Descent World – Scottish Mountain Biking | Film Production | Photos | Adventure Stories

Tommy’s top ten images of 2016

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  •  Featured, Photography


Descent-World, I think it’s fair to say, has become known for producing some of the best photography seen in mountain biking over 2016. From our Rookie World Cup photographer Zach Faulkner finding his stride in the World Cup scene to become a certified “banger maker”, or Ian Linton keeping us in awe of the Tweed Valley, Descent-World has placed an emphasis of quality over quantity when it comes to photography, and for 2017 video as well”

Tommy Wilkinson always tells me “I’d rather beaver away in the background and not be a wannabe celebrity” but this maniac really needs to be known. It takes a while till he reveals his real side, with a dark sense of humour and a potty mouth like I’ve ever heard! I get annoying Emails from him at 02.30 am then again at 06.45 and all through the day. Sometimes they contain things not fit for my phone! Does he know I have a family and a job? ha! Of course Tommy has a serious injury that’s left him “disabled” for life, but this year he still won Crankworx Deep Summer joining some serious players on the winners list. He rides on his shoots too with a big old camera bag on. In short, what he does is pretty bonkers…….just don’t ask him about that time on a ferry……or that time he got lost in Malaga when pissed and held up his flight….I won’t go on!

Jon Beckett

Katy Winton and Pete Scullion Torridon Mtb

Haha, well I just read what Jon wrote and firstly – don’t believe a word of it!

So these snaps – well it was hard to pick and there were some I couldn’t use as I sold the rights to them.

Up top is KC Deane. I love working with this guy. He’s funny as they come and is prepared to soldier on all night and day and doesn’t take it for granted. Ticino is one heck of a place and this was shot for Swiss International Air Lines and the Ascono Locarno tourism board. The best bit is it needn’t break the bank to get there. In the background you can see the Matterhorn. It’s a hill that rivals Cheviot for elevation.

Below that is Katy Winton and Pete Scullion in Torridon. There were nicer sunrise shots but I like this as it was a real twat to take! I was holding my camera on a long pole with a remote shutter attached, as I needed extra height to get the sea in. I used to to think arm pump at Fort William was bad until I had to do this with uno limb! This was just run in an article for Spoke Magazine, a great Kiwi mag and well worth checking out.


Andy Weeding is a wild man. Anyone who knows this line, knows. Whistler.

More remotes, more Canada. This time at the Coast Gravity Park. There’s nothing better than trains with your mates! Paddy loves a harness, ropes and pulleys too, so it didn’t take much persuasion for him to wear this. Ohhh er!

I love going abroad but if you get a few mates, a van and split the fuel you can have real fun, right here in the UK for a third of the cost. So that’s why I like this. It’s Skye, it’s as awesome as anywhere and with a bit of effort is accessible to any mtb rider. Kenta Gallagher is a rider we always tried to help market because of his potential but also because he has terrible craic and photo’s don’t require anyone to hear that craic! ha! Big Benji has been a mate for 15 years now and he’s just cool isn’t he? Descent-World was born in Scotland and will always try to support the scene where we can.

I total contrast to what I just wrote this is Max Broooooono in New Zealand. The Old Ghost road is incredible. There are other photos that give a better sense of scale but riding bikes is about feeling too, and sometimes you just gotta get into the manuals no matter how far from anywhere you are!

This was a sombre moment but equally very very cool. Times change. Steve shaped my youth, along with Dirt mag when it was in its prime. Part of me yearns for those days when it seemed so aspirational for me to race a World Cup. I got there but wasn’t good enough at racing to craic it. Steve made me want to get there as I’m sure he did with many other DH riders. I don’t really know Steve that well but DH is amazing and Steve has taken DH to where it is today. I really hope he plays a big part in it’s future, and I don’t see how he can’t!

Fast, I like his Dad (Along with Chris Mumford, top North East blokes) and one for the future along with a great NE crew. James Elliot, Ae Forest. Regional racing is the lifeblood of DH and the juveniles are the future.

My favourite pan of 2016. Mark Matthews, Aline, Whistler. It’s hard watching sometimes as I do miss what I used to be able to do but seeing others enjoy it is awesome.

Carrying bikes isn’t always my thing, and all this bullshit about “the journey” you see on social media sometimes wears me down. But, when you do it, it can be good. This one wasn’t. Yet strangely I have a fond memory of it. Looking out over Arnisdale while the world slept was nice. It just so happens that we had a bike there too and had the weather not turned sour Pete Scullion might have reaped the rewards of the effort.

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