MTB In Spain
If you’re a regular follower of our YouTube channel – or if you’ve just dropped by on there recently – you’ll know that we’ve recently got back from a trip to Spain to ride bikes. It was absolutely incredible and something that we thought we’d have to save up for and maybe we’d get to go abroad on bikes in a few years. This blog isn’t about the trip itself (you can see what that was like on our channel) but it’s about how we managed to land the first big gig we’ve ever taken on, what it’s meant for us and To The Trail and how we managed to do it all on less than £300.
When we first set up the channel it was following a run of some ‘edit’ videos under a different alias. We’d had some fun making some videos that we used to see our own progress and share our excitement with the MTB community that we’d managed to tap into on Twitter. It was all a bit of fun. The original series of videos that followed on To The Trail was going to be almost documentary-style videos where we visited trails around the UK and talked a little about what they were like, what you could expect from them and what the facilities are like. We managed to make two or three of those style of videos before going down a different approach.
Through a varied upload schedule and inconsistent content, we eventually landed on the idea of creating vlog style videos of our riding and using them to tell the story of what we’ve been up to. After all, people seemed to be watching our videos as much to see what we’d been doing as where we’d been riding. We decided to make this happen around 4 months ago and since have been happier making the videos, had more fun doing so and seen more growth in the channel than in the whole year we’d been making videos before that. Specifically, in the last 2 months where we’ve been trying really hard to be consistently uploading new content twice a week, we’ve seen a growth of over 200 subscribers. We’re totally stoked about it.
So, what does this all have to do with Spain? Well, we were actually invited out by a company out there who run guided riding holidays. Sierra MTB first dropped us a DM on Twitter to see if we wanted to come out and ride with them. The deal went something like this: we provide video footage for Sierra MTB to use and in return we don’t have to pay for accommodation. It seemed too good to be true. Of course, we said yes and booked some plane tickets. And that all came about because of our YouTube channel.
Alan, who runs Sierra MTB, had managed to stumble across our videos on YouTube, tracked us down to Twitter and then got in touch with us! He liked them so much and had spotted that over the last few months we’ve managed to begin to grow our audience properly that he thought he’d jump on the wagon now and get involved with us. We couldn’t have been happier. It turns out that his setup is way better than either of us expected. There was a full fridge of beers and soft drinks, as much cereals, biscuits and fruit as you could eat, and we even got a bacon sarnie on arrival. Couple all that with partial uplift to amazing trails and a villa location only 2 minutes walk from the beach… well, it was living the dream.
After three days in Spain, we’d managed to come up with ideas for 5 videos, ridden several trails, eaten out every single night and even edited the Sierra MTB video advertisement which we left on a memory card with Alan. We’d packed in so much into so few hours and had a barrel of laughs in the process. It made us feel the impact of our YouTube channel. Previously, we’d been a little self-conscious when telling people we create videos for YouTube, somehow like it’s an immature thing to be doing. Since we’ve managed to create a community which has allowed us to tap into stuff like free holidays, it seems so much less silly and we’re way more proud to be telling people we’ve got a channel.
Finally, I want to take a moment to talk about what we’ve got in store for the future on To The Trail. Well, we’re definitely going to be sticking to the two uploads a week schedule since it seems to be working for both us and you guys. As well as this, we’re going to be travelling and filming more at festivals and events whenever we can. So far, we’re already booked in for Trail Days (Grizedale), MTBMeetup (Llandegla) and Northern Grip (Lee Quarry). And then we’re going to be working really hard on making sure our videos tell a story and try to avoid the floating head shots you might’ve come to expect, especially from myself. We hope you’re sticking around want to get involved in the channel. Oh, and Sierra MTB said we could go back whenever we wanted so there’s that too.