Flip through its pages to find out what Floyd Landis (yeah, that one), a leopard print-clad Sue Haywood and Ray Petro of Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park are up to these days. Our editors also tested a bunch of new bikes and bike racks, and picked their favorite cockpit setups. As usual, our columnists are on point as they consider mountain biking in relation to life’s eccentricities, and our writers introduce you to two people devoting themselves to giving back to mountain biking—one using a chainsaw and the other using her skills and her voice.
Because this is an extra-special issue, we are re-printing the full intro letter from Mike, our editor-in-chief. If you still don’t know what’s up, it will explain. Then, grab the issue and dig in. Enjoy it and share it with a friend when you’re done.
Words: Mike Cushionbury
We were not even a full mile into the ride and I was already gumming up the works.
After floatplane-ing to the remote Lorna Lake in the South Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, the plan was to ride to a campsite, spend the night and then ride back to the Tyax Resort the following day. At about 0.8 miles, after a short muddy singletrack, we came to a rickety bridge crossing a flowing river. When I say “rickety” I mean four untethered logs that rolled and flexed with every step, two of which were wet and slippery.
The first few in our group made it safely across. As I weaved and sidestepped like a drunk trying to ice skate, my cross-country shoes slipped and I set the bike in the river for balance. At that point the rushing current grabbed it and took control. My main mistake was now realized: I should have held the bike downstream from the bridge, not up. Like a violent shove from a mosh pit bully, the bike was stuffed under the bridge and gone from sight.
Luckily, my friend Andrew Juskaitis from Giant Bicycles (and rightful owner of this brand-new yet fully submerged trail machine) along with enduro racer Adam Craig jumped into the river to catch and save the most important tool I needed to get out of the middle of nowhere and into camp some six hours later.
I realized a few things in the following moments after they finally handed me the fished-out bike on the other side of the torrent: One, I’ll never be a master-class balance beam gymnast. Two, you can fully submerge an $8,000, 2017 Giant Trance Advanced 0 for a few minutes underwater and it will still perform as good as new. Three, luckily, carbon bikes don’t really float or that thing would have been gone. Four, you can really, really submerge a Lezyne Super GPS underwater for a few minutes and it won’t miss a beat.
Bike-turned-boat disaster averted, I also learned I wasn’t done learning. Just 0.2 miles later, we embarked on a huge, 45-minute hike-a-bike followed by multiple deep river crossings, which taught me a thing or two about how the friends and acquaintances you ride with often are the real personalities that make this mountain bike lifestyle so great, because of the vault of random experiences you’ve undoubtedly shared, and will share.
Back at camp (yes, I finally made it to camp in one piece), we ended the adventure as all good ones should end: with food, drink and stories. Hanging out at the lake and later next to the fire pit, we all swapped stories of the ride as well as some “back in the day” tales. The next morning, riding back to the lodge, Andrew and I joked about all those old-school SoCal races we did together that mean nothing yet everything to us now.
This brings me to our second annual Personality Issue. This time around you’ll read less about current racing superstars and more about regular riding folks or retired professionals who are just like most of us—tied to the sport in some way and doing what they can to give back or just enjoy the friends and experiences they’ve made along the way. It’s an intertwining of history, adventure and also some real darkness. When all that is added to the mix, it makes the best, most flavor-filled kind of gum that holds this vast group of local as well as world-known personalities together, which make up our random sport.
Columns and Readings
“I believe that aggression makes it possible to dose out the trains of sand in our hourglass.” – Bama
“I find that, in general, my wanderlust is often trumped by proficiency at being a homebody.” – Stevil Kinevil
“And while there’s a weight and a mass to everything I’ve built in this town, I often wonder what happens to it when I’m gone. Does my own legacy have roots, deep or shallow?” – Watts Dixon
“I have a message for all of you: The bro-ification that today afflicts our trails will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end.” – Tech editor Eric McKeegan
“I can’t find an argument that will convince me that a bike with an electric motor is somehow not motorized. Call it pedal assist, call it Category 1, call it what you want: It’s motorized and therefore should be allowed only where motorized vehicles are allowed.” – Rebecca Rusch
Our writers and photographers visited Floyd Landis at his new marijuana shop in Leadville, Colorado; sat down with “real American hero” and former cross-country racing national champ Sue Haywood; and Ray Petro, the founder of Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park.
We also introduce you to Chainsaw Don and his flock of crows, and Tammy Donahugh, a former pro who is now at the forefront of coaching mountain bike instructors to impart riding skills to the next generation. We also bid a sorrowful farewell to friend, bike shop owner, longtime Dirt Rag columnist and mountain bike culture caretaker, Jeff Archer, and checked in on Charlie Cunningham’s long road to recovery following a bicycle crash.
Reviews and Stuff
Our testers hit the trail on the new Rocky Mountain Pipeline 770 MSL, Cannondale Habit Women’s 2 and the Ghost SL AMR X LC 8. Also, our editors named the products that make up their favorite cockpit setups, and we put several rack setups from Thule and Yakima through the daily-life ringer.
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