As riders we all love to see ourselves in action!
Have you ever thought about the guys and girls behind the camera. Searching out the best angle, THE Perfect Shot!
Well look no further! MTB Creatives is a monthly snapshot celebrating those hiding behind the lens.
Lets have a chat with Travis Deane. Check out his story below!
Travis Deane: I bought my first MTB 27 years ago and used it to explore the hills I lived in around Adelaide with my mates and a couple of years later with my girlfriend who is now my wife. After uni I moved to WA to live in Kalgoorlie and for a year or two, I didn’t own a bike which made me sad. I decided to rectify this by selling everything buying a van and spending a summer with my girlfriend riding and rockclimbing through the USA. We arrived into Canada in 1997 just as the Freeride thing took off.
In our travels I ended up in Taiwan where I worked in the bike industry. I returned home to find the trails as I had left them almost a decade earlier as we had no formal trails and hence no working bees to address things like erosion. I had connections with some of the magazines so I wrote to them about local advocacy issues and they wanted me to contribute so I started writing.
Then I started taking photos. Over the years I’ve contributed over 100 articles, a lot of them about places to ride that aren’t on the east coast of Australia which meant I had lots of info on where to ride. I’d always enjoyed guide books but it seemed weird that MTBs didn’t have one so I decided to write one with the help of my wife which we published in 2011 on WA. We had to go back to the printers several times and we brought out the 2nd edition in 2015. We decided to try to do a Tasmanian guidebook in 2017 due to the explosion of trails and between these commitments I have also being taking photos at mountain bike events including the Cape to Cape where I have been the official event photographer for almost 10 years. It’s a lot of work but it’s MTBs so it is interesting.
What I ride?
Bikes! My wife and I have 10 bikes between us and I need to get rid of a couple of old 26” MTBs to make room for some more. I like bikes that are true to the original MTBs that were designed to ride anything rather than being a niched product. Going to Tasmania I need a bike that could handle black diamond descents and lung busting climbs and everything in between.
Why get creative?
I always enjoyed taking photos. I was writing for the magazines and they were sourcing photos elsewhere. I asked them about taking photos and the reply was “Oh, do you have a camera?”.. It was early 2000 so before digital so I would shoot a roll of film, put it in the mail and I would only see if any of the photos were good if they turned up in the magazine. There are technical challenges to taking great photos and there is adrenalin involved when I’m rushing around at big events. In a lot of ways it has some similarities with MTBing.
What is your favourite place to ride in WA?
Secret Whicher. I find some of the new flow trails popping up everywhere a bit same same. Tight trails built without a machine like the ones at Secret Whicher always put a smile on your face, especially when you ride a technical trail feature like a log ride that you’ve never done before (and Secret Whicher has lots of them).
What’s next on your bucket list on places to ride?
I NEED to return to Tasmania. We tried to ride every trail there for our Tasmanian guide book (hey it’s work!) but the explosion of new trails there is incredible. Maydena which has just opened has over 800m vertical drop on the trails. 800 metres!!!
For comparison Mt Gunjin at Kalamunda or Wellington Mills DH trails give you 120-150 metres. With the existing trails around Hobart and Derby Tasmania should be on everyones bucket list, with a good guide book of course!