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Behind the Scenes with Andy Yoong

Posted on March 21, 2014 @ 5:51 PM in Mountainbiking

The first ever MountainBikeNI.com video was officially realised last week showcasing each of Northern Ireland's new trail centres in Rostrevor, Castlewellan and Davagh Forest. Filmed and edited by local rider and reknowned videographer Andy Yoong (Honcho Media), this video highlights just how far mountain biking in Northern Ireland has come in the last year. 


We caught up with Andy during filming to get his thoughts on this shoot and Northern Ireland's rise to fame as a mountain biking destination over the last twelve months. 

MountainBikeNI.com: You’re a busy man these days, so what’s it like being back able to film some mountain biking on Northern Ireland’s new trails? 

Andy: It’s a great opportunity to be able to produce these videos for MountainBikeNI. I’ve been riding bikes for years now and feel very fortunate to be able to combine my work with one of my passions.  

Behind the Scenes with Andy Yoong

MountainBikeNI.com: You pulled in some of the country’s top mountain bikers for this video - in your opinion what is it about their riding style that works on film?

Andy: I tried to select a number of riders who would show off the new trails in their best light. Colin Ross is the current Irish Downhill Champion and series champion. He’s one of the best downhill riders in the country at the moment and there was no better person to show off the technical nature of 'On the Pulse' in Rostrevor. 

The trails in Davagh Forest have a nice fun flow to them so Ewan Doherty and Jamie McCullough were an ideal choice. They’re two good friends who would hit the trails regularily together and have a really playful riding style, especially Jamie. Jamie has been on the scene for years and can really move a bike around. His style probably comes from his dirt jump background. Ewan is a bit of an underdog. He’s been racing downhill for years and has been part of the Irish team on numerous occasions. He’s definitely up there with the best in Ireland.

Behind the Scenes with Andy Yoong

Glyn O’Brien and James MacFerran were used in the Castlewellan section. Like myself, Glyn is one of the original crew of bikers who raced on the World Cup scene back in the day. I’ve travelled, raced and worked with him many times over the past 15-20 years and for an auld boy he can still shift a bike, so he was an easy choice. Jimmy Mac has been around for a while too. In the past year or two has really stepped it up a level in the Enduro scene so he has the fitness to be one of the best riders in Castlewellan. He has definitely got good bike handling skills being a former British minibike champion.

MountainBikeNI.com: You’ve ridden and filmed all over the world, what do you make of Northern Ireland’s new trail developments and the direction we are headed as a mountain biking destination?

Andy: The new trail developments have been a great addition to mountain biking in Northern Ireland. The sport has really boomed since their arrival, becoming nearly a mainstream sport. It was only a few years ago that the scene was quite small over here. Everyone knew everyone back then. Now I am seeing more and more riders on the trails every time I go out and many new faces. 

Rostrevor

The trails centres also offer an accessible way into the sport for beginner riders aspiring to compete before moving on to more technical natural trails that they will most likely meet in competition.

As a mountain biking desitination Northern Ireland has a lot to offer - it now has a large network of trails that almost anyone can ride. Combine that with the amazing locations such as beaches and mountains within a short distance of each other and we have a destination that has a lot to offer the outdoor type.

MountainBikeNI.com: You’ve been patiently been waiting to shoot this video for years now, I take it you’re enjoying yourself!

Andy: Yeah, for me it’s the perfect job. To be out working, shooting mountain bike videos with my friends and being outside in the mountains and forests, it doesn’t get much better.

Duck Tape

Just in case you were trying to work out how Andy captured those incredible head cam shots! 
Chris Armstrong
Chris Armstrong  Mountain Bike Officer

Chris looks after all things mountain biking in Northern Ireland ...it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it!

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