132 – Documenting MTB History with Misspent Summers

132 – Documenting MTB History with Misspent Summers

Photo: Ben Winder – @benwinder6

Todays Guest:

James McKnight – Founder and Director of Misspent Summers

On episode #132 we are chatting with James McKnight the founder and director of the very cool publications company Misspent Summers. You may know Misspent Summers better by their publications such as Hurly Burly, The World Stage or even their DeathGrip Book documenting over 12 months of filming Clay Porter and Brendan Fairclough’s landmark movie project.

We chat with James about why he wanted to start Misspent Summers, his vision and direction for the company and why he decided to go the paper production route when everyone else was going online. We also delve into James racing background, working in Morzine, landing his dream job with Dirt Magazine and of course his collaboration with Tom Caldwell on their new movie, Tea & Biscuits, plus much more.  

Enjoy the show!

Find Out:

  • How James got into mountain biking at an early age
  • Why the race scene played a big part for him growing up
  • When James realised he wanted to have bikes involved in his future career
  • What James thought of working in Morzine
  • Why he loved MTB guiding so much
  • The great network of people he has built around him
  • How working for Dirt Magazine came about
  • How this lead to him starting Misspent Summers
  • How Misspent Summers was funded
  • Who the first person to buy a copy of Hurly Burly was
  • What products they produce and how you can get them
  • Why their publications are simply not just books
  • How James got involved with the Tea & Biscuits movie (watch below)
  • What James and his crew have planned for Misspent Summers in the near future
  • Where to best follow and how to get first dibs on their new publications

It was great to get James on the show and have a chat about everything that the Misspent Summers crew have going on, and it is a lot. James has built the company up slowly from 2016 only working on and getting involved in the projects he thinks you, the reader would want to know about or would benefit from. Jame’s vision for the company has never strayed from what he was trying to achieve from the beginning: paper backed books, telling a story and documenting history that you can read again and again. Look at it like an encyclopaedia of racing. You don’t chuck or recycle this type of book, you keep it, pass it on to friends, revisit it again and again for info about a certain year, about a certain result. These are keep-sakes, something you will pick up in 10 years time and relive monuments that you have since forgotten. These are more than simply books.

Jame’s background is an interesting one. He has always been involved in the mountain biking scene in one way or another. He has taken opportunities that have come his way and has built on them to get to were he is today. James has always followed what he loves, he has taken chances and it has not always been an easy road but that’s life, things don’t always fall into place. But James has found the path that best works for him and is in love with what he does. James always did enjoy writing from an early age, and when he landed a job at Dirt Magazine he had found his place. He enjoyed the atmosphere and enjoyed being around such a great crew of guys, all passionate about bikes and only interested in getting great content out to their readers.

After Dirt sadly folded, James knew he wanted to continue doing something along the same lines. He had been thinking of something like Misspent Summers for a while and after fully committing to the idea and getting his vision down, the work began and Misspent Summers was born. The beautiful thing is that James has been able to get a lot of his past friends from the Dirt Magazine days involved and carry on that great atmosphere of passion and fun for what you are doing. Since those early days in 2016, Misspent Summers has grown and now offers movies, apparel, guides, prints and of course the year books, plus much more lined up for the near future.

So, take some time out and find out more about James and how Misspent Summers is doing great things for the mountain biking industry. And you won’t want to miss our chat about Glyn O’Brien and how he ended up promoting the latest World Stage Book from his toilet. Sure what else would Glyn be up to?

Thanks for tuning in. Enjoy the show!


To Connect with James & Misspent Summers:

Website: misspentsummers.com

Instagram: misspentsummers

Facebook: misspentsummers

YouTube: misspentsummers


To Share Your Thoughts or Get In Contact:

  • Share this show on, Instagram or Facebook
  • Leave a note in the ‘Contact Us’ section on the website

To Help Out The Show:

Thanks such much to James for coming on the show and sharing his Misspent Summers story!

Thanks once again for tuning in and listening to the show!

Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show.