October 2017 - Good Month or Bad Month?

Nov 1, 2017
by Paul Aston  
The clocks have changed in the UK and will soon in the rest of the northern half of the globe. Now we are well and truly heading into the winter season and the only thing left to look forward to until spring is Christmas dinner.

So, what went down in October? Red Bull Rampage rounded out the month in an anxiety-free live feed for the viewers, many bike parks shut their doors but many others are looking fresh-to-death, we also see more girls on bikes and tougher times for privateer racers.



The most successful Utah huck-fest in history?

Watching the Red Bull Rampage over the last few years has been a mix of wind-stoppage boredom and anxious sweat as rider after rider pummeled themselves into the floor. This year was refreshing, except Lacondeguy's stylish double-flip dismount and a few bobbles like Brandon 'I can't make the corner' Semenuk, things went off without a hitch. No wind stops, no heli-evacs and no squeamish viewings of horrific crash replays through my fingers – fantastic. This did leave the internet wide open to abuse the judging and say the course has become too easy, though.
Red Bull Rampage 2017

UK Bike Parks

Goodbye summer, hello winter

With most lift-accessed resort shutting down at the end of October (see below) the UK scene can't tell the difference between summer and winter. The UK is looking better than ever as a riding destination: Bike Park Wales launched all-new trail called Root Manoeuvers and re-opens a refreshed 'Enter the Dragon' to the public. The all-new Leeds Bike Park is opening any day now and Revolution, Llangollen, Black Mountains, Windhill and Woody's have all been adding and shaping trails. Add to this the vast number of pump tracks and parks opening all over the country, is the UK now the world leader when it comes to year-round and varied riding?
Wild man Joel Anderson gets rad at the Black Mountains Cycle Centre

Southern Hemisphere Shredding

Goodbye winter, and hello summer at the Christchurch Adventure Park

Out of darkness cometh light. The Southern Hemisphere is kicking off right now especially in New Zealand. Queenstown Bike Park is full speed ahead and like a phoenix from the ashes, Christchurch's brand new Adventure Park which was burned down in a forest fire shortly after opening earlier this year is set to re-open on the 5th December.

Women on Bikes

Red Bull Fox Hunt and Hopetech Enduro get hundreds of girls racing

In such a male-dominated sport it's always great to see more women on bikes. The Red Bull Fox Hunt sold out to ladies in 12 minutes, and the Hopetech Women's Enduro saw 222 riders compete at Gisburn despite biblical conditions. "Big whoop," you say, but compared to an EWS race that attracts 40-50 female attendees, a WC DH with around 20-30, and the BDS series struggling to fill 300 places in ALL categories, this is great news for the future of the sport.
Participants compete during Red Bull Foxhunt in Wales UK on October 8 2017 Olaf Pignataro Red Bull Content Pool P-20171008-01954 Usage for editorial use only Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information.



UCI tightens up the regs

2016 saw the number of points needed to qualify for a WC bumped up from 20 to 30. 2018 sees the number of riders able to qualify for the final dropped from 80 to 60. "Its a conspiracy by Red Bull and the UCI to kill off the privateers!" Personally, I think it is a good thing – there aren't any privateers rocking up to a Formula One race. This hierarchy puts more emphasis on the lower tiers of racing and promotes riding up the ranks to get to the top. Our current situation is one where pinners can lay down a good run somewhere then go and race a WC. The future will put more emphasis on smaller races like national series and continental championships – the BDS series in 2017 struggled to get enough entries and when was the last time you heard a big shout about the gold medal winner of the European DH champs – arguably the second biggest race in the world? Hell, we might even get to the point where national level racers can turn pro without having to points chase all over the globe.

A Privateer Life In Lourdes

Northern Hemisphere Lift Accessed Bike Parks

Goodbye my summer, goodbye my friend.

While most French lift-accessed bike parks gave up and went for an extended holiday to the Cote d'Azur two months ago, many other bike parks have been trying to keep riders happy and earn some money in Andorra, Italy, Germany, Austria, North America and Canada have been open until the end of October. Sadly, most resorts will be on lock-down after this weekend until next spring, unless we see a lack of snow and excess of dust again this Christmas in the Alps; after the last two winters the parks might be fully ready to open to bikes for the festive season.

Mojo and Fox

Long time distribution and service center Mojo parts ways with Fox Suspension

We're still not sure of the full story here, but last time I spoke to Chris Porter he said "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." It seemed like a rash decision from one of the parties, so we can only assume somebody will be losing out along the line. Good news for Mojo fans is that they will be working on some aftermarket parts and continuing the GeoMetron side of the business in the future. Good news for Fox customers is that Silverfish have taken on the role of distribution and after-sales service in the UK.
Photo by Saskia Duggon

Posted In:
Industry News


  • 158 16
 F the UCI. There I said it for everyone who agrees. Haha
  • 64 144
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 1, 2017 at 12:07) (Below Threshold)
 So courageous, slow clap, bravo, bravo! How about "downhill is grey!" there, I said it!
  • 115 1
 i think one of the things that set DH apart from other sports is that privateers COULD qualify and race world cups against the factory teams.
  • 56 3
 @WAKIdesigns: What do you have against the greys? Spew your hate speech elsewhere.
  • 20 42
flag onemind123 (Nov 1, 2017 at 12:26) (Below Threshold)
 @captainderp: and everyone should get a participant ribbon as well. Maybe a hug so they feel good.
  • 6 4
 @browntown40: grey is the new black ;-)
  • 14 29
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 1, 2017 at 14:54) (Below Threshold)
 @browntown40: what do I have against greys? Let's start with the anatomy and then all the shades. 2.6" for life!
  • 12 2
 When was the last time a privateer shocked the world with some top-level result? In Supercross, a privateer has to be top 22 to make a main, although admittedly there are fewer factory rides. Still, cutting from 80 to 60 doesn't seem like a big deal - the top 15-20 are on a different level, and then the top 5 are still a level above that - privateers almost never crack the top 20.
  • 3 4
 @powderturns: exactly. What's the point of calling it a world cup if anyone can race.
  • 13 1
 @onemind123: I think the point is, you can win a cup, and it's held all around the world. I see nothing wrong with letting anyone race, if they are good enough. I do see a problem with calling it a world cup when there are only races on two continents.
  • 31 0
 @powderturns: Josh Button - 5th at Cairns last year
  • 2 6
flag Misteur-Mont-Sainte-Anne (Nov 1, 2017 at 16:47) (Below Threshold)
 Viva UCI! Make my sport serious and worldwide, like roadbike, BMX et others!
  • 10 7
 @powderturns: Miranda Miller
  • 26 1
 I always get depressed when I see that Whistler bike park is closed...even though I'm thousands of miles away, it feels like riding has been shut down for good. Or til the spring anyways
  • 4 0
 Will be making my first trip this June! Ridden most of the big time east coast resorts, Snowshoe WV, Colorado, but never to the mecca. Can't wait.
  • 3 1
 @Billjohn6: Just so you don't get thrown by the article, Canada is in North America. We haven't moved. Whistler is still in the same place.
  • 1 0
 "i'm grey daba dee daba die"
  • 29 1
  • 3 4
 What? His blog seems as abandoned as ever. Probably realized he was tired of sucking, ha
  • 2 1
 Dude! Thanks!!!!!!!! I missed the snark.
  • 2 0
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: Thank you!

And to everyone who gave me negative props, perhaps you missed the joke: theteamrobot.blogspot.com/2015/09/losing.html
  • 22 1
 I'm not convinced by the argument that restricting the possibility of up and coming riders making World Cups is going to promote lower tier racing. If anything, refining the quality of the field increases the appeal of making it, and widens the gulf between top level UCI racing and the rest. (I believe) Domestic racing can be helped to grow by strengthening the links with the top level; if more people are racing World Cups, while still hopefully competing at a national level, they'll bring their skills and experience with them and help other riders improve.

If the reasoning for reducing field sizes is to ease pressure on venues and tracks, then the UCI points criteria will help while just cutting qualifying doesn't appear (to me) proportionally effective. If the chief reasoning is to do with broadcast practices, I wish it'd go back the other way. Just personally, but I miss sitting down in front of a World Cup on Freecaster for about 5 hours. You saw the chipper women, who did mostly suck, but they made the track look difficult, and made you really look at each individual rock and rut. Then you saw the quick women, and were really impressed with their finesse and ability. Then the first 40 guys, who were loose as balls but a whole level up. And finally the top 40 blokes who made the whole endeavour look totally different, just gliding over the top of everything and making it look easy; time gains became about infinitesimals, stalling slightly on corner exits, a pedal stroke here, and I think it gave you greater insight into the sport.

Sorry, got distracted.
  • 14 2
 Don't mention Freecaster, it just stokes my disdain for Claudio's commentating and Warner's sobriety. Good nostalgia though. 5 hours gave you just enough time to build a wheel before things hotted up in the men's.
  • 7 0
 @BenPea: Everyone misses drunk Warner. :-D
  • 2 1
 He was on a Rampage like a dog with two dicks (Freecastor) He went down harder than Amy Winehouse (Redbull)
  • 1 0
 @Boardlife69: Both are from the Freecaster era.
  • 2 0
 @BenPea: yes I know, I was using his quotes to describe how the commentary with freecastor (rampaging) is compared to redbull (going down).
  • 1 0
 @Boardlife69: too clever for me mate
  • 1 0
 @Boardlife69: after the 2nd or 3rd crash of neko mulally...”and he’s off like a Jewish foreskin again!’ Oh he’s going to need a lawyer after a case that big.
  • 24 2
 on the next Good Month or Bad Month, watch as the UCI blurs the line between mountain and road. my prediction is sagan elbows gwin out of the way for the win next dh season.
  • 13 0
 October on the East Coast is a mixed bag, while the leaves are pretty, when they fall it becomes the infamous "Brown Ice" on the trail...which makes for interesting cornering to say the least...
  • 9 1
 I smacked a tree last weekend because of the brown ice. leaf blowers mounted to the fork now!
  • 1 0
 Agreed. It was getting pretty dicey at Wilsons last weekend. Preach, you an og hickory huckster?
  • 1 0
 @naadams2: i did ride with those guys back in the day
  • 16 3
 The only people saying rampage was too easy are the posers that dont even ride
  • 3 1
 That and Cedric Gracia
  • 2 2
 @heffernw: Yeahhhh you didn't quite understand his video... but yeah Otto- you're bang on. The only ones complaining about the runs or Bizet being underscored are most likely bike park rats who have never set foot on anything closely resembling the exposed lines in the Virgin area. Its an insane claim to say its all close to groomed trails when its a foot of error on both sides that would result in either death or serious injury. The easiest explanation is that most people criticizing are gapers that didn't know Rampage existed until after they brought it back.
  • 2 1
 @scott-townes: I fully understood the video. Cedric thinks it's too manicured.
  • 17 4
 UCI sucks.
  • 18 7
 Whatever, anything but the top 60 racing is fine. You can always try next race. If you are consistently not qualifying you shouldn't be there. That's called racing.
  • 1 0
 @onemind123: I just can't understand why do you need the UCI to tell you what to do. Look at enduro racing, I think part of the reason it is so popular is because every race is different.

Just wait to see what happens once the UCI and the Olympics try to have a piece of it: " Five stages, all 2.5 km in length, with no more than 2 drops, bikes can't have more than 3.7 inches of travel and fanny packs and pony tails are forbidden"
  • 9 0
 The bike park might be closed but the other trails (including Pemberton and Squamish) are in the best shape they've been all year. Goodbye dust!
  • 23 0
 Nah, the trails are terrible now and there are bears and cougars preying on unsuspecting tourists. Everyone stay away.
  • 3 0
 @onemind123: Cougars in Whistler are nothing new...
  • 1 0
 Great month for hero dirt in the greater Pacific Northwest. Bellingham is off the hook right now, and I hear the same thing from my buddies in Hood River and elsewhere.
  • 9 1
 Им че, им хорошо, а у нас дожди, дожди, по грязюке кататься приходится
  • 20 0
  • 6 0
 I feel ya there man
  • 1 0
 YA ponimayu. kogda my zhdem v Uel'se, on mozhet bystro prevratit'sya v gryazevuyu vannu na nekotorykh tropakh.
  • 1 0
 У дощі не можна кататися на двох колесах?
  • 7 0
 How about the under-scoring of awesome runs at Rampage???
  • 3 0
 Yeah, I guess part of "abusing the judges" is overwhelmingly voting for Bizet in the viewers choice. That should speak for something, and if they want to keep falling back on "don't critique the judging since you're not there", this might as well be the IOC.
  • 5 2
 "Is the UK now the world leader when it comes to year-round and varied riding?"

Always has been, always will be. The man-made trails are mostly built to run best when it's wet, you just choose the rockier natural trails for the winter and the only real way to decipher whether a ride photo/video was taken in the summer or winter is to check the date stamp! There's a reason we have a lot of great all-round riders in MTB.
  • 1 0
 Yup. Personally I tend to park the full suss for most of the winter and break out the hardtail, to save the bearings from the liquid cutting compound flying everywhere this time of year, and ride slightly less extreme trails, mostly in the dark. Still having a blast!
  • 2 1
 There's also a reason so many awesome bike designs have come from PNW/SWBC based companies. (Transition, Evil, Canfield Bros, Kona, Rocky Mountain, Norco, Banshee, Chromag, etc. all the way back to the Brodie, Dekerf, Rektek, Off Road Toad, Klein, etc. days).
  • 2 0
 Come to the tropics, the riding here are year round too. Except in some parts where it's flooded during a monsoon.
  • 4 0
 Not over yet! 2 more lift accessed weekends remain for the New England area. Thanks Thunder Mountain and Highland Bike Park.
  • 3 0
 Mt. Bike racing is now a UCI product! Like it or not, they will make decisions based on their product’s best marketability! Like the ever changing bike industry standards on your bike parts!
  • 2 1
 that's why freeride is better
  • 3 0
 Don’t forget Gawton Gravity Hub in Devon on that list of UK bike parks, it’s my favourite and makes a change from travelling to Wales..
  • 1 0
 Though I did travel up to BPW today and it was riding really nice. And it was quiet.
  • 1 0
 @ilovedust: It's brilliant going up there on a cold morning and descending out of the fog. Those trails shrug off the rain, best wet riding I've ever experienced.
  • 2 0

I dunno...just call it a hunch. Seems a little out of touch lol. Check out his setup in case you missed that article.

  • 4 1
 Wonder what happened with the Mojo deal... I wouldn't let Porter touch anything on my bike... Just sayin'.
  • 1 0
 I had a really good experience with Chris around a Fox warranty issue and he probably saw me right.
  • 1 0
 Silverfish have employed mojo to do the work so same same really.
  • 1 0
 "Is the UK now the world leader when it comes to year-round and varied riding?" I dunno. Would it be worth moving back from the Alps for?
  • 4 0
 No way! Stay where you are !!!
  • 1 0
 @jamesdippy: I shall do that. Can't get enough of the dryness to be honest.
  • 5 3
 Privateers never have a chance to win. If they had a chance to win, they would not be privateers.
  • 9 1
 If only people with a chance to win should be allowed to race, the starting field would be ten riders, and that's being generous.
  • 2 0
 @Painhawk: truth
  • 4 2
 "Brandon 'I can't make the corner' Semenuk", I don't think that name will be sticking anytime soon.
  • 1 1
 Everyone saying the rampage course is “too easy” has never been there in person... I hiked to the top of this years course in the spring, and EVERY line is narly AF!!! I couldn’t ride %95 of them on a good day!
  • 2 0
 Awh no! Silverfish aren't even close the the replacement we need for Mojo. Such a shame.
  • 1 0
 Did that write up just say "no one got hurt at Rampage, must mean the course is getting too easy" ... gotta be fkn kidding me.
  • 2 0
 Mojo and Fox split ways Eek it's a Rockshox conspiracy !!!!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Pinkbike. Andreu didn't do a double flip, Indian-air steat grab 360.
  • 4 1
 Yeah but snowboarding
  • 1 0
 Bontrager privateer was a fun bike, especially in British racing green
  • 1 0
 Don't hate on the uci watch freeride and don't support them
  • 1 0
 Is porter a crummy bike mechanic?
  • 2 5
 "BDS series"? How much does that one cost to enter? Tell me in an SMS message and I'll use my PIN number to with withdraw cash money from an ATM machine. Or maybe I can pay directly if you send me the IBAN number and BIC code?
  • 14 1
 WTF f*ck are you on about?
  • 1 0
 @jaame: nicely playedSmile

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