Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Your ambassador of Kwan

Here are the top five things I'm not doing right now to monetize my riding, but these are tips for all pro riders everywhere. If you aren't living by these five tips, you're pretty much pissing away money.



1. Ride for IXS.

Sorry Stik, it's been great. We've had some good years, I've always loved the TLD look and fit, love the company, the history, the other riders, everything really, but real talk: what have you done for me lately? I've got bills to pay, mouth to feed, and I can't be paying rent with jerseys and gear bags. Money talks.


Did you see that Cedric is running the new IXS helmet? That can't be cheap, and if you're a random pro reading this, trust me: you want a piece of that action.


Cedric thinking about the new garage he has to build for all the new toys he's gonna buy with the IXS money.



And it's not just Cedric. IXS' sponsored rider list is longer than the ingredients list for Cheetos:


I don't want to do it, but these IXS guys are spending money like it's going out of style. Cedric, Berrecloth, the Athertons, Hans and Richie- these are not cheap riders, and we all know they aren't busting down the doors at IXS HQ because the new helmet looks so good.

The IXS train is chugging along at full steam, with a whole team of engineers shoveling cash into the engine as fast as they can. This is a train you don't want to miss.








2. Lower the bar. No, I mean waaaaaay lower.

Aaron Chase knows how to hustle:

Riding Bikes with Aaron Chase from Halley O'Brien on Vimeo.

That video was horrible. Unwatchably bad, but sponsors love that stuff, and it will probably get shown on Good Morning America or something and get 50 times more views than every video I've ever made. It's sort of like how Trump is getting five times more media coverage than all the other presidential candidates, Republican and Democrat, combined.

He'll do any town hall, BBQ cook-off, local whogivesashit radio call-in show, shake any hand, and say anything to get air time, and it works. Is it good media coverage? Who cares. Trump doesn't, and neither does Aaron Chase. If the Pivot fat bike video didn't convince you of that, nothing will.

If you want to make the real scrill, there can be no product, no video, no poorly-written script that is beneath you. You can't make house payments with standards and dignity.


Let's make it happen.






3. Really, just pick any Euro brand.

You know when the USSR broke up, and everyone in Russia and the Ukraine went crazy for blue jeans? Wrangler and Levi's both posted their all-time highest sales numbers in '91 because Sergei, Alexi, and Misha couldn't get enough. For the new, democratic Russia, freed from decades of repressive authoritarian rule, blue jeans were like apple pie, John Wayne, and the star spangled banner rolled up in one.



That's what it's like as a North-American pro rider approaching a Euro company. The reason I still think "Germans love David Hasselhoff" is funny is because it's true. Of course when I say "Germans," I really mean "Euros," and when I say "David Hasselhoff," I mean "any english-speaking rider from the continent of North America." Tomato, /Tə'ma:təʊ/.

Sure, IXS is Swiss, POC is Swedish, Mavic is French, and Lazer helmets are Belgian, but they're all distinctly Euro. I assume they all share the same industrial designers, who in my brain are also the design team that brought us Gary Oldman's hair piece in Fifth Element.


The other thing those four brands have in common is that they want to legitimize their products in Europe with a real, bona fide english-speaking American or Canadian freedom loving cowboy badass.

Are you from the wrong side of the tracks in Providence, Rhode Island? Doesn't matter, you're John freaking Wayne in Europe. From some depressed mining town in interior BC? No worries, you might as well be Grizzly Adams himself.

Tell me with a straight face this helmet looks good:



And yet, right now in August of 2015, I guarantee you Lazer helmets is looking to drop five figures on a North American racer for next season to help them pass off this reject storm trooper helmet to eager European customers. You could be that guy. Here's the model:


Make weird product ====> Give American rider [you] money ====> Make millions in Europe.


Racing makes you good. Video parts make you famous. Weird Euro sponsors make you rich.








4. Embrace "EPIC."

People don't want to hear about reality. At all. Reality is the crushing burden most mountain bike consumers carry on their backs all day long at their unsatisfying jobs, and then come home to every night with their unsuccessful and(or) failed relationships. Mountain biking is supposed to be a glamorized dream world, a fantastical escape, not a sober look in the mirror.

No one wants to hear that life as a pro mountain biker is boring most of the time. That travel to exotic, far-flung locations takes a long time, most of it is really boring, and half the time you feel like shit when you get there. That the food in Europe, or most places where bike events occur, sucks. That most pro riders spend more time on planes, trains, van rides, and email than on their bikes.



If Thanksgiving every year feels like a long weekend in the seventh level of Dante's Inferno, I've got bad news: you've already experienced days four through whenever on any MTB team media trip. Trust me, it's a familiar vibe.



The last thing any MTB consumer wants to hear is that mountain biking requires hard work and assertiveness, patience towards other people and the vagaries of life, a conscious choice to maximize the talent you were given while working on your shortcomings, and a constant, undying hope for the future, because that sounds a lot like the same qualities that create success in real life. If MTB consumers possessed any of those qualities, then they wouldn't need to escape their shitty lives with mountain bike media.

This escape comes in the form of spoon fed travel fantasy, mixed with a small dose of action sports and a heaping helping of feel-good bro-brah inclusive millenial triumphalism. In other words, MTB consumers want EPIC.

Your job as a pro mountain biker is to give consumers the EPIC they crave, even if the process of "capturing the EPICness" feels like entering your own personal hell.


Trying to capture the EPICness.


Mountain bike consumers want to be lied to. They want to be sold a fantasy world that doesn't exist. In fact, that's literally the storyline of the biggest MTB movie of the last five years. Seriously, they didn't even try to hide it, the name of the movie is "UnReal." Reality is unpredictable and uncomfortable, so stop trying to tell it like it is.

New years resolution: start selling #thisEPIClife







5. Roost.

If you want to make it anywhere in the mountain bike industry, you'd better get your shovel ready and start piling up the dust, because roost is your one-way ticket to the big leagues. Out of last months 31 POD selections on Pinkbike, these four are basically the same picture.





Might as well be dolla bills they spraying.





69 comments:

Anonymous said...

there is some pride in buying the stuff you want instead of using some horribly ugly shit someone makes you wear.

Anonymous said...

TL;DR //DGAF

Anonymous said...

piss flaps

lardass said...

Picture #2 is objectively lame and horrible in nearly every way. I refuse to believe that even Pinkbike would make it POD.

Anonymous said...

It's worth noting that one person chose all those photos to be POD ("Matt Wragg" apparently). Clearly he has good taste

Anonymous said...

www.epictv.com

Anonymous said...

one thing to add to the list: be a bro. Bros get all the hook ups (regardless of talent). Suck a mean cock and you're earning a decent salary. if you are a nobody (regardless of talent) or someone who doesn't mind calling out bullshit, you get nothing. In short, be a sellout, speak highly of everything and everyone (except non-bros), follow all the latest trends, and you will reap the rewards.

Anonymous said...

"one thing to add to the list: be a bro. Bros get all the hook ups (regardless of talent). Suck a mean cock and you're earning a decent salary. if you are a nobody (regardless of talent) or someone who doesn't mind calling out bullshit, you get nothing. In short, be a sellout, speak highly of everything and everyone (except non-bros), follow all the latest trends, and you will reap the rewards."

You have no idea what you are talking about. Bros (and by bros, I'm assuming you mean dudes who talk the talk but can't really walk the walk) maybe get a free jersey and a "pro deal". And I promise nobody this side of Aaron Gwin, Darth Atherton and the Syndicate boys are really making a "decent" salary. (unless your definition of decent is living is akin to Matt Foley)

Seriously, you have no fucking clue what you are talking about. "Be a bro?" C'mon.

Wait, is this Amanda Batty? Sounds like it. If you didn't have a hot XC pro ripper with a shockingly similar name nobody would know you you are. Go back to your blog.

Anonymous said...

^^ Definitely Amanda Batty

T-D-F said...

No, you definitely gotta be a bro, bro. Think about it: Are you gonna make it rain on the dude sucking you off, or the guy in the corner trying to look edgy?

Anonymous said...

you guys stoooooooop, she's going to make a blog post about you and then so much tears

Anonymous said...

Yup, 100% Amanda "Accurate Last Name" Batty.

She so badly wants Charlie to like her. It's awesome. She's even willing to make semi-sexual jokes that if the gender was reversed, would cause her head to spin around and pea soup to come out of her mouth.

She's got to be the best complainer out there. She's truly convinced she was dealt a shitty hand in life and that there are 1000 reasons she's not found more success in the sport.

Amanda - real reason? Its cause you suck and are a train wreck to work with. You could learn a lot by listening, watching, learning as opposed to spewing low IQ bullshit whenever you see the opportunity to type.

You are the worst kind of idiot. The idiot who doesn't even realize she's an idiot and carries herself as though you actually are worth listening to. Spoiler alert - you aren't.


PhotographerofPhoto#2 said...

Photo #2 is probably the worst POD I've ever seen. I'm going to write to Matt Wragg and have it retracted. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

^^ Couldn't have said it better myself.

Also to quote Matt Wragg on that third roost photo, "This is nicely done, it's not just the explosion of a corner, the rider is placed well to look fast on the exit and you get a nice glimpse of the scenery to the left of the frame.".

Hahaha as if he knows anything about being fast...

Blatz Nagg said...

while Wragg's truly an idiot whose photos are mediocre and whose caption writing would make any 5 year old with an IQ over 50 cringe, he did say "look fast" and not "be fast".

the rider is placed well to look fast on the exit

zede said...

it's funny how you hate ambatt and mock her. Although she is a total complainer, she is still faster than 90% of you, and that's 50% of the reason you hate her right?

Also i do think she would have "bigger balls" than you and she wouldn't post as anonymous

Amanda Batty said...

Oh, man. Day MADE. I came over to comment about how this post made me laugh out loud and I see a bunch of awesome reasons for Google bots to push my name higher to the top. Thanks for that, kids!

@Anonymous: "You are the worst kind of idiot. The idiot who doesn't even realize she's an idiot and carries herself as though you actually are worth listening to. Spoiler alert - you aren't."

Ahhhhh ha ha ha ha ha. This is funny. Because you're all anonymously trying to insult someone who you think sounds like me but who, in fact, isn't me. THIS is me. Unlike the majority of the pussy-ass cowards on the bike internets, I'm actually so okay with looking like an asshole that I'll take full credit for the useless words that I spout on a comment forum.

Clearly, I totally suck. Someone tells me that every day. If I had a nickel for every time someone on earth said that about me, I'd be filthy rich for the rest of eternity (which is how long I plan on living, just to spite you fuckers). I'm also an asshole AND a trainwreck, but I'm awesome to work with when I'm not drunk, whining or exhausted, or complaining about being drunk and exhausted... Which is never. But do you know what I am not? A coward. I might be stupid and ugly and dumb and useless and really slow (and have some sort of 'victim complex' that people love to talk), but I'm not a coward. And somewhere behind those fancy double-spaced lines you so carefully typed out, you know that what I'm saying is true, which is why you despise me so much. This is why you, my special freak friend, choose to bring my name up whenever possible in the hope that someone will agree with you and you'll start a lovely internet friendship based around your mutual hatred of a complete stranger. And I appreciate it. I love it. I need the validation that comes from knowing my existence serves to ruin your day every single time I cross your mind -- that shit gets me off.

So, please... Keep it coming. ;)

Anonymous said...

^^^^^This got me off

Anonymous said...

getting a lot of great feedback here, good input everyone keep it coming

Anonymous said...

"she is still faster than 90% of you"

ha, sure...

Are we just allowed to say this about anyone who gets made fun of now? Because at least once a week I hear this being said about anyone with any semblance of bike riding skill.

Anonymous said...

"HATERS LOVE ME"

Anonymous said...

A Batty's drivel ^^^ further confirms her IQ and love to talk about herself.

Anonymous said...

Batty- you suck. It's no secret. It's also no secret that you can dish it out but you can't take it. In fact, if anyone disagrees with you, you've been known to go on keyboard rants and threaten people with legal action for bullying you.We are all hiding behind "anonymous" because we wish you would go away but we don't wish to be dragged into your crazy-ass, stop-at-nothing-to-destroy-you state of being. #cowardsunite

Amanda Batty said...

Awwww. For cute.

Legal action? Not sure where you're going with this as I haven't heard that rumor. But sure! Keep that one rolling: it's funny! At least provide a reference here... And stop-at-nothing-to-destroy-you? This is also a new one.

Anonymous said...

Hey, here's a thought. Go learn how to ride a bike. Seems you forgot that step.

Amanda Batty said...

NOT THE BIKE SKILLZ!!! OH MY GODDDDDD! NOT THE SKILLZ! (I've got four more hours at work to kill. This is fun.)

Anonymous said...

To do what, embarrass yourself in the comments section of someone else's blog? Yay, you.

Amanda Batty said...

Well, that's awkward... I thought we were bonding.

Jonnyutah said...

Wait arnt you the fat and loudmouthed chick that got banned from your local bike park for being a huge bitch? The same one that talks about how hardcore she is but can actually ride a simple trail without getting hurt?

Amanda Batty said...

Nope. You must be thinking of someone else... Because I was banned from a resort after talking about my best friend breaking his back due to the negligence of said resort (which they settled out of court for an undisclosed amount) on Instagram. Also: not sure what your definition of 'fat' is, but I'm not. I'm also wondering what a person's weight or body has to do with any of this? Also: I don't talk about how hardcore I am. Not once, not ever, and I'm not the guy wearing the jersey around town with my name on it. Try again. ;)

This interview format is nice. Anyone else?

Jonnyutah said...

Everyone but you thinks you suck.

I think you have a temper and a loud mouth.

I think you are insanely insecure about your body and hide that insecurity behind the guise of feminism, and girl power bull shit.

I also know you suck at riding bikes, but blame your lack of sponsor support on sexism.

Did I mention you just plain suck. If you were a dude you would also suck. You'd just be a tempermwntal sucky dude who sucks at riding.

Actuall if you were a dude you'd be marginally cooler only because you couldn't hide behind the sexism bulkshit.

Coach Pete Sr.LC said...

Charlie, how come there is soooo much negativity on this website?
Is it because this is where everybody comes to "Juice Rage" between races?
-
And - speaking of girls- what are the chances you could get some MTB hotties to make a 2016 calendar of Hot Girls who Ride Mt Bikes?
You could disguise it as some fund raiser and get Lauren Daney, Jill kitner , Emily Batty , maybe Rachel Atherton..........Well, I'm not sure if we could actually get 12 girls that are HOT -that ride bikes too, but maybe we could get some ringers from the modeling agency for Oct -Dec?
Am I forgetting some hotties that are on the MTB scene?

Anonymous said...

Charles, you better step in before you get accused of supporting a culture of shit getting real.

Amanda Batty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A note to the dudes with manginas on here.

Real men don't beat up on chicks. It's even worse when you are fucking stupid.

Amanda Batty said...

OH NO! EVERYONE?! As in, all seven billion people on planet Earth?! Wow. That's a lot of people... And a lot of suck.

I love my body, yo -- I look fucking awesome and, even better, it's strong as shit. But unlike other folks out there, I'm not going to strip down to prove it. Why? Because I don't have to. And also: because I suck. I suck at bikes, I suck at 'social media'... I even suck at internetting. I'm not a good feminist, either. I suck so much that I'm paying my sponsors to let me advertise for them. The suck runs pretty thick over here.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. If she wants to act like an asshole then she's going to be treated like an asshole. She's an idiotic human being that has screwed over a lot of people and is now reaping the benefits.

Jonnyutah said...

^^^this guy gets it.

She fights the double standard, but tactfully hides behind the one that protects her. "Real men don't pick on women" is a bunch of bullshit. batty spent believe in men or women she believes in people, she says so herself from her soapbox. And as a person she is rotten to the core.

The more negativity dumped on her name the better. She's a train wreck that can't go away fast enough

Any dude defending her and sucking up to her is just another lonely dude who hopes he might get laid. Don't take the bait fellas

T-D-F said...

I come to the comment section to see people shit on Charlie, or maybe Bob Stenson. This, so far, has been a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Enough...

Amanda Batty said...

Screwed over a lot of people? Really?! Wow. Please, list them. Because I'd love to hear THIS. The shit is getting deep in here... Hating on a person is one thing, but telling outright lies? If you have a problem, approach it. You don't like how I have taken on sexism or spoken out? Fine. You don't like how outspoken I am? Great. You hate my writing, my riding, you think I suck? Rad. But fucking claiming I threaten to sue people, that I've screwed so many people over? How? Who? Either name names and actions and all of it or stop dragging my name through the mud. Hating me because I'm a dick is one thing. But this? Claiming I'm screwing people over? Fuck no.

Amanda Batty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TEAM.ROBOT said...

Is it over yet?

Anonymous said...


Who the hell is Amanda Batty?

Anonymous said...

I think she rides one of those two wheeled thingymajigs, so thats cool

Anonymous said...

The fastest way to get rid of an asshole is to ignore them.

Anonymous said...

http://www.shakesville.com/

where being batty is, like, the usual and no mansplaining allowed

Derp said...

Amanda, you're awesome. Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

Fun to see the blunt honesty here. Also funny to see Batty reply. If she was smart, she'd walk away. If she really believed everything she's typing, she wouldn't need to type it - her replying tells me she cares about what we are typing. Otherwise, she'd laugh and walk away.

But the truth is, this is her perception among a large number of people. Hard to work with, someone who complains a lot, someone who desperately wants to be accepted, someone who tries really hard to be cool, someone who hides behind the veil of sexism and fails to authentically blame herself (you typing "I suck" is very different than what I'm saying) -- in short, she's terrifying.

But she does ride bikes. And she is a cool chick who is just spazzing out.

Amanda, calm down! Haters gonna hate...if one or two people say something brush it off. If a whole bunch are saying the same thing, note it and move on. Your choice. If it was me, I'd listen and make a small change. You don't have to, but yeah, I think listening more, realizing the world isn't "out to get you", that there isn't nearly as much sexism as you think in the bike world, and that you really could be a beacon of progressing women's riding.

In short, you could be one of the coolest chicks in the mountain bike world - in everyone's eyes by picking your battles a bit better. My $0.02.

Joe the Juicehead said...

It is NOT OVER until somebody gets a 64oz cup of urine thrown on them during their race run. Yes, I will sit on the side of the course, getting drunk on Keystone Lite- and piss into a Big Gulp cup and throw it ON YOU when you ride by during your race run. THAT IS how its gonna go down

Anonymous said...

"Screwed over a lot of people? Really?! Wow. Please, list them. Because I'd love to hear THIS. The shit is getting deep in here... Hating on a person is one thing, but telling outright lies? If you have a problem, approach it. You don't like how I have taken on sexism or spoken out? Fine. You don't like how outspoken I am? Great. You hate my writing, my riding, you think I suck? Rad. But fucking claiming I threaten to sue people, that I've screwed so many people over? How? Who? Either name names and actions and all of it or stop dragging my name through the mud. Hating me because I'm a dick is one thing. But this? Claiming I'm screwing people over? Fuck no."

I would argue you screwed over Pinkbike by claiming "rape culture" cause one dude posts a bad joke and then aired all sorts of dirty laundry in the public's eye. I would also argue you have screwed over various sponsors with your overly aggressive "this is fact" writing style regarding issues that are way outside the bike industry and your expertise.

In another women's words...

"...there was no balance to her argument, no examples and no history to back anything up. Although there was certainly some validity to it, it was mostly a "listen to me, this is the way things should be" rather than "here is my opinion and these are the reasons why" piece."



zede said...

oh this is funny, it seems typing "amanda batty" in here is like typing "protour" on pinkbike when discussing about the demo : the amount of troll comments increase by 500% in few seconds

btw : you basically saying she is stupid and she sucks at riding ; but you guys know there is literally nobody smart and/or good at riding who loose his time typing comments in here?

Anonymous said...

"but you guys know there is literally nobody smart and/or good at riding who loose his time typing comments in here?"

This guy must have all the answers!

Sam Russell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yet you clicked to read the comments button Sam. #interesting

Joe the Juicehead said...

Sam Russell - your a Bitch. Dont come to this website anymore. And when I See you at the next race, I'm gonna have 64oz of warm piss to throw straight in your face. Fucking know it all dumb ass.

Anonymous said...

please keep you STDs and kill youself

Tina said...

Good post Charlie. The comments got a little off subject...

Anonymous said...

What it this? The chief robot writes a long post poking fun at pros, bros, and Euros, and all I see in the comments are some insecure dicks arguing with a chick that did exactly what wrong? Wrote some fucking blog posts? I came here for some good-hearted demagoguery and sarcasm, not hateful bile. Take that shit somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

^^^ Then apparently you've been coming to the wrong place.

The girl is a problem. She's not a terrible human or anything, but yeah, she had it coming. Engaging only makes it worse. She's an annoyance to everyone and like visor-less bullet heads, ankle socks and skin suits - needs to go away (and maybe make a few changes).

Team Robot seems to be a place where you can be blunt...even if its not PC. At least that's how I've seen it. If it was one person I'd call bullshit. But its not. There are multiple people on this one...

but yeah, Charlie needs to write something else so this goes away.

Anonymous said...

...and all I see in the comments are some insecure dicks arguing with a chick....

yes, the White Knight is here!

Anonymous said...

She looks like a fit, pretty hot chick who rides mountain bikes. Probably takes too many selfies on instagram by the looks of it, but so do most chicks, and guys for that matter. Not sure why anyone cares. Nobody cares about her articles. Nobody cares about your comments, or race results, or whether you have any KOMs. Nobody cares about mountain biking in general, in the grand scheme of things. Saying she is poisoning the mountain biking community isn't just giving her more credit than she deserves, it's making the mountain bike 'community' look like some living breathing thing that people actually care about. No one actually cares, people. Ultimately it's just a bunch of men (and the odd woman) going out into the woods with whatever bike they can afford to act like children and scare themselves with their friends. Get over thinking you're something larger than you are. If one shitty article by some chick no one cares about has you worried about saving your sacred brotherhood, then your sacred brotherhood sucks.

Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^ word.

Anonymous said...

^^^rodger that. This is just some fuckaround weekend fun for all but like 100 people on the planet. These crazy extreme feelings are for bipolars or people with no kids, career, or reason to get up in the morning.

Anonymous said...

An Amercian complaining about European food - priceless. I sense some deeply buried envy of European culture and American self hatred, it's ok Charlie, embrace it.

Anonymous said...

Worst Ashley Madison date ever.... I bet he didn't even get it in

Anonymous said...

I think what the fact that IXS sponsors so many riders means is that professional mountain bikers (with the exception of a select few) don't make shit for money.

I know that this reality is way different than your wet dreams Charlie.

You're probably best off sticking with the 10-15k per year you make combined with the free swag from being an Internet asshole...

Team Human said...

Charlie, it's funny that you equate being "sponsored" with being paid. You're funny, in a poser, fanboi kinda way.

Anonymous said...

According to her recent Pinkbike interview she got married so she must be happy now.
Getting married makes people happy and so content, maybe I'll try it.