Athlete Profile: Chris Akrigg

Jun 4, 2015
by Danielle Baker  


CHRIS AKRIGG



null

bigquotes I'm not a big hero person. Just people who do the thing they love, how they love to do it, are heroes to me.

A self-described introvert-extrovert, Chris Akrigg spends his off-bike time putting his feet up and drinking tea. His interview responses come across as vague and non-committal, “I really don't have a favourite terrain, or if I do it changes from week to week or even day to day, I think it's just more about what sort of mood I'm in,” but perhaps it’s because truth is, there simply isn’t much that Chris can’t ride. When you have skills that allow you to ride everything from seemingly unconnected massive boulders to downhill tracks on a road bike and still communicate flow and ease, there really isn’t any point in playing favourites.

null
“It’s funny really, I spent over ten years on pretty much the same bike when I was riding trials comps,” – as one of the world’s leading trials riders, Chris is a six-time British Trials Champion, “then when I started playing about on other bikes the flood gates sort of opened!” He now has a fleet of bikes from Mongoose including, a "full DH bike to a 16'' BMX and everything in-between.” He also owns four motorbikes.

bigquotesMy favourite is probably the Teocali; it's a real good all rounder and I can pretty much ride anything on that machine! But I also love my trials bike - it's too hard to choose.

Chris was brought up around motorbikes, thanks to his Dad who is a motorcycle trials rider, “I guess it was pretty inevitable that I would just pick up a bike and start riding.” With what he has accomplished in his career thus far, most point to natural talent or super-human skills, but Chris, again, is humbly unwilling to commit a judgement here, “People have said that I have a good natural ability but I don't know if that’s what it is. Maybe I do, but I also know how much time I've spent on my bike, maybe it’s just a bit of both.”

Whether it is natural talent or hours, days and years spent perfecting his abilities, Chris makes the seemingly impossible look amazingly easy in his videos. “I put a lot of effort into making stuff look silky smooth,” but he says, “a lot of the time when you see my riding it’s in videos so the stuff that goes into them is normally something I’ve tried a couple of times and have it down. Or maybe it’s just magic.”


null

Chris has been producing his own videos for some time now and says it gives his “riding career a purpose.” He has had an interest in photography and filming for as long as he has been riding, “I always used to film everything anyway, so it was a natural progression.” He goes on to explain, “I just love the process, from finding the locations to riding them to finding camera angles, and then putting it all together in an edit.”

His strong ability allows him to have an extra creative edge with his riding and filming, he is able to see the possibility in things that other riders may not, “I like to think I can have fun or find something interesting from anything, as small as a 4” curb to a massive mountain.” Having others scout for him can be a challenge, “they ask ‘what sort of stuff are you looking for?’ And I just say, ‘I don’t know but I’ll know it when I see it.’”

null

As hard as it is for Chris to pinpoint a favourite bike, landscape, or tipping point in his transition into filming, he also does not recall favourite highlights of travel, “I can’t really single one trip out.” But he says, “I did used to love going out to Europe to compete in the World Champs Trials back in the day.” With a month on the road at a time, he says they would be “competing at the weekends then traveling to the next venue through the week, stopping at cool places to chill and ride along the way. Good times!”

Not someone who excelled in the classroom, Chris credits riding bikes with teaching him what he needs to know, “what I have learned from riding related stuff is amazing!” And he has his career in bikes to thank for “the amount of cool people that I’ve met along the way, the people who have inspired me and changed my life’s trajectory in a combination of different ways.”

“I wouldn’t ride for a company that was barking orders at me all the time, I think that would just ruin it for me,” says Chris in appreciation of his longstanding sponsorship with Mongoose. “We have a really good relationship, this helps me just get on with stuff.” Along with Mongoose Bikes, Chris is also sponsored by, Shimano, Fox Shox, Lazer, Pro, Royal, Fabric, FiveTen, Maxxis, and Oakley. “I still can’t believe I do what I do for a living, so thanks to the people who make that possible, and that would be my sponsors – cheers sponsor people!”

null

bigquotesThis year I plan to stay safe and make some cool videos. I'm feeling pretty good this year so expect some Akriggness!


MENTIONS: @mongoosebikes / @shimano / @foxracingshox / @Royal-Racing / @Maxxis / @LazerSport / @Fabric





65 Comments

  • 101 0
 A few years ago I watched "A Hill In Spain" and I was hooked. "Five" took it to another level. I look forward to his videos, superhuman riding & highly entertaining editing. I hope his sponsors are taking good care of him because he's doing a fine job.

Keep it up and stay safe Chris, you're an inspiration.
  • 19 0
 Love 'five', had completely forgotten about 'a hill in Spain'. I'm supposed to working but sod it, time to watch some Chris Akrigg.
  • 12 0
 I was hooked on "through the mill".hes amazing
  • 6 2
 i love his nips
  • 7 0
 I go back and watch 'A Hill in Spain' every once in a while...never gets old, a classic edit.
  • 3 0
 f*cking awesome guy, really humble yet so talented on (any) bike

props to Chris, and best wishes for the future. Happy trails!
  • 1 0
 An oldy but check Chris out in Earthed 4 (from Dirt mag). Even back then (2006 ish) his riding was amazing!
  • 2 0
 Actually Earthed 3... Had to bust it out and watch it again!
  • 2 0
 Such a humble and skilled rider. Inspiration to everyone...
  • 57 1
 Best all round rider in the World. He even won a BDS at Llangollen on the full woods track, top to bottom. On his Trail Bike!
  • 6 0
 That really says something! That track is beastly!!
  • 2 0
 that is one crazy DH track to be doing on a trail bike. sick!
  • 2 0
 i was waiting for someone to make it. thats ridiculous.
  • 3 8
flag JethroButlerRacing (Jun 4, 2015 at 21:41) (Below Threshold)
 BESIDES JARED GRAVES MAYBE.....
  • 32 0
 I think Chris is the rider everyone else wishes they could be! The fact that he can shred on pretty much any bike and be able to make it look easy shows how good he is. His videos are next level, my only complaint is that I wish he would do them more often!
  • 12 0
 Even though everyone has massive props for Chris, he's still one of the most under rated riders in the world. Love that he is happy with his just his bike, cuppa and pint.

Also, I thought Yorkshire Tea was one of his sponsors too?...
  • 14 1
 It's a shame that this otherwise great article, about a national treasure like Chris, is plagued by such basic grammatical errors! Come on Pinkbike! Who's supposed to check this shit?
  • 15 3
 Its really annoying when people get there gramer wrong.
  • 2 0
 if its chris akrigg, its all good. everyone else should be checking their gremmar, haha!
  • 4 0
 I can't grammar good!
  • 3 0
 What is this, a spelling be?
  • 4 3
 bee
  • 11 0
 Keep those vids comin'. The expression of versatility & gnar in CA's riding is pretty tough to match. To me, he pretty much epitomizes what these bikes we ride should be all about.
  • 7 0
 I grew up not far from where he's from and my first proper bike (a mongoose fireball) came from Aire Valley Cycles in Keighley where he used to work. Been a fan of his for as long as I can remember. Not only is he an incredible rider but he's also a Yorkshireman, what could be better?
  • 3 0
 +1 for you user name. Faster Disco is amazing.
  • 5 0
 I remember getting the train to Keighley from Leeds to meet Chris at Air Valley Cycles after he featured MBUK. It was his day off. School boy error (literally). Those were the days... What ever happened to the Tongue brothers and Martin Hawes?
  • 3 0
 Pod fans seem to be few and far between. I'm all about Surrounded by Idiots!
  • 6 1
 “People have said that I have a good natural ability but I don't know if that’s what it is. Maybe I do, but I also know how much time I've spent on my bike, maybe it’s just a bit of both.” -CA

^Amen to that. Nothing more insulting than having someone imply that one's hard earned skills are innate, rather than the product of blood, sweat, and persistence. Every progressive rider among us knows the time and effort invested. Chris is better than the lot of us because he's practiced harder, longer, and better than us. We each choose the rider we are becoming every time we get on the bike.
  • 4 0
 I think your argument is a good way for people with no natural ability to feel better about themselves. The premise that anyone could achieve greatness with enough practice is simply not true. Chris himself once told me "You are what you repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an art but a habit". Well he may believe that, but I've seen the way he rides first hand and I know you cannot coach that. His commitment and outright balls to try some stuff that is so close to the edge are just something else. He always backs himself and while that self belief has a strong root in the practice he has put in, that's not all it is.
  • 1 0
 Not sure Chris can take credit for that quote Wink
  • 1 0
 I know it's not his, but he is the one who said it to me, and I don't know who originally said it. Perhaps it will be remembered as his though, just as Keith Bontrager is always credited with "light, strong, cheap, choose two" even though people were saying that before he was born!
  • 2 0
 I agree that it is a combination of natural ability and practice. I have a few friends that are naturally good on a bicycle. It doesn't matter how long they've been off they bike. When they ride, they're just better than almost everybody in the group. I think that is who guys like Chris Akrigg and Danny Macaskill would be without practice. It is the combination of the natural talent, love of the sport, and dedication to improvement that makes them great.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely right. All the pros train their arses off, but some are still better than others.
  • 1 0
 Fair points, all. I would only point out that any two people practicing the same skill for an equal amount of time will not arrive at success at the same time- which you'd see as evidence that one was more naturally gifted. But one may be practicing in a more effective way, or approaching said practice with a different mentality or level of motivation. As we know, practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. A rider learning a skill in half the time may not have more natural talent, but better instruction or a more logical approach vs trial and error.
  • 4 0
 Doesn't get better than an Akrigg edit, can't wait to see what is to come!!!!
  • 5 0
 Him and danny macaskill should have a dance off
  • 5 1
 Is there anybody who would buy Mongoose without Chris and his edits?
  • 7 1
 I have Mongoose. Some of the best bikes ever. Would buy a new one but they don't just make DH bikes anymore.
  • 2 0
 I used to have a Pinn'r and a Khyber Super... great bikes. To be honest, C Akrigg had a huge amount of influence while buying. I guess we all wonder that a bike can make us ride better... a little more like him. And that's why companies have sponsorhips. Good for them and good for the athletes.

It is also good to know that there is still people who make things easy. Those who achieve to make things flow. C Akrigg is one of those few ones.

Cheers,
Beer
  • 2 0
 Currently riding a 2009 Boot'r.... It's a dope set up
  • 2 0
 I concur.
  • 3 0
 Enneagram, #7. Look it up.

Also, "a hill in Spain" might be my favorite riding edit, ever.
  • 3 0
 Awesome interview with a great rider! Looking forward seeing the videos he's going to drop this year Big Grin
  • 4 1
 "I'm not a big hero person. Just people who do the thing they love, how they love to do it, are heroes to me." !
  • 2 0
 Such a mad dude, he ride ride any bike on any terrain
  • 2 0
 Hope you get your trials bike back Chris. Looking forward to that edit.
  • 1 0
 Chris is a pioneer in mountain biking! Such a great inspiration to whoever wants to sharpen their bike skills.
  • 1 0
 i bought teocali because of this guy hahaha.. his videos always bring smiles..so, can't wait for new video..
  • 1 0
 Chris Akrigg is the reason I bought a Mongoose Khyber Elite as my first legit mountain bike. He still inspires me today!
  • 1 0
 I want to see pics of his garage!
  • 1 0
 who would have ever thought a mongoose could be capeable of that
  • 1 0
 Chris Akrigg= BOSS!
  • 12 12
 Akrigg > MacAskill!!!
  • 10 0
 Danny might do more technical and bigger stuff, but I find Chris videos to be more entertaining. You can see how much Chris loves to ride by looking at his face in the videos (especially during the commuter drifting in five :'D ). Also humor is nice in Chris videos.

Can't wait to see more from you Chris Akrigg!
  • 32 0
 Why do you have to compare the two, both are fantastic, with their own unique design on what riding a bike can be.
  • 2 1
 You don't have to. Just a comment I find their riding to differ. And personally I prefer Akriggs videos. Still doesn't mean that I wouldn't like Dannys riding... I agree with you that both are fantastic riders!
  • 2 0
 I understand, was more a comment to Skootur....
  • 8 1
 Apples and oranges. Can't really compare them and there's no need to. Both are super skilled and amazing riders. I'm always stoked whenever one of them drops a new edit.
  • 3 1
 How about an edit featuring both Chris and Danny. Now that would be honestly an edit which could be introduced with words "Ladies and gentlemen, what you're about to see is truly an epic film. Please hold on to your hats and remember to wipe your tears carefully" without it being overstatement at all.
  • 3 0
 They are (probably) both gonna be in Fort William at the weekend. Seen them both there the past few years. Danny always had a crowd of kids round him wanting stuff signed. Chris on the other hand just seemed like another face in the crowd, no-one seemed to notice or recognise him which I found really strange considering the popularity of his videos.
  • 12 0
 Road Bike Party 2
  • 2 0
 Damn I'm stupid... Forgot that video totally.
  • 6 0
 What makes Akrigg's videos so much more entertaining for me is that (a) he rides a lot of different bikes, which is awesome (b) he makes his own videos, so his personality really comes out. Akrigg's videos are really focused on the riding and the rider's personality. I think Danny's videos are plagued by all the things I roll my eyes at in mtb videos: moody B-roll shots, trying hard to have a deep message/plot, long intros, etc. Danny's videos can be like film projects + bikes. Danny is a sick rider, but I like him better in videos like Road Bike Party where it's just fun. Epecuen almost put me to sleep.

Whatever. They're both awesome. I just think Akrigg is more fun. Plus Danny has yet to make a cyclocross video, and I really want to see that.
  • 1 1
 I agree about the yawn factor of Epecuen. I hate long intros too. One thing I believe, and I hope Chris is reading this, is that he can "do a Statham" and make it into mainstream TV or movies when his riding career is over. He's got a great screen presence and his personality comes across well in his videos. He's also got the balls for big moves that are so loved by Hollywood. Has he got an agent yet does anyone know?

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.014823
Mobile Version of Website