Thursday, July 2, 2015

The future is here

Get some

Blowing wide and late, then panic steering to make the next corner is the whole point of downhill racing. Our greatest moments are often immediately preceded by our dumbest. Just ask Bob Stenson.

Photo stolen from Geebeegeebeebeegee


As seen on the Blenkinsop bike check on Pinkbike this morning:

"There are many FOX-supported athletes using the new X2 shock for racing on serious mountainsides, not just for the odd practice run or on shorter, flatter tracks. Is the end nigh for coil springs?"

Subtle, Pinkbike. Subtle.

When you're so nakedly and shamelessly baiting a comment-section conversation like that, internet law requires you to follow up your question with "talk amongst yourselves."

Maybe with staccato breaths and tissue eye-dabbing as well.

Allowing the mechanized overlords to be baited for a moment, the ROBOTS happily await the impending death of coil springs. 90% of amateur riders and 50% of advanced riders the world over are rolling around on coils shocks with the wrong spring rate, either because it was too expense or too much of a PITA to buy the right spring, or they bought the bike complete and didn't know they needed to replace the stock springs.

Nothing in the entire world makes a bike ride worse than the wrong spring rate. 99% of all head angle, geometry, body position, and tire design conversations going on right now could be resolved by changing the rider's spring rates.

This is also the root cause of 100% of all internet-dispersed Avalanche or Cane Creek Double Bummer suspension wisdom. "Yeah, I set up my fork with 35% sag like you're supposed and it feels great on the small bumps, but I still can't shake the feeling that it's diving and a little unstable at high speed..."

The ROBOT apocalypse will be air-powered.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


The riding is perfect, but everything that's wrong with Australia is neatly encapsulated in the music. Normally I would do a "watch this on mute, then play this song instead" post when a video has music this bad, but in this case, play anything. I love your riding Dave, but literally anything would be better than the music you chose. Yoko Ono would be better.

Island of criminals.


This is just a reminder to all humans on mountain bikes that what we do is, in the cosmic sense, really really easy. Mountain bikes have big travel, big tires, big wheels, big brakes, big top tubes, slack head angles, and good suspension. In other words, they are perfectly designed for what we're asking them to do. Blitzing down rock gardens and ripping berms is mostly as simple as just relaxing and letting the bike do the work, and this is evidenced by the fact that after a decade of hard work and tireless training I routinely get smoked by juniors and senior citizens, and when I go to World Cups 45 guys from Eastern Europe who no ones ever heard of put 7 seconds into me. These are people from countries that don't even know the earth is round. You can get down all the alternate steep lines on Goat's Gully? Cool, so can anyone with a pulse and an open mind.

Contrast this with skateboarding or bmx where the platform is inherently  unstable and constantly trying to kill you, and you quickly realize why your freeride flicks and "scrubs" do not impress the ROBOTS.

Double peg down a steep 15 stair to hardway 180 out > anything Matt Miles will do in his life.

Skateboarding, and to a lesser extent bmx, are like the soccer of the action sports world. Anyone with a patch of dirt and a ball can play soccer, so the talent pool is extremely large and the level of competition is extremely high. Like, the highest in the world. Similarly, everyone in the developed world under the age of 30 has tried skateboarding at one point or another, and 99.9% of them quickly discovered they suck at life and basketball is easier.

By contrast, the qualifications for being an interior BC freeride style god are:
  • Do you live in interior BC?
  • Do you possess rudimentary bike and or ski/snowboard skills?
  • Can you wiggle your bike around in the air and on the ground?
  • Most importantly, do you have a friend with a 6D and a tripod who sees himself as an artistic visionary and plans to attend film school at UBC in the fall?

Cool high tops.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Comfort zone

Instead of trying to compete with international-level talent at a true blood downhill track, I'm back at a regional enduro race with other washed up ex-downhillers.

It's like a well worn armchair. So comfy, so familiar. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Shawn Neer

Trails bikes were faster at Angel Fire. We know this obvious fact because Shawn won on a trail bike.

Also, please ignore the fact that the only other guys on the mountain running trail bikes, Logan and Kevin, both got served.

I mean, why else would Shawn have chosen his 6c when he could have ridden the new 650b Yeti DH bike? Wait, ummm, nm...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fireroads and death gripping

For everyone who thought "Angel Fire looks so easy," I did too. So I did my basic quali run thing yesterday, which consists of:

-braking early so you can carry that sweet, sweet mo through the turns
-hitting your lines smoothly
-not taking any big risks
-pedaling hard where possible, but not going into cardiac red zone lance armstrong mode

Aaaaaand I got smoked. I finished in 25th place in quali's, aka way OTB. Felt like a good run, but it was my worst result of the season. I thought the lack of technical aspects would allow me to succeed with my typical enduro strategy thing I've worked out and it turns out, no, there's no strategy at all, this race is just a measure of who's a pussy and who isn't. And if you hadn't figured it out yet, I don't live in the "isn't a pussy" category.

And you know those fire road sections everyone was talking about from the preride video? You should come race them. We're going like a thousand times faster than homeboy with the locked out trail bike from the preride video. And it's terrifying. In my quali run I had this wake up moment where I kind of blacked in from race mode and went "whoa, this is really dangerous, someone could get hurt out here" and then went back to racing. When we finished the fire road section and dropped in on the mid-track rock garden I remember this feeling that hit me, something like "oh thank god we're just racing rock gardens now, this is way safer."

In a race where patience and strategy are measured, I can normally hang. In a race where the difference between winning and losing is putting on your big boy pants, taking risks, and going balls out, I've got more of a, how do I say this?

It's hard for me.

Which isn't to say that first place qualifier Chris Higgerson doesn't have patience or strategy. He does, clearly. But more importantly he's been riding like a psycho all weekend, especially when he hits those rock gardens. Really, you should be here. Watching his 6'7" frame driving his poor bike through those rocks, it looks like he would do anything to get to the other side. Reckless abandon and no thought towards his health. Like, if the Marlboro man was on the side of the track and told Chris he could get to the other side of the rocks quicker if he started smoking a pack a day for the rest of his life, Chris would double down and ask if he could smoke four packs a day to go even quicker.

"Or what if I gave you my first born, or one of my kidneys or testicles? Would that help? I'll find a virgin to sacrifice if that would help."

Looks boring. It's not.

And since this is technically a race report or "rider journal" or whatever, and sponsors love this crap, might as well go whole hog: @ridegravity @feltbicycles @chriskingbuzz @troyleedesigns @fiveten_official @stansnotubes #timepedals @yakimaracks @oakley @feedbacksports @maximausa @maxxistires #stoked #blessed #fullthrottle #pinned #realdeal #manstrack #braaaaaap #alltime #vanlife #livinthedream #racetilidrop #pdx4lyfe #ndub #preparation #visualization #hydration #trainstation

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth

The Angel Fire ProGRT track preview was released today, and rims everywhere cried out in fear:

Fortunately for those running carbon rims, I read on the internet from trusted product reviewers that they're practically indestructible, so you should be good.