13 Things to Forget About 2013 in Mountain Biking 18
1. USAC Fining Riders for Racing Non-UCI Events
We brought to light a rarely enforced rule that (we thought) stated that professional riders on UCI teams cannot participate in non-UCI or non-USA Cycling sanctioned races like the U.S. Open or the Canadian Open. UCI overlord Pat McQuaid and USAC responded with a clarification of UCI Rule 1.2.019 and related sanctions. Turns out ALL UCI-LICENSED RIDERS are subject to this rule, which includes all USAC licensed Pros. The penalty for not following the rule is a fine of 50-100 Swiss francs and a one-month suspension. Following an uproar from rightfully upset racers, the UCI postponed the enforcement of the rule until 2014. Thankfully the exchange rate is good for Switzerland and any U.S. rider fined will shell out $56-112 at the time writing.
2. Shuttling in Enduro
Turns out there are rules even when it comes to something as soulful as the Spirit of Enduro. Those rules include not using vehicles to access parts of the an Enduro World Series course. Was it a misunderstanding? Probably. Is there is a lot on the line at a world-caliber event. Definitely. All racers know, every advantage helps.
3. This Bike
4. This Helmet
There's a lot of weird and wild stuff at Eurobike. When Richie Schley and Wade Simmons were asked if they would be stoked to re-live the glory days of Kranked 2 in modern-day Switchblade, they both refused to comment.
5. This "Fork"
There's a lot of weird and wild stuff at Interbike, too.
6. The Canadian Kickout
We were going to make a video of all the offending Canadian Kickout clips of 2013, but it would have been about 27-minutes long. The Canadian Kickout goes by a few different names; The Fanny Flick, The Butt Boost, The Ass Master, The Roam Roost, The Singletrack Sin. Just because Schleyer Shimmy was done in a freeride video 10 years ago doesn't mean it needs to happen anymore. If you are riding with your buddies or filming or both, there's no need to do that little fake-turn-rear-wheel-flick-booty-waggle-dealie to kick up a little dust. It's actually slower and hurts your Strava times. #moderndaybowleggedturnbar
7. Aaron Gwin's Season
Gwinning's 2013 started off strong at Sea Otter and just fell out from underneath him. It happens and we imagine the lackluster results have motivated him to get scary fast in 2014. This Gwin video from March pretty much makes us forget about racing anyways.
8. UCI + RockyRoads.net
It's unfortunate that hundreds of thousands of unique monthly visitors just couldn't keep the relationship alive. #wheredidthemoneygo
9. Struggling Pros from any other discipline deciding to "focus on enduro"
The last opportunity for those mid-pack pro riders to squeeze out free product or sponsorship has been shut down. We surveyed 12 large-company MTB Athlete Managers and approximately 87% of 2013 sponsorship proposal letters received included the phrase, "I plan to focus on enduro." The Athlete Managers indicated that, by season's end, only 9% of sponsored riders who "focused on enduro" were actually worth their sponsorship. While a select few riders made a successful transition from XC or DH to enduro, the majority of holders-on did not, and they are now scratching for the next idea to keep the free gear, or even paychecks, coming in 2014. Athlete Managers are taking a big look at Urban Uphill in 2014, so try that angle.
10. Vital MTB Radlibs
"I thought it was funny. Everyone hated it." -gordo
11. MTB in the X Games
Rheeder, Semenuk, Zink, the Claw and Andreu deserve a standing ovation. Everyone else pretty much made sure MTB will never be in the X Games again. If you're not going to risk it like Hoffman, Pastrana or Danny Way, pass your meal ticket on to the next rider who will. The video below is 12-minutes long, but it's rad.
12. The MTBGP
We wish we didn't have to forget about Jeremiah Dylan Dean's MTBGP, but demand for a national gravity series just doesn't seem to be there these days. The series will not continue in 2014 and that's a bummer. Thank you, JDD, we appreciate the time, money and effort you put into American downhill racing and the MTBGP.
13. 26-inch Wheels
We were going to do a Lifetime Achievement Shreddy Award and give it to the 26-inch wheel, but we needed a 13th item for this list and wheel size topics are always good for a comment or twelve. Happy 2014.