Wise Words is our new interview series talking to some of mountain biking’s most switched on people.
We’ll ask our short list of questions to a heap of influential, inspiring and outspoken people that we feel are driving the direction of mountain biking today. Some will make you think, some will make you laugh, some will be plain dumb, some will inspire you to better yourself and your riding. We hope!
Wise Words this weeks come to you via Scott Secco.
If you don’t know Scott Secco, you’ll undoubtedly know his work. He’s produced some of the finest edits featuring the very best riders and the very best brands in the business. If you’ve seen the Dream Ride series with Mike Hopkins then you’ll know just how amazing Scott’s work is.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
They would describe me as an extremely stoked individual who loves fresh trails and pedaling. They’d probably say that my bike needs a tune since it’s running loudly and has two broken spokes in the rear wheel.
What thing or things have you bought in the last year that had the biggest effect on your life as a mountain biker / cyclist / person that works in the bike industry?
Probably a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone. This sucker is super small and light and fits into my camera bag much more easily than my old drone. A lighter camera pack means I can go farther and hopefully will be able to film more in a day. It feels super dangerous riding with a heavy camera pack, so anything I can do to make it lighter makes me a little less worried about getting choke slammed by my bag on a steep section.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
My bike is always setup super poorly. I keep the suspension incredibly stiff so that I can ride with a heavy camera pack and not bottom out… and then I just keep it that way when I ride without a pack. No one has ever sat on my bike and been like ‘’feels great.’’ I should probably work on that.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
I think the obvious one: ride your bike more often. You’ll be happier, healthier, and a better rider than you were the day before.
In terms of what to ignore: I think people should ignore pressure to ride something they’re scared of. Pushing your limits should be a personal thing and not forced upon you by buddies trash talking (although sometimes that helps). It’s important to ride safely and have the confidence in your own judgement and riding abilities to know when to listen to the voice in your head telling you not to ride something. It’s much better to come back to a trail or feature another day, versus crashing and missing out on weeks of riding.
If you could go back and re-ride one day from your life so far, where/what/when/who would it be? Would you change anything?
I don’t think I would want to re-ride a day in the life, I’d rather have a new day of riding with the same old crew. It would be a day at Mt. Tzouhalem on Vancouver Island with my boys Dean, Lyle, Greg, and Clark. They’re four of my best friends and every time out riding with them is a highlight of my year (since we live a few hours away for each other). Nothing beats riding with buds.
What have you wasted the most time on in your life as a rider or bike industry career that you wished you’d given up years ago?
I definitely spend too much time on the computer and not enough time actually riding. I can lie and say it’s part of the process, but really I just procrastinate on social media when I should be editing or out on the bike. The internet is a time sucking black hole, and it’s important to remember to set limits. Life’s too short to be refreshing Twitter all day.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
Whenever I’m feeling low energy or uninspired, I’ll try and watch some of my favourite videos or movies. I find myself revisiting Life Cycles (to me, the best bike movie ever), the work of Jordan Manley, Ryan Gibb, Derek Frankowski, Sherpas Cinema, Felt Soul Media, Liam Mullany, Harrison Mendel, and Rupert Walker. I really like what those guys are doing.
I also watch a ton of Hollywood movies, and while those may not directly tie into action sports, it’s really aspirational to try and achieve similar production values (with much smaller crews and a fraction of the budget). Lately I’ve been stoked on the Jackie Chan movie ‘’Police Story’’ for its amazing fight choreography, the HBO show Watchmen for its one-shot episode ‘’This Extraordinary Being,’’ and the indie movie ‘’The Last Black Man In San Francisco’’ for its score and use of slow mo in the intro sequence.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
Riding a trail for the first time. Nothing beats following a friend down a trail that you’ve never seen before. It’s so fun just making it up as you go along, trying to follow their lines, and just being reactive. It’s fun going way too fast into sections you’ve never seen before, and just hoping it all works out. I just moved from Squamish to North Vancouver, and it’s been amazing exploring the Shore and taking so many first laps down different trails.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
I would flip this and say we need to add, rather than erase. As a filmmaker, nearly everything I’ve done has starred white male athletes. I would like to see more female pros, and more diverse representation in photos and films.
Cycling simply isn’t doing enough to sponsor and showcase athletes of colour. Mountain bike media creators are overwhelmingly white and male as well, so it’d be great to see more diversity in the people behind the lens as well.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
I’d like to do another full-length movie. My last feature, Builder, came out in 2015, and I’ve been saving up ideas for a new one ever since. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about film in the intervening years and it would be really gratifying to try and make something a little bigger than my average shred edit. I’m planning to pitch it to potential sponsors in August so hopefully there are a few who are interested.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
Sterling Lorence, Liam Mullany, Harrison Mendel, Aaron LaRocque, or Rupert Walker.
Keep tabs on Scott’s adventures on his Instagram feed here.
You can catch all our previous Wise Words interviews with the likes of Sven Martin, Manon Carpenter, Ric McLaughlin and plenty more here.