Opinion

Start slow and taper off: forest bathing on two wheels

By Rob Kristoff The higher purpose of practicing a sport such as fly fishing, hunting, or mountain climbing is to affect a spiritual and physical gain. But if the process is compromised, there is no transformation.- Yvon Chouinard “If you’re not worried, you’re not paying attention.” It’s an…

Punk in the Beerlight: Sharon Van Etten vs. Bob Mould

In celebration of our 30th birthday, Dirt Rag is doing a number of throwbacks and slamforwards for things we love, both bike related and non-bike related. In this column, Punk in the Beerlight, Evan Robinson takes a look at a modern album creating a timeless sound, and pairs it with an…

A 4.5 hour drive

The first bike shop job I ever had was at a place called Rob N Charlie’s in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One of my wrenching mentors there gave me good advice when I began working on an expensive bike for the first time: “Consider the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no…

Book Review: Lands of Lost Borders

By Emma Walker If you’ve ever spent a night in the Moab desert, you know what it’s like to feel like you’re on another planet: otherworldly red dirt, towering cliffs, countless bright, shining stars. That’s the feeling Kate Harris grew up longing for. As a kid, Harris wished for nothing…

Nutrition to aid injury recovery

As a culture, we Americans tend to put a lot of focus on the external healing of a wound or injury. We bandage, splint, cast. Eventually, maybe, we venture into the realm of physical therapy and/or yoga. But our beautiful, complex bodies are doing so much work on the inside…

Drink Me: Sparkling water

Sometimes after a long ride, beer just isn’t the right thing, nor is more warm water from a hydration pack, gross drink mix in the bottom of your bottle, or a can of sickeningly sweet soda. Thankfully, we’ve learned to enjoy LaCroix. A blend of sparkling water and light flavoring,…

Opinion: Ride more, worry less

By Jeffrey Stern What do we know about even the most well thought out plans? Well, they more often than not they don’t pan out as expected. But only if you let them derail your training, fun, life or work should they cause any concern. We all want to ride…

Opinion: Love the bike you have

By Jeffrey Stern We’ve all experienced bike lust. You know, those days that your friend rolls up to your group’s adventure on a bike so new the chain is still silver, the hairs on the tires are still jutting out and the frame just glistens in the sun. Bike envy…

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: The Trail You’re On

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. He dabbles in a variety of topics including racing, training, trails he loves and not taking himself too seriously, all with a big dash of humor. If you missed his…

Essay: In pursuit of endless adventure

By Jeffrey Stern It goes without saying, but sometimes it still needs to be said: we’re lucky. Much of the United States offers an undeniably unique opportunity for people of all types, abilities and with varied interests to get outside and play outdoors. Whether it be aboard a bike, on…

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: The 80/20 Rule

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. He dabbles in a variety of topics including racing, training, trails he loves and not taking himself too seriously, all with a big dash of humor. If you missed his…

Opinion: Praising Patagonia for preserving my puffy

Good gear isn’t cheap, but I believe it’s worth every penny. Forget the upfront cost. I’ll willingly plunk down my moola for a quality product that’s built to last a lifetime, figuring that I’ll win the cost-per-year game in the long run. What’s that you say? Nothing lasts forever? True…

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: Racing Sucks

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. He dabbles in a variety of topics including racing, training, trails he loves and not taking himself too seriously, all with a big dash of humor. If you missed his…

Opinion: The case for the one-bike stable

By Jeffrey Stern Walking into my bike shed is overwhelming at the moment. There are frames hanging from the ceiling, wheels leaning against every wall, parts and pieces all over the workbench and the bike I want to ride is always cornered by the ones that I just snapped a…

Opinion: Ditch the trainer and ride outside this winter

It’s that time of year when my Strava feed is nothing but trainer rides and Zwifters. Meanwhile, people like my husband are going bikepacking in the single digits and couldn’t be more excited about winter. As the weather has been frigid for weeks here in Pennsylvania, my cycling friends and acquaintances have…

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: What kind of mountain biker are you? Take the quiz!

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. He dabbles in a variety of topics including racing, training, trails he loves and not taking himself too seriously, all with a big dash of humor. If you missed his…

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: “Casual Pace” and Other Lies

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. He dabbles in a variety of topics including racing, training, trails he loves and not taking himself too seriously, all with a big dash of humor. If you missed his…

Essay: The joy of mountain biking with your dog

By Jeffrey Stern Climbing the steep pitches, he’s faster than me. Four-wheel (er, leg) drive naturally makes it easier. When the trail flattens and turns into flowy singletrack, we’re about dead even; it’s as if I’m riding with someone who has the same climbing skills as me. When it comes…

Dog’s Bollix: Patrol Life

Words by Simon Stewart I rounded a corner and fired right into a shit show: The bike was upside down, the racer was frantic and, from what I could initially see, the drivetrain was properly banjaxed. “Hey there, patrol here, need some help, buddy?” He described some sort of derailleur…

The Rant: No longer at the kids table

Change is inevitable, and for the past decade, it has been extra inevitable in the world of mountain bikes.  For a sport that is still relatively young, especially one that is so dependent on equipment, that is to be expected.   Taking a step back and examining these changes, it…

MTBTP: My Local Trail – A Poem

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. He dabbles in a variety of topics including racing, training, trails he loves and not taking himself too seriously, all with a big dash of humor. If you missed his…

Essay: Inspiration in old yet unfamiliar places

Words by Stevil Kinevil For the sake of full disclosure, the last couple of years of riding mountain bikes just hasn’t stoked the same sort of internal flame that it had over the course of my existence aboard knobby tires. This is due in large part to a fairly catastrophic knee…

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: I’ve got better things to do

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. He dabbles in a variety of topics including racing, training, trails he loves and not taking himself too seriously, all with a big dash of humor. If you missed his…

Opinion: My first encounter with e-mtbs and thoughts on having them on our trails

By Jeffrey Stern Shaded, lush redwood forests with endless singletrack connecting open spaces to mountain tops and beyond, Santa Cruz, California is somewhat of a mountain biking mecca. At least in California it is. With multiple mountain bike and cycling related companies based in and around the Santa Cruz mountains,…

NICA: The cycling industry’s savior

By Jeffrey Stern When I think of growing up, one of the biggest factors in my freedom and enjoyment of being a kid was riding bikes around my hometown. There were no limitations to where and when I could go explore places, besides my curfew of course. Aboard my Gary…

Cycling: The ultimate social sport

By Jeffrey Stern Traveling at high, but comfortable speeds while watching the world move by in that absorb-it-all slow motion kind of feel, and holding a conversation with a group of your best friends sounds like a my daily cycling dream. It’s a dream that us enthusiasts live out everyday,…

Will Interbike’s move to Reno/Tahoe help the dwindling trade show?

By Jeffrey Stern More than a handful of years in the making and landing not a year too soon for an industry looking for a spark, Pat Haus of Emerald Expositions, the parent company of Interbike, made the big announcement earlier this summer that after nearly two decades based in…

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: Five steps to MTB failure

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. He dabbles in a variety of topics including racing, training, trails he loves and not taking himself too seriously, all with a big dash of humor. If you missed his…

Connecting and converting: Finding balance in a busy world

By Jeffrey Stern We all know them, those friends that appreciate the convenience and simplicity of integrating more bike riding into their daily lives, but rarely do it. Why? It’s hard to put a finger on one reason why and pin it down as the end all, be all for…

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: Bar mids and saddle sores

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is a regular column written by Uncle Dan that appears monthly on the Dirt Rag Interwebs. He dabbles in a variety of topics including racing, training, trails he loves and not taking himself too seriously, all with a big dash of humor. If you missed his…