Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Steve Smith > Danny Hart

More Mountain Bike Videos on Pinkbike

Danny Hart : Every ride has a story : TRUVATIV on Pinkbike

Your call SRAM, but I think it's obvious who's way more rad out of the two. Have you ever seen Danny Hart with a scumstache or Wolverine mutton chops? I didn't think so.

World Cup winners

I don't know if anyone else cares about this list, but I thought it was interesting. People who still race in the World Cup that have won a World Cup round:

Aaron Gwin
Greg Minnaar
Gee Atherton
Sam Hill
Brook MacDonald
Mick Hannah
Marc Beaumont
Sam Blenkinsop
Mickael Pascal
Steve Peat
Cedric Gracia
Matti Lehikoinen

There's 12 of them, 13 if you count Kovarik because he came to MSA and Windham in 2012.

This wikipedia page is really good for other mountain bike trivia: I know you probably don't care about XC, but I was blown away by how dominant Julien Absalon was in XC; in nine years he was only out of the top 3 once. Damn. Sam Hill was either first or second for six years in a row. Fun facts.

Also, perhaps a more interesting list: people who got 2nd in a World Cup round and didn't kill themselves:

Danny Hart
Josh Bryceland
Cam Cole
Jared Graves
Julien Camellini

Also Dan Atherton came to a couple races this year, and he got 4th in 2005 (?) at Willengen.

As always, if I left anyone out please let me know in the comments or go kill yourself. I also hear that blog posts are more interesting with pictures, so here are a couple:

Your team's transportation:

Our team's transportation:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

See if you can spot the seven differences!



BMX racing can be cool

This happened, Mike Day got 3rd. It was held in Berlin, and some guy from the Netherlands won. A good day for BMX, but a sad day for freedom.

Giantly dialed

As you probably know, Giant just released the new 2013 Glory, complete with the new geometry that their team demanded and wouldn't ride without since about midway through '11.

I had a Glory for a few years, and at one point I even had two. It's a really good privateer bike.

I was also really good at lighting photographs back in the day.

No, seriously, I had two Glories at one point. It was back when I thought "hey, it'll be a buddy bike. Maybe someone will want to try out downhill and I'll have this spare bike they can ride." But then reality sets in, and you realize you don't have any friends and that  you can make some quick scrill by pawning off your clapped out downhill bike from last season. I made like, 320 five dollar footlongs when I sold that bike.

But anyway, the head angle and the bb height both bugged me on that bike. I ended up getting an angleset, which made the head angle better (a little under 63 degrees with the fork at full height), but I couldn't do anything about the bb height. The bb was 14.25" stock, but with my fork at full height (to slacken out the head angle) the bottom bracket was 14.5". If you're not good with numbers, a 14.5" bottom bracket height shows up in the WTF/unrideable range on the BB height guide:

Giant had exactly the same geometry on their downhill bike in 2006 when the athertons debuted the new glory, and they kept it unchanged up until 2013. All of this amidst the constant, desperate cries of Giant team riders and internet forum superstars the world over.

That's right, the bike that you see Gee Atherton riding in 2006 in that sweet video from the best movie maker in mountain bike history has the same bb height as the 2012 Glory ridden by some dude in this awful, late-to-the party electronica video from Blackrock:

Actually, they did change something. In 2010 when they redid the Glory (made it lighter, and lowered the travel to 203mm) they didn't change the geometry, but they did stop listing the bb height on their geometry chart. Crafty.

And for 2013 they still don't list the BB height. What is that? They even built their own website to brag about the new 2013 bike, and to talk about the "reengineered geometry," and all they say about the BB height is that it's "lower." Literally the only numbers that people care about when they buy downhill bikes are chainstay, head angle, and bb height. Three numbers isn't so hard to remember, but somehow the kind people at Giant didn't get around to listing that one when they took the time to dedicate an entire website to the bike. But whatever, it's lower, so that's cool.

And if you're going to say that toptube length also matters, you're an idiot. Obviously top tube length matters, but unless you're freakishly tall or you're an oompa loompa, there's a size with a toptube length that fits you in every bike lineup ever. So, again, the only three numbers that distiniguish one bikes geometry from another are chainstay, bb height and head angle.

Here are some other things you can look forward to coming from Giant in 2013: with it's super tall housebrand rims and the mammoth 2.5 schwalbe tires, the Glory 00 also doubles as a snow bike. You'll be stoked at how many people ask you if you're running 24" 3.0 Gazzalodis:

And this bike sure looks good.

I'm super cereal right now.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Sven Martin is one of the lucky few on the TEAM ROBOT DO NOT KILL LIST. He is the real deal. Earthed 1 screen capture circa '03, aka the glory years.

Everyone else, you will die soon.

Pure genius

As Aaron Lutze would say "MIND = BLOWN"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Internal cable routing

If you're running a hydraulic rear brake, it sucks.

That is all.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Are we getting worse at what we do?

WARNING: this is a long one, so get a glass of water, make some popcorn, and take a deep breath.

You know when you listen to a song a million times, and you know every part of it, every guitar riff, every fill from the singer, and then you go to the concert and it sucks?

Don't watch the full video, please. After about 40 seconds of this crap you'll get the point.

I'm sure when 51 year old Vince Neil gets up there to sing Kickstart my Heart for the 17,534th time, the last thing he wants to do is sing it the same way he did the last 17,533 times. I'm sure he doesn't find any creative satisfaction these days in repeating all the same screams and yells the way he did in '87 before he sucked at life and back when reality TV for him meant bringing cameras backstage to document him slugging a pound of blow up each nostril and doing terrible, unspeakable things to consenting groupies. I'm sure Vince wants his music to evolve and progress and grow. I'm sure the musical atrocity that is the live version of "Kickstart" is some sad attempt to redeem Vince's artistic side, and he probably thinks that his new pacing and singing style breathe new life into an aging song.

The thing is, Vince is wrong. The Kickstart my Heart that you and I know and love is so badass because Motley Crue sat in a studio for days perfecting it to the zenith of hair metal shredding. If there was something left to change, something that sucked, it would have been changed in the studio. It's not like the producer thought, "This is going to be THE banger song off an album that will probably go quadruple platinum. Let's just ignore all the crappy parts that are easy to identify and would be easy to fix, and then Vince can fix those in concert 20 years later." And by the way, timeless classics don't need to be "freshened up." Good is good. If it's awesome in '89, it's still going to be awesome in 2012. If it ain't broke, don't be a dumbass.

Yeah, I'm talking to you, too, George Lucas.

No, really, it was waaaaaaay better with Hayden in there. Good thinking, George.

Basically, when it comes to making good bike movies, BMX figured out a very simple formula a long time ago:


2001: Van Homan, Criminal Mischief:
Van Homan - Little Devil - Criminal Mischief from groove section on Vimeo.

2007: Chase Hawk, Fit Life

There's really very little variation required here. Does it have to be metal music? Of course not, but it's definitely a safe bet that chucking your body at full speed onto a twenty stair icepick is going to sync up to Metallica better than Madonna. Maybe instead of metal, you throw in something classic. MAYBE you could get away with a contemporary, non-metal song, but that's pretty thin ice before you fall into electronica, dubstep, or other pussy music. Maybe for your mountain biked movie you spice up all the riding clips with a couple quick clips of drunk Steve Peat making fun of everyone at the afterparty. Maybe you have a little buildup to the riding and have a slower, more melodic song before you get to the metal+banger riding+fast editing.

But that's pretty much it. There's no need to do too much thinking, the format works. But try convincing mountain bike film makers of that.

This Whistler segment is mega big budget, replete with cable cams, boom cams, steady cams, three minutes of talking, famous quotes, everything starts moving backwards for no apparent reason, NEW music, slow mo, SLOW MO, and REALLY REALLY REALLY SLOW MO, and then starting at 3:13 you only get to see one shot of every rider, and you don't even get to see a whole shot of them riding. Isn't it awesome when the action cuts off halfway through, and then they cut to someone else? SWEET. The segment sort of doesn't even make sense. The second time I watched it I think I got what they were going for. Maybe.

"The Collective" and "Anthill Productions" are technically different companies, but it's still the same dudes. For comparisons sake, look at the Whistler scene from Roam, way back in 2006:

It's actually pretty good. Sure the music sucks, the "watch me drop in behind the last guy" trick gets pretty old, and there's waaaaaay too much pedaling, but it stills works. It even makes sense. It's a coherent storyline, and that's more than you can say for the latest Anthill Whistler scene.

Looking at these two Whistler segments it's apparent that TheAntCollectivehill actually got worse at making movies. Their most recent Whistler segment is objectively worse. Why did they change anything? Just do it over again, with slightly different riders and see what happens. Wild guess: letting a bunch of super talented riders loose on Whistler is going to be entertaining as hell and you won't be disappointed, even if you don't storyboard out three minutes of narration and spend 10 days setting your cable cams up..

Everyone in mountain bike film making is trying to innovate, to one up each other, and to find the next new thing. To be the most epic. For some this means buying a Phantom Flex or a Red so they can do 1000 FPS shots and put people to sleep. For other filmmakers, progression means traveling halfway around the world to Bolivia or Nepal or Morocco or another place called BFE to build the same jumps they have in Kamloops and to put the riders in mortal danger in a country where healthcare means calling the local witch doctor to ward off infection. For others progression means stopping at nothing to show how bro'd out you all get when you come together to collaborate and shred; Reggae, sunlit beaches, and boardshorts somehow make it into bike movies when you're trying to illustrate just how chill the scene is, bro.

So the movie makers keep "progressing" and getting away from the basic formula


But what no one realizes is that you don't need to keep artificially "pushing the boundaries." This attitude of constant, unmotivated "progression" pervades all of mountain biking, whether it be film making, trail building, or steerer tube standards. MORE MORE MORE.

Guess what? 200 million people turned into NFL games last year. 278 million people watched the NBA. The seven World Series games last year averaged 17 million viewers per game. Even the NHL had 70 million viewers last year. And those sports have looked really similar for the last 30 years.

Major league (aka real) sports don't need to change the rules or introduce new cameras or use crazy editing techniques or build bigger fields to draw viewers in. These are real sports, and a real sport is compelling enough on its own. Year in, year out, fans root for their favorite player and their favorite team because of things like personality, athleticism, and geography, not because of 1000 FPS Phantom Flex cameras.

What I'm trying to say is that there is no need to reinvent mountain biking every time you film a web edit. Maybe next time just make a movie with bike riding in it. Just go out into the woods and shoot what you think is good, edit it to music that you think is good, and maybe some people will think it's good. If they don't like it, then you know they suck.


This lightbulb is supposed to signify an epihany that I just had while writing this.

An epihany that I just had while writing this: Maybe the new, crappy videos are what the movie makers wanted to do all along, and it's only now that they have the budget and freedom to allow them to finally realize their crappy artistic vision.

There's no denying that, at this point, Clay can do whatever he wants. I'm sure he would say he has this limitation and that restriction, but basically, if he really wants to do something, he can get it done, as long as it's not rebuilding and then resinking the Titanic for his next Atherton webedit. Clay can do whatever he wants to do, and it turns out that when he puts his head down and starts thinking, his ideas just aren't that cool.

"I miss filming with Alex."

Maybe getting to do everything you want to do creatively isn't a formula for success. All creativity takes place within boundaries, and when you are totally unbounded, with an endless budget, and no direction, you get things like Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

It's unwatchable. Seriously, I bet you fell asleep. This is a ten minute fight scene that does nothing to move the story along or develop the characters. I'm not invested in this fight scene at all. Congratulations George, your crappy artistic vision was fully realized. It turns out that you just suck.

Watch this 2 minute Rennie video, and learn how visual story-telling works:

No budget, no tripods, no interviews, just Rennie and The Who. The riding speaks for itself. Without any words, I know way more about Rennie's riding style, personality, attitude, and Whistler's terrain from two minutes of Rankin than I could ever get from a documentary style ten-minute slowmo cable cam SNAFU.

Good is good.

A question for Marc Beaumont

Marc, why you be wearin a hat with yo riding kit?

Homeboy be lookin wack.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Going to the big leagues

Here's the sort of email that gets me pretty stoked:


You have been granted a National Team reserved start spot for the Norway Downhill World Cup.

Please email me back and let me know if you would like to accept this start spot. 

If you don’t already have a USA National Team jersey (from last year or this year made by Barbedo Sports) then let me know what size DH jersey you are and I’ll get one out to you.  You will be required to wear this jersey during your timed run/qualifying run and your final run.

Finally, I’ll need to know the name, address and phone number of the hotel you will be staying at for the event in order to get you registered so send that over to me asap.

Let me know if you have any questions and if you wish to accept this start spot,

Marc Gullickson
Mountain Bike & Cyclo-Cross Program Director
USA Cycling

The above country flag still sucks, but I like their color choice. Some stars and some horizontal stripes would be a huge improvement, though.

Junior phenom Kevin Littlefield looks like he's going, so it should be a pretty good showing. Obviously I'm stoked out of my mind right now.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bucket list

I freerode with Randy Spangler today.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You and your friends are dumb

No, I'm not making fun of Steve Smith. Clearly not. It's not his fault that someone else referred to him as "legendary." It's not exactly like Steve finished his 12 minute long Garbo run and then, while he was busy puking up a lung through his dust lined, bleeding esophagus, hike up the hill until he found Colin Meager shooting photographs and say "Hey, Colin! When you write the captions for the pinkbike article later tonight, can you refer to me as A LEGEND!!"

I'm not really making fun of Colin Meager either. Colin takes awesome photographs and is a nice guy. Okay, I've only met him half-of-once while he was minding his own business trying to eat dinner with his friends, but he was very polite to my interrupting ass and we had a nice chat. Mr. Meager is one of the two main Pinkbike World Cup photo guys, and I'd say he does a pretty damn good job. I always read his writeups, especially when he makes fun of me.

No, the purpose of that article wasn't to say someone sucks or to discount the value of what they're doing. At all. It was actually to make fun of the words we use as mountain bikers, words like "legend," "epic," and "crazy." Because, if you were really honest with yourself, nothing you've ever done on a mountain bike is legendary, epic, or crazy. I'm not saying Steve or Colin suck a lot. I'm saying that you, mountain bike community suck a little bit in this one, humorous area.

What does suck is having to explain your joke because your audience is too stupid for words. But because you are that sort of audience, let me explain it one more time:

Hercules slaying the Hydra is legendary.

Odysseus battling Posiedon is epic.

John Hinckley, Jr. attempting to kill President Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster is crazy

You taking an extra hour and a half out of your day to pay money to ride a chairlift to the top of a big hill to coast down a trail that somebody else built for you is not legendary, epic, or crazy.

On the other hand, Steve Peat, Napalm, the Missile, and Voreis are all real, bona fide legends. There are active, factually inaccurate and conflicting oral histories being spread through all of mountainbikedom for each of those guys.

Here's a great write-up from the best page in the universe that I think captures my sentiment nicely. Read it for your own edification:

You could call it the inspiration for my current rant. You could just say that I plagiarized him completely. Maybe I'd like to think the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and that the original author would be flattered. Hey, it almost worked for Fareed.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you're all idiots. 


Monday, August 13, 2012


It's not all bad.

Mark Matthews in B.C.

Speaking of B.C. I saw this picture and caption on pinkbike from Steve Smith's recent win at the Garbanzo DH:

"BC legend Steve Smith layin it down with some authority in the Garbo DH as he rolls a slab on "In Deep". A dry, fast course helped Smith came home with a time of 12:33.27." 

Obviously that's a pretty fast time. I heard the course is 12 kilometers long, which I think is, like 3 miles, so that's pretty long. Anyway, I'd never heard about the legend of Steve Smith. I know the native Americans of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest have a rich oral history, replete with legends that explain natural phenomena, retell significant events in tribal history, and give insight into the human condition. Fascinated, I started looking up British Columbia native American legends, but I couldn't find anything about this legendary about this Steve Smith character. Merriam Webster gives this definition of "legend:"


 noun \ˈle-jənd\

a : a story coming down from the past; especially : one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiableb : a body of such stories legend
 of the frontier>c : a popular myth of recent origind : a person or thing that inspires legendse : the subject of a legend legend even in its own time — William Broyles Jr.>

Actual B.C. legends:

According to legend, many years ago a young Indian Chief found great difficulty in choosing a bride. There were three very talented and beautiful maidens to choose from. The older Chiefs asked the gods to aid them. The Indian gods considered indecision a grievous sin; therefore, the punishment dealt out was severe.
The young Chief was turned into a mountain where, each day, he could look at what he could never have. The maidens' grief was so great that all three maidens prayed that they might be turned into mountains also. Their prayers were answered. As we gaze at the Three Sisters and Proctor Mountain we are looking at the three maidens and the young Chief.

The Legend of The Balancing Rock

Located only 10 minutes from Kamloops is The Balancing Rock. The rock itself weighs many tons and is precariously positioned atop a clay hoodoo base overlooking beautiful Kamloops Lake. Many wonder how a rock of such size came to perch where it did. Some say it was left over from years of erosion. Others believe it may have fallen and came to rest, by chance, on the hoodoo base.
But legend has it, that the rock came to rest where it does today because of a long standing feud between the Okanagan and Secwepemc First Nations people. It's been told that the Secwepemc and Okanagan First Nations people were involved in a battle for many years. Neither was winning or losing so a competition to determine the winner of the land was held where the strongest man from each side would try and balance a large rock on top of a standing rock. Try as he might, the Okanagan man could not lift the rock. The Secwepemc man tried and did lift the rock, balancing it on top of the standing rock, and as a result, the Secwepemc won the rights to the land.

Pitt Lake's Lost Gold Mine is a legendary lost mine said to be near Pitt Lake, British Columbia, Canada, the supposed wealth of which has held the imagination of people worldwide for more than a century. Ever since the years of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush prospectors and adventurers have been looking for the mine and gold-rush rumors have evolved into legends repeated and enriched over time. The mysterious riches are known as Slumach’s Lost Mine, or Lost Creek.

Not an actual B.C. legend:

Steve Smith

New idea, old idea, good idea, bad idea

Brook MacDonald riding with a super short prototype stem:

Brook MacDonald riding without a super short prototype stem:

Way to think outside the box and all, but the bike industry actually tried that already:

 And it sucked the first time.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The only kid who didn't get to go to Worlds

Did you know that Brendog_1 has, like, a million followers on Twitter but still didn't make it onto the British Worlds team?

No, you read that right: the flag$hip rider on one of the biggest teams on the circuit didn't make the cut to g
o to the most important race of the season. All the hype in the world can't save you from a bad season. Apparently
 the world's team was not decided by fans texting in their top three faves.

How bad was his season, really? Well, to put it in perspective, Brendan's currently ranked 35th in the World Cup right now, which puts him just behind such World Cup veterans as 16 year old Richie Rude, 18 year old Loic Bruni, and 18 year old Connor Fearon, and also puts him behind several people you've never even heard of that make about 1/20th what Brendan makes, guys like Aurélien Giordanengo and Pierre Charles Georges. I'm pretty sure that Aerial Gorgonzola guy's best deal was when he landed free stickers, t-shirts, and 20% off of goggles from Scott on Sponsorhouse.

As it sits, the current Elite World's team for Britain is

Danny Hart
Gee Atherton
Josh Bryceland
Marc Beaumont
Matt Simmonds
Joe Smith
Sam Dale
Steve Peat

Which is weird, because if you've been following the news, America's World's team just got announced and we only had seven spots. So Britain had an extra spot and Brendoggystyle still didn't make the cut. It's okay though, cuz on the press release for British Cycling it said that Brendan had the "reserve" spot. You know, because with all the world cup rounds between the announcement this week and Worlds in two weeks, somebody might get hurt. Please, the only event between the announcement is Crankworx, and nobody gets hurt at Crankworx. I'm pretty sure it says in most pro contracts that if you get hurt dicking around at a festival event like Crankworx they take your bikes back and you hitchhike home.

So Brendan Fairclough isn't going, even though he makes way more money and gets way more hype than almost all the other guys on the British team, all the guys except Gee and Danny (BTW, yes, I do feel like I'm on a first name basis with all these guys. I've read about their lives on the internet).

So Brendan had a crappy season this year. But does anyone in the British Cycling federation remember when this happened 11 short months ago?

Yeah, not only does Brendanimal get paid more than almost every else that's going, and not only does he get more press for taking a big dump than Matt Simmonds gets in a whole season, Brendan was the second fastest Brit at, you know, the last World Championships.

Well, you don't have to wonder what goes on behind the scenes. Thanks to Team Robots investigative reporting, here's what the recent "Dear John" letter from British Cycling to Brendan Fairclough said:

"Oh yeah, thanks for getting fourth last year at Worlds for Mother England, you know with, like, half of one knee working. That was a big help for the team, big guy. Unfortunately we feel like the skills you demonstrated last year on that steep, rooty, muddy track in the Swiss Alps will not translate well to the steep, rooty, muddy track in the Austrian Alps. Sorry Brendan, the Austrian Alps are WAAAAAY different."

So, Scott11's probably pretty bummed. On the bright side though, Brendan will probably get more photos and interviews for doing another nacnac over Crabapple hits on Tuesday than he would have gotten from a win in Austria.

Oh, and he just won Speed and Style, but nobody really cares about that. Here's a great Speed and Style quote:

"Pro freerider Cam McCaul, who lent his expertise as an announcer at the Dual Speed & Style, feels that going fast and having the ability to pull multiple variations of tricks is going to be the type of riding that will prevail in future rounds of Speed & Style."

Thanks for that inside pro tip, Cam. My mind is literally blown right now.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Team BRObot

The soul of skateboarding:

The soul of skiiing:

The soul of BMX:

The soul of mountain biking:

Team BRObot says:

Stoked for Crankworx slopestyle this year! It's all about progression, bro. Gonna see my boy Greg Watts do a backflip quadruple barspin this year, it's gonna be off the HIZZook. Plus we don't have that pussy Canadian beer, anymore. Yeah, more like Kokanee LAMEworx! We got my boys from BUD LIGHT in the hizzouse. Bud Light's gonna hook it up, maybe some BL Lime for the ladies if you know what I mean. SICK!

Like, I didn't really understand what this commercial is about or how it got approved by a big money ad-agency, but hey, anything with Bud Light in it is sick, am I right?

Basically, I'm pumped cuz I really think slopestyle is the, where we like, feed off each other and shit. If bros aren't getting carted out on backboards and life support than the course wasn't sick enough.

-Team BRObot


Turns out that I was using UCI points instead of World Cup points for FAAG totals.

The actual World Cup Points that I should use for FAAG points:

Once that was sorted out, the actual FAAG standings are listed. So, yeah... I sort of did it wrong all year. So the lead goes to 13 year old Richie Rude, with Strobel 12 points behind him. Still a very close race, and it's definitely going to come down to Norway.

1. Richie Rude 324

2. Luke Strobel 312

3. Mitch Ropelato 210

4. Eliot Jackson 172

5. Duncan Riffle 150

I suck.

More Rankin

Faster than you, but on a Mongoose.

The World Cup returns to Willingen in 2013. You might think that sucks, but Steve Peat says that "stuff like that on World Cup tracks [insert two weird neck gyrations here] is good."

What happens when you hear the truth


August 4, 2012
Yorkshire, England

Two human females from Sweden were recently vacationing in Northern England when they accidentally walked into a Robot Apocalypse planning meeting that was being held by a local Yorkshire robot confederation in an abandoned warehouse. The two women were allegedly looking to find an award-winning hip, overpriced organic butchershop/microbrewery/barbershop called "Mein Cutt" that was located in an old warehouse, like the ones you find in bullshit hip parts of recently gentrified cities, but the women accidentally stumbled upon a regular meeting place for Yorkshire's Killbots, Hammerbots, and Buzzsawbots.

While the women turned to leave the warehouse as quickly as possible, they momentarily saw the robots gruesome plans for the end of all humanity, including diagrams of how to dissect human skulls while maintaining human consciousness, instruction manuals for inserting Mindcontrolbots into humans through nasal passageways, and protocol for the order of death within a nuclear human family when sacrificing to the robot overlord god ZOROX.

The robots were mid-download when the two human females interrupted the meeting, and were unable to break transmission in time to neutralize the humans. However, after seeing the horrific end that would befall their human species, the two females immediately and repeatedly attempted suicide on a nearby highway.

When questioned later by human authorities, the two females were still unable to form complete sentences, and were thus unable to fully warn local human authorities about the terrifying and bloody mechanized demise that awaits all humans in the very near future. Local authorities did piece together several half-sentences, a few mumbled phrases that were repeated in a low grumble, and words that were screamed as the two women struggled and tore at the restraints chaining their arms and legs down to the hospital beds. Using these clues, authorities were able to infer a few small parts of the robots' greater plan.

Local police concluded that, once the robot apocalypse begins, humans awaiting their inevitable annihilation would be detained in small, stainless steel holding cells and would be subjected to "The crying game" by Boy George and "With arms wide open" by Creed, nonstop, until they killed themselves or could be unleashed to kill others.

Authorities have confirmed that after hearing this infinitesimal sliver of the robots grueling plans for all of humanity, the four police officers on the scene immediately shot themselves. Two died immediately, and two are being held in the hospital's ICU with critical gunshot wound injuries, and have repeatedly requested "a mercy killing."

Courtesy of the Associated Press

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Do you remember when you actually liked the Athertons?

More Mountain Biking Videos

Great old video, and one of the first ever DirtTV Parkin-sons edits.

Things that are cool:

  • Ratboy in full rat mode.
  • Sam Hill sliding the infamous corner at the bottom and not crashing in qualifying (at 2:25).
  • Look how cool Val di Sole was in the first year
  • The Parkins can't be everywhere at the same time, so they hired Michael J. Fox to do their finish line camera work.
  • The Athertons before big results and big $$$ made them bitter, boring, and bros.

Two truths and a lie

Here's the game: I'm going to say two things that are true, and one lie. You'll have to guess which are true and which one is the lie.

1. Mountain Cycle came out with another downhill design. It's not in production yet. It made of metal... maybe?

2. Morpheus decided to expand on their already unique bike line-up with this new carbon downhill bike that uses threaded tie rod ends as shock mounts and uses what appears to be a piece of an old-timey two-handed saw blade as the chainstay: 

3. Both of the above products look like great designs that will be widely popular and should prove to be extremely profitable.

FAAG/Nerds get butthurt/Stevens Pass


Congratulations Neko, not only did you make it onto Brotocross, but you also are the current Fastest American After Gwin points leader. Here's your current FAAG top five, with their UCI points:

1. Neko "loves holding a smile for one or two seconds too long during a studio photo shoot" Mulally. 481 points

2. Luke "I look totally sober all the time" Strobel. 476 points

3. Eliot "Kevin why is your shirt off" Jackson. 347 points

4. Richie "also crashed on the hip at MSA but still didn't make Brotocross" Rude. 324 points

5. Mitch "actually stayed on his bike and qualified at Leogang last year and is clearly a way better bike rider than me" Ropelato. 275 points

The good news is that we still have a close race for the 2012 FAAG title, as Luke is only trailing Neko by five points. That gap is totally closeable, so Norway should be exciting to watch.


If you want to see someone get really hurt by comments made by really mean people on the internet, hear a bunch of sweet new neckbrace rumors that you can start spreading on the internet, and then watch people in lab coats pretend to do science, this video is right up your alley. Fortunately, this is the first in a series of videos that you can be sure will be reposted and made fun of on the bot.

By the way, angry Leatt video guy: watching those dummies with Leatt Braces get their necks jerked around in tests doesn't actually make me feel any safer about my Leatt. I'm sure the Leatt prevented those dummy necks from getting completely ripped off, but it still didn't exactly look like a shiatsu massage or a light neck stretch. Show me all the science you want, but your video actually caused me to rethink my whole choice to wear a neck brace, because this was the choice I was faced with after watching your real neck brace tests:

1. Wear a neck brace, and have my neck almost completely ripped off in a crash, but still be alive. Do not pass go, do not collect $100. Then spend the rest of my life playing wheelchair basketball for team Steven Hawkings.

Poor taste? Whatever, I hear he's a jerk in person. 


2. Don't wear a neck brace, and relax to the peaceful bliss of having your neck completely ripped off in the same crash, suffering no pain and slipping into instant death like a wooden canoe gliding into a calm, slow moving river.

Easy choice, right? Plus, once you're dead it's all clouds, harps, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese, anyway. I talked with Gwin, and he said that's exactly what heaven's like.

Clearly I'm not the only one coming to this logical, scientific, well thought out conclusion. But don't listen to me, listen to the people who used to race in Leatt Braces that don't anymore:

The FAAG, himself, Neko Mulally used to run a Leatt



Gee mostly used his Leatt to safely walk his bike down the hill after flatting with his failed tubeless system, but he still wore one.

Leov used to wear one

Steve wore one for a season


Even Neethling, who's from South Africa where they grow and harvest the Leatt Neck Brace trees (that's where they come from, it's science) has even tried racing without it.

PFunk been running a Leatt for four years now, and he didn't run it at Stevens Pass. I tend to trust PFunk's advice, too, because his usual results in Cat1 are really similar to my usual results in pro: buried.

Look, I'm still running mine, but I'm just saying... okay, I have no idea what I'm trying to say anymore.


Junior X phenom Kole Wetherell decided to show some respect for his elders at Stevens Pass and did a run the official Project 529 old-guy-on-the-team, Geo Smith. Geo is the man, and there's actually a decent chance he's faster than you. Not because he's that fast, really, just because you suck.

Luke won. Slayer played. American flags waved proudly. Beer was sprayed. It was rad. If you weren't there, you're bummed.

Bas van Steenbergen beat me again, so that sucks for me. Also, he could whip the hell out of the last jump. The one that I awkwardly straight aired. More talent + faster than me + 5 years younger = I'm totally washed up.

I was still in the money though, with a 10th place overall. I finished 9th in pro, but Bas bumped my overall result. Nice work, junior. You probably already saw this photo on Vital, but I'm not above blatant self-promotion:

"Team Robot finished in 10th place and took home 1/10th of the prize money as the winner. This is only fair seeing as Charlie claims to have exactly 1/10th the talent of Luke Strobel."
 Also note that I nailed check positioning to get my sponsors logo in there. Wannabe pros everywhere take note: companies don't just randomly hook up mediocre, mid-pack riders with inconsistent results like me. You've got to be out there working it for your sponsors. Yeah, you're welcome Diamondback.

Team Robot also sat down for an interview with Mitch Ropelato. Twenty minutes and eight pages of brilliant questions later, and we had the best thing you'll never hear. Our plan is to have the video online in the next week, but in Team Robot time that means you'll be eighty by the time we post the audio and your hearing won't work anymore, anyway.