So I'm pretty active on the MTB forums as I'm sure most of you could assume. I spend a lot of time on a computer, most of the time I'm suppose to be working, and I'm pretty opinionated. Most of the topics on the local mtb forums bore me so I keep a pretty low profile. I don't care what set up someone has on their fat bike or what tires they are running at Cuyuna on there 29er, but sometimes something comes up that is pretty interesting or gets pretty heated, with strong opinions on both sides so I toss my 2 cents in. Most times, I'm in the minority and this last couple weeks there were a couple of these threads and I got called out, haha, we'll get to that in a bit but first I want to lay a little background. I as most of you know if you read this blog I'm all about MTB, I like pretty much all sides to it and I ride what I consider a do it all bike, an All Mountain bike. I get asked from time to time if it is a DH rig or people make comments like why do you need that pig of a bike around here, most of those people I then usually leave in my dust on their HT 29ers, thinking how about you learn how to ride your bike before questioning my choice of bike or I shrug most of it off to ignorance or the Midwest just being behind the times like it is with 90% of things. However this one comment I don't think was to be slighted but still kind of bugs me and I don't know why. I didn't respond because I figured I'd let sleeping dogs sleep. Here is what she said:
"I think that everyone knows you are more into DH stuff rather than mountain biking. I appreciate that you are interested in helping maintain trails and you are offering time and your expertise at the lexington jumps.
can we just leave this topic where it is? Obviously there is a difference in riding the MORC maintained trails than a DH run here or a trail out west. No need to continue debating the topic or adding fuel to the fire with more examples of how things are done in other areas."
So let's put this into perspective, first off this thread was started by some guy posting a freeride video shot at Northstar Bike Park in Tahoe and making the comment does this irritate anyone else how these pros and bike companies put out these videos showing all these pro riders sliding and skidding around corners. So of course to their ignorance I had to point out that what they are doing is called a drift or a cuttie, a slide of the back tire with out using the rear break, it is not a skid and it is done at high speed because the tire broke loose and it doesn't irritate me it inspires me. A lot of people agreed with me on this but some die hard XC people were like blah blah this inspires young people to go skid around the trails here in the metro and cause erosion and breaking bumps.
Long story short I said you are comparing apples to oranges and as this is DH/Freeride and not XC riding and people shouldn't skid and if it were some dude in lycra on a xc bike skidding around a berm at lebanon I'm sure we would all be in agreeance that it's not needed but at the same time the trails could be a little rougher and I wouldn't complain, I love riding in the black hills because it is gnarly and challenging and not maintained and posted a video being a smart ass of Stund and said does this inspire or irritate you? That is when I got called out. The guy basically is like I don't get you, you talk about going to trail work and making this bike park and then talk about how trails shouldn't be maintained and post this video link. So my reply was this:
"I was givin' them a hard time with the video as people are comparing apples to oranges here! They are watching epic dh and freeride videos were dude are riding in excess of 50miles an hour and people are getting pissed that they are sliding their tire around! I made that point earlier if you were following the whole time. my goal when I ride my bike is to never pedal and never use the breaks. Obviously that is not possible by I try my best to pump every obstetrical and roller and take corners as fast as I can with out breaking. If they would have shown a video of some lycra dude and murphy or leb sliding around the corner like an idiot with his rear tire locked up I would have jumped his sh#t. Maybe it is the snow, lack of stress release and for the centennial trail not being maintained... that is my preferred riding. I like to others two, dirt jump, pump tracks, dh and some xc but to get lost on a epic long trail that is rough rigid and raw. minimal maintenance, that is real mountain biking and no ride center will ever touch that! http://www.trans-provence.com/ watch this, this is the epitome of mountain biking and the terrain I like to ride.
I appreciate all the hard work everyone does and I get out as much as I can to help with trail work and work for projects like lexington.
so sorry if I lead you a stray with my slighted humor. "
And that is what that lady replied to, so in response to her I don't see how I could be more of a DH rider then a mountain biker? isn't that an oxymoron? are they not one in the same? Are not DH riders mountain bikers? are they not riding a mountain bike?
This comment didn't make scenes and totally supports my thought of how back wards, behind the times and ignorant so many people in the mtb community is here? I wanted to write back and say something like read a book, a mtb mag or the Internet, catch up with the times, but I didn't because I think she had good intentions. Either way I never support people intentionally riding stupid and ruining the trails that would be dumb. At the same point so man people are such huge babies when it comes to mtb around here the want to ride there wagon wheelers, HT and rigid bikes on basically concrete highways instead of pushing them selves, their skills and bikes to the limits. All I was trying to say is trails like the centennial trail in the Black Hills is the epitome of MTB. It is out there, it is an adventure, it offers everything from super challenging climbs to double track to fire roads, amazing views to some of the gnarliest DH runs I have ever been on!
If you remember my previous write ups and pictures. I have dreams of getting back out there. If you go out there you have to be a good rider or you wont have fun (at least on the trails I was riding) or will possibly get hurt and I love it! I think there should be at least one trail in the metro or at least MN that is like that mixed in with the hundreds of miles of smooth non-challenging single track. I love fast flowy stuff too! Cuyuna is a blast, lebanon is fun too. BC has a couple trails that are rough but the rest are smooth too, Redwing is cool it is a bit like a bike park freeride run but still not rugged! Oh well opinions differ but that isn't what bothered me the most about the comment.
I don't consider myself a DH rider and especially not an XC rider, I consider myself a mountain biker and I have to put a label, an All Mountain bike rider! I love to ride my bike, I don't mind climbs to the top and I love going down the other side. I like tight single track, I like flowy single track, and most of all I love technical single track so I'm just lost on the DH title... I don't even own a DH bike. I own one mountain bike a 150mm travel trail bike, a Giant Reign.
Maybe I need to put trail/all mountain bikes into perspective. Let me compare them to, hmmm, skis. Skis will work great. An XC bike is just like XC skis. They are good a going up hill, good at going fast on flats and not so good and going down hill. DH bike is like DH skis. They are really good at going down hill, not good at all at going up and ok on flat areas but a all mountain/trail bike is like tellemark skis. They are the jack of all trades, the do everything, the explorer skis and bikes. They go up hills pretty well, the good down them pretty darn good too, better then XC but not as good as DH and they will hold their own on flats. Better then DH but maybe not quite as good as an XC bike. They are the Swiss army knife of MTB. That's why I ride one because I want to do it all and can only afford one bike!
This brings me to the second thread I got called out on supporting the Local Bike Shop or LBS in the cycling world. First off I'm going to put it out on the table I love LBS' I visit them often, I have lots of friends that work at them and even own them and I think everyone should buy their bikes there. That being said many if not most of the LBS' in the metro and even MN are way behind the times and pushing a lot of marketing on the customers. Not all but quite a few. Where I came into this was that someone made the comment that if you can get the product from a local bike shop even if it cost a little more or takes a day longer to get it then you should!
Well I disagree. My point was that if LBS' what people like me to support them then they need to support us! (As you see on my page I support a couple select shops because they have helped me out, thank you guys, you rock!) What do I mean by my statement, well if you have been to a bike shop here I can almost guarantee you that 90%-100% of the bikes are XC bikes, HT or 29ers. A couple will carry the more xc style trail bikes like stumpy's, fuel ex's and trans x's but nothing with more then 120-130mm of travel. That's cool, that's a step in the right direction and I get it there isn't a huge demand for these bikes and I'm not saying every shop should stock them but maybe one, in like a medium and put it in your window. People like these bikes they are a bit flashy and cool looking. The biggest thing is that the bike shops don't stock the parts and supplies people like me want and need. Yes they can get them but that isn't the point, so can I and usually in 3 days with free shipping! I can't even get a 2.35 or 2.4 tire or tube for a matter of fact! WTF! I shouldn't have to order rubber! and things like platform pedals. I had to order them too because the only ones I could find were cheap ass magnesium non replaceable pin non sealed baring garbage! Come on simple things like 5.10 shoes, flats, trail bars 700mm-780mm, short stems, 35mm-70mm. Let's go MN get with the times. This is the way of the future. This is what riders want! Have this stuff in stock so people can hold them and compare them try them on their bike. Have some cool shit laying around so people impulse buy! That is what I do and that is why the Internet for me is superior. It's about convenience and having it right now is convenient and that is what a LBS has over the Internet. I know that they can't always compete with price but customer service and having it right now they can.
That is another good point, customer service. I don't need some snide comment about my bike being too big for around here or what are you doing jumping off houses with all that travel.... Nope, and I'll tell you what my 6inch maestro suspension will pedal better then your 2001 80mm travel trek.
Anyways I hope that I do ruffle some feathers. Some people need to pull the lamp shade off their heads and get out of the dark ages and catch up to what's now and happening! I don't care if you are riding or stocking 29ers but get some cool ones for Christ sake, Yeti SB 95, Niner W.F.O 9, Intense Trace 29er and I could go on and on but get the parts right parts for the job as well.
I hope if nothing else it was informative about the current markets and a little bit more about me and if I offended you. Sorry, you'll get over it!
Keep it real!