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Watch list: The best Canadian mountain bike movies – Pt. 1

This week: Geoff Kabush, Brett Rheeder, and the trail building in the Yukon

We all have a bit of extra time on our hands right now, and fewer travel plans. So why not escape to the trails with some of Canada’s best mountain bikers?

Whether you’re spending time on the trainer and want extra motivation, or just want something inspiring and awesome to watch at home this weekend, these movies all have what it takes.

Canadians have always been among the worlds best off-road. With all that talent on the bike and plenty more behind the lens, there’s a long list of incredible mountain bike movies with a little maple flavour to them. Every week we’ll share a few more until we’re all back out on our bikes.

Geoff Kabush: Working Dogs

Sam Smith’s 2014 feature on Canadian Olympian and veteran campaigner Geoff Kabush is a classic in Canadian cycling canon. When the movie was released, Kabush was already 20 years into his career. Now, in 2020, the veteran campaigner is still going strong.

The film pivots around 2010 mountain bike world championships, held at Mont-Sainte-Anne. With Smith (Behind the Barriers, Transition) behind the lens, Working Dogs covers much more than just one day at the races.

RELATED: Geoff Kabush on Working Dogs and the Canadian cyclocross championships

As we roll into a new decade, Working Dogs is an excellent retrospective on Kabush’s World Cup career. 10 years after that race at MSA the old dog’s still at it, and still learning new tricks. After moving on from Olympic cross country, Kabush now mixes enduro, stage racing and the odd gravel event. Not only that, Kabush was year’s ahead of the curve on the quarantine “push-up challenge.”

Brett Rheeder – Beautiful Idiot

Brett Rheeder always has a way of appearing calm, collected, almost relaxed at competitions. Even as he’s about to drop in on the world’s biggest competitions. From Red Bull Rampage to Crankworx Joyride slopestyle courses, the Candian from Mount Albert, Ontario has taken on and won in high-pressure situations.

But what does it take to develop that mental strength? Beautiful Idiot, directed by Harrison Mendel and Robb Thompson, dives into the mindset, motivation and preparation of Rheeder, and those who relentlessly pursue excellence. The film was an Official Selection of the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 2018, and is an excellent watch in 2020.

Shift (2016)

Mountain biking is a sport built on community as much as it is racing and contests. In Shift, the focus is entirely on how that sense of community can provide new opportunities for those who get involved. Shift tells the story of indigenous youth from Carcross, Yukon who spend a decade turning historic mining trails into a network of mountain bike trails that have made the area a destination for riders from across Canada, and around the world. Of course, the trails aren’t the only change in the process. Shift shows how the process impacts the youth, too.

Shift won the “People’s Choice Award” at the 2016 Banff Mountain Film Festival. You can rent the movie on demand through Vimeo, AppleTV, Roku, and Chromecast.