Opinion

The Rant: Deferred Maintenence

Wheel sizes, tire sizes, suspension travel, frame material, suspension design, so many damn choices. And that is just from a single company. Add in everyone else making kick-ass bikes these days and it gets hard to think. How did we end up here? I’ve been thinking it is a case of deferred maintenance. Let me […]

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: The (mini) Van Life – Part Two

Here’s Part Two of Dan Fausey’s mini-van adventure to Arkansas for the IMBA World Summit. Read Part One here. Every two years, a different city plays host to the Summit.  This year, the city of Bentonville took the Summit as opportunity to showcase the town and trails.  They had vied for the Summit in 2014, […]

Mountain Bike Trailer Park: I am Brave

Mountain Bike Trailer Park is written by Uncle Dan. He thanks you for your attention. If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you may notice that I close each post with an admonition to “be brave.” You may wonder why I do that (but probably not). Either way, let me explain. There’s a […]

THE RANT: A PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH FOR THE BIKE INDUSTRY

Reprinted from Dirt Rag #194.  Thank you, thank you. Thank you very much. Friends, readers and fellow cyclists: I humbly and gratefully thank you for bothering to read another edition of The Rant. Who would have believed that when I started this journey—because I started out packing boxes at Dirt Rag headquarters more than eight […]

Rusch Job: My Ten Commandments

Words: Rebecca Rush Illustration: Stephen Haynes A few columns back I wrote about my definition of winning and defiantly stated that it had little to do with a podium and more to do with personal performance. My definition of winning hasn’t changed, but lately I’ve become more aware of what losing is because in the […]

MTBTP: I will never write a product review

MTBTP (Mountain Bike Trailer Park) is written by Uncle Dan. He thanks you for your attention. I know, “I will never write a product review” is a bold statement. My dad taught me to “never say never.” Still, I realized that it’s not in my wheelhouse last weekend, when I went on a mountain bike trip with […]

Tested: Singlespeeding

Singlespeeds aren’t rational, like eating cereal for dinner. That’s not healthy; you know better; you just can’t help it; you don’t have time to put together something more complicated or nutritional. You just want to get on with it. Cereal for dinner was an extremely rare occurrence in my childhood home and not even all […]

The Rant: State of the Union

“Put your head down, wipe the spit out your eye Ain’t nobody coming to your poor-me parade When trouble comes to your door, what you ignoring it for You’ll be standing there helpless when it comes on in” — Shovels and Rope, “Coping Mechanism” I really wanted to make this column about the problems facing […]

MTBTP: I have to pee at the Shenandoah 100

Ed Note — MTBTP (Mountain Bike Trailer Park) is a new Dirt Rag column written by Uncle Dan that will appear about about twice/month. We scraped him off the walls of the interwebs after he attended Dirt Rag Dirt Fest in 2016 and wrote a funny story about it. If you missed his introductory column, read […]

MTBTP: I Am the Honeydew

Ed Note — MTBTP (Mountain Bike Trailer Park) is a new Dirt Rag column written by Uncle Dan that will appear about about twice/month. We scraped him off the walls of the interwebs after he attended Dirt Rag Dirt Fest in 2016 and wrote a funny story about it. Seems like a good guy. Hope you […]

Motörhead Trip

Words and photo: Chris “Bama” Milucky From “On the Road With Bama,” originally published in Issue #191 Moab. Orange waves of sand, frozen in time, almost like me. I’ve been here six weeks—which is about five too long. Moab’s a great place to live, but I’m getting stir crazy. I’m beginning to feel like I’ve […]

Rusch Job: Andiamoi

Words: Rebecca Rusch Illustration: Stephen Haynes Originally published in Issue #192 I was wet, cold and fucking miserable. Riding 500 miles through Italy sounded much more pastoral and heavenly than it was turning out to be. At home when I looked at the squiggly lined course map for Italy Divide weaving through the hills from […]

Blast From the Past: Is Mountain Biking Niche-ing Itself to Death?

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #123, published in July 2006, but it was rather prescient and still is worthwhile food for thought. Photos courtesy of contributors, except as indicated. Note that a lot of these people have probably moved on from the positions they’re listed in. In every industry, a […]

The Rant: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Originally published in Issue #192 “Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.” — Leo Tolstoy, “Anna Karenina” Repairing bikes isn’t a great way to make a living. On average, bike mechanics are paid less than the average high school dropout. Pretty sad state of affairs for an industry that seems […]

Riders Write: The power of high school MTB racing

This reader submission comes to us from Hannah Heydinger. She just finished her senior year racing in the Texas High School Mountain Biking League where she was team captain for St. Stephen’s in Austin. In 2015, Heydinger was invited to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) banquet to be awarded the Specialized Student Athlete Leadership Award. […]

Rusch Job: Two Wheels Matter

Words: Rebecca Rusch Illustration: Kyle Stecker Originally published in Issue #191 Since you are reading this column, I know that the simple act of moving around on two wheels has changed your life. Riding a bike might elevate your physical and mental health. It might fuel the competitive juices. It might be your social outlet, […]

Ones and zeroes

Words and photo: Chris Milucky aka Bama From “On the Road With Bama,” a column in the print magazine Originally published in Issue #191 A child of the ’80s, I began my photography with a plastic 110-film camera. The pictures were pretty bad, and I think it’s fair to share the blame with both my […]

Video: Riding Up Mount Kilimanjaro, The Power of Bicycles

Rebecca Rusch, a seven-time World Champion and longtime Dirt Rag columnist, recently completed a climb up and mountain bike descent of Mount Kilimanjaro. She and fellow rider Patrick Sweeny undertook the journey to raise funds and awareness for World Bicycle Relief, a nonprofit. Over six days, Rusch and Sweeney rode, carried and pushed their bikes […]

Rusch Job: Winning

Words: Rebecca Rusch Photo: Pat R. Notaro for Red Bull Media House Originally published in Issue #190 What is winning to you? Is it KOM/QOM victories that you celebrate alone in front of your computer? Is it a medal or trophy that you take home to show your family? Is it proudly wearing the race […]

The Rule of the Road

Words and photo: Chris Milucky aka Bama From On the Road With Bama, a column in the print magazine Originally published in Issue #190 It’s somewhere over here—just carry your bike towards that tree. Don’t walk in a straight line, either; we don’t want anyone to find our tracks.” We holstered our hardtails and hustled […]

The Rant: What are we hiding from, anyway?

From Issue #190 Throughout the evolution of the mountain bike, we’ve seen new technologies and ideas introduced at a very rapid rate. Just 30 years ago most of what we take for granted while riding now wasn’t even on anyone’s radar. Some of the technology has been discarded along the way, usually with good reason. Dual-control […]

Just nod if you can hear me

Words and photos: Chris Milucky, aka Bama From On the Road With Bama, a column in the print magazine Originally published in Issue #189 Dear Bike Industry: Roll down your window. Your lips move, but I can’t hear what you’re saying. When I was a child, I used to ride my bike over to your house. We’d cut paths […]

The Rant: My Enduro

Illustration: Stephen Haynes My event would allow only two bikes—any two bikes the racer wanted, but only two, with just tire swaps allowed between stages. No question, the Enduro World Series is a great racing event. It’s well run, truly global in locations and is attracting some of the fastest riders on two wheels. I […]

Rusch Job: Zen and the art of fat biking

Words: Rebecca Rusch Illustration: Chris Escobar In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few. – Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Fat biking is not a fad. It’s here to stay and has opened the doors to a whole new segment of riding, especially in winter climates. I was not […]

Essay: Trucks and bikes – dreams of the off-road

I finally got myself a truck. I didn’t really “need” a truck, nor does its lightweight rear end make it the most practical vehicle in snowy Colorado (doth protest my loved ones), but hauling things like fatbikes and riding gear and sometimes camping stuff and often the dog in a cramped, low-riding hatchback had proved time […]

The International Van’ers Guild

On the Road With Bama Words and photo: Chris Milucky aka Bama. From Dirt Rag Issue #188 The first time I quit climbing the ladder of public opinion, I moved into a house with six other people, three dogs and a cat; the cat was smart enough to soon skip town and live someplace less […]

The Rant: Empty Ashtrays and Bluebird Hearts

With my apologizes to Bukowski. Life continues to surprize me, and frustrate me, and bring moments of unmitigated joy. I quit smoking almost 12 years ago. It was cold turkey, and it wasn’t fun. I fell off the wagon a few times, including a few months of stress smoking involving hand rolled cigarettes and a […]

Essay: Sharing the Wealth

By Stevil Kinevil This is the landscape of your standard local ride. You’ve seen it all a hundred times before, but have you really? Taking a friend to your usual stomping grounds and showing them your loop is a fantastic way of blowing the dust off of your proverbial routine. It slows things down and […]

Opinion: Lust for freedom

This story comes from the print edition’s column “Behind the Wheel with Bama” written by Chris Milucky, aka Bama. Considering we’re in the throes of winter now, it felt appropriate to share. It might be cold, but you should still get out there and ride. — Ed. We’d been riding Sedona, Arizona, singletrack and drinking all […]

The Rant: Quality

From Issue #187 “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” is book I read in my 20s. Looking back, the thing I most liked about it was how it made me feel not alone. At the time, I was too young to really understand author Robert Pirsig’s battle with schizophrenia, marriage and fatherhood, but his […]