Just Relax Already - Opinion

Feb 3, 2016 at 19:12
by Mike Levy  
Mike Levy


Hello. My name is Mike, and I'm a competitive a*shole.

This means that I often (always) take things too seriously, unless I'm relaxing, in which case I'm going to try to relax better than you. It's 2016, however, and everyone needs to have a good time and feel like a winner, but only the winner is the winner, and everyone else is a loser. The trouble for myself is that quite often I'm the loser when it comes to a lot of things, which can make me... upset. Perhaps frustrated is a better word. This is true whether I'm riding bikes or playing Crazy Eights with my girlfriend, who seems to have the uncanny ability to beat me at nearly every card game that we play. The only way I can justify this hundred-plus game losing streak is to tell myself (and her, over and over again) that she's obviously cheating, which is what makes me an a*shole. That's what she says, anyways.

Why don't I just stop caring so much? That sounds like something a more reasonable, non-competitive person might say. My mindset can be an issue when things aren't going smoothly, which it certainly wasn't during a recent mountain bike ride that had me feeling a lot like that a*shole that my girlfriend says I am.

The trail, which is a favorite of mine, starts off with a thirty-minute climb that's somewhere between near vertical and vertical, has more roots and rocks than all of the other trails on the mountain combined, and will make you feel like you're trying to solve a Rubik's Cube while drunk if you're a bit off your game and lacking some fitness. This was in January in Canada, so I actually had negative fitness instead of just not having any fitness, and I was struggling to even turn over my easiest gear while I watched my buddies ride away from me before circling back to wait up.


BC Bike Race 2014
  I'll confess I don't race often enough simply because I'm worried about performing poorly and not feeling as competitive as I want to. Is there such a thing as being too competitive to compete? BC Bike Race photo


That's what friends do - they wait to make sure that you're okay. But the sight of Wayne and Ricky coming back down the trail, smiling and not gasping for air like they were drowning, made me extremely... frustrated. ''Don't f*cking wait for me,'' I said way too tersely. ''It's all good,'' Wayne replied. "We're not in any rush.'' We've been riding together for nearly two decades, so he only needed to see my face after he said that to know he and Ricky should just wait for me at the top. I looked like a huge a*shole. On a mountain bike ride. With my friends.

As any competitive person will know, this is not conducive to having a good time, even if we're supposed to just be happy to be out in nature and all that. Yes, the trees, moss, and rocks are beautiful, but they'd still be beautiful if I was stepping on my buddies' balls and leaving them in my dust. That wasn't going to happen on this particular day, though, and I found myself in a pretty foul mood. To be honest, at that moment, I wanted to be anywhere else than on that trail, which is painful to admit because I love this sport more than anything.
bigquotesWhy don't I just stop caring so much? That sounds like something a more reasonable, non-competitive person might say.


I've painted a pretty dark picture, but I'd also argue that competitive people are largely responsible for a lot of the good things in life. This sort of personality, the kind that not only doesn't want to lose but plain needs to succeed at whatever they might be doing, can be found in world leaders, doctors, people responsible for things like the medicine that saves lives or the planes that fly us all over the globe, not to mention our sporting heroes. They are literally being forced by their brain to do better and be better, and we all benefit from that. Of course, pedaling bicycles around has nothing to do with any of those far more meaningful examples.

And as much as our current culture is anti-conflict and scared to offend anyone, the desire for competition is, contrastingly, stronger than ever. Don't believe me? You can turn on your television and watch guys in the bush competing to outrun a professional tracker; people competing to see who could be the best fake friend so they don't get kicked out of the Big Brother house; even people competing to see who can cook the best. Do you know that they have a cooking competition for children where nine-year-old kids cook things that I can't even pronounce? And speaking of words I can't pronounce, spelling bee competitions have been televised for years now. It's best to just leave your television off, I think.

Competition is all around us, but you need to know when it's the right time to remember that none of it matters. This is important for your sanity, but also so you don't always look like a jerk.


So during that ride, after my friends came back to check on me and I made it very clear that I wasn't having a great time, I realized that I was letting the competitive jerk in me ruin what should have been an awesome ride on a rare, warm and sunny day in January.

That's when I stopped, leaned up against a tree for a few minutes, and caught my breath. If you had been hiding behind that tree for some reason, you would have heard me say aloud, ''Mike, what the hell are you doing? You sucking today does not matter to anyone, so just relax and stop being an idiot.'' Besides wondering if I was off my meds, you also would have seen me pedal the rest of the way up the climb at a pace that was barely above what I'd refer to as doing a trackstand, but with a much larger smile on my face than I had before I stopped for my little one-on-one conversation.
Breezer Repack Team review test Photo by Clayton Racicot
Bikes are a hell of a lot of fun, especially when you remember that's why you ride them. Clayton Racicot photo

I'm not able to make myself do that as often as I would like, but that quick reset changed my ride from being disheartening to being encouraging. As soon as I realized that me riding like I was fat doesn't matter, it felt like all the weight was gone. I made it to the top long after my friends, and I ended up having more fun on that descent than I ever would have had if I hadn't relaxed. By the time I got back to my van, I was convinced that it was the best ride I could remember going on.

Being competitive is a good thing because it's made me a better mountain biker than I would be if I was more relaxed about my riding, but my brain will always tell me that I should be better than I actually am. I agree with my brain, but I've only recently understood that I don't need to listen to it all of the time. It's okay if I can't keep up, and I don't need to go into lactic shock to try and stay on the wheels of people fitter than myself.

I have a lot more fun during my rides now that new, ''Relaxed Mike'' makes the odd appearance, although I will admit that I'll stop at nothing to win a game of Crazy Eights. You just can't change who you are.





189 Comments

  • 175 3
 The next marzocchi vs fox, canfield vs trek, coil vs air, progressive vs linear, soft grips vs hard grips, long cranks vs short cranks, carbon vs aluminum, trump vs clinton argument my dumbass friends and I argue about, I'll remember this article and just go ride my damn bike.
  • 25 1
 Amen brother. Send it!
  • 247 11
 Fox, Trek, air, linear, hard, long, carbon, neither.
  • 43 239
flag Rokan14 (Feb 3, 2016 at 22:20) (Below Threshold)
 Fox, Trek, air, linear, hard, short, carbon, Trump.
  • 13 88
flag POWsLAYER (Feb 11, 2016 at 13:06) (Below Threshold)
 Yup.
  • 157 7
 If Trump and Clinton are the candidates they are arguing about, I think its time to find some new friends. If either of them win, I am going to live with our fun friends to the north.
  • 22 6
 now we know who pays mike
  • 13 5
 Vote "nobody" 2016! They have all the answers.
  • 9 3
 @moefosho No you aren't...
  • 11 7
 Marzocchi, Canfield, air, progressive or linear depending on the bike and what its used for, hard, long, carbon sometimes but mostly alloy, neither. but is is fun watching Trump be a complete smart ass and then everyone's response after is almost equally entertaining. and if i wasn't stuck at work i would forget this whole article and go ride.
  • 8 7
 This guy above gets it.
  • 13 11
 Fox, Trek, air, linear, hard, short, carbon, neither, we all know trump is not going to win.
  • 13 2
 Ironic I'm reading this article today because during my short after work spin I ran into, it's getting more frequent, some guy that had to beat me to the top of the climb. He even went so far as to cut me off right at the top of a steep grade that is just before it levels off and it's a little one lined because of rocks all over the trail. Where the trail levels off is the halfway point of the climb for me, I just turn right and keep going up, where most people stop there and take a break. This guy was in the latter group and I caught myself thinking "what a dick, you just had to get there first", I've been in competitive sports all my life, but when I'm just out pedaling on the trail it's not a race to me, I don't need to pass anyone and will wait until it's a good passing spot to get around slower riders, and vice versa I'll make sure to keep an eye out for those guys that are faster than I am and get out of their way. The guy that had to get to the top first, I don't think he was taking the time to enjoy being out and away from the world and I think it's funny that it's a competition for him, I just wish he wouldn't bring that mentality out on the trail.
  • 22 0
 You never know. Some people like to relieve themselves from the work day by sprinting like a madman up a climb to push themselves to the verge of death and some prefer to relieve themselves by taking it easy and going at an easy pace to get away from the fast paced workplace. Dfferent strokes for different folks
  • 8 5
 I really wish PB's reply actually replied to the comment you replied to instead of making it so you look like a jackass trump supporter instead of being in agreement with Levy.
  • 5 0
 dirt roadie mentality
  • 16 0
 Who tf cares. Who ever is elected isn't going to get anything done anyways
  • 2 0
 SP vs HL, vs DWl, vs Maestro, vs Cock n balls vs Giddy up, Tits, and down we go!
  • 1 0
 @niliusw I really hope you're right about that.
  • 5 0
 I've learned to live life by setting MY OWN GOALS. When I was a daily runner, I would always monitor my times and because I ran the same route I knew roughly what time I had to be at to beat my previous PB. I do the same thing on the bike, I try to best my previous efforts everytime I ride. I fine enjoyment in trying to one-up myself, this way I know I am progressing as a rider BUT then there are always days where I'm in full Netflix chill mode, literally, like where I daydream about last nights nude scenes in GOT and forget I'm about to vertically drop into a mud pit. Moral is, don't worry about other people, worry about yourself, you'll open a whole new world of enjoyment this way.
  • 1 0
 kinda the same now?, trek, coil, progressive, hard, long, aluminum(cheaper!), what ever
  • 9 0
 I'm moving to New Zealand. I hear it's nice there...
  • 8 13
flag RedBurn (Feb 12, 2016 at 9:19) (Below Threshold)
 make america great again #trump2016
  • 4 3
 Anyone who says "Trump" is pretty much neg, propped, but from outside of the USA looking in, if you honestly don't think you're next president is going to be that "guy" your kidding yourself.

It's no different than us here in Canada in the last election thinking that anyone else but this Justin kid was going to get in, so far, he's not doing so well. Maybe Trump will surprise ya'll. Either way, a weirdo lady, or a crazy multibillionaire it ain't looking good for either of us. Maybe Colonel Sanders will sneak in....
  • 3 2
 I can't agree with you more, the guy is absolutely insane. But, look who's in first. That guy. We will all see what happens in November. He's already leading most of the primary's so it will be him and likely the female version of Bill for the show. I wonder if she'll have an affair with her assistant just to get back at him if she wins....hehehe

Anyhoooo, enough of this political nonsense, let's all just go ride our damn bikes.

Fox, Trek, air, linear, hard, long, alu (I don't have a lot of money), I don't get a vote I'm Canadian.
  • 5 0
 Whoever wins. We lose.
  • 1 0
 Fox=Marzo?
  • 1 0
 No, marzocchi=fox
  • 4 6
 Tough call. Insane US president who tells it like it is or crack smoking Canadian governer. I'll vote for Trump thank you! We definitely will not be voting for Clinton!
  • 2 2
 @djcrossmax after 8 years of Obama and $12 extra trillion dollars in debt because of him, I'll try 4 years of Trump. Trump sounds like the ONLY guy who can fix it, if it is even fixable. The Nat'l debt will be @ $20 trillion by election day. IDK, It may be too late, but it will only get worse if any of the Socialists runnung get elected.
  • 2 1
 holy crap you people are still arguing???

pinkbike is about biking not politics. save it for election day.
  • 1 2
 @ adrennan Pinkbike is all politics, who you kidding?
  • 2 0
 I love it when I come up behind someone that I'm climbing a little faster than. It gives me a great excuse to slow down and smell the roses!! I can climb fairly quickly but I'm not uber competitive and never rarely pass anyone (up or down) unless they pull off to the side. Even if they pull over, I usually stop and chat for a minute -- arguably the best part of our community.
  • 97 2
 "There are 2 types of people in this world, those that are humble and those that are about to be". -Mark Twain
  • 44 2
 Cam Newton being the latter.
  • 7 1
 yabba dabba don't
  • 4 2
 its better to burn out than fade away..
  • 2 4
 People who like dogs people who like cats. If your neither you may just be that A##HOLE that doses not like anyone.
  • 67 3
 You know what keeps you from taking yourself seriously? Racing then getting to a certain level and realizing that in the grand scheme of things - that you're mid-pack fill. For biking - getting to regionals levels old guy reasonably fit level then getting lapped again and again by UCI pros using the regional races for active recovery (Yup that means Ricky, dre, Spicer - all of you a**holes making biking look so easy and natural). For skiing - that meant climbing then skiing a line and being absolutely terrified then watching paid pros make the lines look terribly easy.

Reality can be such a cold hard bitch slap. But it certainly helps you keep perspective.
  • 5 0
 It's all a matter of perspective.
  • 5 0
 Reality hits you hard bro
  • 32 1
 who hasn't hit their head on their own genetic ceiling?
  • 5 16
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 11, 2016 at 14:03) (Below Threshold)
 fullbug - to answer your question: know-all college students and high-school drop outs with gold medals or 1mln $ at their account by the time know-alls get their first office job
  • 5 0
 @Fullbug - genetic ceiling, perfect description. For many years now I've been monitoring my results as a percentage of all starters and I am consistently in the top X percent. Recently I trained harder than ever for an important race, doubling my usual hours on a bike and resorting to crippling intervals etc. Same X percent result. Stupid genes...
  • 4 1
 I'm doin it right now as try to get my manual skill back that I had as kid. I'm hopin for a loose ceiling tile to possibly put my head thru. got a helmet on and Advil so
  • 4 4
 The thing that pisses me off most in the biking world is there will always be someone better than you, at every level.....unless your Aaron Gwin
  • 3 13
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 11, 2016 at 23:30) (Below Threshold)
 Fullbug, I put my head through the ceiling once - there's sht storm up there. We just like it in cosy environment down here and who's to blame. If you are planning to go up there, remember to check if your woman is cool enough to take care of the business down here. Mine isn't, she is not into traditional family values... I need to change diaper BTW, wipe the scrotum of my son from peanut butter. Environmental walls are closing on me
  • 4 13
flag Maverickdh00 (Feb 11, 2016 at 23:31) (Below Threshold)
 unless you get shit under your finger nails, most of you dont know what real work is! pussies!
  • 2 6
flag Bulldog1 (Feb 12, 2016 at 3:16) (Below Threshold)
 @Maverickdh00
Amen!
  • 3 1
 OP: Agree totally. I was one of the faster 'Expert' guys but couldn't hang with the Elite guys or even most of the young Jr Ex guys that were growing into their speed. it's humbling for sure! Then you consider that the fastest guys there, and the fastest guys around and on your trails, couldn't even qualify for a WC let alone get near the speed of the faster pros, and I'm sure they were humbled.
  • 2 2
 I ride with faster people all the time (younger too) it constantly pushes my fitness level. What I lack in fitness I can make up for in bike handling however and it feels to drop the folks that kicked my ass on the climb. We all have strengths, and there's always a bigger fish.
  • 6 8
 The best thing is to change between riding with faster, equally fast and slower people. Some show you what's possible, some push you and some just boost your ego. Trust me, if you have 2 or more small kids, or a super intensive job, making you a wreck of a human being, feeling completely useless: go ride with a single dude that sucks - it is the best thing that can happen to you at this stage of your life... I often ride alone, but when I do in a group these are usually much faster blokes. Once I met a random dude at similar level to mine and we rode three times together. A tiny true competitive edge made me better instantly. Then in quite dark times I rode XC with this fast I only ride park dude. He was worthless in XC, unfit and no climbing skill what so ever. He made me feel like I'm worth something...
  • 7 1
 haha waki you are a clown. sometimes amusing and sometimes just not so much.
  • 1 1
 Or you guys just don`t take yourself too serious so you don`t need that ego to be pushed to feel comfortable.
Or maby try to ride together and not against your friends.. (nevertheless you can never get rid of a little competition.. but that´s fine)
And if you want to become one of the best... stop complaining about not beeing the best.. that´s not changing anything..
  • 5 3
 One thing is sure about pushing and motivation. Those motivational posters shared by fitness and life coaches are fkng dumb. When I see an MTB coach or pro rider quoting Rocky I want to face palm so hard I could knock myself out. "Winning is not an occurence - it's a state of mind" or "what do winners do after crossing the crest? They pedal harder!" or my favorite: "put away excuses on why you can't and instead look for reason why you can". Then there's always some loser writing "so true" under it.
  • 8 0
 SO True!!!
  • 1 0
 @Ramslam, FTW!
  • 53 2
 There are very few of you that don't suck. If you get mad because you suck and you think you shouldn't suck you are wrong. You suck. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Love the suck.
  • 28 0
 Live to Suck - Suck to Live
  • 42 0
 sounds like the title to the hooker handbook
  • 6 0
 Love the suck!
  • 7 1
 I became a MUCH better racer when I started reminding myself on the starting line that nobody gives a shit how I do except me. I spent a really long time before that creating a self fulfilling prophecy by ending race weekends bitter about my failures instead of finding the joy that the experience offered in a hundred ways aside from winning. (Don't get me wrong though. I like winning as much as the author)
  • 1 0
 Even if you are fortunate enough to not suck now, tomorrow is a new day and nobody's good forever. Time and chance will level the playing field eventually.
  • 46 0
 Hey dad, hope you read this
  • 25 1
 Funny Jimmy 0. So caught up in my reverie I didn't see your comment until I posted. See my strava today. I may be 50th, but over 300 people can go to sleep tonight knowing they're slower than a fat old man.
  • 1 0
 Haha I think youre missing the point but glad you got out
  • 2 0
 45 people on pinkbike are waiting for their dad and still wish he'd ease up before he busts a gut.
  • 16 0
 I recently took a friend riding who is new to bikes, and I was shocked how good of a time I had riding much slower than my normal pace. Strava makes me always push myself to ride fast and set PR's, and I didn't even realize I've forgotten how to stop and smell the roses so to speak.

Whether it's competing with friends or yourself, sometimes we all need to chill and have fun. I loved this article and agree 100%.
  • 4 3
 So... YOU don't suck but you're good with those of us that do.
That's cool Smile
  • 10 0
 Best piece I've read on here for a long time. Its as if you'd written to me direct - cheers. Riding Sunday and was dreading meeting up with fitter friends, now I can't wait to just get out and ride.......I always beat them going downhill anyway.
  • 12 0
 I turned 40, stopped caring, and suddenly it was more fun than it had ever been. Someone is always better than you.
  • 7 0
 I stopped caring when I was a kid. Now that I'm 50....I really don't care. Let the jocks go play with each other. I just wanna go explore
  • 2 0
 Bang right.
  • 8 0
 this story is far too familiar for my relationship with surfing. been doing it for 15 years and if i slack off and don't go out for as little as a week or two my body gives me the bird and turns me into a kook again. nothing sadder than getting out of the water, looking back out at good conditions, and hating every part of what just happened. luckily mtb is my 'other sport' and i feel like that helps me enjoy it and relax. obviously being out of shape and climbing to the point of coughing up a lung and sweating from my eyeballs isn't the best... but at least i don't hate myself for it
  • 4 0
 Surfing is so damn difficult. I tried to learn in my mid-20s but there was no way, and not being close enough to the ocean to do it on even a semi-regular basis means that I would have never gotten any better.
  • 3 0
 Surfing is the hardest sport I've ever learned and @niccolope is right. Take a few weeks off and you are toast. I started when I was 35 - not a good age to learn such a difficult sport, but better than not doing it. Nearly 20 years later, I am barely an intermediate when I have been surfing regularly. It's not standing and riding that is hard, it's catching the damn wave at the right time, in the right spot, going the right direction with the proper position relative to the other surfers. Oh, and that is all happening behind you.
  • 3 0
 It takes time to get half decent because even if you spend 3 hrs on the water every day, 99% of it is paddling around and 1% actually on your feet riding. And sometimes you go to a new spot and become a complete kook again. Even worse, try doing it in the mediterranean. It's possible, and you can have great conditions with a bit of luck, but you must be willing to drive a lot and chase weather systems etc.

Actually, I related to your article because it reminded me some "bad" days on the water, where I can't seem to do anything right,get pissed off, and then of course performance doesn't get any better. The fact that we're lucky if we're be able to surf once a week just increases the pressure, and makes you feel you're wasting precious waves.

These days I take more relaxed approach, start small, and make sure I enjoy myself. It's when I eliminate my expectations that find myself having most fun.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy start all over learning to paddle and turn on a paddle board. A big thick stable one. Its easy to learn and any one can do it. Then you can transfer these skills to a surf board and have a shot. You would not take your first bike ride down a world cup downhill course. You gota crawl before you can surf bro.
  • 2 0
 Ive been surfing since I was 12. Ill be 29 soon. I would say that in the past two years I have actually started to think I am getting decent. I still have sessions that I kook out every wave, but over all its been alot of fun. I devoted my life to surfing for years, moving all over the east coast, taking crappy jobs that were closer to the water. I moved to southern Utah for 2 years and rekindled my relationship with mountain bikes, longed for surf, and started to realize that there is way more to life then beating yourself up for something that could be fun.

I moved back to Rhode Island, and now I beat myself up when I surf poorly (or not at all) or get passed on the bike. Its in my nature to be competitive, and it's what brings me back to the water when its 4 degrees outside, and to the top when the older dudes on single speed xc bikes are crushing me.
  • 9 0
 On my way to and from a local hill I do laps on, I pass a cemetery and it reminds me that regardless of whether I was fast or slow that day, it was still time doing something I love to do. Nice article!
  • 8 0
 I had a similar experience just a few days ago. I am new to the area and decided to try a group night ride with the local bike shops. I thought that it would be great to hang out and meet some new people, and see a new trail, etc. I got dropped on the ride about halfway up the mountain... So there I was, alone in the dark, on a new trail, had no idea how to get back to my vehicle, and I was getting slightly upset. Ended up coming back down on some of the best flowy singletrack I had ever ridden all to myself. One of the best rides I ever had. Even a bad day mountain biking is still pretty good.
  • 2 0
 F#ck yes, Thustleweiner. I hope you're killing it up in Idaho. Love that place.
  • 1 0
 Man, its like REALLY good. These guys know how to build a trail, that's for sure.
  • 1 0
 Can't say I've ever had too bad of a ride after getting dropped. All the reasons you weren't enjoying yourself left by themselves. Smooth sailing after that.
  • 10 0
 > a thirty-minute climb that's somewhere between near vertical and vertical

Mike Levy, 2016.
  • 6 0
 I just got back from riding that trail again and I feel like it's a pretty accurate description, although it might be because it's only February.
  • 1 0
 which trail are you riding Mike?
  • 1 0
 Now it makes sense why you like EWS more then World Cup down hill!
  • 6 0
 Sounds like my grandfather walking 35 miles to school up hill both ways in the snow.
  • 1 0
 @krager - sounds like Duck Farm loop.
  • 7 0
 I'm kind of lucky as I am naturally slow so I threw any kind of competition with other riders went out the window ages ago. But having said that I am competitive - but with myself. I like picking off jumps I haven't done before, or sending them a bit better, or doing some techy trails - that's what's fires me up about riding.
  • 5 1
 I heard the term Beard Pace and I think it applies here. Going for a good ride with friends, not worrying about KOMs, ripping the downhills and just kind of getting over yourself so you can have a good time! Good article, Mike. ps, it doesn't matter if you have beard.
  • 6 0
 I'll never have a beard Frown
  • 2 0
 Can't grow one or can't stand them? My wife can't stand them so I'll never have one but it would be nice in the winter.
  • 1 0
 I've got a decent beard.....finally something I'm better at then Mike. Smile
  • 4 0
 Mike after running into you and riding some of Vedder with you and your SQUAD on Monday you came across like any other industry poof tart. We are all competitive!!! I really wanted to get out in front of you and do some sweet skid turns to show you how competitive I am also. But you wouldn't let me cause your competitive.... I was hoping to beat are chest at the bottom of the run and compare tire sizes.
Being a 38 year old bike racer I still compare myself to the 20 something's I still have to sit back and be happy with what skills I have. And just enjoy riding my bike.

Go enjoy testing bikes with small tires Wink
  • 5 1
 That was such a good lap. Come back for the Vedder Mtn Classic!
  • 4 0
 I feel like every single line you wrote. I hate lose a stupid card game with friends. My wife call me a**hole too.

Thanks for the article @mikelevy . Time to think and relax Wink
  • 5 0
 Damn....move to a state where we have it legalized. ---Have a little THC butter on something every couple days, works wonders for the ol' O/C - Type A personality traits.
  • 6 1
 When such a successful guy says that people should relax, you know he speaks truth.
  • 4 0
 Like Aaron Rodgers..."R-E-L-A-X"

(and now I am going home to Olivia Munn...)
  • 7 1
 "Less talkin more braaapin"
  • 3 2
 Shouldnt it be less tappin more braapin?
  • 8 0
 It's "less yappin', more braaapin'".
  • 7 0
 More tappin' and brappin'!!!
  • 8 2
 Buy that E-Bike already and R-E-L-A-X!
  • 5 2
 E-lex
  • 7 4
 Fuck e-bikes already
  • 3 1
 Ebikes and A##HOLES go hand n hand. Want that label take a E-bike to the trail.
  • 2 3
 Wow properp, something tells me, that there are very, VERY few people, who are aware of your labeling system Smile
  • 2 1
 If you come ripping up my trail I work so hard on with your E-bike Ill introduce your face to my shovel!
  • 3 1
 Take your E-bike to the MX track not a bike trail. I'm sure those guys will enjoy playing with you. Smile this roost is for you!
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns Now all of PB knows. If you rip up bike trails on your E-bike you are officially a A##HOLE!
  • 2 3
 Yaaaawn... You were saying... You are bummed that it is illegal to burn witches isn't it? Big Grin but if you must know, yes I will be testing an Spec 6Fattie Turbo Levo this year, you'll be able to read about it. I'll PM you! Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Sounds nice. Id only give 2 squirts of pee if it could remotely compete against any other motorized dirt toy on 2 wheels. If not seams to be a total waste of time. Go Yamaha! SpecialEd could not match what VP12 provides in the dirt Mr. Keyboard Wizard (aka WAKIdesigns).
  • 1 3
 Bladi bla, don't you have any other argument than: "why don't you ride moto?" I will tell you why, because I don't want to get injured and I hate fear, adrenaline rush is not worth shittin myself if I'm going too fast on a 100+ kg machine that can brake my leg just by tipping to the side after losing balance. I hate the thought of riding a motorcycle with cars around, I played too much GTA to realize how easy it is to die on a fricking two wheel thing that easily goes above 60MPH. No problem with cars or geared gokarts but I hate motorcycles. Also motorcycles ruin trails unlike motor assisted pedalling.

So to sum it up: I love E-Bikes, they are an honest representation. Of what people try to achieve by upgrading their bikes with new forks, wheels or drivetrains.

Aaand I didn't want to start a war but some unfulfilled frustrate had to come and state his infantile opinion based on nothing in a way typical for a teenager enslaved by hormones. You may as well say E-bikes go to hell - Allah Ackbar. It would be equally intelligent Smile

Peace!
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns So then go sign up for the UCI world Uphill cup lover boy. If a E-Turd comes by I'll think of your love for it and laugh. We will have to agree to disagree. If you ever want to go out and pedal I'm all for it. Just not on a assisted E-Turd.
  • 1 2
 Can I be on EPO and testosterone instead?
  • 2 0
 Without question, the suffer photo at the top is the best photo of you in the hyper fucked zone I have ever seen. Having felt that way many times myself, it is awesome to see it captured so well. Fuck that was a hard day. Hope to see you on the same trails soon buddy.
  • 3 0
 The power of re-framing. Wonderful survival skill to master. But it ain't easy. Especially when you're in it. But when you can, like you said, it changes everything. Nice read- thanks!
  • 2 0
 Going slow has it's rewards. Recently, on a four mile fireroad slog to get to one of my favorite trails here in Pisgah, I was asked by a good looking lady on a Norco if I was doing ok. Then minutes later, a guy on a 20 year old hybrid gave me a "doin ok fella" and then a rider type who I secretly detest, a Lycra clad beanpole on a $10000.00 Specialized asked if I was alright. I really think he was saying,"please don't die before I get out of sight". Maybe it was because I was doing four miles an hour up a 2 percent grade or because my mustache is gray but that was awfully nice of them. But while they are on their way home because they blew through their rides, I'm still chugging along enjoying mine. Besides, on the way down, I get to see parts of the trail that's just a blur to them. Also gives me a chance to spot parts that I have zero chance of riding down thus avoiding the ER. I used to feel bad being the last guy up but not anymore.
  • 2 0
 This reminds me of a trip I took when @marymoncorge had invited me out to San Francisco to ride in March... being in MN and winter, and fat bikes not being much of an option then, I happily obliged and packed my gear. I was in much worse shape than I'd previously thought, and during one of the climbs she must have ridden back down to check on me 3 or 4 times. I told her she didn't need to do that, but she insisted it was great training as hill repeats.
  • 3 1
 No one enjoys placing second in a fight, but age and chronic bronchitis has humbled THIS bike rider... the saying is that the worst part of getting old is when people stop seeing you as a threat. It really is...
  • 4 0
 Mike Ehrmantraut will never not be seen as a threat.
  • 3 0
 Denis Leary is going through my head, "I'm and A**hole-e-ol-e-ol-e-ol, I'm an A**hole..." My new motivational song when my lungs hit the back of my teeth!
  • 4 1
 Competing with yourself is a lot different than being an unpleasant cunt all the time because you have to be better than everyone.
  • 8 2
 I feel like I get just as upset when I'm by myself. I'm an idiot about it, I know, but I'm working on it.
  • 2 0
 Just break stuff. Give me something to break! ARRRRR.
  • 1 0
 @Mile Levy
How about you just start being competitive with yourself.
Try to do better, harder than last time, compete with your weakness.
You said: "You just can't change who you are."
The hell you can, but it's ain gonna be easy. Aint that somthing to try out your competeing character?
  • 1 0
 I'm the same every time I go to an uplift. I spend weeks leading up to it watching GoPro videos imagining how fast I'm going to be, then when I get there and have a poor first run I get so angry with myself that I feel like going home. Then I remember that the reason I'm not going fast is because I'm actually not that capable. As soon as I accept that I'm s*** and there will always be others who are faster than me I start to loosen up, have fun and, ironically, go faster as a result.
  • 2 0
 You're not alone. I've seen variations of this so many times. Guys forget how much time the riders in those videos spend in the bike park. Don't worry ride happy, nobody has expectations for you besides yourself.
  • 1 0
 So one day a few years back I'm just bogging down some sick flowy XC, eatin' it real slow like cause it's winter and I'm out of shape and just ate too many After Eights. So my front tire bounces off some stupid root and I slip of the back of my way-too-high saddle and just as I let out a "Shi- in the forest and the, out of nowhere, an owl cuts me off. Flies right in front of me and lands a few feet away on a branch, looking down at me and says "Hoo". No kidding.

And I'm like "Who?!??!" All angry having a bad solo ride cause I'm pissed about something with my family. "Who am I mad at?" Then I realize it. I'm mad at myself. Whoa man. So I chill the F out and my ride becomes awesome.
  • 4 0
 After Eights are so good.
  • 3 0
 I'm learning how to walk again after surgery. To be able to pedal again will be a win for me. That's all the competition I need/want. Good article.
  • 1 0
 I gotta say as I age and deal with chronic illness being able to relax and enjoy whatever comes your way becomes incredibly important! However when I have to spend the day in bed because of the aforementioned illness,....acceptance and chilling the fack out are really hard! so be grateful you can even ride your bike and have some god damned fun.
  • 6 2
 "Less typing, more biking"
  • 6 2
 Mikey says relax. T-shirts anyone??
  • 9 1
 no thanks.
  • 8 5
 And this is why Fat Bikes are so dam awesome. They make you have fun, laugh and slow the eff down to enjoy the experience!
  • 10 1
 Same reason that I like spending a bit of time on fat bikes. No internal pressure.
  • 5 1
 dude.
  • 3 0
 Until you realize that less competition + you being the only competative rider could make you fat bike king of the world!
  • 17 1
 Perfect new advertising campaign right there.

Fat Bikes: They make everyone suck
  • 2 0
 careful or you'll get asked out on a date.
  • 1 2
 Fat bikes are the Harley Davidsons of mountain biking.
  • 2 0
 Thing is................however fit you are, the first ride after a few weeks off always hurts. It's just motivation to maintain a level of fitness regardless of winter.
  • 3 0
 My wife calls me an @ssh0le too. I don't think it has anything to do with my competitive nature.
  • 2 0
 This was a very honest article. Much appreciation for opening up! It gave me a lot to think about in both riding and life in general.
  • 2 0
 Wait until you get old. That's when you have to pretend really hard that you are having fun at the back of the pack. If you can even see the pack.
  • 1 0
 I love racing down trails as rude as it is sometimes. It brings me back to the days I used to haul ass down the street rolling with training wheels and playing cards in my spokes.
  • 3 0
 Levy you're a genius with a pen - or in this case a keyboard. Please keep writing. It's inspiring!
  • 1 0
 Seriously a full day and not even one doping joke? Im dissapointed in you pinkbike!
Hey mike just learn from our favorite texan and take some EPO then you dont have to suck and can be an a*shole.
  • 2 0
 Americans: competitive without humility, or non-competitive without tolerance. We just don't do the middle spectrum very well.
  • 1 0
 I'm so competitive I rewrote the article, only beterer. I'm so competitive I'm more competitive than you. I'm just kidding I didn't do that cus I'm better at relaxing than you. I relax so hard.
  • 3 0
 Great article Mike! I always find some-way to relate to your postsSmile
  • 1 0
 Not the destination, instead it is the journey from which we gain our most viable resources as humans. Sometimes I talk to myself and sometimes I talk to the tree!
  • 1 0
 hey levy just go for a ride by yourself now and then and enjoy the climb at your own pace, won't have to get frustrated that your buddies drop you!
  • 2 0
 "You sucking today does not matter to anyone"

And this is exactly why riding with good fellas is so much fun ! Smile
  • 1 0
 The best ride I ever had was on a 2001 Releigh M8000! I was going 7 MPH in the woods! it was my first real mountain bike! best time I ever had!
  • 1 0
 The way I look at it is that no matter what you do there will always be someone better and there will also be someone worse!
  • 1 0
 True, realising both sides might make you spare the other guy's feelings and ease up a bit as well.
  • 1 0
 Your pic really set a tone for the words to come. So heavy man! Expectations can be a real battle. Thump those inner mtns!
  • 1 0
 Great piece. Cutting through the bull shit that doesn't matter. Just BE happy, it's a conscious choice.
  • 2 1
 Turn off the strava, stop posting pics from illegal trails, and enjoy NOW with whom is there LIVE.
  • 4 3
 @mikelevy You need to have kids. Once you do all the shit you used to think was important is trivial.
  • 7 1
 I think I'll pass on that.
  • 1 0
 Mike.. you're getting old.
But that's OK. Was there, done that. There's life after. Wink
  • 2 1
 I hear you Mike! Glad you had a good ride! Wink
  • 1 0
 Learning this has indeed been a game changer Smile
  • 1 0
 You should consider yourself lucky you have such great friends!
  • 1 0
 Just piss test your mates their clearly on epo or something mikelevy
  • 2 0
 The Levy broke.
  • 1 0
 Whatever. What I want to read are bike and component shootouts.
  • 1 1
 Classic Levy- good on ya!
  • 1 1
 Great article, Mr Levy always crack me up
  • 1 0
 Increase the Levy !
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