Bike magazine julio


Published on

Published in: Sports, Travel
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Bike magazine julio

  1. 1. Long travel just got lighter. Not just all-mountain. Every mountain. Both ways, up and down. Test ride the Remedy today at your dealer or check it out at
  2. 2. REMEDY 8™ SUSPEND CONVENTIONAL THOUGHT ©2008 Trek Bicycle Corporation
  3. 3. ©2009 FOX Factory Inc. All rights reserved
  4. 4. features 063 America’s Secret Stashes Moab, Fruita, Whistler, Pisgah. It’s a familiar litany of popular destinations. But what about the un- likely suspects? What about the trails on the other side of Downieville? What about the brown ice of Brevard, North Carolina, and the limestone laby- rinths of Terlingua, Texas? We offer the inside dirt on six of America’s hidden gems. 074 Black Rock: The Great Experiment Five hundred acres of jumps, drops, doubles and berms litter the old-growth forests of Black Rock, Oregon. The place’s very existence is a minor miracle—the result of unprecedented cooperation between trail builders and land managers. But this isn’t any ordinary freeride park—the trails are open to the public, and they’re attracting riders from around the country. Cam McCaul and Kirt Voreis stopped by to see what all the fuss was about. 082 Rad Ross Ross Schnell may be the best rider you’ve never heard of. The winner of last year’s Downieville races could even be the best all-around rider the sport has seen in years. What’s more, he’s a throwback to the sport’s gritty beginning—when riders raced Cover: Kirt Voreis killing it for fun, not fame, on hard, adventurous courses. at Black Rock, Oregon, Afraid mountain biking has lost its soul? Relax, during a shoot for NWD. Photo: Scott Markewitz/NWD Rad Ross has it all under control. THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM, MOUNT ST. HELENS, WASHINGTON. PHOTO: RICH WHEATER I 009
  5. 5. contents 039 054 108 024 112 gear departments 089 Bike Test: Cannondale Rize Carbon 1; EWR OWB29er; 021 Start Here: Lou Mazzante escapes the expected Moots Cinco; Titus FTM 024 Buzz: All-American edition 098 Beat Down: Shimano SLX: the underrated group that delivers XT performance at half the price 034 Letters: Our readers get pissed, go wild, pound it out, get a flat, sur- render to the mountains and then call it quits 102 Fresh Produce: Three pages of the latest, greatest, gotta-have-it gear 039 Splatter: Montana’s coolest restaurant; the B.C. Bike Race returns with more singletrack than ever; the best racecourses of all time; Bellingham’s 106 Showcase: An exclusive look at six 2010 trail forks and bitchin’ trails; remembering Brent Thomson; and seven reasons why four do-anything multi-tools there’s hope for riding in America 110 Kit: High-performance gear for the long haul 054 Ask Chopper: To raise or not to raise; looking out for the little guys; risking life and limb for Bike; Jenny Craig; Chopper’s unit; and physics 112 Blueprint: DT Swiss is ready to roll with its carbon for dummies all-mountain wheels 058 Grimy Handshake: Mike Ferrentino dances with meat 122 SBC: Cam McCaul flips out on the Sh*tbike BIKE MAGAZINE IS PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER SUPPORTED BY 010 I
  6. 6. BE=0@/7AA75:3B@/19;72 EWbVbe]4Z]e1]b`]Z0`OWaOR4A@ aca^SaW]bVSAbc[^Xc[^S`4A@WabVS a[O`bSabQ`]aaQ]cb`gb`OWZPWYSOgeVS`S [[]Tb`OdSZP`WZZWObZgb`OaWbW]a T`][b`OWZbcSTW`[b]eWRS]^S^ZcaVT]` STTWQWSQgORQ]b`]Z]OgbS``OW
  7. 7. editorial EDITOR Lou Mazzante PHOTO EDITOR David Reddick ART DIRECTOR Shaun N. Bernadou MANAGING EDITOR Brice Minnigh SENIOR EDITOR Chris Lesser ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Morgan Meredith ASSISTANT EDITOR Ryan LaBar EDITORS-AT-LARGE Vernon Felton, Mike Ferrentino, Mitchell Scott, Rob Story CAPTAIN GRAVITY Mike Vihon CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Johnathon Allen, Chris Dannen, Ron Ige, Cam McCaul, Colin Meagher, Dan Oko, Greg “Chopper” Randolph, Brad Walton SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS Bob Allen, Dan Barham, John Gibson, Sterling Lorence, Scott Markewitz, Stephen Wilde CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Stef Cande, Steve Casimiro, Adam Clark, Lee Cohen, Ryan Creary, Jeff Cricco, Matt Domanski, Chris Figenshau, Derek Frankowski, Mattias Fredriksson, Bill Freeman, Rene Gouin, Brendan Halper, Chuck Haney, Dave Heath, Ilja Herb, Ian Hylands, Blake Jorgenson, Anne Keller, Jamie Kripke, Doug LePage, Steve Lloyd, Victor Lucas, Jordan Manley, Christophe Margot, Sven Martin, Colin Meagher, Chris Milliman, Dan Milner, Tom Moran, Peter Moynes, Chris Murray, Haruki Noguchi, Mike Padian, Matthew Scholl, Dave Silver, Janne Tjarnstrom, Marco Toniolo, Ken Viale, John Wellburn, Woods Wheatcroft, Rich Wheater CONTRIBUTIONS: Bike magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions unless otherwise pre-agreed in writing. Bike magazine retains ALL RIGHTS on material published in Bike for a period of 12 months after publication and reprint rights after that period expires. Send contributions to: Bike magazine, P.O. Box 1028, Dana Point, CA 92629, Attn: Editor. BIKE’S COVERAGE AND DISTRIBUTION: The magazine is published 8 times per year, worldwide. BACK ISSUES: To order or receive a free list of available issues, call 866-542-2679 or SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE: To change your address or order new subscrip- tions, write to: Bike magazine, Subscription Department, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Please send your new address and the ad- dress label from your last issue, and allow eight to 10 weeks for processing. Or e-mail or call 800-765-5501 (customer service hours: Mon–Fri, 7:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m. EST; Sat–Sun, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. EST.) REPRINTS: Contact Wright’s Reprints to purchase quality custom reprints or e-prints of articles appearing in this publication at 877-652-5295 (281-419-5725 outside the U.S. and Canada). COPYRIGHT © 2009 by Source Interlink Magazines, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA. Due to the volume of inquiries, we cannot respond to all e-mail. Sorry. Occasionally, our subscriber list is made available to reputable firms offering goods and services that we believe would be of interest to our readers. If you prefer to be excluded, please send your current address label and note re- questing to be excluded from these promotions to Source Interlink Media, LLC., 261 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, Attn.: Privacy Coordinator. Thanks: To Cam McCaul showing the world that anything is possible on a crappy bike. To Race Face for the sweet digs, and the even better dinner. Julian, you are the man, and we really are sorry about all those dirty dishes. And to Brent Thomson, who left us too soon, but will always be remembered for your masterpiece at Bootleg Canyon. 014 I
  9. 9. BY LOU MAZZANTE E RIDE FOR MANY REASONS—FOR to the grocery store. Even those of us who have never ridden Moab or Whistler have seen fun, for fitness, or as an excuse to en- enough photos and YouTube clips to wash the excitement clean off those places. joy the company of a few good friends. So we seek new terrain, new trails and new destinations. Within the pages of this issue we But mostly, we ride to escape—to es- feature some of America’s best, if least-known destinations. “Secret Stashes,” which begins on cape the stasis of a life constructed around a 9-to- page 63, details a half-dozen areas with untamed trails—places such as Graeagle, California, 5 job; to escape the streets of suburbia; and, most which has hid in the shadow of Downieville for years, but has riding that is every bit as good. importantly, to escape the expected. We also include the truly remote trails of Terlingua, Texas; the challenging singletrack outside On the trail, whether it traverses remote moun- New Haven, Connecticut; and places like Ellicottville, New York, which might be the best-kept tains or slices through local parks, anything is pos- secret in the Northeast. Not only do we pinpoint the top trails in each area, we also highlight sible. Those slivers of dirt, the best of them not the best bets for camping, restaurants, bike shops and spots for post-ride margaritas. more than 18 inches wide, contain infinite possibili- This issue also includes a photo feature on Black Rock, Oregon, which might be the best ties. Each corner brings forth new risks, and new network of trails in the country still flying under the radar. Not only does the town of Falls City rewards, leading us further from home and deeper welcome mountain bikers, but the 500 acres of drops, doubles, wall rides and berms constitute into the unknown. So we pray at the altar of dirt, some of the most fun terrain in America. And speaking of flying below the radar, Rob Story and what we ask for most is an adventure. profiles Ross Schnell, who could well be the best rider nobody has ever heard of. Our sense of adventure leads us to local trails And, proving that we practice what we preach, the Bike staff is preparing for a weeklong and distant destinations. But over the years, even trip to Kernville, California, another of the hidden destinations included in our “Secret Stashes” those far-flung places—Fruita, Moab, Pisgah and feature. Although it is less than three hours from Bike’s office, none of our current staff have Whistler—become mundane. Sometimes another ever ridden there. Putting this issue together provided all the inspiration we needed to finally road trip to Utah has all the excitement of running check out its trails. We hope you find the same inspiration within these pages. PHOTO: ANNE KELLER I 021
  10. 10. buzz When Dan and I first landed in Alaska, our thoughts naturally turned to getting in a quick ride before the evening sun set. But by the time we arrived at the Gold Mint trailhead, 8 o’clock had come and gone; hopes of getting a decent pedal that day had all but evaporated. But incredibly, Tony, our guide, was putting on his shoes, testing his tires and preparing to head out. We shot this image a good two hours into the ride, in June light that refused to retreat. In Alaska, limitless terrain and endless light make it seem possible to ride forever. —Dan Barham Dan Gronross. Palmer, Alaska. Photo: Dan Barham DOWNLOAD AS YOUR WALLPAPER ■ BIKEMAG.COM
  11. 11. buzz This is Willow Koerber on the Ribbon trail in Grand Junction, Colorado. It’s a cool, scenic shuttle run (or uphill on the road) that starts on a big, wide-open slab of slickrock, like a big, flat table that is tilted sky- ward a few degrees. You can almost get lost up there until it drops into this section, where the trail winds through sand and slickrock before finishing further down the valley. —Scott Markewitz Photo: Scott Markewitz 026 I
  12. 12. It’s hard to explain what piles of dirt can mean to a person. They can be your best friend and your worst enemy, all wrapped into thirty piles of carefully shaped terra firma. This shot was taken during the final session at the Hidden Valley jumps in Huntington Beach, California. Everyone was there—the Athertons, the Lacondeguys, the Aptos clan, Hidden Valley regulars and even first-timers. Three days later, the city closed them to riding and the trails were gone. —Taylor Sage Taylor Sage. Photo: John Gibson
  13. 13. buzz This is a legendary trail in Laguna Beach, California. It is quite steep and can have bitter consequences if one comes off the trail or doesn’t make a turn. I would rate it a triple-black diamond, and it takes a skilled rider to tackle it with anything less than 7 inches of travel. This particular drop needs to be approached and ridden very slowly, braking hard before hitting the berm. It’s steeper than it looks. —Hans Rey Photo: Craig Glaspell 028 I
  14. 14. We were driving down some dirt roads in Utah when we came across a big ditch that our rental van couldn’t make it through. I looked out the windshield and saw these two big piles of dirt—one gray and the other red. There was a good run-in, a good run-out and a manageable gap. Big Red Ted and I went to work and dug until it looked rideable. I tried it a few times, but had to hit the eject button. After a few tweaks to the lip and run-in, I finally made it across. This is one of the few jumps that I’ve only ever landed once. —Cam McCaul La Verkin, Utah. Photo: Matt Domanski/NWD I 029
  15. 15. buzz 030 I
  16. 16. Although Mount St. Helens is most famous for the Plains of Abraham—a windswept, high-altitude, pumice- garden moonscape accented by “ghost trees” stripped raw by the devastating eruption—killer riding also exists in the dank shadows of this Cascades wonderland. The day after touring the Plains, we explored the remarkably lush Lewis River trail, which serves up 10 glorious miles of point-to-point ripping through Jurassic old growth. We entered the buff, tight singletrack seconds from our campsite, charging down the gentle, endless roller coaster, zipping past giant ferns, enormous trees and little waterfalls. —Rich Wheater Senja Palonen. Mount St. Helens, Washington. Photo: Rich Wheater DOWNLOAD AS YOUR WALLPAPER ■ BIKEMAG.COM I 031
  17. 17. letters between the staff here and our some über bikes come out that contributors, and edited by Vernon have a weight limit of 185 pounds. Felton. Trust me, you don’t want this group of people anywhere near a trillion dollars. There’s not a bar or bike shop in the country that would be safe. —Ed Riding characteristics for one bike would be different for every rider. Please include the weight and riding style of each test bike rider from now on. I guarantee that LOM LETTER OF your magazine (which is already GOING WILD the best one out there) would be even greater. I have many friends THE MONTH What a coincidence, the day my who ride hard and weigh over 200 Does anyone else seem to recall reading that cycling, of any type, May 2009 issue, which has the pounds. We need that information drastically reduces the count of story about Wilderness issues in to help us make educated “available swimmers” one could Montana (“This Land Is My Land”), decisions on what we ride. produce? I spent every day of a recent hits my mailbox, the front page of STEVE SLIMMON; weekend downhilling my Santa Cruz Nomad. Around the same time, the GETTING PISSED my local paper announces that the CALGARY, CANADA wife and I decided to stop “not trying,” I thought my rival was the Mt. Hood Wilderness Legacy bill in her words, and leave the baby mountain (okay, hill in the was approved. Guess what, we lost Steve, we’re glad you found the blockers in the cabinet. Midwest) until I read the latest over 110 miles of what your July rider weights useful. We’ll try to About a month later, and despite beating the hell out of myself on my issue. I literally pissed myself 2004 issue called “some of the best include them whenever we think Nomad, I proved this notion false. reading “Your Bike vs. Your singletrack in the universe.” And it will help readers like you make I was wrenching on my bike when Sweetie,” (“Mountain Biking’s all the Senators and Congressmen better buying decisions. —Ed. my wife screamed for me to come Greatest Rivalries,” May 2009). said was, “this is so great for upstairs. Needless to say, the word “positive” has never evoked such After a week of suffering on our economy and recreational emotion or surprise. Originally, I rollers in the pain cave, the first possibilities!” Duh: bikes can’t LEFT FOR DEAD thought that I would have to stay out thing out of my mouth come be ridden in Wilderness. I hardly call myself a mountain of the saddle for a few months or at weekend is, “Can I ride today?” As a former IMBA rep, I have biker anymore. Just two years least give up the DH. While I’m stoked that I don’t have to take a break from The process follows the story been involved in this particular ago my routine was eat, sleep, riding, I now have to get my sh*t pretty much to the letter, with Wilderness proposal for over ride, repeat. I would hang out at together, seriously together. the addition of two boys in Little four years. It is a sad day for the local shop and look at all the Lesson of this story: riding is not League and the glare of two dogs mountain bikers in the USA. This bikes I dreamed about riding. I effective contraception. However, teaching my soon-to-be hellion on that literally clean the post-ride new Wilderness has set a bad entered races and won, I looked two wheels how to ride seems pretty singletrack off the rig with their precedent. If they use this same under seat cushions to find spare awesome. Hopefully, he/she is as nostrils. Nice one. I hope my example in other places—asking change to buy that beautiful Fox crazy about riding as his/her old man. sweetie finds it as amusing as mountain bikers to give up 57 fork I saw shining in magazine JUSTIN; ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI I did. Now, about that beer.... percent of their access in other pages. I lived for the ride and any Congratulations, Justin—not just on ALLAN THOM; places—slowly but surely, we will free moment I hit the trail. Then the soon-to-be little ripper, but also CHICAGO, ILLINOIS be losing trail mileage from now on. something happened. I went on learning one of life’s great lessons: We did our best to refute the to high school, homework and you can’t trust anything you read in a I just peed my pants. Your enviros and their lies, deceit and school sports consumed me and, magazine. Let me guess—you’re still waiting for your six-pack abs and the collection of racing, industry, backstabbing, but we lost out as I grew, my beloved Gary Fisher secrets to super shifting. riding, products, commerce and to a better-funded and more Piranha seemed to shrink. As for getting your life in order, romance point-counterpoints organized group. Even though riding was sounds like you’re halfway there— were fabulously funny and ROGER W. LOUTON; becoming less and less a part you’ve got a wife, a nice bike, and a kid on the way. Just take care of the informative. Whoever came up PORTLAND, OREGON of me, I never canceled my hellion the way you take care of your with “Your Bike vs. Your Sweetie” subscription to Bike; you guys are Nomad and things should should be put in charge of the keeping the sport alive for me. work out. And since Troubled Assets Relief Program. POUNDING IT Your articles make me remember the little one will be receiving While I’m not sure they’d solve Just a couple of things I wanted to all of the joy biking brought me. piles our economic problems, I’d be tell you. One, I loved reading the I remember long summer days of baby out riding my bike and laughing May issue’s bike tests. To include where I rode until the sun slipped presents too hard to care anymore. the weights and riding styles of behind the mountains, and in the near future, here’s GRAHAM HOLMES; the test rider is the best idea I begging my mom to take me to something just PLEASANTON, CALIFORNIA have ever seen in a bike magazine. the trailhead. Thanks to Bike, I’m for you. Enjoy I weigh 225 pounds. I’m not fat, not through riding yet. Mark my the Bellwether Graham, that piece was written just big and strong. My riding style words, I will be back. Sedona jersey and Switchback by Chris Dannen, and the entire is pound it and ground it. I abuse JOHN PEAKE; shorts. —Ed feature was a collaborative effort my bike when I ride. I have seen ROANOKE, VIRGINIA 034 I
  18. 18. letters WIG WORLAND John, I don’t know whether to pat you on the back or slap you across the face. While I appreciate that this magazine keeps you tethered to the sport, I can’t help wondering why you so ruthlessly abandoned riding. My guess is that you’re too busy lifting weights Catch Release Intern Program and chasing skirts. Trust me, there’s more Want to spend your summer riding the best trails to life than football and cheerleaders. Surely in Southern California, working for Bike magazine? you can find an hour or two a week for We are looking for interns for the editorial, photo riding, just to keep a fresh coat of dirt on and digital departments. If you have a knack for the English language, like mountain bikes, maintain your tires. —Ed your composure around deadlines, can pinpoint random spelling mistakes buried in mountains of text, know your way around a camera or a website, FLAT ATTACK are currently enrolled in college and willing to work for credits, then we’d like to hear from you. Two damned flat tires in two days. Why? Is We’ll work you hard, show you some great trails it because I am riding an XC/trail bike on and release you in the fall, just in time to return to trails that people would say are better for an school. E-mail your résumé to: all-mountain bike? Does my bike feel pissed off and depressed that I am not shaving my only survived my job because I too have legs and going on longer rides half naked in had my ass kicked on a regular basis by spandex and not using it for its purpose? Is the mountain. The people, the stressful my bike a prude that cannot handle the legal times and all the difficulties in my life both terms of the trails I ride? Maybe my bike has at work and personally have always paled problems with jumps larger than the inches compared with the adversity brought on of travel it possess? Either way, I have to go by the mountain. Whenever I am climbing buy another tube tonight and tomorrow is just relentlessly up the Colorado Trail or trying another day, possibly with another flat tire. to push my 50-pound mud-laden bike out IAN STOWE; MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA of the woods or crouched down in the oak brush waiting out a lightning storm Ian, I can assure you that your bike is not with every mosquito within 20 miles, I am pissed at you. It is not a prude. And it toughened by the mountain. But at the definitely does not want you to shave your same time I find peace deep within my soul, legs. It only wants to be loved and maintained, which helps me not just survive, but thrive. and to have someone who can make sure the The mountain kicks my ass summer, fall, right amount of air is in its tires. Flats happen. winter and spring. It also continually adjusts Change your tubes, check for thorns, stop my perspective; it allows me to see the big plowing into every sharp-edged rock you see, picture—a picture much larger than myself. quit complaining and go for a ride. —Ed Thank you, Mike. You always find a way to express so well what we all figure out while THE MOUNTAINS WIN AGAIN grinding up and flying down the mountain, I have been reading Bike magazine since is- but can never quite put into words. sue number one and have been a subscriber JOE SARGENT; DURANGO, COLORADO since year two. I never miss Grimy Hand- shake, written by my favorite bike and life philosopher, Mike Ferrentino. The last time I wrote was after he wrote “Mountains that Speak.” He has such a great understanding WRITE US of what mountain biking is all about. His lat- est masterpiece in the May issue, “Molded by Mountains,” once again says it all. I am at the end of a very stressful job; I Bike welcomes your input, and we’re suckers for cavalier use of the English language. Letters may be ed- ited for length, but don’t expect us to fix all your spelling mistakes, okay? Send correspondence to: Editor, Bike retire in July at age 55. I have been riding magazine, P.O. Box 1028, Dana Point, CA 92629. Or send an e-mail to: mountain bikes for 27 years now. I have VERBAL RECALL In May’s East vs. West “Rivalries” feature, we misspelled Tupac’s name. Sorry, but Biggie put us up to it. Also, in the June issue, a line of text is missing from the bottom of the first page of “Making the Brand.” The words were inadvertently covered by the black background. They read: “At that time, Joel was North American sales manager and brand manager for Answer Products.” For the complete text, go to 036 I
  19. 19. :FDD@KK;% Y`bj%Zfd AXeefkHl`i`fe =fidXe$GX`ek;gXikdek1(0.0$gijek GX`ekJ_fg#Jk$fi^j#HlYZ GX`ek%=ifdZfeZgkkfoZlk`fe#k_gX`ekfefli)''08ck`kl[.'`jX cXYflif]cfm%Fli[j`^ekXdZiXkjk_cffbXe[flijb`cc[gX`ekij Yi`e^`kkfc`]`efli:XeX[`Xe]XZkfip%Lj`e^fecpk_ÔejkdXki`Xcj `efliem`ifedekXccp]i`e[cpZfXk`e^jgifZjj#ndXbjlimip ]iXdc`mjlgkfk_IfZbpDflekX`ejkXe[Xi[ÆXkfkXcZfdd`kdek kfhlXc`kp%HlXc`kp`jXcc`ek_[kX`cj#iXk_i#`kËj`efli[kX`cj% g_fkf1AXZhlj;lk`c
  20. 20. splatter E V E NTS * P E O P LE * P L AC E S * TR A I LS * C U LTU R E HUCK YOU Big Sky’s THC Café combines Montana’s PART RESTAURANT, PART Schwinn Orange Krate from) some of the best eat- You’ll vintage bikes and ride- bar, part shrine to the cult of mountain biking, The Sting Ray, an original 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, eries in the mountain-sports world—including well- find The Huck classic food inspired Huckleberry Café (known an ’87 Fat Chance, a black- and-yellow “bumble bee known haunts in Durango, Moab, Missoula, Telluride (406-995-3130) in the Big Sky Town Center, just down locally as “The Huck” or refueling “THC”) in Big Sky, Mon- fade,” team-issue Miyata and San Luis Obispo. It’s the road from the resort. station tana, is easily the coolest gravity-sports-themed from Greg Herbold’s first year as a pro, and an array entirely likely your favorite dish (like the delicious Group rides roll out every Saturday morning at 10 restaurant in the state, and of impressively broken bike fruit-and-custard-smothered during the riding season, possibly the entire country. parts and ski gear. “Jammin’ Rad Cakes,” lifted and lifts at the Big Sky Ski More than 20 vintage The Huck’s owner, Brian from Durango’s now-de- Resort start shuttling bikers bikes hang from the rafters Franks, has created a menu funct Meeting Place Café) up the hill in late June. and walls, including a inspired by (or maybe stolen is already on the menu. —JOHNATHON A LLEN PHOTO: BOB ALLEN I 039
  21. 21. splatter WOT WHAT’S ON TAP? JULY 5–10 Stage racing has flourished around the globe, but America has lacked a race of its own. Until now. The inaugural Breck Epic is a six-day race crossing 200 miles of Rocky Mountain trails, many of them above 10,000 feet. The course weaves its way through the Breckenridge backcountry and offers about 40,000 vertical feet of climbing; JULY 10–12 The Downieville Classic is a weekend of two famously rugged races. The 29-mile cross-country race offers nearly 4,500 feet of climbing and more than 5,500 feet of descending. The next day, riders tackle one of the longest downhill courses in the nation, descending more than 5,000 vertical feet in 17 miles. Add one good bar, a cool river and 500 or so mountain bikers and you have one heck of a good time; JULY17–19 We all like beer, food and singletrack. The Mt. Bike Oregon event in Oakridge, Oregon, offers huge quantities of all three. For keep it narrow DANGEROUS CURVES The B.C. Bike Race just $279, riders receive daily shuttle rides that access hun– dreds of miles of singletrack, three meals a day, two nights of The B.C. Bike Race sticks to singletrack promises many camping and locally brewed beer things—at the top of in the evenings—just bring your the list is incredible bike, camping gear and a desire singletrack to ride; tt HERE ARE PLENTY OF STAGE RACES THESE days—the Cape Epic, La Ruta de los Conquis– tadores, the Transalp and the TransRockies readily come to mind, with new races such as the Intermontane Challenge in Kamloops, B.C., and the Breck Epic in Breckenridge, Colorado, set to stage their inaugural events this summer. Most of these torture-fests singletrack classics. Organizers say they expect singletrack to account for about 70 percent of the 248 total miles. They also have added a solo category, which should appeal to those who prefer to suffer alone, as well as to racers who are unable to find a partner. Whether racing solo or with a partner, the race is no cakewalk—it features seven demanding stages, averag- JULY 16–19 Highland Mountain’s Claymore Challenge promises to be one of the most exciting slopestyle events of the year. Nineteen of the world’s top pros plan to compete, including Paul Bas, Ben Boyko, Aaron Chase, Brandon Semenuk and last year’s winner, Cam have multiple stages, tough climbs and ample suffering. ing about 35 miles each. If that kind of distance doesn’t McCaul. Expect the rider- built course to include huge But one of the more recent additions to the endurance- sound impressive, consider the technical difficulty. Every jumps and innovative stunts; racing scene, the B.C. Bike Race, has loads of something stage is a hard day in the saddle. Take the first, for ex- that many other races skimp on: singletrack. ample. While only 28 miles long, the stage is likely to “Our event has the most singletrack, period. And not walking paths, either; these are trails made by mountain bikers for mountain bikers,” take even pros more than three hours to complete, says BCBR vet and Team Jamis rider Chris Sheppard. Although the race is demanding, the level of JULY 30–AUGUST 2 Following on the heels of the Claymore Challenge is Crankworx Colorado, the only other major slopestyle contest says Andreas Hestler, the event’s spokesman and support reduces the sting. Massages will be available in America. But the freeride a veteran endurance racer. Hestler is not alone in at the end of each stage for an additional fee. event isn’t the only draw here. The three-day event, modeled this assessment. BCBR veterans and pro racers Kelli Transportation between stages and campsites for after its bigger brother in Emmett and Chris Eatough, both connoisseurs of fine the racers are dialed. And the food? Delicious and Whistler, also includes downhill, dirt, rave about the quality of the trails. It’s a “mountain satisfying. “In short,” says Eatough, “the organizers super-D, cross-country, big- air and dual-slalom contests; biker’s dream course,” Eatough says. have everything covered.” —COLIN MEAGHER For 2009, the BCBR—now in its third year—has a few twists. This year’s event will start in downtown This year’s BCBR will run from June 28 to July 4. GO ONLINE FOR MORE INFO Vancouver before sampling legendary North Shore For more information, go to ▼ 040 I PHOTO: CHRIS CHRISTIE
  22. 22. splatter THE SIX GREATEST RACES KNOW THEM LOVE THEM FEAR THEM IN THE ANNALS OF MOUNTAIN La Ruta de Los Conquistadores biking, there are racecourses, and Religious penitents go to extremes then there are racecourses. These to atone for their sins: the torment, are the six tracks that the world’s the flagellation, the long journeys. best riders approach with a mix- In the religion of mountain biking, ture of fear and elation. Some are the true masochists flock to La Ruta stops on the World Cup circuit. de Los Conquistadores. The race Others have historical significance. across Costa Rica is a four-day Still others are part of the growing painfest composed of endless hike- trend toward endurance racing. a-bikes, 30,000 feet of elevation But all of them are defining cours- gain and hundreds of miles of mud- es that have shaped our sport dy roads. And yet, year after year, and continue to awe fans. They the lemmings come. It defies logic, are mountain biking’s Kitzbühel, but if you feel compelled to suffer Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the fires of hell on two wheels, this Madison Square Garden. Steve Peat. Photo: Victor Lucas is your race. It’s not the prettiest course on the planet, but the trails of the Nevis Range before fun- has ever witnessed a crowd com- and roads of La Ruta helped define Fort William neling them into a tight, technical parable to the hordes at Fort Wil- the sport of endurance racing. For pure downhill, the king is stretch of root-infested forest. As liam.” The course also gets bonus Scotland’s Fort William. The track Steve Peat puts it: “Fort William is points for the rowdy beer garden Photo: Colin Meagher drops more than 1,700 vertical a true man’s track and is barely at the bottom. feet and is unrelentingly steep, rideable on anything other than a taking riders on a high-speed full-on DH bike. And then there’s Mont-Sainte-Anne romp through the barren peaks the crowd—wow. No other venue Mont-Sainte-Anne is the ogress of eastern Canada. Every facet of the World Cup venue is big and scary, yet undeniably irresistible. The downhill course demands Jedi-like focus—rated tops by longtime pros, it pushes riders to top speed quickly, then constant- ly challenges them with some of the circuit’s rockiest terrain. The XC trails snaking through the woods offer healthy servings of humble pie to everyone. The 4X is big and beautiful, and every single event draws legions of cheering fans. This is what World Cup racing is all about. Nowhere else combines so many world- Photo: Colin Meagher class courses in a single venue. 042 I
  23. 23. splatter Photo: Victor Lucas Megavalanche Alpe D’Huez “That was the worst, gnarliest, best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” raved former World Cup DH racer Sven Martin following the 2008 Megavalanche in Alpe D’Huez, France. This is the granddaddy of epic enduro races. Riders start, en masse, on an icy glacier with several hundred other competitors and then plummet 6,500 feet in 19 miles. The course is fast and technical, a mix of snow, scree, fireroads and singletrack. The fastest riders take about 45 minutes to Photo credit: Olivier Croteau complete the race; mere mortals must suffer for well over an hour. It is complete insanity—a course that spawned a new style of racing, and a new style of riding. 100 % Adrenaline Nevegal In racing lore, some races have a ring to their name. Something menacing. Nevegal, in the Dolomites of Italy, terrified generations of Escape to Québec, Canada, to discover the most thrilling mountain downhillers, thanks to its freakishly tough terrain. From 1996 to 1999, bike park East of the Rockies Photo: Colin Meagher • 125 km of maple forest cross-country riding • 26 km of downhill trails serviced by a gondola NEVEGAL • Inferno X-Zone will satisfy every passionate biker with its obstacle • course circuit INSPIRATION FOR A TIRE • Exhilarating downhill courses with over 2000 feet of vertical drop While Nevegal hasn’t hosted a World Cup downhill in a decade, the name lives on in the popular Kenda Nevegal tire. Since its introduction in 2004, it has become one of the most popular tires of all time—it comes stock on everything from $6,000 freeride bikes to $1,000 hardtails. The reason? Its Dirt cheap package tread works in almost every condition. And there’s a good explanation for that—when John Tomac set out to design a signature tire, he based it on the Starting at toughest course he’d ever raced. “Nevegal was extremely challenging to both the riders and the equip- ment we rode on at the time,” Tomac says. “It completely hammered the $21 * *price per person, per day, double occupancy, campsite suspension, the brakes, the frames, the wheelsets, the tires completely and, without service. Taxes extra. Certain conditions apply. Includ- of course, tested your mind and body to the fullest. ing 2 nights and access to cross-country trails for 2 days. “The top was open ski slopes with undulating, high-speed terrain. Next was the white ‘limestone of death.’ This was a steep, twisting chute of solid, rounded-off, baby-head rocks about 1 meter wide. When wet, it was seri- ously gnarly stuff. If you wadded it up in there, it was straight down onto the 1 800 463-1568 baby heads; broken bones were quite common. If you survived the chute of death, you were treated to some killer singletrack through wooded sections before getting dumped back onto the lower slopes for the finish. Simply finishing a race run at Nevegal was a great accomplishment. “When I designed a tire for Kenda that I wanted to work on almost all ter- rain, I used that course to inspire me, and called it ‘Nevegal’ as a tribute.” Hight performance demo center 044 I
  24. 24. Nevegal was a main- stay on the World Cup circuit and ground zero for some of history’s greatest downhill rival- ries. Martin Whiteley, former director of the World Cup, put it this way: “This was prob- ably, in my mind, the first track of the new generation. Nevegal had the high speed, the jumps and a magic technical section un- der the chairlift, which was awesome for both spectators and riders. Nevegal tested every aspect of downhill racing. If you won at Nevegal, especially John Tomac. Photo: Malcom Fearon in the wet, you had conquered Euro down- hilling.” DH veteran Eric Carter echoes that sentiment. “Having a good run at Nevegal was something to cherish, regardless of whether you made the podium or not. It was a beast.” Photo: Rob Jones Houffalize No place on earth has a tradition of racing two-wheeled machines in absolutely terrible conditions like Bel- gium does. And the World Cup course in Houffalize, Belgium, is the track every cross- country racer wants to race at least once in their career. The brutal, 4.2-mile-long course has hosted a World Cup 16 times. It begins with a 14-percent-grade climb right out of town, and then alternates between cruelly tilting skyward or dump- ing riders down steep and tricky chutes, such as the famed “Fosse d’Outh” and “Arsenal.” More than 40,000 spectators throng to see the carnage each year. America’s top XC racer, Adam Craig, sums it up best: “Classic mountain biking terrain, a beautiful village nestled in Belgium’s Ardennes region, tons of people who are fired up on bike racing, perfect weather (whether that means warm sun or sleet), and even organized bike-theft rings to keep things interesting.” —COLIN MEAGHER I 045
  25. 25. splatter DESTINATION: BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON North Shore-caliber trails, without the crowds CLOSER TO HOME Once passed over by riders on their way to IN JUNE THEY BEGIN TO TRICKLE INTO TOWN. BY GALBRAITH When riders wax poetic about Bellingham’s Whistler, Bellingham July, it’s a flood of F-150s, Xterras and 4Runners from amazing trail system, they’re usually referring to the stuff on has trails that are Los Angeles, San Jose, Portland and parts south; each Galbraith, the north end of Lookout Mountain. Galbraith hosts worth the detour rig loaded with pilgrims on a journey to the famed North more than 40 miles of trail renowned for chewing folks up and Shore. Vancouver’s Mount Fromme and Seymour lie just spitting them out. In truth, there are trails here for every level of rider, and all are built to across the border. Whistler, a couple of hours more. They IMBA standards by mountain bikers. can practically taste A-Line. For most of them, Bellingham, The easier, cross-country-style trails are on the north side of the mountain. Cut your Washington, is simply a place to take a leak and fill their teeth on Cedar Dust, a mellow singletrack that weaves through dense cedar forest and tanks. They have no intention of riding here, and absolutely is dotted with beginner-level log rides and ladder bridges. Then explore longer trails no idea what they’re missing. such as Ewok Village, Esophagus, Intestine and Candy. Bellingham is a mid-sized college town about an hour Many of the routes that demand serious skill and body armor are on the and a half north of Seattle. It’s a pretty place. Look to southern side of the mountain. Cheech and Chong’s Wild Ride is a great example: your left and there sparkles Puget Sound. Look to your It’s a one-way downhill trail bristling with ladder bridges, rock drops and countless right and you have the Cascades—a wall of snow-capped twists and turns. There are easy ride-arounds to all the stunts—a real plus if the mountains that march north to south as far as the eye can idea of surfing a wet, 4-inch-wide skinny onto a rolling ladder bridge scares the see. And there are trails here. Miles and miles of trails that hell out of you. Want more? Give Evolution, Scorpion and Mullet a go; all are within rival much of what you’ll find on the Shore. striking distance of this trail. PHOTOS: COLIN MEAGHER 046 I
  26. 26. Dakar XAM. All Mountain. From the beginning, the Dakar XAM earned a rep as an incredibly Up front there’s 20mm of stiff thru-axle strength to keep you firmly plush, efficient trail bike. This year, we re-worked it from head tube to planted and pointed where you want to go no matter how aggressive rear dropout, making it the best-handling/best-pedaling 6-inch travel the conditions. all-mountain bike to ever set tread on dirt. All powered by SRAM’s revolutionary Hammerschmidt: a lightweight The XAM’s mp3 rear suspension gets a new one-piece bell crank, new transmission system that shifts instantly from 1:1 to 1:1.6, effectively pivot hardware, new seatstays and dropouts for added stiffness at the providing a 22/36T chainring setup. No more chain dropping. No more back end, and a 2.63:1 shock leverage ratio that improves shock life and chain suck. No grinding chain during shifts. offers more progressive control. Dakar XAM. All Mountain. Any Mountain. All the time. Any time.
  27. 27. splatter THE CHUCKANUTS Just south of town, and west of the I-5 are the Chuckanut Mountains. The trails here are of the epic, cross-country variety and the best bet in these parts is the Chuckanut Ridge trail—a root-and-rock-infested, 4-mile-long ridgeline trail that offers jaw- dropping views of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. You’ll have to slog up either North Lost Lake trail or Cleator Road to reach the Ridge trail, but the adrenaline rush on the way down is well worth it. IN TOWN First things first—head to downtown Bellingham’s Boundary Bay Brewery. The micro-brews are amazing and the food is surprisingly sophisticated. I could be stoned to death in public for saying this, but the best Mexican food in town is undoubtedly Taco Lobo, also in downtown Bellingham. Local riders love the burritos at nearby Banditos, but Taco Lobo is the real deal. For outstanding Thai, try Busara. There are plenty of options when it comes to coffee, but the best espresso drinks are at Adaggio, just a couple of blocks north of the brewery. For the best drip coffee and breakfast, head south a couple of miles to the Harris Avenue Café in historic Fairhaven. Upscale travelers looking for lodging should try the Fairhaven Village Inn (360-733-1311); it’s within walking distance of several great restaurants, and you can pedal to the Chuckanuts in five minutes. On a budget? Try the Motel 6 (360- 671-4494); it’s within 3 miles of Galbraith’s northern entrance. —VERNON FELTON the inside line Before You Go: The local advocacy group, the WMBC (www.whim-, produces an outstanding map of Galbraith’s extensive trail system. It sells for nine bucks and, bonus, it’s waterproof. The best map of the Chuckanuts is made by Square One Maps—you can grab one at REI (360-647-8955). Bellingham has some excellent bike shops. Two of the best are the Fanatik Bike Co. (360-756-0504) and Kulshan Cycles (360-733-6440). You can pick up a WMBC map at either, as well as dig for trail informa- tion. As a general rule, folks ride year-round up here, but the best sea- son is June through October. The later months offer less mud. FOR FO TRAIL INFORMATION, MAPS, PHOTOS, VIDEOS AND ▼ GP GPS DATA OF THESE TRAILS AND OTHERS, LOG ON TO BT BTRAILS.COM. I 049
  28. 28. splatter THERE’S HOPE FOR RIDING IN AMERICA American men and women trail building. In the past year, or four years,” says Epic Rides’ combined for 40 top-10 finishes SRAM, Specialized and Trek Todd Sadow, whose Whiskey Off in the World Cup last year. Me- have combined to commit more Road race has ballooned from lissa Buhl took home a 4X World than $1 million to IMBA and 400 riders in 2006 to more than Championship, and two men— other groups devoted to building 800 this year. Aaron Gwin and Luke Strobel— new singletrack. each finished in the top 10 of a The NorCal High School Moun- World Cup downhill. It’s time to Even better, an anonymous tain Bike Racing League has be- start paying attention to what donor recently pledged $1 mil- come more than a one-hit wonder. happens between the tape. lion to create a 35-acre mountain The league has 33 teams and 560 bike park in Portland, Oregon. The racers, while its offshoot in SoCal We are finding new and in- proposed area will include trails, has attracted 14 teams and 103 novative spots to ride. Places a freeride zone and even a cyclo- riders in its first year. Now, the like Black Rock, Oregon, (see cross course. According to Mike league is looking to expand to page 74) Ray’s Indoor MTB van Abel, IMBA’s executive direc- other states. League Director Matt Park in Cleveland, Ohio, and the tor, the park is proof that “we’re Fritzinger hopes to have programs Colonnade bike park—located entering a new era of mountain in Colorado and Washington under an I-5 overpass in Seattle, bike facilities.” within two years, and a total of 10 Washington—continue to thrive. programs on the ground by 2015. Public dirt jumps and pump Local race series and grass- tracks are gaining popularity, roots events are exploding. According to the National and lift-access terrain continues The Mountain States Cup, Sporting Goods Association, to expand at Diablo, Northstar, Downieville Downhill and Fluid mountain bike participation Winter Park, Snowshoe and Ride Series all report increased increased 20 percent between Highland. numbers, proving that riders will 2006 and 2008 to 10.2 million race as long as courses don’t enthusiasts, its highest level While we continually risk suck, or cost $100 to enter. in a decade. People are stoked losing trails, there has never “Grassroots events have carried about riding. been more money available for the industry for the past three —Lou Mazzante 050 I PHOTO: DAVID REDDICK
  29. 29. splatter THE TRAILS: They have names and a trail builder, and he ap- ing the hills outside of Boulder City. like G-String, Diva, Mother and Ar- proached both with the passion of When he tired of the existing trails, mageddon. They are rocky and pain- an artist. Unfortunately, Thomson he built his own. The Mother trail fully jagged, steep in places, beauti- passed away in February, after suf- was his first, and it helped the net- fully contoured in others. They de- fering a heart attack while riding work earn IMBA’s Epic designation. scend mountains and dance through the very trails he built. Thomson canyons. And every year, they first discovered Bootleg more than THE FUTURE: Thomson’s passing become more popular. Boulder City’s a decade ago, and quickly began leaves a gaping hole in the mountain Bootleg Canyon trail network, not far building trails on the city-owned bike community, and the trails at from Las Vegas, Nevada, possesses land. By 2004, the town hired him Bootleg Canyon in limbo. The town is some of the Southwest’s most thrill- as Bootleg’s trail master, and he looking to hire a new trail master, but ing cross-country and downhill devoted himself to digging trails and several Boulder City board members tracks. More than two dozen have establishing the city as a legitimate have suggested eliminating funding been hewn into the rocky moon- mountain bike destination. for the trails. Local riders, members of scape, including IMBA Epics, rowdy the bike industry and race promoters DH shuttle runs, super-D courses THE PAST: Thomson discovered are fighting to keep the trails open. “Brent had a vision for Bootleg,” and rolling loops of singletrack. mountain biking after undergoing a —L OU M AZZANTE says David “Crash” Collins, a close friend of Thomson. “He quadruple bypass in 1994. Doctors put everything he had into it. THE TRAIL MASTER: Brent told him that he needed to exercise To contribute to the Brent Thomson He’s the reason those trails Thomson built nearly every inch of if he wanted to live, so he turned to Memorial Fund, contact Barret exist. He’s the reason mountain trail at Bootleg. He was a painter mountain biking and began explor- Thomson at bikers go to Bootleg.” 052 I PHOTOS: MORGAN MEREDITH
  30. 30. ask chopper BY GREG RANDOLPH THE BALL BUSTER has not been taking ExtenZe; QOM I am somewhat vertically we’re just average size, and we’re challenged and can’t find a okay with that.] BIBLE full-suspension rig that fits. I am about 5’4’’ with a 29” inseam, and most standover For anyone who has cramped while on the can, I suggest my soon-to-be-patented Two OF BIKE heights are too tall. I am most interested in an all- Session Technique. Session One: read until you get to the QUESTION OF THE MONTH ADVICE mountain/light freeride start of “Crucible” and pinch it setup. Any suggestions? off. Go make some coffee and I’VE SIGNED UP FOR THE TEST OF METAL IN SQUAMISH, I took this question very seriously do jumping jacks in the kitchen B.C., THIS SUMMER AND IT’S and sent an e-mail to an over- while it brews. Then head back MY FIRST RACE IN YEARS. worked colleague suffering from to finish what you started. Get I’M NOT CONCERNED ABOUT PLACING, BUT WANT TO GIVE ADD who did some research the dirty business done quickly, IT MY BEST. THE COURSE on standover heights. His effort, courtesy flush, and close the COMBINES A LOT OF MILEAGE which cost me three pints and lid. Sit on top of the throne AND ELEVATION GAIN WITH GNARLY DESCENTS. SHOULD a bourbon at a grungy watering with the lid closed. This will raise I BOTHER ADJUSTING MY hole in New York City, yielded your effective toptube height SEATPOST DURING THE RACE OR JUST RIDE WITH IT AT A the following data on this year’s and place less pressure on your CONSISTENT HEIGHT? extra-small trail bike lineup: femoral nerves, allowing you to Brother, if you throw a leg over a sit comfortably in that nice cool toptube with zip ties on the bars, you’d better care about the result. MODEL STANDOVER sanctuary and finish this rag in Pucker up and give me your best Giant Reign 31.5 ultimate style. Or get a padded, effort, because this shit ain’t free. Kona Coilair 32 gel-fortified seat. A heated one Now, forget about manually fussing with your seatpost during Norco Six 29.1 might be nice in the colder months. the race. You will lose precious Pivot Firebird 28.5 I hear old people love them. time raising it before every climb, IF YOU HAVE A QUES- Rocky SXC 31 and you can’t race with your saddle at half-mast. TION FOR OUR SINGLE- Santa Cruz Blur LT 27.8 THE BIG UNIT If you are going to fiddle with Specialized Enduro 29.2 Is there a calculation to your saddle height, make sure TRACK SAGE, SEND IT TO you do it like you are tuning a Turner RFX 28.9 determine how many violin. When you are shelled BIKEMAG@SORC.COM Yeti 575 28.5 calories one should eat mid-race, freeballing your WITH “ASK CHOPPER” IN THE to replenish the calories own seat height with a quick release is going to be a disaster. SUBJECT LINE. BECAUSE Norco, Pivot, Santa Cruz, burned from a ride? The only way to accomplish Specialized, Turner and Yeti look While it is very true that I have a consistent and efficient NOT ONLY ARE THERE DUMB seat-height change is with an like companies that realize small trouble with counting or actually adjustable seatpost like the QUESTIONS, THERE ARE bikes are purchased by people organizing anything, I do know Crank Brothers Joplin, Gravity EVEN DUMBER ANSWERS. with shorter inseams who value that the “calorie count” school of Dropper or similar product. But listen, Panama Red, their family jewels. You can’t go thought is an incomplete method endurance races are won and lost wrong with any one of those. of analyzing your body’s energy on the climbs, not the descents. needs. To provide the most Even with a trick adjustable post, you need to relax and catch your CRAMPIN’ ON THE CAN precise information possible, breath on the downhills. Going I find myself spending too I consulted a very respected flat-out with your saddle dropped may gain you 30 seconds, but much time sitting on the nutritionist. After all, Jenny Craig if you shoot your load on the throne reading Bike. My has done wonders for Valerie descent, your competition will question is, how do I keep Bertinelli—that woman is back in regain that advantage in a matter of minutes on the next climb and my legs from falling asleep? the smokehouse! use you for traction while you If you had written this to me Each minute of a ride suck flies through your teeth. three years ago, I would have gets one “unit.” We will use Use the lowered seat to gain advantage only where it is really recommended going to a “units” since “calorie” is just going to make a difference, and local Pesky Learning Center or a fancy word for “unit.” Thus, go get ‘em tiger. picking up a copy of English a two-hour ride is worth 120 for Dummies. But now that this units. If you are a woman, damned magazine has gotten each kilogram of body weight so big and bitchin’ your legs are equals two units; men get 2.5 likely to go numb while you flip units. Then suppose a PBJ through the pages. [Editor’s note: sandwich is worth 120 units. THE WINNING QUESTION RECEIVES NEW GLASSES FROM SMITH, LIKE THIS PARALLEL MAX MODEL Despite Chopper’s claims, Bike A slice of cold pizza is worth 054 I
  32. 32. ask chopper 125 units. Prepackaged astronaut food is worth between 100 and 150 units, depending on make and model. Beer is worth negative 100 units, since it is nothing more than bubbly water with flavor and blood thinners (and because assigning a proper value to beer would be depressing). Take your ride and find the total unit value. Then take your weight and multiply by the proper number of units. Then subtract ride units from weight units, multiply by 10 and subtract your IQ. Boy, that sure seems like a large number and a lot of food to carry, so help yourself out by drinking some beers, which will have a net negative effect on the amount of food you actually need to satisfy this formula. Keep in mind that the more inefficient you are (i.e., doughy and out-of- shape), the more food units you will need to add. The sooner you can eat post-ride, the better. Aim to get 1 to 1.2 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight (pounds divided by 2.2) within the first hour or, even better, within the first 30 minutes of exercise. Beer has roughly 15 grams of carbs per 12-ounce can, which means I can drink a seven-pack on the tailgate. This sounds about right, and makes me think you can trust this school of thought. In the end, get a rough estimate of the calories you need and then pay attention over time to what your body is doing. If you are feeling weak, eat more. If you are getting fat, eat less. This science is as exact as a science can get when you are addressing an art with a science. CLOWNIN’ AROUND Why aren’t there any downhill 29er bikes? Or at least a 29- inch wheel in the front? Wouldn’t this increase the bike’s ability to destroy/roll over everything in its path? There are a few obvious reasons for the lack of 29er downhill bikes. 1) Downhillers are not trendy metrosexuals wearing shants, chain- link jewelry and festooned with soon-to-be-regretted tattoos related to bike exploits. 2) By the time you put a DH tire on a 29er you would have to register it as a carnival attraction. 3) The only thing worse than a 29er evangelist is a fixed-gear poser. 4) The 29er is like parachute pants. Yes, parachute pants. They were incredibly functional, yet the concept was not altogether perfect. Why? Cramming a backpack’s worth of stuff into your pants’ pockets was a nifty idea, but you couldn’t do the centipede or a headspin without loose change, chewing gum, your tape player, urine sample and car keys spraying like water from a lawn sprinkler. They looked great on dweebs, but had limitations. The same goes for 29ers. Larger wheels roll very well, corner reasonably well, and about half the time they make riding more efficient and fun. But they also raise your center of gravity, turn slower, decrease the amount of pressure exerted per square inch to the ground (compromising tire bite, especially at speed), and deflect more under pressure due to their increased diameter. Shhhhh. Don’t have an aneurism. What is done is done, and this isn’t subject to debate—I wore parachute pants for a while, so I know a thing or two about this kind of stuff. On a downhill bike, 26-inch wheels work well, considering the frame dimensions, weight and power output of the humanoid, as well as the sartorial desires of participants. And if bigger were truly better, I would imagine motorcycles would come with cartoon wheels, too. Alas, even the 69er is a great ride, but the forces of nature make a larger wheel less optimal for DH. In short, you are never going to have a Steve Peat-level game with wagon wheels on your bike. Finally, you might find it trendy to assemble such a contraption, but be sure to wear the appropriate costume. 056 I