Hidden Digital Mountain Biking Gems
If like me you are a little bit obsessed with everything mountain biking then this will probably have influenced your digital consumption. You probably already know about the big ones; Pinkbike, Dirt Magazine and Cranky Betty but there are other sources of goodness that you should consider; either to inform (aka how to guides and tech fixes) or to entertain (aka crashes and shiny things!).
Here are five things you might want to take a look at to fill that bike shaped hole in your life;
The Downtime Podcast
Chris at The Downtime Podcast has been riding bikes for 25 years, but would probably admit that he isn’t a pro racer. A few years ago he decided to take it all a bit more seriously and got into strength and conditioning, as well as taking mountain bike skills classes to improve his riding. Chris is now passing on some of that knowledge, whilst also interviewing an impressive list of guests.
The podcast is only six episodes in as at the time of writing but already he has interviewed pro riders Neko Mulally and Justin Leov. Importantly The Downtime Podcast has also interviewed some amazing female mountain bikers; Tracey Mosely and Bex Barona. Tracey’s story is fascinating because she has an awful lot of experience to pass on, Bex’s interview is from the perspective of a rider moving into the big leagues (finishing 7th overall in the EWS in 2016).
Seth’s Bike Hacks
Seth is based in sunny south Florida, which as a write this in a rainy and cold Leeds, UK seems a world away, has quickly developed a big online presence. Seth’s appeal is simple; he is a ridiculously nice and enthusiastic guy, and he asks the questions in a way that is easy to follow.
Seth is primarily a youtube ‘star’, and has over 46 million views to date. His videos cover topics including DIY bike hacks, how to guides and product reviews. Seth also has some great videos for those looking to get into filming their riding including how to use a gimbal and how to use your iPhone like a GoPro.
Seth also hosts The Huck podcast which includes a number of interviews with riders like Nate Hills and Phil Kmetz, and if you like Seth’s youtube work I think you will enjoy the podcasts too. I am saving up a bunch of them for the long drive to The Alps this summer. Also check out Seth’s webpage for more information and the chance to buy the awesome Taco Wheel t-shirts he has for sale.
If you are looking for a really detailed, highly technical podcast (and who isn’t?) then look no further than the MTB Podcast with Jonathan Lee and Steven Lewis. Both are experienced riders, who race regularly and one of them also works in a bike shop day to day.
The podcasts are detailed and start with a round of bike news, followed by answering listener questions and finishing up with an in-depth look at a topic. The podcast topics have included from “wheel, hub and axle standards explained”, “MTB rear suspension explained” (definitely worth a listen to!) and “Bike Demos & Test Rides”.
If you are tired of not being able to understand certain pieces of jargon, or how the latest technology actually works, then this is the podcast for you. Whilst the topics are technical and detailed, the guys break it down really well and it is actually fairly easy to follow.
After all that you are probably looking for some light relief. You could do far worse than check out the shit_mtbers_wear account on Instagram. The page features some of the more dubious fashion trends and practical choices we mountain bikers have displayed and always cheers me up when I need it.
I have a particular fondness for the middle aged guys wearing a full face helmet with sunglasses, combined with stonewash denim and a white t-shirt with body armour over the top. If that isn’t your bag then there are plenty of unconventional bike mods to keep you happy.
Roam Rydes and Cycology Podcasts
Roam Rydes has a simple objective; “find women with a passion for cycling and a story to tell”, which they do magnificently via their Roam Rydes podcast. The group have grown from a few like-minded individuals into the Roam Tribe.
Each episode revolves around a story, whether that is a discussion with an influential mountain biking woman, or a tale about the impact mountain biking can have.
Perhaps uniquely (though I hope not) Roam Rydes also ran a mini series recently referred to as ‘Minority Reports’, which presents stories of ethnic minority women with a passion for mountain biking. I am still working my way through these episodes but with episode summaries like;
“Olga Lucia has spent a lifetime breaking barriers and readjusting what it means to be a Columbian woman. This fiercely lovable American immigrant shares her story of adversity and following one’s heart”
I will be sure to keep listening to this amazing podcast.
The producers of Roam Rydes also created Cycology, another podcast which deals with more practical bike-based issues such as “Using Chamois Cream”, “The Perfect Saddle” and “Bike Fit”.
The production values on both podcasts (and the website) are fantastic and it is easy to get lost in these inspirational stories.
If She Can Do It (MTB FILM)
If you need a little inspiration (and you didn’t get enough from Roam Rydes!) then you should check out the “If She Can Do It” film on youtube.
The film was produced in 2012 at The Sugar Showdown, a women’s mountain biking event which aimed to coach women into progressing their riding on free-ride trails. There is plenty of north shore, dirt jumping and positivity. If your progression is stalling or you are doubting your abilities and you need a bit of inspiration then check out the video.
I hope that these suggestions bring you some bike-based pleasure, if you have any suggestions then get in touch.
April 28, 2017