Words and photos by Robin Pearson
Matt Priest has been an established and respected rider for many years. He's one of those guys who has seemingly been around forever but is still so young... I've no idea how this is possible, but Priesty has managed it. In that time his name has become synonymous with trails, smoothness and all things to do with good style.
This one time, Matt Priest and Johnny Elia enlisted me as their east London spot guide for a couple of days. Priesty can ride anything, so I took them to a variety of spots and they filmed clips for a video project that was a little different... More on that below.
Priesty has had a pretty rough time in the year or so since we shot this. He got a horrific injury, snapping various bones in his foot and ankle badly enough to be in a support boot for what seemed like way more than a year, but he managed to make the most of this extended period of time off by successfully launching the Villa Road brand, filming videos and taking care of orders. Anyway, he's back on the steed now and is gradually getting back into his zone. We can't wait to see more from him this year!
'What's he wearing?' I hear you ask. This was shot as part of an advert for Mini Cooper, in which Matt drove a red car. In the advert, the car's movements through the streets were cut alongside his riding, so they decided to mirror the colours. Matt said he felt like Santa Claus.
This spot is just off a busy main road. I can't believe there aren't any cars in the background actually, because the traffic was insane that day. Somehow the timing of the photo argues to the contrary but let me assure you, Matt had to work pretty hard to get a run up for this gap.
That woman in the background? She couldn't have cared less. Matt was steaming towards this ramp and she didn't even seem to notice.
The door at the top of the access ramp is to a health centre, which was where that woman was headed. People were in and out of that door the whole time we were there, but fortunately there was enough of a gap between patients (and cars) for Matt to send it.
You might have noticed the black clouds in the background. Well, the weather forecast definitely wasn't on our side that day so we were rather up against the clock when shooting this. It was one of those days when the weather could switch from warm sunshine to savage rain in an instant. Thankfully, we finished shooting just in time. Matt was stoked to ditch the Santa jumper.