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The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments

Mar 11, 2021
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

Last week's episode saw us spend far too much time talking about spy shots (real and questionable), embargoes, and how we handle all that stuff, but it's time to shift gears. I don’t know about you guys, but being serious is too serious; I can do that once every three or four episodes, which is why number 52 sees us talking about our most embarrassing mountain bike moments. You know, like the time a certain mountain border wrecked a pricey crank at a press camp by not tightening his pedals. Or that one time that a new Pinkbike editor did her best scorpion impression off a drop and the video went viral. There's also that time that our favorite intern witnessed a tubeless tire explosion that took out an innocent bystander.

Oh, and the time that some goober's original Marzocchi Z1 fell off my, er, someone's bike at a downhill race because bolts were left loose and parts were left off. That was a hell of a lesson... Podcast number 52 sees James Smurthwaite, Alicia Leggett, Mike Kazimer, and I share some of our more humiliating mountain bike moments. Got one that trumps ours? Hit us up in the comment section below to share your own embarrassing bike stories, if only to make us feel a little better about ourselves.

March 11th, 2021

C'mon in, but leave your pride at the door.

Hosted by Mike Levy (usually) and 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?

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Member since Oct 18, 2005
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  • 36 0
 Was doing a race in my hometown forest as a grom. Got off the course and lost, but endless up making it back to a trail I knew and just riding home. Whole time the race has been over for hours and everyone there has been searching for me out in the woods. Some reason it never crossed my mind to call anyone, so I just say on the couch reading a book for 3 hours while everyone assumed a mountain lion had gotten me.
  • 6 0
 That sounds straight out of a Calvin and Hobbes story
  • 16 0
 Crashed at the very end of a ride at a local trail centre and hit my balls so hard, I cursed a load and limped off the trail only to see a family hidden around the last corner, dad had his hands over his kids ears.
  • 12 0
 Once I was following my buddy and we went into a corner too fast and both crashed at the same place and tumbled several feet downhill off the trail. We ended up coming to a stop with me on top of him in a very sexually suggestive position. We were with a large group, that included some women. It took a while to live that down.
  • 7 0
 My foot was caught in my frame, took about 30 seconds of struggling before we could separate.
  • 15 0

"My foot was caught in my frame, took about 30 seconds of snuggling before we could separate."

Sorry, it was too easy.
  • 8 1
 @dlford: The snuggling occurred after we separated.
  • 11 0
 There was this one time at band camp i left a prototype bike on my cars bike rack - right in the middle of the shuttle parking lot . Then some opportunistic guy took a picture of it and sent it to a bike website that posted it .So now i dont have my bro- deal hook up any more . Man was that embarrassing ....
  • 8 0
 I want this to be the actual person so bad
  • 9 0
 In 2013 I rode the Crusher in the Tushar and swapped seats that week because my current seat was really uncomfortable. Well that one was even worse and I couldn’t take it. I handed my number plate to the support vehicle half way through, took a DNF and rode to the finish (food was there)...with the announcer mistaking me as the leader headed up the final climb, then realizing it was just some dummy. Later in the food line It was me and the winning pro rider (Levi Leipheimer I think) who won and he nods to me as though I actually belonged there. That was my last bike race.
  • 3 0
 everyone was nice though you should take your crispiest best seat and give it another try. man things have changed since 2013 racing is a ton of fun
  • 1 0
 @timotheysski: Everyone was great at that race for sure from volunteers to riders, but boy was that humbling.
  • 1 0
 That race destroyed me in 2018. I came in way under prepared and suffered through a ton of cramps. The last half of the race I got caught in a wicked hailstorm that nearly gave a few of us hypothermia. I managed to finish but man was that humbling. My friends try to blame my slow time on the weather to give me some credit, haha I wish that were true. You should definitely come back! I think a race or two every couple years helps to keep you motivated.
  • 1 0
 @aztrack2010: You finished so that’s good! Lots of funny stories about longer bike races. Gonna assume your down in AZ by your name - enjoy the spring!
  • 7 0
 Something about being observed by attractive members of the opposite sex, causes me to dead sailor jumps. Well it used to, I'm older and married now and a lot less concerned with looking cool in front of women.
  • 2 0
 don't tell the wife... haha relatable man
  • 5 0
 Embarrassing story to share. My friends housemate was practicing some trials moves on his trail bike. He was hoping from one rock to another, slipped a pedal and caught his ball sack on the seat and ripped a hole in it. Ambulance was called. They noted someone would need to check to see if the balls were twisted ASAP as if they lost blood supply we would become sterile. So his girl friend had to look and reach inside to make sure they were ok. The balls were safe in the end.
  • 1 0
 That story hurts really bad just from reading it.
  • 7 0
 Clipped in, standing still and falling over in front of a bunch of people.
  • 3 0
 Raced Sea Otter Junior Downhill quite a few years back and I was all pumped for my first race. Got my friend to make me some jersey's, made a big deal about it with all my buddies, and then crashed out. The worst part was I crashed square into a camera man. I'll never forget it. I still feel guilty for clocking him hard.
  • 3 0
 Near the bottom of a long, steep trail. I hit a fallen tree across the trail at speed and went flying OTB, my bike follows me through the air and the searing hot brake disc lands on my knee...nobody saw the actual incident but I still have a shimano disc tattoo on my knee!
  • 6 0
 More Alicia in the future - she's hilarious and just a great person overall!
  • 3 0
 I actually met Alicia at that enduro race she talked about! My friend and I were the only racers getting ready to sleep in our truck the night before. Then Alicia pulls up in her Subaru to do the same thing. She came and introduced herself, we all chatted for a bit then went to bed.

The next day we ended up catching up between every stage. I think we both went from being bummed to hear she had crashed to shocked to hear she had won! Keep using Alicia as a presenter, she’s rad (Alicia it’s cool if you don’t remember us, you’re the one who’s famous now haha) - Chris (the guy on a hardtail) and Byron (the guy who won in lycra)
  • 1 0
 @aztrack2010 of course I remember you guys! Byron was great at wheelies and Chris built up lots of cool bikes in the following years. Good to hear from you and hope you're doing well!
  • 3 0
 I'm really liking the "story time" episodes like this one, Good Riding Buddies, Rides That Went Horribly Wrong, et. al. They're really fun and feel like the conversations my friends and I used to have around campfires pre-Covid.
  • 5 0
 Episodes should be longer, or more of them. This is my daily commute music and the playlist is too short
  • 5 3
 That one time I read a review and thought that the word "playful" actually meant something. Seriously, you all do not use it that much but it is standard lexicon everywhere else. What does it even mean? 27.5? Playful. 29? Playful. Short chainstays? Playful. Long chainstays? Playful. Long, low, slack? You are in luck! That is playful as well!
  • 2 0
 I can relate to @mikekazimer story about the jump after the container drop on Freight Train. In 2010 I crashed on that same jump, and suffered a pretty bad brain injury. Eleven years later I am still in therapy for it. I continue to suffer from balance/coordination issues, mood problems, and hallucinations. The Troy Lee D2 I was wearing during the crash is hanging on my wall. It has a nice flat spot in it.
  • 2 0
 @levy those tools are no joke! True story: when I worked in the industry, we were filming a commercial with a local production company for our shop, just goofing around in a local park. There was a smallish jump that had good sight lines that we were using, despite there being a huge stump hole on the left side of the landing. Simple, just go right, right? So I sent it extra big to the left. Put my front wheel all the way in that hole and absolutely launched otb. I was clipless so the bike trebucheted off my feet and nearly took out the camera woman. I landed on my back on the Park multitool in my jersey pocket breaking a couple ribs. Ouch! My ego!
  • 4 0
 When I first started riding again as an adult, I thought Giant was a French brand and tried to pronounce it in an accent with a soft 'g' like 'Zhee-ant'.
  • 2 0
 In my early XC hardtail riding days I was out riding with my university's mtb group. Made a mistake and fell a few meters down a steep slope, climbed back up only to find that my lycra pants had ripped and a good portion of my bare ass was exposed. I already pictured myself riding all the way back home with my ass hanging out... Luckily for me, one of the girls pulled a pair of jogging pants out of her backpack and handed it to me - life savior!
  • 1 0
 I was behind a friend riding a day and loose trail when he slid out. I came to a stop behind him then he quickly started off down the trail with his handlebars turned 180 degrees, levels facing himself. Seconds later he launched over the bars for a second time. Lucky he was uninjured but sadly no footage exists.
  • 1 0
 I was about 16, living the ''freeride'' scene with my new shining bighit (the ''real mullet'' 24-26). We had build trail on a friend land that had also a sand pit, and as a 16 year old do, we where having a huge bonefire which involved drinking a few beers and stuff in that sand pit. And what better place to have a nice drop (min 5 feet to too high if you got further) than a sand pit right? I had actually done that drop probably 5 or 6 time before in DAYLIGHT, not at night with only a faint flashlight for my takeoff and 2 moped lights for my landing... And I has a 16 year old do, you crack up on peer pressure and you know impress people with our ''Freeride skills and jumps''. I didn't pull at the right time for the drop ( not seeing the take off properly), going too fast ( you know 3 pedals strokes too much) and landed on my front wheel first, which dug in the sand. I did probably 2 front flips, and finally came out of it ''ok''. I did manage to break the wheel arc of my Junior T and dented both side of my frame with the fork stanchions. But my ego was the thing that thing was really broke.
  • 1 0
 Last year - a weekend of riding at a new trail centre. The weather was glorious for the whole weekend so the car park was rammed. At the end of the first day’s riding I packed my bike into the van and was backing out when my heel caught one of the ridges on the floor, I shot backwards out of the van like a scalded cat and ended up on my back; legal and arms flailing like a tortoise on its back.

Cue uproarious laughter from every man and his dog and a promise from one of the onlookers that his GoPro footage would end up on Friday Fails.
  • 1 0
 Start Stage 8 of my very first race. A friend waiting at last jump down the track to take a photo. Clipped left pedal on a rock out of the gate. crashed into timing sensor. So basically started the stage off my bike. Bent my derailleur hanger, rear brake lever at -40°. Riding down the steepest and gnarliest stage of that Enduro weekend bruised up, without rear brake and single gear. Embarassing? Yeah kinda lol
  • 1 0
 I lost a shoe in a crash during a dh race run. Cut to me frantically searching and swearing my head off with only one shoe on. Got passed by the next rider and decided I would just have to ride out. I get on and start riding, and come across my shoe like 50m down the trail.
  • 1 0
 I've definitely blown a topcap off as well. Using oil as a volume spacer it plugged my pumps bleed valve and I thought it was empty. ... And then they're purple oil dripping off the ceiling :p

I've also landed so nose up off a jump a blew apart my derailure and ended up with a brake lever on my shoe.
  • 1 0
 Way back in the mid 90’s I worked as a shop rat / crash test dummy. My then boss gave me several bikes to test on the 10 mile commute back and forth to work, such classics as the Trek Y33, Gary Fisher Joshua XO etc
One weekend he gave me a Klein Mantra Comp to test over the weekend and I followed him home, struggling to keep up as it bounced like hell with every pedal and he was riding a Trek X-Caliber. Seeing him smile at me over his shoulder as he rounded a corner I changed down a gear and dropped into an underground walkway stair set at speed only to realise he’d trimmed his speed for the 180 degree turn at the bottom. I jammed on the Deore V brakes and got sent out the front door, still clipped in I managed to jam my elbow into the frame stay of my bosses bike as I grabbed his wheel, fully bend the back end of the Klein and smash my knees up badly on the concrete stairs. I never raced that sneaky f***er again.
  • 1 0
 Rolling into the parking lot at high speed at the end of a trail (kind of a douche thing to do I know) saw a dog out of the corner of my eye that I thought was a car. Panicked and swerved because I thought I was about to get hit by a car, crashed at 30km an hour into the flat gravel parking lot. There were about 20 people having post ride beers watching in horror as I slid through the gravel in a parking lot. Got up covered in blood, said I was ok, loaded up and went home for the most painful shower of my life.
  • 1 0
 I'm sure @mikelevy would be happy to know he's not the only one who cranked his thumb.
Personally I chose to backpedal my thumb out, the chainring has also pierced my nail big time and the shop didn't have anything in their first aid kit. I ended up using vodka I've found in the freezer, which to be fair did the job rather well. I suspect the freezing temperature helped numbing the pain whilst i was playing it cool, well done workshop for the great choice of health and safety equipment ^___^'
  • 1 0
 Almost rode by my friend who was crashed about 10 feet off trail with his head downhill ontop of his bike with his legs trapped *under* his handlebars. He would have been totally trapped if I hadn't seen him!
  • 2 0
 Went to a group ride on the other side of my island, only to discover i left the rack keys at home ????, from that day i have a rack key spare in my car.
  • 2 0
 Pinkbike crew: Links to the mentioned clips please!
(This thread sucks without pics)
  • 1 0
 Turn James mic down. hes got bass and you guys got trebble. Such a heavy accent in my ear has me taking out the headphones when he speaks,
  • 1 0
 An “error code” on a climb on a ebike that leads to catastrophic failure? f*ck all of that nonsense.
  • 1 0
 I just imagine Alicia spending the whole time thinking "how are these idiots still alive?".
  • 1 0
 please switch to do these also on video, is good to have options..
  • 1 0
 Showed up to a ride and realized I forgot my bike.
  • 2 0
 More Alicia!!!!
  • 1 2
 Devinci Troy review coming anytime soon?
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