin the process over. It’s not that Hollywood really! In this case the first corner we worked on came right before a steep decent and with the dusty conditions, it was difficult to stop before the bottom. The climb up was even harder. It was impossible on our trail bikes and even pushing up was a challenge due to the dusty top surface on the trail. Our feet kept slipping. However, on the e-bikes, we could ascend with ease, occasionally coming off the back of the bike, due to misjudging the slight power delay from each pedal stroke. It was very amusing and quickly became addictive!

The trails here are seriously fun and pretty intense in places too. For our shoot, conditions were prime and we made the most of it, exploring as much as we could whilst the photographer got organised to shoot the next location. The e-bikes allowed us to get to the top of the trail in no time so we could maximise runs.

For the photos below, we hit up a quiet trail centre, about a 40 minute drive away from the first location. The section of trail we were due to shoot was towards the end of the loop and at the highest point. Aboard the e-bikes, we were able to navigate our way to our location through what would have been an impossible situation on a bike without power assist.

Once at the top, we felt fresh and ready to ride for the camera again! We slowly worked our way down the hill, shooting a few different turns on the way.

From the image below, it’s hard to believe we were an hour from Bristol! We didn’t see another rider the entire time we were out and if it wasn’t for a small Welsh village in the valley below, you could have told me we were in the Pyrenees and I’d have believed you!

After all this fun and the excitement of having our mugs on an advert, the brakes featured were found to have issues and were scrapped from production, almost a year later! For this reason, it’s only now that we can share these images. Still, we had a great day and got some awesome shots from it too, one of which has made a great piece for my living room wall!

Photos marked with the TRP logo are courtesy of SHIFT Active Media.


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