Apologies to those of you that missed your regular RIM last week, but to make up for it there is twice the jaw dropping Random goodness rammed in this weeks edition. So, if Monday is making you look at everyone like they’re a fuckbag (#clichemondayrage), then get amongst this action to get that frown turned into a less than helpful grimace instead.

To get the ball rolling, a nod to one of the DN Global Collective and our Hawk on the scene in Japan, popping out of a bowl of Udon in the local media once again and looking as PRO as fuck whilst doing so. Its also worth noting he looks like Mark Wahlberg with a spray on jersey there, the personification of coiled steel and check out the face, basically the only rider who doesn’t look like they want to cry as they take on the Hanazono hellfest:


Only one Ronin riding Tempo in this bunch

My Kanji is a bit patchy these days, but in summary the article refers to the White Spirit Hawk descending on the bunch and wreaking terrible pain and punishment on local potato workers who had forgotten just how brutal a straight up hillclimb race can be. Even the presence of Ken Watanabe could do little to protect his countrymen, as the Hawk did his own remake of ‘The Last Samurai’. My translation may have glossed over some of the finer points, but close enough.

For regular readers, you’ll know I’m quite a fan of the Cannondale Evo Road bike, aside from the mandatory gripes about the BB30, the only issue I had was that it was now 4 years old without a proper redesign or update. As such, it was initially pretty exciting when it was announced that an improved version was being unleashed. But before you could work out the best way to get one at a discount price, it became clear that all was not well…

In a classic case study of what happens when you let one of the Pram Product Managers job share with the Bicycle Division, the bike they prepared to parade in front of the world when it was unleashed? This terrible specimen here:


Can also tow trailers

Forget its the worst colour in the line up… Forget those white cable housings… Even forget that odd seat angle and post extension. Instead, what the actual fuck with those spacers? Is this the cycling tourist version in the Evo line up? Is it ever a good idea to bring the 60cm model to the press launch? And are those silver brake tract rims in 2015? I’m not being OCD here, it actually takes a bit of effort to make a nice bike look this bad, it doesn’t just get ugly by itself.

But wait, there is more… It seems Dorel (Corporate ‘parent’ of Cannondale – I use that term loosely as its the type of parenting where they lock you in an Austrian cellar) also decided to have a “let the interns design a new bike” contest that unfortunately went sideways somewhere and then made it into production. What am I talking about? The new ‘Slate’… And like its namesake implies, best we get on with slating the total fuck out of this hideous creation:


Initial hopes it was the first of April were dashed

Once you’ve finished on the phone with 1994, who are calling to ask for their purple anodized parts back (WTF are those cranks?), you may then pause to ask yourself the obvious questions:

  • Is this a road bike?
  • Is this a CX bike?
  • Is this a mountain bike?
  • If I pour lighter fluid on it and flick a match in for good order, will it kill this abomination?

The answer to the first 3 is NO… The last question, fuck I hope so. Yes, Dorel have jumped onto the ‘Gravel bike’ category, a genre that didn’t ever need to be created, but instead of doing it at the utter limits of acceptability like Specialized, they have somehow managed to put 27.5 wheels on a road frame, then set about making it uglier (not an easy brief) by adding a lefty fork… One can only hope that consumers consign this pig to the history books, quickly.

Moving on from 1994 anodising to something so cutting edge you may actually bleed just by looking at it, yes, its Crankworx time again in the most hallowed of places: Whistler. Are my expensively revamped eyes burning out of my skull looking at all the EWS and Crankworx footage pouring out of Canada given this is the first time in three years I haven’t been there? YES. Colour me FOMO like a MOFO.

Especially when I am officially the only ENDUROian that seems to not be there. What are we all missing out on, assuming you’re not a Roadie? Oh, only this sort of action… Yes, its 14 minutes long, but if you like riding bikes downhill you’ll find this strangely hypnotic:

The only downside of showing that video is that it will now make all my upcoming EuroEnduro shredits look absolutely shit, but I’ll take that hit given how much Dan rips that course to pieces. Having ridden most of it, it was hard to fathom the speed in places.

But it hasn’t all been eye watering shredding at Crankworx, there was also the Whistler Deep Summer Photo challenge going down. Most years I would shrug my shoulders and dismiss this event given it was artistic, but now that I have met two of the Photographers who were selected to participate in this intense three day competition. Both of them are awesome dudes, so check out their work here, starting with the winner Sam Needham:

In the new world of constant video action, drones and endless shredits, there’s actually something nice and peaceful about watching a photo slideshow for a change. If that didn’t get you chilled and stoked to ride all at once, then hit Gary Perkin’s slide show here, some seriously cool work going into both of these and a reminder of how much I need to get back to the centre of the shred universe in 2016:

YES Gary! The other awesome thing out of Crankworx was this quote from Andreu… And yes, I had about 27.5 people send this to me for fucks sake, so thought I had better put it in:


Actually funnier if you picture it with his accent thrown in

The ironic thing about the Nerds/Emoji lovers/Hello Kitty fiends sending this to me with a “Ha ha fuck ENDURO” stiffy in their bandit tight shorts that are probably in need of replacement was that this topic has already been well covered previously and I couldn’t agree with his sentiments more… Would love to get his opinion on 27.2+ bikes and not to mention the previously slagged off ‘gravel bike’ category.

For those complaining that the top of the Helmet mounted Go PRO footage is a bit boring… And the chesty footage makes you want to vomit, then don’t worry, looks like Crankworx has presented the solution – The new Grill mount… I’m literally frothing in my full face to get my Dirty mitts on this for the most accurate POV angle as I go down on trails:


Such a cunningmount

Moving a little South, but still hanging out in North America to our next Random nugget. He may be 9 months late for the “Most unique place you can get your photo taken in your DN T Shirt” competition, but Snozza likes to set his own rules and managed to come up with this effort last week… I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this is the one and only time a DN T Shirt will make it into the Specialized Wind tunnel at their HQ in the U.S… Or be seen on a Venge… With running shoes:


“Ok guys, good gag, who put the downhill bars on a road bike? Was it the new guy from Dorel?”

Unfortunately there was some confusion after security guards mistook him for me and based on the Big S blacklisting DN, he was taken into Federal custody for crimes against the state, along with the guy who designed the Specialized ‘Fattie’ and the Swaty Box arrangement. If anyone knows of a good bail bondsman in California, please let me know.

For those that tuned in to the Trans Provence gear rantings, you’ll be well versed that my Reverb dropper post blew its guts out on Day 1 before the first shot had even been fired in anger. Well, its taken 6 weeks, but I have finally got it back, fully rebuilt and best of all: For free. Kudos to Reevolution Cycles for sorting, chur boys. And here’s a Dirty Tip to all the shredders out there – Perhaps put in the calendar when you need to get your one serviced or checked, to avoid this scenario here:


“Sir, your internals are an absolute mess… Filthy we would say”

Dirty fun fact – it took 277 days and 1,100km’s from its first ride to exploding like a fork in a microwave, so book in that service soon reverb owners, to avoid your internals ending up like this.

If you’re worried about this week being boring or looking just like the last one, never fear and start getting excited, the Vuelta starts this week (Saturday)… World Cup DH finals are coming up (Saturday & Sunday) and the MTB World Champs are not far off (31 Aug – 6 Sept). The year is far from over, in more ways than one… Watch this space! (that was an attempt to be cryptic FYI)

If that doesn’t get you pumped up, then you can always get your mates together and make yourselves look like a platoon of cunts:


So wish I had thought of that…

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