Wednesday, 9 May 2012

An Invernesian in California

If I am correct, there will be a lot of people who don't know who Duncan Shaw is! A former british trials champion, who hails from Inverness in north Soctland, and now resides in bonnie Glasgow! I've known Duncan for several years now, and have to admit my envy on how well he can handle his bike! Easily one of the smoothest riders I have ridden with and one that, I feel hasn't quite had the limelight he deserves!

In the off season from his demonstration commitments with the Clan Cycle Stunt Team, he took a trip out to California with a certain Danny Macaskill, and came back with plenty of footage for his next video. I had the chance to ask Duncs a few questions about his riding, and how the trip came about:

We have known each other a fair while now and you always rode kiddies bikes. Why the change to 24” wheels?

Yes it has been a while, too long! I actually started riding trials on a 26 inch bike when I was 13 but when I got interested in competing I made the switch to 20 inch. By the end of 2010, after several years of riding competitions I just wasn’t enjoying riding as much as I used to and was mainly just doing shows and occasionally bit of natural riding when I got the chance between Uni and demo commitments. It had been on the back of my mind to change to 26” for a while so when I saw the new breed of “Trialsy” 24” bikes coming out I thought It would be a good compromise. Since getting it I have really started enjoying riding again and feel I have had some decent progression after a couple of years of not really getting any better.

Your move to Glasgow has seemingly coincided with a reduction in the amount of natural riding you have done? Would it be fair to say that you prefer street riding to riding natural now?

My move to Glasgow definitely coincided with a reduction of natural riding for me. I got my 24 inch bike around the same time so it was really down to both factors. The fact that Glasgow street riding is so much better than Edinburgh – where I had previously been living also was a big factor. I have always enjoyed riding natural and I think I always will, I just happen to be enjoying riding street just now. Also my bike just isn’t really set up for natural riding now and I do get frustrated when I do try and ride natural because I do feel my technical ability has slipped a bit over the past year due to the fact that I hardly ever ride natural stuff anymore.

You are one of The Clan Cycle Stunt Team’s resident trials riders, and have been for a number of years now, how do you feel that has had an effect on your riding?

I have been lucky enough to be a resident rider for The Clan since it all started back in 2008. I find it hard to say what effect it has had on my riding but it definitely has had a significant impact on my riding. I think I have a bit of a love – hate relationship with doing shows. In some respects it is great for your riding; I am lucky enough to do make a living from doing shows so I don’t have to work a full-time Monday to Friday job, freeing up time for me to go out and ride which is amazing. On the flip side, if I have been doing loads of shows when it comes to a day off sometimes the last thing you want to do is get on your bike and ride. So it definitely works both ways but I would definitely say the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

The video was filmed in California, how did the trip come about?

Back in November 2011 myself and Danny, fed up with the Scottish winter weather were discussing the prospect of going to somewhere with a warmer climate to have a few weeks of solid riding in January/February time. We initially were thinking somewhere like Tenerife or Malaga, however Danny was still struggling with injury when January came round and had to go out to California for some treatment and training. I still wanted to get away so I joined him. Danny was still not able to ride so we did a couple of days filming and this video is the result.

Danny has done a lot of filming for you over the past couple of months, and as you are living with him as well, would you say he has pushed your riding that little bit further? Also, When we last spoke you mentioned a friend was working on the video editing side? Care to expand a little bit for us?

Danny moved into the flat back in September time. At the time myself and friend and Filmaker Paul Macdonald were hoping to film a street riding clip in Glasgow. As Danny was injured he ended up filming with us. Although many of the lines I had wanted to do were already in my head. Looking around Glasgow for spots with Danny definitely opened my eyes to things I wouldn’t have thought of if I was looking by myself . Having Danny there also gives me confidence. I have been riding with Danny of and on for the past ten years so I feel he knows my riding and capabilities pretty well so if I see he thinks I can do something It gives me even more confidence. Sometimes he does get a bit carried away and I am just like “no thanks, I don’t think I want to do that 18 foot drop gap to rail.” We had originally hoped to have a Glasgow street edit down and dusted by now but our trip to California and the terrible winter we have had has put it on the backburner a bit but it is something I really want to finish as soon as we can.

As mentioned above I have been working with a long time friend of mine. The first project we did was for a company called “Proviz” on the streets of London, we both really got into the whole process and have been trying to get out filming any time we can ever since. Paul also loves to film but he was limited to editing duties on the “California edit” because he was stuck in rainy Glasgow while we were living it up in Cali.

So thanks to Duncan for sending me a sneak preview of the's been god knows how long since they talked about the video, but either way, completely worth the wait...and you can see it below: