If you have never heard of Dave Jenvey then you are in for a treat. Dave is an MTB Vlogger on YouTube. He’s been creating video content for the last 3 years and has created a total of 135 videos (At the time of writing this article). Dave’s popularity has been slowly growing over the years and now has a total of 8.58K Subscribers.
I was introduced to Dave Jenvey’s channel by a friend over 2 year ago. At first I didn’t understand why I was being told to watch it but after a few minutes I was hooked, I subscribed there and then and turned the notification bell on for future releases.
What makes Dave’s channel so special is that it is completely unfiltered. He would be the first to admit that he’s no pro mountain biker but that’s not going to stop him from giving everything a go.
In western culture we love an underdog. We love rooting for those that have to fight and earn their way to the top. The difference with Dave is that he is often battling himself and his drive to improve and overcome obstacles which are often out of his skill range. He can often be hard on himself and he frequently pushes himself too far resulting in crashes and injuries.
What keeps drawing me back to Dave Jenvey’s videos is that he is not a quitter. He may have a nightmare crash that would put many others off riding but he always picks himself back up and gives it another go. Apart from maybe that one drop at Forest of Dean.
Not sold yet? Well Dave Jenvey is Brendan Fairclough’s favourite YouTuber, he announced this in one of his recent YouTube videos.
Hi Dave, thanks for taking part in this interview. I’ve added the questions below in red.
How did you get started with Mountain Biking in general? Is it a sport you’ve always taken part in or is it relatively recent?
Back when i was kid, around ten years old or maybe younger, I got a Raleigh Activator 1, which at the time was a pretty big deal and I loved that bike. I was the coolest kid on the block and I rode it a fair bit, but unfortunately I only had a football pump to inflate the tyres, and so because of that, the tyres were under inflated all the time, which in turn meant I would get punctures very often.
Now every time I got a puncture, my Dad would give me a really hard time about it. I didn’t know about the existence of track pumps, and neither did my Dad. So I packed in MTB, because I grew sick of getting shouted at for the punctures, and concentrated on playing football instead.
Fast forward about 20 years when i was 29, and i had a lad working for me that rode MTB, and he said I should give it a go again, so I did. I bought a 50 quid 1996 Raleigh Cyclone off some random guy in Birmingham, which unsurprisingly turned out to be a bag of shit. After a few rides it fell apart and I dumped the bike at the side of the road.
The rest is history…
You’ve created an amazing YouTube Channel. What drew you to the YouTube platform and making MTB videos in general?
I’ve always thought YouTube itself as a platform was awesome, ever since it came on the scene around 2005 – 2006. I still think it is the best website on the planet. I pay for youtube premium now so i don’t have to watch the adverts, which makes it even better.
The idea for me doing an MTB youtube channel, at first came from me first stumbling across a video from the Scotty Cranmer BMX channel. It was a recommended video on my youtube homepage, that I just so happened to click on. That click changed my life. I quickly became a dedicated fan of the Scotty Cranmer channel, even though I wasn’t a BMX’er.
The Scotty Cranmer channel and the style of his videos, were the inspiration and template for my channel. I still watch his channel regularly.
But my channel still wasn’t actually my idea. A friend of mine who knew I was a big Scotty Cranmer fan, said, why don’t you do something similar on youtube, but for mountain biking instead of BMX.
Nowadays there is loads of mtb vlogs out there, so people are spoilt for choice, but in 2016 when I first started my channel, there wasn’t a whole lot of mtb vlogs going on, so it was a fairly novel idea.
You’ve amassed a decent following on YouTube now. Are other mountain bikers starting to recognise you when you’re out and about? If so how does that feel? Does it add extra pressure to create videos and tackle more difficult obstacles?
Yeah i get recognised a lot. It is a bit strange, especially because I am not the most brilliant rider. I am kind of like the MTB version of Eddie the Eagle, and how he got known for being rubbish and crashing. It’s all just a laugh though. I don’t take it too seriously.
There is so much stuff to watch on youtube, that is very hard to keep making videos that are fresh and that people want to spend their time watching. It is so easy for them to click on to another channel, so there is definitely pressure to do bigger stuff or more difficult obstacles, simply because that is what is entertaining.
The viewers have to think when they are watching me do something on a video, that this could go badly wrong, and often it does of course. It is that unknown that is what keeps a video exciting and the viewer engaged.
You recently teamed up with the Pinned TV crew (another popular YouTube channel). Did you know the Pinned TV guys already? How did you end up coming together to create a few videos?
Jim Buchanan of pinned TV, or someone from his crew, commented on my channel that they would like to have a ride with me, and I just thought why not. It was a massive eye opener, because the downhill trails they were riding were so much more difficult than the ones I have ridden at bike parks. A lot steeper and narrower.
Just to be able to ride with the Pinned TV crew, my skills are absolutely maxed out, and their rides are exhausting physically as well for me. I’ve learnt loads from riding with them, because they are all brilliant riders that competed in downhill racing for a long time. They are a really cool bunch of guys.
You’ve mentioned a few times in your videos that you’re based in Birmingham in the Midlands. Is there much riding in the area or are you forced to travel further afield such as Shropshire, Wales and Gloucester to name a few?
By me there is the Clent Hills and the lickeys. There is also Ribbesford and Kinver not far away. But to be honest there isn’t a whole lot, so yeah I am forced to travel most the time. I am loving the stuff in Shropshire at the moment.
I saw a short while back on your Instagram page that you’re now a qualified boxing coach. Is boxing an important sport in your life? What made you want to become a boxing coach?
Boxing was a massive part of my life when I was younger, in fact my whole life revolved around it at one time.
A gym I used to box for was going through some transitional personnel changes, and they desperately needed more boxing coaches. I was a prime candidate, because I did amateur boxing competitively for years, having over 40 fights, and played around with the idea of going professional with it around the age of 23.
I decided I would do the coaching to help out the gym, that had helped me out for so many years when I was younger. I just wanted to help keep the gym going pretty much, and give something back.
And yeah it is enjoyable helping the kids learn how to box, and there really is nothing better to keep you fit and lose weight than the sport of boxing.
You’re certainly not scared to try some challenging obstacles and you’ve had a fair few injuries over the years, many captured in your YouTube videos. What was the worst and why? Do these injuries put you off riding MTB?
The worst injury I ever had was probably breaking my leg rollerblading at age 12, that one was nasty.
But the worst Mtb injury was breaking my collarbone at Forest of Dean, although I have had some other injuries from MTB that weren’t nice either.
The collarbone break was accompanied by a weird concussion, which effected my balance for a few weeks. I kept getting dizzy.
My Troy Lee Designs helmet unquestionably saved my life that day, and it is very possible that my neck brace saved my neck from being broken. It was just an all round horrible experience. Additionally, I had to wait for a week and a half for the surgery, because the surgeon was on holiday at the time of my injury. The NHS have always been amazing though in getting me fixed, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham is an absolutely fantastic hospital.
Yeah the injuries, particularly the ones that have needed surgeries, have put me off the sport a lot, but then once you heal up, you kind of just get drawn back into it again. It is a great sport mountain biking, but the adrenaline rush can come at a steep price. It is a far more dangerous sport than boxing.
As a self employed Window Cleaner do you worry about you injuries preventing you from working?
Because I’ve always been a good saver and investor with my money, I’m never in a situation where I am desperate to make ends meet and have to work. I have some breathing space.
And to be honest, I hate cleaning windows. It bores me to tears because I have done it for 14 years. So nah, i never really think about not being able to work that much. If I broke my leg or ankle that would be a problem though, because I wouldn’t be able to drive the van then.
Normally when i am injured, I just drive the van around and let my colleague do all the window cleaning work. I managed to keep driving my van with a broken collarbone haha
With the entire planet seemingly in lockdown right now and we’re being told to stay indoors and not put pressure on the NHS. How are you entertaining yourself and has it affected your ability to create new YouTube videos?
It definitely effects any mtb channels ability to make compelling videos, backyard builds and canal rides are going to get boring after a while.
I am still riding, riding the streets, practicing wheelies and manuals etc, just keeping it local, so that is how I am entertaining myself. But the lockdown is definitely grating on my nerves.
Do you have any MTB trips or plans for after lockdown? Anywhere your really itching to go ride?
I will probably get riding with the pinned tv crew again, because it brings my riding on massively. Also I really want to do Snowdon with some of my other mates, that is a ride I have wanted to do for ages now and it has to happen, i just don’t know when.
Thank you so much for taking part in this interview. I’m really looking forward to watching your future videos and I hope you continue to create unfiltered, unedited and real MTB content.
Hope you enjoyed reading our interview with Dave. If you haven’t checked out his YouTube channel yet you really should. You won’t regret it. Let us know what you think about the interview or Dave in general in the comments below.
*All the images in this article are property of Dave Jenvey and were either taken from his Instagram or YouTube Channel.