Hats off to SSM Freesports, their Mountain Bike Britain series is pretty much the most exciting MTBing telly ever aired in the UK. Its not quite as trendy as some of the underground videos available, but the series co-sponsored by Toyota and their Rav4 brand managed, through skilful editing, to make downhilling an edge-of-your-seat experience.
Not so sure about the factoid thats always dragged up with these kind of shows: [Downhilling] is the UKs fastest growing adrenalin sport. Its not, but wishful thinking never harmed anybody.
The lack of spectators on the featured race the Cheddar Challenge from the start of the season was testament to the fact UK downhilling is not a guaranteed crowd puller.
If this series is booked for a second run, its highly likely that some of the major teams featured in the first series except international ones such as GT will not be there because theyll have been disbanded.
On a more positive note, there was a cracking Halfords ad in the commercial break. Some IBDs may prefer it if Halfords didnt exist but theres no escaping the fact the UKs largest retailer of bikes can talk up the whole market with their level of ad spend. Lets hope, however, that Halfords have booked airtime away from bike programming. Preaching to the converted is great but we need to attract newcomers to cycling and, hopefully, Halfords ads and mainstream TV programmes like Mountain Bike Britain will get bums on saddles.
Or, to ramp up media exposure next year, should top-end suppliers and cutting edge shops put some collective cash for a promotional drive of their own?