Tuesday, 11 April 2006
Bluffers Guide To: How to fake being a Downhill Mountainbiker
Photo and article by Jacques Marais
You’ve been keeping a beady eye on the young Kurt Cobain look-alike living down your street, and man, the chicks that pull in at his digs! As far as you can make out, the only reason they hang with this dude is because he rides one mean, downhill machine. Now how difficult can that be? All you need to do is point a bike down a steep mountain and wait for gravity to kick in, right?
Ask the Pro:
“Let me tell you, china, you better have huge cahunas if you’re planning on hucking down a mountain on a DH bike”, says Johann Potgieter. Having just returned from the Red Bull ‘Giants of Rio’ event, this young bomber is ready to kick big-time butt on the local scene.
“Check out any of the top downhill riders and they’re usually wearing Azonic Freeride shorts with zipped pockets, an adjustable belt and a Catalyst Jersey. Fox is not too shabby either, although this is more expensive and for Moto-X wannabees. It can’t hurt to plonk down your Arsenal Bag, with the helmet and the rest of the clobber still steaming from your ride, when you meet up with your mates”.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the frame. The Xtension X2 has just on 8,5 inches of travel, plus one of the best rear suspension rigs in the game, a Manitou Swinger 6-way shock. The frame is a thing of beauty too - a handmade work of art manufactured from 6061 and 7005 aluminium. Throw in a Rock Shox fork, a full-face helmet, burly wheel-set, sick components and the necessary protective gear, and you’re sorted.
Talk the Walk:
Hucking: Sticking a huge, pant-soiling drop.
Travel: Not to some whimsical land, but as in max suspension movement.
Burly: No more ‘gnarly’ – it used to be a cool word, but she is no more.
Put yer shandy down, man!: As in ‘Shut up and ride!’
Air time: What you do over the doubles. Or put in your phone.
Cool Moves: How to Pin that Monster Jump
According to Johann Potgieter, current Urban Assault Champ, jumping is a head game. “Loosen up in the saddle, especially your arms and shoulders, in order to soak up the impact. Slam your rear wheel down first by keeping your weight back and bend your knees as you bang home. Scope the jump beforehand to check out the landing zone, and always have an escape route in mind if shit should happen. Because, let me tell you, it does”.
Worst Possible Faux Pas:
True downhill riders do NOT ride uphill; they wait for the shuttle to take them to the top.
Where to hang out:
“The coolest place to be is anywhere you can smell, see and hear bike stuff, so the coffee bar at your local cycle shop gets my vote. The Bike Hut or one of the Action Cycling branches work for me down in the Cape, but I’m sure riders around the country all have their own favourites. Otherwise you’ll probably find me in the parking lot at the start of any good stretch of singletrack”.
Who da man?:
Greg Minnaar: Local boy made good and 2003 MTB Downhill World Champ
Cedric Gracia: Who’s going to argue with a Red Bull Rampage champ?
Brian Lopes: More MTB titles than anyone else in the world … nuff said.