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Trials and mountain-biking legend Martyn Ashton and GCN have delivered their new Road Bike Party 3.
It is the first complete film in the series to be shot after Ashton’s 2013 accident, which left him paralysed from the waist down. Both of the previous Road Bike Party films were global phenomenons, going viral and racking up over 23.5 million YouTube views.
Moving behind the camera, Ashton has brought in the 2013 Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour Champion, Sam Pilgrim.
The switch to the dirt-jumper Pilgrim brought in a pacier and “more extreme” feeling to the film, with many new spectacular stunts using the Ridley Noah, the same full carbon racing bike used by Andre Greipel and his Lotto Belisol teammates at the Tour de France.
The team also upped sticks from the UK to shoot virtually all of the 4min 30sec film in San Diego, California, apart from its ‘magical beginning and ending’ sequences, which were shot at the RampWorld BMX park in Cardiff, UK.
“Cali was great, but the main change is moving away from the trials riding of the first two. That’s down to one reason,” says Ashton. “Dirt jumping is more extreme. We wanted to see just how much punishment the Ridley Noah could take… turns out it was a lot!”
Despite 10 days of filming, with countless jumps, drops and crashes, including a back flip at 15+ feet above ground, and a 7-foot drop onto concrete following an aborted flip, the only new parts required on the bike were two inner tubes.
It proved a baptism of fire for Pilgrim, who won the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour in 2013, but had never ridden a road bike before. “It was scary at times, especially using dropped bars,” says Pilgrim. “There’s a scene where I ride across a tree. I’m not a trials rider and the second attempt saw me face-plant [it]. I almost lost another tooth.”
In addition to the custom-painted but otherwise unaltered Ridley Noah frame, Pilgrim used FSA’s K-Force carbon road-racing drop bars, stem, seat-post and K-Force Light cranks; Vision’s Metron 55 and 81 carbon clincher wheels; a Prologo Nago Evo saddle; an 11-speed (11-28) Shimano cassette with mechanical shifting and Continental GP4000 tyres.
You can watch the making of Road Bike Party 3 below: