Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gimme Shelter

No, I don't know how to get that video with the Rolling Stones to stop autoplaying every time you open the site. Deal with it. Plus if you don't like the Rolling Stones you suck.

RIP Lynnwood

The Union Exclusive - Jeremy Ball's "The Hunt" Part from Tyler Deschaine on Vimeo.

Dirt doesn't move itself. TEAM ROBOT salutes the Lynnwood diggers for seven incredible years. Thanks for letting us come and ride.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mountain bike movies

After posting "I don't hate Mountain biking" a couple days ago I found these comments at the bottom of the page:
Anonymous said...
I was the rider in the video. Thank you. We thought of doing a few whips or jump footage but decided that that was not what the edit was about, and that we have seen that all too many times before. This was about throwing a bike sideways, throwing dirt, and having fun, all while staying pinned.


P.S: There is nothing more fun than the totally unnecessary cut ties.

And this comment from Acadian which is also pretty rad. He's spot on, we should be seeing some dynamite new footage with the release of all the news Progo's. And solid work on that linked video:
The intranet is full of great MTB videos, just like this beauty that was JUST posted on FB a few minutes ago. With the recent release of the new GoPro and Contour, I cannot wait for the influx of unedited POV footage.

First off, it always blows my mind to find out that anyone actually reads this. If reading this is better than your other alternatives, TEAM ROBOT thinks you should probably save us the trouble and kill yourself already.

Prior to reading those comments, I really thought TEAM ROBOT were the only ones on the planet who was seeing this shit, like everyone else was just seeing the chess pieces and we were seeing the whole board. I was starting to think that everyone in the world wanted to listen to pussy music and watch Danny Hart give boring monotonous unintelligible interviews in between a super confusing montage of 2 second slow mo clips of him doing something? on a bike, but you can't really see what he's doing or how fast he's going because the camera's so zoomed in and the clips are so truncated that wtf is going on? I swear, when I watch a Giant Global Team Racing Factory Squad video the only things that I can tell are that Danny must use Oxyclean, because he keeps those whites white, he's sponsored by Fox and Rockstar a lot, and that he's probably doing something that would look cool if I could actually tell what was going on. On the other hand, maybe that's all Giant wants me to see: here's our guy, you can't really tell but we promise he's really fast, and oh by the way here's a close up of his bike and kit with a million logos everywhere. I think Danny is the only person to beat Lopes on the logo count for one person, which is impressive, because Danny's even shorter than Lopes, meaning he has a way higher logos-per-square-inch ratio. Sponsors know it's all about the ratio, just look at Nascar.

If I had to choose between cutting my balls off with a blow torch or watching 24 hours of Danny Hart interviews, easy choice. If Giant could somehow leverage all their Danny footage and make people choose between watching Danny's interviews or buying a brand new Glory at full MSRP, they'd sell a lot more bikes. And yeah, I know this screenshot isn't from a Giant video; that's not the point and you're an idiot.
Also, insider secret: if you show full clips of him riding and full clips of the other guys riding so I can get my bearings and start making comparisons, I'll be able to tell he's going 4th or 5h place speed. But if you just give me little tiny little clips where all I can see is FOX OAKLEY FOX FOX OAKLEY GIANT GIANT SRAM FOX OAKLEY then I can't tell he's going slower than Greg, Gee, Aaron, and Steve, I just have to assume he's the fastest guy out there cuz he looks like the boss.

But we digress. What I'm trying to say is that I felt like I was the only person on the planet who doesn't want to listen to dubstep, squint at lens flare effects, and watch 2 minute intros when I watch bike riding. Mountain bike videos just kept getting shittier and shittier with every passing year, but everyone kept telling me "no, bro, you're gonna love Life Cycles," or "No, man, I totally know what you mean, but 'Follow Me' is going to be totally different." I didn't even watch the recent FreeHuck Productions/RedBull atrocity that came out at Interbike, but wild guess: it also sucks.
So here I am, sat at my computer posting up old Rankin videos for the last four years and saying "I remember when..." and just generally feeling older than shit, and no one is seeing what I'm seeing. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. I INVENTED THE PIANO KEY NECK TIE. I INVENTED IT.

So TEAM ROBOT salutes Turbo for making bike videos that don't suck and showing the rest of the pussies what mountain biking actually is:
More of this.

Less of this:

Monday, October 29, 2012

ETT- England Sucks Edition

Pinkbike's photo of the day today was a classic example of ETT, coming from a classically trained ETT expert, Josh Lane of the U.K. Let me start by saying that I have no idea what's going on in this picture. Is he falling? Constipation? What direction is he going? Where did his sleeves and dignity go? All good questions.

People will defend this photo by pointing to the lighting or the composition or the dynamic action of all the other formal artsy words you can hide behind when defending BS, but there are only two ways a shitbomb like this could have gotten selected. First, if the person choosing photos was blind or Canadian or both. Second, if the person choosing photos had never ridden a bike. Anyone who has ridden a bicycle, and most people who haven't, would see this photo and know this guy sucks.

And this isn't Josh's first appearance on a Team Robot ETT article, as he was featured in a February 2012 article with this equally ridiculous picture:

Eight months later, and still no major epiphanies- still no clue what direction he's supposed to be going. In race circles we call this maneuver "getting high sided," but apparently in the freeride world they call it "shootin banger nugs with the photogs and blastin brown pow." I can only assume that's what they call it because he and everyone else in freeride land all have shitty sleeve tattoos and that's how people with sleeve tattoos talk in my brain.

And in case there was any doubt this guy sucked, here's another picture to put his program in context. And, this too has already been on Team Robot. I really hate this guy:

Now just for the record, this next photo doesn't totally suck. It is still a great example of ETT, but it's a different variety of ETT than the photos above. This photo was also a POD on pink bike, but I didn't feel like highlighting the link because this guy sucks.

This photo fits represents a specific sub-category of ETT called "Faircloughing," where great pains are taken to make sure the front wheel spends as little time in contact with the ground as possible. Here are some examples of Faircloughing:

It's important to note that Faircloughing isn't necessarily a bad thing. It looks like pretty badass, it's reasonably fast, and it's not too common, making it still feel fresh and new.  The only times Faircloughing is socially inappropriate is at weddings, funerals, or when you have a job to be doing and you need to start taking shit serious and make it into the top 20 already.

The only builders in the world who have their trails get bulldozed by loggers

"This is an on going unscheduled series showing the unfortunate side of building in BC’s forests - Logging. Logging and forestry can be a love - hate relationship in our region. On one hand it’s unfortunate to see our massive forests be mowed down, but on the other hand the hundreds of years of logging have brought us access to so many parts of the mountains we ride around our home turf."

The biggest bummer is that they almost got it right, too. They had me going with the love hate thing, but then they blew it with their supposed costs and benefits of logging.

In their small, small world, logging is bad because "it's unfortunate to see our massive forests be mowed down," but it's good because, thanks to logging roads we now have "access to so many parts of the mountains we ride around our home turf."

That's the mountain bike equivalent of the girl who says that she could never harm an animal and then orders the McNuggets.

Kill yourself.

I'm sure whoever wrote that blurb for the Coastal Crew video spent all of four and a half seconds on it, and normally I wouldn't lose my shit so bad over three sentences, but it represents an attitude I hear a lot around mountain bikers and it's impossibly stupid and wrong. Here's what these people don't get:

Logging is good.

Let me repeat myself: logging is good. Not all logging ever, of course. I'm not going to sit here and try to defend every tree felling in the history of the world. But logging, on net, is really good for the world. It's a sustainable resource. I like that you used the verb "mow" to describe logging. because watching your "massive forests get mowed down" is like watching someone mow their yard; it's gonna grow back, chief. Trees grow like weeds in the Pacific Northwest. And speaking of the Pacific Northwest, in the first sentence you imply that logging is the sort of cross that only you have to bear because you're "building in B.C.'s forests." I know this will blow your mind, but there is logging in other forests. In fact, there is logging in every forest ever. If there is a forest, logging is an issue.

Maybe you're reading this and thinking "We don't have logging where our trails are." That's either because you don't have trees, or if you do have trees there is a huge series of agreements and contracts and laws stating that those trees won't get cut down. Make no bones about it: 86 those rules and Johnny McLoggintruck will be up in your local woods tomorrow to start cutting that shit down.

"We're the only builders in the world who have our shit get bulldozed by loggers :("

-The Coastal Crew

It's not as if the folks in B.C. were the first people to connect the dots and realize that those big tall trees also make for a durable structural elements, a hot-burning fuel source, and can be pulped to make a multi-purpose writing surface.

No one in the entire world had ever cut down trees before the
formation of the Province of British Columbia. Yeah, that George
Washington fable about cutting down the cherry tree? It's bullshit.

If you're a mountain biker watching loggers turn your playground into a wasteland, be a grown up. Yeah, it's a bummer that trails get plowed every once in a while, but if you're not an idiot then you'll take the occasional trail closure with a smile on your face. Logging is good, everyone should be happy it happens, and if you aren't you're an asshole. Here's why:

1. Wiping your ass

I hate to start on such an obvious one, but going to Portland State, Lewis and Clark College, living in Portland, and just generally living on the Weak Coast I've encountered a lot of people who complain about biodiversity and resource depletion and the global warming costs of logging and the spirits in trees, but I have yet to meet anyone that wipes their ass with their hand or a rock. Not that I always ask what people wipe their ass with, but people in Portland seem to think everything else under the sun is fair dinner conversation, so I figure that if someone did it would would have come up by now.

So until you grab one of those and start to really take ownership of this environmental fad you subscribe to, you're going to need to add a big "but" to the end of your sentences when you start going into the evils of logging.

2. Your house

I also haven't met many people who live in an adobe pueblo or a cave. Most people I know still live in these things called "houses," and most of those are made out of wood. Oh, you live in a steel-framed apartment complex? That's sweet dude, way to save the trees. Hey, bro, where does steel come from again?

Oh... bummer.

Until I see the Coastal Crew's next episode being filmed out of the new SRAM/Specialized Collabo Coastal Crew Wigwam Village®,  probably they should just wave to the loggers and say thanks.

3. Furniture

If you want to know what furniture looks like without wood, look at Skymall next time you fly. Because that five-person bean bag chair seemed like it would be a party-and-a-half until you actually got one.

"Dude, I'm telling you, couches have WOOD FRAMES bro. Yeah,
my neck hurts too, but we're helping Gaia and shit, man."

4. Every organization ever

If you a have a diploma of any sort ever, you couldn't have done it without paper. Doctors, lawyers, liberal arts majors, high school graduates, even high school dropouts need paper just so they can drop out officially.

Every school, hospital, office, business, home, church, government, army, and charity simply could not operate the way they do without paper. It sort of helps with, like, keeping track of stuff and shit. Basically no paper = instant anarchy.

And so help me God if you say that "papyrus facilitated the written word before the advent of pulped paper" I will hunt you down, I will find you, and I will rip your brainstem directly out of your ass.

5. The modern world

I know books are so outdated now that you have your iPad and it's, like, so sick to watch movies and to look up Tupac's discography on Wikipedia while you take a dump, and I don't want to exaggerate the importance of this technological break through, but

The printing press = The modern world

Yeah, I know no one actually goes to the library anymore in the 21st century, but there was a time when THERE WEREN'T BOOKS. Holy shit there weren't books and books changed everything. And not like "the internet changed everything." I don't mean you couldn't watch the Simpsons, listen to Britney Spears, and read an organic frog turd soup recipe from your couch; I mean that before books people couldn't experience culture, science, medicine, other places, study history, learn about God OR atheism, learn math, or learn about literally anything other than shoveling shit. The way to learn and experience anything was to either A) physically go there or B) listen to Uncle Larry tell you about it when he got back, as long as he didn't die on the three-week journey to get home. This means you sure as shit couldn't help innovate or progress any of these fields of thought unless you picked ONE and went to the central city specializing in that field and then studied for half your life just to memorize everything before you could even contribute to the process.

So, in case you're not clear on how this works, let's go through this, briefly:

The printing press (which, yes, requires cutting down some trees)

The Renaissance

Humanism and the rediscovery of the Classics means that culture and science escapes grasp of "The Church"

The Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution

Democracy, modern medicine, the industrial revolution, global peace, the invention of "the middle class," modern thought, and the fact that you can even sit here and read this.

I feel like your grandpa telling you "sonny, I remember life before fire and the wheel when we had to walk uphill both ways..." but shit man, if you think "cutting down trees is dumb" then you're apparently too stupid to figure this stuff out on your own. And this just in, the reason all the various old people you meet all seem to keep repeating the same couple "cliche" things is because they're REALLY IMPORTANT AND YOU NEED TO GET THIS SHIT.

Without cutting down a couple trees to make the written word possible in an easily stored and reproduced method (books), we'd still be squatting over the fire and hunting ogres. Without books, and subsequently logging, there is no modern world. There is no democracy. There is no internet. Everything you know is gone.

The only logical conclusion:

The Coastal Crew hates the spread of knowledge and culture, and they want you to wipe your ass with a rock.

*In case that got WAAAAY too heavy for you and you're just like, "dude, I just came hear to listen to you talk trash on French people and Brian Lopes," here's something that should suit your pitiful human brain better, and should fit neatly into your comfort zone as you chuckle in complacency and ignorance:

**If you're a member or friend of the Coastal crew, wow, thanks for checking out team robot. You guys are really climbing the ladder in the mountain bike world, so congratulations. If this post hurt anyone's feelings, though, let me say that I'm not sorry. I know that you probably don't understand the concept of satire or irony, but hey, it's not your fault: you're Canadian. Unless you were a cast member of Kids in the Hall or your name is William Shatner, if you're Canadian there's a 0 in 1 chance that you understand irony, but I'll flesh out that pearl of wisdom in another post. In the meantime, just remember, everything here is a joke, much like my life, my relationships, and my grades.

***Yeah, this took a really long time to write. Please see the above comment addressing my: 
  1. Life
  2. Relationships
  3. Grades

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I don't hate mountain biking

For a while there I was wondering if I just hated mountain biking. It seemed like there wasn't a single new video coming out that actually made me happy. The thrill was gone. I remembered a time when watching other people ride bikes made me happy, but it just wasn't doing it for me any more.

Today, my fears were assuaged:

When he does that massive, totally unnecessary, totally awesome high speed cutty at around 1:11, I was actually laughing out loud in the library. Really loud. People were looking at me.

I've been so bummed out by all the SUPER DUPER AMAZING NEXT LEVEL PROGRESSION videos that I have recoiled from anything with a hint of professionalism to it. Like the Cultural Revolution in China, I was ready to take all the MTB video guys out back and pile them up in a mass grave. I was sort of worried that all of the pain that's been inflicted by these video guys had rendered me incapable of enjoying any high quality video. On some level, I thought that I might only be able to enjoy a video if it was shot with a Sony Handicam in mediocre light and without a tripod. But this video is actually pretty good, and even has slow mo. So it's not about the video quality; it turns out that it's the idea behind the video that matters.

And the moral of the story is that most video guys are trying to capture or convey really shitty ideas. It turns out that having

A) a really expensive camera
B) a lot of formal video experience, and
C) a big budget

does not indicate that you have any idea what fun is, know what mountain biking is, or are not a raging idiot. In fact, I think there's a personality test you have to take before you can buy a Phantom Flex or a Red to make sure that you have all the personality of a piece of cardboard.

If you are making a video and you have any other purpose but to make mountain biking look fun or shred people's faces off with drifts and hucks, then you are ruining mountain biking.

Not that all mountain bike video guys are blowing it. But most of them are.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This is stellar

Fabien Barel: My Way...  The story of his World Championship victories on Pinkbike

I can't sit through most videos that are two minutes long, but I would have watched this whole Fabien video if it was an hour long. Listen to the man himself as he walks you through what being the champ really means. As a kid I was never a Fabien fan, because he's French, didn't wear a visor, and sort of had a Darth Vader/bad guy thing going on in my head, but over time it's pretty hard not to like the guy. Whoever decided to make this movie, thank you. It was a refreshing change.

Also when he lists his injuries that's pretty wild, too.

Things I read on the bathroom wall at school today

  1. "Tacocat" (a palindrome)
  2. "Spacedicks"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


If you want to watch one of the best bike handlers of all time straight up slay some concrete, watch this. About 4 minutes of solid gold, followed by guys talking about shoes. So the end is kind of a bummer, but whatever, the riding's good.

5 points for each skatepark you recognize. I've got 10 points for Hood River and I think Reedsport.

The Troy Lee motto is "For the World's Fastest Racers." On all of Ben Reid's gear it says, "For the World's Fastest Looking Racers."

Not to take anything away from his speed, but anyone who's seen Ben Reid ride in person would swear he's going to win every race for the next decade, and everyone who's actually seen the results from the last decade knows that's probably not going to happen. The first time I saw Ben Reid ride in person was at the 2010 Port Angeles ProGRT, and it was mind blowing. I remember every time he came through it was silent for a while after because we had to cap our ears to keep our brains from leaking out. In the tight s-turns in the middle of Upper Pro he was going warp 7, Mr. Sulu.

***A quick aside: nice video, and way to use something other than dub step. The production was still a little too bigtime for my taste, but it was inarguably rad.***

Maybe Ben Reid just looks fast, or maybe he's every bit as fast as he looks, but only when the clock isn't ticking. Either way, he crushes everything except the World Cup top 15 list, making him the heir apparent to the all-time practice winner for the books, Kirkaldie.

The only real race Kirkcaldie ever won is the U.S. Open, but that didn't stop him from winning practices at Norbas and World Cups for his entire career. Kirkcaldie still has the lifetime record for most practices won, and has won practice on all six continents that aren't Antarctica. Kirkcaldie's lifetime practice winning record makes Gwin's world cup winning record from 2011 look like amateur hour. One time when he was a boy someone else won practice at a race, and the young Kirkcaldie was so pissed that all of the hair on the top of his head fell off. True story.

But don't take my word for it, listen to what CaliBro McHouseman has to say in this video predating dolly cams in MTB, and watch Old Man Time put the hurt on Duncan Riffle's least favorite trail:

Ben Reid is the new Kirkcaldie.

And Connor Fearon is the new Sam Blenkinsop. Think about it and you know I'm right.

A few key takeaways from this video:

  1. Mountain biking is super fun, and they're fast, even without dub step.
  2. You can still ride the entire Schladming world cup race course
  3. Why is there not a race there?
  4. Any one of those foot off corners that Strobel does would be a Clay Porter wet dream in slow mo
  5. If the gap at 1:15 looks that big in a helmet cam video, it's terrifying

"Following Connor is gnarly cuz he's sideways the whole time and you can't really see the trail."

-actual, not fake Luke Strobel quote

"When the clip ends at the bottom of the run, that's actually the camera running out of batteries. We got pretty lucky on that one. Connor forgot to charge the camera the night before."

-actual, not fake Luke Strobel quote

"I think Charlie has some real potential, and I think he's going to go places in the downhill world."

-clearly fake Luke Strobel quote

I know I've posted this clip of Connor Fearon turning some spectators' brains into soup, but it's good every time:

If you're a youngster whose never seen all the the old VHS and DVD bike videos, you probably watched that Kirkcaldie video from Play Corter and thought "Whoa, theres no way that's a CP video. That video had exactly zero dub step, smoke machines, 1000 FPS cameras, or cable cams." But like a youngster whose friends listen to Lil Wayne who finds Slayer or Metallica for the first time and says, "this doesn't suck," here's another blast from the past that will blow your mind:

Clay Porter used to show multiple clips of actual bike riding, uninterrupted by interviews or starry night cloud time-lapses:

Also, if Ben Reid reids this, he should know that I'm neither fast nor fast looking.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The new Pro-Gos

I actually watched that whole video, and it was pretty cool. I mean, I'm sure if you were actually a fan of any one of the sports in the movie you would have found the clips of your sport as unsatisfying as we all found the five half-clips of Aaron Chase wheelie dropping skinnies in NZ, but visually the whole thing was impressive. And yes, I'm at least halfway pissed that DIAMONDBACK DF5 PRO RIDER Kelly McGazzalodi was on site for all those shots but only managed to get a clip of him pushing up a hill. The GorPo people probably don't know that Chase stopped being relevant 6 years ago, they just saw the Red Bull helmet and saw $$$$.

To be fair, at least they can get Chase in the frame. You need to be at least 10 feet back to get all of Kelly in frame when you're filming, and that's shooting a fisheye. Even then, if you're shooting full-frame instead of circular (and no ones shooting circular for big-budget camera ads) you're going to have mega distortion around the edge. Those distortions aren't gonna sell cameras, so Kelly's in a tough spot. He's probably going to have to lose at least 6 inches of height if he really wants to make the big time.

So yeah, 60 frames per second at 1080p is pretty sweet, but let's just be realistic for a second. That new visual clarity isn't going to help you capture all those widow maker waves you're slaying at Mavericks or those 30 foot pool drops you're launching in your whitewater kayak. It's just going to help you make another 11 minute unedited video of you riding your local hill with 400 vertical feet of elevation loss.

Of the Gro Po 3's that will be purchased in the Seattle area, 90% of them will be used to make one of these three videos:

1. 12 minute unedited Duthie Hill videos

2. Skiing 3 inches of heavy crud at Alpental, and maybe some clips of groomers, too.

3. They will never be used, like that hot tub you put in or that basketball hoop that the real estate agent convinced you was a sign; "You used to play Bball in high school right? Oh, JV... whatever, I can just tell that this is the house for you. I can feel it. Imagine, when you have kids, they too can neglect that basketball hoop, sit inside all day, and live in constant fear of failing to live up to their dreams, just like Dad."


This is what the German terrorists from Die Hard With A Vengeance do in their free time between bomb threats at elementary schools and getting sawed in half by winch cables:

Germans love David Hasslehoff.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mountain bikers suck

The first time I saw one of these photos it was horrible, but they still keep coming. They just won't stop. This is the reason bmx riders hate mountain bikers. If you spent three hours at the skatepark trying to land a complex manual line with three barspins, a 30 foot nose manual and it finishes with a nose bonk to cash roll, and then this asshole rolled up on his STP with nevegals, a front brake through the steerer, nine miles of shifter cable going out to his loud ass turn of the millennium XT derailleur that sounds like he's playing spoons when he rides, with a 6 inch 'Zoc up front getting steered by 26 inch bars, you would want to kill him too. And that's before he dialed in his "scrubs" and "shoulder buzzers" on the flyout. For all the BMX riders out there who don't speak mountain biker, the words "scrub" and "shoulder buzzer" roughly translate to your word "bar turn."

But I'm assuming that he also likes to "sesh" the skatepark. Even if he doesn't ruin other people's worlds, like bmxers and skateboarders, all his mountain bike friends hate him too. That's a fact, you can take that to the bank. He's the male equivalent of the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. You know he emailed this hilarious picture to all 90 people that are on his local ride club email list and then forwarded around all two of the responses that he got to his photo. His emails go directly into most of his "friends" spam filters.

And guaranteed he's a goon on the trail. Lip skids for days. I bet you he also shows up to "build days," puts in his 2 hours a year and then carries that sense of entitlement to every trail he rides. "Hey bro, share the ride! We're all just trying to feel the stoke, bro." "These trails aren't yours, MAN, they're, like, on public land bro."

So next time you have a funny idea for bike-related humor, just do the world a favor and die. If you're the sort of person who dreams up stuff like this, you're also the type of person who has friend groups that will secretly appreciate your absence when you're gone. No one will miss you or your stupid pictures.

Anyway, that photo sucked.

These photos never get old:



dear people of earth, GO DIE! love TEAMROBOT


No seriously look at that. Some dude with a TLD helmet from '06 and some thrashed old kit, and both boots aren't even in the same zip as his pegs. He's probably only got two fingertips actually contacting that bike. NFG.

Jeremy Medaglia. Perfection.

There was a good long while where Bubba was the only one who could perform a legit scrub. There was also a time where Bubba could finish a whole season of racing, and there was even a time when he didn't tomahawk off course every race. But times change...

In mountain biking, there are really only a handful of people who can actually scrub, and I'm adding Mikey Sylvestri to that list:

1. Eliot Jackson
2. Ian Morrison
3. Brandon Semenuk (sort of)
4. Kirt Voreis
5. Everyone else that I forgot to put on this list
6. Mikey Sylvestri

Other things Mikey kills it at:

1. Helping Gwin show Minnaar what's up in America
2. Beating local Joes at their home race, repeatedly, by 10 seconds or more
3. Hard work, determination, and team work.
3. Really long movie intros
4. Showing up to lots of domestic races this year
5. Carrying the Aiello torch with those desert issue Taliban killing five tens

Moto scrubs:

Mountain bike scrubs:

Saturday, October 13, 2012


This is one of the blogs that I read/steal content from/don't give credit to/don't normally post a link to:

It's a bunch of bmx guys down in Redding or Chico or somewhere in actual NorCal. They live in the infamous POW house, build jumps you couldn't ride, and do things on those jumps that you couldn't do on a playstation. Lots of party pics on the site, too, ranging from funny to horrifying to potentially-career-ending-if-they-ever-land-in-a-boss's-hands. Here's some of that riding:

No way you could do this. I'm not really clear on what's even going on here.

That far off the bike and that relaxed? No way you're gonna make that happen.

Again, let's be honest; in the same position, you would be messing your pants and bailing right then. 

It's so simple, just a table top, but you've never done a table top that stylish in your whole life.

Changing subjects, here's some news from my favorite internet addiction, Pinkbike! PB reports from some random event I've never heard of called Roc D'Azur:

Like I said, I've never heard of this new bike festival event thing, and I don't know what "rock d'azur" means.  I don't speak commie or funny foreigner speak, but I do know that azure is a fancy word for the color blue, and I know what the term "rocks" or "stones" can refer to, so based on my best translation, I think Roc D'Azur is french for blue balls.

Team Robot giving you the straight dope.

Anyway, I just saw these slick new bikes from Diamondback in Pinkbike's newest article from the Blue Balls Bike Festival:

If this bike doesn't look like fun to you, you suck at life. This thing was made to manual and jump, and it has a low low low BB to rip corners. Toss in a tapered steerer tube, a big tube set, and a 142 rear end and you're looking at a bike that can put up with 195 pound me without riding like one of these:

The rear end of most 10mm dropout slalom bikes.

I really liked the old blue/white Boeing airliner paint job from the ages of yore, but this new orange is maybe even better. Speaking of the Boeing theme, this bike is no longer called the "Dreamliner;" because that plane sucked and we don't.
The old bike. Not too shabby, but the new bike's even sweeter. And not just "bold new graphics." New rear axle, dropout rear pivot, 2013 Fox CTD shock, and a new rear triangle brace=sweeter, stiffer, faster. And bold new graphics.

It's still a prototype, but for now it's tentatively named the "4X Slopestyle bike." I compete in neither one of these events, but I was still hopeful that I might be able to pick up one of these bikes because they look like so much fun. When I called up the guys at Diamondback they said "Welcome to Pizza Hut, how can I help you tonight?"

When the guys at Diamondback welcomed me back to the team for 2013, they gave me the phone number for the "new marketing department." I was really excited, but the new marketing dept seems to have reorganized and restaffed a little; I didn't know anyone at the new marketing dept and the new staff didn't seem to know much about the new 2013 completes and frame sets, or the race schedule. But I'm persistent, so I kept asking them about the new 4X bike and when it might be available for team riders. They just wanted to tell me about this month's special "Zingin' Baked Pasta Two-fer Promotion."

I asked to talk to the manager, but he wasn't a whole lot more helpful. I'm sure they'll sort out the staffing details at the new marketing department soon. So yeah, the new marketing guys are a little hard to work with, but you've got to stay focused on the positives, and I'm stoked to be going into year two on the Diamondback DF5 with a solid relationship based on trust, respect, and open lines of communication.

This new bike is called the Axis, and I think it looks pretty cool. I know that I am never, ever, ever supposed to admit that any 29er or 650b (er?) is cool, but this bike is different for a couple reasons:

  1. Most importantly, it's a hard tail, so no ones pretending that it designed for jumping and turning. In this context, big wheels are sort of okay I guess. It's a straight up light weight pedaling machine.
  2. It looks really clean. It looks like a fighter jet. By the way, I have a looser definition of what "a couple" means when it precedes a numbered list, so bear with me for a few more reasons...
  3. I'm really tall, and big wheels would make a bike like this feel pretty reasonable for a guy like me. Also, I won't look like a bear on a clown bike when I ride it. And it's a not a 29er, so the wheel size is still very flickable and fun.
  4. I only have a 6-inch Mission as a normal mountain bike, and while it can do anything, it's just way too much bike for a lot of rides. Having a bike like the Axis in the quiver would be super fun, and would be a great way to spice up old, boring rides I've been on a bunch.
  5. I have never ridden a bike with 650 b wheels, but they're not 29 inches. My hate for 29ers is sort of analogous to hating Oregon State. I hate the Beavers because they are what they are, and there's nothing they can ever do to overcome this divide between us. My hate is fundamental and unshaking: I will cheer against them with all of my being. When someone else comes along that can defeat them, they are my new ally- "my enemy's enemy is my friend," if you will. If 650b can destroy the 29er, than I will help them in any way I can.
  6. I've never ridden a 29er, either. That's not really a reason I like the Axis, but I thought now was as good a time as any to bring it up.

I already have this bike, but the downhill bike recently got a name change for2013, and I think it was a smart move for DB. The DH bike was previously was called the "Syncline," named after a famous riding spot outside of Hood River, Oregon. Even if you don't recognize the name, I'm sure you'd recognize the place. Every bike company on the planet has done at least one catalog shoot there to take advantage of the scenic vistas and breathtaking other stuff and skies and whatever.

Here's an old school shot from Tim Zim, shooting Mr. Sledneck himself, Art Babcock out at Syncline back in 2010. The point is that it's really easy to shoot pretty pictures out at Syncline, and even Tim had to work hard to get shots that didn't look like everyone else's.

We used to ride downhill out at Syncline a lot, but then we discovered real trails, namely Ravens Ridge and all the other BW creations, or as I like to call them "the best trails in the entire world." So now, every year, like clockwork, once we've ridden the same really god trails over and over again, we get cabin fever and try to relive the glory days by getting a crew together to go shuttle syncline. And every year, like clockwork, we remember why we never ride there anymore. It requires a ten minute pedal in and a ten minute pedal out, there's not much actual trail, it's a super long, rough shuttle, it's a lot of the same kind of trail, and it's in Washington, which means there's sales tax and you have to pump your own gas, and that's just brutal. Don't get me wrong, it's a great place for a trail bike. It's an awesome place for a trail bike, actually. But we're talking downhill bikes.

So the new name for the bike is the DB8. It's simple, it's easy to remember. It's even descriptive: it's a Diamondback, and it gets 8 inches of travel.

And whereas the old name brought back memories of exhaustion and disappointment, the new name reminds me of my favorite Mariachi band, Del Bueno Ocho, or DB8 for short:

They tear it up, man.

So I'm pumped to be riding for Diamondback again for 2013 and racing my DB8 to some more wins. Booyah:

I don't have any new pictures to share, but this TimZim gem from last year will do the trick. I don't know what's worse: the half-baked, mid-sneeze facial expression or the fact that there was a front derailleur on my bike for 2 weeks. Eww.