It's been a while since I wrote an article and that was mostly due to the fact of how depressed I got after the Eurobike trade show. One thing is to come up with a ridiculous idea, but the other is to make it a reality; now, what is really terrifying is when it is put into production. The latest Eurobike coverage from PB with commentary from Dave Trump made Waki Leaks unnecessary. I felt useless and I needed to see a doctor about it. I did some research and found para-psychologist, Professor Sigmund von Schadenfreud from Basil, Switzerland who specializes in sport psychology in cycling. The two month therapy session was so soothing and enlightening that I decided to interview him in case anyone would like to take a deeper look at his passion.Hello Herr Professor, Can you tell us something about your background?
I used to work with the Swiss national cycling team, we helped many riders reach their mental optimum before races, including Daunhill team in the early 2000's. I soon realized that if we can be so successful with professional racers, we can also help amateurs who are very passionate about the sport, but many obstacles in every day life keep them from being better riders and more fulfilled human beings - and that was before smart phones were available.Why MTB?
Mountain biking is a sport where human factor is absolutely dominating yet there are many gadgets available that steal our focus and take it away from what really matters: skill and both physical and mental training. Bikes have become so good these days that it is very easy to enjoy a thrilling ride without breaking a neck or dehydrating yourself, especially now, with those electric bikes. We have limited ability to focus and limited time on this earth, also trusting technology strengthens our minority complex. It's like Sauron and his ring of power, he put all his energy into it, and so do we with titanium, carbon or Kashima. Once complex is given enough power it starts to live a life of its own. It can eventually possess a person so that he puts his bike on the weight scale time after time again. There are archetypes that possess people who tinker too much into technology, they even get names of mystical creatures. What are those mystical creatures?
There are many: Pedal Bob, Brake Jack, Stiction. They haunt minds of riders who bought more than one full suspension bike, they can be very naughty and cause many arguments on the internet, ruin personal economies, devour any amount of time for researching which component is the most sensible choice. In my practice as a para-psychologist I have found good ways of curing those issues. One thing I am sure is that getting back to a rigid bike with cantilevers does not help, it is a hipster move that will just create a yo-yo effect and an even longer therapy might be needed. What does the therapy look like?Pedal Bob
, a ghost of a fat man, usually attacks people who study suspension effectively and put a lot of trust into their Granny ring. I recommend strength training and switching to harder gears. It usually scares him away. The worst symptom of having a Pedal Bob is overuse of lockout, often seen among MTB Marathon cyclists. Enduro riders tend to suffer from Pedal Kick
given by Pedal Bob. There used to be a legend that VPP suspension designs summon that effect.Brake Jack
is also a nasty spirit, it locks certain suspension systems turning a bike into a virtual hardtail. The classical exorcism in that case is to teach the haunted person to brake in right spots, like not in corners, not on roots or rocks, scan the trail to find, as we call it, braking carpets. That allows for the suspension to absorb hits. Those exorcisms if practised well over longer periods of time can free riders from the influence of Brake Jack. If a haunted person won't do therapy than they may install a floating brake device, which is hideous. Damme Stiction
- The wraith, ghost of a woman that haunts and possess riders testing suspension in parking lots. It links directly to animal, female part of man's psyche, making men very sensitive to the smallest bumps. This is a particularly bad one because the cure is very risky - The only way to get rid of her is to ride fast. Some of the best advice in that subject has been given by Brendan Fairclough - set your suspension hard as f* and ride faster and faster until it feels good.Does size matter Herr Professor?
It depends on a person and on a trail, but as with everything that Carl Jung taught us: the point is to stay on balance, and for it many things must come together, we cannot isolate one or two factors and judge a bike's ability to boost our performance based on head angle or wheel size.Internet fights, why do they happen so often?
People love bikes, they would kill to be able to ride everyday, but the reality of life does not allow it, you have to earn money to pay bills and send children to school. This is how this civilisation works, no matter what PRO riders say in emotional confessions. They can make a living from riding because people at desks buy products they are advertising. We may get so into virtual mountain biking that we may eventually believe that the only way to be a happy person is to become a pro rider, anything else is a weakness. All that longing, watching sick edits traps energy which then gets released on the internet, sometimes in the form of angry shadow projection. Men project their deepest complexes on their online adversaries and the longer the argument the more they accuse the others of their own traits. It's counter intuitive to realize that once the energy is there, it can be used for anything bike related, like training in the gym, nagging your wife or boss to let you go biking. The Internet is just too much of an accessible sink for it. Any final thoughts Herr Professor?
To the light hearted: according to the concept of duality, mountain biking, just like any other thing that we get passionate about, releases the best as well as the worst of us, so don't bypass it by saying it's all about fun. Then to geeks: gaining knowledge in some subject is useless if we can't use it in reality, everyone's heard about looking ahead when riding a bike, but how many practice that? Learning how to dial the shim stack in your fork and shock won't help if you can't ride balanced and weigh parts of the bike according to a situation on the trail. Go out and ride as often as you can but don't just ride, practice as well. To all: it is extremely important to understand that marketing only exploits our inner fears and complexes, hype is something we do to ourselves.WAKi: Thank you!
- My pleasure and arguably yours,
Wacek Kipszak – Wakiwaki-leaks.blogspot.com Waki on FacebookPrevious Instalments:Installment#1 Sheman-OH SaintENInstallment#2 Sheman-OH XtrollInstallment#3 SPAM XE1lInstallment#4 Spirit of EnduroInstallment#5 2x2 Zoopa DriveInstallment#6 Trike Aero-kitInstallment#7 Non Electronic Suspension
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be a satire. My very intention with it is to entertain you and eventually provide some food for reflection in case we treat our sport a bit too seriously. I honestly do not wish to insult or harm anyone or any company. Eventual resemblance to persons, names and places might be coincidental. Professor Sigmund von Schadenfreud does not exist.