Perry Best of 2018
Editorial

Perry's Best of 2018

Words Perry Schebel
Photos Perry Schebel (unless noted)
Date Jan 7, 2019

Emphasizing experiences over things is a popular theme these days, and I'm finding increasing merit in this sentiment the older I get. Despite a long history of gear whore-ism, the draw of owning the latest shiny new trinkets has become less compelling. I've become increasingly empathetic as years go by, and to witness how little so many in the world have, and how wasteful and superficially consumption-driven western society can be, has reinforced my inherent miserly ways - leaving me wanting for little. While bleeding edge hardware still fascinates, the need to possess has diminished. I feel pretty privileged as is - to be living in a veritable mountain bike mecca, with the freedom and means to ride hallowed trails on a regular basis. So - here's a couple personal highlights this year that involved riding bikes. 

The Shore. Busy dad life meant much of my riding this year involved sniper runs - narrow windows of opportunity requiring relatively quick rips on local trails. Fortunately, even after over 20 years of riding the Shore on a regular basis, these mountains never grow old for me. That I can escape the city and find solace in the deep dark rainforest within minutes is a valued decompression routine.

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Quintessential elements of the Shore: atmosphere & elder spirits.  

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And a heaping dose of Western red cedar. Inhale deeply. 

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Not all our trails are chutes & ladders. 

Chilcotins. I don't do this with as much frequency as I'd like, but I love getting properly Out There - away from civilization and the maddening crowds. The South Chilcotins gets the job done for me, and with the help of float plane drops and catered backcountry cabins, I of precious time & no bikepacking gear, can get acceptably deep into the outside without too much effort. 

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Dale Douglas gassing up the shuttle rig. 

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My kind of luxury accomodation. 

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Chilling in the Chilcotins: it does a soul good. 

Thailand. The kids demand we go somewhere warm each spring break; in 2018 we ended up in Thailand. One of the (many) highlights involved a Bangkok urban bike tour. Bangkok is a rich tapestry, densely packed. The bike enables you a great deal of freedom to cover ground quickly, and explore the numerous exotic interstices inaccessible by car.      

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The spaces in between were some of the most fascinating. But you had to compete with mopeds. 

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I could explore the vibrant back alleys and markets for days. 

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The architecture was an eclectic amalgam spanning centuries. 

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Lots to keep the kids engaged: exotic fruits. 

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Crunchy crawly snacks. 

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Bedazzled serpents and golden Buddhas. 

Bikes. Ok, I couldn’t resist a quick word about hardware. The Starling Murmur Factory was an eye opener. A bit of a throwback in terms of silhouette and material, but with thoroughly modern numbers, this bike was a happy-making trail slayer that I didn't want to give back. 

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I have a soft spot for the classic aesthetics of skinny straight steel tubes. An exercise in elegant minimalism. Photo: Dave Smith

On the other end of the technological spectrum, the carbon swaddled, Pinion gearbox equipped Zerode Taniwha also delighted, but in a very different way, offering portions of grip and buttery solidity I'd not previously experienced at this travel. The Pinion was not without it's quirks, but as a long time gearbox aficionado, it made me happy to see Zerode pushing hard to advance the state of the art. 

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Stout & plush, the the Zerode is a silken sledgehammer. Photo: Dave Smith

Comments

trumpstinyhands
+2 Niels Cooper Quinn
trumpstinyhands  - Jan. 7, 2019, 10:32 a.m.

The intro to the article resonates with me for sure. Maybe that's why my twisted mind is telling me that the Starling actually looks more modern than the Zerode?

Reply

mike-wallace
0
Mike Wallace  - Jan. 7, 2019, 10:46 a.m.

Remind me again why that Starling wouldn’t suffer from brake jack?

Reply

xy9ine
+5 Morgan Heater AJ Barlas Niels natbrown Andrew Major
Perry Schebel  - Jan. 7, 2019, 2:10 p.m.

to be a bit pedantic, no modern bikes (that i'm aware of; there may be some funky designs that are an exception) suffer from brake jack. bikes squat to varying degrees, but it's not a bad thing, as it serves to settle the chassis (ie, help offset forward weight transfer / fork dive under braking). a simple single pivot like this may squat a bit more than something like an FSR, so has the potential to lose some sensitivity as it sits deeper in the travel, but in practice, i didn't find it to be detrimental in any way.

Reply

JBV
0
James Vasilyev  - Jan. 8, 2019, 9:51 a.m.

so what does scorpion taste like?

Reply

xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Jan. 8, 2019, 10:32 a.m.

big bugs freak me out; i wouldn't hold one, let alone eat it. the kids are braver than i, however; they're well roasted, kinda nutty, apparently.

Reply

Vincent66
0
Vincent66  - Jan. 8, 2019, 3:59 p.m.

Hi,

I haven't been riding here for as long as you, but I love bridges ; Could you tell us on which trail in the second bridge (the new one that smells red cedar) ? Thanks, and happy new year !

Reply

xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Jan. 8, 2019, 4:16 p.m.

boogieman on seymour. it's a classic!

Reply

Vincent66
0
Vincent66  - Jan. 19, 2019, 6:10 p.m.

Thank you !

I don't even have time to check the responses to my comments, I wonder when I'll be able to find time to go ride ...

I've been on that trail before but do not remember this feature ; I need to go back, but when ? ...

Reply

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