After wrapping up a busy cyclocross season producing his Cyclocross Television race recaps and attending Worlds in Bogense, Bill Schieken of CXHairs has had little time to rest.
For several years now, Schieken has covered mountain bike World Cups, and this year, he is bringing that coverage to U.S. cross country racing with his new MTB Heat Check series.
“I’ve always loved cross country mountain biking and believe cx and xc have started to meet each other in the middle in the past few years, so it’s a similar vibe and racing experience,” Schieken said. “Since going to Europe to work World Cup races, I’ve thought about the U.S. and a lack of coverage. We’re trying to change that with MTB Heat Check.”
So where did the MTB Heat Check name come from?
“Hoops!” Schieken said with enthusiasm.
The way he explains it, there is a similarity between Steph Curry pulling up from 30 on the break after knocking down three straight threes and Kate Courtney making that big attack with two to go.
“When you’re a shooter in basketball and you think you may be on a good day, you want to test that to see if anything you throw at the basket is going to go in,” Schieken said. “So you take that ridiculous shot to see what will happen, if you’re truly hot, that’s the Heat Check. The same principle goes for cycling. Think you’re on a good day? Try that crazy attack and see what happens, make that heat check.”
Schieken’s first Heat Check video comes from the weekend of racing at the Sea Otter Classic. The race featured early morning events on Thursday and Sunday, with a short-course HC XC race on Thursday and a one-lap XC race on Sunday.
Schieken described his vision for MTB Heat Check.
“The plan now is to do two shows in the span of a week. One will be the race recap and the other will be MTB Heat Check Power Rankings. That’s where the story is going to play out. Who’s number one? But also who is in the top 5 and why?”
“It’s about building a narrative to follow. We are doing this In MTB and will eventually port it over to ’cross. Eventually, the plan is to have a ‘news desk’ or studio set up with some talking heads. Stay tuned for that.”
After Sea Otter, MTB Heat Check will be heading to the popular Epic Rides Off-Road series that starts next weekend at the Whiskey Off-Road in Arizona and then XC Mountain Bike Nationals later this summer.
After the death of Behind the Barriers (RIP), there has been a gap in video coverage of U.S. cyclocross racing that dirtwire.tv and Cyclocross Television have stepped in to fill. Schieken’s Cyclocross Television finished its first year in 2018, providing narrated race recaps after UCI C1 weekends.
MTB Heat Check takes a similar approach in a space where coverage is lacking.
“Right now, we are the only show doing this type of coverage in North America,” Schieken said. “For years there hasn’t been any video coverage of domestic cross country mountain biking. We’re changing that.”
“But to get bigger and better we need the help of fans and industry. For fans, please share and tell your friends. For industry, this is an untapped market and we would love to partnership with our friends (new and old) to see this adventure gets the play it deserves.”
So mountain bike (and cyclocross) friends, grab some popcorn and check out the first episode of MTB Heat Check and if you’re feeling good from downtown, share it with your friends.