XC vs. DH: Let's Rumble - Sunday Comics with Taj Mihelich

Jan 19, 2020
by Taj Mihelich  

Yesterday I was talking to a trail manager friend of mine. He mentioned the challenge he has balancing trail usage between riders who want to blast down the hills with reckless abandon and those who want to climb up them no matter how much downhill traffic is coming at them. It got me thinking that pure cross-country riders and gravity riders who refuse to pedal uphill are both pretty funny.

And, so, for your entertainment, let’s watch them fight!


  • 221 5
 ‘O Enduro, Enduro, wherefore art thou Enduro? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love and I'll no longer be a Downhiller. Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy: thou art thyself, though not a Crosscountrier.’
  • 80 3
 ’Tis but thy name that is mine enemy:
What’s X.C.? It is not hand nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part.
What’s in a name? That which we call DH, by any other name would smell as sweet.
  • 123 4
 @Altron5000: To pedal, or not to descend, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous climbs,
Or to take arms against a sea of roots
And by doubling end them. To brake—to crash,
No more; and by a crash to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shock bottom outs
That DH is heir to.
  • 40 1
 "All the world's a ride and all the men and women merely riders. They have their berms and their climbs; And one man in his time rides many paths."
  • 62 2
 Doth mother know you weareth her goggles and half shell?
  • 4 4
 @dirtnapped: out of all of these. This is the best one haha.
  • 37 1
 We few, we happy few, we dh brothers;
For he to-day that shreds trails with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And climbers in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their spandex cheap whiles any speaks
That drop-in with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
  • 3 1
 @wingguy: Well this obviously wins!
  • 14 0
 I have of late—but wherefore I know not—lost all my girth, forgone all custom of shredding, and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the bike, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent trail, the jumps—look you, this brave o'erhanging double drop, these majestical roots fretted with slimy mud—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of tapers. What a piece of work is a bike! How noble in angles, how infinite in shredability! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the trails. The paragon of vehicles. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of parts? Climbs delights not me. No, nor spandex neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.
  • 22 0
 Did not expect iambic pentameter on Pinkbike today.
  • 2 1
 @sarahallen: Quote of the year!
  • 126 30
 Riding bikes is riding bikes as long as there is no motor.
  • 159 28
 A chair lift and a shuttle van both have motors.
  • 5 4
 @cvoc: it is ride on chair lift or van
  • 25 4
 @cvoc: and boats too, but none are bikes.
  • 36 6
 The AXS rear mech has a motor.
  • 6 9
 There is also the act of riding a bike with a motor
  • 36 11
 @mkotowski1: A bike with a motor is called "a motorcycle"
  • 4 2
 You get it. @The-Mango-Kid:
  • 4 29
flag phops (Jan 19, 2020 at 17:05) (Below Threshold)
 And riding low power motorized 2 wheel vehicles on mountain bike trails is also fine.
  • 3 0
 @cvoc: they, too, aren’t bikes.
  • 7 5
 @The-Mango-Kid: That line is used so often it’s become annoyingly cliche. Almost as annoying as the XC rider who refuses to yield when he’s riding downhill (because he refuses to ride the down-only trails).
  • 1 0
 @cvoc: does it cancel out if someone is riding a lift with a folding full susser ebike?
  • 4 8
flag Demoguy (Jan 19, 2020 at 19:28) (Below Threshold)
 @The-Mango-Kid: A Bike with a fossil fuel powered engine is called a motorcycle
a two-wheeled vehicle that is powered by a motor and has NO pedals.
  • 6 2
 @Demoguy: Electric Moped then.
  • 1 0
 @Demoguy: Not quite. You're got scooters in there too. In the states (many of them), there are different classifications for different power and style of motorized uncaged vehicles. It's amazing how they are able to see that there is a difference between a 1000cc motorcycle and a 50cc scooter...
  • 62 0
 disaster is imminent for those riding the chairlift in illustration 3 !
  • 4 0
 Nicely spotted!
  • 27 2
 "Look how little your knob is"...Priceless...TAJ you are one funny mofo!Smile
  • 34 1
 "Good thing you have Eagle. " is the one to hit my laugh out loud button.
  • 2 1
 @flaflow: This was my favorite as well
  • 23 3
 For every up there must be a down. Gotta learn to enjoy both sides of the coin!

If you need me, I’ll be donning my power ranger pajamas and climbing six miles of gravel to bomb down a mountain. Peace out!
  • 20 0
 We must set aside our differences fellow DHers and CXers and fight against the real enemy, ROADIES
  • 16 4
 Most CX/XC dudes are roadies who are just trying to be better than other roadies.
  • 18 2
 I ride singlespeed SS
  • 33 2
  • 6 0
 What ratio,30-50?
  • 31 1
 @cvoc: I have a rigid fixed-gear mountain bike, mostly as a trump card for internet arguments
  • 3 0
 @showmethemountains: but does it have alt bars?
  • 3 0
 @speed10: I'm not that hipster, so I have 32" wide Yamaha dirt bike handlebars. This one can win on the internet in better ways. Braap!
  • 2 1
 @showmethemountains: 620mm wide bar 70mm stem plastic rigid fork
  • 5 0
 @showmethemountains: Sounds cool. Let’s see pictures of you riding it down stairs.
  • 1 0
 @showmethemountains: that made my day
  • 3 0
 @ibishreddin: weird keeps things interesting
  • 1 0
 @nozes: only when riding in the alps
  • 1 0
 @fruitsd79: Not quite that OG. Mine is a beat up old 29er that was my main bike for 12 years before this rebirth.
  • 1 0
 You have a serious mental health issue, ride less!
  • 3 0
 its like your gears represent the number of people who want to ride with you.
  • 3 0
 @garb0: that’s funny as shit
  • 2 0
 @mkotowski1: I'm just busting your chops. I actually have a few friends in santa cruz who ride SS mtb and they smoke me going uphill...its mildly upsetting.
  • 16 2
 I'm the result of a XCer and DHer hooking up. I'm a Trailer rider
  • 8 1
 Power consumption on ski lifts varies widely due to lift size and steepness, but a big lift in VT or CO (which is where we all want to ride) could easily be around 600kWH according to the interwebs.

Based on my half-assed calculations (see disclaimer below), if an XC rider could sustain a 200 watt effort for 30 hours straight, they would generate 6kW hours. So, you would need 100 XC riders pedaling continuously for 30 hours straight at a 200 watt effort to power a big ski lift FOR ONE HOUR.

Disclaimer: This all assumes 100% efficiency batteries, which isn't possible. You'd also lose some energy to friction, bathroom breaks, mental breakdowns and other real-world details). Also, I'm a cyclist, not a physicist, so this could all be wildly inaccurate. Feel free to correct me if you have some expertise.
  • 4 1
 The bike park I have a season pass to is all run off of a massive windmill and a small solar installation. They’ve got enough surplus to have two electric car charging spots.
  • 2 0
 @pixelguru According to your numbers you could also just say that it takes 3000 XC riders at any time the lift spins. Say there are 100 chairs going up ( which is like 200 or 400 DH riders?) Sounds like pretty bad efficiency....
  • 2 1
 @DHhack: are they disconnected from the grid? What happens when the wind isn't blowing or it's cloudy? Do the lifts not turn?
  • 3 1
 @laksboy: berkshireeast.com/the-resort/berkshire-renewable-energy the eventual goal is to completely disconnect via energy storage that isn’t battery based. The bike park itself is fairly well known m.pinkbike.com/news/thunder-mountain-berkshire-east-new-englands-newest-downhill-park-2015.html and hosts round of the ESC every season for dh and enduro racing.

Thank you for your Trump reference, his complete lack of understanding of renewables technologies and the money/jobs it creates is quite... interesting.
  • 3 0
 @DHhack: I have solar panels on my roof and I generate excess power which goes to the grid and typically I see a credit from the power company every month. Thus I generate more power than I need. Are my power needs 100% met? Nope. I still get my power from the grid when the sun goes down, which also happen's to be when my peak power need occurs. This is true for all renewable's and the grid supply/demand in general. I think it's your lack of understanding of "renewable" technology that is in question here. Berkshire's goal of "power" storage is noble. Whether they can match their supply with sufficient energy storage capacity to match their demand curve when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining is a very challenging engineering & capital investment challenge.
  • 1 2
 @laksboy: comparing residential power needs with commercial. Please educate me. I’d love your explanation on if you think the pet project of rich people might account for such things? You’re stuck on cloudy days with no wind, a weather phenomenon that’s not particularly common in their part of the country, ignoring snow, which happens a lot more frequently than your Trump-FUD excuses go. But hey, you’re the expert!
  • 2 1
 @DHhack: www.ucsusa.org/resources/how-electricity-grid-works
When a company claims they get their power from "100% renewable" it's 100% feel-good marketing bullshit. Just like the bike industry. Unless they are disconnected from the grid and have no diesel back-up generators. It's a false statement, because that's not how the grid or electricity works. Berkshire's renewable assets probably do generate a surplus that meets or exceeds their demand and they may even get credits back from their local power grid for when they are generating more power than they need. But when the sun goes down and the wind isn't blowing, they are buying power back from the grid, and it's not the same "renewable electrons" that they sold to the grid earlier. It's from a base load nuke or coal plant, maybe hydro, or a peaker natural gas power plant. Or even if they do have enough pumped storage "battery capacity" unless it's all on a closed disconnected grid, there's no guarantee that those "electrons" coming from the pumped storage where in fact charged by Berkshire's surplus of turbine/solar generation. So charge your Tesla on a calm night at the ski hill and feel good about yourself but the power isn't coming from renewable energy.
  • 11 3
 Off road unicyclists look down on everyone.
  • 17 2
 Nah, mountain unicyclists are pretty mellow. It takes a PB account to feel better than someone else.
  • 2 0
 pretty sure it's the other way around
  • 15 0
 Well yeah, that riding position is super upright.
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: Never looked at it from that perspective. I ride my mountainbike standing up and because the bars on my bike are higher than the handlebar of a unicycle (typically the nose of the saddle or some people run an extension) it feels like I can stand taller on the bike than I do on the unicycle. So yeah, not sure which is taller. It may be similar. You can tuck low on a DH bike obviously but then again when you tuck SIF (seat in front) on a unicycle you're even lower Wink .
  • 3 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: 90* seat tube angle. So futuristic! Grim Donut ain't got nothin on it!
  • 2 0
 @Connerv6: It is a dynamic seat tube angle. It can be whatever you want it to be. If it isn't, blame it on yourself.
  • 2 0
 Definitely taller on my unicycle. Upright seating position and no bottom bracket drop. Trails that are all good on my bike have me head butting twigs on my uni.
  • 1 0
 @ColinChapman: Wait a second, aren't you supposed to be dead?
  • 8 0
 Spot on with the nunchucks, lol
  • 4 0
 that was my favorite part. The DHers had the nunchucku!
  • 6 3
 There should be a free rider (skate helmet, ripped flannel, jean shorts, ankle braces, blown out skate shoes) looking on to this debate like “are you guys silly or are ya just gonna send it?”
  • 9 8
 They're both satisfying in different ways. When I complete a 30+ mile ride with decent vertical I feel like I really accomplished something and sometimes wish I would have been able to hit the DH sections a couple more times.

When I finish a day of lift riding/shuttles I am still pretty spent and had a blast riding. Maybe not as much of a feeling of accomplishment as the epic ride. Hitting sections that challenge my skill level do give you that feeling of progression though.

I like them both. XC racing is not for me though. I'm just not built for it and don't have the time to train to the point where I'd be competitive locally. I'm built more like a powerlifter than a XCer. Genetics...
  • 6 2
 Well that is just utter p!sh. Just saying. Ride and be happy everyone, its 2020, the year of the BMX.
  • 2 0
 Thanks God (or actually to zillions of us riders & industry that serves us very well) for Enduro bikes! Ready for chairlift & shuttle, proper DH, but you can pedal it easy to remote special trailsSmile
  • 8 6
 I don't know how to define myself according to most people. I ride xc . I ride downhill and I also e- bike . I thought I was just a mountain biker but I guess I might be wrong
  • 4 0
 never heard of this mountain biking
  • 4 0
 I thought Hammer was known for baggies not tights?
  • 2 0
 Gotta love the battle between the baggy clothed DH'er and the sausage suit bro
  • 9 0
 If UCI regs allowed it, half every lift line would be people in lycra because the entire World Cup would be riding in it.
  • 8 3
 @Jamminator: No...no they wouldn't be. Did you even ride Whistler or another famous bike park in the early 2000's when the UCI allowed lycra? Half of every lift line was definitely not people in that garbage...
  • 5 1
 @Jamminator: so glad for the UCI on this one.
  • 3 0
 @madocreg2: The only other sport I know of that ever regulated clothing for purely aesthetic reasons is beach volleyball (had to be skimpy to draw the crowds in a sport no-one woulda watched otherwise - who says sex doesn't sell? No-one.)

Have you seen how tight DH pants are these days? May as well be in a skin suit.
  • 9 1
 My favorite dh crowd, hate lycra but love to wear slimfit skinny jeans! Big Grin
  • 3 0
 heres something fun, dh ski racers race in skinsuits, but if you go to a ski resort you see approx. 0 skinsuits.
  • 1 0
 @spaceofades: Bravo haha, exactly!
  • 3 0
 Pedaling is sign of failure.. Good one!
  • 3 1
 Should have drawn some xc riders in full attack mode for some pebbles, and some dhers casually dropping rampage
  • 2 0
 That one about eagle is hilarious, if you’re always getting a lift then I guess you don’t need eagle at all haha
  • 1 0
 Ok. The Shakespearean interpretation s and paraphrases win the internet. I'm late in this one but damn that's good! If riding be the food of love...RIDE ON!
  • 2 0
 Somewhere a dirt jumper is reading this while finishing a bong rip thinking "this seems like something my dad would like"
  • 3 1
 Whats wrong with doing everything? XC, Enduro, DH.... its all good!
  • 2 0
 So both factions collaboratively find each other's shortcomings. Sweet!
  • 2 0
 cant lie rampage would be more impressive if they rode uphill
  • 1 0
 I wear jeans, ride on 26" wheels, have no gears, but I have a 100mm Fox 36 fork. What am I ?
  • 1 0
 Probably my favourite one yet!
  • 1 0
 “Wow, that escalated quickly!”
  • 2 1
 Best damn cartoons! When does Taj become a syndicated Sunday regular?
  • 1 0
 The last one made my day a bit better! =D
  • 1 0
 My balance is DH on Summer and DC the rest of the year!!!
  • 1 1
 seems like it was written by someone who doesn't actually know any DH riders
  • 2 1
 XC world cup is just another downhill race that require actual muscles.
  • 1 0
 This is an awesome comic. True on both sides.
  • 1 1
 Any trail that you can pedal up would surely not be interesting to ride downhill for any kitted out gravity rider?
  • 1 0
 Enduro bros are XC riders with better marketing; change my mind
  • 1 0
 LOL!!~ DH'er
  • 3 2
 DH is better
  • 1 0
 What's a Trail Manager?
  • 1 2
 These are fantastic. Maybe next time we'll see a team-up against the roadies
  • 1 0
 Haha. This is brilliant.
  • 1 1
 DH and FR FOR EVA !
  • 10 12
 I think XCers won that easily.
  • 5 0
 Hell no! The DHers had the nunchucku. Those things make you invincible!
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