The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 106 - What's Your Ideal Ride Look Like?

Feb 18, 2022
by Mike Levy  
Art by Taj Mihelich

While every single ride can't be perfect, most of them are a hell of a good time. But there are also those days on the bike when everything seems to click into place, you choose all the right lines, you're feeling fit and strong, your bike runs smoothly for once, and whatever trail you're on couldn't possibly be any better than it is. Or maybe you greased that big jump you've been eyeing up for far too long, suffered up that endless climb, set that new PR you've been gunning for, or finally rode that nasty chute you've been going around. It might just be a solid ride with a solid group of friends. Whatever it looks like for you, those extra-special dream rides and perfect days don't happen all that often.

On today's podcast, Henry and I chat about some of our best days on the bike and what our dream rides would look like.

Feb 18th, 2022

Big climbs, big descents? Or all day at the jumps?

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston
Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained
Episode 79 - What's the Future of eMTBs?
Episode 80 - The Best Vehicles for Mountain Bikers
Episode 81 - You've Got Questions, We've (Maybe) Got Answers
Episode 82 - Behind the Scenes at Field Test
Episode 83 - Does Carbon Fiber Belong On Your Mountain Bike?
Episode 84 - Explaining RockShox's Computer Controlled Suspension
Episode 85 - Is the Red Bull Rampage Too Slopestyle?
Episode 86 - Greg Minnaar on the Honda DH Bike, World Cup Racing, and Staying Fast Forever
Episode 87 - How to Love Riding When it's Cold and Wet
Episode 88 - Mountain Biking on a Budget
Episode 89 - The Derailleur Pickle
Episode 90 - Is Supre the Future of Trouble-Free Drivetrains? (with Cedric Eveleigh of Lal Bikes)
Episode 91 - Riding Every Double Black in the Whistler Bike Park with Christina Chappetta
Episode 92 - Does Bike Weight Really Matter?
Episode 93 - Staying Motivated and Overcoming Burnout
Episode 94 - PBA Contestant Tori Wood on Her First Race and Finding the Right Mindset
Episode 95 - Field Test Down-Country Bike Debrief
Episode 96 - PBA Contestant Israel Carrillo on Riding in Mexico and Why It's Not Always About Speed
Episode 97 - Can We Predict the Future of Mountain Biking?
Episode 98 - Field Test Trail Bike Debrief
Episode 99 - New Year, New You?
Episode 100 - Q&A with the PB Editors
Episode 101 - MTB Tradeshows Explained
Episode 102 - Should MTB Media Be Going to Press Camps?
Episode 103 - Secrets from the World Cup Pits with Henry Quinney
Episode 104 - Lachlan Morton on How to be a Happy Bike Racer and the World's Longest Climb
Episode 105 - The 3 Bike Budget Challenge

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 26 0
 My perfect mountain bike ride (preferably 8+ hours in the real mountains) is when I come back to a campsite and don't have to drive anywhere.
  • 16 0
 Plus someone already has the BBQ going and the beers chilled
  • 6 0
 Yeah, that's perfection! Nothing better than coming back to the campsite, slumping in my chair next to the fire with some grub and beers and talking shit for the rest of the evening with my buddies.
  • 11 1
 Eight hours! You guys are tough. I'm retired and can ride nearly every day. One to three hours leaves me without (additional) aches and pains and enough energy to do other things. I like fire road climbs and single track descents. Since I live in Salida, CO, I have plenty of choices (even in the winter). Afterwards, I prefer access to a real bed and a hot tub. Retirement is great, but I'd trade it for being younger.
  • 3 0
 @jacobyw: 8 hours is alot, but depending on the trails and the vibes sometimes its not enough!
  • 2 0
 Idk about the campsite... when I get back from a ride I'm usually half drowned in sweat and covered with dust, first thing I want is a shower. But yeah, not having to drive anywhere is super, super, nice. I can ride a loop strait from my house with only a a mile of double track before I get to the trail and a couple miles of pavement on the other end. It's so great. Only downside is that I have to ride right by, practically thru the city landfill. But it's quite a small town so it's usually not too smelly.
  • 1 0
 I guess this is a family show these days? But can we add more post ride benefits?
Given we’ve just had 8 hours in the saddle there’s certain stuff i’m not doing though…
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: better than a shower is a swim in a secluded pond
  • 14 0
 a mountain that keeps going down forever. you never have to climb, or worry about shuttles, or buy a lift ticket, you just go forever.
  • 16 5
 Sounds like you need an e-bike. *Braces for downvote onslaught*
  • 7 0
 Maybe you can ride down an escalator?
  • 6 1
 @MuddyBrit: Do you mean a down-alator or an up-alator? Because if you ride down a down-alator that can be pretty dangerous as you'll probably hit 88mph and then arrive at the bottom before you actually started and therefore end up in an infinite time loop which would suck for getting a post ride beverage and snack.
  • 4 1
 @bigtim: I was thinking an up-alator, but if @danielfloyd wants an eternal downhill then your Back to the Future loop may also be a good option.
  • 6 0
 @bigtim: An endless ride on an E-bike is a terrifying description of hell.

I promise to never ride vulnerable muddy trails, wave at hikers and do more trail work so I never go there.
  • 7 0
 When you get to do one really long descent, that keeps changing terrain as you drop in altitude. One of my favourites starts off in a lunar landscape, then goes into twisty leaf covered singletrack, then natural hardpack-like dirt, until finally pine needle and cone switchbacks.
  • 1 0
 Sounds like your dream ride is the Megavalanche. It's all that plus the snow up top.
  • 11 0
 I like to call those failed rides "bio-mechanicals"
  • 5 0
 That’s pretty good, I’m gonna use that one.
  • 5 1
 I have to say the beta articles get to me a touch. I’m not a child so I really don’t care that I have to scroll for one more second. No, it’s usually that they post some ridiculously hot take that I want to go comment on and set the record straight but I can’t.
  • 1 0
 you can filter them out.
  • 4 0
 Interesting discussion. My dream rides typically involve traveling to some new destination and stringing together a handful of days of long epic rides. Sometimes it's one of our regular Tuesday night rides with buddies on local trails.Like Mike said, nailing some section of trail. The part of the talk that resonated with me, being an older guys is not hitting features that I would have before. Regression versus Progression. It doesn't keep me up at night but we all want our riding to advance. Still, the most important part is just getting out there. You never know when a dream ride will appear.
  • 4 0
 Gotta find that progression elsewhere sometimes.
  • 4 0
 Definitely agree bike parks and shuttle laps just don't do much for me anymore, I want big solo days in the backcountry on some questionable trails surrounded by mountain top views.
  • 3 0
 My rides are generally solo or with one other rider, and I can relate to Henry's comment about preferring a single companion. As a busy family guy my rides generally need to fit into a 2-hour window, and it's a great way to catch up with a friend - when life gets busy it can be the only way I get to hang out with my friends. I prefer single track climbs in pure riding terms, but a 60-minute climb up a fire road makes it easy to ride side-by-side and chat with a friend, before a quick downhill run. It's not exactly my 'dream ride', but it's ideal for getting regular physical/mental therapy with some social bonding on the side!
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy should definitely do a Pod on how and why you guys and listeners got into riding, would be an interesting listen for sure. I got into it from a back packing trip back in 2010. I met this rad Norwegian guy when I was trying to snowboard in Argentina. He showed me some GoPro footage of a DH trip he’d done in La Paz, Bolivia and as we were heading up there I booked myself in. Had an absolute blast shuttling the Bolivian national DH track on Kona Stinkys. Then I learned the same company had a trip out of Cusco, Peru so did that too. Returned to Bolivia as we were headed to Brazil so stopped in and did the same trip again. I’m a Brit but after backpacking I got a sponsorship VISA to Australia so as soon as I got settled, got a bank loan and bought a brand new 2012 trek slash 8 and I’ve been hooked ever since. Lastly….small world story but ended up meeting my guide from Peru at a DH race just outside of Brisbane, he’d returned to Australia and we’ve been great mates ever since. Riding with him this weekend as it goes. Love the Pod, keep up the good work!
  • 3 0
 To Henry's comment about European facilities, similar to snowboarding, a great day is about the breaks! Ride, morning coffee. Ride, lunch, Ride, afternoon coffee and cake. Finish at a cafe / bar. Then out for pizza, drinks and lies.
  • 2 0
 That's half the joy of skiing in the Alps, vin hot choc or chaud mid-morning, lunchtime stop on a sunny deck, late afternoon drinks back in the village etc. Sometimes it's a social thing and not about improving fitness or speed.
  • 6 1
 Mega shuttle day with a tight crew on the nastiest trails with hero dirt, facilitated by a self-driving electric truck
  • 11 0
 Not a big day in Lycra on the XC bike?!
  • 3 0

Hey, if PB sponsored me an XC rig, then I'm sure I could get down with that too

But I'd probably just end up selling it to finance a DHer's requisite beer, gas, and brake pads, and trail tools
  • 1 0
 A hot sunny day with a good hard ride up for a few hours in the morning followed by dropping down through a technical forest above some redrock country to eventually break out onto a nice desert trail. Get high AF and ride along with a song in your head enjoying life. At the end of your loop is your camp at water's edge.
  • 1 0
 I want a nice mix of technical riding with some nice flowing trails through a heavily wooded hilly or mountainous area with no one else around. Just a place for me to go and ride for a day and not have to worry about anyone. Finishing off with a campsite by a lake, fish on the grill, a bobber in the water and a glass of whiskey.
  • 1 0
 Kaz/Levy/Henry - what are your favorite grips these days? I've been reading a lot about push on grips as of late and that many have made the switch over lockons and the feel is better. I've ridden the Ergon GE1's for years but considering trying something new/different - what do you like and why?
  • 1 0
 Oh yea...ideal laps at Whistler with a good crew in the evenings after all the tourists have called it a day. DM > A-Line > Can Opener.
  • 1 0
 Ideal ride, for me, is carrying other riders along on their progression. I'm a little older now, a little fatter now, I had a long time of what one may refer to as a "BMX background". And I understand that even as a improve my MTBing skills I'm never going to be at that level again that I was 10-15 years ago.

That being said, the only way for me to really chase that since of moving forward and progressing is to help others and siphon their stoke to fuel my own. I've been improving my teaching skills more than my riding skills lately and it's just made MTBing that much more valuable. More friends, more riders, more rides, more progression (spread around), and more reason to invest in MTBing. Keeping people out of the emergency room and not being airlifted out of an area with pirate trails is the greatest service I can imagine offering our community Smile
  • 1 0
 Solo or a handful of friends, doesn't have to be long, short, or particularly difficult so long as the ride is the only thing that exists in my head. And I absolutely agree with Henry, as great as big stunts and surviving the sketch can be, those moments when you've nailed a spot into being consistently better at it are wonderful. One of my more stupid rides left me and a friend climbing a fairly steep hill covered in loose slate in nearly complete darkness. We had overestimated how fast we'd be on an earlier stretch and ran out of light, to be fair I don't know that we'd have attempted the climb had we been able to properly see it. Wild how the need to get through can override any sense of self doubt and having gone back since I've not been able to clean that section in the daylight.
  • 1 0
 Question for the podcast (based on a comment about riding with people at the same level).
Where do you place the team in terms of general MTB riders' capabilities? Are you total legends? Washed up? It's like watching care reviews where a part time race driver is using every inch of the road / track, drifing and complaining about hte car on the limit, but what's the point of reference for you people and bikes.

As much as we'd love to see the PB team do a stage or two of Pinkbike Academy to see who's fast, I fear it won't happen, so instead, how about the team rates every rider in order of speed / ability? Do it blind and then discuss on the podcast. Maybe a poll on the forum where "Pinkers" can rate each of the PB team on a scale of "I'd get drapped" to "I'd smoke that fool".
  • 1 0
 *car reviews, obviously.
  • 1 0
 As for Dream rides, most of my most memorable rides were on a road trip to somewhere new. I'd have to say my first Southwest trip, hitting all of the top rides in Crested Butte, Salida, Fruita, Bryce Canyon, St George, and Moab where Monarch Crest stands out with it's gorgeous views & high elevation. Not particularly technical but we were dog tired by the time we finished. There was a celebration of some sort in the Salida downtown park where the beers were cold and we had to opportunity to meet some new friends. I guess I'll just have to dream up another new ride...thanks for the podcast.
  • 1 0
 Always been a repeat 1 guy. I’ll put a ride on loop for months gradually dialing in each thing, baby stepping from ride-around to send. Zero talent, so need to bed in the trail to find the comfort zone to go fast. If it finally feels right to hit that one thing I’ve been riding around for weeks, that’s when the progression happens. Bit by bit, not leaps and bounds. Once I’m there though it’s epic - I can go fast and send it without the paralyzing fear that comes when you pressure yourself to hit something new or go real fast.
  • 1 0
 I am really not a group ride fan. In fact when a buddy of mine decided he wanted to get a new bike and go riding with me, I felt a slight sense of dread. I love my alone time in the woods. However the most memorable rides have been with close family members and an ideal ride would probably include them.
  • 2 1
 I love the podcast, but for the love of baby Jesus, use your radio voices. The only person that has a good radio voice is Levy. Henry whispers, Sarah trails off and eventually sounds like she’s out of air…Kaz is OK, but quiet, too. PLEASE!
  • 1 0
 I really like this podcast.

A question though, When Henry says he and his friend before a long climb, they "put a good album on and just listen to the music" what does that mean? Do they have a way to listen to vinyl on headphones while they ride or what?

And... also I really agree with the idea of similar expectations about time, To me, when we say we ride at noon, that means that at noon we're ready to ride. That's when we start to pedal. I've learned to be very specific about that - "do you mean we start to ride at noon or we pull into the parking lot around noon?" We have a fantastic riding group here, but they mean: around noon I'll start looking for my stuff to get dressed and ready to start driving to wherever we said we'd meet. I'll be there around 1. Certainly no later than 2.
  • 3 0
 No off-leash dogs trying to kill you as their owners stand by pretending that everything is normal...
  • 1 0
 It's always "don't worry they're friendly!" I have had a few dogs who get stoked and start following you and abandon their owners and then you're stuck deciding if you should take them back so they don't get lost.
  • 3 0
 I love biking with my gsp but I can't stand most dog owners who think they have a "trail" dog.. If your dog isn't under voice command and can't "heel", "come", or "leave it", it shouldn't be off leash in a public space.
  • 1 0
 Pinkr™️ a new Trailforks feature? Matching Senders with Senders and Climbers with Climbers through highly specialized CRC (Chain Ring Compatibility) and PRF/CT (Pedals Rides Flat or Clipped Toes)
  • 2 0
 Love me a door-to-door Powerslave loop. Pedal up Fairly High and Really High, short climb up the FSR and drop into Powerslave, Low-Baller and Bedframe.
  • 1 0
 Now that’s a ride!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the pod. I’m a sucker for shuttles when I can get them, being in a place where it’s mostly undulating single track with no particularly large hills. Would love a podcast on how you all got into mtbing!
  • 3 0
 Added to the list!
  • 1 0
 I have regretted only doing the Vedder Enduro, this year I want to do the xc and the Enduro, but on the same bike/equipment. Sounds like a job for Henry. Fwiw I'll be on my new spire so....
  • 1 0
 Say, I was wandering, whatever happened to that Trek slash Kaz bought second hand as part of a video to show us hoe to buy a second hand bike?
  • 2 0
 That was just a used bike at a shop that we had as an example, not for Kaz to actually buy Wink
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: the guy in the bike shop sould’ve said it was Brandon Semenuk’s cousin old bike, maybe Kaz would’ve bought it then hahahahahah
  • 1 0
 LOTS is definitely one of those epic rides that will stay in your memory forever. But from Squamish? those 100km of highway are brutal. been there, done that.
  • 1 0
 100km on that GT Force with an idler pulley oooof
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I'd hate to just do the Vedder Enduro again. To make it more of an adventure I would like to do both xc and Enduro on my spire, can you talk to Henry for me pls. Thx Mike it's Jamie.
  • 1 0
 Maybe it's too late, but a question for a future pod: is there anything to think about before buying a used set of brakes (levers, hoses, calipers)?
  • 1 0
 Podcast needs audio help. I drive a big truck and can’t hear you guys at all, even with my radio/headphones maxed out. Sucks cause this seemed like an interesting episode.
  • 2 0
 any day i get to ride my bike is a dream ride.
  • 1 0
 When it's 38 degrees C outside, nothing beats Zwifting to another Mike Levy podcast!
  • 1 0
 I was kinda curious about the 3 legged dog...did he have 4 before the dog walker lost him??
  • 2 0
 All I need is Henry, Mike and Mike.
  • 1 0
 Haven't listened yet but we already know Levy's ideal ride is a gravel grind
  • 1 0
 WBP with no lift lines, every trail open then longhorns
  • 1 0
 You mean "longhorns" longhorns? They have that in Canada? And people like it?
  • 1 0
 Great views, great weather, great friends.
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