Movement - Video

Aug 23, 2016
by Angel Fire Bike Park  
Views: 7,605    Faves: 68    Comments: 5

AFBP: Tell us a little bit about growing up in Northern New Mexico?

Macky: I grew up in Taos, spending a lot of time outdoors because that's what kids do in Taos. Skiing, mountain biking, and playing soccer. Also, Taos is kind of this oddball community of people who "do their own thing." It's not the kind of place where people pressure their kids into being investment bankers. It's more of a "follow your passion" kind of place, whether your passion is mountain biking or building Earth Ships. I went to high school in Angel Fire so I have a lot of history there, with the bike park and the riding in the area. I would go up to the resort to ride after school -- the lifts would be closed, so it was all pedal up to go down. I did my first ever race in Angel Fire. It's been amazing to see the park grow into what it is today.

Macky Franklin images for Movement video.

Macky on Upper Chillin' at Angel Fire Bike Park

AFBP: At what point did you realize that you were going to pursue a career as a professional mountain biker?

Macky: I went to Middlebury College in Vermont and got a computer science degree. I raced pro cross country while I was in college, but I didn't think much about doing it as a career. Then my senior year when most of my friends were applying to work at places like Google and IBM, I realized that I had pretty much zero interest in spending my life programming. There's just no way I would have been happy doing that. I needed to do something different so I decided to go all in and see if I could make it work. I moved back in with my parents, did freelance web design to pay the bills and started racing and training full time. As I have been able to support myself more and more through sponsorship I've dropped the web design, but I know it's something I can always come back to if I need to. I've learned how to make things work on a very slim budget (I live in a van now), and that's really allowed me to build up a career.

AFBP: This video is about movement -- why did you decide to focus on that?

Macky: I'm a very physical person. I like to move, and I'm a better, happier person when I'm moving. If I sit behind a computer or a desk for too long, I get grumpy, I'm not my best self. I feel really lucky to have been able to have a career as a professional athlete. It's definitely the right thing for me to be doing. I get to spend a lot of time training, riding my bike, being outside -- moving. Training is a huge part of my life, but it's more than that. Racing mountain bikes, there's always room for improvement, so I feel like I'm always moving forward, growing my skill set, becoming a better rider. I always have something to work towards, so it's movement in that sense as well as the physical. I also get to travel a lot for racing, both domestically, in my van, and internationally.

Cruising down Garganta del Diablo. Photo Anthony J Milio

Training in Nevados de Chillan, Chile

AFBP: How does #vanlife play into all this?

Macky: I've had a lot of people tell me that it's easy to get stuck -- in a place, in a job, weighed down by responsibilities -- that's not what I want in life, so I'm doing my best to avoid it. Living in the van gives me a lot of freedom, both financially and physically. I can afford to follow my dreams and race bikes and travel. I've been all over the US in my van and seen how diverse this country is -- the Moab desert, mountain meadows -- it's really an amazing country. Plus, you see a lot of stars when you live in a van. The best part is that I can make my home wherever I want. And right now, what I want is to keep moving.

Macky Franklin images for Movement video.

#vanlife in Moab

MENTIONS: @mackyfranklin / @AngelFireBikePark

Posted In:


  • 18 0
 this just makes me want to go to Angel Fire right away...
  • 7 5
 You should, the trails are so much fun.
  • 3 1
 went to angelfire for the first time this summer. it was so worth it. trails there are amazing and the bike park is probably the best i have ever been to
  • 7 0
 Had the pleasure of meeting Macky at a few events this year. Quality rider, and even more of a quality guy. Thanks for letting me roll your Defcon around a bit, and hope all of your adventures continue well.
  • 8 0
 Thanks! Looking forward to hanging out at some more events soon!
  • 6 0
 while these van life expo's are awesome and inspiring and all that i'd really love to know more of the logistics of how people actually make it work. How do you make money? How do you pay for health insurance which in the US is basically mandatory considering the shortest hospital stay can put you in debt for a decade. Is it all just telecommuting with laptops and working real work schedules just from the back of a van? I feel like if you aren't lucky enough to score a job at a company that lets you telecommute, and you aren't sitting on piles of gold coins, this is just a pipe dream.
  • 20 0
 Hey @IsaacO thanks for the question. I'm Macky's girlfriend and we live out of this van together. Money is a combo of freelance jobs (web design for macky, content/marketing/blogging for me) and sponsorship contracts for racing and media (like this video). We don't make much, but we make enough, especially since our cost of living is very low. Our van is the budget edition of #vanlife (it cost us $1400) and we're pretty frugal otherwise. We are very lucky in many ways (supportive families, friends that let us use their laundry/kitchens, not having to pay for bike parts, etc.) but no piles of gold coins, sadly :p It's easy to glamorize living in a van but in reality there is a lot of sacrifice and inconvenience involved. It's worth it for us, but that doesn't mean it's everyone's dream. Smile
  • 4 0
 @sydridesbikes: thanks for the reply! It's definitely awesome and I've crunched the numbers on it myself trying to see if I can make it work. It definitely doesn't seem easy especially if your profession requires anything outside a laptop . There's ways to do it and I def commend you guys for making it work. I e just always wondered how and if the average joe can achieve the same lifestyle. Keep on keepin on
  • 4 0
 This video basically sums up why I love riding. Macky seems so cool, he makes me wish I was at Angel Fire right now, not having to wait till gravity games. My shock on the dh bike broke yesterday and I don't have time to get a new one, and the only other bike I have is a hardtail which won't do at the bike park haha! I realized that I love riding not because of the bike I hhave but because riding is the most fun thing imaginable
  • 3 0
 That's a good realization to have!!!! Sorry to hear about your shock. Get it fixed up quick and get back out there!
  • 3 0
 So awesome that you are living the lifestyle you want to and making it work! I'm sure there are some sacrifices but from where I'm sitting (in front of a computer all day, programming) it's gotta be worth it. And yes, can't wait to get back down to Angel Fire again next month!
  • 1 0
 Hope to see you out there!
  • 5 0
 Never watched a video before that describes the feeling of "needing" to ride like this! You're a badass Macky!
  • 4 0
 Amen. Wish I'd discovered MTB a little earlier in life and had a lot more talent, I think I coulda dug the van life. Guess programming will have to do, though. Smile
  • 2 0
 That does look like a cherry life but there are perks us home dwellers take for granted such as porcelain toilets/ dishwashers/ showers/ and king size beds. Nevertheless... I bet Macky and his lady have seen some pretty amazing countryside in that shaggin wagon.
  • 1 0
 We have, but I'll admit that there are times (esp. when everything is wet and it won't stop raining) when having a solid roof over our heads sounds pretty nice!
  • 2 0
 Now that's living right there ! I finally got a 4day work week and it only took 20yrs! lol! now I'm goin for 3day work week and its gona be on! traveling ,mtn biken,campn, racen,snowboarding,traveling for the past 20yrs and its about to get a lot easier!
  • 1 0
 Right on! Enjoy!!!
  • 2 0
 Macky! Nice vid dude! This is the same message I'm sharing with my clients daily, so it's great to see a hi-performing mtb/ enduro pro talking about the importance of movement and training and how important it is to mountain biking and more importantly, life!
Kuddo's... oh and nice work in steamboat last weekend It was good for me knowing I won stage 3 and was only 4 secs behind you Smile -
  • 5 0
 Uncle Rico must've just walked out of the picture on that last photo. ;-)
  • 4 0
 Love the bike park at Angel Fire, the people, the trail crew are all awesome!
  • 3 0
 Living on the road for years climbing....as you get older it's nice to to have a place to call home as well. Do it while you can mate!
  • 2 3
 We get older and we forget. People, they stop doing the things that they love. And for some people, it could be surfing. For some people, it could be traveling. For me, it's gettin' high and listen' to freakin' Slayer. - Hank
  • 2 0
 no kids huh...im jealous my friends.kids are awesome though
  • 3 0
 Sweet Video Macky!
  • 2 0
 That park looks fun as hell.
  • 2 0
 Great video!
  • 2 2
 Must be nice...

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