Over the last decade the Downhill race scene has drastically grown on the East Coast of the U.S. With this increase in events we’re steadily seeing more media make its way out of this part of the country!
MadKats Productions is a relatively young media house that has recently focused its work on the mountain bike scene. I met Jarad Kleinberg (one of the owners of MKP) at the 2012 Windham World Cup.
After spending the day with Jarad watching the worlds best destroy the Windham race course, we decided that we needed to film something. I was quite keen to film and Jarad wanted to focus some serious effort on a mountain bike edit.
In May of 2012 I graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Clarkson University. Upon learning this, Jarad asked if I would be willing to design and build a Cable Cam. With an idea and a sketch, the skyline cable cam was born. I was unsure on how far to push my ability until Jarad said "Go for the Gold" and so I did.
See the building of cable cam here : http://bikesmcandrew.blogspot.co.nz/2013_01_01_archive.html
I finished the cable cam just in time for our planned film session at Plattekill mountain. However, the weather did not cooperate, and what was predicted as a clear weekend was nothing of the sort. Only a few days prior the East Coast was hit hard by hurricane Sandy. We didn't know what to expect. Jarad and Pete (Jarad's Business partner) Came up a day early to inspect the trail and clean the debris, the trail was spotless. I arrived late Friday night as the temperature began dropping quickly. Flurries began to fall and the fire wasn't doing its job so we hit the sac only to wake to a solid 19 degrees and 6 inches of fresh powder. The trails were covered.
For those of you unfamiliar with Plattekill bike park it is one of the most loose, raw, rowdy, rocky and fun places to ride on the East. It seemed our weekend was ruined. Plattekill’s motto is “Shut up and Ride”, so we decided we had better stick to the rules and film anyway. The conditions made for very unique shots that took a lot of work to set up. At one point a massive 3 foot diameter tree had fallen across the track. Brendan (a fellow racer, friend and engineer) spent the better part of a day clearing it with an axe, handsaw and come-along. BEAST!
Pete and Brendan spent hours clearing the snow from the track so the edit could still have some pace. It was quite unique to ride as your suspension and tires act very differently in the cold.
Filming was another challenge, requiring a bit of four wheeling up the icy fire road, slipping and sliding down the trails and trying to blend in. Laslow, the owner of Plattekill Mountain was extremely accommodating, providing us with whatever tools and help we needed!
All in all the surprise conditions made for something truly unique for filming and riding! Keep an eye out for more great edits from Jarad Kleinberg and the Madkats team as they will be filming the Gravity East Series during this coming summer!
Huge thanks to Transition Bikes, MRP Chainguides, Kore Components, Clarkson University, and Plattekill Mountain for making this possible!
WEBSITE LINK http://www.madkatsproductions.com
TWITTER LINK http://twitter.com/JaradKleinberg
Follow Alex on his blog:bikesmcandrew.blogspot.com