We’ve all been there…you’re riding and you’ve got an urge to fart. Well if you’re over 40…don’t trust that fart! Why? Well for the simple reason of you being older. Your bung hole ins’t as tight as it was when you were younger. Plus you’re not as regular as you used to be. So that means you could still have some poop left over in your colon and when you fart…BOOM! It’s a SHART!
Nothing worse than having to clean out your riding shorts after trusting a fart…don’t even bother right? Just throw those $100 pair of shorts away. I’m sure you tried to hose off the skid marks..but sometimes those poop particles just stay within the padding.
Anyway, let’s get back to what we were talking about…farts at 40. Ya man, hold it in…or better yet, burp it out! I’m sure you know how to do that, right? What you do is this, when you feel the urge to fart, push it back in by doing a simple keigel exercise. This will allow your sphnicter to bounce the fart back up your intestines and you later burp it out. Try it…practice the keigel…did you burp?
One of the benefits of riding with close friends is the talk time you get. I’ve called it Therapy on Two Wheels. I’m not sure about you, I tend to ride with some of my best friends. These are the people who know me and my story like the back of their hand. One of my riding partners is The Moe. We’ve been friends for nearly 20 years. Our friendship actually started from mountain biking.
Throughout the years we’ve both gone through some challenging times. The Moe had to deal with a divorce about 10 years ago, and recently I had to deal with divorce. Those two events in our lives were…to say the least tougher than anything we’ve had to deal with.
Fortunately we had mountain biking to help us cope. The Moe and I would often schedule rides and for those two hours, we talk about all sorts of stuff. It starts off with the latest news with each other, new toys or gadgets we just bought. But a few more miles into it, the real stuff gets aired out.
What’s cool about Therapy on Two Wheels is that while you do get angry or frustration comes out about what you’re talking about. You can easly let out that energy to the pedals. Sometimes I just zone out and let it all go as I roll through the trail
After all that purging, there’s usually a peace that comes over you and allows you to take stock of how good life is. While bombing down the hills, I am usually smiling ear to ear and quenching all that angst as the cool air hits my pretty face.
So the next time you’re feeling stuff, need to vent or get a different perspective, try mountain biking with a good friend. You’ll find that talking through life stuff while riding is definitely helpful.
One of the beefs I have with XC mountain biking is this constant need to go fast. What I mean is, people can get so caught up with their Personal Record or wanting to be King of the Mountain. Hey, I get it, you want to see how well you’re progressing with your training and riding.
But my main issue is that people just don’t take the time to soak it all in. Enjoy the scenery, smell that fresh air and ride in a casual pace. Years ago we coined the term “Relaxed Vibe.” It basically means we go out there and have fun. We take a bunch of photos, videos and tell jokes.
Personally I appreciate those types of rides more than the ball busting fast paced rides. For starters, a relaxed vibe ride means less injuries. When you’re going at 100%, you’re more likely to tear something and the margin for errors are way higher. Crashes, breakdowns, and other problems can be mitagated by going at a slower pace.
So on your next ride, go a little slower. Soak up the experience and have fun.
When I look back at all my years of mountain bike riding and racing I have done, then come across something I have kept as a memento from my early days, it makes me think just how far we have progressed with bikes, parts, and riding gear.
While reorganizing my mountain bike area of my garage I came across my first DH helmet. This was one of Troy Lee Designs first helmets that he brought out, sort of, but he did and it was the “Sh_t to have” (read on).
After strolling through memory lane in my mind of those fun DH days, it made me think about what this helmet resembles or more about what it represents today. There’s no way this would be close to a DH helmet by today’s standard. Then it hits me! It’s more like an Enduro or All-Mountain helmet.
THE FUTURE IN THE PAST
It was called the EDGE Comp, but what most of you out there may not know is, the Edge Comp started life with a well-known helmet company. My guess is they thought their name would make the sales in mountain biking, but as we all know this may not be the case and back in the early days of mountain biking this really didn’t work to often by name and reputation alone.
Shoei Helmets brought out their first mountain bike helmet with no chin bar at the time, it was a new cool style XC helmet. Something way different then the traditional XC helmet (which had about as much style as an all foam helmet from KMART).
We go back to 1990, Shoei helmets (big in the moto market) thought to break into the MTB market, calling the new helmet the RC3 it came with no removable chin bar (like the TLD Comp) and looking to capture the XC crowd by storm Shoei was heading in the right direction, or so they thought.
Shoei knowing Troy Lee for being a leading graphics painter in Moto race circles, thought Troy Lee could do something with it, spice it up a bit, make it look COOOOOL.
Troy Lee recognized the potential with the helmet. He tweaked the peak, added a decal graphics package with it so you could make it cool and “BAM” you have a seller.
Next you have some of the top pro riders at the time wear it, BAM!! Pros loved this helmet, Troy Lee eventually acquired the rights to the RC3 and Troy Lee called it the Edge Comp.
With Downhill becoming more and more popular in the mid 90’s, Troy Lee saw the need for more protection. At this point he added a chinbar that could be removed simply by unscrewing the four screws. suddenly you have the best of both worlds, a DH helmet or an open face XC helmet.
Something we call All-Mountain, Trail, or Enduro helmets today.
THE FUTURE NOW
I started noticing what made this helmet so unique in itself is that when you look at all the features it has, you see what a lot of the newer helmets have in them. The DNA of the Troy Lee EDGE Comp is evident with the new designs out there from Its full rear / side head coverage, removable chinbar, large venting and overall fit, not to mention cool style.
I found it funny to look at it and think, “Wow, the new helmets out there today are not that much different in the style and design structure (OK structure is different, but you know what I’m talking about).
Just look at the Bell Super 2R, Giro Switchblade, Leatt DBX 3.0., 6D, Fox and so many more. When you compare the look of these helmets in full-face or All-Mountain mode to the older Troy Lee Edge [RC3] they share the same general DNA features. Some may be a full-face helmet with removable chinbar, big venting, or All-Mountain / trail helmets like 6D, FOX, and others. In other words you get great coverage and comfort for long rides all in one.
LOOKING AT THE NEW
With the advent to new technologies, better materials, and better understandings of head trauma, cycling helmets have become far better safety wise these days.
Style is everything to most of us, I mean really, we have to look good on the trail. From the moment you pull up to the trail and unload your bike the style points are starting with your peers, Lol.
All kidding aside we do care about safety and the manufactures care as well, especially to the head.
You will find many companies out there using the regular old EPS designs still and there is nothing wrong with that at all, but if you have the chance to help save your head with a bit more safety, why not be smart and do this for yourself.
We may all know someone that may have had a head injury from mountain biking, I know I have and with what’s out there now makes me wonder if it would have made a difference had my friend been wearing one of these new helmets today.
THE NEW MOUSE TRAP
These new designs come in many acronyms. The most well-known of them all and I believe one of the first was MIPS. You have 360Deg Turbine Technology by Leatt, and 6D has ODS.
These new technologies have been the big game changer for off-road cycling helmets today. Manufactures are making helmets that will help the rider to better survive a nasty shot to the old noddle. Even if you may not have a whole lot up in that area, let’s keep what you do have intact, shell we.
What do these safety features do? There are two things that are being achieved here, one is the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and number two is the absorption of energy during impact at concussion level.
So, let me give a brief explanation of what these do for you, told by the companies that make them.
Most of you out there may know or have heard of what MIPS is. The MIPS system is used widely by many companies.
Some will simply add this to their helmets EPS liners, while other companies will design it into their helmets for better fit with your head.
Bell uses it in their Super 2R, Giro in the new Switchblade, and many bicycle manufactures like GIANT use the MIPS systems with their MTB helmets.
MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, this is a leading slip-plane system placed within the helmet to help reduce the rotational forces that result from impact.
Kind of like having a floating layer the will move when hit.
360Deg Turbine Technology
LEATT, a leading safety company known for the development of neck brace protection has developed their own system called 360Deg Turbine Technology. Turbines made of 3D molded energy absorbing material.
The best way to describe this is they look like small rubber disc that are placed within the EPS liner around the helmet.
The two advantages to this are the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and the absorption of energy upon impact at concussion level.
6D helmets is another company that takes their helmet safety seriously. They have developed their system called Omni-Directional Suspension technology (ODS for short).
What make their helmet safety unique is how it works. You will notice the word Suspension in their description of the technology.
That’s right, suspension in a nut shell or brain bucket in this case. 6D has dual EPS liners with Elastomeric Isolation Dampers in between. What this does is allow for downward and upward, rotational, and side to side impact safety.
If you look at one of their cut-away, it seems like it would be free floating within the two EPS liners with little rubber shocks so to speak. Very cool.
PICK YOU POISON
This is just the tip of what is out there when it come to new helmet safety. It blows me away to look at my old Troy Lee and see what we have today versus what we have now. It makes me think, “WOW, I rode in that thing and took a killer hit to my head in it while racing a Big Bear AM-CUP. I rang my bell for sure and it saved my head, but how would that hit have differed to my head while using one of the new helmets with this new safety technology in.
With all research in head trauma, new technology and materials, it has made one thing clear.
Companies care about their customers well-being, not just making a buck off of us.
So, when you are out there and you are ready to make that next helmet purchase give a little thanks to guys like Troy Lee and Shoei for seeing the future, pushing the envelope and making us safe.
And give thanks to all the new guys that are pushing forward on how to keep us riding everyday.
If you ever raced downhill or XC with your buddies then you may want to start a wager. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say your group of riding friends are participating in a race, then why not bet each other a 6 pack of beer? Sure the event will rank riders based on their finish times, but to add some fun to it, do the beer thing.
Let’s say you all are doing a DH race; everyone is timed to see who gets to the finish line the fastest. So the premise is this, each of you has to bring a 6 pack of beer. Make sure you all keep it in a cooler so you can enjoy it after. Go race and once they post the results, see which one of you came in the fastest. Back in my racing days, there were a few of us who were in the same age group as well as same riding level. It was pretty fun to compete with each other to see who came in the fastest. Sometimes the times would differ by thousands of a second, while other times we knew that the fast guy in our group would win. However, there were times we’d see an upset. The fastest guys in our group wouldn’t always be fast. Often times they’d come in too hot during the race and crash, thus causing them to lose.
One of the things we figured out during our time DH racing was “slow means fast.” This mean that sometimes you have to go slow so you can go fast later. I’ll give you an example; there was a deep rutted turn that I was having a hard time on during practice. I talked to one of the Vet Pro riders to get some advice on how to handle it. He told me to just go slow. At first it didn’t make sense because you’d think I would have to go fast…I mean it’s a race isn’t it? He explained to me that if I go slowly on that section, I won’t risk crashing or making a mistake, and I could make up the time somewhere else in the course. Makes perfect sense right?
Alright, back to our bet for beers. Another game you can play is BettingTop 10 with your buddies. So all of you puts in $10 in a pot. If you or your friends make it on the top 10 of the top finishers, then you pay accordingly. But the higher you are on the list, the more money you get. So out of your group, let’s say one person gets 10th, another 7th, and another 2nd, then the person who got 2nd would get the whole pot. Doing this just ads some additional fun to your race experience. Besides, it’s a great incentive to do well for the next event.
So you’re out riding, and you put some force down on the pedals and clickity slip! Ugh. You try again, but click…clickity slip! From my experience that usually means my drive train is worn out. If you’re anything like me, I usually look for the best value in parts. I tend to shy away from anything super high end because all this crap wears out anyway. So I might as well save money when I’m replacing parts.
Personally I like to go on Amazon or Ebay to shop for my parts. I’ve been doing this for years. Ya I know that we should all support our LBS, but I’ve got to support myself first. Anyhow, I ordered some value parts and it came in within a few short days.
What you see is the following:
KMC X10.93 10-Speed 116L Stretch-Proof Bike Chain fits SRAM Campagnolo & Shimano
Red Derailleur Pulley Set Upgrade for Shimano & Sram 9/10 Speed Derailleurs
I went with the KMC because I’ve used this brand before and I’ve never had issues of them snapping. This is my first run with Sunrace. I honestly bought it because it was black. Then I needed some new pulleys since mine are cracked in half. I bought these, not because they have ceramic bearings, but because they were cheaper than the SRAM brand and they were red. My total spend was $66.35 with free shipping. If I had spent the money on SRAM branded stuff it would have been over $90, so going with the value parts I was able to save $23.99.
Once I get these bits on Madea, I’ll post a quick assesment on how they did. In the mean time, here’s a video to keep you entertained.
Well this will be the last year in Vegas and day 1 was great, big crowds, great products to see, and it looks like the E-Bike crazy is still big here.
So sit back and check out INTERBIKE 2017 at a glimpse.
ROTEC CYCLES IN THE HOUSE
John Sullivan is one guy who has kept a dream alive in my opinion. ROTEC Cycles came into play in the late 90’s early 2000’s. With the likes of Eric Carter and Geoff Scofield (ex BMX pros and legends) at the helm racing a bike that was unique to the norm.
I’m not sure of the story of how John Sullivan took the ROTEC name and went from there ( a story for another time).
He made changes from the original adding the Mert Lawwill’s famous rear end design that was on Yeti and Schwinn at one time, which brought gold to both companies I might add.
Refined, tweaked and made to conquer the meanest World Cup courses the new ROTEC 29’er and 27.5 will do just that.
Sitting on this new ride one can only feel it has the soul to grab gold.
ROTEC’S OTHER BIKES
ROTEC has also has their PARK bike. You want to have fun hitting the slopes, jumping, and all around fun this is your ride.
On the horizon John introduced his new Carbon XC frame. Clean looks, we can’t wait to see this built up.
ALPINESTARS IS AN “A”
Alpinestars knee and elbow protection is top notch.
Alpinestars has the gear and they have the gold from champions like Gwin, with the dedication they carry over from the racing heritage, Alpinestars is here to protect you.
GREEN GURU GEAR
Look as mountain bikers we have a need to be able to carry our beer, well Green Guru Gear has solved this problem for our need to bring our favorite suds with us. Insulated or none insulated, made from reusable materials these guys got it going on and made in AMERICA in Colorado.
KALI HELMET TECH AND SOME NEW PADS
Talking the tech on KALI helmets was one thing we have always wanted to hear and it was great to have a minute or two to hear it.
We also got to see and feel the new knee pads that KALI introduced as well.(yes they look like someone’s out there, but with a touch different)
NEW KALI KNEE PADS
You may think these look like someone else pads, but they are made different and have added protection.
Two weeks ago I was feeling down. Rather than drinking my way to happiness, I decided to get on the bike and do a short ride. 6 miles to be exact. Mind you it’s been months since I’ve ridden so that meant my pace was slower than usual. What’s difficult for me is when I was riding, all sorts of emotions started coming up and at one point I wanted to cry. Eh…this sucks.
Then part of a trail had a little jump, I took it and while in mid-air, I quickly remembered why I love to ride. My heart jumped and all my sorrows went away and it produced a big smile on my face. Don’t get me wrong, the whole ride was just tough on my body. I took everything slow and wanted to enjoy the moment, you know, be present.
I stopped at a local lake to just take it all in. I was grateful for the beauty that surrounds me. Maybe if I just approach riding as a way to enjoy what’s around me and not focus on what was and focus on what is, that might help me get back into it a bit more.