Activities to Preserve Sanity When You Can’t Ride

Dear Uncle Dave,

There exist many tragedies in the world: famine, war, cancer, not being able to ride bikes; and there are probably some other ones too. Time off the bike due to injury is one thing, but I’m thinking more benign, albeit constant complications: getting out of work too late for an after-work ride, snowfall, or trails being too far away to ride on a weekday.

My wife has compared me to our dog in the sense that I need some sort of activity every day or I get all fidgety (at least I hope that’s what she meant)  I simply need something to do when I can’t go biking. So far I’ve gotten into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which has been great. The classes are kinda expensive, but it is still cheaper than therapy, and when you’re standards for expensive come from mountain biking, everything short of starting a formula 1 team seems affordable. Also, learning how to break-fall has definitely helped me after getting all amped up watching the World Cup races and trying to Gwin a little too hard. But, I need some diversity.

So, what are the Uncle Dave approved non-riding activities? Bonus points if they somehow complement MTB skills.

Sincerely yours,
Antsy After Work

Dear AWL:

So. Donald Trump won. I feel like I was more right last week than I hoped to be. Nobody has any interest in listening to people casting down judgment from up on their high horse. Especially when the alternative is yelling at Mexicans while wearing a cool hat. Think of your childhood. What would you rather have been doing, at any given moment? Listening to your Dad lecture you on getting a good job and making the world a better place? Or lighting shit on fire in the back yard?  Fire wins. Every time.

The problem here is that this basically destroys my entire Modus Operandi. What’s left if I can’t resort to complaining about the inadequacies of other people? I really have no idea. Instead of solving that problem, here is a list containing a number of things that make me happy outside of mountain biking. I know this isn’t what you asked for. But this is what you get.

Instant Ramen

A T&T Supermarket just opened up near my work. When I’m bored at lunch, I like to saunter over and wander around. The ramen aisle is a consistent draw. I used to just grab any packet that had no English writing on it, but I’ve settled in on the fine products from Nongshim. Start with the Shin Black, which obtained the coveted 5 Star rating from Three separate packets of seasonings and dried vegetables make the difference. Brick and mortar ramen shops are so last month. The new thing is instant noodles.

Mt. Baker

Let the yuppies have their hundred dollar lift tickets and hour long line-ups. Nothing beats Baker on a mid-week snow day. Nothing. Save a bit of money, enjoy better food and worse chairlifts. Bring a buddy and your avalanche gear if you’re going to duck ropes. And go sooner, rather than later because global warming and a Trump presidency mean this place isn’t long for this world.

Moone Boy

We’ve finally plunged into Season 3 of Moone Boy and it is probably time that you checked it out as well. Chris O’Dowd plays the earnestly naïve imaginary friend of a perpetually optimistic Irish boy. As well, they set it in the 90’s, for some reason.


What We Do in the Shadows

If you’re a Flight of the Conchords fan, you’ve probably already tracked this one down. Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (the, umm…director of the next Thor movie, somehow) take the mockumentary to insane heights, with vampires and shit. This is a wonderful movie.


The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

This is a perfect book. Hopefully the new Dirk Gently TV series doesn’t ruin it.

Send in some more questions and we can resort to talking about bikes again next week. Maybe.

Uncle Dave

Uncle Dave’s Music Club

I’ll tie this one into the column. Where’s Me Jumper from The Sultan’s of Ping FC is the opening credits song for Moone Boy and just about the catchiest damn thing. It gives me faith that there is a place for good, strange music, everywhere.

We selling this Instagram thing again?  Okay. @davetolnai if you care.

AWL – you win this week’s prize! A RaceFace Agent jacket. Hit us up to collect your prize.

Stuck in an Echo Chamber

Wade Simmons models the RaceFace Agent jacket. AGENT JACKET. “Seam sealed and with a 10,000mm/10,000m2 membrane rating. 100% Polyester 2.5 ply fabric with custom printed membrane. Light enough for all day pedals and durable enough for bike park laps; the Agent jacket will keep you riding when the weather takes a turn for the worst.” Check it out here.

What keeps you sane when you can’t ride?

Trending on NSMB



Normally I'd say this advice is the worst, but I've just watched What We Do in the Shadows and it is indeed as fun as mountain biking.

Maybe even more fun than rolling around with sweaty men on a mat.



as mentioned Shin Ramyun is tops, as well as Creamy Tom Yum from Mama and Clean Spicy Kokomen from Paldo!



Digging /end



You guys still willing to venture down to the states after all the Trump hate? ? ?



Baker and Bellingham are almost Canada, so I think they're still okay.



The wake from that election, indeed all of your elections, is big enough to be felt wayyyy beyond american borders.



Mid-week pow trips to Baker are the best. Cheap tickets, great food, terrible chairlifts indeed. Riding pow at 11am and having the place to yourself is amazing. I used to work M-F 9-5 and it left me going to Whistler on weekends, which sucks balls. Instead I decided to abandon Whistler and spend all that money on a single winter trip to somewhere sunny to surf or go kiteboarding. 10 days of sun and ocean did me wonders compared to the rage of standing in line with all the weekend warriors positioning themselves for their only pow run of the day. Winter is a good time to nail your weightlifting too so that you're all-powerful come spring.


I like the slow chairlifts, though. Those and the shorter runs mean that even if you're not skiing 50+ days/yr anymore, you can still pound hot laps all day and not get too tired. Whistler on a Saturday has become absurd. At least it gets more expensive every year, so that each run costs more. Then you can stop for a $30 lunch and beer and fight with all the same assholes for a seat at a table somewhere, if you're lucky.

Nope. Backcountry skiing is money and time way better spent than a Saturday at Whistler.



I thought Whistler was just the traffic jam on the way to the Duffey. People stop there?


Like a trap for rats stuck in the weekday race.



I just took up BMX and skateparks. At least where I am (Denver) we have a few awesome skateparks with lights. And let's face it, if you thought falling on rock hurt, concrete really hurts (which in my head helps with mountain biking).

Indoor climbing is the other thing. Super fun different activity. And it trains you to not have claw hand come bike park season.



getting out of work too late for an after-work ride - bike to work
snowfall - bike in the snow, unless there's too much of it, then go skiing, win - win either way
trails being too far away to ride on a weekday - build the trails closer, take up cx, or sigh dare I say road?


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