Video: Dan Atherton - Escape. Create.

Dec 5, 2014
by Red Bull Bike  


It was no longer enough just having dirt jumps in the backyard, I really wanted a blank canvas, an endless mountain range to build downhill tracks for Gee and Rach. And suddenly it was there.” Dan Atherton.

Focusing on the creative genius of Dan and how his drive and determination to build has helped push and inspire his brother and sister to become Downhill World Champions, “Escape. Create.” gives a unique insight into the mind of one of the most creative course designers and builders in Downhill Mountain Biking.

Through interviews with his Mum, Gee and Rach and amazing riding scenes set at some of his most incredible creations, the film explores how from an early age Dan was fascinated by digging and building and how this developed into a desire to build some of the most challenging downhill trails ever seen.

The film hears how Dan’s move to the Dyfi Forest in Mid Wales earlier this year got his creative juices flowing and inspired him to push Downhill Mountain Bike trails to a new level. Speaking of his move, Dan Atherton, said: “It was no longer enough just having dirt jumps in the backyard, I really wanted a blank canvas, an endless mountain range to build downhill tracks for Gee and Rach. And suddenly it was there.”

Dan’s brother and current UCI Downhill World Champion, Gee Atherton, said: "Dan is one of the most inspiring people in mountain biking. His vision and determination to create has produced trails I could only ever have dreamt of riding and I know that if it wasn’t for him encouraging me to do new things and push my riding, I wouldn’t be where I am today”.

Dan’s Sister, 2013 UCI Downhill World Cup and World Champion, Rachel Atherton, said: “Dan is so focused on building better trails and pushing the limits it's inspiring. The possibilities where he now lives in Mid Wales are endless, it’s such an opportunity for all of us to keep bettering ourselves and I can’t wait to see what he builds next.



Dan Atherton will be answering your questions about Escape. Create. LIVE today on Pinkbike.

10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST, 6:00 PM BST.

Dan Atherton: Ask Me Anything

Dan Atherton

For more Red Bull related content visit redbull.com/bike


Mentions: @GTBicycles




117 Comments

  • + 65
 Affy my boy can you give me your divine insight as to what would win in a fight between a shark and a bear, in space? cheers man

P.S Hardline was the kick up the arse the world cup circuit (and sport in general) needed, congrats for pushing it in the right direction and thanks for all the hard work Salute
  • + 6
 Given that both would need a space helmet to breathe the sharks bite would be rendered useless.Even if it managed a bite the glass would be broken causing it to die, which is wouldn't exactly describe as winning... I therefore vote
  • + 3
 I got 5 on the shark!
  • + 32
 Awesome! Dan Atherton = hero! In my personal opinion he is one of the most inspiring people on this planet. He is by far the one rider who inspires me more than any other to push harder to achieve my goals, be it on a bike or in life. Massive respect Dan!
  • + 11
 Redbull needs to step up and complete the set and hook this guy up with a Redbull lid as a digger/rider/innovator!
  • + 4
 Yeah, buying a mountain to build whatever you want... so cool. I cannot get over how gnarly Hardline trail is. Those were some of the most epic shots/riding and Rachel was flying through that greasy rockfest. Easily the coolest family. Maybe he should build a WC trail there... Wink
  • + 27
 loads of respect for dan atherton
  • + 24
 This man should have a Red Bull lid. This was the best thing I've seen since I Won't Back Down. Incredible riding, building and filming. The drone and Stabiliser work in this makes me want to sell my car and but camera gear.
  • + 11
 The track is absolutely incredible.... Dan is truly one of the most creative trail builders out there, massive respect to come back from such a big injury and make stuff like this!
  • + 10
 Great film!! That track deserves a national race at least, world cup would be even better. They should build an Atherton bike park on that hillside so we can all go and ride Dans tracks (probably without the massive hucks)
  • + 7
 SO much respect to Dan! For all he has done for our sport! hope this inspires trailbuilders around the world to start creating masterpieces. As a trailbulider I get what he was saying about loosing yourself in the build. I find moments of clarity all the time while digging in the muck. Also, UCI.... Take note on how a DH trail should look!
  • + 11
 If only it was that simple. Land management in the uk is pretty archaic and getting permission is hard. Wales is far more interested. England is only bothered about horsey folks and grouse shooting.
  • + 1
 @aidy I was wondering about the Wales situation with those first dh tracks in the woods. Are land owners pretty open to trail building in Wales as that's one thing that puts me off in my area, Yorkshire, as they already seem fairly intolerant of mtbers.
  • + 1
 They are pretty tolerant. More so if you go and ask them first. So long as the land isn't useable for farming or livestock. Most farmers in that area of Wales have motorbikes or quads so bikes arent doing half the damage
  • + 6
 Hey Dan,
I have some DJs in my yard and cant wait to build more! I am just wondering. Do you have any tips for planning/lines. How can I make the most of my space and still not run out of lines? How did you start?
Thanks,
-Ethan
  • + 7
 One of the most inspirational films I've ever watched. Especially loved his encouraging ambition quotes at the end. His passion AND effort for the sport of mountain biking is unmatched.
  • + 8
 Amazing video. P.s. Redbull learn from PinkBike and make a proper video player! THAT IS ALL!!!
  • + 9
 Come on Red Bull... Sponsor Dan as well as Gee & Rach!
  • + 2
 he is on the redbull athelete list.
  • + 4
 Missed out on the Q&A because, ironically, I was working on our trails.

You wouldn't think he broke his neck several years back by the way he charges. A legend on many levels!
  • + 5
 "There's never been someone like you before and there will never be again, so don't do it like someone else, just go your own way and don't doubt yourself"
  • + 8
 inspiring
  • + 3
 I second that, truly inspiring. Thank you Athertons, thank you Red Bull.
  • + 2
 Such a good video, has definitely fired me up for more winter digging. Hardline is one of the best things I have ever seen, and would love to see the world cups go in that direction, big respect! Also i really miss the dyfi forest, mid Wales is like paradise, fuck all people and those who are there are nice and friendly and loads of awesome riding.
  • + 6
 Cheers Dan, that was sick. Inspirational stuff
  • + 3
 Amazing video. Not everyone will appreciate the beauty of the tracks that Dan's made over the years. True inspiration. On another note, you need to replace your rear right side brake light.
  • + 6
 DAN is a LEGEND Master Builder !!.. hats off to him
  • + 2
 And as far from a "one-trick-pony" as they get. I hope bike-parks worldwide recruit him for at least consultation work.
  • + 4
 I admire dans determination and passion for the sport. Always trying to push himself where he can!
  • + 1
 "There is no right or wrong decision about what way to go, as long as you're 100% committed... Theres never being someone like you before. There never will be again, don't do it like someone else, do it your own way and don't doubt yourself."

That has to be one of the most poignant things I've ever heard.
  • + 0
 Dan Atherton is by far the best rider and digger/designer in the world at doing what he does has so much style in everything he does, cant wait to see what he does next if this is his beginning, where's Redbull he should have been part of them years ago
  • + 2
 talk about havin an amazing big bro always lookin out for ya and buildin you tracks! that is good stuff. i kept thinkin gee was gonna run into orcs on that hardline track
  • + 0
 Id like to know who owns the mountain the hard track was built on? Is the trail there permanetly and open for public use? Is there no bureaucratic red tape over there that had to be overcome? Here in the states it sucks. The overreaching Bureau of Land Management, put in charge of the lands stolen from the Native Americans less than 150 years ago, is not open to new trail building in terms of great elevation descents even on perfectly scouted ridgelines that are both maintainable and shuttleable. I too share in the escape that comes from trailbuilding, the loss of worry about all lifes stresses when your out in the forest sculpting a new track that is going to challenge you and others like nothing you have ever had come across before. However the day the man with a gun on hip catches you hard at work all is lost and you are labeled a criminal. Your tools and your gopro are confiscated. Flash forward 6 months and its either the choice of prosecution or rehabilitation of the deamed illegally built trail. The easy way out is the later, the destruction of 380 man hours of work that was your pride and joy and meant to be a legacy for all those who share your passion in the future. Oh how I envy those who can build a track for themselves and others without the worries that exist in the world today. Sorry for the rant, but this video is so inspiring, even to those who cant find the avenue to do the same. Much respect to you and your family. Dont ever stop doing what you love.
  • + 3
 What an inspiration, the at atherton family are just a true idea of bitish ability and I'm behind them all the way
  • + 1
 Will forever love the..Athertons!!!! If this was a live 24hr show...... I would watch for the rest of my life! So much inspiration an motivation!
  • + 1
 Intense track... Not sure if it will ever happen, but the UCI needs this track on the circuit. Changes everything. Great job.
  • + 3
 Great video - good to see something on the unsung hero
  • + 2
 Do you think your GT Sanction is just as capable on these gnarly steep DH tracks you build as the Fury? Sick movie man!!
  • + 1
 Inspirational is an understament. What an amazing film for an amazing and considret person.
  • + 3
 Props
  • + 2
 makes me wanna dig my local trails tomorrow!!!
  • + 1
 Not much else to say that people haven't already said. Killer movie about and awesome dude creating some awesome trails.
  • + 1
 If World Cup DH wants its mojo back they need people like affy to be building and creating.
  • + 0
 Great video! The Shot List----awesome dialog- drink and show redbull can--during dialog pan up to show redbull logo on beanie, lol just so noticeable.
  • + 1
 Amazing Dirt Jumps and unbelevable DH track, I need to make more time for digging again. So inspiring Dan.
  • + 1
 Dan is so nice he didn;t even spade slice a worm in two making this track...
  • + 0
 Says something when riders say they can relax when it comes to world cups because the tracks are so easy. It's meant to be the elite level, things should not be easy.
  • + 1
 i would not ride this track..I would hike it though. Super awesome track.. thank you Dan and team, you are all awesome.
  • + 2
 If Carlsberg made Brothers
  • + 1
 That was amazing! Really want to grab my shovel and head off into the woods now and get building. Big Grin
  • + 2
 The man deserves a permanent Redbull lid!!
  • + 0
 Wonderful film work, incredible building, killer riding, and wildly inspirational. Dan Atherton just changed from an amazing rider and builder to a legend in my book.
  • + 0
 All that land to build on, endless possibilities and that house away from the stinking urban herd .fairplay dan the man.JAMMY CUNT
  • + 2
 I was waiting for the film to show a track in Crete he had built :-P
  • + 1
 Just..too..Gooooood!!!...Hard to believe what some people are capable of doing. Thanks for being such an inspiring FAMILY!!!
  • + 1
 To quote Mike Lowrey, "NOW THAT'S HOW YOU SUPPOSED TO BUILD A DOWNHILL TRACK"!
  • + 2
 Where is the full hard line race!? Come on now.
  • + 1
 Let the "you know" counter begin
  • - 1
 The 'like' counter was blown apart whenever Dan spoke
  • + 1
 Who was the first to take a rip on that course and clean it all?
  • + 1
 is it me or do they need to do a yard jam competition ?
  • + 1
 I wanna ride the yard so bad
  • + 2
 That road gap is huge!
  • + 1
 Dan that was sweet !! Keep it coming !!!
  • + 1
 makes me wanna build more trails over here on the mountain!
  • + 1
 Song in Rachel's segment?
  • + 1
 Nice vid, thank dan and redbull for this!

Anyone knows the song names?
  • + 1
 There is Gnar. And then there is Atherton Gnar.
  • + 1
 mad respect dan. serious talent for days. good on you keep it real!
  • + 1
 I hope those sheep don't wander up on to the lander.
  • + 2
 amazing
  • + 2
 dan the man
  • + 1
 sponsered by mercedes vito sport... broken brakesign... (9:40)
  • + 1
 ace! perfect digging, perfect riding, perfect filming/editing, ace video!
  • + 1
 Best uni work break!! need more like this so i dont have to work so much!!
  • + 1
 Dan's such a grounded guy massive respect for him
  • + 2
 What a Brother..
  • + 1
 Exactly, HE is the definition of brother!!!!!!
  • + 1
 that was awesome, really inspiring and great riding as well
  • + 2
 Decent guySmile
  • + 1
 Dan,

Let me know if you need one hand more next time... Wink
  • + 1
 moved on a bit from launcherly and street hill, lol, good on you dan
  • + 2
 wow
  • + 1
 Integrity and strength. Dan is the man.
  • + 2
 Amazing!!
  • + 2
 Bravo.
  • + 2
 epic edit imho
  • + 2
 such an inspiration
  • + 2
 Goerge
  • + 1
 Great work Dan ! Very inspiring. Thank you.
  • + 2
 Brilliant.
  • + 2
 Speechless
  • + 1
 Awesome! Dan Atherton = hero!
  • + 2
 fantastic!
  • + 2
 great family!! Big Grin
  • + 1
 Man Dan can build!i would love to be a member of his build crew
  • + 1
 Awesome film .Such an inspirational guy .
  • + 1
 That trail needs a world cup on it.
  • + 1
 MOST INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO ON PINKBIKE!
  • + 2
 Epic......
  • + 1
 sickest thing my eyes have met recently
  • - 1
 Great vid. Atherton's are great riders. Wonder if any one will ever sponsor them? I appreciate how they are going it alone…Hmmmmmm.
  • + 1
 That was fantastic.
  • + 1
 who's George?
  • + 9
 Gee Atherton
  • - 4
flag enduroFactory (Dec 6, 2014 at 15:01) (Below Threshold)
 Think George is Dan, only his mum calls him that from what I'm told.
  • + 5
 George is George (gee) dan is dan (Daniel). im sure their mum calls them george and Daniel, cos that happens to be their names....
  • + 1
 Don't you mean
George is Gee (Gee)
Dan is Daniel (Dan )
  • + 1
 Dan,you're a man.
  • + 1
 Bravo Zulu good chap
  • + 1
 Dan is the coolest.
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