Friday, June 29, 2012

Senior Citizens and Canadians

In other news, Eric Loney is bugging me to post an update about the last race at Skibowl, because "when Charlie doesn't do well he never posts a race update about it on Team Robot." Way off base, Eric. I just never post on Team Robot anymore about anything.

Anyway, Eric is stoked because I crashed at the last NW Cup and he didn't for the first time all year, allowing him to just sneak onto his only podium of the year.

Other things I did that worked out in Eric's favor:

At NW Cup #3 this year, I finished in fifth place, which got me stoked to go onto the podium. Moments before going up, I found out that I wouldn't be on the podium because I got beat out by a junior, Bas Van Steenbergen. Not only was I disappointed to learn that I got beat by a junior, and one who doesn't even know what freedom is and has a name that sounds like it's kind of communist and not trustworthy, I was going to be deprived of the only thing that I look forward to anymore: the momentary but mostly undivided attention of other people. Devastated, I tried to make lemons out of lemonade and I tried to draw as much attention to myself as possible as I went up, dejected, to pick up my check for sixth place.

Moments later Bas got to take my spot on the pro podium and stand in as fifth place. I was bummed, and so bitter that weeks later I wrote about the episode in a blog that no one reads.

Anyway, Casey Northern and Scott Tucker felt so bad for me that when the same thing happened to Eric at Skibowl, and he got beat out by Bas and by some other junior named Vezina, they let Eric go on the podium anyway. True story.

Afterwards when I talked to Scott about it, I congratulated him for righting this wrong and not making the "pro" podium into the "pro, junior, sport, cat I and other category" podium.

"Charlie, at Eric's age he doesn't have much to look forward to anymore. It's the little victories that get him through the day. At Skibowl we thought we could do our part to make his otherwise sad, lonely, and unexceptional life a little brighter. I mean for heaven's sake Charlie, Eric is so old that he actually remembers the Alamo. Give him a break."

-Scott Tucker

"I want to take this opportunity to apologize to my fellow Americans. We, and I, let the Canadians win again on our home soil at Skibowl. This will not stand. I am training diligently to help do my part to prevent any more freedom-hating Canadians from winning here in the states. I'm sorry, and it won't happen again on my watch."

-Mel Gibson

Wales sucks

Vital continues to have amazing Slideshows, and Sven continues to win at photos- case in point, our team portrait in the prior post, the one with the Thor hammer. Yeah, I know, your team does suck. Yesterday's Windham coverage was awesome as always, except for one thing really bummed me out.

After this picture of some random slow looking female that I've never heard of, was a caption that I thought was pretty honest, but also pretty crummy:


"There are only 162 starters for tomorrow's qualifier compared to nearly double that in Europe. Is that just the state of USA racing? There are almost more Japanese riders here than Americans. Yuki Kushima loving his Kashima out here today." Credit: Sven Martin

I'm not above internet squabbling, so I thought I'd weigh in. Sure Sven works his ass off around the clock for a meager income to bring us the best World Cup coverage anywhere, but I figured now was as good a time as any to shit on the hand that feeds me, so I declared war via the comments section. Here's what I wrote, and I think it addresses an important, misunderstood element of the long-running debate "why does America suck so bad at racing? (Except for Gwin):"

"I'm not even going to talk about UCI points. We all know that there is a serious lack of UCI races on the North American continent. That situation sucks, but it's actually sort of secondary. In practice, the way most Americans (and I think most people in most places) get to race their first world cup is by representing their national federation. AKA wear the flag jersey.

Example 1: Eliot Jackson not sucking at La Bresse last year
 Example 2: Me sucking at Leogang last year

There are 47 countries in Europe, with a population of 700 million people. In contrast, The USA is one country with 350 million people. Every UCI-recognized national federation gets 7 spots at any world cup. That means Europe's 700 million people have 329 available spots at any given World Cup round, and America's 350 million people have 7 spots. That sounds like less to me. And just a wild guess Sven... I bet all seven of those USA spots were filled at MSA and Windham.

As long as the UCI chooses to give the big US equal representation as small countries like Latvia and Switzerland and Austria, you're going to keep seeing wacky, disproportionate, unrepresentative populations at World Cups.

Anyway, Aaron Gwin's the man

So I guess the long and short answer is, yes Sven, that is just the state of USA racing, at least until things change, which they won't. The UCI is a bunch of old, Swiss roadies. I doubt they're going to be sitting around one day and think, "hey, Jurgen, you know what would be awesome? Let's help make the playing field more level for the Americans!" So prepare for the U.S. to, largely, continue being mediocre.

Some other things that nobody talks about:

Why is England so fast at downhill? Well, the other sports you can consider if you have the skills to race World Cup Downhill are motocross and skiing. For reference, this is what skiing looks like in England:

Why is America so slow at Downhill? Again, the other sports to choose from are skiing and motocross. There are five reasons why skiing will always be more popular than downhill mountain biking in America:

And there are about a million reasons Glad-wrapped together that explain why Villopoto would like to take his superhuman winning skills to the Monster Cup instead of the UCI World Cup:

Plain and simple: we have big mountains, so skiing takes a lot of talent, and we have AMA Motocross, which is the premier racing league for the entire world, aka $$$$$$$. Downhill isn't even on the radar here, whereas for people like the Athertons or Blenkinsop or Sam Hill, they either got to choose between mountain biking or watching goats chew grass:

full power

just kill yourselves now! the end is near. the brilliant mind behind the team robot name is back from a hiatus in "mormanland" and ready for action. Bosstron AKA Polygitron AKA the NIGHTBIRD AKA the Night Robber AKA Baaron AKA Aaron is ready for action in the NW. *recent team photo cutousy of sven martin photo

Team Robot plus twenty years

Photo courtesy of Ben Tobin

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

we are learning

a deathly cold robot hand with 100% wins at rock paper scissors!! this is 100% more wins than team robot has this year.........okay 99.999% more wins.
but i dont think Spokane counts. (sorry chazz)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Earth Raper

Behold, the Earth Raper:

Phil and Brad built this out of metal and brawn, and it took almost a year of afternoons and late nights. They are cooler than you. It was designed, in large part, by Phil Crusher Wiering. Having ridden it, I can certify that it crushes.

Your team sucks.

Your Mont Sainte Anne FAAG World Cup rankings

Congratulations go out to Richie Rude Jr., your current leader in the Rocky Roads FAAG World Cup Series. Richie is the quietest, nicest kid in the world, so when asked about becoming the FAAG leader, Richie smirked, stared at his shoes and kicked circles in the dust.

Later he reportdely asked his Yeti teammates and team manager Damion Smith why Charlie said such mean things about him. Teammate Jared Graves informed him that when people are left alone or are not given attention as small children, they often lash out at others who are more successful than them, or try to mask their deficiencies and seek the attention of others with humor, often at the expense of others. Richie spent some time alone later that night on a long walk, and pondered why Charlie couldn't have loving parents like his.

Here are your point totals in the series:

1. Richie Rude, 172 points
2. Luke Strobel, 153 points
3. Duncan Riffle, 85 points
4. Eliot Jackson, 69 points
5. Neko Mulally, 67 points

Luke is close behind Richie in points, and has historically done well at Mont Sainte Anne, with the long, physically-demanding course suiting his moto-inspired riding style. When reached for comment, Luke had this to say:

"Charlie didn't post anything for, like, two months. Does anyone even read that site anymore?"

The robot apocalypse is near

Actual headline:

"Is that really just a fly? Swarms of cyborg insect drones are the future of military surveillance"

Yes, your deaths are nearer than you think.

Candid Camera

"What? This is just where we hang out. There's nothing weird or unnatural about this."
-Logan Bingelli

"Yeah, I don't know why our kits don't match either."
-Quinton Spaulding

"They told me there'd be snacks on this hike."
-Kevin Aeillo

Wednesday, June 13, 2012



1. It's not funny:

2. The good old days:

More Mountain Biking Videos

3. More from the good old days. This is my favorite bike of all time. I still want it. If I could ride any pro bike, ever, of all time, it would be this one. I'd just bump up spring rates a little to compensate for my fatness, and I wouldn't change anything else:

Okay, if you want to nitpick, I'd also increase rebound damping to compensate for the increase in spring rate, but I would do so only to match the prior rebound speed. So it wouldn't really be a change. Shut up.

4. I don't normally watch skate videos, but this is pretty rad. This video demonstrates one of the many things that get lost in most bike videos these days- fun.

Leeside Skateboard Mayhem from Zenga Bros on Vimeo.

5. Team Robot approved passing technique:

6. Have you seen this new Voreis ad on Vital yet? It's rad. And no, it's not really an effective ad for Sram, or Rochshox, or Specialized, or whoever it's supposed to be an ad for. Honestly, I don't remember after watching. It's just a commercial for how awesome Voreis is.

SRAM Voreis Commercial, May 2012 - More Mountain Bike Videos

7. You suck