Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If I wasn't getting stuff for free

Frankly I don't know how the guy who bought your old 26" is even going to ride it. Those 26" wheels were death traps, how did we ride them for so long? Anyone who bought a 26" [insert bike/frame/wheel/tire/fork] for half its value is going to be so bummed when it rides 1.4% less fast.

Oh just kidding, if you don't get stuff for free or discount, 27.5" is the best thing to ever happen because now you're rich. 


Reminded me of this:

In a related story, did you hear that Mitch isn't racing World Cups this year, only enduro races? Bummer. Another one bites the dust. I'm fine with doing enduro's after your downhill career wanes, I'm fine with doing enduro's while also racing downhill (that's what I'm doing, to the disappointment of most of TEAM ROBOT's readers), and I'm even maybe sort of okay with bright, promising young talent like Martin Maes choosing to race enduro's... even though he could be winning the Junior World Cup overall right now. Whatever, I'm okay with it I guess, he made his choice good for Martin.

But for a guy like Richie Rude or Mitch Ropelato to just walk away from a downhill career boggles the mind. There are so many guys who would kill for a spot on a real team, or for that sort of talent. Like me. All I want to do is race the full World Cup circuit, and to see guys who are podium capable on the World Cup circuit who choose not to race it, I don't understand. It's the formula one. It's the crème de la crème. Choose your preferred analogy, the point is that World Cup downhill is obviously the pinnacle.

On the other hand, Mitch got 4th at Winter Park in his first outing, versus an all time best result of 12th at Val d"Isere in 2012, so I can see the attraction. That and he rides for the company with deepest pockets in mountain biking, a huge trail bike product line, and the company that owns the rights to the word "Enduro." So maybe there are tens of thousands of reasons why he really LIKE$$$$$$$ racing enduros. Or maybe he actually prefers drooling and coughing up blood at the end of every race. Who knows.

Kill List

Fabien Barel and Tito Tomasi stand up paddle boarding in France.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

System Reboot

Delete system file ("C://Peterverdone")

Clear cache.

Download system file ("C://Rennie")

Friday, January 23, 2015

Your daily dose of Verdone

The mega pucker as he drops in on "the elevator" is sweet, but my favorite part is the concrete curb drop before it, where he's in full pushup postion and almost bottomed out an 18 inch drop:

Obviously the 100mm negative rise stem on the Nomad is still funny, but listen to his tire pressure when he lands the drop. Sounds like he's running 60 psi. And where did those trim yet shapely shorts come from?

Can't make this stuff up. There's an endless wellspring of material here.

More BREAKING NEWS!!! from Intense Cycles

This edition of BREAKING NEWS!!! comes from one of our eagle-eyed readers. Eagle eyes are not as effective as robot laser eyes, of course, but often they pick up small details that robot eyes would miss, because generally robot laser eyes destroy everything in their path.

 Jeff Steber actually Barry Manilow:

In a related story, Brent Foes actually Falkor the Luckdragon from The Neverending Story:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BREAKING NEWS!!! out of Foes

Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Pasadena, CA:

Brent Foes announces Fat Bike program, citing new opportunity to still offer 18" chainstays in 2015.

High School Quarterback

I've always had trouble with the freeride flicks, with the overly serious music, editing, and pretty much everything involved with the Canadian Freeride Nouveau school. And by Canadian Freeride Nouveau, I mean everything after Wade, Thomas, Robbie, or even Steve Romaniuk. I'm referring to your standard Coastal Crews, your Doerflings and Jarrett Moores, and their ilk. And of course these guys:

To review, Canadian Freeride circa 1999:

Canadian Freeride Nouveau, 2014:

Why all the epic bro brah bad music, why all the fist bumping and mean mugging? Why so many muscle shirts and tank tops? Freeride flicks are just an extension of all of this muscle-y, jock-y, epic, bro brah prove-how-cool-you-are BS, but what's the root cause? There's a strange but familiar aesthetic running through all the elements of Canadian Freeride Nouveau, but I couldn't put my finger on it until today when I watched this culminating ballad of freeride flicks, this full flowering of bro, the denouement of a decade or so of slow painful progression towards the new freeride:

And here it is: mountain biking is cool in Canada. Of course it's not the single coolest thing to do, but it's also not the lamest. Let me frame it this way: unlike all of America, in large swathes of BC and Alberta mountain biking isn't relegated to the losers who sucked at all the other sports. In Canada peers will be impressed. Girls will take notice. A young, budding male in Canada could look at his Dad and say "I want to ride mountain bikes," and his dad won't have to choke down disappointment and put down the baseball glove in his hand that he was hoping to use to play catch with his firstborn son to lie through gritted teeth as his wife forces him to say "whatever you want to do."

This one factor, let's call it the "cool factor" if you will, completely changes the demography of mountain biking in America vs. Canada. 

See, in America we have Football, Basketball, and Baseball. "The big three." Those three sports consume the attention of 90% of America's meathead jock high school quarterback population. And even if the big three miss out on a meathead jock type, then we still have lesser meathead sports like Lacrosse or Water Polo to scoop up the remnants.

It's not quite football, but you can still imagine this guy beating up someone who's small or different.

If you're from the U.S. and you ride mountain bikes, I already know you were the last one to get picked for every game of basketball in gym class. Sure, maybe you were captain of the soccer team, but that wasn't even considered a real sport in America until maybe five years ago, and only on the West Coast at that. Basically if you ride mountain bikes in America you've known your place in the heirarchy of testosterone for a long, long time, and here's a hint: it's not near the top.

Future American Downhill National Champ.

But our friends up North aren't so lucky. Yes they have hockey in Canada, and that goes a long way towards occupying the interests of meatheads, but it's just one sport, so it doesn't have the power to cull them all into one place. There will be meatheads left out. Where do all the other bro's go?

Those bro's found mountain biking. 

It doesn't help that Dylan Forbes even looks like Ben Affleck's wingman from Dazed and Confused:

James Doerfling looks like he's trying to model for J.Crew. Except for Bingelli or Lopes, that wouldn't even occur to an American mountain bike racer. We've all been too busy endlessly practicing turns and hiking runs to make up for the total failure that we amounted to in traditional sports and to prove to our dad's that "see we're good at something" for the last 14 years.

In America, Tanner would be a defensive nose tackle on the varsity squad, would beat up his brother Dan who will later become Poet Laureate of the UN and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and would wreck his dad's Nissan senior year after the big game, and we'd never hear about him again because he'd be a mid-level sales guy at Bob Lanphere's Beaverton Honda for the rest of his life.

In Canada Tanner would pick up a used Demo 8 off Pinkbike sophomore year of High School, learn ugly unturndowns and hucker backflips, and eventually become the fourth member of the Coastal Crew so we can hear him yell "sick" or "send it Norbs" ten times per video for the rest of eternity.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A few thoughts

  1. That music was horrible. Call me crazy, but was that song off the soundtrack from Roam? Because bad bike movie music from 2006 makes for GREAT bike movie music in 2015. Fortunately the vimeo mute setting is easy to find.
  2. That's my first real glimpse into the tracks and terrain at Lenzerheide, Switzerland, the fourth round of the World Cup next year. Looks great.
  3. America doesn't have to suck for downhill. We have hills. We even have mountains in some places. Big ones with chairlifts. But we have almost nothing in America that looks anything like the tracks in this video. I can't think of a single place in the U.S. that has steep, wide, and rough tracks that are even in the same ballpark as this random European bikepark I'd never even heard of until this year. I'd never heard of this no name German junior racer until five minutes ago, and I'd never heard of the bike park in the video until three months ago, and collectively they shat all over 99% of U.S. juniors or U.S. downhill trails. Yes, in the U.S. we have trails that are wide in spots. We have trails that are steep in spots. We have trails that are rough in spots. We have trails, but we have no tracks. We have no tracks that are wide, steep, and rough for a majority of their length. Having been over to Europe a few times to race, I can say that nothing I did in the U.S. prepared me for the tracks in Europe**. I know I suck and I know that "America doesn't have rough enough tracks" isn't an excuse for the miserable failure I've been on the international stage, but it would have been nice to have ridden something that even remotely resembled what I would be competing on. Even Mont Sainte Anne was like riding on another planet compared to what we ride in the U.S. And I'm not talking about events either, downhill events probably have the roughest trails available in the U.S., but that's only because of the traffic they get. Any trail in the U.S. that gets even somewhat wide or chopped out automatically gets paved or rerouted for "sustainability." I know they don't have our freedom, liberty, or clear dialect in Europe, but they do have some things figured out over there that we could stand to emulate here in the good ol' US of A. We need to stop apologizing for our sport and we need to tell people what we want: raw, nasty, badass speed straight down the face of a mountain. Nothing less is acceptable. Heck, the death of the downhill bike in the U.S. might have more to do with crappy trail "design" than anything else. I don't need or want a downhill bike to ride 90% of the bikeparks in the U.S. End of rant.

**Also Scott Tucker please don't get your feelings hurt I love Port Angeles. It's not you, it's me.