Return to Gold Hill: Behind the scenes

Hopefully, you’ve already watched our Return to Gold Hill film which we created earlier this year on location at Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset? We’re really proud of it and wanted to take you behind the scenes of how we made it.

It all started with an idea, an idea of how we could show the benefits of e-bikes, a development in cycling technology that is fast growing in popularity. One of the main benefits of e-bikes is their ability to ‘flatten’ even the steepest of hills, offering crucial pedal assist to riders who may not have the natural fitness or power to tackle steep inclines on a regular bike. We wanted to clearly show how an e-bike could make the difference and, for this, we needed to put them to the test on an iconic hill people would recognise. There were plenty of ideas here but we kept coming back to Gold Hill, or ‘Hovis Hill’, the location of one of the most popular adverts of all time ‘Boy on Bike’. Filmed in 1973 by Sir Ridley Scott the original advert shows a young boy on his daily work journey struggling up the hill on his bike laden with bread. We thought if we could get the original boy from the advert and take him back to Gold Hill to attempt it on an e-bike, we would be able to show just how powerful e-bikes are and how far cycling technology has come in the 44 years since it was filmed.

Luckily for us the original Hovis boy, Carl Barlow, now a 58-year-old retired firefighter was delighted to be offered the chance to return to the scene of his most famous role. A few (ok, well a lot!) of calls and emails later we’d set a date for the filming and had arranged for the road to be closed.

However, we didn’t just want to recreate the Hovis advert in its entirety, we wanted to offer our own take on this by creating a street party atmosphere with other cyclists of all abilities and age ranges trying to conquer the hill, before we see Carl make his heroic ascent. Enlisting the help of some local cycling clubs we had a fantastic and enthusiastic group giving it their absolute all (some with more success than others!) We then gave everyone the opportunity to try the hill on an e-bike so they could feel the power of the pedal assist. It’s fair to say they were surprised and delighted by the pedal assist as the video below shows.

Here’s a gallery of images from the two day shoot – Carl is very much a celebrity in these parts and everyone was delighted to meet him!

We also spent some time with Carl chatting to him about what it was like returning to Gold Hill after all these years and his views on e-bikes…

We hope you enjoyed this look behind the scenes of Return to Gold Hill – we’d love to hear your thoughts on the finished film in the comments below or on any of our social channels. Has it convinced you to try an e-bike for the first time?

>> Book your free e-bike test ride here. <<




brian stracey 19/08/2017

!ALL FOR e-BIKES…as a 74+yo…riding the mountains of cornwall…a new lease of cycling life…

Antony Read 21/08/2017

Absolutely Brilliant!

YFM 24/08/2017

Think I will put one on my 80th birthday wish list. Good few years to go though, but expect
by then I won’t manage all the hills of Cornwall.

John White 25/08/2017

I never attempted Gold Hill, but always felt rather proud every time I reached the bend at the top of St John’s Hill in Shaftesbury.
That was back in the 60s when I was nout but a skinny youth. Now that I am carrying half a hundredweight of lard, an e-bike would definitely be needed to get me to the top!

Mike Thacker 25/08/2017

Brilliant little film, Amazing how we all remember the original.
One of our group had an E bike on the Via Francegena in Tuscany so we all had to have a go and without exception everyone came back with big grins on their faces.
It all changed when she swept past us on the hills and we all hissed at her!

Steve Bloxham 25/08/2017

This is a classy top notch advert promoting E Bikes in a fun but thought provoking way. Congradulations

Carl Barlow 18/06/2019

It was a real pleasure to take part fantastic crew enjoyed every minute


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