Jo Burt is the creative genius behind Mint Sauce, a cartoon that has reached cult status in the Mountain Bike world. It’s nearly 30 years since he first began drawing the cycling sheep, and in this video we see him reminiscing about his career as an illustrator, and hear about his preparation for one of the toughest cycling events in the world: the transcontinental.
To some, Mint Sauce might be unfamiliar but for those who grew up riding rigid mountain bikes in neon kit, Mint Sauce was the highlight of every month, hidden within the depths of MBUK.Jo can also be found in our Fabric adverts, he's sneaking into your homes without you knowing, here he is modelling the Fabric Chamber tool on location in Portugal.
“By the time I was sixteen (25 years ago) I was obsessed with two things.. Riding my bike and receiving my monthly subscription of Mountain Biking UK Magazine. This was before the internet when magazines were the only source of information, and images relating to the pastime I loved. I knew the exact day that the magazine should arrive and eagerly awaited it in the weeks prior to it being eventually delivered. Unwrapping it from its plastic wrapper, the first page I’d flick to was the cartoon Mint Sauce. It struck a chord with me, and my riding friends, and looking at this film and the terrain where the artist Jo Burt lives I can now see why. The south downs where he lives, are very similar in the look and feel of its landscape, weather, and vegetation to the Salisbury Plain where I grew up exploring and honing my limited MTB skills. The bicycle problems and joys and challenges that Mint Sauce encountered seemed to be weirdly parallel to my own. The style of the artwork, the song lyrics embedded in the borders, everything just seemed perfect and it never wore off. If I look back it actually influenced the way I write, the way I sketch, my bikes, quite a lot really. This is a fascinating video.” - Nick Larsen, Fabric
For now, he can be seen pounding the roads around SE England in preparation for the Transcontinental 2017
, a non-assisted bicycle race from Geraardsbergen, Belgium and finishes in Meteora, Greece.
We hope this is a great insight into a great, British mountain bike icon and we'd love to see Mint Sauce grow with a whole new generation. His values and keen eye for just getting out and riding rings true with many of us.
Many thanks to Jo Burt for letting Alex Rankin invade his home and many thanks also for all your help in all the shoots. If you want to know what goes into drawing Mint Sauce, here's a great vid
covering it all from start to finish.