While most of us spent much of 2020 twiddling our thumbs, yelling at our kids and making ‘essential’ journeys to the local off-licence, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Graham Jarvis was busy cementing his position as a social media superstar by, er, demolishing his garden shed.
The extreme enduro specialist has a huge online following – we’re talking over 1,000,000 Facebook fans and almost as many Instagram followers of his @gforcejarvis posts – and the number of viewers of his summer backyard jam sessions stretch well into seven figures.
“It’s been good for me,” he said. “I had a bit of a break, got some good training in and ended up getting more publicity by falling through a shed than from racing. I got more exposure from that than from winning races but I enjoy doing the social media stuff and the fans like it.”
Extreme events have been in short supply for the 45-year-old this year but the former TrialGP star still managed to confirm his status as one of the world’s top off-road all-rounders, most recently at the Red Bull Romaniacs where he finished second after leading into the final day.
“Romaniacs was disappointing but I’m still happy with how it went. It’s just kinda how it goes and it could have gone either way. We had Sea to Sky before which I won which was good and there was Alestrem in January and I was second there – apart from that it’s been a quiet year but it’s been good to get things organised.”
When we spoke to Graham this morning he was getting ready to catch a flight to Panama where he’s in the process of setting up a base as part of his new business venture.
“I’ve got a few things in the pipeline. There’s the Jarvis race gear and Jarvis Signature Tours. I ended up buying a house in Spain so we’ve got bikes there and I kinda thought people want to ride around the world so why not franchise it?
“We’re going to start with four countries which is why I’m off to Panama today. Turkey’s already set up and then we’re going to go to sunny Wales! I’ve travelled around the world and know there’s a market for people who want to go and know they’re going to get a good bike and be able to choose whether they ride hard trails or easy trails. It’s about catering for everyone and giving people a good time.”
Graham’s planning to dip in and out of the Husqvarna-supported tours when his racing schedule permits.
“It can run alongside racing. I’ve always kept the schools going alongside. Sometimes it can be a distraction and I’ve kinda made that mistake and travelled a bit too much.
“Next year I want to do all the big ones – that’s six or seven races – and then pick and choose what else I do.”
Picture (c) Future7Media