Monkey Style II - Bike Magic

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Books and DVDs

Monkey Style II

Here’s something a bit different from the usual mega-cliff-drop/50ft doubles/Ewok village freeride flick fare. Monkey Style II’s 35 minutes features roughly 15 seconds in which full-suspension bikes feature and maybe a minute of dirt. The rest of it is hardtails, street and skateparks.

It’s of Canadian origin, so there’s a lot of Vancouver in it. Other cities and countries get a look in, although to be honest the sort of areas that street riders congregate in – subway steps, fountains, banks with wire-mesh fences on them – look pretty much the same the world over. Most of the riders are Canadian too, and chances are you won’t have heard of most of them. Trials ace Ryan Leech is the closest thing to a household name in there, but that’s not to say that these guys (and girls) can’t ride…

There’s some ridiculously good riding in here, including epic wall-rides, loads of that endless-manual-across-everything stuff that makes us feel deeply incompetent, scary step-jumps, grinds and all sorts of other stuff. There’s so much riding backwards out of things that fakie is clearly the new forwards, and this being largely on concrete the crashes really make you wince.

The production’s got a slightly rough-and-ready feel (although that’s entirely appropriate given the subject matter) but there’s some great camera work, nifty editing and even a fairly varied soundtrack. The DVD edition doesn’t have anything on it except the main feature so it’s perhaps not great value. It’s very watchable, though, and you will find yourself tempted to slap a bashguard on your bike and go and hurt yourself in a car park…

Positives: Refreshing change from big bikes and big drops, some very good riding.

Negatives: No DVD extras, slightly rough round the edges

Verdict: The paradox of Monkey Style II is that you look at the settings and think, yeah, I could do that. And then you see the riding and burn your bike. Great fun, makes you want to try new things.


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