Beggar_on_Horseback_-_Emeric_Essex_Vidal-cover.jpg
Distracted ramblings from south of the border

BeggarsWouldRide

Words Mike Ferrentino
Date Oct 14, 2021
Reading time
By way of introduction...

Staring at the hypnotic blink of the cursor and trying to come up with something coherent to say has been an integral part of my working life for a little over thirty years now. So it’s not a surprise to find myself doing just that again; me in my usual place with the laptop sat in my lap, dog sacked out next to me on the sofa and whiffling through his nostrils, paws twitching as he chases dream rabbits. Same old place, same old thing, right? Only this time I’m writing for someone else. Writing to someone else. And I’m not entirely sure where to start.

Blink… blink… blink… Once a second, apparently. At least that’s where the default for the cursor blink rate is set on this Apple laptop. I’m using Microsoft Word, which has an adjustable blink rate on Windows computers but is apparently not adjustable when using Word on a Mac, so I don’t know. Seems to be around about the same speed as the usual Mac cursor blink rate, maybe a bit slower, but I honestly have never really thought to look up cursor blink rates until just now, while trying to figure out how to introduce myself to the NSMB universe. Not the most auspicious of starts, this.

For the record, the default blink rate for cursor speed on Windows 10 is 530 milliseconds. Not sure if that means a whole blink or a half, but there ya go. The technically abled amongst you probably already knew this. It’s a bit embarrassing for me to admit that this is the first time I have even wondered just how fast my cursor is blinking, given that I have been staring at it for over three decades. But then again, I’m the kind of guy who pulls all but one volume spacer out of my forks and runs the compression clickers all the way open, then forgets to adjust for different conditions.

wargames

Okay, not exactly the cursor blink illustration I was aiming for, but you get the picture...

The word-paralysis this time comes from a sense that I am just not legit enough to be writing for NSMB. The first time I met Cam was in Borneo of all places, probably in 1999, where he did an admirable job of staying upright in the steaming jungle jank while the rest of us died thousands of sweaty flailing deaths. The following summer at a Kona launch was the next time I saw Cam, and was also the first time I ever rode the Shore. Aside from discovering that Cam has some solid waterskiing chops, he absolutely crushed me and all the other California journalists when we got fed into the gnarl.

Since then, I’ve ridden the Shore about a half dozen times, been to Squamish twice, and raced the TransRockies sometime back in the early 2000s. And to be honest, with the exception of TransRockies, the majority of my limited time riding in British Columbia has been saturated with that special kind of nervousness you find when you’ve just blown straight past the edge of your comfort zone and found yourself yard sale-ing through your known limits. It’s humbling. And a little scary.

There’s some comfort to be drawn from native familiarity. Riders who grew up in coastal BC have an innate familiarity with slippery roots and wet slabs of rock, with glistening planks of wood set above deadfall choked chasms, with vertical roll-ins, with stall speed wheelie drops to flat, with loam, with moss. Riders who grew up in California get real familiar with summer blue-groove hardpack coated with a tractionless layer of disintegrated earth that ranges from talcum powder to ball bearings in consistency, with hanging dust, with alpine rock gardens that have varying degrees of stability or movement, with an entire lexicon of braking bumps that really deserve to be categorized with as many different words as Nordic cultures have for snow, bigger sight lines, different consequences. For me, riding in the loamy and dank parts of BC feels exotic and alien, and the learning curve feels enormous. Whereas whenever I’ve shown riders who cut their teeth north of the border my favorite granite and fir laced ribbons of singletrack in the high Sierra, they’ve adapted to the shifty traction and started ripping at speed almost immediately. Probably because there’s a ton of riding just like that all over the interior of BC, and it’s not really unfamiliar to them.

poop

This is an image of a man who just had the bandage ripped off his first ever run down a slab line in Squamish. He may have soiled himself. Photo by Caleb Smith, photographer and bandage ripper extroardinaire

So, for me, it’s daunting to out myself as a kook in his mid-50s who is concerned that he can’t really hang. I mean, I almost shit my pants the first time Caleb Smith lured me into those long slab lines somewhere above Squamish a few short years ago. I survived, but it wasn’t pretty. From my time reading NSMB over the years, everyone who writes here has piles more riding talent than I do. Even those who consider themselves similarly aged kooks. As for the youthful contributors, forget about it. I can’t even pretend to step to that.

But here we are. When Cam and Pete and I were first dancing around the idea of writing for NSMB, the magazine I’d written at for 27 years had finally cratered, then been reborn as betamtb.com. Part of Pocket Media, alongside Velonews and Bicycle Retailer and a few other non-bike titles, it was almost immediately merged with Outside, which in rapid succession gobbled up Pinkbike and Cyclingtips and Trailforks.

A line from The Walrus And The Carpenter keeps playing through my mind here: “The eldest oyster winked his eye/and shook his heavy head – meaning to say he did not choose/to leave the oyster bed.”

walrus

Not exactly a corporate shell-game going on here, but there's a metaphorical similarity from the oyster's perspective...

Corporate consolidation is a thing. Shareholder interest is a thing, too. In my experience, having lived through several variations of the corporate shell-game as it has played out over the years (I think somewhere around 8 times now, ostensibly all while working for the same title), it’s not always a good thing. I don’t know how the new consolidations and partnerships over there are going to evolve, but I feel like I’ve watched this movie too many times already. In all the earlier versions, things never panned out very well as far as the freedom to generate impartial, honest content on your own terms was concerned.

NSMB is about as real is it gets. No board, no shareholders, no venture capital on the back end. A solid crew of people who are hard riders, sharp thinkers, who care about where they live and ride, and who aren’t afraid to speak frankly about this sport and this industry, warts and all. This matters. It matters to me a whole lot. It hopefully matters to you, too.

As for the name of this column… My friend Cameron Falconer spun it up as we were talking about life changes early this year, right after he finished building me a sweet new steel hardtail frame. Coined from a nursery rhyme around 1605, of unknown original author, modern popular versions go something like; “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. If turnips were swords, I’d have one at my side.” It speaks to that common human condition of wanting something more than what we have, of aspiring to live beyond our current reality, and also of how you can wish all you want, but it won’t change what you’ve got right now. And, as a lifelong slave to bikes, ever since I dropped out of college to go work at Velo City in San Francisco in 1988 as an apprentice mechanic for the princely sum of $5 an hour, that has about summed up my relationship with bikes and riding them.

horsescrop

The modern beggar's horse (apologies to the ghost horse roadsign, may life be better on the other side): steel hardtail by Cameron Falconer. Pandemic build, assembled from random leftover parts, including an old XT derailleur whose clutch got smeared off by a rock, a hand-me-down Reverb post with revolutionary auto-sag functionality built in, and a 12 speed thumbshifter...

The bike shop gig allowed me discounts on parts and convenient payment terms, so in short order I found myself paying off a Bridgestone MB-2, then a Yeti FRO, while I built Brodies and Konas and Fujis and Mountain Goats and got schooled at both riding and wrenching by a solid crew of crusty elders. Generally speaking, given the economic reality of the San Francisco Bay area (even back then) we were all, literally, beggars who rode. And we were in so many ways manifesting our wishes as we dove into the woods on our bikes, taking an entirely different trail through life than our well-heeled customers.

Nowadays, that wish/horse/beggar/ride analogy aligns itself more in my mind whenever I get to ride and review carbon fiber bicycles that break the $10k barrier and are so stratospherically beyond my means to purchase that I consider myself fortunate to be allowed to swing a leg over them at all, at the same as I time question the “want vs need” reality of bikes like these existing in the first place.

Ride bikes, fix bikes, sling words. Wish for the talent to wheelie better, wish for bigger lungs and stronger legs, wish for someone else to route these fucking brake lines through this frame and then bleed the damn brakes. Stare at the blinking cursor, wish in one hand, you know how the rest of that one goes… Hi. Nice to meet you here. If you’re wondering why on earth Cam and Pete felt the need to add yet another aging burnout to the roster, you’ll have to ask them. For my part, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Kona-Ride-2017-7822.jpg

Just another old burnout getting shown how to do it by the new generation. Photo by Caleb Smith, aerial bombardment by his son Elliot Smith. Heaping serving of humble pie all my own...

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Comments

denomerdano
+9 Pete Roggeman Vincent Edwards Todd Hellinga Martin Derek Baker Merwinn Beau Miller TheDanimal okiecalvin
Deniz Merdano  - Oct. 13, 2021, 8:23 p.m.

Welcome home Mike.. Looking forward to getting scared together for the sake of.... "Information"

Reply

mikeferrentino
+6 Raymond Epstein Cam McRae Deniz Merdano Tim Coleman Beau Miller okiecalvin
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:19 a.m.

Thanks, Deniz. Nowhere else I'd rather be...

Reply

lamar454
+3 Todd Hellinga Mammal Merwinn
Peter Appleton  - Oct. 13, 2021, 8:37 p.m.

Bienvenue

"let the superlatives fly"

Reply

DaveSmith
+8 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman Todd Hellinga Cr4w Martin Derek Baker NealWood Merwinn
Dave Smith  - Oct. 13, 2021, 8:46 p.m.

Fuckin' A... or maybe that should be eh.

Reply

mikeferrentino
+2 Dave Smith okiecalvin
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:20 a.m.

Aeh?

Reply

Ripbro
+8 Paul Stuart Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Timer Vincent Edwards Raymond Epstein Martin Merwinn
Ripbro  - Oct. 13, 2021, 8:50 p.m.

Great to see you on this site. Always enjoyed listening to your perspective in The Bible tests.

Reply

Losifer
+8 Paul Stuart Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Geof Harries Raymond Epstein Martin Cr4w Merwinn
Carlos Matutes  - Oct. 13, 2021, 8:55 p.m.

Wow… in the 25+ years I’ve been reading Mike’s work, I’ve always been felt a kind of kinship. While I’m a few years younger, I’ve gone through many of the same bike shop/single speeding/getting older and slower experiences.

I’m relatively new to nsmb.com, but have really enjoyed it over the last couple of years. Welcome Mr. Ferrentino, I think you’ll fit in nicely.

Reply

mikeferrentino
+1 Cam McRae
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:20 a.m.

Carlos, we've pedaled some very similar paths for a long time now. Good to see your name here!

Reply

taprider
+3 Paul Stuart Cam McRae dave_f
taprider  - Oct. 13, 2021, 8:58 p.m.

Looking forward to reading more

Reply

kurt-adams
+6 Paul Stuart Cam McRae Geof Harries Raymond Epstein Martin shenzhe
Kurt Adams  - Oct. 13, 2021, 9:03 p.m.

What a fantastic bit of news! Welcome Mike!

Reply

mikeferrentino
0
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:21 a.m.

Kurt! I hope the memories of Hellride are finally subsiding...

Reply

bushtrucker
+6 Cam McRae Karl Fitzpatrick twk Simon Apostol Cr4w Mike Ferrentino
bushtrucker  - Oct. 13, 2021, 9:05 p.m.

Welcome aboard. Love the writing style and looking forward to reading more!

One thing I want to say to this though:

> It speaks to that common human condition of wanting something more than what we have, of aspiring to live beyond our current reality, and also of how you can wish all you want, but it won’t change what you’ve got right now. 

It seems you’re confusing the human condition with capitalist condition. You can easily argue that as humans we’ve spent most of our history quite happy with what we’ve had and it’s only in the last few millenia that a powerful few have tricked us into thinking we don’t have enough.

That being said I wouldn’t mind a new bike like your Falconer haha!

Reply

Bikes
+4 cheapondirt Mike Ferrentino JVP Metacomet
Bikes  - Oct. 13, 2021, 10:44 p.m.

Prior to the ability to have the choice to have/want more, its probably that choice was removed or even the idea a complete impossibility.  I guess you don't miss what you don't have.?.  I have not idea if people 5,000 or 20,000 years ago where as sad or as happy as me.  Never will.

Hard to separate out human condition from capitalist condition.  They are one in the same, we just now have the resources and tech to achieve more.  Greed isn't inherent to capitalism or any other monetary structure.  Its a human condition.

Reply

mikeferrentino
+3 Pete Roggeman Alex Durant shenzhe
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:25 a.m.

See? Aspirations! I hear what you are saying, and agree that capitalist programming has really stomped that gas pedal of wanting things for so many of us. But I also wonder if it's a bit of a chicken/egg deal here in the western world. As in, there are cautionary fables that go far back in any culture warning about the pitfalls of desire, greed, gluttony. I suspect they exist because we, as a species, tend to want. So it's an easy part of our psyche to exploit. But I am very willing to be proven wrong on that hunch. Now go throw some money at Cameron Falconer!

Reply

4Runner1
+4 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Geof Harries Merwinn
4Runner1  - Oct. 13, 2021, 10:08 p.m.

Wow very cool. This site is like a fine wine…

Reply

Matt-Splatt
+6 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Geof Harries Mike Ferrentino Andy Eunson Merwinn
Matt-Splatt  - Oct. 13, 2021, 10:31 p.m.

Welcome to heaven Mike. You’re in good company with Cam and Pete.

Reply

Bikes
+19 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Paul Stuart Geof Harries Vincent Edwards Todd Hellinga Simon Apostol Martin Mike Ferrentino solar_evolution Metacomet Mammal Nologo Velocipedestrian kcy4130 IslandLife NealWood Butch White Merwinn
Bikes  - Oct. 13, 2021, 10:48 p.m.

"NSMB is about as real is it gets. No board, no shareholders, no venture capital on the back end."

I'm a bike nerd, and I read all the other publications.  They can be great.  But I agree with the above. Hard to explain it, but NSMB seems more honest.  More relatable.

Reply

fartymarty
+5 Cam McRae Martin Mike Ferrentino IslandLife Butch White
fartymarty  - Oct. 14, 2021, 1:46 a.m.

I certainly hope it stays independent.  Kind of like a MTB equivalent of Dischord Records.

Reply

Frorider
0
Frorider  - Oct. 14, 2021, 10:11 a.m.

Good comparison.   #Indie4life.

Reply

bruce-mackay
+6 Pete Roggeman Geof Harries Cam McRae Martin Mike Ferrentino IslandLife
Bruce Mackay  - Oct. 13, 2021, 11:33 p.m.

Mike, I've been reading your words for most of those 30 years, I had issue 1 of bike, and most of them after.  Glad you're back somewhere that lets you "speak".   Kinda like being home,  looking forward to more.

Reply

mikeferrentino
+4 Joseph Crabtree Pete Roggeman IslandLife okiecalvin
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:58 a.m.

Bruce, to be fair, both bike and beta gave me a pretty long leash in terms of what I wrote. And the last year or two of Bike, then Beta, with Nicole at the helm, have taken on some pretty unpopular social issues and dealt with a fair amount of bro backlash as a result. But at the same time, within the old publishing structure at Bike there was always some sort of pressure to appease... someone... We generally fought long and hard against that, and did a solid job of keeping advertising interests out of editorial aims, but it was a constant grind to have to keep that line drawn.

Reply

hbelly13
0
Raymond Epstein  - Oct. 14, 2021, 9:08 a.m.

Mike, did this "bro backlash" have anything to do with the lack of ability to comment on articles with Beta which is curiously absent?

Reply

mikeferrentino
0
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 9:52 a.m.

Not that I am aware of.

Reply

tdmsurfguy
+1 okiecalvin
tdmsurfguy  - Oct. 18, 2021, 6:25 a.m.

For what it’s worth I appreciated Nicole’s stance and choice to write those pieces that caused a ruckus with the “bros” of the industry. Stoked to see you on board here.

Reply

KonaGord
+8 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Andrew Major Mike Ferrentino JVP sept-huit Adrian White Merwinn
KonaGord  - Oct. 14, 2021, 5:43 a.m.

Bring Kristin with you?   Together you two have been the reason for many years of subscription to BIKE and then BETA even tho they don’t ship paper to Canada.  

Glad you’re here, and keep it coming.

Reply

tehllama42
+7 Paul Stuart Geof Harries Cam McRae Martin Mike Ferrentino Todd Hellinga Merwinn
Tehllama42  - Oct. 14, 2021, 5:59 a.m.

Well, NSMB is quietly continuing to have the best herd of writers out there.  Welcome aboard Mike.

Reply

byron
+4 Cam McRae Todd Hellinga Martin Mike Ferrentino
Byron  - Oct. 14, 2021, 6:34 a.m.

Welcome, Mike.  

Been reading your words since '95 or so, keep up the great work.

Reply

Vikb
+2 Martin Mike Ferrentino
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:04 a.m.

Welcome Mike.

Reply

FlipFantasia
+2 Martin Mike Ferrentino
Todd Hellinga  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:10 a.m.

this is really good news, welcome!

Reply

gdharries
+5 Martin Mike Ferrentino Pete Roggeman IslandLife Merwinn
Geof Harries  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:15 a.m.

Keep on being yourself, NSMB.com. 

Love the addition of Ferrentino.

This is a great day.

Reply

rwalters
+2 Pete Roggeman Tim Coleman
Ryan Walters  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:18 a.m.

Hi Mike! I heard you might have some volume spacers I can borrow...

Reply

mikeferrentino
+1 Ryan Walters
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:27 a.m.

Got a whole stack of 'em! Yours for the asking...

Reply

hbelly13
0
Raymond Epstein  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:23 a.m.

Welcome Mike! In terms of actual skill I have little biz looking at NSMB, but have remained a faithful reader from the get go long being a fan of gnar that was beyond my pay grade and those who spoke of it with eloquence. Your voice was one of the primary reason I read Bike from the beginning and then Beta. Palmer is great and all, but griminess is earned.

Reply

craw
+1 okiecalvin
Cr4w  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:45 a.m.

Wow this is great. I loved BIKE. I don't know why they needed to be reconsolidated or even renamed. I guess they recognized it wouldn't quite be BIKE without Mike. Something about its rebirth fails to attract me as BIKE did.  

Welcome!

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+5 Cr4w Mike Ferrentino Adrian White Merwinn okiecalvin
Cam McRae  - Oct. 14, 2021, 10:50 a.m.

Mike and I are going to do a podcast shortly where I hope to dig into that, but Bike was shuttered while Señor Ferrentino was still an artist in residence. It was apparently profitable and circulation was good, (which were apparently both true of Dirt when it was tossed in the trash by corporate types) and it might have come down to something inspirational and honest, like creating a loss so some multi-millionaire could reap a larger bonus. 

I was a big fan of Bike and I love the people I know at Beta. They produce excellent stuff and fight the good fight as much as possible. Hopefully, it can also survive being part of a corporate behemoth.

Reply

Wapti
+1 Merwinn
Wapti  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:55 a.m.

Things I was not expecting today. Very impressive.

Reply

andy-eunson
+1 Martin
Andy Eunson  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:10 a.m.

Welcome Mr Ferrentino. Over the many years I’ve read your columns I found that more often than not you spoke my mind.

Reply

seanlikesitslow
+2 Cam McRae Merwinn
seanlikesitslow  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:11 a.m.

Thanks Mike. Christmas has come early.

Reply

martin
+1 Cam McRae
Martin  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:15 a.m.

Wow! This is exciting, I love your writing and I'm glad to see you added to the NSMB crew. This website's vibe and community feel more real and more open minded than many others, that's probably why I love it and your addition to the team will surely contribute positively to the ecosystem. Welcome and have fun!

Reply

Wapti
+2 Cam McRae Velocipedestrian
Wapti  - Oct. 14, 2021, 8:49 a.m.

The thing that brought me to NSMB in the first place is that they review things no one else really does.

Reply

Dude@
+1 Cam McRae
Dude@  - Oct. 14, 2021, 9:36 a.m.

Welcome Mike! Besides the corporate take-overs, it seems COVID has created a large mirror that allowed many of us to self evaluate our quality of life and professional goals. Any part of this transformative change a result of this reflection?

Reply

mikeferrentino
+1 okiecalvin
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 9:57 a.m.

Covid actually had very little impact on my "career"... I haven't worked in an office environment since 2012, and spend probably too much time alone in the woods as it is. So, the amount of time spent rattling around inside my own head wondering who I might be when I grow up hasn't really changed. In that regard, I'm super fortunate - I have the relative luxury of working from home, and I also have the relative luxury of a giant patch of poison oak all my own to roll around in.

Reply

JVP
0
JVP  - Oct. 14, 2021, 10:11 a.m.

This is good. Welcome, Mike, to the only remaining high quality, independent voice in MTB!

Reply

LoamtoHome
+2 Cam McRae Merwinn
Jerry Willows  - Oct. 14, 2021, 10:36 a.m.

Welcome aboard MF....  bring your sticky rubber and get your jank on!

Reply

pedalhound
+2 Vik Banerjee Cam McRae
pedalhound  - Oct. 14, 2021, 11:05 a.m.

I have been reading Mike's words since the grimey handshake days...he was my favourite part of bikemag! Very excited to see his writing on my favourite MTB website too.

Reply

bogdan-m
0
Bogdan M  - Oct. 14, 2021, 11:15 a.m.

Welcome Mike! That’s so awesome … been reading Bike since the mid 90s … sneaking a copy of Bike or Powder under my notebook while attending Engineering lectures at university.

Reply

cheapondirt
+1 Cam McRae
cheapondirt  - Oct. 14, 2021, 11:50 a.m.

Apparently even the most worthy can suffer imposter syndrome. Glad to have a non paywalled place to read your writing!

Reply

mrbrett
+1 Cam McRae
mrbrett  - Oct. 14, 2021, 11:56 a.m.

Welcome in, Mike, I think you'll be a fine addition here.

Reply

tokeable
+1 Cam McRae
tokeable  - Oct. 14, 2021, 12:05 p.m.

I just came here to say welcome Mike! I always enjoyed your writing.

Reply

sept-huit
+2 boomforeal Mike Ferrentino
sept-huit  - Oct. 14, 2021, 12:42 p.m.

Fuckin eh indeed! The Grimy Handshake was always one of my favourite columns in bike mag, and it’s nice to see MF land in a less corporate media outlet which feels more aligned with his writing style and ethic. 

I always appreciated Mike interacting with us dirtbags in the old bikemag bulletin board too. A genuine individual. 

Nice to have you around, Mike! 

Sept-Huit

(aka whileyrider)

Reply

joseph-crabtree
+2 Mike Ferrentino Cam McRae
Joseph Crabtree  - Oct. 14, 2021, 2:23 p.m.

Wow Mike, from writing stories for California Bicyclist about suffering through a Surf City CX to here, it has been a long strange trip, Welcome!

Reply

Bikeryder85
+1 Cam McRae
Bikeryder85  - Oct. 14, 2021, 2:54 p.m.

Mike!!!! Thanks for moving from my former favorite rag (loved grimmy handshake), to my new favorite...NSMB. Can't wait to read what you and the crew get into...

Reply

mammal
+2 Pete Roggeman Mike Ferrentino
Mammal  - Oct. 14, 2021, 3:17 p.m.

Welcome Mike. I'm not the Bike aficionado that many here are, but I do remember you from that publication eons ago, when that was the absolute bible of bike rags. 

That said, "Beggars Would Ride" speaks intimately to me, as my late Stepdad used that expression regularly, and I don't think I've heard it from any other human apart from him. You've already won me over.

Reply

araz
+2 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae
araz  - Oct. 14, 2021, 4:08 p.m.

Just want to say that this news makes me happy. Love reading your writing and hearing your perspective Mike! Seems like a great fit for NSMB, whatever your ability to navigate wet roots -- actually a nice addition for those of us in dry lands.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Muesliman
Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:32 p.m.

We're going to arrange a barter: we'll refit Mike with some aftermarket skills on dank jank, and he can inspire us with his refreshing world view and writing (I can only hope some of it will rub off on me)

Reply

Vikb
+1 Pete Roggeman
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 14, 2021, 5:13 p.m.

I also meant to comment sweet hardtail Mike. Bring that up to BC! :-)

Reply

ridestuff
+2 Cam McRae Butch White
Derek Baker  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:42 p.m.

An amazing addition to the best bicycle (online) rag!

Reply

Dr.Pre-Ro
+4 Cam McRae Mammal Todd Hellinga Pete Roggeman
Dr.Pre-Ro  - Oct. 14, 2021, 7:57 p.m.

A friendly and grimy handshake welcome. Glad to see you on here. In the prehistoric days of 1inch head tubes, 140mm, 0 degree rise stems, 22 inch wide bars and brakes that didn't work, your words were an inspiration to a generation of us bike folk who, like you slaved away in indentured service for the chance to ride bikes far beyond our means. Looking forward to your wise Yoda like words even now as a 45 year old corporate guy, with three kids and a mortgage, who uses an iron to press his shirts before work rather than smoke hash before riding the cruiser to the Bike Shop. We're all just that more mature. I've even forgiven you and your NorCal brethren for the horrid treatment and tongue in cheek harrassment at the 2002 SSWC in Downieville :) Lovely to see your name here, and all the best!

Reply

mikeferrentino
+1 Cam McRae
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 10:21 p.m.

I was definitely not my best self at that event, in that town, in 2002. There is an inherent tension involved in bringing 300 known derelicts to a town of 300, but they won the town over, and drank the bar dry. If you were part of that vanload of Canadians, I apologize.

Reply

eMcK
+4 Sean Chee Cam McRae Muesliman Pete Roggeman
eMcK  - Oct. 14, 2021, 9:16 p.m.

Totally unexpected news, but very, very welcome. The podcast from the CEO of Outside didn't exactly give me hope for an interesting (or even mediocre) future for all the brands that are getting gobbled up with venture capital dollars. It was painful to see them publish an op/ed in their outdoor retailer outlet asking if REI was too big while not revealing Outdoor's marketing arm was busy working for Dick's new outdoors stores, Public Lands, which is a direct shot across REI's sizeable bow. 

If the mountain bike world has a Peter Egan, NSMB just hired him.

Reply

mikeferrentino
0
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 10:22 p.m.

If only I could be smart enough to be the Kevin Cameron of mountain biking...

Reply

Bad-Sean
+2 Mike Ferrentino Cam McRae
Sean Chee  - Oct. 14, 2021, 9:52 p.m.

Welcome aboard! I’ve loved reading your work going back as far as I can remember. 

In an interesting twist, I also spent some time riding in Borneo back in 1999. Mainly out of Kuching but also some time in Kalimantan. I think it took me a good year to properly rehydrate after it.

Reply

mikeferrentino
+1 Cam McRae
Mike Ferrentino  - Oct. 14, 2021, 10:24 p.m.

Small world! Cam and I can only blame/thank Malcolm Jitam for finding ourselves there. It was a very strange and wonderful trip.

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Muesliman
+1 Pete Roggeman
Muesliman  - Oct. 15, 2021, 4:04 a.m.

So good to see Mr. Ferrentino here and a great first piece. Here's to much more to come I hope.

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ackshunW
+3 Pete Roggeman Vik Banerjee Merwinn
ackshunW  - Oct. 15, 2021, 5:48 a.m.

Mike, always looked for your byline in Bike, loved that mag, the writing, and the photos of course. 

But now that’s gone, great to see you here! NSBM is the best for sure. You’ve touched on something I’ve wondered about ever since latching on to this site:  This crew sure is professional, excellent at their craft, and reviews both obscure and high-end brand-new stuff. Yet the ads are minimal and corporate overlordship seems to be absent..... I’m impressed and genuinely curious how you all pull it off. Any chance of a piece about NSMB and independent niche journalism in the modern age?

Eric

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pete@nsmb.com
+3 ackshunW Vik Banerjee Mark
Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 15, 2021, 5:52 p.m.

We're secretly on the take from big beer, obviously.

Thanks for the kind words. I don't know if anyone would really be interested in the inner workings of this contraption, but it may be something we discuss in a future podcast. I'm sure Mike will be shocked when he realizes how many spreadsheets we use to plan our everything.

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Vikb
+1 Pete Roggeman
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 16, 2021, 6:26 a.m.

I'd be fully interested. :-)

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Ride_today
+1 Pete Roggeman
Butch White  - Oct. 16, 2021, 4:44 a.m.

This is outstanding news. And the mention of the Bridgestone MB-2 brought a smile to my face. My first mtb was a MB-3.  Yeah, that puts me solidly in the old ass rider club.

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viktorfotomaker
0
viktorfotomaker  - Oct. 16, 2021, 10:58 p.m.

bravo bravo! never read so many true words in one article.

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kos
0
Kos  - Oct. 17, 2021, 6:35 a.m.

Welcome, from another, even more, "age-challenged" dude!

Been reading your stuff forever, and NEVER forgotten The Never-Ending Gift of Shit (apologies if that isn't the exact title).

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OneShavedLeg
0
OneShavedLeg  - Oct. 17, 2021, 10:43 a.m.

Best news ever! Bike for me was all about Mr Ferrentino’s writing. First thing I read when cracking a new issue open. Welcome to Canada eh!

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dekerf
+1 Cam McRae
dekerf  - Oct. 18, 2021, 8:19 a.m.

Hello Mike. So great to hear you have joined the NSMB team. This will be an awesome fit. Enjoy!

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blaklabl
+1 Cam McRae
blaklabl  - Oct. 18, 2021, 9:11 a.m.

Welcome Mike!  I have really enjoyed spending more of my MTB reading time here at NSMB over the past few years, after getting burned out on the other sites.  You're just icing on the cake.

And that Falconer is beautiful!  We need a photo-editorial.

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okiecalvin
0
okiecalvin  - Oct. 20, 2021, 10:27 p.m.

So glad he’s here and not “there”; welcome Mike, I look forward to enjoying your writing for many years to come.

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