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Ballin' On A Budget at the Stone King Rally

Jul 19, 2022
by Mike Kazimer  
Stone King Rally. Day one Arvieux to Pontechianale 45km 1600m ascent 3390m descent.
Showing some thigh.

The Stone King Rally is a six day enduro race that takes place on the border of France and Italy, racking up a total of 8,014 meters of climbing and 20,297 meters of descending. The terrain is big, with mountains looming in every direction, and the days are long, often including multiple hours of hike-a-bike to get from one stage to another. It's the type of bucket list event where prior preparation is key – an extensive packing list is sent out beforehand, full of items intended to make sure that participants and their bikes make it through all of the days in one piece.

I read that packing list closely and put together two duffle bags full of carefully selected gear. My favorite riding shorts, a fancy rain jacket, clipless pedals and fresh shoes, spare parts, a first aid kit – I was quite pleased with my packing job when I checked my bags at the airport in Vancouver. Unfortunately, all of that preparation went out the window when my bike and luggage disappeared into the black hole known as the Montréal–Trudeau International Airport.

That's how I found myself in a Decathlon store in Nice, France, trying to find enough gear to get through a few days of racing, hoping that my bags would show up eventually. As it turned out, my bike did arrive in time for the third day of the race (I was able to borrow a Santa Cruz Bronson demo bike for the first two days), but the rest of my gear never made it. That meant I ended up going the whole week with the following items:

Stone King Supplies

2x Decathlon synthetic t-shirts
2x Decathlon synthetic boxer briefs
1x Decathlon rain jacket
1x Decathlon board shorts
3x socks
Quechua sunglasses

1x camp towel
Toothbrush, toothpaste

1x jeans
1x cotton t-shirt
1x hooded sweatshirt
Sleeping bag, 70° F temperature rating

1x gloves (borrowed)
1x Specialized riding shorts (borrowed)
1x Sweet Protection knee pads (borrowed)
1x Bluegrass back protector (borrowed)
1x Black Diamond headlamp (borrowed)

Specialized Gambit helmet
Smith Squad goggles
Five Ten Sleuth DLX shoes

Evadict 5L trail running pack
Lezyne multitool
Lezyne pump
Hutchinson tire plug kit
SRAM AXS battery

That may look like a pretty long list of stuff, but I can assure you there were more than a few things that would have been nice to have. Soap being one of them...

Gloves that were the right size and didn't rip after a single day would have been appreciated, and a sleeping bag that was more than a glorified blanket would also have come in handy. In any case, I figured it'd be interesting to dig a little deeper into my bare-bones setup to see what worked and what didn't.

Remember, mountain biking is serious business.


The two synthetic shirts that I bought actually performed pretty well, especially considering their 6 Euro price tag. I'd considered doing the race with just a cotton t-shirt, but I'm glad I didn't go that route. There were enough temperature swings that being stuck with a wet, clammy shirt wouldn't have been ideal. The polyester tees dried quickly and didn't really smell all that bad, as long as I was able to get them aired out before the next day of racing.

The weave of the fabric is a little coarse, and the sleeves are a little short, which I mainly noticed on those really hot days when I wanted to wipe sweat from my forehead. Overall, this purchase worked better than expected, although I'd be willing to pay a little more for a softer fabric and better fit.


I splashed out a whopping 18 Euro on these shorts, initially planning on using them for swimming in the Mediterranean. They're obviously very stylish and did a great job of allowing my white thighs to get more sun than they're used to. The gap between the shorts and the knee pads I borrowed is pretty special too. As good as they look, they ended up being a little, um, snug, in the crotch area for extended riding. They did hold a phone in the right pocket well, which is something that can't be said for all MTB-specific shorts. Much to the disappointment of the other racers, I ended up borrowing a pair of shorts that fit much better, which reduced the risk of burning the crap out of my thighs and blinding innocent bystanders.

I wouldn't really recommend the Sleuth / Stamp combo for a week of enduro racing.

Shoes & Pedals

FiveTen's Sleuth DLX shoes are casual flat pedal shoes that work well for dirt jumping, pumptrack riding, and shorter rides. The rubber isn't the stickiest in their lineup, and the soles aren't all that stiff. Still, I was glad that I wore these on the plane instead of the slip-on Vans that I'd considered; that would have made for an even more challenging week. While I would have preferred a more supportive sole, I did make it through the whole week without any blisters or hot spots, and the shoes are still in reasonably good shape. There's a small amount of delamination happening near the toe on the left shoe, but I'll be able to fix that with some Shoe Goo.

The real culprit was the Crankbrothers Stamp plastic pedals that I bought. At the shop they looked fairly wide, and the pins seemed tall enough that I figured I'd be fine. Turns out, I was wrong. The Stamp plastic pedals have a convex profile, meaning that they're thicker in the center than they are at the outer edges. In addition, that plastic around the axle is very slippery, which meant my feet were constantly getting knocked out of place - I spent way more time than I would have liked doing a quick seat bounce in order to get my feet re-centered on the pedals.

Stone King Rally. Day three

Hydration Pack

I try to avoid wearing a pack whenever possible these days – I usually stash as much as I can on or in my bike, and then wear a small hip pack. However, when it comes to carrying enough gear for an all-day ride there's really no avoiding it. This vest-style Evadict 5L running pack from Decathlon caught my eye, and the 25 Euro price sealed the deal. Even when fully loaded with snacks and my bulky raincoat thing it stayed in place, and there was just enough room to carry what I'd need for each day. There's not a ton of internal organization, and the stretchy mesh pocket on the outside is a little shallow, but still, for the price it's a handy little pack.


Wearing a heavy full face for an entire day of riding can take its toll, which is why I went with Specialized's lightweight, DH-certified Gambit helmet. At only 640 grams and with plenty of ventilation, including a generous opening in the front of the chin bar, it's a good option for a race like this, where there's lots of pedaling and pushing.

For an actual DH race or doing lift-served park laps I'd go with something more substantial, but in this case it was the right tool for the job. I luckily kept it upright so I didn't need to actually test its impact resistance, but the fit was comfortable and being able to spit or drink through the chin bar opening came in handy on multiple occasions.

Stone King Rally. Day five

Bike Setup

I rode a Santa Cruz Nomad when I attended the Trans-Provence back in 2014, so it seemed fitting to bring the new Santa Cruz Megatower along for Ash Smith's latest race creation. There's a full review of this bike on the way as part of the upcoming enduro bike Field Test, so I won't go too deep into the ride characteristics here. I will say that the geometry worked well for the variety of terrain that the race covered - it's slack enough for the steeps, but maneuverable enough for the tight switchbacks that were created hundreds of years before mountain bikes even existed. It pedals well too, especially for a bike with 165mm of travel, which meant I never had to reach for the climb lever to quiet things down.


I spent a decent amount of time tinkering with my suspension setup before the race, even spending a day in the Whistler Bike Park going back and forth between a coil and an air shock to decide which I preferred (I chose the air-sprung Super Deluxe). All of that tinkering didn’t amount to much for the first two days of the race when I was on a borrowed Bronson, but the four big days of riding I did get in on the Megatower ended up being a good way to validate my setup.

As the race progressed the only real changes I made were to the low-speed compression on both the fork and shock. With my overall level of fatigue building, I started to give comfort a higher priority over support and began backing off the compression. This resulted in a softer overall setup, which helped out when rolling blind into awkward, rocky sections of trail. Even with the compression lowered the fork rode high enough in its travel to prevent it from feeling like I was getting pitched over the bars. I'd say the changes felt similar to what you'd experience when dropping a few psi from your tires, something I wasn't willing to do due to all those aforementioned rocks.

My pressures and settings for my 160 lb weight were as follows (all clicks are from closed):

RockShox SuperDeluxe Ultimate shock: 160 psi / 30% sag. HSC: 4. LSC: 2 at start, switched to 4
RockShox Zeb Ultimate: 55 psi, 1 token. HSC: 4. LSC: 7, switched to 12. Rebound: 8.



The Megatower I used for the Stone King was still wearing the Continental Kryptotal tires that it was set up with for the recent enduro bike Field Test. I'd been impressed with the traction and overall feel of those DH-casing tires in Bellingham, so I figured I might as well put some more miles in on them overseas to see how they held up.

As it turns out, they worked extremely well, and even with that Supersoft compound the rubber isn't worn nearly as much as I'd expected. I ran 21 psi up front and 23 in the rear and didn't have any punctures, despite taking some poor lines through several high-speed sections where sharp rocks seemed to be perfectly placed behind tall grass that made them impossible to avoid. I'm pretty picky when it comes to tires, but the Kryptotal's have more than made the grade – they're currently sitting near the top of my list when it comes to favorite aggressive tires.

When my bike did show up, this was what I carried in the Glovebox. I had a multitool in my pack for easier access, but the bulk of the supplies I'd need for fixing a flat lived inside the Megatower's frame.

Stone King Rally. Day three
What it's all about.

The Takeaway

Despite the fact that my luggage never showed up, the race went about as smoothly as I could have hoped. Every day had its highs and lows (feeling nauseous and puking on day three was probably the lowest low – maybe I shouldn't have drank that stream water...), but overall I usually found myself focusing solely on the trail and my surroundings rather than worrying about my gear.

Rolling with a bare-bones kit actually makes things easier - the part of your brain that would normally deal with thoughts like, "What should I wear tomorrow?" is freed up for other tasks, like figuring out what flavor of gelato to try. As fun as it is to nerd out on all the nuances of bikes and components, it's the actual act of riding that will always be the best part.

Stone King Rally 2022 Day 5
The guy on the right took the minimalist approach even further. He also might be future me.

Want to hear more about the Stone King Rally? Give episode 132 of the Pinkbike Podcast a listen here.
Riding & bike check photos: Sven Martin

Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,753 articles

  • 102 5
 Kudos to you for the positive attitude, and turning what could have been a negative experience into an interesting story.

As a fellow Canadian, the state of air-travel in this country is absolutely embarrassing. I've heard nothing but horror stories from air-travellers, and it seems like the airlines don't give a s**t. Pinkbikers - respond with your wallet! Don't give $ to the scum airlines for their crappy service. Take a roadtrip instead! Explore your backyard!
  • 37 173
flag skiboot1 FL (Jul 19, 2022 at 8:15) (Below Threshold)
 Exactly, f*ck this government and f*ck that ArriveCan app. Losers from the lowermain land and STS along with the east voting lib/NDP have ruined this country!

Something, something about freedumb or something dumb
  • 14 1
 The better half of Mike Bike is form Connecticut, not Canada.
  • 9 4
 You can take solace from the fact that your commonwealth besties over in the UK are doing an even more terrible job than anywhere in Canada with baggage at Heathrow.
  • 2 0
 Just got home from a trip to Paris, on the way I flew out of Vancouver overnight. When in the heat grow airport in London it was an absolute sh*t show and instead of having to fly down to Paris that day, I had to drive all the way out to wembly to stay in a hotel that BA (British Airlines) refused to cover. The next day, I had to fly to Dublin and wait in the airport at a burger king since it is like the only place they have there for like 5 hours. After that I was able to get to my destination and had a good trip. I am just happy that I decided to only bring carry on luggage because who knows what would have happened if I checked bags.
  • 28 48
flag sherbet (Jul 19, 2022 at 10:00) (Below Threshold)
 There was an article in the news the other day of a lady's dog that was loose in Pearson baggage for 22 hours. They kept telling her it was obviously still at the airport she departed from, gave her no help in contacting said airport, and gave her the f*ck around for the entire time. Turns out the dog was cowering in a corner in a fairly visible spot, nobody had even looked.

That aside, the optics of naming an article "balling on a budget" then posting a carbon wheel wireless drivetrain equipped Santa Cruz isn't a great look. Comes out as outrageously out of touch. Glad the race still worked out.
  • 10 0
 Airport issues are global at this point. Fantastic article, this is what MTB is about. Adventure and getting way out of our comfort zones.
  • 63 3
 @sherbet, I'm obviously aware that the Megatower isn't a budget bike. I mainly wanted to share my experiences with the other gear I used, and I figured readers would be interested in the bike setup too. For the record, I wouldn't be able to afford this particular build in real life - I just happen to be lucky / spoiled / privileged enough to have high-end test bikes that I can use for adventures like this.
  • 59 1
 Just returned from Italy. Its not only Canadian airlines having issues.
My direct flight from Boston to Rome was canceled. Instead the only thing available two days later was a 30hr airport/airplane hopping adventure with two kids in tow through the southern US and northern Europe.
Thank goodness for alcohol aboard the flights otherwise those kids would have never slept.

*disclaimer* I didn't actually give my kids alcohol. Its isn't recommended with Ambien.

*second disclaimer* The Ambien was a joke. The kids were troopers and did a wonderful job staying cheerful. I'm a lucky Dad.
  • 7 13
flag pink505 (Jul 19, 2022 at 12:08) (Below Threshold)
 Came for a Costco bike with some no name drivetrain or somebody's old 26er, bonus of using the mike bears as tires... Left disappointed. Budget vs baller fail #2. 3rd time is a charm PB?
  • 18 0
 @pink505, pretty sure I'd still be somewhere in France fixing my 100th flat if I'd used the Mike Bears.
  • 2 1
 @mikekazimer: opportunity missed! Good article...love your stuff!
  • 6 1
 @mikekazimer: I hear you entirely man, not trying to dig into you, just felt the title was a bit funny sitting next to a nearly 10k bike.

PS, don't sell yourself short. You could totally budget that bike into your life! You still got two kidneys, right?
  • 1 0
 @skiboot1: I think people took this literally...should have put a smirk or something at the end.
  • 3 0
 @SacAssassin: there used to be a satirical site called sesame strip, uncle ernie did a piece called "benzodiazepines or barbiturates, how to keep your kid quiet" great read
  • 1 0
 Guys @skiboot1: is poking fun
  • 1 0
 @Gremclon: can you confirm that the airport has like no restaurants but Burger King yet 3 or more alcohol stores.
  • 2 0
 @SacAssassin: Congrats on your travels. My kids called the thousands of beers I drank to maintain sanity throughout their young years "Daddy Juice". Wife was not pleased with that name, but they don't even remember that now. International travel with kids can be as hard as qualifying for a Main.
  • 2 1
 @greener1: ha
@leelau: ha

People have a crazy sense of humour around here
  • 70 8
 Ballin' on a Budget... and a carbon Santa Cruz.....
  • 27 2
 don't forget the AXS
  • 62 3
 @danielfloyd, that’s the ballin’ part Wink
  • 20 0
 "More than you can afford, loser" is still a budget.
  • 34 0
 We can laugh all we can, but I've found in the recent years that Decathlon really provides some sensible products with interesting features and a decent price tag. I would not take very specific stuff like helmet, protective gears etc... But for bags, glasses, T-shirts and so on I think they are a good bang for the buck.
That being said, I don't think north american friends can relate on this one ^^
  • 29 0
 Definitely - this was my first Decathlon visit and I was impressed. They had loads of very usable outdoor gear for not that much money. The $20 Quechua sunglasses I got are just as good as some of the $150 ones that other brands try to sell.
  • 16 0
 He was on the right track with the boardshorts: get all your clothing from the non-biking aisles of decathlon. The best shorts/pants for riding are in the hiking section, underwear from the running section, summer long sleeves from the beach section and winter long sleeves from the snowboarding section!
  • 3 0
 Decathalon has slipped through our borders and is making its presence known quickly im happy to say
  • 2 1
 Decathlon makes great stuff in terms of design, function and quality. But I wonder how that stuff they produce can be that cheap. If you buy a backpack for 5€ how are they paying their workers? Or is it just the sheer volume they sell?
  • 15 0
 @Benjou: I think they pay their workers the same as Nike, they just spend less on advertising
  • 2 0
 Except from Hemet and shoes all of my riding gear is from Decathlon, shirts, shorts, socks, bottles, gloves, glasses, multitool... Even my repartir stand is from Decathlon and it works great for a home mechanic...

As someone said a few comments before, sensible stuff like helmets, protection and bike components I'd rather get from a reputed brand, but for everything else Decathlon's price/quality is very hard to beat.

I wonder why I even paid for Fox/TLD/etc in the past.
  • 2 1
 I love Decathlon. That 5L trail running back is the nuts.
  • 1 1
 @Benjou: Decathlon uses supplies, they don't control wages (much like most companies). One of my friends owns a factory in India which produces for Decathlon alongside other local brands (some black football tees when I was there last), he pays on average 180 euros a month (converted) before bonuses, deductions etc. Pretty good when they'd be working 12 hour days for 30 euros at a farm otherwise.
  • 1 0
 i can really recommend the 6 euro decathlon quechua t shirts from the outdoor / hiking section! wore them for years for riding. unfortunately after one day of riding they smell really bad so i mostly have merino these days. decathlon has really great camping stuff like tents etc.
  • 1 0
 I’m a big fan of Decathlon stuff. I always stock up when I visit singapore (as there isn’t a store in Perth). Their riding shorts and in particular their day packs are sensational. I’ve been using a pair of their cheap as dirt hiking shoes for general outdoor use around the garden and farm. They’ve stood up to everything with no issues, even a few 30km hikes.

Oh their merino T shirts are superb too. I’m also partial to the Aldi merino T’s. I just picked a few more up recently.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: @mikekazimer: Decathlon in our most favourite shop for camping, biking, skiing etc stuff, like your MEC, prices are reasonable and quality very useful, sometimes even Lidl Supermarket bits are pretty awesome, especially drills, bike stands, chain cleaners for 2CAD etc Smile )
Anyways, i have booked Prague-Vancouver fly in 2 weeks, packing 2 bikes to 1 bikebox, hopefully everything will go smooth, bcause i have first new bronson in my country, its such a blast riding it, so i will sue everyone at airport if they will loose it! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @matzx: I’m a big fan of the Aldi repair stand which I’m assuming is the same as the Lidl unit. It has been very reliable over the past few years I’ve owned it. All their tools and electronics too. Their newer brushless power tools are in daily use on the farm. I just bought a 70” TV (LG, they don’t bother to rebrand anything but the outside) for 1/3 the cost of any other >65” TV on the market.
  • 15 1
 I had a similar experience at Trans NZ a few years ago. No bike and no luggage. Raced the first day on a well-loved, first-gen Pivot Mach 6 that was two sizes too small and had suspension that probably had more water in it than oil. Only had the clothes on my back from the journey and some sweet Quantas gym shorts. Still had a heckuva time, felt like I was racing in the early 00s. Thankfully my bike showed up in time for the rest of the race, but I still had no luggage until after the race ended.

FWIW, it seems like everyone's bike and/or luggage isn't showing up this year for big trips. I've decided I'm driving to Canada next month just to avoid that!
  • 1 0
 you dont always need the fancy stuff to have fun. i remember the beginnings of mtb for my friends and me in the mid 90ies. jeans and sweatshirts all day and fun in the woods. best times ever with canti brakes and mag21s with a whopping 46mm of travel :-)
  • 1 0
 @funkzander: clothing is not holding you back from riding.
Last early november, I went on a hilly 42-45kms xc ride with some friends and, when I got to the start location, I discovered that I brought with me everything, with the exception of riding pants, shirt, socks, gloves and shoes. In my car I had the cold weather road jacket.. and, pretty much nothing else... so, I ended up riding in my jeans and my normal shoes with that road jacket over my nacked belly(12-14 degrees outside and the jacket is for 0 to 8 degrees maximum). Turned out to be one of the best rides of the Autumn.
  • 16 0
 Mike's giving Dangerholm a run for his money with those pistols.
  • 10 0
 I thought the story was going to be about the very tan gentleman with the pained expression in the last picture. That's the ballin' on a budget story I'd like to hear.
  • 3 0
 Fixed income budget.
  • 4 0
 He was also in the race and on the same flight, but they were out of loaner Bronson's.. and shirts, helmets etc.
  • 5 0
 Love these kinds of adventures, great effort getting on when it didn't go well. I wonder if Decathlon might see a slight boost in sales!

To the podcast chat, next time Kazimer, Sone King Rally: Budget vs Baller... You get your bike and kit sorted through sponsors of your choice before being flown to Europe in the Outside jet.
One month earlier, Levy is dropped at a dock in his chamois and socks and has to find passage to Europe working on a container vessel. Arriving somewhere in Europe he has to make his way to the start where he only has the money he earned on his journey to buy the bike and gear for the event.
It's rough but I think there's something there.
  • 6 0
 "it's the actual act of riding that will always be the best part." I agree, we get caught too easily in the bike and equipment. Sounds like great experience either way.
  • 4 0
 I met @mikekazimer very briefly trail side during the enduro bike test in Bellingham. At the time, I just thought, that’s a normal looking bike dude. “Sexy bike dude” never entered my mind. Now he’s wearing european short shorts on enduro mega rides, and I’m like, whose the sexy thigh guy? +1, for pink world. Or maybe plus two for both pink thighs.

Settle down everybody.
  • 5 0
 Nice article. Are you gonna do another one writing about the trails?
Also - how about some more organised coverage of budget clothing & accessories? Not comedy like the budget/baller videos.
  • 8 1
 Good stuff Kaz! Comfort makes us weaker. Adapt and overcome!
  • 4 0
 Confirmed: pedals with a hump in the middle are not good. Might as well not even put those central pins on a pedal like that, since their effective height is like a single mm if anything at all.
  • 1 0
 I do actually love the new PNW convex pedals, but they are intentionally convex and not just a hump
  • 1 0
 The Stamp pedals actually work really well if you swap the pins out to 12mm? I have size 12 dogs and they work great this way.
  • 3 0
 Well done Kaz! BTW I see some decathlon enduro helmet pretty often and not on a beginners, they actually look like many others as they're probably just bought something already existing and rebranded, like cheap Giro od kind of that
  • 3 0
 I hate my self a little bit when comes that question "What should I wear tomorrow?" we should always question our selfs about gellatos and tacos!!!
  • 4 0
 These are the pics we've been waiting for. Good on ya for making the best of it
  • 4 0
 The podcast episode of yall talking about this was one of the best ones yet!
  • 2 0
 Decathlon has been in the UK for a good few years now and they are brilliant Lots of my family camping kit bought there, not to mention kids skateboards , pads, swimming gear, football kit, my bodyboard, bike tool kit, . .
  • 2 0
 That was a great adventure! Good to get to know you @mikekazimer you killed it in those board shorts!
Now if only Air Canada could find my bike after losing it a second time.
  • 1 0
 Very cool article, thanks for sharing the honest thoughts! Thumbs up for the positive attitude that made you enjoy the experience, which is mostly what it is about.
Will you be still rocking the Decathlon kit at some point at home as well?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer, I thought those pedals looked familar... I am currently in China with a real budget bike build (no real trails where I am anyway), and have these on my ride:


Cost was 58RMBform taobao, or 8.59USD. They haven't broken yet, so I am happy with the purchase...
  • 2 0
 Kaz, that future-you guy is closer than you think. Wink

Given your riding conditions in Bellingham, what would be your top three tire choices front and rear?
  • 14 0
 Here are my current favorites for PNW riding:

Maxxis Assegai / DHR II
Continental Kryptotal F / R
Specialized Butcher / Eliminator
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer: do the conti's seem to be wearing better than assegai/dhr2? my issue with maxxis is they get shredded pretty easily down here in SoCal loose over hard/rocky. if the kyrptotals wear better, that would be great
  • 1 0
 @whiteranger3: I only had one MaxxGrip Assegai, but it wore worryingly quickly. Very disappointing considering the price. Bring back Super Tacky tyres for £25 please Maxxis.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Given the riding conditions in South France like on Stone King Trails, what tire combination would you prefer?
  • 4 0
 The Megatower is a budget bike now Smile
  • 3 0
 I still don’t understand why people still buy and make pedals that aren’t concave.
  • 1 0
 What do you think of the Deity Deftrap symmetrical pedal concept?
  • 1 0
 @fielding: not tried them.
  • 1 0
 @fielding: I have deity deftraps and they are amazing, It was weird when i hopped on my friends bike with stamp 1s.
  • 1 0
 I'll never spend more than $40 on a pair of mtb shorts again. My most comfortable, most durable pair so far are like $25 amazon/chinese branded shorts. I've worn them for over 1000 riding hours now and still great.
  • 3 0
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: "Cycorld Mens Mountain Biking Shorts Bike MTB Shorts Loose Fit Cycling Baggy Lightweight Pants with Zip Pockets" search this on amazon.
  • 1 0
 @11six: thank you!
  • 1 0
 Love it, making the best of a shitty scenario and just enjoying the ride. The race itself sounds like an euro version of the trans-cascadia?
  • 3 0
 Well done. Way to make the best of a bad situation
  • 1 0
 Photos Sven Martin, and if there was video, you’d hear or see Wyn….if you race it they will come. 70* bag…cheers for that
  • 1 0
 I guess you'd better go next year to see if there is a difference in your performance with your own gear. Maybe Henry Quinney can make it into a video.
  • 1 2
 Agree standard moisture wicking T shirts are just fine. My entire kit is no name Polartec powerdry long or short sleeve Ts and Costco golf shorts. Performs every bit as good as Kitsbow, Yeti and other dentist brand name attire costing 10-20x. Never knew there was such a thing as a 70F sleeping bag! I've slept in 70F in short and a T shirt. Sounds more like a bivy than anything.
  • 2 0
 I feel like those shorts should be framed, or given out next year as an award during the race
  • 1 0
 Kaz seems stoic enough to shrug off the lost luggage and get back to task. Nice trip! My most memorable times are when things go awry.
  • 2 0
 Any sponsorship offers from Decathlon come through yet? I think we could form a formidable team! @mikekazimer
  • 2 0
 After the podcast I expected the short shorts to be much shorter. Those aren't shorts, those are pants.
  • 2 1
 Those plastic crank bros stamps are trash with the standard pins. I swapped out the pins for longer ones and they have been excellent.
  • 1 0
 I assume by "excellent" you mean "marginally less shit"?
  • 1 0
 @gabiusmaximus: excellent is obviously subjective, but I've never slipped a pedal on the rocky trails I ride, so that's excellent in my books.
  • 1 0
 Thanks @mikekazimer for making me feel like an adult cry baby and entitled POS with your great attitude and roll with the punches sensibility...
  • 1 0
 The whole ordeal could have been avoided if you had packed everything essential in your carryon instead of checking them in.

Travel much?
  • 1 0
 These are the articles that just make me want to go ride my bike. More of this PB!
  • 1 1
 Would love to do this! But I think I would fly into the states and depart our continent from the states because traveling within Canada is so much of a shit show.
  • 4 0
 Wow, things must be really dire if flying through the States is a better option. I made the mistake of flying to NZ via LAX once, between the over zealous immigration and the biggest shithole of an airport I've ever seen it put me off ever taking that option again.
  • 2 2
 @commental: Canada is in free fall. with the secondary chute in tangles.
  • 2 0
 @commental: There are way worse US airports than LAX: O'Hare, JFK, Logan, Atlanta... Hellscapes, all of them
  • 1 0
 @machaut: preach
  • 2 0
 But... did you ever get your luggage back?
  • 12 1
 I was able to retrieve my luggage the day before I flew home from a massive pile of bags in the Nice Airport, and luckily everything made it back to Vancouver. There were some riders who lost luggage going both ways.
  • 2 0
 #68… thanks, and I owe you one.
  • 2 0
 Send out Mr. Levy for next year's race with same condition.
  • 3 0
 It might not go as smoothly for me...
  • 2 0
 Adapt and overcome. Well done Kaz! What a great read!
  • 1 0
 I really want to try out the new Continental tires but having a hard time sourcing them in Canada. Anyone got any leads?
  • 1 0
 I dont know why pnw and oneup be making convex pedals. I have deity deftraps and they are amazing.
  • 1 0
 Great story, would definitely love to have a similar adventure.
But how did he place? Top 10?
  • 1 0
 That guy could use a manzier
  • 1 0
 That was a cool story, thanks for sharing Kaz
  • 1 0
 Missed the 69 plate by 1...
  • 1 0
 Great stuff, good read that.
  • 1 0
 Great story for retelling around the bonfire.
  • 1 2
 Megatower is anything but budget. $$$$$$
  • 2 4
 Budget SRAM AXS battery Fail
  • 2 5
 .. The bike’s not budget at all
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