Bike December 2016

Bike Magazine showcases the sport of mountain biking like no other publication. It captures the sport's personalities, trends, and issues with a style all its own. Using insightful feature articles and the sport's best photography, Bike is sure to make you want to get outside and ride.

United States
American Media Operations, Inc
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
no free rides

MOST PEOPLE WOULD AGREE THAT THERE’S NO SUCH THING as a free ride–and this is especially the case when it comes to mountain biking. Every aspect of riding has its price. Behind every trail, every jump and every berm are untold hours of physical labor and thoughtful craftsmanship. The natural terrain is surveyed, debris is cleared, dirt is moved and rocks are shifted into imaginative formations that allow us to experience the feelings of freedom and weightlessness on two wheels. Often before a trail or jump line can be built, negotiations and political wrangling must take place. Diplomacy must be exercised. Compromises must be made. Deals must be struck long before the first shovel can break the ground. Even the process of riding itself comes at the expense of sweat equity. Hills…

5 min.

SEPARATION ANXIETY A few months ago I adopted a retired racing greyhound, and, as with many greyhounds, he had some separation anxiety. We thought we might have to do some training with him before he could stay home alone long enough for me to go for a ride, but it’s been a struggle. We’ve hired a behaviorist, gone through a lot of training and spent hours trying to help him be more confident and comfortable alone. But we still have a long way to go. And I just can’t bring myself to leave the little guy alone. He cries and whines and barks when we’re gone. He’s just really scared of being alone. It breaks my heart. Due to this, I haven’t been able to ride for quite some time now. My bike…

6 min.
outer edge

Here’s what I know: If I go too far to my left, I’ll fall off the face of the earth and die. It would be a dramatic turn of events, but having geographical boundaries when you’re lost is comforting. This is what explorers must have felt like back when they thought the earth was flat. That edge of the world on the map was scary, but comforting at the same time. Thousands of years later and it’s still flat, at least for my current situation as I ride the rim of the New River Gorge, a dramatic, 800-foot-deep canyon in West Virginia that’s managed by the National Park Service. The New River is best known for its Class-V whitewater and steep rock climbing, but in recent years the park service…

9 min.
divide and conquer

WE ARE STUCK INSIDE THE FROZEN WRINKLES OF OUR sleeping bags, waiting for the sun to crest the poppy-studded southern California hills so we can start boiling water for coffee, when Lael Wilcox and her partner, Nick Carman, start arguing about her sleeping pad. Carman thinks that Wilcox should get a new one since hers is toddler-sized and, in her words, “flaccid,” but she’s trying to convince him she’ll be fine. “It’s only a month,” she protests. “I’ll just get a Mexican blanket in Tecate.” “It’s a month, Lael, that’s the point,” says Carman, matter-of-factly. They discuss it a bit further, and it’s clear that the back-and-forth is one of their rituals, that this isn’t really a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision but rather the opportunity for Wilcox to come to Carman’s…

3 min.
dreams of youth

MIKE WILK CAUGHT THE COLLECTING bug when he was a teenager in New England, flipping through mountain bike magazines and drooling over the bikes that filled their pages. A few decades later, after college and a racing career, Wilk finally built the collection he could only dream about in his youth. While much of it sits in the Pro’s Closet Museum in Boulder, Colorado, his Durango garage houses the rest, either meticulously rebuilt or sitting as skeleton frames. Wilk is steadfast in being period correct with his rebuilds, and keeps backstock of old chainrings, seatposts, stems, wheels and tires. And when the bikes are finished, he doesn’t just stare at them.“For me it’s less about owning them than it is about actually finding them and restoring them and riding them.…

1 min.
last doug standing

‘BIG LONELY DOUG’ STANDS PROUD AT 216 FEET TALL. HIS ROOTS RUN DEEP BELOW A SWEEPING SIDEHILL OF twisted stumps and clear-cut chaos–the remnants of a forest where he once loomed alongside other full-grown firs. Doug is part of the lasting 1 percent of old-growth Douglas fir trees in Canada, and he’s the second tallest. Our crew found Doug in Port Renfrew, British Columbia, and after hours of throwing stumps in a war zone of tangled devastation, it had become painfully clear that building a jump here–as suggested by photographer Reuben Krabbe–was nothing short of idiotic. It was blistering hot outside, we were surrounded by wasp nests and everyone was fed up with Krabbe’s inability to let his idea go. Even so, we set out in search of supplies. Since Port…