Saturday, March 31, 2012

This sucks

BEST WHIP & T-DOWN EDGAR TORRONTERAS MASTERS OF DIRT 2011 from edgar torronteras on Vimeo.

Obviously the music sucks, and the SUPER BIG TIME freestyle moto, cool guy attitude sucks too, but what's totally, completely, awesomely sucky is the whips they're doing. I know what you're going to say, and yeah, at first I thought it was pretty impressive. I know, they're waaaaaaay more sideways then I'll ever be. But in the process of showing off how sideways and upside-down they are, they feel the need to contort and throw their upper bodies around in what appears to be a seizure-induced fit.

I don't have any actual tricks to speak of, and I can't even do tabletops, so when it comes time to floss the whip on some jumps, I've only got five go-to moves. I try to alternate between these as I go through jumps, and I even try to do combo moves on bigger jump:

1. An actual whip. I'm not very good at these, and even if I was you don't want to do the same whip on every jump for every run down A-Line. Sure it's the most legit of my five tricks, but it's also the most boring. That's what led me to develop the next four skills...

2. The E.T. It's a classic. Pedal your brains out in mid air. You'll look like a goon, guaranteed.

3. The jammin salmon. Stick out those elbows and knees, and then shake your bike violently, 4-5 times back and forth.

4. The bar hump. The key to any good bar hump is looking back. If you bar hump but you're still looking straight ahead, you're doing it wrong. Just imagine your stem is Jessica Alba and the sky is a ceiling mirror, and you're well on your way.

5. The head whip. Otherwise known as "the pinkbike whip" or "the Mike Hopkins Titec ad circa '06." This is when some beginning rider posts a photo of themselves doing a "sick whip," but their bike is pointed dead straight. The only thing that makes it appear whipped is that they've thrown their bodies all around, and violently whipped their heads back and to the side. Bonus points if you sprain your neck or induce a crash from head-whipping, but it obviously doesn't count if your bike pivots, turns, or whips in the process. Adam Ransavage is amazing at head whips.

And the head-whip is exactly what those moto guys are doing in the video. It looks like they're trying to dance like Elaine Benes in the middle of their whips:

Things that don't look like fun


That is all.

I've got lots of room left to improve

Above: my technique.

Below: proper technique, courtesy of Cory Tepper.

My mom always said, "the biggest room in the whole world is the room for improvement."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Your team sucks


Your team:


This guy has a lot of them. Verg, you better step up your game, you've got a little competition now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blind squirrels

You know the saying "even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while?"

This is the same principle, in reverse:

"Even a highly capable, naturally gifted squirrel with tons of experience who should know better still looks like a blind squirrel every once in a while."

But seriously, that's the absolute nastiest foot hang I've seen on the World Cup circuit since the Rennie days. This picture went a long way toward boosting my tragically-low-but-still-artificially-high self esteem.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Sam Hill

Sam Hill 2005:

Sam Hill 2012:

And yes, 2012 Sam Hill could kick my ass on any course anywhere with his eyes closed while riding a tricycle. We concede that point.

Beacon Hill 2012, Saturday

Here's a totally awesome helmet cam from the Saturday Course at the Double Down in Spokane last weekend. FIRST RACE OF THE SEASON WOOOOOOOO!!!!

Beacon race run 2-24 (Crash) on

That... video... is... awesome. And NSFW.

The whole course was rad, the best course at beacon ever according to our complex Robot algorithms. The berms at the bottom were sick. Here's me on my Diamondback ripping one. When I showed this picture to my teammate Kyle all he had to say was "your inside knee should be pointed out." Thanks.

Speaking of Pro Racer Kyle Thomas, here he demonstrates his Vuvuzela/dartgun abilities. Kyle went full tilt on the vuvuzela all weekend until he developed "verpes" (Vuvuzela-Herpes, cold sores that come from direct or indirect contact with Vuvuzelas). Either that rider was in fact taken down by a PRKT dart, or that berm was just too awesome and the rider's CPU just broke midway through.

But don't take my word for it. Here's Project 952929292's Cole Wetherell absolutely annihilating the same turn. We all stood and stared in stunned silence at his bike for a good five minutes after he finished his race run because he ran a front spike... on a pedally hardpack course. According to Cole "it's what I'd been running, and I didn't want to switch." If anyone at 529 is reading this right now, you should probably fire Cole, or at least beat him savagely. Robots would never tolerate that sort of laziness.

In the same spirit as that Cole picture, here's another picture of Junior X rider Jonythyn Allyn demonstrating proper Junior X ETT form: looking really fast but being really slow. On the bright side, his time was fast enough for first in Pro women, though.

OK, that's a little harsh. He actually doesn't look THAT fast. And in reality, his time would have been good for fifth in Pro Men, so he wasn't slow either. I just wanted to make fun of junior X riders because it makes me feel bigger and more confident about myself.

Here's a random photo of Shimano's Tommy McGrath looking at Bobby Stenson like he's the stupidest person in the world. Based on Bobby's stellar outfit and submissive, defeated body language, we don't know where that idea came from.

Here's another picture of Cole. Based on the amount of photos of me that I found from this weekend, photographers apparently hate me the same way everyone else hates me. Unfortunately they apparently don't hate taking pictures of Cole, so that's what you get to look at. A message to photographerseverywhere: I'd way rather put up photos of myself instead of Eric Loney's younger, less annoying body double.

First race, first win, BOOM.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Some people have it, some people don't. Whatever "it" is, here's somebody who definitely doesn't have it:

Was that 29 seconds long? After I finished watching that commercial I thought I would see flowers blossoming, bears coming out of hibernation, and I thought it was that time of year when I'd have to come up with lengthy excuses to not attend other peoples' weddings.

Commercials like this make me kinda wish that Raceface had stayed bankrupt. Well hey, at least they're not making parts in all those horrible, gaudy anodized colors that Canadians seem to be buying up...

Oh, what...

They are? Really?

Nevermind. I wish they were still bankrupt.

TEAM ROBOT 2012 World Cup predictions: Sam Hill edition

For the rest of this post, click the glowing blue words for FUN hyperlinks!!

Sam Hill, Circa 2007:

Sam Hill, 2012:

See if you can decode the secret message in the following images and you'll see what I'm trying to say. If you can't figure it out and you have to give up, you're an idiot, but click the link to get the answer:

Two words:

One word:

Two words:

Still can't figure the secret message out?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pinkbike Chronicles, Part III

I sent "nike7935" the forklamp photo last night, and he just got back to me today. He was as eloquent as ever:

Touché, random guy from Pinkbike, touché. Your words are as impassioned as they are insightful. "Seet," indeed.

See, cuz at first I was like:

But then I was like:

Your current FAAG point totals

Here are your current point totals in the Fastest American After Gwin World Cup:

Neko Mullaly- 67 points

Richie Rude- 50 pts

Duncan Riffle- 45 pts

Luke Strobel- 43 pts

Curtis Keene- 38 pts

Mitch Ropelato- 37 pts

Eliot Jackson- 30 pts

Logan Bingelli- 18 pts

Kevin Aeillo- 4 pts

I think we need to get some gentleman's wagers going on here, if anyone is interested, let me know in the comments. My bet's on Strobel. Kyle Thomas thinks we should do a Fantasy league on Dirt, with teams and everything.

Also, if you doubt my math skills, check out page 40 of the UCI MTB rule book:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pinkbike Chronicles, Part II

I emailed this photo to pinkbike user "Nike7935" as a part of our ongoing dialogue, which you can read about below in "Pinkbike Chronicles, Part I."

I have not heard back from him yet.

Our team:

The Pinkbike Chronicles, Part I

This fork is currently for sale on my buy/sell on Pinkbike here for $550. It's a 2012 Fox Float R. Is $550 too much? I don't know, it was a guess. I know that it retails for $825, brand new. I typically put my prices fairly high, and put the disclaimer "reasonable offers only." Sometimes when it's an old POS bike part, I put "any offer." This allows room for bargaining, and allows both parties to feel like they got a good deal. I never, ever end up selling anything for the original listed price. It's not exactly a science.

Today, I got this email from pinkbike user "Nike7935," who's apparently from Portland. I've never had the chance to meet this person, but I can already tell he's a really solid guy. Listen to Bike7935 try to give me the hard sell today on Pinkbike:

(Guy on pinkbike) Is your fox 36 still forsale?
send me your number

(Me) Yes it is. Are you in Portland?

(Guy on pinkbike) Ya im in portland, i can pick it up today for $460. Youv "mobbed" on this fork from what i can see from the pictures on team robot..

(Me) I'm not interested in selling for less than $500. I've "mobbed" on this fork less than 10 times. It doesn't even have 10 hours of ride time in on it.

(Guy on pinkbike)I want your fork now, what are you going to do with another 40 bucks, im college student, hook a brother up

At this point, I was speechless. Actually, that's not true at all; I was sitting in the library at school, and I flagged down everyone I knew to show them this email from Mr. Shortbus himself.

When you are in a high stress situation and have a desire to lash out and respond violently, sometimes it's a good idea to slow down, take a breath, and not make any rash decisions. I like to type out all my possible responses and then erase them before I write my actual email.

Here are the top three ideas I had for possible responses to "what I was going to do with another $40" that I didn't send:

3. (the truest and lamest response of all three) I work my ass off to race my bike, and even with the incredible support that my sponsors provide I am still broke off my ass or have small mountains of credit card bills at any given time (that's not true, I get my small mountains of credit card bills online). I am chasing a dream right now, and that dream doesn't pay for shit unless your name starts with two A's and ends with "ron Gwin." Plus, I'm not really that fast, so it's a real uphill battle.

Look dude, I'm not trying to rip you off, and I wouldn't be selling this fork unless I thought it was worth running. If you don't like my prices there are currently 154 other people selling Fox 36's for less than $500. Talk to them. To be totally honest, $550 is probably way too much to ask for a fork that I have "mobbed," as you astutely pointed out. After weeks of being unable to sell my fork at it's currently high price, I'll probably end up dropping my price and selling this fork for $450. But, I'm sure as hell not lowering my price for you, even if you "want my fork now."

2. I was going to go over to my favorite gas station/awesome t-shirt/knife/sword emporium, spend $20 on gas and $20 on a cheap katana that was made in China, and then drive over to your parents house and punish them with repeated swings of the cheap, dull, poorly made blade for ever bringing you into this world.

Gas stations can be awesome sometimes.

1. I was going to cash in all $500, turn it into one's, and then use them to wipe my ass for the next year and a half.

(like this, but with one's. I am in college, after all)

Boy, I'm glad I got that out of my system. Here's the response I eventually decided on:

(me) If you want to do $500, let me know. I am not interested in selling this fork for less. If I cannot get $500 for this fork, I will make a lamp out of it.

Thank you,

Team Robot World Cup FAAG Fantasy League

The first round of the 2012 World Cup is in the books, and Neko Mullaly has taken the lead in this year's Fastest American After Gwin (FAAG) World Cup points series. Newcomer Richie Rude was hot on Mulally's heels, and Duncan Riffle rounds out your top three for the opening FAAG World Cup round:

14. Neko Mullaly
31. Richie Rude
36. Duncan Riffle
38. Luke Strobel
43. Curtis Keene
44. Mitch Ropelato
51. Eliot Jackson
63. Logan Bingelli
77. Kevin Aeillo

Mulally had this made-up blurb to say about his FAAG win,

"I'm really excited to start my season off with a win. The FAAG Overall title is one of the most coveted titles in American Mountain bike racing, and this win puts me in a great position in the points series. After basically being U.S. National Champion last September, I'm definitely in the hunt to add a FAAG title to my trophy chest. Also, upon reflection, I probably should get a better profile picture; why is the bottom right hand corner folding up in the graphic? That's looks terrible."

You can check out Neko's totally sweet site and all of his results here:

Always in the hunt for the elusive FAAG title on home soil, KHS went all the way and sent their top two Americans, California flat-pedal rider Kevin Aeillo and quasi-National Champ and President of the American Albino Association Logan Bingelli to South Africa to earn some FAAG World Cup points. The KHS riders had these made-up things to say about their African adventure:

"Charlie that's total horseshit, you know I won U.S. National Champs fair and square, Neko was racing in a different category. And I'm not f$#@ing Albino, and who even makes that sort of joke these days? I was born with white hair and blue eyes, get over it. P.S. you're way slower than me, so suck on that."

"I... look a little bit high all the time."

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Remember Daytona last weekend? It's currently raining in Portland... a lot. And it's not going to stop anytime soon. If you want to know the trail conditions are on your local mountain bike trails for the next couple weeks, watch "2012 Daytona SX Main" on youtube, and that'll give you a pretty good idea. That's what it's going to be like the next time you ride your bike.

It's gonna be cold

and wet

there will be puddles everywhere

you're going to crash a lot and get super muddy

and even when you aren't crashing, you're going to be going way slower

The only real difference between your next ride and the Daytona SX is that no one cares about you or how your next ride goes.


Saw this on Pinkbike:

I generally think that the above statement is a pretty crummy and unfair thing to write on your cast. I also generally think it's a pretty funny thing to write on your cast.

A little history: When I was 14 and loved skinnies and stairgaps, I really wanted a Kona. When I started racing, I suddenly didn't want one as much. I attribute that change in perception as much to Kona's suspension performance, bike weight and geometry decisions as I do to their choice to sponsor this Commie, freedom-hating, Sam-Hill-and-Steve-Peat-Gold-Medal-at-the-World-Champs-denying Frenchie:

Fabien at the peak of his Frenchness and Kona-ness

However, with age and maturity, Fabien and Kona both grew on me. I don't know how to say this politely or in any politically correct manner, but Fabien seems so much more genuine and nice and kind-hearted in interviews, and so much less... French.

See, he's actually a pretty nice guy. Maybe I've even grown enough to see his French identity as a positive, distinguishing attribute, that highlights the important similarities we all share as humans, despite our outward differences. Okay, scratch that last part. That was dumb.

France is still < America

In the same vein, the Kona Operator is actually pretty sweet. It wouldn't be my first pick for a race bike, but it represents a HUUUUUUUGE shift in Kona's product, brand, and thinking:

Just to review, this:

Is waaaaaaaaay sweeter than this:

Plus, Kona sponsors NW enduro ripper and all-around badass Matt Slaven:

The point is, Kona probably deserves better than the cute, marginally witty message you put on your shitty cast, random guy on Pinkbike. Yeah, Kona has a nasty reputation on the internet for having headtubes rip off, especially among the 13-year-olds on pinkbike. And who would doubt anything you read on Pinkbike's forums?

Then again, you can find a picture of the head tube ripped off of just about any bike that exists. I've seen pictures of V-10's with the headtubes ripped off, Demo-8's, Devinci's, GT's, and even the old Giant Glories. And I thought those old Glories were invincible. Here's a simple rule: When you see a crack, YOU SHOULD STOP RIDING THAT BIKE. If you see a crack, and then keep riding, Kona didn't do this to you. You did this to you. If you never saw a crack, then you probably weren't looking for one, which also isn't an excuse. You should always check your frame for cracks, just like you should always check your spokes for tension. On the other hand, if you're not smart enough to check your frame for cracks, then you probably suck at life and we'll all benefit from your death. It's a win-win.

Unfortunatley for Kona, it was really hard for me to find photos of various bikes with the head tubes ripped off. I tried. I went through pages and pages of photos (75, in fact), trying every search term I could think of. "Headtube," "Head tube," "ripped," "snapped," "broke," "broken." Didn't find all that much. On the other hand, when casually scrolling through the comments for the "Kona did this" cast picture, I found a comment where some guy hyperlinked to nine photos of Kona's with the headtubes ripped off. And reposting all of those was way easier than combing the internet for a bunch of pictures of non-Kona's with the headtubes ripped off. So enjoy the fruit of my laziness.

DISCLAIMER: plenty of people were hurt in the making of this blog post.

Okay, in the name of journalistic integrity, here's a picture of one not-a-Kona:

Now this article is officially fair and balanced.