All of these are terrible.

  • Literally every other riding photo from this photoshoot is better, but of course this blatant example of Excessive Turning Technique was the one selected as POD on Pinkbike.
  • Luke qualified at Cairns, so he actually knows how to ride. I’m guessing both tires are on the ground in turns when he’s racing.
  • If we had video of this moment, I guarantee it looks stupid, awkward, and slow so he can slap the turn extra hard and pop out. If I’m wrong, and this is a candid snap of him actually going fast, this is definitely an “Oh shit” moment, and milliseconds after this photo he probably rode into the weeds and ate shit.
  • After this photo was posted, the whole province of BC went into the woods to dig a rut so they could practice power wheelies out of turns.
  • I always wear a full face and gogs when I’m riding my short travel trail bike.


  • This was also POD on Pinkbike. And it sucks.
  • You ride a Marin. If this was a cynical calculation and you’re riding Marin for the paycheck, you should have some shame and tone down the ETT. On the other hand, if you think Marin is a sick brand that’s super innovative because you met one of their sales reps once and believed everything he said because he was a solid bro and now you ride for them and try to share the stoke, then good luck to you and I hope you finally make manager at Wimpy this winter.
  • I’m divided on the pallets in the background. They do add gritty texture to the setting, but I’m going to go with my gut and say they look like garbage. 
  • Maybe he’s setting up to manual over a four-foot tall roller or a downed log or something. That would be cool.
  • But he’s not.



  • Even World Cup guys suffer from bouts of ETT. Thomas Estaque is top-twenty fast, and normally that would mean his shit doesn’t stink. Unfortunately, in this case his shit clearly stinks.
  • This is a super-exaggerated version of a condition known as “Graves Head.” Example two. Example three.
  • The longer I look at his left T Rex arm, the more I get this sick vomit-y feeling in my stomach. I’m worried he may have dislocated his shoulder in this photo.
  • Why is it so dark? Was this all done in post, or did they wait til that perfect moment near the end of the day when it was almost pitch black to shoot this turn a thousand times?
  • Again, looking through the album from this photoshoot, every other photo is better than this. Still POD on Vital.



For all three ETT photos, there were better riding photos from each photoshoot, but all three of these were chosen as Photo of the Day on Pinkbike or Vital. You might be wondering, how do awful ETT photos keep getting chosen?



But let’s explore this diagram a little more:

1. The Riders: These people know what good is. Being the subject of the photographer, they’re in a fantastic position avoid ETT, and to even control photoshoots. Unfortunately, riders don’t always care about telling the right story, because sometimes riders just want a paycheck. They should care, because learning to ride correctly was important enough to spend decades of their lives in pursuit of. You’d think they’d want to pass on that knowledge, but many riders will crank ETT all day if it brings in the cash, so we regress to the mean.

2. The Photographers: Tim Zimmerman always told me “Do what feels good on the bike, and it’ll probably look good on the camera.” That seems like good advice to me, but lots of photographers do the opposite, making riders exaggerate everything for the camera: go extra slow, stick your elbows out, square off turns, and SPRAY BROWN POW. Some photographers know how to ride, like Sven, or the Trumpores, but a lot of photogs are just kids with cameras. They don’t have the riding experience to know what good is or what it feels like, so exaggerated riding looks great to them. Most photographers want a dynamic looking riding photo, and ETT checks that box. Even better if there’s skid roost. So we regress to the mean.

3. The Websites & Magazines: These people have the power to filter and choose good media and to present a good story. They can educate and inform with the tolls they’re given. Ideally the people who run MTB magazines and sites would know enough about riding to choose worthwhile images, but the fact that they consistently choose brake-dragging roost shots, blatantly squared-off turns, and ETT leads me to believe these people mostly don’t know shit. Alternate explanation? They know exactly what they’re doing, and they cynically publish whatever they think the neanderthals will click on.

Media managers are the gatekeepers of information, and ideally they would have the knowledge and self-control to say “No! Stupid media consumers, you don’t know what’s good for you. Here’s a healthy dose of world-cuppers demonstrating proper riding form.” Instead, readers get photos from some new upstart from interior BC slashing bro-brah brown pow, and run with it. Everyone gets paid, and everyone climbs a few ranks on THE KILL LIST.

4. The Readers: A large chunk of this group knows nothing, and can be made to believe anything. Even worse, because they don’t know the difference between good and bad, they’ll settle for “new.” So instead of another “boring” picture of someone riding their bike correctly, they’ll be happier with a glossy picture of someone riding bikes incorrectly in a new and dramatic way. If you consume media and know what sucks, please continue flaming the comment section. Tell your friends. Write a book. We need you more than ever.


9 thoughts on “ETT

  1. If I knew what ETT was, I’d be more passionate about it.

    But I love shots of slow riding through piles of garbage.

  2. Is this like adbusters for pinkbike? I’m getting confused. Not confused that morons make up most internet audiences, I was clear on that before I got here…

  3. @aw yiss. ETT = exaggerated turning technique.

    It’s as bad if not worse than ankle socks.

  4. heavens to murgatroyd, chuckles. some might say this breakdown of situation –> media representation could apply to Real News consumed mindlessly by dimwits, regurgitated as “authorities said, and I believe it ‘cuz they’re authorities!” etc.

    of course that’s taking things outside relevance (skilled MTB riding), and into irrelevance (actual global & national & local events reportage), so for that I’m sorry, Charlie.

  5. PS — “Graves head,” would that bug a ski racing coach? is every ski racer Bode Miller?

  6. I’m divided on the pallets in the background. They do add gritty texture to the setting, but I’m going to go with my gut and say they look like garbage.

    You’re a creative visionary now? Sweet diagram. Tell me more.

    I always wear a full face and gogs when I’m riding my short travel trail bike….


Leave a Reply