Where the feeling of freedom is at home
BY NADINE PELZER
It’s about adrenaline, freedom, speed and testing your limits. Far away from civilisation, mountain bikers are exploring extraordinary and unspoiled places. Adventure athlete Joey Schusler told us how he combines his physical abilities, on a mountain bike as well as on skis, with his creativity as a photographer and filmmaker.
What kick do you get from cycling at places where others wouldn’t trust themselves on a bike?
I think many others would trust themselves in these places, but they just haven’t taken the initiative to make a trip or expedition like that , so they don’t know. The key is just going, you’ll figure it out along the way! It is quite thrilling to go somewhere new and far off the beaten path for MTB riding.
What areas do you feel particularly well-suited to as a sportsman?
I feel pretty well rounded to be honest. I grew up racing DH, and even made it to the world cup level of racing. I then switched to enduro and had a really good run at that. And now I’m on a never-ending adventure, searching out the wildest and most remote locations.
What’s your absolute favourite spot?
Of all the places I’ve been so far, I would say Mongolia has been my favourite, with Iceland and the Huayhuash ranger of Peru both in a close second.
How many wheels so far have you trashed and needed to renew and replace?
Back when I was racing DH, it was every other day! Now I get by without too many problems. On these far off remote trips it’s important to preserve your gear.
How did you come to combine your profession with photography and filming?
Travelling to these far-off places, it’s the only way to share the story and make it relevant in the cycling industry. So it went without saying that I gravitated towards film and photography. I like the artistic satisfaction almost more than riding quite often!
What challenges are awaiting you when you set off with your camera? How do you chase your actors?
Cameras always slow things down, so it’s hard to balance riding with shooting, but I’ve figured out a good balance over the years. Each trip is different, so you really just have to tailor it each time. The actors are typically my friends that can get enough time off work to come on a grand adventure!
When does the final result satisfy you?
I enjoy it when people tell me they have been inspired and are now planning a big MTB expedition of their own. I think sharing these experiences by film and photos really gets people excited to get out there on their own.
What plans do you have for the future?
One project to the next! They are never ending, and the pace of life is crazy, but I’m loving it!
Joey Schusler is an award-winning adventure filmmaker, photographer and professional mountain biker. He grew up in the mountains of Colorado and started mountain biking and skiing at an early age. His mountain biking and racing career has spanned more than a decade and has included “World Cup Downhill” and also “Enduro” discipline events. Now his focus is on greater adventures, taking him to the most remote places on earth – needless to say always accompanied by his trusty camera.
This article was published in The Produktkulturmagazin, issue Q3 2016. Picture credit © Joey Schusler