Opinion: Eat the Humble Pie

Aug 20, 2015
by Mike Levy  
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We all make bad decisions, some of us more often than others, but the important thing to remember is that you have to own those choices. If you don't, they're just embarrassing moments that we try to forget; if you do, they're opportunities to learn a few things while still being really embarrassed.



I've just come home from yet another ride where I discovered more singletrack that's been sanitized by so-called "mountain bikers" so that the trail better suits their skill level. A few months back it was a handful of live roots being sawed out of the ground, roots that were maybe two or three inches in diameter and stood barely that same height above the dirt. Then it was a bunch rocks that a "mountain biker" took the time to dig out of a different trail, and today it was an entire tree that's gone missing so that a "mountain biker" could have an easier time of climbing up through what any of us would have already referred to as an easy section of trail. And, just to clarify, these trails that are being vandalized - that's the best word to describe what's happening - are already blue and green level singletracks, so it's not like these "mountain bikers" are modifying sections of trail to make them easier for the masses. The masses can already ride them, which is great, so it's the vandals who need to find another hobby so that the masses can keep enjoying this wonderful sport.

The shame that should be attached to the above actions, actions that are happening on trails all over the world these days, just isn't present. So what the hell is going on? I think I know what's causing this problem: no one likes to suck, and no one wants to eat humble pie.

bigquotesNone of us want to struggle or feel like they're not as good as someone else, neither of which are key ingredients to having a good time. People just want to have fun, and, unless you're a bit of a masochist or have a closet full of leather and ball gags, fun usually doesn't involve suffering, pain and humiliation.

That's too bad, because getting your ass handed to you is likely one of the most important things that happens during our lives, and it's the sort of thing that we shouldn't be bummed out by. We're supposed to fail miserably at things. A big, warm slice of humble pie is good for you, but the key to proper pie tasting is to actually learn something from it, and to realize that the pie you're eating was likely baked up by you and only you. If you don't, it's just another embarrassing experience that you'll file away; if you do, you can try to convince yourself that you've improved yourself because of it.

n a

But who really wants to have a difficult time, though? Do you want to sit in rush hour traffic every time you drive anywhere? Do you want to struggle at work? How about arguing with your significant other every time you spend time together? No, of course not. We all want things in our life to go smoothly, but if they did we'd also all begin to think we're hot shit and end up with Kanye-sized egos and Kardashian-like morals. We'd also never learn anything, never get any better at living, and probably end up being ridiculously bored. I'm not just talking about mountain biking and all those sanitized trails that I always moan about, either, because there are all sorts of corny parallels between our sport and day to day life.

You're probably at your cockiest in your late 'teens and early twenties, a time when responsibility levels are low and fun levels are high, and this is when you feel pretty smug about yourself, despite the patchy facial hair and questionable clothing. This was around the age that I managed to (barely) get my driving license, two years after I first tried and failed miserably. And, like most new drivers, and especially new drivers that happen to have a penis, I thought I was real hot shit... and then I drove my family's car into a tree while trying to impress a girl. There were no injuries, thankfully, but the car was a write-off, as were my chances of starting a family and living happily ever after with the female passenger, and I learned that I had about as much in common with Ken Block as I do with Oprah Winfrey. I went from hero to zero in the time it took for me to lay down two tire width patches of rubber about fifty feet in length, but those few seconds taught me more than I took in over the previous few months. Humble pie was served, it was steaming hot, and I had to eat it without a fork on that night.

Lesson number one: girls aren't impressed by you doing donuts in your family's car. Lesson number two: don't try to do donuts in your family's car. I'd like to think that I long ago stopped riding my bike to impress other people, just like how most of us don't drive like we did when we first got our licence, and anyone who's seen me ride would probably agree that'd be the last thing that would ever of happened anyways. What I'm getting at is that I've moved past the point of feeling pressured to hit a jump or drop, or to go faster than I actually want to go. Sure, I'll still end up eating shit on many (most?) of my rides, but at least it won't happen while I'm trying to impress anyone. These days, if I want to do something questionable, I'm doing it because I'm pretty good at making really bad decisions. I'm not saying to stop pushing yourself, but I am saying to only go HAM if that's actually what you want to do.


Mike levy at the BC Bike Race Photo by Margus Riga

The author with pie on his face at the 2015 BC Bike Race. Photo by Margus Riga.



Much like being nineteen and having a penis and driving license will make you feel invincible, preparing for something to the nth degree can also have you being pretty smug about your success. Being ready, or at least thinking that you're ready, often counts for shit, however. Life will teach most people that fact by the time they're an adult, but that doesn't stop us from doing things like studying, working hard, and training to be better at whatever it is that we do, even though those efforts often count for about as much as your vote does. I was reminded of exactly that fact a few months ago while "training" for the 2015 BC Bike Race.

After procrastinating about getting my act together, I hired a coach to make up for lost time, and I even went as far as to actually follow his instructions. I ate less candy than usual (still too much, obviously). I even remember stretching on one or two occasions - crazy, I know. Pre-BC Bike Race, I felt like I could show Nino and Julian a thing or two about climbing, and I was more worried about people accusing me of doping than how I'd actually fare in the race. It turns out that I may have well of been smoking some really good dope, because not only did I not meet my own expectations, I exploded spectacularly. Have you ever ridden so poorly that fellow racers who pass you like you're going backwards end up telling the medical team at the upcoming checkpoint that they should take a look at you? Yeah... it was that bad, and that was just on the first day. Granted, it was insanely hot out, and I hadn't had much practice riding my bike on the surface of the sun, but my detonation spoke more about my bravado to brain ratio being way out of line than anything else. Things just got messier when, on the third day, I found myself being held up behind a European racer who's own bravado to brain ratio was skewed in the exact opposite way. So, rather than relaxing and recovering like someone with some common sense would do, I used that time to crack my helmet into a few pieces and knock myself senseless. The feeling of slinking away from the six hundred person strong BC Bike Race campsite after pulling the plug a few days later, right in the midst of everyone else getting ready for their morning start time, was pretty humbling to say the least, and I had only myself to blame.

The taste of that humble pie taught me a few things. First, it reinforced the fact that I'm not good at racing bicycles, and that no amount of training will change that - it's just not in my DNA. I think I already knew that, but it was good to reconfirm it. More importantly, it reminded me that things can go south regardless of how much time and effort you've put into your upcoming mission, be it a bike race, a big project at work, or just you trying to cook a nice dinner for once, but also that it doesn't really matter in the end.

I crashed that car into a tree, and I didn't finish the BC Bike Race this year, neither of which I'm proud of, but I am going to go for a nice ride with a few friends this afternoon. We're going to skid a lot and have tons of fun, which is all that really matters. And, if I do something dumb and break body or my bike, I'll have only myself to blame, which is fine with me.


108 Comments

  • + 139
 Speaking of crashing, I just fell asleep and crashed my head into the keyboard. That's what I get for reading without my helmet on.
  • + 10
 I almost spit my water on my laptop.
  • + 12
 I almost spat my laptop out into my glass of water. Then I realised I didn't have my laptop in my mouth and I don't live in a cartoon.
  • + 47
 As I quietly put on my pads, adjust my helmet and do the general fiddling around getting my $900 used DH rig... The door opens on the $60k SUV parked next to me and out rolls an overweight middle age dude who proceeds to take the brand new S Works DH rig with all color coordinated components, and his $400 matching Fox kit. He begins to talk smack to everyone in ear shot about his skills, what he's ridden and how dope his bike is...on and on he rants about being the godfather of downhill...



About 1pm while I'm sitting on my tailgate eating the PBJ that I brought from home, I watch him walking out with the biggest sling/wrap on his shoulder and arm I've ever seen...I felt no sympathy whatsoever
  • + 11
 In California, I get shit for having a MTB Van just for my bikes. Apparently, I am supposed to have a $60K SUV to go to the trailhead and leave it there for 6 hours just to have it broken into. LOL

Those douchbags are everywhere out here
  • + 9
 Preach, I guess you don't send it as hard as him.
Ha! Just kidding.
You should keep an eye on the buy and sell, I'll bet he's selling everything cuz his wife / dental practice won't allow him to ride no more
  • + 4
 ^ haha! No doubt!!
  • + 4
 No sympathy for an inexperienced brag? YOU need more HUMBLE PIE. The other one sure got his helping before you got yours.
  • + 2
 Sympathy on an internet forum?Ha! Yeah right.
Sympathy for a loudmouth is hard to conjure, that's how humans work. Humble pie is about You, Yourself, and no one else.
And I have yet to meet an inexperienced brag on a DH trail. Let's hope he learned from it.
  • + 1
 Here in the UK it's about getting there and riding, at any given moment farmer Johns, Antur or Fort Bill will have a car-park full of little clios, minis and golfs with racks on the back stuffed full of camping gear. Regardless of what you drive it's the riding on the track that does the talking (if you are remotely bothered).
  • + 2
 Sounds like someone's eating some jealous pie... even pros eat shit and walk back to the car sometimes. He earned his suv, he earned his fancy bike, he earned his matching kit, and it sounds like he was pushing his limits trying to earn some more skills...

...meanwhile, you were eating pb&j and talking shit, undoubtedly exaggerating his pre-ride smack talk.

Who's the real loser in this story?
  • + 9
 us, because we're sat here reading about the story and not riding a bike in the woods?
  • + 46
 i read it, it was good. less videos more reading please.
  • + 10
 Agreed
  • + 14
 yes... more articles please!

I could care less about 80% of the videos posted.

The irony of all this is that the dudes that would benefit the most from reading Mike's words are probably skipping this article to find the next video. cuz reeding hurts yor spelling skillz and makes u less cool.
  • + 5
 @MasterSlater please learn the meaning of "I could care less", it implies you have the ability to care less about something, in which case you could be very happy with it. While still possessing the ability to care less about it.

"I could not care less" means you are not able to care less than you already do about said thing.
  • + 5
 Touché!

Now where's that pie server?
  • + 1
 @andymeadows - Mike Ferrentino has a phrase for you to learn. Pedantic c*nt.
  • + 8
 in fairness andy is only asking that you call a spade, a spade. using phrases you don't understand is a little silly

for instance i often use long words i don't understand o make myself sound more photosynthesis. haha Wink
  • + 36
 Good read as always Mike.
  • + 5
 Definitely. Anyone can write about how awesome they are. It takes guts to write about one's failures.
  • + 23
 An entire generation of riders has now grown up on flow trails and ultra capable FS bikes. These riders haven't had to learn tech skills or appreciate tech riding and the satisfaction of cleaning challenging sections. Gone is the sense of accomplishment of finally cleaning a section that had previously stumped you every other time you had tried it. The difficulty IS the fun. Too many riders want curvy sidewalks in the trees, these days. And they want to ride those sidewalks on their 160 mil, 27lb carbon Enduro bike.
  • + 8
 Good points CircusMaximus. For the life of me I cannot figure out why certain "riders" or trail "managers"can't see that a trail can have technical features & flow at the same time. I just finished building a trail where I purposefully left in all the technical features where feasible but also incorporated as much flow as I could. Some of the feedback I got was interesting, most of the younger riders loved it, the downhills are tricky, technical & lots of flow & the up hills really made them work. On the other hand the older riders were split on it, too "hard", too many roots & rocks, the climb was too long...I am waiting, with a sickening feeling, for the day I go out on this trail to find the tech dumbed down. Maybe the pendulum will swing back one day & some people will wake up & realize that we are riding full suspension for a reason.
  • + 6
 totally agree with you, also don't forget they need the bigger wheeled bikes to make rolling over those difficult 2" high obstacles even easier
  • + 4
 My local trails are being mashed by hoards of big wheeled numpties who are clearly unable to turn a corner nor make any descent with out riding the brakes all the way down. The proliferation of mountain biking among joe public it seems has some major downsides...
  • + 1
 With this sentiment, someone could argue that capable full-suspension bikes must therefore be too cheap and accessible to beginner/intermediate riders haha!
  • + 16
 I come from the land of Utah sidewalk trails and thought I was pretty good at bike riding. I spent some time in the east coast. So many rocks, roots, wet and no flow. Herky, jerky, awkward riding all over the place. I have never eaten so much humble pie in my life. I felt like it was the first time I had ridden. I love getting smoked and beaten. Getting better is the best part of MTB.
  • + 2
 Haha we literally call our blue flow trail at Ogden Bike Park "The Dusty Sidewalk"!
  • + 3
 We had exactly the same experience when we moved from the Shuswap area of BC out to Vancouver Island. All the roots, rocks, slabs, baby-heads, moss... very humbling, made it feel like I'd never ridden my bike before! But it's damn fun, and there is always a section that you haven't been able to clean yet!
  • + 13
 Plenty of 'Vandals' around Thetford Forest, keen on removing every single challenging feature. The only problem is that these Vandals are called Timber and work with the Forestry Commission! We're not blessed with many hills over in East Anglia, and the Trails on offer don't surpass a green. Meaning that growing up i developed my skills on man made jumps and drops around the bomb holes and next to the trails. Despite extremely clear sign posting stating that these features should only be attempted if the rider is wearing appropriate protection, of decent skill and has a decent bike capable of attempting such feature, Timber feel the need to knock these features down despite the fact they are well off the beaten trail. This is extremely disappointing as the nearest challenging riding is over an hour and a half away (Chicksands, Aston Hill). I now can't wait to go to university where the nearest riding is Bike Park Wales where the trails do justice to the name 'Mountain Biking' safe to say i'm not going to miss Thetford Forest one bit!
  • + 8
 A fucking men dude!!!! What gets me is, when we try an discuss this or ask for more technical trails, even help to build or have our own area........ WE are the ones that get vilified!!! An then they wonder why TIMBER membership is so fckng low
  • + 7
 it seems like they only cater to Tight Lycra 29'rs!
  • + 5
 There is nothing like watching the Lycra clad "xc racers" getting ready to go on their five grand bikes and then catching up at them on the monster.....usually braking hard right after a fast corner
  • + 1
 Not the monster, the beast
  • + 2
 Or any other bit of the tight single track!
  • + 3
 Lazoo you'll miss The Beast, that's a fun little bit of trail, especially when it's wet and the chalk makes it the sideways surf. Make sure you get up into the North of Wales while you're there though, to be there for a couple of years and not ride in Snowdonia would be criminal!
  • + 3
 We have these same kinds around here in the SF bay area. They guilt you for not being a part of their club because the only way, according to them, to get good trails is by volunteering to help destroy what little you've already got.
  • + 11
 so true…just f*cking hike-a-bike if ya can't ride it…thats what I do.
  • + 7
 'Mountain bikers' also 'vandalized' most of the good DH trails in CH. The only reason you suspension lenzerheide is to eat up the braking bumps, LAAX killed the Never End and made it into a not particularly steep sidewalk, St. Moritz has their BMX compatible Flow trails and so on...
My mindset has always been that eating humble pie makes you want to get better and have more fun.
No pie = no grrrr = no improvement = no fun
  • + 10
 The photo of Mike Levy looks like a scene from the Walking Dead....
  • + 4
 Well said!

Pushing oneself just beyond the edge of ability whilst knowing the limit. Combining that with the only competition being with yourself and the aspirations of friends while progressing at the same time is the definition of fun for me personally.

I read this recently somewhere, sorry as I cannot provide the source but the writer had his/her head in the the right place:

"My country is pretty big, I've never seen all of it but I've been to a few places. But at the same time, from now till the moment I die I would not have traversed even 1% of the earth.

And then the Earth is a speck of dust in the galaxy and that our galaxy is less than that when you consider the universe. And then there's me, on earth, worrying about my next wage."
  • + 8
 Must have been good gear you were smoking this morning mate Razz
  • + 5
 Just ridiculously strong black coffee for me these days.
  • + 7
 Modern day = More people riding more capable bikes on easier trails.
Sad times.
  • + 4
 same deal around here, im by no means a fit strong rider. i like to think i have "some" skill. I went to my local trail not that long ago, to find every rock/root dug up out of a seemingly simple climb. and i personally know why those rocks were left in place because the climb wasnt too hard when the trail was built, and the "duff" was removed, so they stayed.

Improve your skill not the trail, i dont likely think that folks reading here are the culprits of this kind of crap, but honestly if someone dosent speak up it will continue.

bike parks are smooth for a reason, your local trails should stay however they were built. if you cant make a climb with your single speed, fixie, fatbike, rigid, whatever.... walk it, dont sanitize the trail.
  • + 7
 i eat shit lots. thats why i strap my shin pads on top of my jeans and took off the visor on my fullface
  • + 3
 I really enjoy and look forward to these write ups. They always offer some great insights and humor as well. Furthermore, I can read these at my office and look like I'm doing work. Watching videos without the sound on gets old. Keep up the good work so I can continue procrastinating real work.
  • + 3
 Thank you for writing this and showing personal humility with what is usually a very ego-driven community. I think you're right that no one wants to suck, so trails are being catered to the challenge-impaired. It annoys me because trail riding should never be about controlling and submitting the forces of nature. The risk we take going into the woods is an important part of our development, and it's sad that some people want to take that away so they don't have to deal with the error part of their own trials.
  • + 2
 LOL. great article. It only took 1 crash while trying to impress people to learn that you don't ride to impress other people. As I get older I actually prefer riding and not seeing a soul for hours. Great alone time with the bike. Just ride.
  • + 2
 I'm finding it hard to choke down the humble pie through this neck brace. I've been riding a fair amount since returning to mountain biking last fall. I've done a bit of racing in a local series (not last place--yay!!), and generally been progressing fairly well. I even chose a hard tail so as not to make things too easy, or allow myself to get too lazy. I'm sure most of us have been there--feeling that you can go faster and faster while just floating above the trail with immuity to consequences.

Fast forward to the Hawaiian vacation...

Day two, and I think it would be a fabulous idea to take the boogie board in the rental condo and hit up "Big Beach." Hey, I'm rippin' it on the mtn bike, right? Well, needless to say, by lunchtime on the second day of our vacation, my wife is on the phone with the travel insurance provider while I'm getting a CT scan. Speed bumps really suck with cracked vertebrae.

At least I'm only having to endure a couple of months of discomfort, but it really sucks missing out on prime riding time--even on those newly sanitized trails that annoy the author so much. On that note: While trails evolve and change with time, it's a real piss-off to finally find the best way over that root or rock, only to have it dug/cut out of the mountain your next time through!
  • + 2
 Good piece of text. There always will be some discords between experienced riders and newbies if there's lack of trails. I am strongly against facilitating existing trails and I am always disappointed when I see some jump's landing moved a meter nearer or there are disappearing rocks... But I understand there is need for newbie-trails, too. I think the best solution is to start building a new trail with newbies and let them finish it providing they don't touch main trail.
  • + 2
 Excellent article Mike.
You just described the situation here at Athens, Greece, were a bunch of spoiled brats keep digging & flattening all the elements that make a trail challenging.

Add on that the constant expansion of their destructive activities, snatching the hiking trails by transforming them into… flat race tracks, along with a bad altitude over anyone daring to spell the obvious.
It is no wonder why more & more people raise the question if the only solution would be to bane all bikes from the woods! This line of action will affect all disciplines, not only downhillers, but so far, they seem unable to get it.

So I will just repeat the following:
-Learn to REALLY control your bike. Speed will come gradually.
-If you cannot clear it, don’t remove it. This is your chance to be a better rider…
-Don’t remove it! You are spoiling someone’s ride…
-Learn respect. There are people out there, ridding way before you learned to balance. Usually these people ride were you cannot. Don’t destroy their playground
And
-Respect all the users of the public trails. Transforming a multipurpose trail into a DH “flow” course, will hurt more people than you may imagine.

Damn.
Uncajohn
  • + 1
 I'm 43, love trying to go bigger and faster. From the other side of this story...How bout when someone comes along and puts gaps in all the tables you built. And I was almost able to clear some of the bigger ones...maybe just a little better knowledge of suspension set up, couldn't get any more speed. Anyway, I let them be and found another spot to build more...why, cause I saw a couple kids having a blast and I thought, I'll be back someday to hit those gaps. Still kinda sucked though.
  • + 1
 Your missing one slice from that graph. The "it is my fault and no matter how much I look at it and try to learn it still means I'm not as good as I SHOULD be. " I unfortunately fit into that category. I try and stay humble and any time I get a little better I'm passed by someone and im back to the same old, I should be better. I can't for the life of me let go of that attitude. May be im a little hard on my self. May be im a perfectionist. Or may be just may be I have set the bar too high to a point at which I will never be able to reach. Just recently I went to whistler thinking that my biking has gotten better only to have all that I have "worked" for be thrown back into my face when trying to ride a trail that should be within my ability. That trail was A-Line and after not being able to get one clean run without knuckling I was left more then a little disheartened. I realized that I wasn't where I thought I was ability wise and am having a hard time judging where I am right now on the bike both mentally and physically. So like I said one more slice needs to be added. The one saying well I know it's my fault and I'm a failure because of it.
  • + 1
 Great article Mike. Thanks. The trail vandals thing is a real frustration. However, and I'm not advocating for unsanctioned hacks here, I do appreciate trails that are sustainably built. I'll admit I have bitched and moaned when a section of ugly rutted fall line that really left a sense of accomplishemnt when safely navigated gets blocked to make way for a bench cut flow. However, I also appreciate when there can be a balance of technical trail that will last, distribute water well, and stand up to the abuse of a rapidly growing onslaught of riders. I tend to eat a lot of humble pie on a bike as I am lucky to have many talented people to ride with these days and am reminded constantly that I'm luke warm shit on my best day.
  • + 2
 Good use of pie visuals.

Whoever is vandalising those trails is trying to sabotage them if they're that easy. Most people would realise a tree is a solid object and just ride around it, no?!
  • + 25
 I blame Strava
  • + 1
 My last piece got served to me when I was riding a high after the first race of the season. I was feeling unstoppable so I went for a quick rip over to some dirt jumps id seen and proceeded to over shoot them. When I finally landed, on my head and shoulder it resulted in me separating my shoulder. I had surgery and I still live in pain from it everyday, three years later. It took me three years but I went back last week and hit those jumps and actually landed them. This piece of humble pie really showed me what's actually at risk and I now calculate them allot more carefully.
  • + 1
 Stop complaining about big wheels for f#ck sake!! I have a 29er and ride any trails I can on it which is mostly
the same so called gnarly dh sections that the numpys in their full face and race pyjamas show up to ride.
why don't you try ride one before you slag every other person who does.
and if you have maybe your not quite as talented as you think you are!.
  • + 1
 Maybe those that dumb down your trails are thinking: 0K, we'll just iron out this last kink, perhaps then it will be so easy that those noobs wont have to skid all over the place.
  • + 0
 Always try to impress the people you ride with. Also, expect it in return. Motivate the people you are riding with, and push the level of riding. Ride outside of your comfort zone. You want to get hurt doing what you love, not doing something stupid like falling down the stairs. Breaking a bone or tearing some shit is only bad if you are too lazy to heal up and bring it back next season. Toughen up and acclimate to a higher level of difficulty and your sport will yield more satisfaction.
  • + 2
 Whenever I start to think about impressing the other people I'm riding with, it becomes a distraction and I usually ride worse. My goal while riding is to fully immerse myself in the moment, that's when I ride best. When I'm on my bike, even in a group, my only focus is the trail in front of me (And sometimes the whiskey in my flask).
  • + 2
 You can progress a shit ton without breaking or tearing shit, and losing half a season of progression to injury. Focused practice in a logical order yields maximum results. In mountain biking, many skills build on each other. Learn prerequisites first, and with lots of repetition, then move on to the bigger moves. Steady progress, measured over years, equal huge gains in both skills and fun.
  • + 2
 Yep. Pushing the limits is different than taking crazy risks. I remember as a teenager attempting ridiculous things because someone had a camera (before the days of iPhones) and coming away with an injury that would leave me off of a bike (or skateboard/snowboard) for weeks or months. As I get older I love pushing my limits but also knowing them. Also, from mountaineering I have always taken the "a good climb is one you come home from" motto and appreciate those that are brave enough to walk away from a risk they don't feel comfortable with in the moment. There's alaways tomorrow and if I push something on a day when I'm off just because I don't want my friends to think less of me (because the fanny pack already gives them enough cause) then I pay the ultimate price as we only get one body and in my thirties I'm already noticing old injuries haunting me.
  • - 4
flag burnadette (Aug 20, 2015 at 12:25) (Below Threshold)
 You guys sound so lame. re-read what you are writing. Stop acting like a bunch of scared groms and take some risk.

You think the guys riding the fest jumps aren't trying to impress each other?

my point here is... Step it up when you ride and try to make it worth the investment. No one wants to hear your story if you have taken zero risk.
  • + 4
 If you make your way over to Rossland BC you're welcome to join me for a ride anytime burnadette and you can then perhaps judge the difference between your misread "zero risk" and my description of taking more calculated risks. Either way, do what makes you happy and doesn't negatively impact others and don't worry about the rest. Looking forward to my lame ride tonight.
  • - 2
 Take me through your favorite trail @snl1200, and you can have fun watching me eat shit while I try to impress you. I will still be having fun keeping up and sending whatever looks good.
  • + 1
 ^ you sound like a 14 year old kid whos never crashed hard enough to knock some sense into himself.
  • - 4
flag burnadette (Aug 21, 2015 at 7:01) (Below Threshold)
 You sound like a 14 year old in your videos. bruh.
  • + 2
 lol you cant argue with stupid...
  • - 2
 What's the problem here whitebullit? You upset because I got a different opinion? I don't really care how young or stupid it sounds. I keep up when I ride with someone. Doesn't matter if it's jumping or single track, I'm there to get better. You keep on hating and tellin people how stupid they sound, and see how much better you get... I think you need to eat some more humble pie, or maybe just a big ole boner.
  • + 3
 I rode the same race Mike and was humbled every day. Kudos to you for giving it everything.
  • + 0
 So how the heck do you KNOW the guy that took the tree didn't simply LIKE IT?
Maybe he took it to plant it in his backyard, where btw, it would enjoy the rest of its life being watered on a regular basis, and even maybe getting a nice supplement of tree food every now and then...?
You didn't mention that said tree was laying on its side next to where it was previously sprouting from the ground..
Where I ride we don't have people ripping out the flora and fauna, we have the eco-nazis booby-trapping runs(in a county-owned park made for biking and hikers), by placing logs and other bike-stoppers on the back-side of blind entrance features
  • + 20
 Yeah, I'm sure that's what happened. I often go out for a ride and think "Damn, that's a nice boulder. I'm gonna put that in my pack and ride the 7 miles home with it so I can put it in my garden. I'll just help myself..."

As always, great read Mike.
  • + 4
 Not sure whats goin on in the first segment of your rant but Im in the same boat with sabotage with rocks and branches set up as traps.

I don't think the hikers realize just how fast mtn bikers are going when they try to "teach us a lesson". Ive had too many close calls. I sacrifice riding in a lot of areas due to lots of foot traffic. Not worth getting "taught a lesson" for having fun and not sitting at home playing video games or cooking meth.
  • + 7
 It was an (apparently very bad) attempt at a wee bit 'O sarcasm and comedy.
No, I don't actually think someone removed the friggen tree(unless maybe it was of the fruit-bearing kind?) to give it a better life in their backyard. What I DID think was that my sarcasm would be more obvious.
I shall take back the cookie I awarded myself.
  • + 11
 There's no place for sarcasm on the interenet...
  • + 1
 Got my slice a few weeks ago. Was having a sick year steping up my game and then i fractured my pelvis. Now i wont be riding till at least October...
  • + 1
 Shit man, didn't know you didn't finish BCBR!! Sorry to hear. I blew up a few times too, but did everything in my power to just roll...made it through!
  • + 1
 I thought all the Pinkbike editors were elite riders who always "testing" $10 0000 bikes and leading a rock star lifestyle :-)
  • + 9
 I just got back from a ride on a mid-level Cannondale test bike and ate the last bit of food in my apartment, a can of Stag chilli. I also live with my cat.
  • + 2
 and i still envy your lifestyle.
  • + 0
 What annoys me is when people deliberately block up the 'preferred lines' - I'm not after strava KOM's they just make the trails better and dangerously blocking up parts is irresponsible! #rantover
  • + 1
 Can't tell if you're talking about blocking features or bypasses or... Please clarify.
  • + 1
 Both!
  • + 1
 Sometimes nothing is sweeter than a big slice of humble pie. I like mine with a tall glass of holy f@ck.
  • - 2
 We got the vandals in ottawa too, south march highlands in particular this year is seeing some "manicure" work. And it is definitely MEN applying their CURE to spots on the network which worked FINE the way they were for a decade in most cases, because women are genetically gifted with the common sense NOT to close trail sections/alter technical bits in such a way that f*cking up could end in death/injury if you don't have an inate ability to crash well or a genetic predisposition to towards hyper flexibility that results dislocations/sprains instead of bone breakages. I happen to fortunately suffer from both of those as well as the good sense to ride with arm and knee pads. I have always been a much better technical climber than anything else, and love to hit short steep rock face on singletrack... and one spot that has almost never stopped me in the previous decade, this year has flow disrupting rock fields at the base of it, over spots that at most got an inch thick layer of mud at the most wet times (and that is all since its about the limit of the top soil on top of the rocky ridge line that the trail runs along). I'm sure someone male thought they were being clever putting them there, and sure maybe it reduces endo's coming down off the rock if you were too far forwards... but they also closed the bypass line around that whole face and end of a ridge by putting in loose large rocks, pointy ends facing upwards. I only noticed that part when I looked back and right to spot my fall zone when I then unexpected stalled on the face and balance and gravity pulled me backwards and stared into "ohhh this is new and going to hurt". I never used the bypass line in the previous nine years and largely forgot it was there because I never endo'ed coming down it and I almost never failed getting up it. Apparently though someone else wasn't that sort of rider and took it upon themselves to ruin a good section for those who had the technique down pat, as well as everyone else who simply used the bypass line... which again being on exposed canadian shield with very little topsoil, had no erosion worries to speak of.
  • + 0
 I took a hard slam yesterday, could barely walk just after, maan I was just thinking that it was a long time ago that I didn't crash and PAF!!, it happened...
  • + 1
 Defender of the gnar. Respect!
  • + 1
 Cumberland was a soul snatcher this year...
  • + 1
 awesome piece Dude. right on the money
  • + 1
 That Cumberland Stage Day 1 was crazy hot.
  • + 1
 Here here. Couldn't agree more.
  • + 1
 good read, excelent points thankyou
  • + 1
 Why did this make the front page?
  • + 2
 What page would you expect a PB article to make? Pretty sure it's in Chronological order.
  • + 2
 Humbling, that race is.
  • + 1
 Excellent Article
  • + 1
 Awesome Article!
  • + 1
 yes indeed
  • + 1
 excellent
  • + 1
 "Zang"
  • + 0
 Boooooo!!!
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