These days, World Cup races can be watched live, bike reviews pop up the day after the First Look article, and there's a seemingly endless supply of "shredits" that offer varying amounts of inspiration. Mountain biking, like pretty much everything else, has changed a lot thanks to the internet. Another relatively new development: the rise of the (more) relatable everyman. While a lot of us will always look up to racers and freeriders, the last five years have seen the popularity of influencers, YouTubers, or whatever you want to call them, grow a massive amount.
Seth Alvo's YouTube channel, Berm Peak, previously known as Seth's Bike Hacks, is one of the most successful out there, and I sat down with him to chat about how he ended up on YouTube, what it’s like creating videos all the time, building his own bike park, traditional media versus YouTube, and all sorts of other things… Due to a mic failure, my audio is worse than usual. My bad!
THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 109 - BERM PEAK'S SETH ALVO ON MAKING VIDEOS 24/7, SOUL RIDES, AND BUILDING A BIKE PARK March 15th, 2022
There's more to it than a GoPro and iMovie.
Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.
If you think about all the racers and pro's they're likely all followed by the same core group of people whereas Seth (and other youtubers) probably have completely distinct fanbases that reach far beyond the core mountain bike base.
When rebranding you're always going to lose something in terms of name recognition, but it's still often worth it in the long run if the new brand is better, which "Berm Peak" definitely is. (I have no insight into their revenues, but I would bet, for example, that they're selling way more merch with "Berm Peak" on it than they did with SBH).
Shout out my guy BW for understanding that and sending him those first bikes to Florida--I was fully of the mind that it'd be as effective as every other bike product placement maneuver in history (read: not effective). Dude got it.
Really enjoyed this, it was a nice different perspective on things.
However, I will say that I have stayed at Mulberry Gap. It is an amazing place and does offer a lot of what Seth said they didn't, and much more. My only hope is that people don't discount Mulberry Gap and actually do some of their homework on the place. It is setup as a camping bed and breakfast, with some of the best food I have ever had! The people that run the place are amazing and the trails are perfect.
Thanks for the interview/podcast Pinkbike!
By return, if you enjoy YouTube car content, you may like some of these...
Bad Obsession Motorsport - Project Binky - Classic Mini with a Celica Turbo4 running gear / engine conversion, done right
The Skid Factory - couple guys in Australia that do quality conversions and explain everything along the way - good enough to get me trying an engine swap.
Mighty Car Mods - one of the big car build channels you;ve probably seen, I really enjoyed the Japan trips and Kei car content is worth looking up - surely Tom and Christina need to be sent to Japan.
The Car Trek series are a lot of fun, like old Top Gear challenges - sure this has been suggested, but would be awesome to see Pinkbike do a buy a bike from the BuySell and be sent off on a big trip with some challenges thrown in.
The Race - quality F1 content.
As an average rider (although I think Seth is pretty decent) the thought of making a career out of mountain biking seems pretty far fetched so it's cool to hear how Seth did it
I have no problem with the dude, or his channel, he offers some fantastic episodes that I enjoy, but that air of youtubers are better than athletes was not cool at all.
Also him sort of whining about 'fastfood' content of tiktok, insta, social media, etc, vs his higher end long form stuff was kind of ironic-how do you think Clay Porter, Westerlund, etc feel about pouring their heart and soul into a creative project only for a video on building ladder drop in your backyard to get more views.
At any rate, good for seth and all the youtubers, but, lets not shit on racing or performance athletes.
The new Berm Park (opens April 2022) is ironic to me: tons of us have approached our local towns for literally decades to get trails in but it took a Halfback (NY>FL>NC) to get it on the radar. Even then, Asheville (the main city) balked so it was built in nearby Canton NC: the paper mill / stinks-like-fresh-wiped-ass / Pigeon River polluting / cancer capital of the entire Blue Ridge due to the paper mill effluent.
It's well built and I'm sure I'll hit the park when it opens - its free, and the builders (Elevated Trail Design) are top notch but, damn, the stench there is unreal. It at least went in on a tract of land that was just gonna be a NASCAR training site (or similar) so that's great...but is still Canton, ugh. Maybe just wear a gas mask...
Was hoping for some PB staff Arizona road trip recordings: insults, fails, victories, food fight recordings - anything - but got Yet Another Seth His Bike Park That Asheville Lost to Canton NC - Smelliest & Most Cancer-Filled western NC Town podcast.
Not a biggie - there are worse things in the world, but man, waiting 2 weeks for a cast for a brown-out about a dude we've all heard way too much from & about was disappointing. Woulda been more interesting to just interview Robin and let him ramble about is vision for PB, Beta & Outside.