Weekday Diversions #4: Skate Clips, Snow Biking, and More

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

It’s Wednesday, you’ve (almost) made it! The work week is halfway done, and the prospect of big weekend rides is beckoning. Until then, here’s a roundup of the best bike (and non-bike) content that’s caught our eye this week.

Cy Whitling (Gear Editor)

Savage Downhill Riding in Poland | Sleeper

There’s an old meme that “Ska is what plays in a 13-year-old kid's head when he gets extra mozzarella sticks." Well, this Sleeper edit from last week’s World Cup in Poland is what plays in my head when I think I’m riding my bike well. The shots, the music, the editing. It’s all so simple, and so perfect. It makes me want to ride my bike fast with my friends, which means it’s my favorite kind of bike video.

Do Bad Reviews Kill Companies? | Marques Brownlee

A large percentage of my professional life has been spent reviewing things. Bikes, skis, underwear, whatever. And the longer I spend as a professional outdoor gear pundit, the more time I spend thinking about the “why” of it all. There’s a lot to be said for gear reviewing as entertainment, outside of consumerism and customer education.

That’s why I check in on Marques Brownlee fairly frequently. He reviews things that I don’t really care about (cars and smartphones) but I find his videos to be very entertaining and educational, even, or maybe especially, when they cover products that I have no intention of ever buying.

This video in particular dives into the motivation behind reviewing, and consuming reviews. There’s a lot here that resonated with me, and will inform how I approach writing about bike gear going forward. So give it a watch, and ask yourself: “Why do I care what strangers on the internet think about the things that they’re passionate about?”

Dylan Russell (Social Media Manager)

Cutting Class | With Carson Storch & Jesse East

Jesse East is an undergraduate student at Western Colorado University, where his backyard is some world class mountain biking. I love the idea of choosing a college based on the geographic location in regards to good biking. Jesse did just that, surrounding himself with the Gunnison Valley, which has over 2 million acres of public land. This afterschool ride was a bit special however, since he was joined by freeride legend Carson Storch. Give the video a watch to see the ultimate party train from alpine to bike park.

Still Watchin | Sammy Baca

Once again, I love a good skate video. Thrasher hit it out of the park with this one, taking us back to 2009 with Sammy Baca. CONS skate trip’s are always rowdy by themselves, add in Jake and P-Stone into the mix, it’s bound to be something special. Team Manager Dave Hoang and Sammy recount this epic trip that resulted in a killer cover shot for Thrasher.

Zander Lingelbach-Pierce (News Writer)

Bo's Scoot Bike Test Ride | Joe Barnes

YouTuber Joe Barnes is well known for his riding adventures alongside his son Bo. Recently, Bo’s whip got an upgrade. As you can see, Bo put his freshly painted strider bike to good use at a local gravel pit. When Rampage expands to include a strider category, Bo will be one of the first they call.

Bo Barnes is not the first young ripper to gain acclaim for their strider bike skills. In 2013 a then-unknown rider named Jackson Goldstone went viral for his commute to Kindergarten.

Though strider skills are not necessarily a direct pipeline to the World Cup, a gung-ho rider like Bo certainly has a bright future ahead of him.

Ryder Bulfone Is Indecisive About What Season It Is

Ryder Bulfone is an exciting dual-sport athlete from the Sea-to-Sky corridor. This week, Ryder combined the two when he descended a steep backcountry ski line on his mountain bike.

The loose spring snow posed Ryder no problem at all.

View the original article to see embedded media.

During springtime in the PNW, the snowpack sticks at high elevations. While many outdoor enthusiasts struggle to choose between riding hero dirt or getting the last ski lines of the year in, Ryder found a way to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Mark Matthews Finishes the Mega Drop

Mark Matthews has been hard at work over the winter working on his latest trail project. Perhaps the burliest feature on it is the mega drop, which has taken him some time to finish. Finally, Mark was able to put the finishing touches on the landing. He says that his next video will show him riding the monster.

No one captures the vibes of trail building in a moody forest better than Mark Matthews. The way the greenery pops as Mark packs down dirt into a glorious gold runway is visually stunning.

As an avid trail builder, rider, and enjoyer of the color green, Mark Matthews's videos are some of my favorites on YouTube.

Julia Tellman

Fire Weather: On the Front Lines of a Burning World | John Vaillant

I grabbed this book because Vaillant also wrote The Golden Spruce, which is an engrossing piece of nonfiction about an ecological crime in one of the wildest pieces of land in the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t read the book synopsis but figured based on the title that it was about wildfire writ large in the time of climate change. But it turns out this book is even better than that. It’s the utterly riveting, cinematic, and sometimes horrifying account of an enormous fire that engulfed a city in northern Alberta in 2016.

<p>Image: Penguin Random House</p>

Image: Penguin Random House

Not only does Vaillant give the gripping play-by-play of the fire, but he also takes time to set the stage with fantastic writing. He takes the reader on a journey through humanity’s relationship with hydrocarbons, the insanity of bitumen production, the culture of oil towns, the alchemical nature of fire, the brutal firebombing raids of WWII, the contrast between municipal and wildland firefighters, and the flammability of modern furniture, to just name a few paths he wanders down. I loved this book and will recommend it to anyone who is fascinated by fire.