27-year-old Josh Lewis is best known for his unique style of technical riding, dubbed jibbing”. He is also an integral part of the infamous 50to01 movement, being a part of the crew from the very beginning. But what is the story behind Josh “Loosedog” Lewis and how did 50to01 grow from a small UK-based crew to the global movement it is today?

To answer these questions and find out what drives the man and the global movement he pioneers, we caught up with him and went for a pedal and a chat.

Chapter 1 – The birth of a global movement

Hailing from the UK’s Steel City, Sheffield, Josh Lewis, known as “Loosedog” by many, has always been a big fan of two wheels. He quickly got into the UK downhill race scene where he was first introduced to icons like Steve Peat. Through his friendship with Steve, Loosedog soon became close with Mancunian shredder Josh “Ratboy” Bryceland. “I’ve always been around Steve Peat since I first met him at the races,” he explains. “Through Steve, I met Rat (Josh Bryceland) and Sambo (Sam Dale). We raced a lot of national and European races together.” The four-man crew started off under the “All The Lads” banner, printing and selling hand tie-dyed t-shirts at local races and events. “We started as All the Lads while I was still racing downhill. Steve, Rat, Sambo and I put in a bit of money each and got some t-shirts printed. We tie-dyed them ourselves and sold them at pop-up stalls at events like Peaty’s Bike Bonanza and Farmer John’s – actually, that’s where we sold our first tee! We put the money earned straight back into another order and got some custom Marshguards designed. That’s when the name switched from All the Lads to 50to01 High Performance,” Loosedog tells us.

While there is a lot of speculation about the 50to01 name, Loosedog explains it’s just a catchy term that stuck.

The “50to01” name is a hotly debated topic in the mountain biking scene. The exact meaning remains an urban myth but there are prevalent rumours that it’s based on the 50:1 fuel to oil ratio needed to fuel a two-stroke engine! When asked for more detail, Loosedog just laughs. He explains that everyone asks about the name but in reality, it’s just a catchy name. “It just stuck really. Rat and Sambo came up with it and then Rat started running it on his lid. It just snowballed from there!”

Chapter 2 – 50to01 goes global

At the time, Loosedog wasn’t earning a salary from riding and had to fund his race trips by working as an electrician. When global enduro racing kicked off with the birth of the Enduro World Series, Loosedog and the 50to01 crew were quick to join the scene, enjoying the refreshing race format and the large amounts of bike time it offered. “It was around that time when I picked up an old camera,” he tells us. “I remember filming practice at the Enduro World Series. I’d still be practising but just sessioning things and playing around on some different lines. I soon realised that I could learn stages just as well by stopping and having a play as I could doing full runs,” Loosedog says with a big grin on his face.

Playing on sketchy features and bagging clips that will make you smile – that’s what Josh Lewis and 50to01 are all about!

Loosedog’s videos spread like wildfire. The relaxed and fun-loving riding style that 50to01 became known for gained the crew a cult-like following around the world. At a time where mountain bike media was dominated with race reports, results and videos, their refreshing lo-fi videos caught the attention of a large number of riders who were all about the good times. The videos also caught the attention of brands and sponsors, and soon Josh Lewis was able to make a living from riding his bike, balancing international racing with content production. However, there came a point where it was impossible to pursue both interests with equal dedication. “I got to a point where I had a lot of film projects to think about and plan for around the races. While I was racing, I would be worried about going too hard and crashing. I didn’t want to injure myself before the next big film project,” he explains. “The two started conflicting, so I thought it would be better to commit to one thing. However, I still do a few select races here and there and I absolutely love them. I feel like I’m getting better on the bike year by year!”

I think the sport is growing massively. You go out now and there are so many people riding bikes. It’s cool! Amongst those people you see a few 50to01 stickers – it’s really motivating!

Alongside their signature lo-fi videos, the 50to01 riding style is also taking over the mountain biking scene. Inspired by the worlds of BMX and skating, the jibbing movement is spreading globally. For Loosedog and the crew, it has always been part of their riding. Growing up in a part of the UK that doesn’t have big mountains and long alpine trails, every obstacle had to be used to its maximum potential. Sessioning local spots and trying new lines, jibs and tricks on seemingly uninteresting features is the name of the game. “I’ve always been trying to play on the bike,” Loosedog tells us, “There’s always something to be ridden and the best sessions have come from playing on a seemingly boring feature.”

50to01 have enjoyed exponential growth over the last few years, recently adding high-quality riding kit to their arsenal.

Chapter 3. What’s next for Josh Lewis and 50to01?

Over the last couple of years, 50to01 seems to have grown exponentially, putting out a number of feature-length films such as Wheel Love and Forwards Sideways. Earlier this year, the group released their first pieces of 50to01 Ride Wear, a selection of riding apparel designed for maximum comfort, usability and durability. However, Loosedog and the evergrowing 50to01 crew aren’t resting on their laurels. They have their sights set high and plan to continue the 50to01 Ride Wear range and develop further products for their followers. “We want to keep it rolling with product development, using what we’ve learnt from riding to further the development of our brand while picking up some salaries on the way to help fund some young up-and-coming riders. The vision is big and that keeps it going! It’s really motivating to look back just a couple of years and see how far we’ve come!”

What does the future hold for Loosedog and 50to01? More grins, films and good times on two wheels!

What does the future hold for 50to01? That’s a hard question to answer, considering the growth and reach the group has achieved in such a short period of time. However, Loosedog was able to let us in on his vision, as well as a few plans that have already been put into motion. On the product development side, the crew have purchased an old boat workshop, which they are renovating to become the home of 50to01. This space will be used to store products and do product development. Josh also sees the movement expanding to reach more communities and riders than ever, stating, “We want to keep pushing 50to01 as a movement, have fun on trips and take developing riders with us. We want to visit loads more bike parks and have jams to grow the community and get more riders stoked!”

From its humble beginnings to the global movement it is today, 50to01 has seen massive and unbounded growth. What the future holds for Josh Lewis and the movement he helped pioneer is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: it’s a counterculture that will keep inspiring riders to get out and have fun on their bikes for years to come!

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