The first World Cup event of 2019 in almost here

The stars of the Downhill mountain biking will gather in Maribor, Slovenia at the end of the month for the first of eleven events spread across the three disciplines of Cross Country Olympic XCO, Downhill (DH) and Cross-Country Short Circuit (XCC).

The UCI have been an organised bunch over the last 12 months and have even released the calendar for 2020 due to it being an Olympic year.

However, back to 2019 as the action promises to be full of thrills and spills and plenty of intense action as the worlds best commence battle.

If 2018 is anything to go by, then we are in for a real treat after Switzerland’s Nino Schurter took the crown in the men’s Cross Country, and Frenchman Amaury Pierron took the top prize in the Downhill discipline.

For British fans, Rachel Atherton came out on top in a gruelling contest with fellow Brit Tahnée Seagrave to claim the Downhill title and the 31-year-old is once again the favourite and well worth keeping tabs on in the live betting at sites such as  www.novibet.co.uk for ongoing value throughout the year.

Maribor – Slovenia

The Downhill season gets under way in Europe in the city of Maribor.

It will be the first time the city has hosted a World Cup event since 2010 although the circuit has been lauded as one of the very best with plenty of intense action set to ensue.

The Riders

Amaury Pierron is the man to beat in the man’s category after sweeping to the title in 2018.

The Frenchman defeated Britain’s Danny Hart by294 points to sweep to his maiden downhill title and he will be eager to repeat that feat in 2019.

The British siblings of Gee Atherton (competing in the men’s downhill) and Rachel Atherton has made the bold move of moving from Trek Factory racing to racing on bikes developed under their own brand – Atherton Bikes.

34-year-old Gee Atherton had a torrid time in 2018 finishing down in ninth place but the 5-time former World Cup winner and two-time downhill world champion looks to bring in a new era for the Atherton’s on their own equipment.

His sister Rachel is looking to capitalise on a truly remarkable 2018 where she claimed her sixth downhill World Cup success and also stormed to downhill victory at the World Championships for her fifth title.

The likes of Tahnée Seagrave will be attempting to get the better of her countrywomen in what promises to be a thrilling tournament for the women.

Where Next?

After Slovenia, it will be the turn of the Cross-Country disciplines as the World Cup moves to Albstadt in Germany before a trip to the Czech Republic.

The next downhill event after Maribor does not take place until the beginning of June when the series heads to Fort William in Scotland and by then we will have a clearer picture of who is on form and who needs to do what in an action packed year of mountain bike action.

The Bike Geek: Let’s get social!

Hello Mountain bikers and fellow Facebook Addicts! The weather has been sucking in “not-so-sunny” Southern California lately but that has not stopped Art and myself from going to different cycling related events. Not sure if you know, but Facebook has this cool feature that allows us to go “live” at different events; watch out for those F-bombs!

Anyhow, here are a few or our live videos:

The Giant rep visited my LBS to showcase the new Giant road bikes and mountain bikes:

Art went to the electric bicycle expo:

So make sure you follow us on Facebook for upcoming live videos!

The Bike Geek: What went wrong?

Howdy mountain bikers! I hope you are enjoying our new content and live videos from MtnBikeRiders.com, as you can see, some of our posts are tongue-in-cheek and if some of you are offended, oh well.

Last week I posted about a buddy’s having a close and personal encounter with a fence. Well guess what? WE HAVE THE VIDEO!!!! Yeah, our buddy was wearing a helmet cam so here it is for our amusement analysis:

As you can see in the video, our buddy lets go of the brakes, gathers speed quickly, sees the ruts, panics and goes for the fence. Before we start hurling insults at him, please note that this was his first time riding a Cyclocross bike on this type of terrain, in fact, it was his first time riding this particular bike and it was also the first time he was clipping in.

So with that said, how could he avoided this mishap? Yeah, don’t let go of the brakes is the logical response but we all been there, we get a little courage and let go of the brakes and we get in trouble. Here are other suggestions:

1. Look ahead and scan the trail. Easier said than done as our instinct is to look at what is right in front of us but if you look ahead, you will be able to analyze what path to take and how fast you should be going.

2. Target Fixation. If you ride a motorcycle, you are probably aware of this. Target fixation is an attentional phenomenon observed in humans in which an individual becomes so focused on an observed object (be it a target or hazard) that they inadvertently increase their risk of colliding with the object. But target fixation could have also helped our buddy here, simply focus on the clear path instead of the rut or the fence.

4. Learn to bunny hop. Cx bikes are really light so jumping over the rut was very doable.

Any other suggestions?

The Bike Geek: The art of crashing

Hello fellow Mountain Bikers! Sorry I have not posted my “weekly” post but a system issue prevented me from posting my awesome articles.

vpxmtiz

Anyhow, we all know that crashing is part of mountain biking, it is not a question of if but when is it that you will crash. Now, some crashes are totally unavoidable, some “just happen” and the rest are “what the fuck was he thinking”.

thegroup

A couple of weekends ago, we all decided to grab our Cyclocross bikes and headed to the world famous Fullerton Loop and we took a buddy who kicked our ass on the Cyclocross race but had never ridden the loop on a Cx bike. We figured he should be fine, Cyclocross bikes are just skinny rigid 29rs, right?

The loop was a little rutted from all the rain, but with careful line selection, it was totally doable on a Cx bike. So we thought… So lets get into the art of crashing, if you know you are going to beef it, we usually try to do the “roll” and have our shoulders take the brunt of the impact:

Ouch

We definitely do not recommend using a tree to slow down or clinging to a fence going 20 mph…. What the fuck was he thinking, right? The aftermath of this stunt was a fat lip, a lacerated finger, a fractured pinky and a very pissed off wife and did I mention that we missed Lady Gaga’s Superbowl performance? WTF.

injury

We were also ill prepared to deal with this type of injuries on the trail, luckily Art carries a first aid kit with him in his car. We will make sure that we carry a Brave Soldier Crash Pack next time.

ouch

Anyhow, our buddy will be fine but unfortunately his bike was not OK. 🙁

Don’t be a douche: Trail Etiquette

yeild-sign

TRAIL ETIQUETTE, WHY??

Now we have been down this trail before on MtnBikeRiders.com, trail etiquette is important to all users and there are three basic groups you will encounter on any given trail depending where you are at.

You have Hikers, Equestrians, and Mountain Bikers. It’s not uncommon that these three groups will bump into each other on any given trail here in our local area or your local area for that fact.
Multi use trails have simple rules, they are not hard rules to understand and if you can’t heed these rules of the trail, I will be the first to tell you to leave the trail no matter who you think you are.

I have been all three of these users at one time or another and it blows me away that some people think they can do as they please on the trail while not giving a rat’s ass about others.

OK I’m not going to single out any one group yet, but I must say I have encountered bad Hikers, Equestrians and Mountain Bikers. These bad apples all thought they were God’s gift to the trail and we all should bow down to their wills, more like their rules of their road.

“NOOO, SORRY!!” It doesn’t work that way. SHARE means SHARE, MULTI USE you idiots.

We have all seen the simple sign the shows you the “YIELD” to triangle (see sign above). Hiker yields to Horses; Mountain Biker yields to both Hiker and Horses. Simple, right?? Well not for some unfortunately.
We wanted to share with you a story told by Wendy Engelberg from “Girlz Gone Riding” that happened this past holiday while she and her group were out riding on the local trail.

This incident has to do with one mountain biker and a group of hikers, where bad trail etiquette was shown by one Mountain Biker and why we as Mountain Bikers are all lumped in the same group of “ALL MOUNTAIN BIKERS ARE BAD”.

“This morning’s ride was an unfortunate adventure for part of it.
We came up on 4 hikers on Westridge fire road. One of them was sitting on the ground with something obviously very wrong, so we slowed down, pulled over and asked what the problem was to see if we could help.
He said a mountain biker took him out and he went down on his hip, can’t stand up or walk. He said the biker only stopped to yell at him for not having his dog on a leash. (Westridge dogs are actually permitted OFF leash. There is a huge sign at the trail head stating so). The biker did not slow down or call out what side he was going to pass on, so instead he just took the hiker out.
Naturally these 4 people were pissed off, especially the older gentleman Jeffrey who got injured. The 1st thing he did was lump the mountain bikers into being all bad. Lena and I stayed with them proving to him that was not the case and I think he was grateful that we did. He told 911 that Lena and I were going to ride up and meet the fire trucks to let them know where he was located on the trail. (after calling the biker who hit him an asshole many times over to the 911 operator, he let them know that the cyclists that were going to ride up… Lena and myself… to meet them were not). I gave him my card as well just in case.
5 fire trucks and 2 helicopters later he was rescued, so the firemen had to cut the locks on the gates to get through.
THIS is one of the reasons hikers don’t like mountain bikers. This happens more than you think. It only takes a few bikers conducting themselves as tools and feeling they are entitled to the entire trail and not sharing the trails…to shut down the trails.
Yes, dogs off leash are a pain, yes, hikers don’t pay attention a lot, HOWEVER……we must SHARE the trails! SLOW down when you see others, smile and say hello! Let them know we are good people and will ride safely around them and their dogs.
I’m glad Lena and I were there because no other bikers stopped except for the riders in our group, only hikers stopped. Please, please be mindful and respectful to ALL other trail users. Just yesterday on Rogers Joanne and I came within inches of being taken out while we were climbing with another out of control biker. Saw us climbing and still didn’t slow down or pull over on a narrow single track.
Everyone I ride with is absolutely awesome and respectful thank goodness. However, there are those out there that are not and this is what happens. Here is a reminder of some basic trail etiquette. Thank you for listening and please be respectful to all trail users!”

WE’RE NOT ALL BAD SEEDS

Just as if I were riding a Harley in a leather vest with patches on down the highway I am thought of as a member of a biker gang.
Remember this, “1%”, the one percenter. This would be the number that each group has with the bad apples in it. Not all of us are idiots, but each group has them and that 1% sure does make up the whole when a bad taste is left in the mouth of the other groups due to bad judgment.

HOW TO HANDLE YOURSELF

As Wendy put it, if you come around a corner and startle someone, say hi, apologize, make sure they are okay and if someone gets hurt, help them be courteous and exchange information.
Remember if an accident occurs, stop and help, don’t run. This goes both ways for all parties and we all have a responsibility to one another on the trails we love.

Making the trail safe for all of us starts with all of us. We all love the outdoors and we all love being on the trails, so let’s all work together to make it great for all.

Thanks to Wendy Engelberg from “Girlz Gone Riding” for letting us share her story.

Wendy Engelberg  Girls Gone Riding
Wendy Engelberg
Girlz Gone Riding

SKILLS, RISK, AND FAITH

Paul Basagoitia - Natural Terrain Double Back Flip

Just this last week we had one of our own go down hard while at the RedBull Rampage, Paul Basagoitia. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Paul when he became sponsored through Dainese and he is a genuine great guy. Though we don’t typically do any pro race coverage of any sort on MtnBikeRiders.com, I felt it important to say a few things about what it is we love to do as riders and racers, no matter if we are beginners or pros, just plain trail riders, racer or stunt riders. Risk is in our sport every time we go for a ride our mountain bikes anywhere. We don all our protection needed prior to our adventures that will keep us safe and off we go.
Now this article is not about what happened, was it the fault of the promoters, or as spectators want carnage, making riders push for the crazy stunts in an impossible place of riding.
“NO!” This is about what we love to do, the skills it takes, the risks we face, and the faith we have in ourselves to push the envelope every time we ride.

SKILLS
When we find a sport or hobby we love to pursue, we will go to great lengths to excel in what it is we love. It’s in our human nature to push beyond what we know for our personal satisfaction or the desire to be recognized at times by our peers. For some of us it comes naturally, while others have to work at it just a little more.
In time we can become razor sharp as we become better at what we do. Your skills will become better the more time you spend with anything, whether you train or just get out there to have fun at your comfort level, you will get better.
Much in the way a pianist plays expertly or a Kung Fu master continues to learn far past achieving their black belt. We set goals for ourselves all the time as we get better at what we do.
The skills of the pros at Rampage show us just that. Doing impossible things on a mountain bike never thought possible by most and it keeps getting better and bigger as we cheer on our favorite riders. These are true skills of the 1% masters in their realm and there are no others like them.

RISKS
There is risk in all things we do. Even the most mundane things can have risk; sure it may not kill you or leave you without movement for the rest of your being, risk is a part of life.
When you enter a sport that guarantees an element of high risk one knows what they are getting into.
If any one individual were to go into any dangerous sports not knowing the consequences, I would have to call them idiots on their part.
I as a racer I know the risks I take whether I’m riding or on a race course. Do I have the skills it take to do what I do, yes I do because I have honed those skills over time to get me to the level of riding I’m at.
Now as an individual you have to know your limitations as to how far one can go. Riding over your head above your skill level will be a formula for disaster on your part. Learning this is a key factor to success as you excel to the next level to have fun.
I get asked often, “Aren’t you afraid of what may happen to you if you hurt yourself real bad”. All I can say is the day I start thinking that way is the day I get out of my sport or sports.
Some could say this is the day you lose your nerve, maybe it is or the time come that the risk is to great. We’ll all face this question in time of “When do I stop”.
Yet the old saying goes, “Shit happens” and when that rug gets yanked out from under you. No level of skills may help you at this moment in time, so we ride it out and wait to see what happens next.
This is where faith steps in.

FAITH
One could say there are different levels that you could apply faith to. Like having faith in your skills, maybe the faith to believe in one’s self, or having the faith to not let doubt creep in at the moment of truth.
You could be assured having it is important to your strength as a person. It makes us strong inside when adversity takes hold. This will be the hardest part one will face. All your family and friends will be with you at your side, you will have time to reflect, faith may waver, but one’s strength in faith to push beyond where you are is what drives us no matter what.

IN THE END
We take risks everyday, but we mustn’t dwell on these risks, for each day is always new. Athletes that compete will always share a greater risk in what they do, you have the skills and faith to do what you love, otherwise you just wouldn’t do it.
I’m reminded of a saying, a matto that the US Navy SEALS have when going through BUDS training and beyond when you become a SEAL, “The only easy day was yesterday.”
This is what pushes me every day because it’s true. No matter how hard things may get in life you got past yesterday and it was easy. Push on Paul for we are all with you in mind and body keeping the faith for your fast recovery.

A Road2Recovery fund has been set up for Paul Basagoitia. For those readers of MtnBikeRiders.com that would like to help out Paul Basagoitia by making any amount of a donation to help his recovery please click on the link below.

http://www.road2recovery.com/cause-view/irideforpaul/

Photo from Pinkbike.com

Male Model and Mountain Biker

We can now officially add that to our resume of bad-assery. Yes it’s possilutely true, Art Aguilar and myself were asked to be “models” for a recent Maxpedition photo shoot. With that in mind I had asked Nep of Black Tiger Beef Jerky and Dustin Roe from The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too to join us in our debut in the world of male modeling.

Our day started pretty early, here we are for the “prep” scene. Yep, that’s my Limo being used as part of the shoot.
maxpedition photo shoot mtnbikeriders.com

The Maxpedition crew were top notch and super classy. Not only were they great guys to work with, but they’re super cool and their bags are pretty legit! The photographer was none other than the world famous Ming Wu. Mr. Wu had done quite a bit of work for Maxpedition as well as other clients in various industries.

In this photo, Art was given directions by Mr. Wu on how fast and where to ride down the trail. This was taken at Stair Steps in Aliso Woods. One thing with doing these shoots, you end up doing the same shot over and over again. Each time we went down the trail, they’d have us do it again with new adjustments made to the bags or our own gear.
maxpedition

Though we’ve only seen just a few photos from the shoot, they did provide us with some that we could use for the site. They plan on using the other photos for various campaigns, catalog pages and other marketing collateral.
maxepedition with mtnbikeriders
Here’s some of the shots of Art that was recently used for a Maxpedition Facebook contest. Art is wearing the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger.
Art with Maxpedition
Art and Maxpedtion
We’re hoping to see more of the photos in the near future. Once they’re available, we’ll make sure we share then with you all. Oh and yes we will gladly give you our autographs.

Happy Birthday RL!

Boss Man RL is going for the big 2-9 today… or was that the 3-9… awwww fuhgedboutit.

Boss Man RL is turning a year older today. Not only does he have the best mountain biking blog known to mankind, RL is also a great family man and friend. We can all attest that we are better for having known RL.

Thanks for the blog, thanks for the mountain biking and most importantly thanks for the friendship. Happy Birthday, RL!!