Table for Four - Opinion

Sep 7, 2016 at 11:52
by Mike Levy  
Mike Levy

Nothing cuts the tension out of getting to know someone better than sitting a table together while putting away some good food and drinks. It's almost as if meat and booze act as a sort of time machine that immediately fills the void of never really having spent any time with the person sitting across from you. If that connection isn't going to spark, it's usually pretty obvious by the time the other person has licked the last remaining chicken wing sauce from their fingertips. And if they make an unwarranted fuss for food sans gluten? Cheque, please!

I'm not quite sure why, but I often find myself pondering who I'd like to sit with at a sticky table in a dimly lit pub while eating questionable food. You know, the kind of establishment where a fifty-six-year-old woman named Gina says ''Here ya go, babydoll,'' when she drops off your beer that you asked for fifteen minutes earlier. The delay? She was outside inhaling an entire pack of Marlboros like they're keeping her alive rather than killing her. Maybe not the best place to take your Tinder date, then, but probably the ideal setting to get candid answers from someone who's seen some real shit. And people who've really lived are the best ones to drink with, aren't they?

At the top of my dream list of dinner dates, for lack of a better term, would have to be British explorer, geographer, writer, soldier, and spy, among many other things, Richard Francis Burton. I feel like anyone who's had themselves circumcised (a Muslim tradition) in the mid-1800s as a grown man in order to ''safely'' sneak into Mecca as a non-Muslim would not only never ask for a gluten-free menu, but would also have some pretty decent stories to tell after a few brews. If there were a few extra seats at the table, I'd have to fire off texts to the unfairly persecuted Alan Turing, Joan of Arc, and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

A lively table, for sure, but think of the questions you'd get answered. I might forget to eat. Or blink.

Canonized French teenage war prophet and the first human in space aside, there are some people from the two-wheeled world that would make great dinner companions as well. Sure, their impact on history might be negligible compared to the headliners named above, but we should at least try to stay a bit topical now that we're almost five-hundred words deep. This is is a mountain bike website, after all.

Who would be at my table? I'd like to talk to a top decision maker at Shimano and ask him or her why they're not the leaders that they once were. I might wait until we've had a few rounds of drinks before I popped that question to Shimano-san, though.

Shimano XT Di2
Koryak dropper seat post

Sure, Di2 is neat and all, but it seems like the Japanese giant is responding rather than leading these days. And now we have the long-anticipated Koryak dropper post from Pro, Shimano's off-shoot component range, that looks as if it has followed the same 'me too' approach that many other companies with far fewer resources than Shimano possess: Oh look, another cable-activated dropper with a hydraulic cartridge, air spring, and run of the mill weight. Mr. Shimano, you have more technology in one of your factory washrooms than most brands have in their entire engineering department, but we get the 120mm-travel Koryak? I almost want to believe that the yawn-worthy dropper is a decoy and that Shimano is about to release an electronic post that goes both up and down with the push of a button, and can be tied into a bike's rear suspension to automatically lower when it's set to full-open and vice versa. Now that would be taking the lead.

Who knows; maybe the Koryak can run trouble-free for years, which sure would be nice, if kinda boring. Leave that to someone else, Shimano, and make me say ''Holy shit, look at that,'' like you did with your first Di2 drivetrains.

In any case, the chance of me getting a high ranking Shimano official into a pub with a long list of health code violations so I can ask him questions he surely doesn't want to be asked is somewhere between nada and zilch. Anyways, there are a few other people who'd I'd share a pitcher with.

Anyone who was suspended from racing road bikes because his hair was too long only to go on to race at a high level, and who helped put together the legendary Repack downhill event back in the mid-1970s, likely has a few good stories in their back pocket.

Gary Fisher did a lot more than that, however, and he's often credited with "inventing the mountain bike,'' although I suspect a bunch of garage tinkerers were doing similar things, some even earlier than when Fisher bolted a bunch of tandem bicycle and motorbike stuff to an old Schwinn Excelsior frame.
Gary Fisher

Big tires, a wider gear range, better brakes, and inspired geometry added up to a more capable bike than anything else at the time, and those four points are still some of the same ones that we talk about today, only now we're often discussing a 27lb, six-inch-travel carbon wonder bike that has geometry not that far off of what Fisher's custom Excelsior X was running back in 1974.

I'm sure Fisher has countless stories about those days, and I bet most of his best ones don't even involve bikes.

At the other end of the spectrum is The Alien. In the 90s and early 2000s, downhill racing was still trying to figure out if it wanted to be its own thing, or if it wanted to pretend to be motocross. There was a lot of blonde highlights, wild parties, and a good amount of money, stuff that made racers look like they were on vacation rather than at work, at least from a fan's perspective. A Frenchman changed all that when he took a much more serious, scientific approach to his job, and funny thing, it worked.

Nicolas Vouilloz won sixteen World Cup downhill races, all in a shorter span of time than it's taken most to come anywhere close to that tally, and he's also a ten-time World Champion. Ten. Freaking. Times.
The rare confident smile from Nico Vouilloz as he heads for home after day one. In the lead.

In a way he could be considered the Michael Schumacher of downhill racing because of how the team and bike seemed to be focused on him winning; his BOS suspension was made for him, and he went on to have his own bike designed for his needs, the V-Process. Oh, and he was also a Peugeot development driver in both the WRC and IRC series. He won the IRC championship in 2008, by the way. While I doubt Nico drank much beer back in his racing days, I'd hope that he could sit down for a glass or six with me now that he's mostly retired.

I'm not sure how the conversation would go having a CEO from Shimano, Gary Fisher, and Nicolas Vouilloz all at the same table and all of us a few pitchers deep, but I'm pretty confident that things would get a bit lively.

Who would you want to kill a few hours with in a dingy pub?

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 215 3
 Two top specialized engineers and protour
  • 69 16
 I'd pick four. The geniuses responsible for the following:
1. Releasing Avid Elixirs to the public
2. The Kronolog
3. Naming the new Rockshox Pro Deluxe after the biggest turd of a shock ever made
4. Not picking Sam Hill for the worlds team... for the track he is most famous for absolutely destroying until the 2nd last corner.

Mostly so I could leave them in a room with a shotgun and a single shell, and see which one is smart enough to blow his own head off to avoid listening to the stupidity of the other 3.
  • 10 5
 I'm guessing this will be a pollerizing comment. I want to have a drink with this guy just to find out if he's insightful or crazy
  • 13 1
 im fully pollerized already (?)
  • 5 1
 What? This a poll?!?!?! Oh, maaan...
  • 3 1
 @ dtax One thousand props to you sir!!!
  • 14 3
 I'll be there and I will only eat gluten-full.
  • 2 1
 @Socket: hahahaha
  • 7 4
 Specialized does not have engineers. They have lawyers that protect them from getting sued for patent infringement.
  • 4 1
 Dimebag Darrel. Period. Because I'll have a better time than everyone else listed here combined.
  • 2 0
 @Socket: I'd have dinner and a beer with 3 exact replica's of yourself.

Oh wait, one of you is enough, I know from experience. Wink
  • 2 0
 In order to get 2 Spec engineers you would also have to take 4 Spec lawyers to keep corporate ratios maintained... and that's 6 people already. I mean even 1 engineer would mean 2 lawyers, so really Spec and 1 other... def @protour
  • 2 0
 I'd probably want to have drinks with the Vanzacs
  • 127 16
 Rachel Atherton, Emily Batty and Caroline Buchanan, cuz life's too fkng short
  • 5 4
  • 11 1
 Yes....... Steffi Marth and Tracey Hannah.
  • 3 1
 Steffi is God...
  • 4 0
 A dinner with the girls from the GT Enduro Team would be great too!
  • 1 0
 I wonder if Ed Masters would get upset that you're cutting his lunch.
  • 94 3
 Kelly McGarry, Dave Mirra, and Stevie Smith.
  • 11 3
this world champs simply won't be the same
  • 1 0
 right in the feels bro
  • 101 11
 My DAD, who died 13 years ago!
  • 3 0
 I shed a tear
  • 1 0
 who is cutting the onions here Frown
  • 45 1
 Roger Waters, Churchill, Einstein, Tesla.
  • 8 1
 holy s**t there'd be some arguments there
  • 9 1
 @nilswalk: Throw Edison in there and you'll be breaking up a nerd fist fight after 3 beers.
  • 4 10
flag torero (Sep 8, 2016 at 7:12) (Below Threshold)
  • 35 2
 Whoever is the head of Specialized's tire department and Jared Graves
  • 6 0
 Obviously you have a big imagination!
  • 29 1
 Fisher is way ahead of his time. The basis of the geometry that our modern enduro bikes were born in his head in the late 90's. I had a Fisher Mt. Tam in '97 that had his genesis geometry: short stays, long front center, and a shorter stem when mountain bike geometry ressembled what road bikes used.

Then a couple years later he brought 29ers to market. I don't know if he was first or if he came up with the idea, but he mass marketed the 29er.

Just a brilliant visionary.
  • 44 0
 I'd like to ask him why he dresses like an 1800's train conductor.
  • 3 0
 @SlodownU: that too
  • 11 9
 @SlodownU - it's called Steam punk and it's cooler than Star Wars.
  • 7 6
 @WAKIdesigns: Nothing is cooler than Star Wars!
  • 6 2
 @SintraFreeride: Haven't you ever rode a bicycle? Had a girlfriend?
  • 1 2
 @properp: Yep, check his profile pictures.
  • 1 2
 @properp: I take it you don't have a sense of humour either...
  • 2 0
 @SintraFreeride: Just a friendly poke. Sorry I never got into Star Wars. When it came out I had BMX bikes, so no interest in tv.
  • 2 1
 @properp: fair enough. You should watch them if you haven't already, it is never too late Wink
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: I have seen it. When I was little my dad made me go watch it. He called it culture. I said crap I want to go to the BMX track. I can really fly there, not just watch it on a screen.
  • 1 0
 @properp: lol
  • 23 1
 As admirable as they may be, most athletes aren't that interesting. Nor are politicians. Charles Dickens, Hunter Thompson, John Stamsted, Waki. And that random guy at the end of the bar drinking his fourth Pabst.
  • 28 9
 I have always found shimano components to be FAR more durable than SRAM. Just my experience.
  • 18 1
 Yeah, I get what Mike's saying, but I think he's looking at it the wrong way. Shimano is still doing exactly what they've always been doing. It's everyone else that's changed, and it's not completely a good thing.

Back before SRAM got big, Shimano was the unquestioned king...not only were they building rock solid reliable stuff that just works, all the time, just like they are now, they were also the innovation leader by default simply because tech wasn't moving as fast and no one was anywhere near big enough to challenge them. Then SRAM jumped in and decided to take a different approach - favoring innovation over quality - and the bike tech market accelerated rapidly. Shimano didn't. So really it depends on how you look at it. If you want to be on the cutting edge and reliability/durability is secondary to that, then you're a SRAM fan. If all you care about is that your shit works, all the time, then you're a Shimano fan. Neither is better than the other, just personal preference. Shimano prefers to be the shield instead of the spear.
  • 7 1
 @TheRaven: I'm a fan of shit not breaking 2hrs out in the middle of nowhere, as I would imagine most other people are. Shimmano are not the shield, they're the AK-47 of the bike world; may not be as cutting edge, but drop it in the mud, water, on a rock and it's still gonna save your ass when you need it to.
  • 5 2
 @TheRaven: I seem to remember an entirely different late 90s than you do...

Shimano wasn't innovating because they had no pressure to do so, because no-one was competing with them, treated MTB like an afterthought to their road groups, & they made you pay out the nose for it, because they could. SRAM came in & forced them to actually focus on MTB, & (mostly)market their gear for reasonable prices.

Everyone I knew questioned them, & thought of them far less as the King, but more like the emperor with no clothes (that you still had to grudgingly pay tithe to, because you had no other choice.)

I like modern Shimano a lot more than late '90s Shimano.
  • 1 0
 @groghunter: 100% agree. SRAM stuck a rocket up Shimano and the wider component industry in the mid-2000s when they acquired RS/Truv/Avid

It was great to get proper competition in the market and honestly some of the early SRAM stuff was pretty influential. The original Juicy's, the motion/mission control damper (and all the chassis' that used it) and oh my those shifters had such a nice shape/action - the 9sp XO shifters from a few years back are probably my favourite ever.

It led to some great leaps forward to what we have today and I'm thankful for that. Like you said Shimano was complacent in the MTB scene because they had no competition but boy did SRAM change that. When all the dust settled though Shimano is still supreme by a mile. I wouldn't recommend SRAM for any part of a bike except for their forks.... the pikes really are top-notch, credit where it's due.
  • 2 1
 As a college student with limited money to replace parts that break, I will go shimano any day..
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: Doesn't sound entirely different to me, just sounds like an extremely negative version.

It's easy to look back and say Shimano wasn't innovating at the time because we are in 2016 where innovation is happening so quickly it's pissing people off. You have to remember that at the time "Mountain Biking" was something that "roadies" did for entertainment. The dedicated mountain biker was pretty much non-existent. "Mountain Bikes" were for the most part road bikes with knobby tires, and suspension consisted of a spring sandwiched in the seatstays in the rear, and hidden in a fork stanchion in the front. Thus, it's no surprise that Shimano was "treating MTB like an afterthought"...everyone was treating MTB like an afterthought because that's mostly what it was!

That said, you can't just brush over the M900 and M700 groups as if they weren't game changers. It's not even a discussion. To this day they are regarded among the best mountain drivetrains in history.

I can agree though that Shimano is even better today than they were back then. It's just that there's alot more competition. I think it's pretty neat that Shimano has been able to stick to the same philosophy and still be very successful.
  • 2 2

> You have to remember that at the time "Mountain Biking" was something that "roadies" did for entertainment

Bullshit. absolute bullshit. MTB had been around for nearly 20 years at the point. VW was selling jettas by giving you a free Trek. Nissan was selling X-Terras by using ads centered around MTB (because they named it after the offroad triathlon held in Hawaii that had been going on since 1995.)

& while those groups may have been improvements over the past, they were still glorified road groups, way overpriced, & ignored many of the needs of MTB. A failing that SRAM & other companies capitalized on, to the point that I know people who STILL won't buy Shimano because of their shitty behavior at the time.
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: "Bullshit. absolute bullshit. MTB had been around for nearly 20 years at the point. VW was selling jettas by giving you a free Trek. Nissan was selling X-Terras by using ads centered around MTB (because they named it after the offroad triathlon held in Hawaii that had been going on since 1995.)"

No BS at all. The "MTB" that you are referring to is the same as the "Mountain Biking" that I am referring to. Sure the concept of taking a road frame with knobby tires offroad had been around for nearly 20 years at that point, it was still a far cry from the "MTB" that we know today. Those Treks that came with Jettas - again, road frame with knobby tires (hello 71* head angle). Most importantly, the rider who road only mountain, owned only mountain-focused bikes, virtually didn't exist.

"& while those groups may have been improvements over the past, they were still glorified road groups, way overpriced, & ignored many of the needs of MTB. A failing that SRAM & other companies capitalized on, to the point that I know people who STILL won't buy Shimano because of their shitty behavior at the time."

Yeah no. You do remember things very differently. Once again, since '"Mountain Bikes" were road frames with knobby tires, there's no surprise that mountain components were beefed up road components. The point is that Shimano offered MTB-dedicated component lines in a time where there was very little in the way of MTB-dedicated riding. SRAM offered it's first MTB-specific component in 1994...more than 10 years after Shimano first created XT. Despite that, Shimano was still preferred on the mountain. It took another three years until SRAM actually had a complete mountain-specific component group. Even then, Shimano was still regarded as superior.

There's no question that SRAM made Shimano wake up and start playing for real, but aside from that point, you seem to have a very selective memory.
  • 1 2
 @TheRaven: The irony of someone who's trying to revise history to say that the first 20 years of MTB wasn't actually MTB, telling me that my memory is selective is delicious.

Tell you what, if those bikes were road bikes with knobby tires, here is my challenge to you: take an ACTUAL road bike from that era down an easy XC trail from the era. Let me know when you get out of the hospital, & how many stitches you got when that paper thin frame snapped in half.

Here's an MTB from 1995... explain to me again how this is a road bike.
  • 2 1
 @groghunter: Seriously? The Kestrel Mammoth Kamikaze Rubicon?

Can you tell the class how many of those they built, by the way?

The actual, production rubicon was an adaptation of a carbon road frame design (they replaced a seat tube with a levered shock for God's sake). Even the prototype you linked above rolled on carbon ROAD wheels. Give me a break.

An extreme one-off prototype built for a racer by a road bike company is in no way indicative of mountain bikes from 1995.

Here's an example of a typical high-end production mountain bike in 1995:
  • 1 3
 @TheRaven: Seriously? You still have this fetish with winning an argument you started from a completely insane viewpoint?

The trek 7000 is decidedly midrange. but hey, guess what comes up when you search higher in their lineup in that model year? the 9200, a full suspension bike:

Klein was making the Mantra in 1996:

The intense M1 dates back to 94, but you go ahead & tell Shaun Palmer & Sam Hill they were riding road bikes:

Have fun tilting at your windmill, Don Quixote.
  • 18 1
 Rachel Atherton, Wyn Masters and Gee Atherton. That or Manon, Isabeau Courdurier, Batty. Maybe throwing Kim Jong Un in the mix somewhere
  • 14 1
 If you chose gee you have to add ratboy. Same goes with Rachel and Claudio, mikelevy and Amanda batty etc
  • 8 1
 @zede: Ok, replace Kim Un for ratboy...
  • 12 0
 I don't know if anyone outside the UK has heard of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, but the guy's a legend and would be top of my list.

He was in the SAS, during which time he was discharged for using 'left over' explosives to destroy a dam built by a film company in a picturesque village. He has won various decorations within the military before he became an Explorer. He's done both poles, including solo, climbed Everest in his 60's, did 7 marathons in 7 days in 7 continents (4 months after a heart attack and double heart bypass surgery), and completed various other firsts (and in some cases is the only person to have done so). Now at 72 he is aiming to become the first person to have crossed both polar ice caps and climbed the highest mountain on every continent.

And if you need any more convincing, after suffering frost bite of his fingertips and getting frustrated at how long they were taking to get better, he sawed them off with a hacksaw in his shed...

I think I'd have enough to talk about there...
  • 11 1
 If you want to hear some serious shit, any vet (of any nationality) who was wave 1 or 2 in Normandy or fought in the Pacific. Underscores the entitled pussies today's generations have become.
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU: Agreed, although I'm not sure I'd describe anyone of any nationality who has fought in the military as pussies... They're all far braver than I'll ever be!

That our I've completely misconstrued what you are saying and it was more a comment on current society...
  • 2 2
 Are you sure its not Chuck Noris?
  • 1 0
 You watch Top Gear? Because that's all been said on Top Gear.
  • 1 1
 @slimboyjim: More a comment on today's society. For example, if someone got frostbite today, most likely from not dressing properly on a trip to the bunny slope, they would bitch and moan about it on social media vs. manning up in any way similar Sir Ran.
  • 2 0
 @slimboyjim absolute badass. Google should put his face when typing badass.
  • 11 0
 While meeting athletes is exciting, I feel I could learn a lot more from the engineers and designers that push the limits of the bikes we ride. The design process of a modern mountain bike is and probably always will be one of the coolest things to me..
  • 5 5
 True, and meeting the engineers would allow me to vent a lot more! Like.... why did 1X drivetrains release without a bash ring option from either major S brand, who keeps spec'ing these bikes with such long stems, why does the new Park chain tool not come with the step that allows me to loosen stiff links, why does every rear shock not come with a handlebar remote option, why does my bike have to cost more than my car and still be considered mid-level, who's bright idea was pressed in bottom brackets, who thought integrated headsets was a good idea, ProPedal 1,2,3 equals CTD(do you think we're stupid?!?!?!)........... oh man I could go on.
  • 4 0
 @InsaNeil024: News Report: Angry man yells at cloud.
  • 1 0
 @miff: Lmao, yeah I guess so. I was pretty proud of that post, I thought it would be much more well received.
  • 16 2
 Missy,Palmer, Tippie,Rat boy,Cedric. Plenty of booze Badd ass.
  • 3 3
 Tippie, Tippie clone #1, Tippie clone #2, Tippie clone #3 some good Canadian beer.
  • 4 0
 @rrolly: But Tippie don't drink.
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU: right, forgot. Still would be fun though.
  • 13 2
 Bob Saget, Bob Saget, Bob Saget, and Bob Saget
  • 4 0
 You forgot about Bob Saget.
  • 9 0
 Sam Hill, Steve Peat, Rob Warner and Cedric.
  • 4 0
 pub on fire in 3... 2... 1...
  • 1 0
 Sam will be smiling quietly.
  • 5 0
 Rob Warner, Steve Peat & Bruce Dickinson. Beer loving rock and rolling beasts!

This came about as I discovered Maiden through Steve Peat's section with Aces High on NWD 3. Randomly enough, it was the first song I ever heard them play live too. :-D

Also I still have a signature from Rob Warner my friend got for me as he was my hero when I was 11 on a BA ticket.

Love these guys, all should have a knighthood.
  • 2 0
 In case you aren't aware you could get an insight into Bruce's mind by reading any or all of his books. I read The Adventures Of Lord Iffy Boatrace a couple years ago but can't remember if it was any good. You might enjoy his writing.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: I sure would! My mate has read them all and says it's worth the time, so I shall get hold of them. Total legend. I used to fence too, and Bruce was on the national team,
So he is an idol for me in all aspects (the duellists) :-)
  • 2 0
 @cunning-linguist: I did not know he was a fencer, and high-level at that. Definitely at my table of four.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: yeah he was seriously good. As he is at everything he does. He's also presented documentaries on the BBC too. Total institution our Bruce!
  • 7 0
 Brayton, Hart, Ratboy & Peaty - with beers not dinner (and a cup of tea for Brayton) Beer Beer
  • 6 1
 tescos orange squash for Hart
  • 3 0
 Ayrton Senna, Kimi Raikkonen, Valentino Rossi, and Sam Hill - id probably spend the whole time trying to convince them to let me borrow their keys and then sam hill and I would go out back and rally some cutty corners through the planter boxes
  • 1 0
 Great pilots. All these guys redefined their respective sports and were untouchable during their primes.
  • 3 0
 Please Mike, if you've got the opportunity to hang with the Shimano boss, don't make a fool of yourself. PRO wasn't so much a creation of Shimano. It was set up the European Shimano distributor to make them more of a one-stop-shop for tools, handlebars, seatposts etc. alongside the usual Shimano drivetrain and brakes. Customers looking for high end stuff can be very specific for what they want but below that level a rider doesn't care much whether it says BBB, Kalloy or PRO as long as it fits, works properly and is affordable. It seems Shimano Japan initially wasn't even aware of these activities. It was only much later that they hooked up with the Athertons, Thomas Vanderham and the like (I'm not aware of the road and CX athletes) to develop competition level components. But this never meant PRO has to abandon their original market position. They're for the rider who doesn't care for the highest lab-measurable stiffness over weight ratios. They're for the rider who needs a reliably working bike for blasting about that doesn't break the bank. And that rider now wants a dropper post. Practice a bit of self reflection and you'll soon find out that you're not that rider.
  • 8 3
 Semenuk, Gwin, Metailler, all tops guys and all the best at what they do, t'would be quite a yarn
  • 8 1
 I think you mean yawn.. Have you heard Gain and Semenuk talk? More entertainment from a dead fish in a bowl of jelly.
  • 5 1
 Gwin would need the gluten free menu.
  • 3 1
 Mike Levy, Mike Kazimer, R.C., Vernon Felton.

Ideally that beer would be post-ride though.

Call me corny, but you guys entertain the sh*t out of me and it would be interesting to see how you ride and what you're all like in person.
  • 6 1
 Ratboy, Damn Daniel and a Translator
  • 13 9
 Eddie masters, Emily Batty, and Rat Boy and watch Emily leave with Rat Boy.
  • 46 7
 So you want to blow Eddie?
  • 7 0
 @WAKIdesigns: obviously
  • 1 0
 *pinkbike posted it twice*
  • 2 0
 Dan Atherton
Chris Akrigg
Kirt Voreis
jk, Its my mates I left on the other side of atlantic: Martin, Martin, Adam cos I cant decide if I miss drinking or biking with them more..
  • 6 1
 Lara Croft, Jessica Rabbit, Daenerys Targaryen
  • 1 0
 Or any of the Wicked video or Vivid Girls, and sub tequila for beer.
  • 4 0
 I would love to meet @WAKIdesigns . His impact on the cycling industry is unparalleled in recent memory.
  • 1 0
 I'm with you on Burton, he's in.

Ever read the Gallic Wars? I'm thinking Julius Caesar could spin a satisfying tale or three. Probably had good taste in food.

Need a comedian too. Someone from "The Aristocrats"? Either Sarah Silverman or George Carlin. Sarah gets it because she's a chick.

Yeah... thanks for asking. Excellent question.
  • 1 0
 Olly Wilkins, Cam McCaul and Tara Llanes. I wouldn't waste my time in a restaurant if I'd have the opportunity to hang with a fun bunch like that. I'd rather take them on a ride and stop for a picknick. Lift assisted obviously because of Tara. Sad McGazza is gone, would have loved to hang to with a cheerful rider like him.

Outside cycling, I'd pick Chuck Schuldiner (RIP), Kofi Annan and an innocent bystander.
  • 2 1
 Mike, I like most of your stuff. But making fun of other people's dietary considerations is krass and uncalled for. Frankly it's offensive and I couldn't finish the article. There are folks who honestly can't eat gluten. Especially the variety of mostly GMO wheat that's grown today that has an altered protein chain within the gluten. That's why folks having a problem with it is so prevalent today. Not because it's "trendy". Why don't you sit down at the table with a certain Rachel Atherton and ask her why she simply can't tear into that loaf of nice crusty French bread? Go on ask her. Think before you make fun of others.
  • 5 1
 i think i would be able to understand Rat Boy only after 4 beers Big Grin
  • 2 1
 Exactly :-D
  • 6 2
 kelly mcgarry, bulldog and blenki - they seem like GC's
  • 3 0
 GC's? Good c*ntpany?
  • 4 0
 Milligan, Cleese, Everett......... ...Sessions
  • 3 0
 Jimmy Savile. As long as I can take a cricket bat. And lock the door please landlord, I'll have an IPA when I'm done.
  • 1 0
 While you're talking to shimano, make sure to ask them why their pricing is seemingly designed to f*ck local bike shops out of every last dollar and loyal customer. Ever heard of a Minimum Advertised Price, a*sholes?
  • 5 2
 Jesus, Elvis and Aleister Crowley.
  • 4 3
 That's all the same person.
  • 2 1
 Rob Warner, Guy Martin, Ronnie Renner and Rob Dyrdek........loadsa beers n a widescreen with the raddest mtb, road racing, FMX clips on loop Big Grin
  • 2 1
 I'd invite 3 losers as everyone else's suggestions would mean I'd feel like I had wasted my life/underachieved/was generally ****.
(Delete as appropriate.)
  • 3 2
 Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, and Betsy Andreu. Throw in Vernon Felton for comic relief. And no, I don't own a road bike.....
  • 4 0
 This seemed a LOT funnier before my first cup of coffee.....
  • 3 0
 Well that was a waste of time to read.
  • 3 0
 Hunter Thompson, Chris Farley, John Belushi, Jim Morrison
  • 2 0
 I've hung out with enough bike nerds I'd rather go hang out with crack heads and heroin addicts on east Hastings.
  • 6 4
 Sam Hill and God. Just kidding, it's the same guy.
  • 4 2
 Roald Amundsen, John Muir and Harambe.
  • 2 2
 harambe. much love. #neverforget
  • 3 1
 Matt Macduff, Will White, Cam Zink
  • 2 0
 Anyone who'd want to be there with me!
  • 1 0
 hey! aren´t you forgetting someone to join the party?? get another chair for Mr. Gracia!!
  • 2 0
 Peaty, Rat Boy and the queen of England
  • 1 0
 Waki, Bruni, Thannee and my wife for mtb world
Obama, Tesla, Marie Curie, Jesus (for the wine) could be fine too.
  • 2 0
 Freddie Mercury, Geddy Lee, and Gandalf.
  • 3 0
 I think that those boys would leave the bar and get into a threesome before you showed up.
  • 2 0
 that would be a special kind of magic
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU: that or catch a good broadway show....
  • 2 0
 Audrey Heburn, Joe Strummer ,Rachel from Suits
  • 1 0
 It would be interesting to have two clones of myself so see how I really look to others.
  • 1 0
 Henry Morton Stanley, Merryweather Lewis, Jaques Cousteau and David Attenborough
  • 1 0
 Oh yeah Mike, and she'll kick your ass all the way down the hill then hand it back to you... Gluten free!
  • 1 0
 Is it me or does that picture of Gary Fisher look like the snowman (played by Burl Ives) in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?
  • 1 0
 A couple of hookers and Stephen Hawking so I dont look like a slob as I eat
  • 1 0
 Fabian Barel, Greg Minnaar, Travis Pastrana
  • 1 0
 WAKIdesigns, Richard Cunningham and Calvin (from Park Tools)
  • 2 0
 Carl Sagan, Steve Peat,
  • 5 8
 A high ranking official from Specialized.
I would love to ask that person why they appear to struggle with feedback from their amazing World Cup racers over the years to design DH bikes. Has the curse of the big S has been discussed behind closed doors?

Greg Minnaar

Kevin Menard from Transition bikes.
Then that dingy pub is probably guaranteed to have quality beer and a solid pub Menu.
  • 3 2
 Damn Daniel. Who else is there?
  • 3 2
 Edmond Hillary, Travis Pastrana, Donald Campbell, Marianne Faithfull
  • 1 0
 steve peat, rob warner and claudio
  • 3 1
 My friends.
  • 2 1
 Hendrix, Strummer, Cash, Townes Van Zandt, Lincoln, Vouilloz,
  • 1 1
 Outside of the cycling world, I'd love to have a meal/drinks with Kim Gordon, Iggy Pop, Elon Musk and John Waters.
  • 1 0
 Prince, Roger Waters, Warren Zevon, Hunter S. Thompson.
  • 1 0
 The (current) Syndicate and Nathan Rennie.
  • 1 0
 Don McCullin, Albert Camus, Samuel Hill.
  • 1 0
 Bruce Lee, Hitler, Jeremy Clarkson
  • 1 1
 Fabian, Graves, Peaty and Pom Pon
  • 2 2
 Peat, Pantani, Vanderham, Batty
  • 3 3
 Neil Degrass Tyson, Gwin, Levy or Obama, Ratboy, and Peaty
  • 2 2
 Jack White, Lenny Bruce cuz.
  • 1 1
 Kelly Mcgarry, Von Williams, Bobby Root, and Benderoni.
  • 1 1
 John Lennon, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela
  • 3 2
 You may want to call your Suicide Lifeline...
  • 2 4
 The Transition Bikes owners and employees! It really looks like they know how to have a good time. Also some dude named Mike Levy from Pinkbike! Wink
  • 1 0
 Warner, Peaty, Titley.
  • 1 1
 Bill Hicks, Jesus, Manon, Pom Pon.
  • 1 1
 Nietzsche, Waki and the guy who has welded my Chilco's rear triangle.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I like to met the guy who did the alightment and welds in my frames rear triangle to tell him/her how shitty they work was!
  • 1 1
 chuck yeager einstien teddy rosevelt charlie murphy
  • 1 0
 The Vanzac's.
  • 1 1
 Lacon zink Hill mcgazza
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