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.


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”.


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:


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.


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.


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

Don’t be a douche: Trail Etiquette



Now we have been down this trail before on, 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!”


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.


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

Happy MALentine’s Day

So, Valentine weekend has now come to an end. Valentine’s Day was this past Thursday. Some of you may have chosen to make a long weekend out of it. You obviously do not have kids, are not married, or, if you are sentenced to life, you have served less than 10 years of that marital sentence. You blew hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars on a created holiday to get you to do just that. You should have spent that money on something that will give you more pleasure — bike shit. Thankfully, my wife hates roses, hates ’em. I don’t have to buy her chocolates either because she, like most women, wants to lose that last 5 pounds before beach weather hits. I got the kids to create a card out of construction paper, white glue, macaroni, rainbow flakes, pixie dust, phoenix feathers, kraken scales, and unicorn. . . corns. Voila! Valentine’s Day handled. Unlike my friend, poor Captain Cranium, I get sexytime with the missus more than just my birthday and Christmas. So who needs this made-up holiday?

Let’s celebrate Malentine’s day. Malentine, the patron saint of pet peeves. Mal, from the Latin meaning bad, ill, or wrong. The following list of irritants are all bad, wrong, and make me ill:

1. Wearing bike clothes to the trailhead. Perhaps this came from my years of organized team sports. We would wear a shirt and tie, get on a bus, travel to the den of our opponent, then get dressed for battle. Now I’m not suggesting you wear your Sunday best prior to riding your bike, but for comfort’s sake, don’t wear your entire riding kit in the car. Nevermind looking like a dork-on-wheels (that’s what you are) sitting at the 241 toll plaza with your neon sublimated cycling jersey on. You’re then going to wear that sweat crusted, stinky, muddy, bloodied, Cytomax sticky, wet rag home. How hard is it to put on a clean t-shirt? Don’t tell me you are afraid of forgetting something so you get dressed at home knowing you have everything. You are an adult aren’t you? Why not just put on your helmet, gloves, and clipless shoes on at home too? I’ll grant you a tiny bit of leeway and allow you to wear your cycling shorts. Afterall, I wouldn’t want you fumbling next to your car with a towel around your waist, trying to pull down your tightie-whities, all the while terrified that said towel with catch a gust and expose your little cheeto.

2. Pre-ride bike repair. Now that you are dressed and ready to go, the rest of us begin to pedal off when you yell out to us, “Any of you guys have a pump, chain lube, Park T-handle wrench set, bearing press, or fitness I can borrow?” You knew you were riding today, right? Too busy last night catching up on this season’s The Bachelor to make sure your bike was ready to go? So you had the forethought to bring your own pump, lube, and tool set with you so as not to ask us. Use that forethought to take care of any maintenance at home. Don’t lube your chain right there before we set off either. You should know how I feel about that.

3. Dumping grounds. Okay, done dumping on you, let’s ride. WTF! Great Odin’s Raven (been watching Anchorman) look at all the trash strewn about. I hate those lazy mofos who use any bit of open land just off the road for their own dumping grounds. Sure, this looks like a great spot to dump all your shit that is too large or awkward to just leave at the curb. Even Jules and Vincent took their trash with them to dispose of properly. Or, the savages who, when on their “nature hike,” just toss their Red Bull can or Starbucks cup into the sagebrush. The only positive I can find — on a recent exploratory ride I was unsure which way would lead me back to the main road. How did I find my way out? I saw a discarded mattress, sofa, 2 t.v.s, fridge, and decomposing body. I followed the trash. The piles grew bigger and bigger then bam, civilization. Even pot farmers and coke producers pick up after themselves.

trailside trash

4. Mix and don’t match. Pick a component, any component, and stick with it. Shimano begets Shimano, Sram begets Sram, Thomson begets Thomson, so on. Your bike is so bitchin with its Shimano cranks, Sram shifters and derailleurs, Thomson seatpost, FSA stem, Easton bars, etc. Buy your bike, ride the crap out of it. When you know better, spend more, and become enlightened, stick with a manufacturer.

5. Sitting backwards. So you’re all high on yourself now because you just installed a Thomson seatpost and Thomson stem. One thing smartguy, your post is backwards. Is that why you don’t change at the trailhead? Afraid when you put on your pants the fly will be in the back?

The Right Way
The Right Way

Don’t worry, I’m not one to make fun of you behind your back. If you fit into any of the above bonehead categories I’ll call you out to your face (then make fun of you behind your back). Happy Valentine’s Day.

Sh!t Happens

As I prepare to mow the lawn I’m left thinking how my adulthood revolves around poo. There was the diaper phase for a few years. Thankfully the two money-stealing-time-wasters have learned to poo in a civilized manner. By civilized I mean on the toilet while perusing their favorite magazines. The phase of infinite fecaldom I am in now is of the canine variety. Growing up with my mom’s yapping pekingese all I wanted was a real dog. I said when I grow up I’m getting a big dog that can run and fetch and swim and guard and of course — poo, big. My 2 dogs have depleted the ozone, made the groundwater toxic, and have employed me fulltime in their waste removal. Be careful what you want to do when you grow up.

If only my dogs were this smart.

2012 Race Team Roster

Nickolaus DiBlasi
BMX Cruiser Age 26-30
Beginner 4X – Ages 18+
Beginner Super D – Ages 18+
Mens Beginner 2 XC – Age 30-39

Racing allows me to physically and mentally challenge myself. This helps push me further and faster in all aspects of life. Every race and ride poses new difficulties to overcome while honing my skills. The uncertainty along with adrenaline makes every race an adventure. I got on my first mountain bike in March 2011 and have been hooked ever since. Since that point I have raced BMX, 4X, Super D, and Cross Country MTB. I am looking forward to 2012 to further my skills and take on some downhill. The team has been very supportive and have really allowed me to grow as a rider.

Nick Diblasi 1

Jerry Hazard

Sea Otter Classic DH
13th Cat 2 40+
Mountain States Cup #4 Chile Challenge – Angelfire New Mexico
1st Cat 3 (due to mix up, had to race cat 3 – my time would have netted me
a 4th in CAT 2)
Mountain States Cup #6 Full Tilt – Telluride CO
DNF – flatted before a launch, resulted in catostrophic crash
Fall Tilt in Telluride 12 hour Endurance Downhill
Oct 1, 2011 – 1st place, SOLO Amateur Open category. 5 laps ahead of 2nd place.

I like racing mostly because I love riding. The drive to push my limits of speed and technical ability finds a home with racing. I dig the competitive nature of course, but also appreciate the brotherhood among racers – everybody is of course out to the best they can for themselves and their team, but we cheer each other on too, hoping each rider can ride to the best of their ability on a given day. I love the adrenaline, I love the feeling of hitting a drop I’ve never hit before at speed, and dialing in new turns and lines, and putting it all together – and holding it together – for 3-5 minutes at time. Being part of a team is important to me as well, it inspires me to ride better, and at the same time – I hope that I can inspire others to ride and push themselves beyond.

jerry hazard

Bryan Doney
7th place (Beginner Men 16-18)
Time 1 00:02:36.35
Time 2 00:02:38.25
Total 00:05:14.60

I have only done one race thus far in 2011, but already I love it, for me it just evokes such a great feeling whether I am in first place or last place. Especially when I pull a great run. Also, it’s cool just to see the rest of the biking community come out and get the chance to meet new people and talk to them about anything and just have a good time. But, when it comes down to it and I am at the starting gate just the culmination of adrenalin, nervousness, sunshine, and what not just gives me one of the most unique feelings that I don’t think I’d be able to get anywhere else. And really a trophy or medal is always nice, but just getting the chance to be there and experience it is what makes it all worth it and what makes it just an unforgettable experience.

Bryan Doney

Stacey Stone

First overall 18 & over Men’s 4 Cross Beginner at Southridge USA Predator Night Series with Two First place, One Second place. 4th place in my first Super D race.

I’m a 45 years old, 4 Cross, Super D, Downhill and BMX.Started racing BMX in 1979. Advanced to Expert while riding with the top National rider in my weekly racing.

Stacey Stone 1

Mark Tomas

Class- Cat 2
Discipline- XC, and Single Speed
2009 Sc Velo Triple Crown Series – 1st Overall ( Cat3 )
2010 Sc Velo Triple Crown Series – 5th Overall ( Cat2 )
2011 Southridge Winter Series Race 5 – 1st ( SingleSpeed )
2011 Knobby Time Series – 1st Overall ( Cat2 )

I race for the fun of it. I enjoy challenging myself on and of the course. Weather its training with my
friends or giving all I got at the race, simply put, I just like to ride.


Dan Burdett
-Cat 2/3
-Discipline: XC/SS, SD
-Southridge Winter Series: First Overall
-Over the Hump: 12th Overall (missed a few races & was short for overalls)
-SC Velo’s Triple Crown Fall Series: 4th Overall (Currently, one race remaining)

I like to go fast. But seriously, I enjoy the competition and challenge of racing. It pushes you to find your limits while daring you to see how far past what you thought were your limits how far/hard/long you are actually able to go. It brings your weakness to light and shows you where you need to work and improve.

Dan Burdett 2

Corey Pond
Expert 19-26

For BIO on Corey Pond, please view this PAGE.

Corey Pond 1

Wes Castro
2011 SRC Overall Champion DH

I race because there’s beer waiting for me at the finish line.


Art Aguilar
Expert 43-50
DISCIPLINE: Downhill, Dual Slalom, Cyclocross P/T DISCIPLINES: XC, Super-D
Best for 2011:
SRC – 5th Overall Yr.
Cal-State series- 4th Overall
Marzocchi Predators series- 5th Overall
Fontana Nationals- 5th place

I have been racing Downhill since 1997 and I have seen the sport grow and wither, but in all I have never wanted to stop what I do for a couple of reasons, one it’s the people I have met alone the way and the people I meet now. There are no fake people I have ever met on this journey. We all like what we’re doing weather were racing or on a trail ride. Number two is the racing, the thrill of pushing your bike and yourself over any course. I like the feel of the drive and the passion of racing. This is the reason I have done it for so long.

Art Aguilar 2

RL Policar

Sport DH 27-34
2009 SRC Downhill Champion
2010 Fontana City National
2011 Shimano Winter Series-3rd, and 5th Place
2011 SRC 3rd Place Over All DH

I love riding bikes and racing for just makes it even more exciting. I typically go out to the races to have fun, and if I get an award for doing well, then that’s just icing on the cake! Our team is made up of an excellent group of guys who have the same mindset and core values. I’m a bit of a fashion bug when it comes to racing. I like to show up at the races with any number of my jerseys, it could be my tuxedos, Evel, RAD Racing or my team issued. I figured, if I’m going to race, I might was well look good while I’m doing it!


Photo Caption Contest

Here’s your chance to win something from Not really sure what you’d win, perhaps a sticker, a Size Medium “OG-Team” Jersey (similar to the one I’m wearing), a tube, used underwear (Joe’s) or a back rub form David “Sexy” Sanderson.

So leave your comment below, and the best one wins. We’ll contact you directly so make sure you type your valid email address when leaving a comment.

Contest ends Sept 17th, 2009.

Photo courtesy of “Gansta Dino”

Trail Bunnies

Trail Bunnies: mysterious creatures of the mountain biking trail. Trail bunnies come in many sizes and assortments which have been designated as sub-species. This ubiquitous creature is commonly found all over the world on the trails. Trail bunnies have been thoroughly studied by men but their thought patterns are still not completely understood. Who am I kidding? Their thought patterns are not understood by men at all.

A REAL Celeb-Bunny

The first sub species of the mysterious trail bunny we will examine today is the Celeb-Bunny (CB). The CB is a very rare creature indeed. Most CBs are mistakenly identified and should be categorized as Faux Celebs Bunnies (FCB). The main differences between the CB & FCB are their methods of transportation and living conditions. They’re usually found in designer furs, sporting small white lines into their ears while also palling around with Fido.

Fido, in this case, is usually also in designer furs, small in stature compared to other Fidos, loud and not particularly useful for anything other than being loud. CBs have a few interesting traits that distinguish themselves from other trail bunnies: STRONG fragrant odor, overly large eye coverings and mysterious colorful markings on their face.

Not a real Celeb-Bunny

Celeb-bunnies & Faux Celeb-bunnies should be avoided at all costs. Their propensity to overreact to the slightest change in conditions is astounding. Take special care not to get too close as they scare easily and will call their bunny friends to rough you up or, even worse, close down the trail for mountain bikers. Notify them of your presence, move around them quickly and skedaddle!

The second sub species of the mysterious trail bunny is the Adventure-bunny (AB). The AB is not easily discerned on the trail. It sometimes takes multiple meetings with them before it can be determined that they are an actual AB versus a CB or FCB. It is important to distinguish the type of trail bunny you come across while out on the trails because they all have different demeanors and reactions to stimuli.

Adventure-Bunny is serious, pic from

The Adventure-Bunny is very serious about their time on the trail. They are not there to draw attention to themselves, but many times that is a byproduct of their working, out on the trail. The AB may have those odd white markings into her ear, but the rest of the garb is all business. The AB is there to get her work done. Due to the amount of time the AB spends on her work, out on the trail, she is very familiar with trail etiquette and is pleasant but focused.

The Adventure-Bunny is definitely the bunny to keep an eye on. If they are out with Fido, it is a substantial Fido, one capable of causing damage if need be. If traveling in packs, the AB is known to be competitive and will use your riding by as a “distraction” to gain a competitive advantage over the other ABs. This is what you need to be aware of as being used sucks.

The last type of Trail Bunny is also quite rare but easily discerned. We call them Advanced-Adventure-Running-Bunnies or AARB for short. The AARB is truly a unique creature and rarely seen solo. They are usually doing weird things like jogging an 18 mile loop around Chino Hills State Park. The AAB is the natural progression of the AB but thankfully not all ABs become AARBs. AARBs are usually the seniors of the trail bunny society. They also have the darkest coats from sun exposure, but do not normally sport the funny white lines leading up to the ears.

An Advanced-Adventure Running Bunny, stopping to think, note the dark fur coloring and lack of white lines leading up to the ears

Interestingly enough, their exposure to the sun and vast amounts of time have mellowed them out rather than making them into curmudgeons. The AARBs are usually the nicest trail bunnies out there, but they too are serious about their time on the trail. Also interesting is despite their advancement, they are still physically strong, mentally sharp and enjoyable to communicate with. Approach them joyfully and you will normally receive a like response.

Thank you for reading about the Trail Bunnies and their sub-species. Next up, we will examine the suicide rabbits and their counterparts the death defying ground squirrel. These guys love running towards spinning wheels and trying to jump through them! Stay tuned.

Question for the Weight Weenies!

Is there ever a line where the price to weight loss ratio is too much for the wallet to handle? I’m just throwing this out there for the weight weenies to chime in on and if you think “just lose some weight from the engine” instead… well I hear ya already!

I came across a company called Scrub Components that does rotors for disc brakes. Their rotors are pretty cool looking and their weights are really good. A 160mm 6-bolt rotor comes in at whopping 52 grams. Very impressive to say the least. Also impressive is the price: $145 for ONE rotor without bolts. Putting matching 160mm rotors on a bike cost $290! That doesn’t count the cost to switch to organic or resin pads which are a “must”. Add those in, but re-use your existing bolts and your total cost comes out to $334 before shipping.

Alligator Serration Disc rotor

Compare that to Alligator Serration rotors. The 160mm version weighs a decent 92 grams, not portly by any means but no where near as light as the Scrub counterparts. The price, though, is where it shines: $12.98 per rotor via Although forty grams heavier than the Scrub Component rotors, the Alligators are less than 1/11 the price.

If you’re doing the math, each gram you save upgrading from the Alligators to the Scrubs cost $3.85. Not too shabby when I put it that way, but multiply that by the 80 grams you save and it comes out to an extra $308 before shipping. Is the 80 gram weight loss really worth the extra money?

By the way I’m not picking on Scrub Components. They’re made in the USA and their users seem to like them. I’m only considering the weight and cost aspects of these components. For all I know Scrub rotors could be the best ever and Alligators could be so bad I wouldn’t put them on a bike thief’s ride.

Not for the faint of heart

Came across this link to the 15 Greatest Mountain Biking Crashes. Yikes. If you get queasy just thinking about crashes, do not watch.

Grotesque bodily damage
No. 10 at about 32 seconds.
No. 4 at about 33 seconds.

No. 1: I’ve seen before. It happened at Carrizo Gorge in San Diego. Here’s a link to the guy who posted it. The link has bloody pictures.