Video: XC Rider Rab Wardell Hits the Skatepark in Episode 3 of 'Old Enough to Know Better'

Dec 20, 2021 at 8:11
by Rab Wardell  

With 11 days until the British XC champs, Rab decides to mix things up. His physical shape is looking good - the numbers don’t lie - but what about the mental preparations? Riding an indoor skatepark might not seem like ideal preparation for a national XC championship, but as we find out from some esteemed members of his cohort, fun can be just as beneficial as physical gains…..


  • 36 0
 Mountain biking is weirdly race orientated considering absolutely nobody races. Everything’s about how to get faster and what parts will make you faster. Rides with your mates these days are like practice sessions where dudes with c02 canisters taped to their massive 29 inch enduro race bikes that don’t race stand around sections of trail debating which lines the fastest for a race that’s not going to happen. MTB can learn a lot from bmx or skateboarding where the focus is on you having fun and actually getting better on a bike instead of everything being an imaginary competition with your mates. Ironically that’s how you actually get faster on a mountain bike anyway which is why I have bmx’er mates that are better at mountain biking than pretty much everyone I know after a handful of rides and why Nyquist can just turn up at crankworks and get on the podium.
  • 3 1
 While i agree with the sentiment, what you're talking about with those guys is trying to improve their riding for the sake of their own enjoyment, there's nothing wrong with that. Besides, skating/bmx due to their nature are generally about doing the same thing 5000 times until you can do it perfectly. Also, also, its not so bad now, but a few years ago you'd get beaten up for turning the wrong way out of fakie, bus drivering a bar spin, etc!
  • 3 0
 Yes. I hate doing group rides these days. Everyone just wants to cut corners and race everything. Noone is doing sessions anymore.
  • 1 2
 lmaoooo i enjoy bmxing quite a lot but you're delusional if you think anything nyquist or crankworx slope embodies == racing, it's always impressive how pb commenters find ways to further gatekeep an already gatekept sport
  • 1 0
 @pbuser2299: but is not bmx just an imaginary freestyle competition? I mean nobody competes but everyone learns tricks by doing them over and over.
  • 3 0
 @englertracing: it's the difference of competeing with yourself for personal progression over competeing against others for bragging rights
  • 5 0
 @pbuser2299: what do you mean a few years ago? Indian givers will never be accepted! Wink
  • 1 0
 @Royal28: I’m confused by the gate keeping comments, could you explain what you mean? What I was trying to say to a going to the park or something similar also gives you the skills to be really good at mountain biking and was just using Nyquist as an example.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: not at all. You just ride for fun and complete against yourself. Nobody’s going to the skatepark and putting together a 1 min comp run and practicing for a competition that’s never going to happen.
  • 5 1
 Hate to break this to you but that's actually how the rich people's world works. Just take a look at the supercar market, like 95% of the supercars are purchased by the super rich dudes who don't even know how to shift correctly let alone going around a track fast, and they all brag about how fast they can drive the multi million fast car they just bought. While MTB was not that horribly rich people oriented as supercars but the market/industry seems to be consistently stepping towards that direction for at least the past 10 or so years. I actually don't really hate what the industry is heading towards as it's the way to make easy money and who doesn't like money anyways, car people still get budget used civics and golfs that they can tune and have a hell of a fun or even breaking records on track while everything in the MTB world is just consistently getting more and more high tech and expensive and not backward compatible to a point I believe it's actually turning off a lot of "I'm just here trying to have a good time" people, while BMX and skateboarding doesn't change that much since forever no matter tech wise or price wise so they will be a lot more attractive to those people.

In short, we're at the moment where MTBing is turning from a hang-out-and-have-a-good-time sport into a rich people's brag game, and there's no sign of stopping so far.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely nobody races? Everyone I ride with races. I race mainly XC, but many of us also race enduro and therefore ride with enduro racers (and some of them have a crack at XC).

This is a great video. Loved it. Today's a rest day for me and this video made me very keen to get back on the bike tomorrow.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: if you race then I’m guessing a lot of the people you ride with also race and you know them from the races, so I’m not surprised you know a load of racers but I’m guessing 99.9% of the mountain biker population don’t race.
  • 15 0
 I can relate to this dude. After doing BMX in my youth and hitting jumps at the old gravel pit, I started racing XC and then road in my 20's and 30's. Totally focused on FTP and results. I even did a couple ironman. At the age of 35 I was burned out and didn't ride for two years. After failing to diversify my hobbies (golf is stupid, flyfishing is okay but expensive and time consuming), I started riding mountain again. But this time I focused on fun. I started hitting the smallest jumps and drops and slowly progressed. I turn 40 in a few months. I can't do a backflip, but I can jump higher than ever, clearing doubles that I thought would have been impossible just a few years ago. I now look for any window to get out and just pedal around. I know, I'm inspirational.
  • 5 0
 I recognize the sarcasm at the end, but this IS legitimately inspirational. Enjoying life, doing something active, progressing toward small personal goals while having fun outdoors. What could be better than that?
  • 3 0
 I also grew up as a BMX kid and then started racing xc in my early 20's. I recognize I have a competitive side and after leaving college and not having organized sports, it was my way to have something to focus on to try and train to be the fastest around. I did that for probably 8 years or so and then hit a wall like you. I bought a longer travel bike and took a few years off racing to just go out and ride. Last year I started racing xc again and while it is fun to be competitive, I certainly don't put as much pressure on myself as I used to, so I am enjoying it more. I still have my bmx and I want to get a DJ bike so when I have the urge, I can go jump around and pretend I'm 16 again
  • 1 0
 I turned 40 this year and am riding trails (as in dirt jumps) which are bigger and better than any point in my life. Thats with a kid, a "real person" job, a wife and a mortgage. I feel angry at the younger version of myself who was clearly a pussy-hole
  • 5 0
 love it, always push to learn more
i remember one season (just to say i did it once) i raced
Dual Slalom

sure some of it was much better than the other but it gave me some serious perspective on all aspects of this wonderful sport
  • 1 0
 That is very well done. I got the first five in a season but my skinny tyres went for good decades ago.
  • 7 1
 The latest service interruption was brought to you by Outage+
  • 2 0
 I was fortunate to have grown up in the midst of the early 2000 indoor skatepark scene in the Midwest. The energy inside thopse parks during a heavy session was tangible. I spent 12 years in my late teens and into my twenties riding 7 days a week. Indoor parks are a bit of a lost thing these days but it shaped who I am as a rider and as a person and it's awesome to see this video highlight a good bit of that. Having just turned 36 myself a few days ago and still regularly riding BMX but transitioning into more and more MTB, I'm really enjoying this series. Look forward to the next one.
  • 2 0
 Racing or not, perfecting a line (while also going fast, or perfecting it then trying to do it faster and maintain "perfection") is no different than perfecting a trick. it feels so good when you nail it, but you can always pop harder, tweak more, or go faster.

If you have the money, spend it on something you love. Buy those fancy race parts that improve the clock that may never be actually raced against. Better than a bar tab, frivilous ritzy dinner, or jelweley/streetwear/shoes/cars/watches/beach vacations.
  • 1 0
 Unit 23 is in Dumbarton, about 20 miles west of Glasgow. .
  • 1 0
 Ten miles north of Loch Lomond and probably Scotlands best riding destination.
  • 3 2
 He has a BMX background...
  • 2 0
 This is great.
  • 1 0
 What mi-bike said.

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