Hurly Burly – now that’s a phrase I haven’t heard since we used to play British Bulldog at school lunch.
In a way, my associations with that phrase sum up exactly what World Cup DH is. It’s a minefield of excitement, rivalry, athleticism and right now, a melting pot of different “factions” if you will – all of which makes it hugely alluring to any discerning mtb fan.
As a background, I consider myself a bit of a geek when it comes to World Cup DH. Believe it or not, I have a photographic memory (Just ask me about various trees and bits of ground on race tracks…) – yet absorbing information is so much harder via screen than it ever was on print. We don’t need to absorb information but how much better would it be if everyone knew who Nathan Rennie was? Or Tomi Misser? Paul Plunkett anyone? Information and knowledge shapes how we perceive a sport.
Printed mtb books are, to me, what bibles are to the most devout Catholic. My reference points, my inspiration. And when I’m sitting in bed in twenty years time, Hurly Burly will be on the bed side table, and it won’t just be a stand for my blood pressure pills and fisherman friends.
So just what makes this book so special?
Wow. It might not be Nevegal, VDS or Are but this shot could become an all time classic.
It would be easy to get nostalgic about it but that’s flipping what Hurly Burly represents on its head – it represents the future, not the past. Yes, there is a future in print. I said it in my interview for Shredder magazine and I’ll say it again here.
Images from Sven Martin, Duncan Phillpot and the truly outstanding yet under the radar Seb Scheik give the book its vibrance and words from a host of contributors – many of whom seemed free from shackles in their writing – give it a soul.
Steve Jones’ section in particular was wonderful, and Alan Milway, Chris Ball and Chris Kilmurray and Victor Lucas wrote words that I both devoured and yet savoured – such is the magnificence of 260gsm over 72 dpi.
Danny Hart by Sven Martin.
You see, finding any worth while commentary on World Cup DH these days is hard – people simply don’t read things on the internet – yet Hurly Burly brings a relevance to the thinking journalists of mtb. In turn, it brings a fresh – so old its new – perspective to racing at the highest level which is exactly what some of us have been craving for.
Raw clips, sound bites – amazing in their own way but sport is so much more than a throwaway fad.
I’ve written this without pause – it might not be concise but I hope it reflects my slightly overwhelming love to see our beautiful sport recorded in a way that it deserves.
Note: Two images taken from James Mcknight Facebook as I left my book in the book case at home and I’m on the road.