The Red Bulletin June 2019

online.magazines

UK EDITION

JUNE 2019, £3.50

BEYOND THE ORDINARY

SUBSCRIBE: GETREDBULLETIN.COM

14

Pages of

Gear

Urban

Legends

MTB’S NEW BREED

Where the mountains

are concrete, trails

are tarmac, slopes are

stone steps, and you

bring your own ramp


UK EDITION

JUNE 2019, £3.50

BEYOND THE ORDINARY

SUBSCRIBE: GETREDBULLETIN.COM

URBAN

FREESTYLE

Downhill MTB

hits the street

SECRET

CINEMA

All revealed.

No spoilers

ULTRA GOBI

Running the

Silk Road

Singer, songwriter

and pro footballer

CHELCEE

GRIMES

tackles the Women’s

World Cup and the

sounds of summer

“It’s not girl’s

football, it’s

just football”


HELL IS HEREBY OFFICIALLY CONQUERED

THE ALL-NEW ROUBAIX | SPECIALIZED.COM/ROUBAIX


EDITOR’S LETTER

THINKING OUTSIDE

THE BOX

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like

an artist,” Pablo Picasso is said to have declared. It’s this

kind of unconventional thinking that The Red Bulletin

celebrates every month. There’s probably no better

example in this issue than Daniela Ryf (page 32), Iron Man

world champion four years running. Rather than simply

building on her moments of triumph, the Swiss triathlete

draws deep from her most painful experiences to find

secret techniques that can provide an edge over her foes.

CONTRIBUTORS

THIS ISSUE

DAVID GOLDMAN

When the British photographer

first saw mountain bikers pulling

off downhill freeriding tricks in

the concrete landscape of UK

coastal towns, he knew he’d found

his next project. “These guys are

pioneering,” says Goldman, who

shares his time between London

and New York. “The same way the

skaters of Dogtown in the ’70s

were, or the surfers of the Endless

Summer in the ’60s.” Page 54

This month’s issue has two amazing covers: Chelcee Grimes, photographed

by Stephanie Sian Smith; and a special MTB edition, shot by David Goldman

to coincide with the UK leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

Talking of secrets, in this age of hype Secret Cinema

(page 42) has elevated the allure of the unknown into the

ultimate immersive FOMO experience. Urban rebels turn

bikes built for the mountain into a new sport, MTB street

(page 54), and the ancient Silk Road becomes a race course

for Ultra Gobi’s insane ultrarunners (page 74).

Plus, we have Chelcee Grimes (page 64) on learning the

ropes of two professions – music and football – and actor

Taron Egerton (page 28) on the lessons gleaned from a

great artist who long ago broke all the rules: Elton John.

We hope you find these stories as inspiring as we do.

PIERS MARTIN

The chance to interview a star

whose career spans music and

sport was irresistible to the Londonbased

writer of our feature on

singer-songwriter/pro footballer

Chelcee Grimes. “Her passion for

her professions is infectious,” he

says of the Liverpudlian who’s set

for the summer of her life as a BBC

pundit at the Women’s World Cup.

“And she didn’t laugh when I said I

support Plymouth Argyle.” Page 64

STEPHANIE SIAN SMITH, DAVID GOLDMAN (COVERS)

06 THE RED BULLETIN


AMERICAN SPIRIT

SWISS PRECISION


THE FREEDOM

TO MIX _

THE FREEDOM

TO MATCH

With the world’s most capable MTB drivetrain, you can

pair any Eagle component with any Eagle drivetrain.

© 2018 SRAM LLC


CONTENTS

June 2019

74

Hypothermia and

hallucinations: all

in a day’s running

at the Ultra Gobi

JAMES CARNEGIE

BULLEVARD

10 Break from the norm:

eye-popping B-girl

moves at Tricklandia

14 What a ledge: standing

on the brink in Yosemite

16 Rexpress delivery: the

robot dog goes postal

18 One million spins BC:

breaking news from Red

Bull BC One Cypher UK

20 Deep sleep: the tent

that was made for

subaquatic slumber

22 Silver surfers: the senior

skateboard crew who are

rolling back the years

24 Swede life: culturemelding

Scandi-Somali

R&B star Cherrie

26 Apocalypse wow: the

ultimate playlist, from

Bastille’s Dan Smith

GUIDE

100 Dive with a legend in

the Azores – only with

Destination Red Bull

104 The treadmill that’s

elevating athletes to

another level (literally)

post-injury

106 How Apex Legends will

make you a better teamplayer,

from battle zone

to boardroom

108 YT Industries: putting

the fun back into bikemaking

and riding.

Plus our edit of the

best high-tech gear

116 Essential dates for

your calendar

118 This month’s highlights

on Red Bull TV

122 It’s a hold-up: humanflagging

in Santa Monica

FEATURES

28 Taron Egerton

The Rocket Man actor is set to soar

32 Daniela Ryf

Power is no problem for the top

triathlete: she has a secret back-up

42 Secret Cinema

Making filmgoing an XL experience

54 MTB street-riding

Big air and cracked saddles: mad

bike tricks in the concrete jungle

64 Chelcee Grimes

Meet the goal-scoring, hit-making

Scouser who’s ready to rule 2019

74 Ultra Gobi

The desert race that ravages

your body and blows your mind

88 Rock Steady

Hit the trail in this expert kit

THE RED BULLETIN 09


LIFE & STYLE BEYOND THE ORDINARY

BULLEVARD


Boogie wonderland: street

dancer Dassy Lee performs in

Marcel Valko’s hallucinatory

video, shot at Tricklandia

VLADIMIR LORINC/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Optical illusion dance

TRICK OF THE EYE

Three of the world’s best street dancers, one mind-bending performance

T here are few worlds

as seemingly unconnected

as New York-born street

dance and traditional Slovak

folktales. It might seem

surprising, then, that Marcel

Valko – aka Miniboj – the

creative director of streetdance

production company

and clothing brand The

Legits, chose to film his

most recent project at

a fairy-tale art experience

in Slovakia.

Tricklandia is a modernart

gallery crossed with

an amusement park – an

imaginary world designed

around the stories and

myths of Slovakian villages

and castles; a game between

artist and audience that’s

11


B U L L E V A R D

Kyoka Yamamoto confounds gravity in the Turned Over Chamber

formulated to deceive you

into seeing things that are

not really there.

A couple of years ago, while

walking around Tricklandia,

an idea struck Valko: “What if

I use this dream-like location

to create a dance video?” He

flew three of the world’s best

freestyle street dancers – Dassy

Lee, Angyil McNeal and Kyoka

Yamamoto – across the world

to perform their outstanding

choreographies amid its optical

illusions and misleading

scenarios. In the performance,

nothing is how it first appears

– it’s all in your head.

The Red Bulletin spoke to

director Valko and dancer Lee

about the process of creating

this magical spectacle and

introducing freestyle street

dance to a wider audience.

the red bulletin: What

inspired you to use

Tricklandia as a location?

valko: I first discovered

the experience with my kids.

There are just so many visual

“ONE ROOM

WAS ALL

MIRRORS. THE

CREW WERE

FALLING OVER”

elements there. My filming

style is to always be as weird

as possible, and I thought,

There are not many places

in the world like this. I have

to do something with it.”

How was the experience

of shooting in such a unique

and surreal location?

lee: It was awesome. There

are so many rooms that move

around you and look crazy.

It was difficult to dance

through, though; everything

is mirrored, so I was hitting

walls because I couldn’t see

where to go. We got pretty

nauseous dancing in there.

v: The illusions make you

feel dizzy when walking

through them. It feels like

they’re pulling you down,

and they disorientate you.

We used one room that’s

upside down, and one that’s

made entirely of mirrors –

even the crew were falling

about in there. There’s also a

‘never-ending room’; we knew

freestyle popping would look

really good in there, but it was

still hard to show on camera

just how crazy it actually was.

What’s freestyle popping?

l: It’s a street style of dance.

You use all of the muscles in

your body to contract with the

rhythm of the music. It can

look very robotic sometimes.

v: Most people don’t know

the difference between

popping and hip-hop dance.

It’s hard for a mainstream

audience to understand what

Valko’s film makes full use of Tricklandia’s illusionary installations

they are. In my opinion,

popping is way more difficult

than breaking, because it’s a

dance based on contractions.

You can practise popping like

crazy for a whole month and

not really see any progress.

With breakdance, you learn

a basic six-step and at the end

of a month you’ll know it,

even if it’s a bit sloppy. With

popping, you practise and

practise and still see nothing.

How important is the music

to your creative process?

v: It’s always the most

important point. Once I’ve

figured out the music, I can

start with everyone else. It

inspires me for what I’m going

to shoot. With this video, it

was different: I already had

my vision, which came from

the crazy location, so I just

needed to find the right

music to fit it.

l: It’s important to have

timing throughout the track

that is always changing – and

to have a strong beat. It’s all

about being able to use our

bodies to play with sound in

an authentic way.

How important was it to

feature three female dancers

in the video?

v: These girls are the best

poppers we have. They killed

it. They’re better than most

of the male dancers.

l: A lot of street dancing is

dominated by men. There

aren’t that many female

dancers. It was awesome to

see different styles of strong

women dancing in one dope

video. If we can show this

more, maybe we can inspire

more women to come and

give it a go. It will show

people there are lots of

different types of dancer

you can be as a woman.

Watch the full Tricklandia

performance at redbull.com

VLADIMIR LORINC/RED BULL CONTENT POOL LOU BOYD

12 THE RED BULLETIN


Highly

recommended

LYD & BILDE

ssssst

December 2017

Kygo A9/600

Kygo Life unites my love of music with modern Scandinavian design.

The aim is to develop top–quality audio equipment that sounds amazing

and looks great. Like my approach to everything, Kygo Life is driven to

continually improve. So, as each product evolves it embraces the latest

technology and focuses on perfecting the details until I’m absolutely

happy the end result is the best it can be.

KYRRE GØRVELL-DAHLL

Creative Director, Kygo Life


Yosemite, USA

EDGE OF

THE WORLD

B U L L E V A R D

Rising almost 1,500m above Yosemite

Valley and 2,700m above sea level, Half

Dome is a California icon. The granite

formation at the eastern end of the valley

is the summit of a legendary hiking route

which, until a couple of years ago, was just

an item on photographer Emilio Maglione-

Fulco’s bucket list. When he finally got the

chance to hike it, he reached its peak at first

light, just as the sun began to illuminate the

valley. The photographer’s gaze was drawn

to this little diving board of a rock – “a small

outcropping far from the classic photo-op”

– where he captured his companion, fellow

snapper Justin Mayers, walking to the edge.

The way it cantilevered over the void

allowed us to showcase the immensity of

the rock face,” says Maglione-Fulco. “Only

Yosemite is capable of making one feel

such an awe-inspiring sense of scale.”

Instagram: @emiliomag

EMILIO MAGLIONE-FULCO

14 THE RED BULLETIN


THE RED BULLETIN 15


B U L L E V A R D

ANYmal: it won’t chew

the sofa, poo on the

carpet, or try to hump

your leg… unless you

program it to

Robotic courier

POSTMAN’S

BEST FRIEND

The future of home delivery

is going to the dogs

B efore too long, dogs

may be in charge of more than

just bringing you the morning

newspaper. In partnership with

automotive firm Continental,

robotics start-up ANYbotics

has conjured up another view

of the future: one where

packages are delivered by

mechanical canine courier.

ANYmal is a multipurpose

robot with the ability to sense

its surroundings and carry

heavy weights while traversing

complex terrain. “It’s a delivery

robot the size of an average

dog,” says Péter Fankhauser,

co-founder of the Zürich-based

start-up. “Standing 70cm

tall and 80cm long, it has a

camera in its head, flexible

joints, and is able to jump and

move autonomously in an

unfamiliar environment.”

ANYmal is not the only canineinspired

automaton around:

Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini,

unveiled in 2016, was demoed

opening doors. When the

robopocalypse comes, it’s likely

to enter the room on all fours.

In the meantime, we’re

still convinced they’ll serve us.

Visitors to electronics trade

show CES in Las Vegas in

January saw ANYmal step off

a delivery truck with a parcel,

walk up to a front door in a

mocked-up suburban garden,

ring the doorbell, then leave

the package on the porch.

While the reality of these

delivery dogs may be a while

away yet, in the shorter term

ANYbotics is planning to use

them to carry out industrial

inspections or safety work

in conditions that would be

too hazardous for humans.

Or indeed real dogs.

anybotics.com

ANYBOTICS CHRISTINE VITEL

16 THE RED BULLETIN


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B U L L E V A R D

Red Bull

BC One

POINT

BREAK

Winning moves at

the UK qualifiers

B-boy Jackson Watson and

B-girl Vanessa Marina wiped the

(scuffed lino) floor with their

fellow breakdancers at this

year’s Red Bull BC One Cypher

UK. The knock-out competition

at Village Underground in east

London featured the first-ever

B-girl qualifier battle on British

soil, and Marina dropped to her

knees on hearing that all three

judges had named her the

winner. Both dancers will now

represent the UK at the BC One

World Final in Mumbai, India,

on November 9.

redbull.com

Above: B-girl Vanessa beat her rival Rawgina to

take the crown. Below: in his final bout, Watson

triumphed against fellow B-boy Izaak

EVA BERTEN PHOTOGRAPHY LOU BOYD

18 THE RED BULLETIN


ULTIMATE COMMITMENT

LYRIK ULTIMATE

Go up faster. Come down harder. The Lyrik

Ultimate is the world’s best enduro fork, full

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excursion or the coveted weekend podium,

Lyrik is here to help you conquer.

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B U L L E V A R D

3 4

Ocean Space

Habitat

1

SLEEPING WITH

THE FISHES

This ocean explorer has made it

possible to sleep underwater –

by creating a subaquatic tent

2

5

1. The inflatable

habitat is attached

to bridles anchored

to the sea floor

2. Interior atmosphere

is maintained by a

replenishable oxygen

source with carbondioxide

extractors

3. A dry chamber

accommodates two

divers in comfort,

three at a push

4. The fabric-embedded

vinyl shell is reinforced

with nylon straps and

has windows

5. The entire habitat

collapses down to

luggage size for

transportation

H umans have always

daydreamed about living in

the ocean; from stories of

mermaids to the lost city

of Atlantis, the deep sea

occupies a vivid place in

our imagination. Now, an

underwater tent that allows

us to breathe, eat and sleep

hundreds of metres below

the surface is bringing that

fantasy closer to reality.

The concept behind the

Ocean Space Habitat is pretty

simple: made from vinyl

and nylon with polyester

strapping, it has internal aircirculating

fans and carbondioxide

scrubbers to provide

a breathable atmosphere for

up to six hours. “It’s much like

placing an inverted glass in

a sink to make an air pocket,”

says its co-creator, ocean

scientist Michael Lombardi.

“It’s essentially a tent filled

with air that displaces the

water inside, creating a void.”

We currently accomplish

very limited and temporary

visits to the undersea world.

Compare the knowledge we

have of the ocean bed with

the exploration of outer space:

whereas 12 humans have

stepped onto the surface of

the Moon, only three have

descended to the deepest part

of the ocean. “For more than

half a century, divers have

gone by the rule that we can

dive to 60ft [18m] for 60

minutes without suffering

from decompression sickness.

Bring an underwater habitat

into the mix, however, and

a researcher can spend six

hours or more working at 60ft

throughout the day.”

The next step for the camp

is to attempt overnight trips.

The atmosphere has to be

monitored and managed

for both carbon dioxide

and oxygen,” says Lombardi.

“Our goal over the next year

is to develop protocols that

allow for an overnight stay.

An afternoon hike is always

beneficial to learning, but an

overnight or weekend-long

camping trip sheds light on

all sorts of new discoveries

within that environment.

My hope is that we can stray

away from being short-time

visitors to the ocean towards

having a more intertwined

relationship with and within

the sea.”

Atlantis may only be

a fantasy, but this two-man

tent is our first step to a

genuine undersea life.

oceanopportunity.com

MICHAEL LOMBARDI LOU BOYD CHRISTINA LOCK

20 THE RED BULLETIN


You have to be made of stern stuff to live and ride in Fort William year round which makes Joe Barnes’ Hazzard Racing a perfect

match to the no-nonsense DNA of Endura kit. The roots of which are still firmly grounded in Scotland where they have been

engineering and testing their kit for over twenty-five years in some of the harshest conditions imaginable.

On one hand, Joe is a massively accomplished racer having stood on the illustrious podium steps of the Enduro World Series. The other

half is one of hectic pan and zoom videos with plenty of rut slashing and bog bashing, weird and wacky storylines which only their minds

could conjure up. They’ll have you both crying with laughter and have your eyes popping from your skull in disbelief at the riding.

It’s far removed from a clean cut, slow-mo saturated, high budget production, but that’s the beauty of it. A welcome breath of fresh air in

an ever-increasingly commercially monotone cycling world, where a dose of personality and originality certainly goes a long way.

Hazzard Racing isn’t bothered about conforming to the usual expectations of how the majority of top-level athletes and race teams tend to

go about their business, including in their aesthetics. Free of the constraints of a factory race outfit, Joe and Hazzard Racing can realise

their creatively wacky ideas which are developed and brought to life in the kit provided to them by Endura design team.

Hazzard Racing ride and race in the all-new ultra-lightweight MT500 Full Face Helmet coming in at a meagre 580 gms (M/L)

despite being fully downill certified. They also ride Endura’s new MT500 Lite and Hard Shell Knee Pads,

putting them through the rigours both between the race tape and in their hardcore day to day riding.

#ProtectionItsInOurDNA

RENEGADE PROGRESS

endurasport.com


B U L L E V A R D

“THE MOST

REBELLIOUS

THING YOU CAN

DO IS TO STAY

WHO YOU ARE”

Very Old Skateboarders

SKATE OF MIND

In her sixties, Lena Salmi has created

a global skateboarding movement to prove

that the sport isn’t only for teens

I n February last year,

Facebook staged a showcase

on London’s South Bank,

where it exhibited photos

of its most inspiring groups.

Among them was an online

community of skateboarders.

But the group wasn’t chosen

in recognition of its members’

talents or awards. Far from

being teenage wonders, the

average age of the skaters was

closer to 60 than 16, and their

only care was skating for as

long as they could.

The Very Old Skateboarders

and Longboarders group is

a global movement of almost

4,000 skaters, aged largely

between 60 and 99, who are

challenging what the world

of skateboarding looks like.

It was founded in 2013 by

two women, Lena Salmi (now

65) and Elizabeth Stuart

(67), who believed they were

being judged unfairly because

of their age.

“When I met Elizabeth

[at a longboarding camp in

France], we felt like people

were treating us like old

ladies, like we couldn’t do

stuff,” says Salmi. “It made

us realise that no one can

treat us like that, and that we

were as good as anybody else.

We were inspired to make

a space that’s just for older

skateboarders.”

Come 2019 and the group

has snowballed into something

much bigger. Its Facebook

page is updated every day

with videos and photos of its

thousands of ageing skaters,

shot at skate competitions,

skate parks and even group

meet-ups across the world. Its

members have been filmed

for BBC documentaries and

interviewed by global media.

The group’s ethos, however,

has remained the same.

The only entry

requirement is that at some

point you’ve thought you

were too old to skateboard,”

says Salmi. “Our youngest

member was a 50-year-old

woman. People had asked

her, ‘Why are you doing that

kind of kids’ stuff?’”

According to Salmi, the

important thing to learn from

the Very Old Skateboarders

is to not judge on first sight.

“Open your mind and your

ideas,” she says. “Of course

skateboarding is rebellious

when you are 65, but, in my

opinion, the most rebellious

thing you can do is to always

stay exactly who you are.”

facebook.com/groups/

VeryOldSkateboarders

BEN AWIN/HYPEBAE LOU BOYD

22 THE RED BULLETIN


B U L L E V A R D

B orn in Norway to

Somali parents, and raised in

Finland and Sweden on a diet

of Bollywood and American

R&B, Sherihan ‘Cherrie’

Hersi’s cultural frame of

reference is unsurprisingly

broad. Nowhere is this more

evident than on her second

album, 2018’s Araweelo, on

which she transforms R&B’s

contemporary sound aesthetics

into inspiring anthems sung

in Swedish for third-culture

kids (meaning those raised

in a culture different from

their parents’) like herself.

The album gained the

27-year-old a nomination at

this year’s Swedish Grammy

awards, and having already

worked with Stormzy – the

grime superstar contributed

English lyrics to her 2016

song Aldrig igen [må sådär]

– Cherrie’s global profile was

raised further thanks to props

from the likes of Rihanna,

SZA and Ariana Grande.

the red bulletin: Your

viral hit 163 För Evigt (‘163

Forever’) is an ode to your

home suburb of Rinkeby,

dubbed by conservative

media as a no-go area…

cherrie: As a kid, if someone

asked, “Hey, what part of

Stockholm do you live in?”

you’d lie and name an area

that’s pretty close to Rinkeby,

otherwise people would see

you as someone from the

ghetto. But I wouldn’t say

it’s a no-go area at all.

How would you describe it?

It’s a melting pot. I always

thought it was such a special

place, and that we’re the

coolest people. Growing up

with so many different

influences and cultures makes

you smart at understanding

the world and how you fit in.

To stay independent, you’ve

turned down several offers

from record labels. Why is

that so important to you?

It’s not an obvious thing for

artists to have ownership.

Cherrie

“SOMALI MUMS ARE

SUPERHEROES”

The Swedish-Somalian R&B singer lets

loose on the supposed ghetto she grew up

in, her kick-ass mum, and the importance

of being an independent artist

Most of these huge artists

we see, they don’t own their

music; they create art that

someone else takes from them

and makes money from. So,

for me to be independent

means a lot, because I create

security for myself and my

family. And it shows other

people who come from

nothing that you don’t need

to sign [a label contract]; that

you can just buy a computer

and learn how to make music

and then record yourself.

“WE RINKEBY

PEOPLE ARE

THE COOLEST”

So the desire to inspire

your peers forms part of

your creative drive?

Owning houses or becoming

CEOs… those are not things

that people [who live in

Rinkeby] dare to dream

about. For them, to see

someone like me – a black,

Muslim woman – release

my own music, tour around

the world or work with Vogue

[magazine] instils some hope

in them. And really and truly,

hope is the only thing that is

going to push us all forward

as a society.

Do you think your Somali

heritage has an impact on

your music?

Somalia is called the ‘land of

a thousand poets’, so for me

making music has never been

a weird thing, because music

is something that helps Somali

people cope during the worst

times. Also, Somali mums are

the strongest people I’ve ever

met. They are superheroes.

For me to come from a place

where women are so

dominant, it affirms my whole

essence – like me having my

own label, Araweelo.

What does Araweelo mean?

Araweelo was an ancient

queen who ruled over Somalia

and was super badass. [In

Somalia], even if there is

a dad in the family, women

are the man in the house. And

having that female energy has

given me the drive.

Is your mother a fan of

your music?

She has been to a couple

of my concerts. She’s the

sweetest. She knows Swedish,

but she doesn’t understand

a lot of my lyrics, so she

makes my little brother

play my music for her and

explain every single word.

Fashion brand AlphaTauri

visited Cherrie in Rinkeby

to talk about music and how

growing up there has shaped

her career. Watch the video

at win.gs/AlphaTauriCherrie;

alphatauri.com;

twitter.com/Chxrrie

CYPRIEN CLÉMENT-DELMAS FLORIAN OBKIRCHER

24 THE RED BULLETIN


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B U L L E V A R D

UNDERWORLD

BORN SLIPPY (1995)

“This tune perfectly captures

a woozy, heady party night. It

reminds me of happier, less bleak

times. Britain in the ’90s was

quite a hedonistic place for the

artistic community: there was

Britpop, and you also had so

many new young artists coming

through in modern art and

fashion. It was before my time,

but it’s definitely an interesting

period to rediscover.”

Bastille

“TAKE THE BLUE PILL

AND GET LOST”

REM

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD

AS WE KNOW IT (AND I FEEL

FINE) (1987)

“I imagine it’d be fun to jump

around singing this song on

our last night on Earth. Music is

about articulating things that

you maybe haven’t thought,

but it’s also about escapism

and distraction. These are the

moments to strive for; they can

offer solace from this bizarrely

fucked-up world we live in. So

take the blue pill and get lost.”

The British indie-pop giants pick their

playlist for an end-of-the-world party

Formed in 2010 by London-born lead singer Dan Smith,

Bastille had their big breakthrough three years later

with the single Pompeii, taken from their debut album, Bad

Blood. By the following year, it had become the UK’s most

streamed single of all time and won the band the title of

British Breakthrough Act at the BRIT Awards. Now, following

the global success of their 2018 single Happier, which featured

US music producer Marshmello, the foursome have upped

the ante with their new album, Doom Days, described by

Smith as “an apocalyptic party”. Which is why he’s chosen

to soundtrack Earth’s big send-off for us…

Bastille’s new album Doom Days is out now; bastillebastille.com

THE BEATLES

BECAUSE (1969)

“For us, a good night out means

being with friends who don’t

work in music, who don’t pop

champagne corks with models

– that’s just not our life. On our

last night on Earth, we’d have

a little dance, then we’d have a

little cry together. Musically

you want something to wind

down to, and this is a great one

to go out on.”

MOBY

PLAY (1999)

“If there’s a perfect soundtrack

for the end-of-the-world afterparty,

it’s this album. Do you know

the podcast Heavyweight [by

Canadian-American humorist

Jonathan Goldstein]? There’s an

episode [Gregor] where the guy

who lent Moby the gospel CDs

he sampled heavily on this album

asks for them back. It’s so good

and really funny – check it out.”

UNIVERSAL MUSIC MARCEL ANDERS

26 THE RED BULLETIN


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TARON

EGERTON

The Dwight

Stuff

Words RÜDIGER STURM

and JULIA ZIMANOFSKY

In his new film, Egerton relates the story of another

man balancing his artistic career with life in the

spotlight. Rocketman sees him play a young Reginald

Dwight – who became better known as Elton John

– as he wrestles with the trials and tribulations of

fame and fortune. “I have a comparatively very

meagre experience,” Egerton says. “I’m an actor from

Wales who has been in five or six films. He is Elton

John.” Here, the 29-year-old talks about portraying

a living legend and how he got to know the real man

behind the performance…

He’s playing one of the world’s

most celebrated icons, but the

actor is all too aware of the

dangers of fame and fortune

Taron Egerton has been on the verge of superstardom

for a few years now. The British actor’s breakthrough

moment came in 2014, when he starred in the bigscreen

spy comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service, a role

that looked as if it would catapult him into squarejawed

leading-man territory. The film franchise

instantly made him a household name, a situation

he found challenging. “You become the focus of

attention,” says Egerton, who was born in Birkenhead,

near Liverpool, but grew up on the island of Anglesey

in north Wales. “It requires you to simultaneously

be very vulnerable and emotionally exposed, but

also incredibly robust and thick-skinned.”

the red bulletin: How old were you when

you first became aware of Elton John?

taron egerton: He’s been ever-present throughout

my life, and I’ve been a fan of his music since I was

very young. I was 12 when his Greatest Hits album

came out in 2002, and my stepdad and I used to sing

along to I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues

while driving to school. Then I sang Your Song to

get into drama school when I was 17. He was my

audition piece and now I’m playing him.

How did you go about creating your character

for this film?

This idea of becoming someone else, like, “He

became so-and-so, he was channelling so-and-so”…

you can’t fucking channel someone. I’m an actor and

I created a character with elements that are hopefully

informed by the real person. My performance, while

acknowledging the extremes of Elton’s character and

not hiding the fact he has had difficulties, is also just

my interpretation of him – and my interpretation is

GAVIN BOND

28 THE RED BULLETIN


“My stepdad

and I would sing

along to Elton

songs on the

way to school”

THE RED BULLETIN 29


Taron Egerton

that he is one of the most amazing people I have ever

met. At the forefront of my mind was that I wanted

everyone to fall in love with him all over again.

Was this a nerve-racking role to take on?

I felt it was a part that I could do. There is some

crossover between his personality and mine; I don’t

think I am quite as extreme as Elton, but I do feel

that there are extremes of feeling and emotion in me.

I am someone who is quite ‘heart on the sleeve’, and

I know I can be a very big personality, but I’m also

someone who can be quite vulnerable. I feel that’s

who Elton is as well. Don’t get me wrong, I was

hugely intimidated and scared and I felt a huge

amount of pressure, but I had quite an inherent sense

that it was a part that I could or should play.

How was your relationship with

Elton John while making the film?

I know that for the sake of promotion

I’m required to say we have become

good friends, but we really have.

I really love him and I felt quite lucky

to be let into his life. It meant that

the experience of making the film

felt important, not just in the sense

of the legacy of Elton John, but

because I care about him as a man.

He’s a really beautiful person.

Tantrums, tiaras and Taron: Egerton as Elton John in new biopic Rocketman

Is it true he gave you access to his diaries?

Yes, he let me read his diaries when I went to stay at

his house. He has diaries from 1971 to 1976 that he

thought were lost, and he only reacquired them a few

years ago. They were great and really informative.

One entry that has stuck in my mind is: “Woke up

this morning – went to the laundry – wrote a song

called Honky Cat.” Then the next day it would be

something equally iconic.

The film doesn’t shy away from portraying Elton

John’s problems. Can you understand how

someone who is successful in showbusiness gets

involved with drugs?

Yes. It’s everywhere. There is no escaping from it

in the entertainment industry, and you have a lot

of very expressive, emotional, vulnerable people.

Singers, actors, artists… we all feel the need to

convey something about our experience of the world.

That means you expose yourself. It can be quite

intense and you feel like there is a spotlight on you.

Also, this is fucking Elton John. He was Elton John at

23 and he has been Elton John for the past 50 years.

He has been one of the most famous people alive for

decades. The pressure that comes with that, as well

as the allure of incredibly glitzy, seemingly perfect

party experiences? I can totally understand.

Do you ever feel that kind of

pressure in the public eye?

When I leave these junket days, I’ll

go back to my flat and I can’t sit still.

I have to walk around, I have to call

people, I have to do stuff. Because

although this feels like a conversation,

I’m actually performing. I’m trying to

be genuine and create a true version

of myself, but I am still attempting

to convey that version through the

quality of performance. It’s really hard

to come down from that. When I have

troubles in my life, I call my mum. She

is rational, sane, functional, normal,

and she has wisdom to impart. I don’t

know that Elton had that with his

mother and other people in his life.

How do you protect yourself from the problems

that Elton John went through?

I am not Elton John and I don’t know if he did protect

himself very well. He got very involved in that

lifestyle and ended up going to rehab, where he

saved himself. That’s what our film is about. It’s

about Elton John saving himself.

Rocketman is in cinemas nationwide from May 24;

paramount.com/movies/rocketman

©2018 PARAMOUNT PICTURES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

30 THE RED BULLETIN


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DANIELA

RYF

The Unfair

Advantage

What’s the secret power source of the

world’s greatest female triathlete?

Problems. Daniela Ryf reveals how

failure can unlock an untapped battery,

fully charged and ready to go

Words ALEX LISETZ

Photography

PHILIPP MUELLER,

AGNIESZKA DOROSZEWICZ


Steep uphill climb: Ryf has

gone from exceptional

Swiss talent to the world’s

top female triathlete

33


Daniela Ryf

Daniela Ryf is amazingly

good at swimming,

cycling and running

fast, and incredibly bad

at swimming, cycling

and running slowly.

“I want to give it my

all every time I train,”

she says. “I only want

Daniela to give it her all in races,” her

Australian trainer Brett Sutton counters.

The search for a compromise has

been going on for five years. Every couple

of weeks, it escalates to shouting and

screaming. Ryf isn’t nicknamed ‘Angry

Bird’ for nothing. “She needs to learn to

focus her strengths,” Sutton has insisted

since 2015. “Nobody would beat her for

years.” But Ryf wants to do things the

hard way. “I can only get better when

I push myself to the limit,” she says.

But what really delivers success?

Strategic training or total commitment?

Maybe it’s the balance that comes from

this quest for a compromise. After all,

Ryf is the best female triathlete in the

world today. The 31-year-old from

the Swiss canton of Solothurn has won

every Ironman World Championship

since 2015. She has picked up four

Ironman 70.3 (half-distance triathlon)

World Championship titles, two Ironman

European Championship crowns, and

at last year’s Ironman World Champs

in Hawaii she set a new course record

of 8:26:18. Her trainer believes that,

given perfect conditions, Ryf could shave

another 15 minutes off her time. That

would place her in the men’s top 10.

And Ryf’s course record in 2018 was

attained in the face of crazy adversity: she

was stung by a jellyfish shortly before

the start, and handicapped by pain and

numbness during the swim (see page 40).

Who knows what time she could have

achieved in optimal conditions?

Is Ryf so successful because she can

put herself through the ringer like no one

else? Is it because she’s more talented,

trains harder and has greater willpower?

Possibly. But the Swiss triathlete has her

own secret for success: she doesn’t solve

problems, she uses them as a source of

energy. Here, Ryf provides six examples

of pain-driven power from her career…

Acts of nature teach

you patience

May 8, 2010, ITU World Championship, Seoul

The biggest win of her career at the

time, this triathlon saw Ryf produce an

explosive sprint finish to beat both the

world number one and the reigning world

champion and finally establish her place

among the global elite. But following

a relaxed victory celebration at a South

Korean club and a short stopover in

Singapore, she then endured the worst

flight of her life, spending most of the

10,300km journey to Zürich in the toilet.

From that day on, for almost two years,

Ryf battled persistent and careerthreatening

intestinal problems.

“I mostly suffered this deadening

fatigue,” she recalls. “But the constant

nausea was almost as bad. As soon as

I exerted myself in training, I had to throw

34 THE RED BULLETIN


“I CAN ONLY

GET BETTER IF

I PUSH MYSELF

TO THE LIMIT”

Ryf doesn’t believe in relaxed

training sessions


CRASH. DISLOCATE

SHOULDER. RECOVER.

RECHARGE. REFOCUS.

RETURN. WIN. TWICE.

CRASH. BREAK HAND.

RECOVER. REPEAT.

IT’S THE ATTITUDE THAT MAKES YOU SECOND TO NONE.


Daniela Ryf

“THE PAIN GAVE

MY BODY

EXTRA ENERGY”

Ryf on being stung by a

jellyfish at Ironman Hawaii

up. It wasn’t long before I felt like not

giving it my all. I felt bad all the time.”

Ryf suffered for almost a year and

a half before doctors finally diagnosed

small intestinal bacterial overgrowth,

or SIBO (excessive bacteria in the small

intestine). With the right diagnosis, she

was back to form within a matter of

months. “In that year and a half, I had

to learn that I couldn’t just crowbar my

way through everything. The patience

I learnt at that time now helps both in

training and in the races themselves.”

She continues, “I enjoy training really

hard a lot more now, because I remember

how bad it was not being able to put my

foot to the floor the way I wanted.”

Being behind gives

you control

October 15, 2017, Ironman Hawaii

For the world’s top endurance athletes,

the Ironman World Championship isn’t

just an opportunity to go head to head

in a show of power, but also a chance to

demonstrate their mental strength. Lucy

Charles, Ryf’s fiercest rival that year, knew

that. The young Brit set an incredible time

in the 3.86km swim – Ryf’s weakest area

– missing the 18-year-old record of 48m

43s by just five seconds. Furthermore,

Charles went on to extend her lead in the

cycling – Ryf’s strongest area. At halfway,

the Swiss triathlete was six minutes

behind. She needed to turn up the heat.

“Your position at the split time doesn’t

matter – the important thing is crossing

the finish line first,” Ryf explains. This

applies to any long-distance exercise,

but it’s especially true in Ironman where,

she says, “the race only really gets going

five or six hours in”. But how to stay cool

when you’ve lost ground to your rival?

“It’s easier for the hunter to stay cool

than the hunted,” Ryf opines. “After all,

it’s the hunter who’s in control of the

situation. The hunted is threatened from

behind, whereas the hunter has a carrot

dangling on a stick in front of them. The

hunter can calmly observe, study and

take aim at the hunted ahead of them.

The hunted has to maintain their pace

and hope they don’t suffer a slump in

form. So the hunter can decide when they

want to give it their all and overtake.”

And that’s exactly what Ryf did in

Hawaii in 2017. Over the course of the

final 40km of the cycle, she turned up

the heat and went into the lead, then

she proceeded to extend her advantage

during the run. She crossed the finish

line with tears in her eyes, almost nine

minutes ahead of Lucy Charles.

What slows you down

now will make you

faster in the future

March 2017, training session, Gran Canaria

Ryf was preparing for a season in which

she hoped to surpass herself. It was still

early in the year, but she already sensed

that feeling she loved so much: the

relaxedness of perfectly honed muscles

and concentrated energy in her arms and

legs. That morning, swim training was

on the agenda. Regardless of the tempo

of her swimming, Ryf barrelled her way

through rough water. Suddenly, a twinge

between her shoulders shattered her

concentration. She’d torn a muscle. She

could barely turn her head the next

morning and had to take a complete

break for 10 days. How the hell would

she be ready for her first challenge of

the season, Ironman South Africa?

The injury completely ruined my

preparations,” Ryf recalls. Instead of

being able to train harder every day,

she was condemned to immobility.

“I didn’t even feel I was an athlete any

more,” she explains. But as the days

passed, her thinking changed: she would

no longer set her targets by the stopwatch

or through clocking up kilometres;

instead, she would do it by marking her

THE RED BULLETIN 37


Daniela Ryf

“YOUR POSITION AT

THE SPLIT TIME

DOESN’T MATTER.

YOU’VE GOT TO

CROSS THE FINISH

LINE FIRST”

Ryf says she’d rather be the

hunter than the hunted

stages of recovery. When she could turn

her head a centimetre more than the

week before, she celebrated.

On the eve of the year’s first Ironman,

it was still unclear whether Ryf would

be able to complete the swim at all;

she was still receiving treatment from

a chiropractor shortly before the event

got underway. But still she threw herself

into it, completing the swim, giving

everything on the bike and eventually

winning the race. A happy ending, then?

No. This was just the salutary opening

gambit of a powerful, secret mental

weapon. Anything that slows you down

is a dead weight that you can throw off

next time.

“I’ve started every race since South

Africa with less weight on my shoulders,”

explains Ryf. “I think of the extent to

which that injury put limitations on me

and yet it couldn’t stop me winning. And

then I’m happy that there’s absolutely

nothing putting limitations on me right

now. I imagine myself throwing off the

dead weight from back then, and I think

of how I can do even better now. That

thought is like an extra ace up my sleeve.”

Mistakes bring

wisdom

July 3, 2016, Ironman European

Championship, Frankfurt

This was an important race for Ryf. She

wanted to win it, as she had done the year

before, both to assert her position and to

gain greater confidence for the next race.

She was also aiming to qualify for the

season highlight in Kona, Hawaii.

But there were already signs of things

not going to plan during the swim. It was

a cool day, the water wasn’t warm, and

Ryf couldn’t get into her rhythm. She

placed all her hopes on her specialist

field – the cycling – but her problems just

seemed to get bigger. Travelling at speeds

of 40kph with a cold wind to contend

with, Ryf’s skinny frame – she’s 1.75m

tall and weighed 57kg – cooled down

ever further, then went on strike. Her

pedalling had no more power and she was

dropping down through the field. For the

first time in her life, she ended up retiring,

bitterly disappointed and humiliated.

“That was an abject day for me,” Ryf

says. “But I learnt a lot.” She took away

two valuable lessons from Frankfurt. The

first: “I’d always thought I could achieve

whatever I wanted as long as I trained

hard enough and got the most out of my

body. But I also have to pay attention to

the small details of what my body needs

to be able to work perfectly.” In this case,

it might have been enough to put on an

extra layer of clothing when she got on the

bike, maybe just a pair of arm-warmers.

The second lesson? “It doesn’t matter how

good I am when I’m good, it matters how

good I am when I’m bad. Ever since that

day, I’ve known I’m only really seriously

prepared when I can win a race on a bad

day.” The most important realisation was

that while mistakes may drive you mad,

it’s better to learn from them.

Defeat focuses

your senses

October 11, 2014, Ironman Hawaii

A month after winning the Ironman 70.3

World Championship in Canada, Ryf

lined up at the start in Kona for her first

Iron Man Hawaii. She’d already had an

extremely successful season, winning

more World Triathlon Corporation (WTC)

prize money than any other female

38 THE RED BULLETIN


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Daniela Ryf

In 2018, Ryf won

her fourth Ironman

World Championship

in Hawaii in a row –

and set a new course

record in the process

triathlete, and now she was in the World

Championship. Ryf demonstrated her

superiority on the bike to the full – eightand-a-half

hours in, she was way out in

front, about to take the title – but 5km

from the finish, the fire inside went out.

Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae had made up

the 10 minutes between them. She closed

in on Ryf, overtook and set a pace that the

Swiss athlete couldn’t keep up with.

“After the race, I might well have been

proud to have given it my best,” Ryf says.

“But when I crossed the finish line, I was

already thinking about the next year. After

all, I now knew how close I’d come to

victory.” Since then, she has woken every

morning with the same thought, playing

and replaying the moment Carfrae closed

in, then passed her at an irresistible pace.

Ryf promptly started the following season

with a string of wins. “The fact I couldn’t

keep pace with Mirinda still motivates me

“I IMAGINE

THROWING OFF

DEAD WEIGHT”

in every training session,” she says, even

though younger athletes are now more of

a threat than Carfrae. “If I imagine Mirinda

drawing up beside me, I immediately

pedal harder or run 1kph faster.” Ryf has

transformed a defeat into the perfect

mental stimulation to give purpose to her

exertions, and it’s been the basis for dozens

of subsequent victories. A pretty good deal.

Bad luck mobilises

your energy reserves

October 13, 2018, Ironman Hawaii

As she prepared for the start of the year’s

most important race, the defending

champion felt unbeatable. Ryf was in

fantastic form and had done all of her

homework. But with just two minutes

to go before the swim began, a jellyfish

stung the underside of both her upper

arms. The pain shot through her entire

body, right to the tips of her fingers. The

previous year, a competitor was forced to

retire from the race for the same reason

and was rushed straight to hospital. Ryf

didn’t let anything show and set off into

the maelstrom with the others.

But the pain soon grew worse and she

began falling metre upon metre further

behind. Then her arms went numb and

she began to doubt whether she would

be able to complete the 3.86km swim.

Ryf had already given up hope of a finish

near the top of the leaderboard, but she

was determined to carry on out of respect

for the race itself. She now thought of

finishing the race in 14, maybe 15 hours,

way down in last place. But when she

climbed onto her bike, Ryf realised she

was only 10 minutes off the pace. Maybe

this wasn’t over after all.

“In the water, I went through all the

emotions you can imagine,” she says.

“But once I was on the bike, I could think

clearly again.” Ryf decided to ascribe

new meaning to the jellyfish sting: “I

imagined how an extra dash of anger and

additional energy had entered my body

with the pain, and that I’d only be able to

get both out of my body the harder and

more relentlessly I pedalled.” She rode

faster than she’d ever ridden in her life.

Ryf picked off her rivals one by one,

and by the time she started the run, she’d

notched up the fastest-ever bike ride by

a female athlete at Kona. She finished the

race in 8:26:18, which made her not only

world champion but the holder of a new

course record. In doing so, Ryf proved that

our inner transformer can turn negative

energy into something productive. Pain

can give you extra power.

danielaryf.ch

40 THE RED BULLETIN


In an age of spoilers,

how can you create

a cultural phenomenon

built around the art

of revealing nothing?

SECRET CINEMA

spills the beans...

Words TOM GUISE


The Empire Strikes Back,

Printworks London (2015)

“We didn’t want the audience

to know the X-wing was there,”

says producer Andrea Moccia.

“So it flew out of a hidden parking

space, shot a pyro into the

huge computer structure, landed,

and Luke Skywalker jumped out.

I’ve never seen so many

50-year-old men filled with joy.”

SECRET CINEMA/MIKE MASSARO

SECRET

POWER

43


Secret Cinema

At an undisclosed location in

London, the bustle of activity

is afoot. Inside a cavernous

warehouse spanning 6,000m 2 ,

contractors feverishly put

the finishing touches to a

ginormous set that resembles…

well, we’d best not say.

Performers rehearse routines in a startling

recreation of the backstreets of… actually,

never mind. A man who looks suspiciously like

Daniel Craig walks among them, broodingly

scanning his surroundings. Studying him is

Barbara Broccoli, producer of the James Bond

movies. This scene may or may not have

happened; we can’t really tell you, because

the first rule of Secret Cinema is: tell no one.

The second rule is: immerse yourself. This is

what hundreds of thousands of people have

done during Secret Cinema’s 12-year run.

It’s a commitment delivered on a promise –

you pay more than the regular cinema price

to see an old film. You’re told what to wear

and where to meet at a certain time on a

certain day. You’re forbidden to bring your

smartphone inside, or take pictures. And by

the time you leave, you’ve had one of the most

incredible experiences of your life. If that

sounds like a religion, it’s not far off. There

are two types of people in this world: those

who know the secret and those who don’t.

In 2012, Andrea Moccia attended Secret

Cinema presents The Shawshank Redemption.

The ticket directed him to an east London

library, where he was ushered into a makeshift

courtroom. “The judge sentenced you for

a crime you hadn’t committed,” he recalls.

“Policemen loaded you into a blacked-out van

that took you to a school transformed into a

prison, where other audience members were

shouting at you. You were stripped, put in a

prison uniform and locked in a cell. I left that

night thinking, ‘These people are insane and

I have to work with them.’” Today, he’s one

of lead producers for Secret Cinema.

The first production I worked on was

Brazil,” says Moccia. “Day one, I walked into

the 12-floor building they’d transformed

into this dystopian world and got stuck in

a lift with [the film’s director] Terry Gilliam.

That was a baptism of fire.”

This is an apt phrase for anyone experiencing

their first Secret Cinema – a six-hour adventure

where you enter a sandbox recreation of a

movie’s universe with a narrative that unfolds

until it reaches a crescendo at the exact moment

the film begins. Last year, when Secret

Cinema adapted Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 movie

Romeo + Juliet – recreating the landscape of

Verona Beach for an audience of 5,000 a

night, with choirs, police cars, and a masked

ball at the Capulet mansion – the film director

described it as “a whole new art form”.

That art involves what Secret Cinema calls

‘mirror moments’, where performers reenact

scenes in perfect synchronisation with the

on-screen action. Before that, audiences

might encounter these characters on their

adventure. “One of my friends at Romeo +

Juliet texted to say girls were chasing the

actor playing Leonardo DiCaprio and crying

because he looked so real,” says Susan

Kulkarni, head of costume at Secret Cinema.

“I was like, ‘We nailed it,’ because that’s the

feeling I had as a teenager watching the film.”

For an event the size of Romeo + Juliet,

Kulkarni had a team of more than 30 working

on as many as 700 outfits on rotation. “The

actors have two or three changes throughout

the evening, then we costume the bar staff,

security, even the cleaners, because one

person wearing the wrong thing pulls you out

of the world.” Her team has to consider every

eventuality. “We create a capsule wardrobe

for each character, because if it’s raining you

have to imagine what else Juliet would wear.”

Kulkarni also has to consider the look of

the general public: “We use the audience to

Brazil, Croydon

The main character

had to jump off a

tower block and abseil

wearing huge wings,

but seem to be flying,”

says Kulkarni. “We

only had a couple of

days to create the

wings. You figure it

out as you go.”

SECRET CINEMA/HANSON LEATHERBY

44 THE RED BULLETIN


The first rule of

Secret Cinema is: tell

no one. The second:

immerse yourself

Dr Strangelove, Printworks London (2016)

Following The Empire Strikes Back, this adaptation of

Stanley Kubrick's 1964 satire brought back the concept of

not revealing the film's identity. The audience had to dress

in military uniforms, and the screening took place in the

War Room. “The idea was to create a summit,” says Riggall.

“To make the audience feel like world leaders.”


Secret Cinema

create the world.” After a guest buys a ticket,

they’re assigned a character and given outfit

suggestions. “For The Shawshank Redemption

we asked everyone to come in a suit, but once

they were stripped we needed 1,200 prison

uniforms. I found a guy with some original

’40s Norwegian prison uniforms in his garage.

That made the audience feel part of the world,

because they were wearing something real.”

It was very different in 2009 when Kulkarni

first joined Secret Cinema for a one-day popup

of the Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera.

“That was the first that had costumes. It’s just

me with a rack of clothes and two days to

outfit 40 people,” she recalls. “A tall man

came in asking for costume. I put an outfit

together and because I didn’t panic I got a call

to join the company.” The man turned out to be

Fabien Riggall, the founder of Secret Cinema.

The idea came to Riggall as a child living

in Morocco in the ’80s. “I was 11 and I

went to this fleapit cinema in Casablanca

without knowing what the film was,”

he recalls. “It turned out to be Sergio Leone’s

Once Upon A Time In America – an insane film

with an epic [Ennio]Morricone soundtrack.

The protagonist was this boy a bit older

than me – Noodles – who was in love with

Deborah, played by Jennifer Connelly.

I transported myself and became Noodles.”

Seventeen years later, in 2003, Riggall

launched a short-film festival called Future

Shorts. “A friend of mine had this venue,

an underground bunker in Shepherd’s Bush

Green [in west London] called Ginglik, which

was one of those lavish toilets from the old

days. I put on a night – 12 short films, a DJ,

people chatting, drinking, in those days when

you could smoke inside. The idea evolved into

the feature-length Future Cinema with 1922

horror Nosferatu at London club SeOne.

“We didn’t reveal the film or location, and I

thought, ‘It’s not going to sell,’ but 400 people

came.” He experimented with an immersive

adaptation of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. “The

concept was, ‘How can we make this more

real?’ We wanted to play with mystery.”

In 2007, this became Secret Cinema.

The first [Secret Cinema] was [Gus Van

Sant’s] Paranoid Park, about a skater accused

“People want

experiences that are

mysterious [and]

part of a bigger thing”

46 THE RED BULLETIN


SECRET CINEMA/HANSON LEATHERBY

28 Days Later,

Printworks London (2016)

Participants had to arrive at the 'hospital'

in scrubs for a routine vaccination,

only to 'awaken’ in a detailed recreation

of Danny Boyle's 2002 zombie horror,

except with food, cocktails and

a blood-soaked rave. The ‘patients’

watched the film from hospital beds.

THE RED BULLETIN 47


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Secret Cinema

SECRET CINEMA/LUKE DYSON/FRASER GILLESPIE

of murder. We did it in some tunnels beneath

London Bridge, filled with ramps and

halfpipes, and the audience became part of

the skateboard community in this hideout,

with staged police investigations.”

With each year, the events grew

in scale and ingenuity: Alien, Lawrence of

Arabia, Ghostbusters. Word-of-mouth built

hype, but attendees kept the secret. “I think

there’s a real desire to escape the looped

existence we have, where everything is

revealed and predictable, and everyone knows

where everyone is on social media,” says

Riggall. “In a world addicted to information,

that idea of secrecy is critical, as is a physical,

social thing you have to invest in – one you

can’t just click and download.”

Getting the audience invested has become

a science for Secret Cinema. “Lawrence Of

Arabia [2010] was the first time the audience

was really asked to participate,” says

Kulkarni. “At Alexandra Palace, we made a

huge souk [marketplace]. They had to bring

things to barter with, and exchanges were

happening on the Tube before they arrived.

We had Bedouin tents, and camels and horses

wandering out of Ally Pally.”

This attention to detail is even brought

to smaller events. “Secret Cinema X is an

underground format where we show films

that haven’t been released,” says Moccia.

“In 2017, we did a ‘Tell No One’ production,

where we don’t tell people what they’re going

to see.” It was The Handmaiden by Korean

director Park Chan-wook. “The performance

was done with silhouettes and you couldn’t

speak throughout the night. Walking into

a room with 1,000-plus people, all completely

silent. And at the bar you had to order on

a piece of paper. It was beautiful.”

In 2014, Secret Cinema delivered its most

ambitious project to date: Back To The

Future – a recreation of Hill Valley near

London’s Olympic Village. “People could

write letters to each other and postal workers

would deliver them within the venue,” says

Kulkarni. “Each house had a telephone you

could call the other houses with.”

The sheer scale proved too staggering; the

show wasn’t ready in time for launch. “It was

devastating not to be able to open on that

first night,” recalls Moccia. “But it’s a learning

process.” The show finally opened to rave

“You get to a point

where the audience

are the performers”

Moulin Rouge,

Printworks London (2017)

"The cast and team were like

family, much like the Moulin Rouge

in 1900," says Moccia. "During

the run, the Manchester bombings

and the Westminster terror attack

happened. We got the audience to

sing along to The Show Must Go

On. I'm tearing up as I speak about

it. It was a really moving moment."

The Handmaiden,

Troxy (2017)

"We got the venue

at 5am and had

to produce the show

that night," recalls

Bennett. "Following

the film's repressiveuncle

narrative that

no one can talk in his

house, the audience

took a vow of silence.

They loved it."

reviews, but nature almost intervened. At

11pm one night, a surprise rainstorm struck.

“Every costume was soaked,” say Kulkarni.

“We had to find a way to clean and dry 600

costumes in 12 hours. We hot-boxed an entire

cabin and put everything in it.”

If Back To The Future was a lesson in

untempered ambition, it didn’t shown; the

next year, Secret Cinema took it up another

notch with The Empire Strikes Back.

“It took a year of talking to eight

stakeholders, from Lucasfilm to Bad Robot

to Disney to Fox,” says Riggall. “[Lucasfilm

president] Kathy Kennedy supported us. As

exec producer on Back to the Future, she was

impressed with what we did there. But to give

us the rights to do that movie in the year they

were releasing The Force Awakens – a $2 billion

franchise – was extraordinary. Then, to find

an old newspaper factory to build Star Wars

in… that was an insane ambition.”

“It was an old printing press not fit for

audience members,” says Moccia of the

building that is now the nightclub Printworks

London. “We transformed it and put in three

productions: The Empire Strikes Back, Dr

Strangelove and 28 Days Later.”

“I wanted to build a gigantic Secret

Cinema that could stay there for ever,” says

Riggall. “We put a lot of work into it, invested

a great deal, but I know the guys who set up

Printworks, and good on them.” He sees

Secret Cinema’s contribution to the buildings

it inhabits as a positive. “So many are empty,

waiting years for planning permission.

Developers are opening their eyes to what

we do. We can create this ‘meanwhile use’,

filling them with happy people experiencing

something. I like to think that in the depths

of the night, as people are dancing to some

THE RED BULLETIN 49


Secret Cinema

Back to the Future,

Printworks London

(2014)

"There was a piece in the

Evening Standard saying

we’d affected the way

people dressed that summer,

that women were wearing

'50s dresses," says Kulkarni.

"It may be just a coincidence

or something subliminal.

It's extraordinary to think

a cultural event can

influence what people wear."

DJ’s set, they go, ‘Shit, wasn’t this where the

X-wing flew over my head?’”

The X-wing was definitely a challenge,”

says Moccia of the full-size prop that enacted

the finale of Star Wars before the celluloid

sequel rolled. “It was built from MDF and rigged

to an automation system, with projection

mapping to look as if it was flying through

space. Luke Skywalker was in it throughout.

One time, the automation system failed and

he got stuck up there for about an hour.”

The Empire Strikes Back was the zenith,”

says Matt Bennett, a DJ who joined to head up

the music department. “I just needed a change,”

he says. That’s what he got. “I was putting on

club nights for 1,000 people in Glasgow, and

there are more than 400 people working on

Star Wars. The production company, Wonder

Works, did the [London 2012] Olympics

Romeo

+ Juliet,

Gunnersbury

Park (2018)

Tied to the theme of

youth violence, the

show worked with the

charity MAC-UK. "We

got Loki, a political

rapper, to come and

work on the project

and raise money and

awareness on knife

crime," says Bennett.

opening and closing ceremonies. I had three

months to figure out the music showcase.

It was seat-of-the-pants stuff.”

Bennett’s initiation was made tougher by

a new experiment: alongside the four stages

at Printworks was a warm-up gig at an

undisclosed location. “It was the little secret

behind the big secret. We had all the bands

from the main site and some DJs – everyone

learnt to play the cantina band song.” Actors

mingling with the crowd added a new layer

of immersion. “Fabien wanted to open up allnight

parties in the style of [Berlin nightclub]

Berghain. Thankfully we never got to that

stage, because we were consumed by delivering

100 nights of Star Wars to 100,000 people.

After the runaway success of The Empire

Strikes Back, the window of possibility was

thrown wide open. For last year’s Blade

Runner that included building a future Los

Angeles with an indoor rain system for 86

nights. “We had a massive pool under the

floor connected to a closed loop system that

pumped water up to a rain rig on the ceiling,”

says Moccia. “We had to clean the pool daily,

because people dropped chips in it. “But to

see that hero moment, with everybody opening

their umbrellas, drenched in neon light – it

was like being in Shibuya on a rainy night.”

Every member of Secret Cinema has their

favourite moment. For Bennett, it might

have been DJing in that acid rain at Blade

Runner. “It felt important, but it was just

playing techno to people who were totally wet

and having the time of their lives.” Instead, he

has another: “In 2015, we went to the Calais

refugee camp. It was the week that small boy

[Syrian three-year-old Alan Kurdi] washed up

dead on the shore [in Turkey]. Fabien insisted

we stage a cultural protest against the treatment

of the people at the camp. We took Afrikan

Boy, a Nigerian-born London rapper who

sings about global politics and immigration,

and set up a pop-up cinema screen showing a

Bollywood film to all the families in the camp.

There were thousands of people who had

no home and didn’t think they had a future.

They weren’t sitting eating popcorn. It was a

very immediate moment of having an impact

on people’s lives who maybe really needed to

watch a film. The baddies got booed, the girls

got cheered. We raised money afterwards to

keep the project going, then the political

landscape changed when people were killed

in Paris and Manchester. But it reflects Secret

Cinema’s ethos of getting up and doing stuff,

and credit to Fabien for essentially risking his

brand with a very divisive political posture.”

Raising awareness for social issues is

perhaps Secret Cinema’s most hidden quality.

SECRET CINEMA/CAMILLA GREENWELL, © 1996 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

50 THE RED BULLETIN


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Blade Runner, Canning Town (2018)

“We didn't want to break the spell, and playing the Vangelis soundtrack would do that,”

says Bennett. “So we took the music from Taffey’s Bar, because it’s a place in the film.

We stretched 18 seconds of Arabic-style dub into six hours of low-end exotica.”

Broccoli. She listened, asked very astute

questions, then said, ‘Yeah, you can do that.’

Next, I got hold of the film’s director, Martin

Campbell, and said, ‘What were you thinking

when you filmed Casino Royale?’ He said,

‘I looked down the camera lens and asked

myself if it was real. And if it was, I filmed it.’”

Jackson, shrewdly, won’t reveal the

contents of the show. “We’ve got a casino –

that’s not too much of a spoiler,” he laughs.

However, fans of the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock

thriller North by Northwest may find the prescreening

narrative familiar. Jackson also

name-drops Sébastien Foucan, the founder of

freerunning, who played bomber Mollaka in

Casino Royale’s opening chase in Madagascar.

“Seb’s been in and out a few times,” he teases.

What Jackson does promise is an

opportunity for everyone to live out their 007

fantasy in a way that no one, except perhaps

the Bond actors, has had the chance to do.

“Spielberg said we go to films to watch people

making the choices you wouldn’t make in real

life,” he says. “We’re putting these choices in

the hands of the audience. You get to a point

where the audience are the performers. That’s

what a Secret Cinema show is.”

“When we bring films to life, that also means

whatever message those films have,” says

Riggall. “When we did One Flew Over the

Cuckoo’s Nest, we worked with mental-health

charity Mind and integrated fundraising

awareness. This year, with Casino Royale,

we’re working with Calm, a charity that raises

awareness of mental health and male suicide.

The film is very honest about what James

Bond goes through, and it’s interesting to

allow that to be part of the story. One gesture

can change your life and sometimes that

thing is cultural. For me, it was cinema. It’s

important to create experiences that can be

a conduit for change.”

Casino Royale is the first Secret Cinema

that Riggall has delegated control of, handing

the reins to veteran theatre director Angus

Jackson. “It’ll be the biggest indoor show

we’ve done – twice the size of Blade Runner,”

says Jackson. “It’s 1,500 people a night, 50

performers. This is closest to when I ran the

entire Rome season at the RSC [in 2017],

when we built a four-show Roman world for

Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Titus

Andronicus and Coriolanus. That collapsed

in on itself in the space of a year.”

It also heralds a deeper partnership with

the film creators. “I had to pitch to Barbara

Riggall and Luhrmann on stage

at 2017’s Moulin Rouge

There’s a desire

to escape our

looped existence”

Fabien Riggall may be a master of

secrecy, but he’s quite open about some

of the plans he has for Secret Cinema.

He wants to take it global. “We’ve done

teasers in Berlin, New York, to see how can

that works. Universally, I think people want

experiences that are mysterious, to become

part of a bigger thing. In the US, cinema has

a cultural resonance, and bringing these

experiences to a country where entire towns

transform for Halloween is interesting. And

when we start going to places that don’t speak

English, how do we translate that?”

As for which films he’d like to do next:

“Titanic. The richness of that world could

be huge. The question is, how are we going

to build it, sink it and then get it back up

every night? I’ve always wanted to do Secret

Cinema on a train. And ET – to have everyone

cycle to a forest on BMXs, strap them onto

wires, then they fly over the screen and we

never see them again.”

Riggall may be joking about ET, but

there’s one idea for the future that he’s

serious about: “Once Upon a Time in America,

set beneath Brooklyn Bridge. Transforming

a district of Brooklyn into prohibition New

York, with Morricone and a live orchestra.

I’m definitely going to propose that to

whichever mayor of Brooklyn we have

to talk to. I think that’s possible.”

Secret Cinema presents Casino Royale

launches on June 5; tickets.secretcinema.org

SECRET CINEMA/AL OVERDRIVE/MIKE MASSARO

52 THE RED BULLETIN


Free

Radicals

Bleak, utilitarian city

streets are, for many,

a daily drag. But for an

underground tribe of

mountain bikers, urban

concrete plus gravity

equals a playground

of endless possibilities

Words MATT RAY

Photography DAVID GOLDMAN

54


In Portsmouth, some

local kids got nosy, so

photographer David

Goldman invited them

to take part in one of

Josh Reynolds’ stunts


MTB street

“When you’ve got a big

bike, you’re looking for

things only the craziest

person would ever dream

of doing on a BMX”

T

he British city street is under

pressure. It’s trapped in a

slow-grind crisis where stress

is rife and anxiety is the new

normal. But within its

concrete canyons, beasts are

stirring – and it’s not the rats.

Sitting astride burly, overbuilt

mountain bikes are a row of

riders in full-face helmets and

a patchwork uniform of gloves,

skinny jeans, unbuttoned shirts and freeride jerseys.

They stare down from a 6m-high asphalt overpass,

gazes locked onto a double set of red-brick stairs

bordered by concrete slopes, studded with rocks, and

scattered with the usual urban debris: broken glass,

cigarette ends… Breaking their focus, the riders split,

peeling off back up the road and out of sight.

Stop and stare in a city and eventually the street

will notice you. Here in Portsmouth, pedestrians

have begun to crowd along the top of the overpass,

looking down at the stairs and the small portable

ramp that has been set up at the top. The rising

whoosh of fat rubber tyres accelerated by pedal

power reaches their ears as a rider rounds the

corner, launches off the ramp and hurtles down

the stairs, whipping his back wheel in the air. But

he doesn’t quite clear the platform between the

flights of stairs, clipping his back wheel and, with

a tortured crunch, smacking the underside of his

bike’s frame into the edge of a step. Only strength

and experience prevent him from being catapulted

face-first into the pavement.

The rider swears into the city air. “That ramp really

launches you,” reports Simon Brettle, the 31-yearold

carpenter and mountain biker. “My landing zone

is exactly the same size as my bike – there is literally

no room for error.”

The street is built from intersecting concrete

blades. There are harsh, unyielding angles everywhere

you look. It’s a far cry from the rounded, flowing

lines and loose dirt of an off-road mountain-bike trail.

“I find that terrifying, to be honest,” says another

of the riders, Josh Reynolds, who is sponsored by

Sick Bikes and works as a fitness equipment engineer.

“Stair sets and bricks are a lot harsher. When you

start pushing it, everything becomes more highconsequence.”

Consequences leave scars, and

Reynolds’ injuries from both MTB and BMX include

a dented skull, blown ankles, a shattered collarbone

and smashed back teeth. He’s 24 years old.

“If you’re riding off-road, you’ll have a nice big

jump with a long landing to hit, which will slope

off into the flat,” he continues. “It’s not angular;

it doesn’t go from 45° to flat within an inch.” Street

geometry and the arithmetic of impact is violent and

uncompromising, but Reynolds isn’t complaining.

The riders all wear adversity like a badge of honour

– it shows they belong. At one point, Brettle and

local rider Ben Matthews compete to gross us out by

flexing their injured wrist joints – bones clunk and

push against the skin, unanchored by any ligaments

that may have survived previous crashes.

The bravado isn’t just a front, and you don’t

ride a mountain bike in the street to be subtle; it’s

a statement of intent. Reynolds grew up riding

56 THE RED BULLETIN


Left: Reynolds in his

Chainbreakers Cycling

Club jacket. Below:

at Brighton Marina


MTB street

a BMX, but ‘mountain-bike street’ has remoulded him

– he doesn’t even think in the same way. “BMXs are

brakeless, small wheels, no suspension, so you can

look at something small on the street, like a ledge,

and think, ‘I can grind that, I can 360° hop off that,’”

he says. “But when you’ve got a big bike, you’d walk

straight past it – you’re looking for things only the

craziest person would ever dream of doing on a BMX.”

The thing about street furniture is that it’s literally

set in stone. Jumping a long double – or triple –

stair set will write your name into legend. Once, on

London’s Pall Mall, with an audience of 50 riders,

Brettle landed an almost 7m drop off a high, rounded

wall to the bottom steps of a triple set. “That was

the biggest drop I’ve ever done,” he reveals. “I got

a ticket for that one.”

Each of these guys says the same thing: riding the

street fundamentally changes how you see it for ever.

“Other people go down a road and all they see is the

road and a pavement,” says Reynolds. “I’ll go down

the same street and be looking at that bank and that

stair set and that drop. You can never switch it off.”

Ben Matthews races enduro events, but takes a

different approach to mountain-bike street. “It’s about

being able to take the hard hits, but also knowing how

to look at a wall or a bank and think, ‘Oh, I can jump

up onto that and 180° off,’” says the 29-year-old, who

works in carbon-fibre engineering. “You need to be

able to have great imagination. It’s not like trail-riding,

where you’re just following the path in front of you.”

The street has always been there, and mountain

bikes aren’t news, so why is the underground

bubbling again now? Why do we have outriders on

our thoroughfares? For these guys, there’s a practical

reason: new tech has been developed. Portable

‘pack-a-ramps’ such as those made by MTB Hopper

can be carried from spot to spot as backpacks. These

flatpack ramps take minutes to set up and act as

a force multiplier for potential tricks and jumps,

easing take-off angles between floors and banks

(which rob you of speed) and allowing for launches

over obstacles. “Some of the ramps feel literally like

getting sent to the moon,” says Matthews.

One ramp has been used to turn a grassy bank into

the landing zone for a high-speed big-air jump on

Portsmouth seafront. Spotters are deployed to watch

out for pedestrians, then the riders, unsure if they are

going to be moved on, throw themselves into jumping

it. “You’ve got to be quick,” says Matthews. “Get in

there, set it up, go. It’s all or nothing, basically. You

try and get as much out of it as you can, and as soon

as you see security coming you just grab your bags

and run. I’ve never been arrested, but it has been

very close – you try not to be an idiot and actually

respect the area, and you avoid doing any damage.”

Matthews races up to the ramp. It strains to absorb

his charge, emitting a disconcerting ker-klunk, then

he’s in the air, soaring against the sky as it sits grey and

heavy above the waves. He’s reaching for a mid-air

trick when it all goes wrong. The riders’ landings all

Simon Brettle – known to his fellow riders as ‘Kettle’ – unloads his bikes from his van at an estate at the top of a hill in Brighton

58 THE RED BULLETIN


“Some of the

ramps feel literally

like getting sent

to the moon”

XX EDITOR ILLUSTRATOR

Reynolds sends it to

the sky mid-whip with

the help of a mobile

ramp, the MTB Hopper


“You’ve got to be

quick. Get in there,

set it up, go… and

as soon as you see

security coming,

you just grab your

bags and run”

Kettle launches himself

down a double set of steps

near the Magistrates’

Court in Portsmouth


Henry Durman,

Ben Matthews and

Reynolds get geared

up for the session

at Brighton Marina

61


Reynolds sends a

one-footed euro table

(what he calls a “dogpisser”)

over a hip at

Portsmouth Pyramids


MTB street

sound violent, but this is like scrap metal crashing

down a mineshaft. They rush to his aid, but he’s OK –

kind of. “He slipped a foot and broke his saddle with

his balls,” says Brettle, incredulously. It’s no joke – the

saddle’s metal rails are both neatly sheared in half.

It’s suddenly obvious why the riders favour a

distinctly old-school set-up of overbuilt aluminium

frames, 26in (66cm) wheels and downhill tyres,

running at 40psi, rather than trail pressures of 25psi,

with extra spacers in their suspension. “The bikes

take a beating,” says Matthews. “You need something

that’s super-burly to take the impacts, because it isn’t

like riding dirt – you’re landing on solid concrete.”

Brettle is getting a new frame custom-built for

his style – by Frome-based bespoke bike-makers

BTR Fabrications – because the modern trend for

low, slack and long wheelbase bikes is unsuited to

the short, brutal landings of the street. “I ride an

aluminium bike, 26in wheels, old-school – just has

to be hardcore.” Even within the world of mountain

biking, these guys are iconoclasts. As it turns out,

they all have very practical day jobs, from carpenter

to carbon-fibre engineer, so they’re familiar with

breaking points. They know what it is to push metal,

bone, carbon fibre and sinew to the limit – and past it.

“That’s the end of my day,” grimaces Matthews,

who walks like John Wayne for the next few hours.

If they’re shaken by his crash, the other riders don’t

show it. They’re focused on the finale: another ramp

jump, this time off a 3m wall, over a pavement and

onto a banking in the car park below. The run-up is

along tarmac to a gravel path and then grass. The

ramp makes it possible, but the run-in is “sub-optimal

enough” for Henry Durman to have a high-speed

wash-out on the lumpy grass, just before the ramp.

Picking himself up, the 23-year-old marine engineer

and rigger shouts down from the top of the wall,

“Aah! I’m shaking like a sick dog!”

It’s another high-consequence jump with a tiny

landing zone. Get it wrong and you could land flat on

unyielding tarmac and detonate your knees, or go nose

in and be ejected straight off the bike into something

pitilessly solid. You can’t see the landing from the

top, so the riders are having to line themselves up

by looking at a distant lamppost as they jump.

As Reynolds launches off the ramp, he doesn’t

seem phased – he whips his hands off the bar to

throw his arms behind him and land a ‘suicide nohander’.

The landing is the hardest of the day: every

millimetre of his downhill bike’s 180mm suspension

is called upon as his arms and legs fight to absorb

the rest of the impact. After a flurry of fist bumps,

he dismounts and demonstrates his commitment

by taking off his shoe to adjust the brace he’s

wearing, following recent surgery on both ankles.

Despite his scare, Durman sends the next jump,

landing with a whoop. He also races downhill, but

for him the buzz you get from a street jump can’t be

beaten off-road. “With street, you’ve only got one

chance to get it right, which is so exhilarating. There’s

so much adrenalin coursing through your system,

you’re up there just shaking, waiting to drop in.”

What makes MTB street so liberating for these

riders is the very fact that it hasn’t been built for them.

“With street [riding],

you’ve only got one

chance to get it right“

Durman scopes out steps as he sets up near Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court

Downhill and enduro tracks have big jumps, but they

are designed to be predictable and safe. “The distance

between where you take off and land is a nice smooth

arc,” says Reynolds. “But with street, if you’re jumping

off a wall, you go up but there’s still 10-15ft [3-5m]

to drop – the arc is lopsided.” The consequences of

getting it wrong are greater, but so too are the rewards.

It’s this process of overcoming obstacles from

dramatic new angles that seems to define how MTB

street riders interact with their environment. Urban

worlds can seem compressed, buckling under external

strains and internal angst. Normally, in a world under

siege from itself, options narrow, possibilities are

blocked, and self-expression is stifled. For minds

under pressure, streets are recast as prisons. But for

the street rider, stairs become launch pads, walls

become roads, and obstacles become old friends.

Perhaps being able to see your street from a radically

new perspective does a hard reset on your relationship

to it. Who knows, it could even set you free.

THE RED BULLETIN 63


LEAGUE OF

HER OWN

One dream job would be enough

for most people, but 27-year-old

CHELCEE GRIMES has scored

success as a rising music star

and a pro footballer. Welcome

to her life of two halves

Words PIERS MARTIN

Photography STEPHANIE SIAN SMITH

CHELCEE WEARS CHAMPION CROPPED TANK TOP; ADIDAS TEAM SPORTS TRACKSUIT TOP; PICKLE & POLISH ‘CHELCEE’ CHAIN; HAIRCLIPS, STYLIST’S OWN

64


Chelcee Grimes

a Jekyll and Hyde – there are two sides

of me, but both are important,” explains the

softly spoken Liverpudlian as the lighting and

backdrops from her Red Bulletin photoshoot

“I’m

are dismantled. Sitting on a sofa in the corner

of a sunny canalside studio in east London, the chatty, easygoing

27-year-old wears a bright orange top, off-white jeans

and New Balance trainers. Around her neck hangs a silver chain

sporting her name: Chelcee.

Chelcee Grimes is a songwriter in demand. In addition to

composing hits for the likes of Dua Lipa, Kylie Minogue, Kesha

and Tom Walker, she has worked in LA with Calvin Harris and

producer RedOne (Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj). She launched her

own singing career in 2018 with the upbeat R&B-laced pop

tracks Just Like That and I Need a Night Out, and she has a debut

album scheduled for release next year. But that’s only the half

of it: Chelcee is also a professional footballer.

Playing up front for Fulham FC Women, Chelcee scored

three goals in this season’s FA Cup, and she brings together her

two big passions as the presenter of Chelcee Away, her online

show for BBC Sport. Chelcee will also be part of the BBC team

covering the Women’s World Cup in France this June and July;

and in between all this, she still finds time to contribute to the

popular football fan site COPA90. “I’m very busy at the minute,”

she understates. “It’s gone a bit mental, but I’m excited.”

Chelcee has barely paused for breath over the past few years.

Yesterday, she visited Anfield to meet Liverpool FC manager

Jurgen Klopp for a forthcoming branding venture; being a

lifelong fan of the club, this was a dream come true. After our

interview, she’ll head to a studio in London’s Shoreditch to finish

the vocals for her upcoming single, Girls, which she hopes will

be the unofficial anthem of the Women’s World Cup. Tomorrow,

“Kids would have my

lyrics as tattoos…

I’d say, ‘Don’t get it

done, your mother

will kill you’”

66 THE RED BULLETIN


Northern

powerhouse:

Chelcee is an

unstoppable

force in music

and football

CHELCEE WEARS ELLESSE JASMINE CROPPED HOODY; WEEKDAY ROW JEANS; ADIDAS FALCON SHOES

THE RED BULLETIN 67


68 THE RED BULLETIN


Chelcee Grimes

Chelcee’s World Cup

women to watch

Nikita Parris, England

“She’s an attacking player who

played for the Everton youth team,

one age group below me. Nikita is

a speedster – you don’t want her

running at you with the ball. When

she signed for Man City, I knew she’d

become one of England’s best.”

GETTY IMAGES. CHELCEE WEARS NIKE ACG RELAXED-FIT WOVEN JOGGING BOTTOMS; NIKE STRIKE FOOTBALL; TANK TOP AND CHAIN, AS BEFORE

Fran Kirby, England

The female Messi. Fran scored

a few goals in the SheBelieves Cup

[an annual international women’s

tournament in the US]. She’s small,

quick and as skilful as anyone.

Definitely one to watch.”

Megan Rapinoe, USA

The American national squad

are always strong. Megan is

a great player technically, and

someone who will always give

her team a big advantage.”

Ji So-Yun, South Korea

“Chelsea’s number 10. She scores

and creates goals – you can’t

give her space for a shot. Ji is a team

player, and she makes chances

out of nothing – you have to be

switched on when she’s around.”

Formiga, Brazil

The first woman to play in seven

World Cups. Formiga will be 41

at this year’s tournament, and the

stage is set for her to score the

winner in a big game. That’s what

competitions like this are set up

for – anything can happen.”

Megan Rapinoe

Nikita Parris

“When I went for

trials at Liverpool,

I didn’t even own

a pair of boots”

she’ll take part in a songwriting session in Ealing with producer

and fellow hit machine Naughty Boy (“I met him last week and

we started working together”), and at the end of the week she’ll

attend the FIFA eWorld Cup video-game championships. “I’m

living my dream,” beams Chelcee, a keen gamer.

Excelling at two high-profile careers is turning Chelcee into

something of a celebrity, as well as an ambassador for women’s

football. She handles the attention well, not least because of her

easy-going nature and her genuine love for what she does, and

Chelcee is always ready to share her experiences with young

fans who see her as a role model. But she has also been through

enough to know how fickle these industries can be.

Once upon a time, Chelcee quit football. She was 17

and on the precipice of turning professional, but there

wasn’t enough money in the women’s game to support

a viable career. This tricky decision was assuaged by the

lucrative offer of a major record deal. “Someone was dangling

a cheque in front of me, and football hadn’t paid in eight years,

so what could I do?” she says. “I obviously chose music and

dropped out of football.” If that sounds like a no-brainer, a better

appreciation of Grimes’ deep commitment to the game is needed.

Having grown up in Aigburth, Liverpool, the city’s legendary

football club has always been a massive part of her life: “If your

family are Liverpool supporters, it’s in your blood.” Her father

chose her name. “Chelsea weren’t a big team back then, so it

wasn’t like they were going to call me Tottenham or something,”

she smiles. “My mum was like, ‘OK, we like the name, but we’ll

have to spell it differently,’ so that’s how it’s spelt in my passport.

When people don’t believe me, I have to get it out to show them.”

With no siblings, Chelcee realised that if she wanted to get

on with her male cousins and hang out with the boys on her

street, she’d have to learn to play football. “It was that or stay

in and do homework. At first I wasn’t very good, but I quickly

improved – I’d be the first one they chose for the team.” After

her grandad spotted an ad in the local paper, Chelcee’s mum

enrolled her at the Ian Rush Soccer School; she was the only girl

to attend. Her skills were soon recognised by Liverpool Ladies

(now Liverpool FC Women), who trained at the same ground.

“I was asked to come to their trials. I didn’t even own a pair of

football boots, but I turned up and got through. I played for

Liverpool Under-10s, then signed up for another five years.”

Her passion for making music, however, didn’t bloom until

her mid-teens. A huge pop fan, Chelcee grew up listening to

J-Lo, Beyoncé, Pink and Kanye. Her mum would play dance

music at home, while her stepdad listened to Sting and Simon

& Garfunkel. Having chosen music as one of her GSCE options

– mainly because she thought it would be easy – Chelcee was

THE RED BULLETIN 69


Chelcee Grimes

“I’ve fought my

way to be where

I am, so I feel

like I deserve it”

Now at Fulham,

Chelcee has also

played for Liverpool,

Everton, Tranmere

Rovers and Spurs

encouraged by a teacher who noticed her aptitude for

songwriting. At 16, she won a six-month recording arrangement

through a competition on local radio station Juice FM. The

studio belonged to Liverpool winger Ryan Babel, which meant

Chelcee went to all the team’s games and learnt her way around

a studio with the help of Babel’s engineer. She was hooked.

At the same time, Chelcee began gigging. “I’d play every openmic

night in Liverpool,” she recalls. “More people would turn

up and a buzz developed. Kids would have my lyrics as tattoos

– I can’t even remember the songs. I think one was called The

Truth, and someone had that written on themselves. I’d say,

‘Don’t get it done, your mother will kill you.’ But when people

started to do that, I could tell a movement was happening.”

This led to the agonising choice between football and music

that culminated in Chelcee signing a contract with record label

RCA. “They wanted to make me into an English Alicia Keys,”

she reveals. Not long after Chelcee signed up, however, her

contact at the label was sacked, and two years later she was

unceremoniously dropped. Deflated and running out of money,

Chelcee moved to London to pursue her songwriting dream,

recording in bedrooms, basements, wherever she could.

She looks back on that time with frankness: “At 18 I hadn’t

really lived, I’d just played football. I had a bit of a gap for a year,

wrote four songs, got a record deal really early. I don’t think

I deserved it, if I’m honest.” Instead, she threw herself into new

challenges. “It made me travel, learn about myself, and I gave

writing a go. Then someone called and said, ‘We think you’re

a good songwriter, we’ll give you a publishing deal.’ It’s not what

I really wanted – I still wanted to be on stage – but I did it.”

She found herself at a songwriting session in Copenhagen with

veteran Danish producer Cutfather. Feeling homesick, Chelcee

wrote the lyrics “I feel like I’m a million miles away”, which evolved

into Kylie Minogue’s 2014 song Million Miles. Then she began

working with Steve Mac, one of the most successful producers

in modern pop, responsible for huge hits by the likes of Ed

Sheeran (Shape Of You), Clean Bandit (Symphony) and Pink

(What About Us). “If you have better players around you, you

automatically grow and thrive,” she says, drawing a connection

between songwriting and football. “I don’t get intimidated.

If I put my mind to something, I usually go on to do it.”

Chelcee is in no doubt where this self-belief comes from:

“It’s because I’m a Scouser. There’s something in the Liverpool

water where we think we can do anything we put our mind to.

It’s in the heart of our football team, too. I remember the 2005

Champions League final [the now-legendary match against

AC Milan in Istanbul] where we were 3-0 down. To come back

and fight and win it in 45 minutes – that embodies everything

I believe as a person. It was the first time I saw that magic can

happen if you fight for it.”

Looking back, Chelcee believes the whole journey has

been a valuable lesson: “I’ve only been [working in music]

professionally for four years, but I’ve developed massively

from when I was writing songs at 17 in my bedroom with

no one saying, ‘Do this or change that.’” After signing to the

management agency that represents Dua Lipa, Lana Del Ray

and Ellie Goulding, Chelcee’s talent for composing a killer

melody and a catchy hook emerged. “It’s a running industry

joke how fast I am at writing,” she says. “Yesterday, I went

outside the studio and saw a sign that read, ‘Please don’t play

ball games,’ and I thought, ‘That’s a dope title,’ so we wrote

a song called Please. There’s no yellow brick road to making

a hit record. You’ve just got to feel it as you go.”

When you write a song a day, as Chelcee strives to, some

are bound to resonate. One she wrote about her father, titled

11:11, was covered in 2016 by South Korean artist Taeyeon and

became a huge hit, racking up more than 52 million YouTube

views. “Sometimes you don’t remember writing songs, but that’s

a special one,” she says. “[The song’s co-writer] Christian Vinten

said, ‘What have you never written about?’ and I said, ‘It’s really

weird but I’ve never written about my dad.’ He passed away

when I was a kid, and I feel like I’ve never wanted to open that

box. My mum would say, ‘When it gets to 11:11, make a wish,’

so I used to wish for my dad to come and speak to me. When

I hear the opening chord, it takes me right back to writing it.”

Much as Chelcee enjoyed her songwriting success, she never

lost the longing to perform, and last year her perseverance paid

off when she finally released her own music. “It’s been six years

CHELCEE WEARS ELLESSE PINZO TRACK TOP; KAPPA AUTHENTIC BALIC JOGGERS; NEW BALANCE 997H SHOES; TANK TOP AND FOOTBALL, AS BEFORE

70 THE RED BULLETIN


Chelcee Grimes

There’s no

yellow brick road

to making a hit.

You’ve just got to

feel it as you go”

of slog,” she says. “And it hasn’t been given to me. If it had, I’d

be like, ‘Whoa, what’s happening?’ But I’ve literally fought my

way to be where I am, so I feel like I deserve it.”

Another pursuit Chelcee missed was playing football. When

watching the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she realised a number

of girls she used to play with were now wearing an England

shirt. “I thought, ‘I need to get back into it.’ So I googled a few

teams and got trials with Wimbledon, Spurs and West Ham.

They all offered me a contract – it was crazy.” Chelcee is now

settled at Fulham – she also lives nearby – though the relegation

of the men’s team from the Premier League and its knock-on

effect on revenue has created uncertainty for the women.

Chelcee’s top festival

picks for 2019

Billie Eilish

“She’s 17 and smashing it right

now. [The California-born singersongwriter]

makes all her music with

her brother, so it’s not manufactured.

Billie’s breaking boundaries, and the

whole industry is talking about her.

She’s different and I appreciate that.”

King Princess

“She’s a new singer signed to Mark

Ronson’s label. King Princess [aka

Mikaela Straus] is big in the LGBTQ

community and she’s not selling any

part of herself, just being authentic.

She’s also super talented and plays

all the instruments on her songs.”

Michael Kiwanuka

“I already knew Michael through

the industry, but then his song Cold

Little Heart was used as the title

track of [US drama] Big Little Lies

and I became a fan. It’s an amazing

record. The show is really good, too.”

Tom Grennan

“Tom was my first-ever guest on

Chelcee Away. I became a fan after

hearing his song Found What I’ve

Been Looking For on the FIFA 18

soundtrack. We became friends

and wrote two songs together.

They might be on his next record.”

Girlpool

“I don’t know anything about the

[LA indie-rock duo], but I saw the

name Girlpool on a festival line-up

and wanted to know more. So you

should definitely go to see them.”

King Princess

Much has changed in women’s football over the past

five years, and Chelcee believes the sport is healthier

and wealthier than ever. In March this year, Barclays

announced a £10 million three-year sponsorship of

the FA’s Women’s Super League – the biggest investment by a

brand in UK women’s sports. In Spain that same month, more

than 60,000 fans watched a match between Atlético Madrid and

Barcelona in the Primera División Femenina – a world record

attendance for a club game in women’s football – and in Italy

around 39,000 people saw Juventus Women beat Fiorentina.

“My little sister is nine now and she plays football,” says

Chelcee. “When I was playing, I was the only girl, but she’s one

of six in the team. That growth from a grassroots level is all you

need. And to turn on the TV now and see [former England and

Arsenal Women right-back] Alex Scott as a BBC pundit… that

would never have happened when I was a kid. It’s awesome.”

In terms of investment and profile, the women’s game in the

UK still lags behind that of the European continent and the US,

but 2019 promises to be its biggest year yet. Chelcee believes

that change is gradually coming, but a lot of the problem is

down to the perception and presentation of the sport.

“It’s like having the best song in the world but the video is shot

on an old Nokia phone: it won’t look good,” she says. “No part of

the women’s game is as well-publicised or up-to-date as the men’s.

You’ve got to give it equal leeway. Hopefully, with this injection

of money, everything will become a lot more professional.” She

hopes her reporting of the Women’s World Cup in France for the

BBC and COPA90 will inspire yet more girls to get involved. “I’ll

show it’s not women’s football, it’s just football,” she says.

The multitalented Liverpudlian is, in her own way, redefining

what it means to be a woman in 2019. “I’m showing you don’t

have to be just one thing now. I go in the studio and write songs

with some of the biggest acts in the world. I’m playing for Fulham,

making my own album. I’m standing up for that, 100 per cent.”

Chelcee Grimes, in her life as in her career, is far more than

the sum of the parts.

Chelcee’s latest single, Girls, is out now on TaP Records;

chelceegrimes.com

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RIBBED LONG-SLEEVE CROP TOP

72 THE RED BULLETIN


The Gobi Desert, September 2018. British runner

James Poole, having passed the 4,000m-high

summit that marks the highest point in the Ultra

Gobi, descends into a valley devoid of colour or life,

with nothing but a biting wind and a dusty trail

to keep him company. Two days and more than

200km into the race, this is the halfway point. The

approaching night and altitude will see numerous

runners succumb to hypothermic conditions.


The Silk Road:

the route

of China‘s

most famous

pilgrimage –

and now one

of the planet’s

most brutal

ultramarathons.

This is the

400km

Ultra Gobi

Words JAMES POOLE and JAMES CARNEGIE

Photography JAMES CARNEGIE

75


Ultra Gobi

During his seventh-century pilgrimage along the route

that would become known as the Silk Road, Chinese

Buddhist monk Xuanzang described the Gobi Desert as

“nothing but barren sand and dry river beds; at night,

stars shine like fires lit by devils… There is not enough

water to nourish even a single blade of grass; one looks

for birds in the sky and beasts on land, but finds none”.

Xuanzang’s quest to obtain sacred Buddhist scriptures

was adapted into one of China’s most famous novels,

Journey to the West, better known outside the country in its abridged

form, titled Monkey. Today, the terrain remains remarkably unchanged

and the monk’s route draws a different kind of pilgrim: the ultrarunner.

Launched in 2015, the Ultra Gobi is a self-navigating, self-supporting

race that follows Xuanzang’s trail along the northern edge of the Tibetan

Plateau in western China. Once known as the Gansu Corridor, this was the

only path for caravans passing between the sands of the Gobi proper to the

north and the mountains of Tibet to the south. “The heat goes through you

like a flame and the wind cuts your flesh like a knife,” wrote Xuanzang of

this route. The Chinese name for the race translates as ‘Xuanzang’s Route:

800li of Flowing Sands’, and 800li (or Chinese miles) converts to 400km,

making Ultra Gobi a ‘super-ultra’ marathon that exceeds the world’s most

famous desert race – the Marathon des Sables – by 150km, with a soulcrushing

4,000m mountain-pass ascent to the midway checkpoint.

It took the legendary monk 17 years to complete his journey; Ultra Gobi

contestants – of whom there are only 50 invited each year – have just

149 hours to finish the course. In 2017, British runner Daniel Lawson, then

aged 43, did it in less than 71 hours. For the 2018 race, the organisers laid

down a $10,000 (around £7,500) prize for anyone who could top that.

Fellow Brit James Poole was one of those who took up the challenge.

Photographer James Carnegie joined Poole to document his race, and here

they take us through their photo diary. It’s a study of attrition, of human

determination, and of the toll that harsh conditions and exhaustion can take

on the mind and body. “It wasn’t until I was editing the images that I noticed

much of what James was going through,” says Carnegie. “The glazed eyes

behind his sunglasses as we climbed out of the canyon and onto the 4,000mhigh

plateau will always remind me of how far gone he was at that point.”

At the stroke of midnight on September 25,

2018, the 50 entrants set off into the vast

desert expanse as the clock starts ticking

towards the 149-hour completion deadline.

This year, there’s an additional £7,500 prize

for whoever manages to beat 70 hours and

52 minutes, the record-breaking time set

by 2017 winner Daniel Lawson.

76 THE RED BULLETIN


Poole at the start line. Festivities at

the opening ceremony – a firework

show, a few dozen dancers dressed

in Mongolian attire, and a makeshift

bar lined with cups of rice beer

– belie the gruelling race to come.


Ultra Gobi

“This race comes down

to how little sleep you

can take while retaining

the function and ability

to plough on”

Sunrise brings respite from

the merciless cold and the

loneliness of a night spent

beneath a canopy of stars.

Much of the route is raced

at above 2,000m, at the

edge of the Tibetan plateau.

78 THE RED BULLETIN


In an attempt to stave off swelling, blisters, infection, trench foot and the loss of toenails, many competitors stashed

fresh socks and medical supplies in drop boxes, which were delivered to checkpoints. “What the Gobi Desert lacks in

endless dusty dunes, it makes up for with perpetually uneven rocks that threaten to macerate feet and eat through trail

shoes," says Poole. "The luxury of a clean pair of socks and some adeptly applied tape can be the difference between

just stepping out the door or climbing onto the bus to the finish.”

With an army of Chinese and international volunteers

manning each of the checkpoints, runners are able to

receive physio and medical treatment to sufficiently

repair injury and any other wear to their bodies. However,

staff are encouraged to turn runners around as quickly

as possible – they have to continue on or succumb to

the threat of DNF (Did Not Finish).

Mandatory survival equipment includes a sleeping bag,

GPS, head torch and medical kit. Runners must carry

sufficient hydration, nutrition and clothing between

checkpoints to endure successive nights in sub-zero

temperatures. “Each night I was wearing everything I had

and until the sun rose I was still freezing,” says Poole.

THE RED BULLETIN 79


Ultra Gobi

“For all its epic views

and endless emptiness,

the Gobi offers no help

to the wayward runner”

“Forward progress was dictated by one’s ability to follow

a thin line on a small digital display,” says Poole. “Flat

batteries or a broken GPS handset would be disastrous.”

As would severe sleep deprivation and the decline in

cognition that comes with it. Britain’s Nathan Montague

followed a broken arrow on his device for several hours,

ending up lost. His error was costly: at one point, he was

chasing second place; he finally crossed the line in sixth.

Carnegie: “More than 100km in and approaching dawn

on day two. Three hours into running through dried

river beds and canyons with James, I discovered how

useless fingers become in this cold. Trying to capture

the mood of utter isolation was challenging. James

went from incoherence amid the cold dark of night to

wildly hallucinating as the horizon turned to gold,

claiming there’d been a dog running alongside me for

hours and that the hills were full of apartments with

people looking down on us. His mind was mush.”

Checkpoints range from tents manned by a lone person

huddled around a fire, to small villages in the middle of

nowhere. Each runner has six drop boxes – meticulously

packed and checked before race start – from which they

can retrieve nutrition, luxuries and changes of clothing

en route. The logistics of calculating what they'll need at

each checkpoint is immense, especially with a minimum

required daily calorie intake of 25,000kcal.

Poole: “The lowest point occurred shortly after

crossing the 4,000m peak at halfway. With little more

than two hours’ sleep in two days, I’d seen gnomes,

imps and goblins hiding in the scrub. Cliff-sides looked

like trains with endless lines of carriages. Shadows in

the dying sunlight resembled dogs’ jaws leaning in to

nip at my ankles. With less than 3km to one of the lifesaving

bases, I was confronted by a frozen lake lined

with boats, pontoons and jetties. Listening out for

any cracks in the ice, I climbed gingerly between the

obstacles. More than an hour later, I staggered into

the checkpoint, hypothermic and in serious difficulty.

Seven hours on, I hobbled out of the tent. To my

surprise, there was no lake. It had all been in my mind.”

80


Ultra Gobi

Poole: “The night-time temperatures brought debilitating cold and

hypothermia for many, so runners would leave checkpoints with

sleeping bags wrapped around their bodies. Ironically, wind – or

feng – plays a notable part in Chinese medicine and is regarded as

a ‘pernicious influence’ that can cause disease, but not hypothermia.

So, while Western competitors battled the cold with every item they

owned, it wasn’t uncommon for Chinese runners, under the guidance

of doctors, to head out in little more than shorts and a T-shirt.”

Carnegie: “On the second night of sub-zero temperatures, James was

close to hypothermia when he stumbled into the rest-point. Medical

staff monitor the runners, and cola bottles filled with hot water were

placed around him, but it soon became clear the Chinese definition of

hypothermic is different to that of UK medics. Hypothermia is defined

as a core body temperature below 35°C, with symptoms including

uncontrollable shivering and mental confusion. Both were present.”

82 THE RED BULLETIN


Left: a lone spectator

stares at Ultra Gobi’s

racetrack – a seemingly

endless valley with

the Tibetan Plateau

in the distance. Right:

although the race draws

entrants from across

the world, the majority

are Chinese, reflecting

the country’s growing

interest in running and

endurance sports. (The

eventual winner was

China’s Liang Jing in 85

hours and 46 minutes.)

“Crumpled mountains

look thousands of

feet high, but are only

a couple of hundred”

Carnegie: “I learnt to track James using his footprints in the sand.

Locating him and the other runners was a mission in itself. With such

vast distances and inaccessibility, I’d encounter him, at best, once

a day. Our 4x4 guide was familiar with this part of the Gobi, seemingly

able to remember routes across river beds and between the valleys

that intersected the course. Whether there was actually anyone there

was another matter – our satellite tracker often indicated runners

had taken inexplicable detours over dunes and gone off-course.”

THE RED BULLETIN 83


Carnegie: “I’ve never seen

someone so close to the edge,

yet able to continue regardless.

I know from my own experience

of running ultramarathons that

after 20-plus hours on the go

I don’t have the patience for

photos, chat or anything much

beyond head down, gritting

things out. James, however,

never failed to respond whenever

I asked for a portrait. I suspect

that when I popped up in equally

bizarre and random places along

the route to document him, the

company brought much-needed

relief from the silence and

confinement of the desert.

“To help me evaluate James’

mental cognition throughout the

race, I’d sought the opinion of

PhD researcher Chris Howe from

Kingston University, who is

heavily involved in​ investigating

the physiological, nutritional

and psychological responses

to ultramarathon running. On

his advice, I attempted to test

James at checkpoints, using

a series of relatively simple

cognition tasks. After 200km,

he no longer had the mental

energy to face this, nor me the

temerity to put him through it.”

“Coming into the last

50km on day four,

lips were blistered

and sun-cracked”


Ultra Gobi

Carnegie: “I have a voicemail from James saved on my phone. He was less than 500m from the finish, could hear the music blaring and see the

lights projecting into the sky, but was aimlessly running around a quarry. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.”

Poole: “The Ultra Gobi runners receive an unusual gift

before the start: one half of a small statuette of a tiger – a

‘tiger tally’. The other half is awarded after the successful

completion of the race. These tallies were used by military

officers in ancient China as a representation of authority.

A commander in a frontier region such as the Gobi might

leave half of his tally behind in a fortress, then provide the

matching half as ID when sending back orders. Leaving

half of your tally behind is a pledge you’ll return.”

Carnegie: “After 93 hours and 25 minutes in the desert,

James crosses the finish line in Dunhuang. The Ultra Gobi

ends at a ‘centuries-old’ fort, which is actually a museum

that was built recently to give tourists ‘the Silk Road

experience’, complete with staff in warrior suits. It’s

completely bizarre and I can’t imagine what it must have

felt like emerging to this after four days in a desert.”

THE RED BULLETIN 85


Ultra Gobi

“This is what running

non-stop for that

length of time in such

hostile conditions

does to you”

The photographer’s

perspective: James Carnegie

“I struggled with a conflict of

compassion over commitment

during this assignment. I was

here, several thousand miles

from home, for the singular

purpose of capturing James’

story. But when your good friend

lurches in from the cold, dark

desert, shivering uncontrollably

and repeatedly muttering ‘I just

need to sleep’ you’re torn

between helping them into their

sleeping bag and getting the

shot. I kept telling myself that if

I came away with just one good

shot, it would all be worth it.

“I knew that I needed to see

James outside the checkpoints,

the safety of medics and the

race staff; I needed to see him

in the darkness and loneliness

of the race. I heard his shuffled,

slowing and stumbling footsteps

alongside me, and also his

incoherent, nonsensical speech

and hallucinations as we

traversed riverbed and gorge.

I could see – and briefly share

– the deep, deep cold he was

victim to as he drew the hood

tight around his face, clenching

his numb and useless fingers

into a ball in his gloves. This is

where he was. This is where the

story was. I would have liked to

have experienced more of that.

Without actually running this

thing in its entirety, that wasn’t

possible. I probably pushed as

far as I could in my capacity as

a photographer on this kind of

remote adventure, but I’m left

with utter respect for James

and all the runners who saw

this through.

“A face can tell a thousand

words. I hope that in my images

I captured some of what James

was experiencing. The raw

fatigue, the worn exterior and

the rollercoaster of emotions

were clear to see, but how does

one capture that?”

86 THE RED BULLETIN


GEAR UP

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Rock

Steady

When running on slate or

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been engineered to endure

the trials of the trail

Photography BEN READ

Styling SARAH ANN MURRAY

ADIDAS TERREX Stockhorn

hooded jacket, Agravic

backpack and Trailcross

tee, adidas.co.uk/terrex;

ADIDAS Supernova running

shorts, adidas.co.uk;

SKINS A400 men’s long

compression tights,

skins.net; ON RUNNING

Cloud X trainers and high

socks, on-running.com;

SUNNTO D5 smartwatch,

suunto.com

88


Trail running

HELLY HANSEN Lifa Crew

base layer, hellyhansen.com;

CAMELBAK Circuit vest,

camelbak.com;

2XU Mid-Rise Reflect

compression tights, 2xu.com;

HUMMEL Fundamental

socks, hummel.co.uk;

ON RUNNING Cloudventure

trail-running shoes,

on-running.com; SUNNTO D5

smartwatch, suunto.com

90


ADIDAS TERREX Trailcross

tee and Free Hiker shoes,

adidas.co.uk/terrex;

ADIDAS Supernova running

shorts, adidas.co.uk;

SKINS A400 men’s long

compression tights,

skins.net; SUNNTO D5

smartwatch, suunto.com


MONTANE Icarus Flight

jacket, montane.co.uk;

ADIDAS Supernova running

shorts, adidas.co.uk;

STANCE Peaks Crew socks,

stance.eu.com; ADIDAS

TERREX Free Hiker shoes,

adidas.co.uk/terrex

92


COLUMBIA OutDry Ex

Featherweight Shell jacket,

columbiasportswear.co.uk;

2XU Mid-Rise Reflect

compression tights, 2xu.com

Trail running


Trail running

ADIDAS TERREX Agravic Windweave

jacket, adidas.co.uk/terrex;

ADIDAS Run tee and Supernova

running shorts, adidas.co.uk; SUNNTO

D5 smartwatch, suunto.com

94 THE RED BULLETIN


MOUNT

VISION

RULE

THE

RIDE

• ALL MOUNTAIN TRAIL BLISS

• TRAIL POPPING, PLAYFUL FUN

• UP, DOWN, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN


Trail running

ADIDAS TERREX

Agravic Alpha Hooded

Shield jacket and

Free Hiker shoes,

adidas.co.uk/terrex;

2XU Mid-Rise Reflect

compression tights,

2xu.com; HUMMEL

Fundamental socks,

hummel.com

Hair and make-up:

Jess Kordecki

Styling assistant:

Rosie Farnworth

Fashion assistant:

Allegra Bartoli

Models:

Christian Lambelin

@ Select,

Sophie Hellyer

@ W Model Management

Thanks to Visit Wales

for its location support;

visitwales.com

96 THE RED BULLETIN


ADDIX SPEEDGRIP & SOFT COMPOUND The two compounds offer

the widest possible range of applications and can be combined perfectly. Go to your limit and

demand the maximum from your tires. schwalbe.com/addix-compound


RX-7V

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Designed for the track. Loved on the road. The RX-7V represents the pinnacle of our

expertise in helmet technology. Trusted by professional and elite riders, it’s the only helmet

available with SNELL and ECE 22-05 accreditations*. Its strong outer shell is engineered

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whyarai.co.uk


guide

Get it. Do it. See it.

TAKE THE PLUNGE

Bin the beach holiday –

go beyond the ordinary

on a cliff-diving trip

to the Azores with the

legendary Orlando Duque

and Destination Red Bull

PAGE 100

SAMO VIDIC/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

WALKING ON AIR

AlterG: the anti-gravity

treadmill developed for

space but tailor-made

for recovering athletes

PAGE 104

TEAM PLAYER

There’s more to gaming

hit Apex Legends than

shooting and looting. A

leadership pro explains

PAGE 106

FULLY EQUIPPED

The best gear around,

plus a look inside YT

Industries, the firm

reinventing bike-making

PAGE 108

THE RED BULLETIN 99


G U I D E

Do it

Raw nature: the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series makes its annual stop at the Ilhéu de Vila Franca

SÃO MIGUEL, THE AZORES

HOW TO BE

A CLIFF DIVER

With Destination Red Bull, you can book top athletes as

your tour guide. Cliff diver Orlando Duque teaches guests

to overcome their fear of heights and take the plunge

As a professional cliff diver

for more than 20 years, I’ve

travelled to competitions

all over the world. There have

been some legendary locations,

from the jungles of Yucatán to the

Antarctic and Easter Island. But

I always like returning to the

island of São Miguel in the Azores

– first and foremost for its

fascinating nature – and that’s

where we’re going on this

Destination Red Bull trip.

The nine islands that make up

the Azores sit in a remote area

of the Atlantic Ocean, around

Your guide: world-class cliff diver Orlando Duque

100 THE RED BULLETIN


The Azores

TRAVEL INFO

BAD BIRD CALLS

AND HOT ROCKS

Where the Azores are, why they were

misnamed, and what you should eat

– here’s some island knowledge to

flaunt in the hotel lobby

Leap of faith: “I’ll teach you how to enjoy cliff-diving,” says Duque, pictured in fight

The Azores sit in the Atlantic

Ocean, around 1,400km west of

Portugal and 1,950km southeast

of Newfoundland, Canada. The

main island of São Miguel has

an area of 744.7km 2 , making it

a little larger than Singapore

Corvo

Flores

Graciosa

Faial

Pico

São Jorge

Azores

Terceira

São Miguel

Santa Maria

Ribeira Grande

São Miguel

Ponta Delgada

Ilhéu de Vila Franca

ROMINA AMATO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, DEAN TREML/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, RED BULL MEDIA HOUSE GMBH/

RED BULL CONTENT POOL, GETTY IMAGES ANDREAS ROTTENSCHLAGER

The Ilhéu de Vila Franca and its crater lake, with São Miguel in the background

1,400km west of Portugal, and

are famous for their volcanic

coastlines and green cliffs. It’s not

at all rare to find yourself in the

company of dolphins or sperm

whales when swimming there.

In other words, the Azores are

a great place to get to know the

Atlantic in all its variety. And

that’s what we have in store.

Santa Bárbara Eco-Beach

Resort on São Miguel’s north

coast is our accommodation

for the five-day trip, during

which guests will immerse

themselves in the Azorean waters

and, at certain times, go pretty

deep – naturally, the correct

technique for diving off cliffs

forms part of the programme.

“I’ll adapt to your

level. There are

about 100 diving

spots on the island”

For our workshop on the second

day, we will transfer to the tiny

Ilhéu de Vila Franca, just off the

south coast of São Miguel.

Anyone viewing bird’s-eye photos

of the islet will immediately be

struck by the round lagoon that

has formed in the crater of the

extinct volcano – it’s a natural

wonder, and the journey there

is magical in itself. Even though

HISTORY

ALL IN A NAME

Portuguese sailors named their discovery the llhas dos

Açores, or Goshawk Islands. Shame that the goshawks

were actually buzzards

SPREADING OUT

In 1752, 60 Azorean couples left for Brazil and founded

what became Porto Alegre, now a city of 1.5 million

STAGING POST

Early submarine cables between Europe and America

went via the Azores, as did the first-ever transatlantic

flight, which included two stops on the islands

FOOD

COZIDO

The volcanic ground underfoot serves as a natural hob

for this stew of meat and vegetables

BOLO LÊVEDO

A sweet, leavened dough roll that looks like a muffin

and is eaten throughout the day

PINEAPPLE CHUTNEY

The Azorean pineapple has been grown in greenhouses

since being introduced in the 19th century. This chutney

goes perfectly with the islands’ cheeses

THE RED BULLETIN 101


G U I D E

Do it

The Azores

DESTINATION RED BULL

YOUR ADVENTURE

WITH TOP ATHLETES

Fancy some off-road training in the desert

with a five-time Dakar Rally winner, or sailing

in the South Pacific with a champion

ultrarunner turned yachtsman? Here are

some other options awaiting you…

LESOTHO

WITH ALFIE COX

Spend a week with the South African enduro

expert, exploring stunning motorbike tracks along

the route of the legendary Roof of Africa rally

The feeling when you resurface is sensational,” says Duque. We believe him

SOLOMON ISLANDS

WITH CHRISTIAN SCHIESTER

Absolute paradise: the former ultrarunner, now

a round-the-world yachtsman, takes you on the trip

of a lifetime on his 18m vessel El Toro

MUMBAI

WITH THE STARS OF RED BULL BC ONE

Meet the B-boy and B-girl elite at the Red Bull BC One

World Final, learn their moves in practice sessions, and

immerse yourself in Mumbai’s mesmerising nightlife

BARCELONA

WITH SETE GIBERNAU AND DANI PEDROSA

Get motorbike training on Sete Gibernau’s

exclusive private racetrack, plus a VIP package

for the Gran Premi de Catalunya

there are limits on visitor numbers

– for conservation reasons – we’ll

get to stay there for the whole day

and climb the picturesque crater

walls or snorkel the rock tunnels

at the foot of the island.

The thing that leaps out at you

when you first see the Ilhéu de Vila

Franca is its steep, rocky cliffs

– and, of course, these haven’t

escaped the attention of the

world’s cliff-diving community.

Let’s get one thing clear from

the start: nobody has to dive 27m

from the cliff edge as the top

athletes do. There are more than

100 places to dive – from various

heights – around the island. At the

workshop, I’ll work individually

with each guest according to

their fitness level and wishes. Of

course, the trip is about getting

the most out of yourself, but the

main aim is always to have fun.

Cliff diving is a mental

challenge. The crux of the matter

is to take a leap of faith, literally.

Many people dive and then seize

up. To counter this, what helps is

knowing that you can adjust your

position mid-air. I’ll show my

guests the correct technique for

the flight phase and entering the

water, and gradually take them

as high as they’d like to go. On

our workshop day, we can go

anywhere up to 14m. Ideally

you’ll also be learning something

about yourself – ie, that you’re

only afraid of things you don’t

know enough about. It’s normal

to be afraid when you’re standing

on the edge of a cliff and are

about to dive for the first time.

But you’re overcome by feelings

of happiness when you return

to the surface.

And while we’re on the subject

of diving, there will be two

professional divers with us, who’ll

check out every water entry point

in advance. These are the same

guys the world-class divers of the

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

trust, and we’ll watch that

competition from the comfort of

a 14m catamaran on day four.

Then, that evening, we’ll meet the

competitors for dinner and talk

shop about the sport.

We’ll all know how cliff-diving

works by then, after all.

For further information on the trips and how to book, go to:

destination.redbull.com or call +43/664/88 11 07 06

PREDRAG VUCKOVIC/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

102 THE RED BULLETIN


All weathers.

All seasons.

All conquering.

NEW

Best-in-class

Wet Grip

EU label Grade ‘A’ – the

highest rank for wet grip

Certified Snow

Performance

3 Peak Mountain Snow

Flake marking (3PMSF)

Superior Wear Life

Same mileage as

Bridgestone premium

summer tyres

Bridgestone UK Ltd.

For your nearest Bridgestone Authorised Dealer,

visit our website www.bridgestone.co.uk


G U I D E

Do it

ALTER G ANTI-GRAVITY TREADMILL

TAKE THE WEIGHT

OFF YOUR FEET

All of it. Using technology

devised for astronaut

training, this treadmill

allows you to run in almost

zero-g… on Earth

Fitness

KNOW-HOW

FIT FOR

SPACE

These fitness

machines were

designed by, with

and for astronauts

Keep on running:

air pressure

supports your

weight while

training

ADVANCED

RESISTIVE EXERCISE

DEVICE (ARED)

Zero-g dumbbell

exercises? Won’t work.

The ARED generates its

own resistance and thus

cancels out the crux of

weightlessness. It was

first used on the

International Space

Station in 2009.

The treadmill is an

essential tool for athletes

following an operation

or injury. But when is the right

time to begin rehab, and how

much strain can the body take?

Get the timing wrong and you

could do more harm than good;

start too late and you could

miss the crucial window for

recovery. A solution was needed

and it came from space.

During his time as a NASA

engineer, Dr Robert Whalen

was tasked with devising a way

for astronauts to exercise in zero

gravity. His idea was to place

the person inside a pressurised

bubble and push them down

onto the treadmill using air

pressure. NASA didn’t adopt the

concept, but Robert’s son Sean

saw its potential as a rehab

device. By flipping the concept

on its head, using air pressure

“Using this

treadmill

means I can

train and avoid

injury at the

same time”

Nicola Spirig, Olympic

triathlon champion

to lift users off the treadmill,

it could reduce bodyweight by

up to 80 per cent, placing less

stress on bones and joints.

Together, they released the

AlterG in 2005 and it’s since

been used by many professional

athletes, including NBA legends

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James,

and Swiss triathlete Nicola

Spirig. “I’ve been using it ever

since my preparations for Rio

2016,” explains the 2012

Olympic gold medallist and sixtime

European champion. “It

also means I can start training

again much earlier.” alterg.com

MINIATURE

EXERCISE DEVICE

(MED-2)

This machine works on

the same principle as the

ARED. It looks like a

vacuum cleaner, but you

use it for squats, arm

and leg exercises, or for

a total body workout.

The MED-2 was given its

space debut in 2016.

OYO FITNESS

DOUBLEFLEX

PERSONAL GYM

Used to maintain muscle

mass during endless

months onboard the

ISS, the OYO Fitness

DoubleFlex’s resistance

technology works for

Earthbound athletes,

too. It delivers 11kg of

weight from a 1kg device.

oyofitness.com

PAUL ANDREWS FLORIAN STURM

104 THE RED BULLETIN


Grip

Wide

Concave

Serviceable

It's Funndamental


G U I D E

Do it

Gaming

Power of three: AL characters Bloodhound, Wraith and Gibraltar

TEAM TACTICS

STRENGTH

IN NUMBERS

Battle royale mega-game Apex Legends

has one simple rule: play as a team or die.

There are a few life lessons in there…

No person is an island. Throughout history,

humans have depended on each other to

survive, and nowhere is this truer than in

smash-hit online squad-based shooter Apex Legends,

which notched up a million players within eight

hours of its unannounced launch in February, and

more than 50 million by the end of its first month.

This popularity is, in large part, due to its deeply

satisfying team gameplay, built around a fast-andeasy

communication system that pings vital info to

your allies. One press sends a basic ‘go’ sign or tags

in-game objects, a double tap pings enemy locations,

and holding down brings up a menu with quick

predictive messages. No need to voice chat with

strangers or guess the intentions of a mic-less team

member who has sprinted into an enemy’s kill zone.

The best teams happen when you have a mutual

dependency but trust one another,” says leadership

expert Jo Owen, who has travelled from high-powered

boardrooms to remote jungle tribes, seeking out what

makes teams tick. Here, he decodes the Apex Legends

(AL) squad skills and applies them to reality…

TRUST IS KEY

AL teams you up with strangers, so

how can you build trust? In business,

as in life, trust is gained in two ways:

by talking about shared experiences

to establish commonality, and by

achieving credibility through your

actions. The ping system satisfies

the second of these, keeping your

team informed of developments

(including real-life dashes to the loo),

while neatly sidestepping the first.

“That you don’t have to talk to, text

or see your teammates is genius,”

says Owen. “You could be blue with

two heads, and no one would care as

long as you can ping and shoot.

CLARITY IS CORE

Players of voice-mic’d multiplayer

shooters invariably hear something

like this: “There’s an enemy by that

tree.” The inevitable response in a

landscape dotted with identical trees

is, “Which one?” “Trust needs good

communication,” says Owen. “What

AL does is allow communication that

isn’t only frequent but clear – a ping

[tagging a specific tree] can’t be

misunderstood. In business, people

will say, ‘Will you fix that report?’

‘Which report? What do you mean

‘fix it’?’ Never assume your team

knows what you mean – spell it out.”

LEADING EDGE

AL randomly chooses a ‘Jumpmaster’,

the team member who decides where

to drop into the map. After being

nominated, you continue to lead on

the ground by pinging destinations

for your squad to move to – if they

agree, that is. “Leadership has to be

earned, and you have to keep on

earning it,” says Owen. In business,

people assume that a grand title

makes them a leader. “But they’re

wrong. The title has nothing to do

with leading; it’s about what you do

and how you do it. In the game, if you

don’t behave as a leader, within 30

seconds you’ll no longer be leading.”

The game’s world is distinctly post-apocalyptic

EXPERT

PROFILE

JO

OWEN

Team wrangler

An entrepreneur and

author, Owen has

launched eight not-for

profit organisations

with a combined annual

turnover of more than

£100 million, delivers

keynote speeches on

leadership and teamwork,

and has lived with tribal

peoples. His latest book,

Myths of Leadership, is

available now on Amazon.

Apex Legends is out on

PC, PS4 and Xbox One

LOYALTY CARD

“In business, leaders tolerate

incompetent followers much longer

than they do disloyal ones,” explains

Owen. Loyalty, he says, comes from

the realisation you’ll do far better as

a loyal member of the team than if

you’re alone. This is a key reason for

the success of AL: unlike in other

team shooters, roaming as a lone

wolf is not a viable strategy. “Apex

Legends is ultimately tribal warfare,

which is pretty brutal. As I’ve seen

when studying tribes, people are 100

per cent loyal because they know

they won’t survive outside the tribe.”

ROLE PLAYING

“You can have mutual dependency

and trust but still lack a team,” says

Owen. “Everyone has to have some

idea of their role. Am I the one taking

a risk (a salesperson) or am I a safe

pair of hands (an accountant)?” The

player characters in Apex Legends

fall into the standard video-game

archetypes of defensive, offensive

and support, but you also need to

know how your teammates’ roles

interact with yours. “There’s no point

in picking a medic role, then running

ahead to be first in contact with the

enemy,” Owen says. “Likewise, you

don’t want your legal advisor betting

their houses on roulette.”

ELECTRONIC ARTS MATT RAY

106 THE RED BULLETIN


HABIT

* Comes with technology. And we

could tell you more about it. But that’s

what everyone does. So we’d rather

skip the hype and stick to the facts:

The all-new Habit is an all-new mountain

bike that wants whatever you can throw

at it. A mountain bike that feels planted

and predictable, light and nimble, solid

and unwavering. A mountain bike that

feels right at home where a mountain

bike should. Slashing, boosting, sending

and delivering. On the trail, in the dirt,

through the air, and on its edge.

New mountain

bike available.*

cannondale.com


G U I D E

Get it

YT INDUSTRIES

SERIOUSLY

FUN

With humorous ads featuring Hollywood

stars, YT is a company that likes to enjoy

itself. But its bikes are no laughing matter

SEATPOST:

FOX Transfer

Factory

FRAME:

Decoy

Carbon

When YT (Young Talent)

Industries launched in

2007, it had a lot to prove;

a late-to-the-game entry in the

bike manufacturing market, the

German firm was mocked by

the bigger players. But today YT

is a global force, catering to pros

and amateurs alike. Much of this

is down to company founder and

CEO Markus Flossmann, now 43,

who prioritised fun from the

off, and who enlisted the likes of

Christopher Walken and Vinnie

Jones – unlikely advocates for

biking – to advertise his products.

The flash of inspiration that

spawned YT came to Flossmann

during a trip to a dirt-jump park

where the local scene was out in

force but riding around on rubbish

bikes. What if someone could offer

them quality, great design and

a dash of cool at a low price? He

believed there were enough people

out there whose talent would

awaken if they did things right.

For the last decade, YT has

filled that gap, providing bikes at

a reasonable price thanks to direct

marketing. On the way, it has

“We want the

average rider

to have fun

on our bikes”

YT Industries founder

Markus Flossmann

MOTOR:

Shimano

STEPS E8000

BATTERY:

SMP YT Custom,

540Wh

WERNER JESSNER

108 THE RED BULLETIN


Equipment

GEARS:

Shimano

XT DI2

DISPLAY:

Shimano

STEPS E7000

BRAKES:

SRAM Code

RSC

KNOW-HOW

THE YT

DECOY

The best electric

mountain bike that

(a reasonable sum

of) money can buy

SHOCK:

FOX Float

X2 Factory

FORK:

FOX 36 Float

Factory E

CEO MARKUS

FLOSSMANN

ON THE DECOY

The three salient

features are its geometry,

weight and frame.

Whether you’re going

uphill, downhill or on the

flat, the handling and

broad range of options

make the Decoy unique.”

“A lot of electric

mountain bikes feel more

like motorbikes than

mountain bikes, due to

their weight, the long

chainstay and the

unbalanced geometry.

Our Decoy is different.”

The geometry is

downhill-oriented,

supports a playful riding

style, and means the bike

can still climb uphill with

panache. It’s just a

helluva lot of fun to ride.”

“What’s special about the

Decoy? The fact that it

doesn’t feel like a normal

electric mountain bike!”

WHEELSET:

E*Thirteen E*Spec

Race – front 29in,

rear 27.5in

WEIGHT: 21.9kg

SIZES AVAILABLE:

S/M/L/XL/XXL

PRICE: £5,999

plus shipping

THE RED BULLETIN 109


G U I D E

Get it

Equipment

convinced that they achieve the

best results when they start out

with no pressure, feeling relaxed.

Passion is the best motivation.

Still going strong: Flossmann took up riding after injury halted his bodybuilding career

helped pros Andreu Lacondeguy

and Aaron Gwin triumph – at Red

Bull Rampage and in downhill

at the UCI MTB World Cup

respectively – all without letting

seriousness get in the way. The

strategy clearly appeals: 17-yearold

downhill prodigy Vali Höli is

now signed to the YT family, too.

Flossmann himself is a man

who would never let normality

get in the way of his vision, having

started out as a bodybuilder

before deciding to reinvent the

mountain bike. He now sits at

the helm of one of the most

innovative bike firms in Europe.

the red bulletin: How does

a bodybuilder wind up making

mountain bikes?

markus flossman: Bodybuilding

is a mindset you live 24/7; a sport

that demands a lot of willpower.

Preparation for a competition lasts

five months and feels like a boot

camp. You need a will of iron to

come through. That mindset has

“I started

riding to

have fun

and relax.

That’s still

the main

philosophy

behind YT”

Markus

Flossmann

left its mark on me. When I had to

give up competitive bodybuilding

due to injury, I learnt to love the

relaxed world of mountain biking.

Before I founded YT, I’d already

been a committed mountain biker

for 11 years and was very into

technology. I’ve long thought of

myself as a hardcore biker.

Did you ever race?

No. I didn’t start mountain biking

[in the mid-’90s] for the sake of

racing at the weekends, or to prove

how good I was in competition.

I wanted to create steep turns and

ramps with my mates after work

and go hard at it, then drink a beer.

In other words, I wanted to have

fun and relax. That remains the

main philosophy behind our brand.

How do you channel that into

riders winning races on YT bikes?

We never pressure our sportsmen

and women into taking part in

specific competitions or delivering

results, and we never will. We’re

What input do your pro riders

give on the regular bikes?

We hoover up their feedback. But

the trick is filtering and analysing

their comments so that ultimately

an average rider can have fun on

our bikes. It’s like fine-tuning an

F1 car so that a new driver could

handle one. The bike Aaron Gwin

used to win downhill at the UCI

MTB World Cup twice was

standard except for the suspension

set-up. Anyone can buy one.

For how long does one count

as a ‘young talent’?

I’m sure everyone is harbouring

hidden talents, no matter how

old they are. The important thing

is not to be limited by convention.

Take me, for example. I only

started motocross three years

ago, aged 40, even though all

my friends told me I was too old

and that it was a sport you had to

start young. As long as you enjoy

it and feel comfortable, it’s never

too late to discover a new talent

or passion within yourself.

Where did you get the idea of

producing quirky ads starring

non-bikers like Walken or Jones?

YT is different. I found bike ads

very one-dimensional – it was

always just about the product.

No one did anything original.

But mountain biking is about

lifestyle. We want to get our values

across without putting a specific

product in the forefront. If we

break a few rules, have fun and

encourage people in a way that

pushes the bike industry in a new

direction, it’s all good.

yt-industries.com

110 THE RED BULLETIN


COPYRIGHT © 2019 MNA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

DON’T ASK THE WORLD FOR ADVENTURE. FIND IT.

WHAT ARE YOU BUILDING FOR?

BFGOODRICHTIRES.COM


G U I D E

Get it

Equipment

1

2

4

3

PATH

FINDERS

Wherever you lose

yourself, trust

these trackers to

find you again

HUAWEI P30 PRO

FOUR-EYED

MONSTER

This quad-camera phone is a

photographic beast with more

tricks than meets the eye

It says something when the fact that this

phone’s four cameras are co-engineered by

industry pros Leica is their least impressive

boast. The 40MP SuperSpectrum sensor

can take flash-free shots in near-total

darkness, the ultra-wide lens captures

dewdrop-close macro, and a ‘periscope’

arrangement of the telephoto lens gives 5x

optical zoom (10x hybrid, 50x digital) that

can record craters on the Moon. Plus, the

depth-sensing lens works with AI for perfect

bokeh portraits, and there’s a fifth camera

for 32MP selfies on the front. huawei.com

1. Ultra-wide 20MP lens for

landscape and macro shots

2. 40MP SuperSpectrum

sensor lets in more light

3. Depth sensor for bokeh

portraits and AR apps

4. Telephoto lens fitted in a

periscope arrangement

SPOT X

A tracker and two-way

satellite messenger that

works beyond cell range

– to friends, SOS services

and social media.

findmespot.com

CASIO PRO-TREK

The WSD-F30 has

full-colour GPS map

navigation, a compass,

barometer, altimeter,

Android apps and fivebar

water resistance.

wsd.casio.com

BEATS BY DRE

POWERBEATS PRO

SPORTS STAR

At last, earpods that let you work hard

at the gym while looking good, too

Apple’s Airpods are good, but their loose fit makes

them poor for sport. Here’s a practical, stylishly

superior alternative. Featuring the same H1 chip

that smart-switches between Apple devices and

responds to ‘Hey Siri’, they fit securely, are waterresistant,

work independently of each other, have

fuss-free physical buttons and a nine-hour battery,

and come in four stylish hues. beatsbydre.com

CAMMENGA TRITIUM

The Compass 3H is

resistant to grit, shocks

and water; works in

temperatures from -45°C

to 65°C, and won’t run out

of juice. cammenga.com

112 THE RED BULLETIN


THE RED BULLETIN PROMOTION

NATHAN HUGHES

S

urrounded by the lush

green slopes of the

Pinzgauer Grass Mountains

and the picturesque peaks

of the Kitzbühel Alps and

the Hohen Tauern mountain

range, you will find, at an

altitude of 1,003m, Saalbach

Hinterglemm – the coolest

mountain resort in Austria.

In the province of Salzburg,

you will find a holiday resort

that couldn’t be more diverse.

The most “lässig” of Austria’s

mountain villages is no longer

exclusively known as a top

skiing destination, but is also

an Eldorado for mountainbiking

and hiking.

Wake up in the early

morning hours with the sun

shining through the windows,

to a wonderful view of the

surrounding mountains.

A paradise with more than

400km of biking trails is

waiting to be discovered.

Are you looking for pleasant

cycling routes, enjoyable

e-biking tours and winding

trails? Or are you after more

challenging enduro and

downhill tracks? No matter

which exact mountain-biking

discipline gets your heart

beating faster, Saalbach

Hinterglemm provides the

perfect blend of fun and

adventure for everyone.

Endless mountains with

varying terrains, six cableways

with bike transport, and all

of that amid a mesmerising

mountain scenery, make

the region a truly unique

experience for cycling fans.

Your mountain-bike holiday

in Saalbach Hinterglemm will

be an unforgettable journey.

GlemmRide Bike Festival

03-07.07.2019

You are invited to the GlemmRide

Bike Festival, an international

bike and party gathering in

SalzburgerLand. From July 3,

the mountain-bike hotspot of the

Alps will be transformed. With the

FMB Gold Slopestyle, Specialized

Rookies Cup, 50 exhibitors, and

parties à la Masters of Dirt,

you’ll be served with good times

during your Saalbach holiday.

saalbach.com

AUSTRIA’S COOLEST BIKE RESORT

SAALBACH

HINTERGLEMM

Welcome to the “Home of Lässig”*

*Cool and laid-back – or “lässig” as the Austrians say

THE RED BULLETIN 113


G U I D E

Get it

DOUCHEBAGS SAVAGE BIKE BAG

ROLL WITH IT

Protect your bike wherever you take it – in this

lightweight luggage with a built-in roll cage

Equipment

WHERE’S

YOUR

HEAD AT?

A safer place if

it’s inside a multidirectional

impact

protection helmet

D3 CARBON MIPS

Is it the bike that wins

the race, or the rider?

Turns out it might be the

helmet – the Troy Lee

D3 has won more DH

World Cups, Red Bull

Rampages and Olympic

medals than any other.

troyleedesigns.com

When British saloon-car racer John Aley devised the roll bar in 1964 to save drivers’ lives in serious crashes, he probably never

imagined it being used to protect mountain bikes in long-haul transit – but that’s exactly what inspired the patented Db Roll

Cage in this bike bag. Capable of accommodating any size of mountain bike, the aluminium frame combined with an otherwise

soft-bag structure makes it surprisingly light, and, when not in use, it folds up to 35 per cent of its full size. douchebags.com

FULL-9 FUSION MIPS

Bell Helmets may have

a slightly amusing name,

but the brand takes its

work seriously. This fullface

fibreglass cranium

case is the MTB variant

of its award-winning

Moto-9 motocross shell.

bellhelmets.com

TRUST PERFORMANCE

MESSAGE FORK

FORK TO THE FUTURE

Suspension so smooth you can ride

the mountain drinking a cup of tea

Dave Weagle is kind of a big deal in mountainbiking

circles. He’s the mad professor behind

the most successful rear suspension in downhill

competition history – the DW-link – and now

he has done the same for front forks, replacing

telescopic suspension with a trailing multi-link

(that’s the arm you can see behind the fork) that

delivers insane stability and cushioning. The only

shock is the price: £2,500. trustperformance.com

100% AIRCRAFT

CARBON MIPS

A fancy name that

describes exactly what

it is: a tough shell built

from an aerospace mix

of carbon and Kevlar,

with 25 airflow channels

to keep your noggin cool.

ride100percent.com

114 THE RED BULLETIN


OFFICIAL SPONSOR & RACEWEAR SUPPLIER

In 2011 the Madison Saracen Factory Race Team was created

to develop British mountain biking talent to perform at the

highest level on a British bike – now into its eighth season,

few would have anticipated national champions, multiple

world cup wins and two world championship victories!

We are proud to continue supporting the team and we benefit from

the hard work, technical feedback, development and in-race testing

which in turn we pass onto you. Here’s to another great season!

WWW.MADISON.CC


G U I D E

Do it

May / June

1

to 2 June

UCI DOWNHILL

WORLD CUP

The Scottish Highlands have

seen many battles throughout

history, and that’s set to continue

this June as the top downhill

mountain-bikers meet on Fort

William’s 2.8km track for the UK

leg of the World Cup. Can Tahnee

Seagrave successfully defend

her victory here last year?

Or will Rachel Atherton, who

came third after a snapped chain,

claim the throne on her newly

built and tested Atherton bike?

Fort William, Scotland;

fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk

16

May to 26 Aug

AI: More

Than Human

This art exploration into our

obsession with thinking

machines includes a sound

installation by Hyperdub label

boss Kode9, based on the

legend of the golem; MIT’s

robotic fish, which can swim in

the ocean, and Massive Attack

encoding their 1998 album

Mezzanine into synthetic DNA

strands. Barbican, London;

barbican.org.uk

23

5

May to 26 Aug

Manga

The comic-book art form

known as Manga is loved by

adults and children alike in

Japan, and has influenced

Western culture through video

games, cosplay, and movies

such as Alita: Battle Angel.

Witness the largest exhibit of

Manga outside Japan, with

examples from its origins in

12th-century scrolls through

to modern anime films.

British Museum, London;

britishmuseum.org

to 19 June

David Blaine:

Real or Magic

If that’s a question, the answer

would seem to be ‘illusion’.

The US magician forever blurs

the line between trickery and

endurance feat; in 2010, Blaine

held his breath for a recordbreaking

17m 4.5s. Judge his

authenticity for yourself as

he embarks on this nationwide

tour. Various locations, UK;

livenation.co.uk

to 8 June

Field Day

This three-day party is back for a 13th year,

shifting roots from its 2018 site – Brockwell Park

in south London – to an epic location in the north

of the city: four gigantic interlinked warehouses

and 10 acres of outdoor space near Tottenham

Marshes. Does that still qualify as a ‘field’ day?

Few will complain with a bill that includes Diplo,

Octavian, The Black Madonna, Jorja Smith and

Skepta (in his only London summer festival show),

with after-parties at Printworks London.

The Drumsheds, Meridian Water, London;

fielddayfestivals.com

NATHAN HUGHES/ RED BULL CONTENT POOL, STEVE TURVEY

7116 THE RED BULLETIN


G U I D E

See it

June

Hear handpicked

music and

interviews with

influential artists.

This month’s

pick is…

ALL THE

RIGHT

MOVES

Whether on a Japanese

dancefloor, off the

cliffs of the Azores or

on the trails of Austria,

it’s all about freedom

of expression on Red

Bull TV this month…

WATCH

RED BULL TV

ANYWHERE

Red Bull TV is a global digital

entertainment destination

featuring programming that

is beyond the ordinary and is

available anytime, anywhere.

Go online at redbull.tv,

download the app, or

connect via your Smart TV.

To find out more,

visit redbull.tv

1

Hip-hop dancer

Leo gets busy at

the 2018 qualifiers

June LIVE

RED BULL DANCE YOUR

STYLE: JAPAN FINAL

Red Bull Dance Your Style inspires and cultivates creativity

by providing a premier location for expression in dance

and introducing new scenes and communities. Following

the 2019 qualifiers in Osaka, Fukuoka and Tokyo this

winter, it’s time for Japan’s national final, staged at the

capital’s Warp Shinjuku venue. Don’t miss it.

22

June LIVE

RED BULL CLIFF

DIVING, PORTUGAL

You’ve read our travel feature on

Destination Red Bull’s exclusive Azores

cliff-diving trip with Orlando Duque, now

see all the leaps from the main event.

9June LIVE

UCI MTB WORLD

CUP, LEOGANG

This year, the mountain-biking World

Cup is bigger and better, with eight

locations for downhillers. We bring you

the action from this Austrian stop.

THIS

SIDE OF

NOWHERE

17

June

ON AIR

On her monthly

Red Bull Radio show

(every third Monday,

7pm BST), Veronica

Vasicka explores the

artists who have

shaped the electronic

underground. The

NYC electro queen

and Minimal Wave

label founder looks at

the maverick spirit of

DIY non-conformists,

as well as the legacies

of particular drum

machines and the

roots of synthesiser

music, from Japanese

synth tracks and

Australian postpunk

to the history

of the Fairlight.

LISTEN AT

REDBULLRADIO.COM

JASON HALAYKO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, DEAN TREML/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, BARTEK WOLINSKI/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

118 THE RED BULLETIN


WWW.INNSBRUCK.INFO

#MYINNSBRUCK

IKING

unlimited

12.6.–16.6.19

HOME OF CRANKWORX INNSBRUCK

Foto: Innsbruck Tourismus / Voitl

CRANKWORX INNSBRUCK

June is when the magic happens at Bikepark Innsbruck! From 12 to 16 June, bike heroes pull their best tricks at Crankworx Innsbruck -

world tour‘s only stop in Europe. Just watching the action will be enough to give you an adrenaline rush!

www.innsbruck.info/biking


THE RED

BULLETIN

WORLDWIDE

The Red

Bulletin is

published in seven

countries. This is

the cover of June’s

French edition,

featuring hip-hop

dancer Diablo

For more stories

beyond the ordinary,

go to: redbulletin.com

The Red Bulletin UK.

ABC certified distribution

154,346 (Jan-Dec 2018)

GLOBAL TEAM

Editor-in-Chief

Alexander Macheck

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Waltraud Hable, Andreas Rottenschlager

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Erik Turek

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Kasimir Reimann (deputy CD),

Miles English, Tara Thompson

Head of Photo

Fritz Schuster

Deputy Head of Photo

Marion Batty

Photo Director

Rudi Übelhör

Production Editor

Marion Lukas-Wildmann

Managing Editor

Ulrich Corazza

Editors

Jakob Hübner, Werner Jessner, Alex Lisetz,

Nina Treml, Stefan Wagner

Design

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Hutter, Kevin Goll, Carita Najewitz

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Global Head of Media Sales

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Publishing Management

Sara Varming (manager), Bernhard Schmied,

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THE RED BULLETIN

United Kingdom, ISSN 2308-5894

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Associate Editor

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Florian Obkircher

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Austria, ISSN 1995-8838

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THE RED BULLETIN

USA, ISSN 2308-586X

Editor-in-Chief

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Tanya Foster, tanya.foster@redbull.com

120 THE RED BULLETIN


THE RED BULLETIN PROMOTION

Dimitri Tordo

getting

sideways

BORIS BEYER MARKUS GEBHARD

H

ow do you get your

kicks? Ripping downhill

tracks at the bike park?

Clocking up hang time on

dirt-jump lines? Nailing that

perfect line on your local

enduro trails? No matter

what drives you and no matter

where you ride, the next

descent, the next big kicker,

the next nail-biting landing

– that’s all that counts.

Shred City means something

different for every rider

out there, and it isn’t just

the place where you send

it. It’s much more: it’s a

worldwide community and

everyone’s invited.

For Dimitri Tordo of the

Canyon Factory Enduro Team,

Shred City means competing

at the most demanding races

on the calendar and pitting

himself against the world’s

best riders. The season could

hardly have begun better for

Tordo, with the Frenchman

bringing home the win at NZ

Enduro in New Zealand in

spite of torrential rain and

treacherous conditions. But,

in racing, world-class skills

are just one part of the puzzle:

you can only beat the best

if your bike can match your

ambition. And when it

comes to getting the job

done, Tordo and the Canyon

Factory Enduro Team turn

to the Strive CFR.

The Strive is an enduro-racing

weapon ready for the toughest

stages around – and for your

backyard trails. Thanks to the

game-changing Shapeshifter

tech, it’s possible to alter the

geometry and suspension setup

while riding, simply by

flicking a handlebar-mounted

switch. Developed and tested

in Koblenz, Germany, this

bike is built for the biggest

challenges, from Fort William

to wherever you call your

local Shred City.

canyon.com/strive

BECOME A PART OF IT

SHRED CITY

Canyon

Strive CFR

9.0 Team

Canyon is uniting

riders all over the world

THE RED BULLETIN 121


Action highlight

Flying the flag

While visiting the famous Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California, Alexander Megos

spotted the ideal photo opportunity. Being one of the world’s top rock climbers, the

25-year-old German couldn’t resist putting his own highly developed delts, lats and

obliques to the test with a human flag. For more Megos, go to redbull.com

The next

issue of

THE RED BULLETIN

is out on

June 11

KEN ETZEL/RED BULL CONTENT POOL DAVID MAYER

122 THE RED BULLETIN


FAST, LIGHT, STRONG:

YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL

CUBE REACTION TM Pro

The Reaction TM Pro is the heart of the Reaction range. To our

designers, that means one thing: they can really go to town.

The combination of RockShox‘s new 130mm Sektor fork and

2.6in Kenda Hellkat and Nevegal 2 tyres serves up a serious

dose of technical trail-taming ability, backed up by the Kind

Shock LEV dropper post - so you can tackle steeps with ease

- and a Newmen cockpit with 760mm handlebar for superb

control. With powerful hydraulic disc brakes to keep your speed

in check and Sram‘s 1x11 NX transmission with a Race Face

Ride crankset, you‘ve everything you need to take the fight to

the mountain... and come out on top.

FRAME Aluminium Lite, Trail Motion Geometry

FORK RockShox Sektor, 130mm

GROUPSET Sram NX , 11-Speed

BRAKES Magura MT Thirty, (180/180)

WEIGHT 13,6 KG

PRICE £ 1.299,-

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CUBE BIKES, AND TO LOCATE YOUR

NEAREST CUBE DEALER, PLEASE VISIT WWW.CUBE.EU

CUBEBIKESUK CUBEBIKESUK CUBEBIKESUK

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