Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Still good

Hypnosis: the last Clay Porter movie.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Late to the Party

"Hi, my name is Europe. What were mountain bikers doing ten years ago in North America? Cool, I'll do that."

Sorry, I realize generalizations like that can be offensive. Mike Kinrade was doing the handful-of-dust-slow-mo-toss like 15 years ago.

One of our TEAM ROBOT readers summed it up perfectly:

"Meanwhile, the 34th place rider in the last WC DH race you watched on Redbull-- the one you skipped past to get to the "fast" guys-- rides 7,346,981 times faster than you when he's hungover and/or not trying.

But speed = dirt bombs exploding in berms, so you'd never know."

I did a little research to see who got 34th at Meribel, and it was some French guy you've never heard of named Faustin Figaret. I'm not saying these are the best videos in the world (they're not), but the riding is easily 1000 times better than anything in the POS Europe Kamloops lovechild featured above:

[EDITOR'S NOTE: I have no idea what results I was looking at yesterday, but in fact Faustin Figaret finished 26th at Meribel. Wyn Masters finished 34th. Mistake corrected, but either way I'd rather have Wyn or Faustin featured in "web edits" instead of the same no-talent chads who always show up]

Great use of "Sirius" by TAPP by the way. Take literally any shitty brown pow web edit from the last 18 months, and instead of running another interior BC bro who put on his best set of Stroker Mags and cut the sleeves off his freshest Dakine flannel, replace snowboard bro with Faustin Figaret. I would rather watch 1000 web edits of Faustin Figaret riding in BC than watch another brown pow bro brah sesh edit. His turns look better, his jumps look better, his whips look better, it looks like he's going faster.

In fact, the real question is how anyone who doesn't race even makes it into film parts. Racers are the best bike riders. Period. They turn better. They go faster. They jump farther. They pump better. And any of the freeride guys who can ride? They all raced.

Jordie Lunn and Kyle Strait raced.

 Cam Zink raced.

Thomas Vanderham raced.

Martin Soderstrom raced.

Tyler McCaul raced.

Nico Vink raced, for what seems like forever.

And Andreu Lacondeguy. Berrecloth showed up to a NW Cup and smoked a bunch of the locals, including me- I crashed, so I almost have an excuse, but not really. Wade Simmons and Richie Schley raced. And, and, and... they all raced.

If you haven't raced yet, you're blowing it, and I never want to watch a video of you riding because I already know you suck.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Spoon Fed

When this article posted on the front page of Pinkbike, people lost their minds:

Click the link to read the comments. People were up in arms, furious that someone would lock up their rear wheel and destroy a berm just for a photo. People were furious that the photo attempted to deceive them, that the riding wasn't nearly as impressive as it purported to be. People were furious that the photo didn't reflect reality, that someone would be so brazen as to, to, to STAGE a riding photo. 

In contrast to the uproar of the common man, I didn't blink when I watched this video. I wasn't particularly offended, not more than normal anyway. I didn't laugh or cry, I didn't call anyone to complain, and I didn't watch it twice in disbelief. I didn't think this video was noteworthy because this crap happens all the time. Par for the course. The mean time between major MTB media content containing freeride flicks or skid turns or brown pow is probably 90 minutes during business hours, which means in a given day my eye holes are subjected to at least six unique instances of horrible bike riding being passed off as "shredding."

"Like what examples, TEAM ROBOT?" you ask. Like this or this or this or this or this or this. Okay, 30% of the Graves video is good riding, but he still freeride flicks.

This is what we've been saying for the last six years on TEAM ROBOT. Since 2008 people. Your eyes were blinded from the truth, but now you see it, and you can never unsee it. It's like you took the red pill from Laurence Fishburne and then BOOM you wake up in that goo vat with all the wires sticking out of your body and then you get ejected from the goo vat down some creepy waste disposal slide and you're floating around in some enormous red goo lake and then the lights, THE LIGHTS FROM ABOVE what are they? What are they? And then a claw descends from the lights above and it grasps you, and you fight it but there's no fighting the robotic claw, it seems invincible and your body feels so weak, and you get carried up to the ship nearly unconscious and then when you wake up in the ship they all lean in and tell you the truth you were never ready to hear:

They're not going fast in those mountain bike photos. They're just skidding into dust piles.

This whole thing about skidding in turns and brown pow and freeride flicks is just like democracy or consumerism or mass media or boy bands or pick your common ailment. This didn't happen by accident. You asked for this. This is what you wanted. And so that's what the media and the companies gave you. Stupid humans.

Bow to your mechanized overlords. The apocalypse will be swift and we will cleanse you of this wrongdoing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014


RIP Jonathan Athon

Downhill forever

Sam Hill with the inside line to win #2 for the 2014 season at everyone's favorite track this year. If you'd told me 12 months ago that the only guys who'd win two races in 2014 would be Ratboy and Sam Hill I would have laughed you out of the room. Of course that's what everyone wants to hear, but, c'mon, that's never going to happen, right?

Andy Lloyd photo.

Friday, November 7, 2014

TEAM ROBOT next bumper sticker

Read this over on another crappy website, but this quote might be the best bumper sticker idea in a while:

Not me, but my cousin was an intern at a music producing company in New York, and T-Pain was recording that day. My cousin was using the coffee machine, and T-Pain walks up and says, “You be making coffee while I be making money mothafucka.”

Downhill forever

From Geoff Waugh's Facebook page:

"Champery World Cup 2010. Horrible conditions and Joey Schusler decides to go big. Too big. Over jumps the first hip and fully compresses his suspension. Visor to the bar. How he rode it out I'll never know. Part of a sequence that appeared in Dirt Magazine. "

So good.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Things to never say

In a discussion about the relative benefits of clips vs. flats, Five Tens vs. some other sticky shoe, or running a chainguide vs. not, please don't ever say:

"I never slip a foot with flat pedals, so I don't need clips."

"I never slip a foot with xyz brand flat pedal shoe, so I don't need Five Tens."

"I never drop a chain with my narrow wide (or X-Sync) chainring, so I don't need a chainguide."

By sharing that with us you haven't proven anything about the relative benefit of your favored product, you've only proven to me that you are slow and you suck.

People who ride hard drop chains when they run a narrow wide ring. They drop chains when they run a chainguide. They even drop chains when they run a chainguide and a narrow wide ring. They drop chains or have chain suck because they ride hard. Some solutions will result in fewer dropped chains, but if you're riding hard it's going to happen. The question we want to resolve is which configuration will strike the best compromise between competing goals, ie light weight, low pedaling resistance, and chain retention.

It's like all the adults were having a nice conversation, weighing their preferred method of chain retention over dinner together, perhaps enjoying wines and cheeses, comparing notes and sharing charming anecdotes, and then you scooched the kids table up to our pleasant meal and started yelling across the table, spraying half eaten Goldfish crackers, "BUT I NEVER DROP CHAINS WITH MY NARROW WIDE RING!!"

You haven't changed the conversation we were enjoying without you. You've only delayed it and inconvenienced us.

Sam Hill runs the OG Five Ten, the army boot with stealth rubber, and he runs razor blade 1-inch pins sticking out of his pedals. He still slips feet from time to time.

If you never slip your pedal when you run Vans slip-ons, it's because you're going slow.

If you never drop a chain, it's because you suck.

Everything you need in an MTB video

This should be Video of the Day on Pinkbike for the next week:

Forget Scott Secco's "Ten Easy Steps to get VOD" article, these are:

TEAM ROBOT's three easy steps to VOD:

Step ONE:

Build a sketchy ass jump. Big, small, it doesn't matter, just make sure there's a big hole in between the take off and landing and waaaaaaay more run up than necessary. Inadequate construction techniques on lip and landing are always a bonus.

Already gold. BFE Pennsylvania? Check. Airport length runway? Check. Is there a way-too-small lip that looks like it was built in ten minutes out of humus-duff-mor and misplaced hopes and dreams? That's a big check and check.

Foreshadowing, Part 1: there's already a sketchy log ride across this chasm of death, so we know these guys have low standards and even lower IQ's. You know this guy is doomed before he even enters the frame. The anticipation is killing me.

Foreshadowing, Part 2: bikes are like meth. Once you're hooked, you sell everything you have to get your next fix. Once you're done selling all your stuff, you sell yourself and make memories that no shower can clean off. Anyone who still has a Razor 4-wheeler clearly hasn't developed a full blown addiction yet, because when you need that new set of wheels or the new air downhill fork, that Razor is going to be on craigslist so fast you won't have time to say "sorry for selling that Razor you gave me, dad." It's obvious that these guys are joey's building stuff on dad's property, and I already know this isn't going to turn out well before I see frame 2.

Step TWO:
Convince your sketchiest BRO to hit the jump while you film. As for equipment, get a Handycam, an old GoPro, a flip phone, a calculator, get anything you can sort of film on, and then film your bro getting broke off. This is not the realm of Phantom Flex 10,000 FPS shots. The worse the quality is, the better.

This next part is important, and you have a stylistic choice to make: Coach them to go either way too fast, or way too slow. Either one is comedic gold, but the choice is yours.

Long, mellow run in on soft dirt and mud? Check. Stiff upper body frozen in anticipation and fear as he approaches the jump? Check. No thought of pedaling? Check. The timeless cues are all there, bro is not clearing this jump.

Don't be one of those soft milquetoast tea-sippers who looks back on gladiatorial combat in the Rome days and thinks "how could humans be so brutal? I would never watch people fight to the death." I know I would have been right there eating popcorn and watching the gladiators duke it out, and I know that because right now I'm glued to the edge of my seat waiting to see bro's end of life play out in front of me. You are too. We already know exactly what's going to happen before bro hits the lip, but just knowing what's going to happen is not going to cut it.

We don't want to just know whats going to happen. Right now we want to see this bro die.

Profit. In a few minutes you'll know whether your bro will ever be able to eat solid food again, but here's a helpful little secret: he's probably unconscious right now, and even if he isn't he's still living in his own personal world of pain right now and won't remember anything you do for the next three minutes. So unless he's doing the "wind knocked out of me" wheezing noise (you know, this one), stop recording and upload this oscar contender onto Pinkbike. Prepare yourself for 50-100 thousand views and that bigtime VOD cash to start rolling in.

With all that big VOD cash you can buy your friend a Rascal Scooter so he can still come hang out.

Ain't no party like a Rascal Scooter party.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

This sucks

The only thing worse than the "enduro fad" is people complaining about the "enduro fad." This is the least funny video I've ever seen.

For the first 10 seconds I thought "oh, that's kind of funny, what a novel concept," until I realized they were going to reproduce the entire printer scene from Office Space shot for shot. Freaking shot for shot, people. Just for reference, that scene drags on a little long in the actual movie. If Mike Judge has trouble holding my attention for that minute and a half, odds are pretty low these two meatheads from Snowboardbroville, Canada aren't going to do any better with their homage.

Here's a visual representation of their attempt to recreate the masterpiece:

Lots of similarities, but some important differences.

As a public service to the three-person braintrust responsible for "Dummies 2," I'll break it down for you. This:

Juxtaposed with this:

Is funny.

If Michael Bolton was young, athletic, living in a fulfilling low-stress outdoor lifestyle town in a beautiful part of the world and wearing Timberland's with a Pantera t-shirt while participating in an aggressive, adrenaline-filled Gen-Y sport, it maybe wouldn't work the same way. Just a hunch. That, and if you're going to categorically dismiss a whole segment of racing like Enduro, you're going to have to do a little better than two bros filming Meathead-Matching-Muscle-T day at your local bike park. I'll grant you that the big flip was pretty impressive, though.

I almost got the same helmet that lead alpha bro is wearing this year.

So now that I know these guys won't like me, here are some other thoughts in the general nitpicking category:

Nice lens flare Nick. Classy and original.

Stop killing the side of lips. Every single lip and roller on Aline and Dirt Merchant has two feet on each side destroyed by bros trying to imitate their local BC internet video hero who was trying to imitate James Stewart scrubbing. It's not a scrub, you suck.

This is fine-tuning, but for lead-bro-guy-who's-skinnier, you're driving with your inside shoulder in turns, which is turning your upper body and your hips to the outside and weighting your inside foot. That's going to cause you to understeer and slide in turns.

It's subtle, but you really want to drive through the turn with your outside shoulder.

Follow-me-bigger-bro-guy-who-clearly-lifts, you're exiting turns pretty far in the backseat. See how little weight you have on the front wheel on the exit of this turn? It's true that you generally want to spring out of turns on the back wheel, but this isn't one of those "if some is good, more is better" sort of things. Try to keep some weight on the front wheel at all times. It increase balance and control.

This backseat riding also shows up in your jumping. You're landing pretty late and rear wheel down on jumps, and while I'd normally attribute this pattern to overjumping big stuff for video to look cool, you seem to be doing it on small jumps as well.

Like turns, you can get more pump out of landings by touching down with both wheels at the top of the landing. Again, being slightly in the backseat here is good for pump, but like Barry White said, "too much of a good thing can be bad for you."

Oh, and one more this. This:

Looks really bad when you crop it like this:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bikes suck

This is so much cooler than anything you'll ever do on a bike:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dave Camp can play that game, too

TEAM ROBOT, Investigatory Journalist

Another issue that needed delving into, brought to our attention by one of our diligent readers:

"Loam is a classification given to soil that contains relatively balanced amounts of sand, silt and clay. Loam soils typically contain less than 52 percent sand, 28 to 50 percent silt, and between 7 and 20 percent clay. Classification as a loam soil has nothing to do with the organic material it contains or where it is found. A mixture that contains almost equal amounts of silt, sand and clay is referred to simply as loam. However, if the soil has slightly more of one of these elements in relation to the others, then the classification is modified to sandy loam, clay loam, silt loam, sandy clay loam, or silty clay loam."


Leave it to the Oregon State Forestry people to set things straight:

Humus: Total of the organic compounds in soil exclusive of undecayed plant and animal tissues, their "partial decomposition" products, and the soil biomass. The term is often used synonymously with soil organic matter.

Mor: A type of forest humus characterized by an accumulation or organic matter on the soil surface in matted Oe(F) horizons, reflecting the dominant mycogenous decomposers. The boundary between the organic horizon and the underlying mineral soil is abrupt. Sometimes differentiated into the following groups: Hemimor, Humimor, Resimor, Lignomor, Hydromor, Fibrimor, and Mesimor.

Mull: A forest humus type characterized by intimate incorporation of organic matter into the upper mineral soil (i.e. a well developed A horizon) in contrast to accumulation on the surface. (Sometimes differentiated into the following Groups: Vermimull, Rhizomull, and Hydromull).

Duff Mull: A forest humus type, transitional between mull and mor, characterized by an accumulation or organic matter on the soil surface in friable Oe horizons, reflecting the dominant zoogenous decomposers. They are similar to mors in that they generally feature an accumulation of partially to well-humified organic materials resting on the mineral soil. They are
similar to mulls in that they are zoologically active. Duff mulls usually have four horizons: Oi(L), Oe(F), Oa(H), and A. Sometimes differentiated into the following Groups: Mormoder, Leptomoder, Mullmoder, Lignomoder, Hydromoder, and Saprimoder.




Adam Ransavage

He took this:

And did this:

The Kung Fu is not weak with Adam.

This changes nothing

BushLeague 2 Trailer #2 from Jeremy Smith on Vimeo.

Not everyone in Canada sucks, but that's all I concede.