Tuesday, March 3, 2015

So big time

In other news, look how big time I am now.

BOOM! Two website front pages, nbd:

Dolla dolla bills y'all. Making that big time industry money now.

Don't worry, I took those yellow grips off.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Call it like it is

New sticker available. 8.5" x 1.5", $1 per sticker, free shipping anywhere:

Here's the deal:

The city of Portland just announced plans to close Riverview Natural Area to mountain bike access, the last remaining set of trails for mountain biking in Portland. Forest Park trails are off limits, and Powell Butte is a series of crushed gravel sidewalks.

The official reason given for closing mountain bike access in Riverview was fish. The seven cold water streams in Riverview "support critical habitat for coastal steelhead, coho, and Chinook salmon in the lower Willamette.” Mind you steely, Coho, and Chinook don't actually live in the streams in Riverview, so the argument is water temperature. Apparently my bike tires are warming those cold water streams so much that salmon in the Willamette River are jeopardized. Right.

Some more context:

I've been in contact with Portland Parks regarding Riverview since 2011, and I've participated in the public process to determine land use in Riverview for the past 18 months as part of the "Riverview Natural Area Political Advisory Committee." I served with about a dozen others, including neighbors and representatives of local interests. Brian Baumann of Northwest Trail Alliance was the official "mountain bike guy," and I was the designated unofficial citizen "mountain bike guy" on the committee. We were supplied lots of environmental studies and documents outlining the threats and impacts to the natural resources. We were constantly inundated with graphs and charts and bold statements reinforcing how "highly sensitive" the natural resources in Riverview are. And all of those graphs and charts and studies pointed to dogs and off-trail use as far and away the two greatest threats to natural resources in Riverview. We discussed mountain biking, trail planning, trail etiquette, best practices, and parking zones, but we also discussed dogs and cats and neighbors and trees and birds. We discussed a lot.

The committee meetings stopped about 12 months ago, and our June 2014 meeting was canceled. All communication from Portland Parks and Rec went dark after that. And then today I received word from Portland Parks that the area would be closed to mountain bikes.

This has nothing to do with natural resources, because the two biggest threats to Riverview as (rather extensively) outlined in our meetings and in public documents were not addressed in this recent decision. Dogs are still allowed in the park, and nothing has been done to limit off-trail use.

The real reason we've been kicked out of Riverview is that a small collection of powerful, monied interests hate mountain bikes. Our elected officials answer to these individuals, thus, by the transitive property, Portland hates mountain bikes. Don't believe me? Ask the Northwest Trail Alliance members who worked on the Forest Park proposal.

Show your disdain, show your displeasure, show your disgust. Don't let Portland hide behind fish or birds or trees anymore, this is basic NIMBYism at it's worst. Call it like it is. Portland hates mountain bikes.


Riverview Natural Area in Portland will be closed to bikes starting on Monday March 16th. The Park will be closed to bikes until the City can plan "a more holistic mountain bike recreation plan," which as usual could take somewhere between one and infinity years to complete. This is a big deal, as there's no other legal place to ride mountain bikes in Portland, and while Riverview isn't mind-blowing, numerous friends and guests to Portland have unanimously agreed it "doesn't suck."

Please contact Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Director of Parks and Rec Mike Abbate, and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and tell them this decision sucks.




Here's some Cory Tepper clips of me riding the downhill trail at Riverview back in the Diamondback days. Reminisce to the soothing sounds of the old 40 spring knock:

Rapid Fire: Charlie Sponsel - More Mountain Bike Videos

And to anyone who says "But mountain bikers already have Forest Park and Powell Butte..."

For reference, Leif Erickson "trail" in Forest Park:

Meadowland trail at Powell Butte:

Yeah... nah.

So German

The photos from the new Radon/Magura World Cup team press release could not be better.

Shot from awkward angle and cropped waaaaaay too tight? Check.
Shot in someone's garage with a Home Depot floodlamp? Check.
Mean mug? Check.
Bad haircuts? All around.
Graphic design and typeface by your Aunt? Check.

At least the bikes are good, right?




Your team:

Hug it out, shirtless karate bros, hug it out.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

As seen on the Internet

"Have you ever rode a fat bike? How about a fat trike? Take a peek below at the all-new 'Fat Tad' prototype that landed in our shop yesterday. We haven't been able to stop test riding it since it was assembled!"

-Sun Seeker

Modern Ellsworth spotting

And I use the term "modern" loosely. 

Spotted in the wild. At an XC race though, so makes more sense. I love the classic lines and low stand over height. The best design is that which becomes almost invisible, Ellsworth being a go-to example of this principle. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Poll

Hey people riding ain't free and even ROBOTS gotta hustle from time to time. With all the big time web traffic the page is getting, we're looking to cash in on our years of genius. That's right, we're moving on up, deluxe apartment in the sky.

TEAM ROBOT has been approached by a number of interested, qualified parties looking to advertise on our fine blog. Check the poll for options and let us know what you think. If you have any other bright ideas feel free to post in the comments.

Finally got a piece of the pie.

Monday, February 23, 2015

This sucks

Pavers. Here's my theory:

Most people don't actually like riding pavers. It's clearly worse, dirt is clearly better, and given a back to back comparison even the lowest members of the human species would conclude that pavers on trails are a torture device straight from the seventh circle of hell.

I think there are exactly three people on the entire planet who actually like pavers, but they are prodigious advocates of belief system, traveling far and wide to share pavers with land managers everywhere. In the absence of good trail builders doing likewise, these missionaries of misery have been able to fill this information vacuum, spreading pavers to the ends of the earth, from Sandy Ridge to Colonnade to Mammoth Mountain to the Azores Islands in the picture above.

I firmly believe there are only three agents of the paver movement, but in truth I don't pretend to know what motivates these three people. Perhaps it's a genuine love of paver berms, but alternatively it could be a one-dimensional power trip and pavers are merely the instrument to consolidate power. Traveling the world to exercise their will on unsuspecting trail users quells the urge they've always had but never satisfied.

Maybe it's a small masochistic group installing pavers for their own use, to self-punish as an act of contrition.

If pressed, I'd wager that the paver advocates are part of some fringe religious group seeking to punish the sins of mankind, and in their search for a widespread system of pain and suffering as reckoning for our sins they talked to the people who invented speed bumps and highway on-ramp signals. Those ideas were already taken, of course, so they settled on pavers as their modus operandi.

This desecration comes to us from Steamboat Springs, Colorado from people who should know better.