Throwback Thursday: McCaul & Semenuk’s Iconic Life Cycles Section

Dec 6, 2018
by James Smurthwaite  

Often imitated, rarely bettered, Life Cycles was the brainchild of Ryan Gibb and Derek Frankowski and set the blueprint for modern mountain bike films this decade. Five years in the making, its creators set out to do something totally unique with a mission statement that read, “this isn’t a bike movie, it’s a movie about bikes”. Within a year of its release, Pinkbike’s audience had voted Life Cycles the greatest mountain bike movie of all time and its legacy was truly set in stone.

bigquotesLife Cycles was rad! It’s like Planet Earth had sex with your favorite bike movieBrandon Semenuk

The most eye-catching scene has to be Brandon Semenuk and Cam McCaul’s cornfield section. In a film chock full of creativity, Semenuk and McCaul’s jumps are hidden as they breach the crops from seemingly nowhere. It’s a technique that was emulated in a tribute video by Martin Soderstrom and Dawid Godziek and even more recently Semenuk revisited it in his most recent RAW 100. Enjoy watching mountain bike filming history in the making.


  • + 62
 Easily my favourite bike movie ever made and the most influential to me as a filmmaker! Thanks for the inspiration.
  • + 31
  • + 11
 Favorite scenes from this movie were definitely the intro with Hopkins where the seasons are changing as he rides the trail or the end night segment for sure with Vanderham

Can you believe the whole soundtrack was made specifically for this movie too??
  • + 10
 I can't believe it... because they weren't. Flower by Moby was in the 2000 Gone in 60 Seconds movie too... and on an album.
  • + 4
 funny, the night segment is the only one I don't like too much (still my fav mtb film).
But the segment with music from Explosions in the sky, oh my, action, locations, photography, music, everything is just perfect from the first note
  • + 12
 I'd say it's still the best looking bike movie AFTER 8 LONG YEARS
  • + 10
 Bring Sally up, and bring Sally down!!
  • + 2
 *fast truck passby*
  • + 5
 Love this segment. Semenuk and McCaul should do more filming together. They’re both basically retired from competing. They both ride for the same bike company. They both are incredible riders. What’s the problem? I’m sure they could find somebody to film them. No? C’mon guys make some more edits! (When your shoulder is done healing of course Cam)
  • + 8
  • + 6
 Looks like wheat to me Smile
  • + 7
  • + 10
 thank you - only blind people or someone who has never left a city thinks this is a cornfield
  • + 2
 Wheat field!
  • + 1
 Corn - British - The chief cereal crop of a district, especially (in England) wheat or (in Scotland) oats.
‘fields of corn’

But still sounds wrong to this Sask. boy!
  • + 2
 Thank you! Zero corn in this clip, it is 100% corn free.
  • + 1
 In Danish;
Korn = Grain crops in general.
Majs = Corn. (Closer to Maize)
  • + 2
 I saw this segment at the Banff Film Festival in Saskatoon years ago and was hesitant when they said it was a mountain bike video filmed in Saskatchewan. We have some great riding locations throughout the province but was not sure what to expect. Ryan and Derek’s creativity was second to none. I could not wait to get my hands on the DVD and watch the entire movie. Still my favourite movie “about bikes”.
  • + 4
 Too much backstory, all slo-mo? Def the blueprint for the modern bike film..
  • + 1
 Life Cycles is still the first thing that comes to mind whenever anyone asks me my favorite movie. I wrote an entire essay on it for a high school film class. It's incredible how it can strike a cord for everyone who sees it, not just mountain bikers. I don't know if we'll ever get another bike movie that can be that inspirational even for people who don't know anything about bikes. Now I have to rewatch the rest of the movie soon!
  • + 4
 That insane hip boost to the moon is so gnarly, can’t remember, was that Mike Hopkins?
  • + 1
 Life Cyles will always be the best bike film ever made. Everything about the film was years ahead of its time, so much so that even 8 years on the only give away of it being an older film is the outdated bikes. Love it or hate it, Life Cycles changed bike films for ever.
  • + 3
 Really awesome. Can't help but think that it's the inspiration for the Ryan Dungey "Cornfield" video -
  • + 2
  • + 1
 Thanks, haven't seen that one before!
  • + 1
 Even the title of the video is wrong. It is a wheat field, not a hay field. Even if it was cut, it would be straw, which is still not hay.
  • + 1
 I ripped the audio from my Blu-ray and it's my go to shredding soundtrack. Nothing better than hitting the trails with Life Cycles in you ears to get the stoke up.
  • + 2
 I didn't realize the S series combine had been out that long....things you learn.
  • + 2
 We still haven't found the limit...
  • + 2
 Who's Brandon Smeneuk in quote? :-)
  • + 1
 Saskatchewan is known for it wheat!
  • + 1
 That’s my honorary Grandpa and I’ll always remember what he said.
  • + 1
 I think I saw three normal speed clips in 4:30 of footage.
  • + 1
 That invert 3 looks ridiculous
  • + 0
 Artistic beauty!
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