A few thoughts

//player.vimeo.com/video/117165279

  1. That music was horrible. Call me crazy, but was that song off the soundtrack from Roam? Because bad bike movie music from 2006 makes for GREAT bike movie music in 2015. Fortunately the vimeo mute setting is easy to find.
  2. That’s my first real glimpse into the tracks and terrain at Lenzerheide, Switzerland, the fourth round of the World Cup next year. Looks great.
  3. America doesn’t have to suck for downhill. We have hills. We even have mountains in some places. Big ones with chairlifts. But we have almost nothing in America that looks anything like the tracks in this video. I can’t think of a single place in the U.S. that has steep, wide, and rough tracks that are even in the same ballpark as this random European bikepark I’d never even heard of until this year. I’d never heard of this no name German junior racer until five minutes ago, and I’d never heard of the bike park in the video until three months ago, and collectively they shat all over 99% of U.S. juniors or U.S. downhill trails. Yes, in the U.S. we have trails that are wide in spots. We have trails that are steep in spots. We have trails that are rough in spots. We have trails, but we have no tracks. We have no tracks that are wide, steep, and rough for a majority of their length. Having been over to Europe a few times to race, I can say that nothing I did in the U.S. prepared me for the tracks in Europe**. I know I suck and I know that “America doesn’t have rough enough tracks” isn’t an excuse for the miserable failure I’ve been on the international stage, but it would have been nice to have ridden something that even remotely resembled what I would be competing on. Even Mont Sainte Anne was like riding on another planet compared to what we ride in the U.S. And I’m not talking about events either, downhill events probably have the roughest trails available in the U.S., but that’s only because of the traffic they get. Any trail in the U.S. that gets even somewhat wide or chopped out automatically gets paved or rerouted for “sustainability.” I know they don’t have our freedom, liberty, or clear dialect in Europe, but they do have some things figured out over there that we could stand to emulate here in the good ol’ US of A. We need to stop apologizing for our sport and we need to tell people what we want: raw, nasty, badass speed straight down the face of a mountain. Nothing less is acceptable. Heck, the death of the downhill bike in the U.S. might have more to do with crappy trail “design” than anything else. I don’t need or want a downhill bike to ride 90% of the bikeparks in the U.S. End of rant.
**Also Scott Tucker please don’t get your feelings hurt I love Port Angeles. It’s not you, it’s me.

29 thoughts on “A few thoughts

  1. agree x infinity. whiny XC bitches suing promoters because theres a log down on the course definetly isn't helping the cause.

  2. Thank god, it's not on Roam too, but it's 2015 and shitty Emo music still sucks a lot!

    AFAIK Lenzerheide was built by Claudio Caluori over the past years, so should be quite good.
    Yet people say the Schöckel is still Europe's gnarliest track and will be hosting some DHI races soon!

    I still think Roam is one of the best MTB movies, as it revealed the soul of the sport to me .. gotta kill myself therefore

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  4. A few thoughts from Coach Pete:

    I don't know if you linked the wrong video to this post or what but I didn't see anything too unusually extreme in this vid. It's Steep sure. Sure I have been riding along time and probably Jaded at this point. Although I have seen things in Montana and Idaho – what locals were calling: “the Pro line”, that I couldn't imagine how anybody could ride. Like 12 ft high road gaps down into STEEP Boulder fields a 100 yards long. Boulders the size of microwave ovens……And that just for starters.
    translation: shit that when you see it, you pack your bike back up and leave, cause you know you suck.

  5. I don't know what Europes like. But get on Youtube and watch anything from Morzine or the surrounding areas and you wonder what the hell is going on.

    It's our job to yell and cry foul whenever someone opens a “DH track” and you consider racing your trail bike because the DH bike just seems like a literal waste of time.

    A few places I'd like to have stayed open…

    Snowmass the top section was a minimal of 20ft wide and was just a grass field with motp whoops for 3 minutes. It was amazing.

    The old Anglefire WC track. It wasn't the fastest and could use some TLC to get the speed up woth big ass jumps, but by minute 4 of the 6 minute track you felt like dying.

    Brian Head Utah in 2007 had a seriously sick NORBA Finals track. It was raw and plenty wide.

    China Peaks track was also a solid example of what could be done on a DH bike thanks to ET. But only the last minute. The first 2 minutes were flow trail. Thanks forest service.

    Sugarbush is awesome.

    Snowshoe is really good but lacks the real steeps in preperation for Europe.

    Keystone, CO has huge potential but zero future due to the forest service.

    Vail, CO this is the most European style terrain we have. The potential here is immense but has the bike park problem of not having a continues track from top to bottom. If they did it would be 5 minutes and be right up there with the best Euro tracks.

    Since then we've raced placed like Crested Butte which has place saying they have a DH track, Mountain Creek, PA has it's limitations, Plattekills 2014 Grt track was really sick except for 1 of the 2 minutes, Mammoth could have a sickest track if they took the entiry mountain and moved it to almost anywhere else in the country. Mammoth sucks.

    Did you notice how I said all the tracks we are currently racing on suck and what we used to have were a little better? No future. Lets all pitch in $5 and buy a mountain.

  6. You're too young to remember that once upon a time we had some of the best tracks and were the envy of many europeans. We sucked then too.

  7. To put all your doom and gloom into perspective, maybe you should have a look at the German downhill scene.

    Like the U.S., there are plenty of riders and a large enough middle class to be able to afford this kind of sport.
    But if you think your national cycling associations are crap, i can assure you they have nothing on Germany's BDR in the incompetence and ignorance departments.
    I would guesstimate that there are more downhillers in Germany than there are in France and England respectively, but can you recall any German rider getting on a world cup podium since Klausmann?

    There is almost no support for the sport on a national level, and unfortunately it is highly unlikely that Silas Grany will be Germany's Neko Mullaly.

  8. That track is in Switzerland and they got it figured out!
    In Germany there's nothing like this, except maybe Bad Wildbad, but that track is overhyped and hasn't changed for 10 years, but if you don't know it it's worth a visit:
    http://www.vitalmtb.com/videos/member/German-Downhill-Cup-2013-Bad-Wildbad,22299/M-z,2800

    I didn't think the music was that bad, it's a nice change from all the dubstep in recent edits.
    Silas had some solid results in the Junior World Cup, but I think he had a lot of bad luck as well, so I expect him to be better next year.

    What's worth ranting about is that fugly Nicolai Ion Pinion… I know Silas' team mate and he tested that thing and said shifting was suuuper annoying and didn't want to ride it.

  9. The most important thing about this video is not the trails but the terrible music. Jock rock is a problem people! Wake up! It needs to end right now because there are far too many white Oakleys and flat brimmed flexfits in society. It all started with jock rock!

  10. That bikepark in Lenzerheide is just about the worst bikepark I've ever ridden in Europe.

  11. Here's why; US vs. Europe:

    Conservation vs. Management

    Regulations vs. Subsidies

    Lawyers vs. It's your fault

    Spend enough time over there and these perspectives become apparent in cultures and attitudes about a lot of things, for better or worse- better for mountain access/ usage over there.

  12. Furbee is right about buying a mountain. Start a MTB co-op , Chazz. – —– buy a 40-60 acre property on the side of a steep hill, where most normal people don't want to buy, and charge a 1000 bucks for a 5 year or lifetime membership. Build trails to your own specs.
    Go to realtor.com put in an entire county as a search parameter , sort by price low to high , and see what's around.
    Okanogan County WA is all mountains at about a grand per acre. Live out of your Van, or build a Shack. Thats the mtb bike Dream

  13. in Europe they aren't worried about being sued to pay for medical bills if the track is too gnarly. because the medical bills are pretty much free. that my robot companions in why we have totally lame tracks. and the old angel fire wc was rad! i saw a kid get killed casing a high speed jump and smashing his face into the stem. fucking brutal! then it changed. . . sad story but shouldn't ruin it for everyone else.

  14. Is there some obvious reason why C.Pete's plan won't work? Most of the assholes commenting on this blog would be willing to drive serious distance to ride a non-chickenshit (unsustainable) trail system. I suppose if Bachelor can't protect themselves in court even with a liability release, then neither could some scrubby co-op in the backwater of Washington. It all does come down to that bitch Lisa and her log jump lawsuit.

  15. The fatality at AF was not on World Cup, it was on the 4X track. And, World Cup is still there and running as fun as ever, it was the 4X track that got bulldozed and replaced by a dual slalom course.

  16. Northstar has nothing I would call WC ready, but is seem like it has a few runs that meet the natural gnar, length, and steepness criteria. Not sure why N* always gets left out of all DH Park talk. As a midpack CAT2 racer I believe I can make the statement that its probably missing the sustained high speed and the 80ft/24384mm sender requirements.

  17. Many Australiens and Kiwis and some US racer raced in the iXS Euro or ixs Swiss DH Cup each summer and enjoy those euro tracks a lot. Lenzerheide was in that cup too in 2014.
    It can be done with a okay budget, if you are ready to enjoy riding and living the van life. Remember Ed Masters van video?
    And let the US lawers with all the ideas about sueing behind…

  18. the tragedy of keystone is hilarious. every time i ride there it gets more boring. they're trying to compete with winter park sissies who want to run 5″ 29ers on a “sweet bike park”

  19. Americans are pussies that want everything spoonfed to them, that's why per head of population you basically are absolutely shit at both XC, End-euro(shit sport by the way) and Downhill. I'm from Ireland, we have shitty small mountains, 'official' trails that are designed by that Welsh gobshite Dafydd Davis that you could ride down on a tricycle and we have 5 downhill races a year. We have to push or uplift on flat tracks that we built ourselves, with 20 year old vans to get to the top to get any downhill riding in.

    The Enduro scene is pretty good and is constantly growing, but is populated by goobers in large numbers. Basically, per head of population, Ireland is better than the US at mountain biking at both the top level of Enduro and in World Cup downhill.

    If America as a whole manned the fuck up and rode their bikes instead of jizzing over the likes of Push Industries latest release etc etc, you might have a few solid WC riders and some top Enduro riders that arent total goobers, the bike riding ability of some of your 'North American Enduro' racers that have bike deals is absolutely comical.

    Love the blog and your abuse of this ridiculous industry, keep it coming.

  20. Also, ''I know they don't have our freedom, liberty, or clear dialect in Europe, but they do have some things figured out over there that we could stand to emulate here in the good ol' US of A. We need to stop apologizing for our sport and we need to tell people what we want: raw, nasty, badass speed straight down the face of a mountain. ''

    Hahahaha, you think you have freedom or liberty? You can't walk down the street in the good ol' US of A with an open cup of vodka or a can of beer without being arrested.

    Europe is lax in this regard and Ireland is another level of lax, it is a country where you have true liberty and freedom and there basically is no such thing as political correctness in regards to what we say publicly, although this unfortunately is being clamped down a bit now recently.

    Your welcome to Ireland after a failed Euro Worldcup for a drinking session anytime Sponsel, just dunno if you would be able to handle our 150m vertical race tracks…

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