Ben Deakin Meets The Jackal

Ben Deakin, know the name? If you’re into your mountain biking, we’ll guess the answer is yes. But, if biking’s not your thing, then maybe Ben is new to you, so let us introduce you.

Ben’s an ex-forces mountain biker, a coach, a Youtube star with his own catchphrase (OiOi!) and an all-round good sort – also known as The Deakinator. He spends his days riding with some of the UK’s and the world’s best bikers; jumping, roosting, railing berms and generally having a good time on a bike – and sharing all his exploits with his hundreds of thousands of followers across YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. He’s supported by some of the world’s biggest and most exciting biking brands including Muc Off and DMR – who even sell branded OiOi saddles. 

So what’s he doing driving Jack’s 1952 500+BHP Ford F100 truck and mucking about with one of our brand new campervans? Weeeeell, we thought it’d make for a fun day out – and Ben agreed. 

And so it was that we found ourselves in the heart of the Forest of Dean at Canop Cycle Centre, unloading Jack’s truck, affectionately known as the ‘Jackal’, from its trailer, to show Ben what it could do – with the weather very much against us.

We began our day with a bit of a spin around the forest, Ben taking the passenger seat in the F100, with his bikes firmly strapped on the truck’s bed, and Jack doing his best to scare him out of his whits – while staying on the right side of the law. 

The Jackal is somewhat less friendly than Ben, so it was with a little encouragement that he got in the driver’s seat and let loose on his first burnout. Did it go well? Well, that really depends on who you ask. It was a slow start but by the second spin, Ben was really getting the hang of it – and having a lot of fun too. It was then that the Jackal decided enough was enough and with a ‘boom’ and a ‘hiss’ that sent us all running, it let go the contents of its radiator, to our collective terror – Ben’s chagrin and Jack’s woe. 

Suitably impressed by the 500 horses, Ben, and Cal, his friend and videographer, took us on a bit of a tour of some of ‘FoD’s’ less well-known and more challenging biking spots. These aren’t your gravel paths, they aren’t even your ‘red’ and ‘black’ runs, we’re talking 20 – 30ft gaps, scaffold table tops, mammoth drops and terrifying step-ups – the stuff of stuntmen, Redbull Rampage and Hollywood stuntmen. 

So what did we all learn? Well, we learned that mountain biking is fast, furious and dangerous, and we’re sold! So it’s out with the hybrids and in with the downhill bikes at the Shack. Ben learned what it’s like to drive an entirely one-of-a-kind 70-year-old F100 – and what it’s like to blow one up. 

The results of our time mucking about with bikes and cars in the woods has been turned into an awesome little edit by Cal – we’re all ‘stoked’ on the end result … OiOi!

Watch The Video