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Dual Squish vs Hardtail: Service Spending - Nov. 30, 2021, 7:43 a.m.

One other factor that I think is important in this discussion is learning to ride in a way that is easier on your bike.  I rode a fully rigid bike for a long time and learned to be very light on the bike.  It did 2 things.  First it saved energy from taking the impacts.  Second it saved wheels and tires.  If I plowed through things I would get a flat or bend a rim, so I quickly learned to not do that.  

I see way too many friends go through components (and shoes) really fast because they ride heavy.  My bike stays in tune much longer and that ends up being cheaper in the long run.

Embracing The Singularity - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:33 a.m.

I used to live in a nice apartment with the scariest basement I have ever visited.  BUT the washer and drier were down there so weekly I would climb down the stairs and do my laundry.  The washer broke one year and I called an appliance guy. He walked in saw the washer nodded his head and smiled.  I asked, why are you so happy?  He explained this model of washer had a small part that wore out after 10ish years.  It takes 5 minutes to replace and the washer will go for another 10ish years without skipping a beat. When I moved out we learned that the stairs lacked the structural integrity to support the washer or dryer so we had to leave them.  I still miss that washer.

Yesterday I was washing some bedding and our current washer got stuck in a hell cycle.  It would count down to 1 minute remaining and just as it was about to finish it would add 13 minutes and refill with water.  After the second time I looked at it and said "Ohhh F no you stupid F'er you are done!" Two minutes later I pressed the right buttons in the right order to get the dam thing to actually stop.  

Experiences like this (and the cost) keep me from trying electric anything on my bikes.

The Gear We Live In - Nov. 2, 2021, 8:09 a.m.

About 10 years ago I went to a conference and they handed out these obnoxious red long sleeve athletic shirts.  I thought they were the stupidest thing ever.  Then I rode in one, I ended up calling a friend who worked at the company and asked if they had any extras.  I am down to 2 good and 1 nearly garbage, 2 others died in crashes.  

I also have a couple pair of the same North Face shorts, so often I ride all weekend in the "same clothes" I 100% agree having a go to outfit that you just put on is very nice.

2021 Red Bull Rampage Finals - Photo Story - Oct. 18, 2021, 7:36 a.m.

Someone asked me to define freeride, after seeing some Rampage pics on my phone.  I explained that it is looking at something where no trail exists and seeing a line that would challenge your abilities.  Building a line and taking a deep breath before being the first human to ride something.  To me that is the spirit of freeride, the transition of an idea into a line and then into actually riding a bike on something new.

My biggest issues with my description are: That the world has changed and we can't just go build stuff most places.  I don't love the first ride part of my description.  Is riding a new feature freeriding?  I don't know.  What I do know is there are a few lines near a local trail that I have been dreaming of riding for a couple years now.  The spirit of freeride to me is climbing up there and giving it a go.

Night Riding Needs: The Blackburn Dayblazer 1500 - Oct. 15, 2021, 7:22 a.m.

5 years ago I bought a NR self contained unit.  It cost a bit less than half my prior system, weighed was less than half and had 1/3 the parts needed to ride (old one was light, cable, and battery vs. new self contained unit).  Ohh and it was double the lumens.  For all the talk about increasing bike prices, light prices seem to be the opposite and I think the products have advanced even more.  

I am due for a new light again and I have been a loyal NR customer, I hope they come out with new stuff and do some crazy sales on the current stuff.

Lessons from the Trek Sustainability Report - Oct. 12, 2021, 12:07 p.m.

As a biker who also spends lots of time doing data analytics, the big chart is garbage.  The fix is super easy, group parts together and provide additional charts to show the detail.  The top chart should be frame / components.  Component should then be grouped, then allow for drill down to the individual parts.  Logically that is what people really want to know, so give it to them in the format that answers their questions in the easiest format.  It would also allow Trek to show us vs. suppliers and potentially supplier vs. supplier.  I mean who wouldn't love to know if Shimano is more environmentally friendly than SRAM?

Trepidation - Sept. 30, 2021, 3:04 p.m.

This past weekend we rode a new to us bike park and one of the tech lines had a short shoot that spooked me so I walked it.  Later in the day we rode that trail a second time.  We got to the bottom and couldn't even remember riding the same feature.  

I have found that my brain almost perfectly captures everything about features I can't ride.  There is a drop that got in my head and I swear I knew the placement of each nail in the feature.  Then I rode it and now I just think of it as an easy drop.  Currently in my head is another shoot that I have walked a couple times.  I know the entrance and the whole sequence needed to get through it, I can even vividly feel my gut tied in knots just thinking about it.  

Having something just outside my abilities is a gift, most nights I fall asleep walking through lines in my head convincing myself that I will ride them next time.

Progression and the Dreaded Plateau* - Sept. 22, 2021, 7:29 a.m.

I had a similar year.  In 2019 I decided I wanted to ride a local trail in under 4 minutes, that was the line where I know every person under that time is fast and I was riding it in 4:20'ish.  I started by just pedaling harder on the flat bits and got to 4:06, then I stalled I rode it in the same time 5 times in a row.  Finally I had a breakthrough and rode a 4:01 I was so mad, there was a clear mistake in the run and I knew it lost at least a second.  Another month of 4:05-4:12 and one day I missed an early line that actually set me up for the next section, pedaled like hell and rode in at 3:59.  

During this same time frame I added half a dozen features to my done list and I was feeling really good about my riding abilities.  The issue was I wasn't having as much fun riding.  This past month I have taken things a bit easier and enjoyed riding more.  Then I threw that all away and raced my first enduro.  OMG I remembered how much I enjoy competition and how I now know I need to be careful.  The last time I got into racing it was a fun 2 years then I almost stopped riding because it became too pressure filled.  I like to think I am older and wiser now, but being 5 seconds off the podium really got my juices going.  

All of this to say, there are a million ways to have fun on a bike.  We should all be willing to find a million more.

Sun Peaks Bike Park with my Son and his Buddy - Sept. 17, 2021, 7:20 a.m.

This year my 11 year old has progressed from "at least I am at the park riding." To "next season there is no way I will be able to keep up with him."  The fun thing is my riding has gotten much better as well, partially because he has towed me into some stuff I was never comfortable on, what a weird and cool world this dad thing is.  Tomorrow we do our first enduro as racers, can't wait to compare times after the race.

Rachid Nayel's Banshee Titan - Sept. 9, 2021, 7:24 a.m.

Pictures never do justice to how nice these look, or to how long they are :)  A buddy has one and I am always amazed at how composed it is.  Then I see how long it is when my bike is next to it and I wonder how it clears any switchbacks :)

Exclusive First Ride: The 2022 We Are One Arrival - Aug. 3, 2021, 11:25 a.m.

Bike looks rad.  Why not run King hubs?  I feel like i9 has become the "upgrade" hub that everybody uses, and I just don't get it.  I would take King hubs over i9 every day of the week.

Silverstar with My Son (3 years later) and his Buddy - July 28, 2021, 7:22 a.m.

Bike parks with kids are the best / worst.  I always struggle with nerves watching my kid ride and I usually follow so my speeds are off a bit too.  Last year we had an awesome day at the park with a bigger group, but I also had my biggest crash that day when I didn't have the speed to stay on a wall ride that I had ridden dozens of times before.  

The highlight of the day was our group encouraging my son to lead us on our final party lap of the day.  Watching an 11 year old lead a group down the mountain was just too cool.  The fact that he rode fast enough that we all had fun behind him was the icing on the cake.

The Beauty of Stupid Looking Grips - July 19, 2021, 7:47 a.m.

I have learned that my wrists do their best when I run a fat grip with a riser with nice sweep.  My most comfortable combo is a Deity fat squishy on a Jones bar, but I have not been able to bring myself to try that on the full suspension bike.

Bike Weight vs Bike Geometry - July 15, 2021, 7:59 a.m.

#2 shouldn't be discounted.  I switched to a high volume fast rolling rear tire last year and it is spooky how much faster my bike is.  I have faster friends and when we ride rolling terrain I am constantly catching them while coasting and they are pedaling.  I get left for dead when it gets rowdy and loose because I don't have the traction, but 80% of the time I am much faster.

Blowing Minds: Santa Cruz Blur - July 13, 2021, 7:29 a.m.

I was just thinking about this bike.  My current bike is a 1st gen Hightower and it is too much bike for my local trails and not quite enough bike for bike parks.  So I am constantly compromised.  Something like this and a Megatower (if keeping everything in the SC family) would be a dam near perfect setup.

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