In a year where everything has been more different and chaotic than ever before, what are Pinkbike’s test editors and some of our regular contributors asking for?
More Days in the Mountains
On the one hand, I really like the idea of being a minimalist and not being tied to things. I also read a book recently called “Do You Really Need It?: One Question to Free You Financially” and it’s made me think a lot about what I actually need. The problem is, when you get into a new sport, it’s basically committing to buying a whole lot of new things. On the one hand, I have more than enough stuff. On the other hand, you can’t really join Alicia paragliding with your bike gear, or Kaz on his next ski trip without an avalanche transceiver. Therefore, I’m constantly redefining what is a need and what is a want. Okay, they’re all definitely not needs in the traditional sense. But what is something that I will actually get good use of and will open more adventure opportunities and what is a luxury item or something I won’t get enough use out of? What are the things that are actually important to me?
I’m still figuring it out. Right now the long list is embarrassingly long and includes an avalanche airbag, an Icom 1000 radio, new ski boots, more avalanche training, better snow pants, resort skis, a sled, ski and moto and mountain bike coaching, a moto helmet, and moto boots that aren’t a hand-me-down and still have all their buckles, but if what I really want it to get out in the mountains and I can do that with all the stuff I already have right now, do I really need any of those things?
Jetson One Personal Electric Aerial Vehicle
I’m not a big fan of wish lists, and realistically there isn’t anything that I really need – I have food, a home, a library card, and a mountain bike with air in both tires. That’s all of my basic necessities sorted. However, if I somehow became obscenely wealthy (unlikely, unless someone out there has a trust fund they’d like to let me borrow for a while), I’d have this Jetson One ‘Personal Electric Aerial Vehicle’ in my garage.
I mean, just look at it. Yes, it only flies for 20 minutes, and sure, it has propellers that look like they’re just waiting to take off a limb, but it looks like such a fun, futuristic way to get around. Even thought it’s probably insanely loud, and you can buy an actual airplane that can carry passengers for less than this contraption’s $92,000 asking price, I still want to give it a try.
Hopefully as time goes on battery technology will evolve and the range will expand, but I’m not holding my breath – there are companies out there that have been promising the equivalent of a flying car for over 50 years, and non of them have managed to succeed. All the same, I’d love to see what it’s like to go zooming around in the real-life equivalent of a Star Wars speeder.
Tout Terrain Singletrailer
I’m not a fan of excessive consumerism, but having a kid definitely recalibrates your sense of what’s a justifiable purchase. The Singletrailer’s €1,390 asking price and lack of a UK distributor put me off buying one, but if I could have one thing for free it would be this. It’s the kids’ trailer used in Danny Macaskill’s Danny Daycare film, in which he rides big jumps, technical trails and even does a flip with the trailer attached. Obviously, a doll was in the trailer for those stunts, but it gives you a bit of confidence that you could ride the odd blue trail without the tiny human inside coming to any harm.
The single wheel is the main USP, allowing the trailer to lean with the bike for less restricted cornering than a two-wheeled trailer. It also means the line you pick for your own wheels is the line the trailer takes, which could be handy for narrow singletrack, riding across cambers, avoiding bumps, or dodging dog poo on the nursery run. The trailer attaches to the seat post so there’s no need for a fiddly axle adapter for each and every bike you might hook it up to. Best of all, it’s got 200 mm or air-sprung suspension to suit the weight of the passenger and cargo, with a rearward axle path helping to keep the little one relatively comfortable.
New Ski Boots
I need some new ski boots that I can take on long touring days but can also hang for the occasional in-bounds day. I haven’t actually decided which ones I’m getting yet, but I’ll do some soul-searching over the next few hours and days and figure that out. I’ve been mainly skiing a pair of Tecnica Cochises, and while they’ve been pretty good, have taken me to some cool places, and have had a good life, they are starting to die – they now have a weird click and only rarely go successfully ski into mode, and one will switch unpredictably between the modes. That’s not cool while skinning up or skiing down. They’re also not light, and these days there are some great aggressive touring boots on the market with a much better capability:weight ratio. In short, it’s time for a change.
My frontrunner right now is the Fischer Ranger 120, but I’m also intrigued by the Atomic Hawx line, the Tecnica Zero G line (to go with my favorite Blizzard Zero G 105 skis…), the Salomon S-Lab Mountain, and maybe some others in that category. If you have feelings about any of those boots, feel free to shout at me in the comments.
A Mountain Range & No Coronavirus Drama (Or Shimano Saint)
I’m not sure where Santa draws the line for Christmas wishes but I’m willing to find out. I would love the ownership rights to a beautiful mountain range with varying soil types, mineral deposits and flora. Gondola access to the top goes without saying but the key thing is the time to build any trails I want without pissing anyone off or creating legal issues for other landowners. On completion I’d open the place up to the public and run it as a non profit.
If that’s too much I guess I’d settle for a 2022 DH race season without any Virus drama.
Still too demanding? How about a refreshed Shimano Saint groupset? 7 speed, 10t – 22t, 160mm cranks, direct mount chainring, larger pistons callipers, bigger, fatter rotors, I could not care about weight. I want to feel like I’m hitting a brick wall when I tickle those levers.
I’m not really a flashy person. In fact, I often find having the latest and greatest a bit uncomfortable. That’s a bit different with bikes, admittedly, but I’d always go for blacked out and subtle over loud and gaudy. I much prefer to see something working well and sensible rather than underutilized. However, I’m also a renascence man and have an eye for the classics. It’s for these reasons that I recently purchased a 2011 Dodge Caravan. Its gentle curves only occasionally interrupted by dented bodywork and its silver paint licked by the faint threat of rust. The Dodge though, for all its charms, isn’t what I really want.
Coming to Canada I was suprised to see the types of cars on the road almost polarised. It seems to either be Teslas or massive trucks, with not much in between. The small to mid-sized efficient van just hasn’t reached here yet for some reason. There are options, but their scarcity means they’re quite expensive for what they are and far more than a few tons of Caravan.
I wish I had my Bipper from the UK. The HMS Bipper, to give it its full name, was a worthy companion. It could only fit one bike in with the wheels on, meaning I never got called into shuttle people around and could be willfully unsociable. It got about sixty miles per gallon and could be slept in with only moderate discomfort and a few weeks of subsequent physiotherapy. I can imagine it being pretty spicey on the roads here in winter but I would love to have my trusty steed available to me. Believe it or not, it can even fit downhill bikes in with minimal fuss. The thing was like the tardis. Well, maybe the tardis after it’s been through an extra hot wash but still, it was great.
Rain Shirts for all, a Bike Cave & Clip In Jandals that Work
Rain Shirts For All
Are you last minute gift searching? Or perhaps you’d much rather “create” a gift? Is this a self-saucing product pitch? Maybe. Well the Rain-Shirt is the gift I’d like to be able to give you.
All you need to do is take any old jacket (or new – it doesn’t matter), and simply cut the sleeves off where a t-shirt would finish. Did someone say winter trends? Because boom – you now have the latest, greatest, NASA technology inspired garment on the market to gift to your loved one. In all seriousness, I have had my Rain Shirt for the better part of three years now. We’ve been through think and cold, I would love to see more out there. So it’s fair to say I was emotionally attached to this MacPac jacket, that had served me well for years. Until I crashed and ripped the elbow to pieces. Simple solution, slice those sleeves. I would like to give new life to your old (or new) favourite jackets. I know your significant other would love nothing more than a brand new, heavily used rain shirt under the Christmas tree this year.
A Bike Cave
I live in an apartment and bike admin is niggly. The pros are that you get to look at your bikes all day, and night. The cons are that your partner and flatmates get to look at your bikes all day, and night. It’s not just the bikes, it’s the lightly (read heavily) used riding gear, random cut-off zip tie tails and the black smudges left on adjacent walls and furniture. If only I had a separate cave to keep everything in…
Clip-in Jandals… That Work
Unsurprisingly, my clip-in jandals aka Clip-Flops from earlier this year didn’t work as well as I thought they would. Namely, they didn’t unclip once clipped in. Slight design flaw. Hence the need to constantly remove the foot from the jandal, easier said than done when crashing, stopping or even voluntarily wanting to take your foot off the pedal. They make make mouse traps of old look safe. I suspect if you had a proper base plate – not the ice-cream lid that I used – paired with a lower profile jandal that didn’t require the use of hastily bought M8 screws from the hardware store you’d be in business…
So I would love a pair of Clip-Flops that function for all those beach going, pub crawling, mountain bike rides in summer time.
Perhaps a Clip-Flop Rain-Shirt Combo?
This isn’t a rant. I just love jumps and want more. Longer, taller, steeper jumps.
There is no shortage of technical trails in the Pacific Northwest; from slimy green rock slabs to heinous root clusters, but there is a lack of jumps in the Sea to Sky area. Yes, we have Whistler and the Coast Gravity Park, but aside from a handful of trails outside of those showcase destinations, tires generally stay on the ground. Don’t get me wrong. I love technical riding and butter-smooth jump lines.
That affinity for catching air all started in the driveway with a simple wooden board, like it did for most. One of my favorite scenes is riding through a neighborhood and noticing a wooden ramp in front of a kid’s house or a small pile of dirt piled on some logs, obviously someone’s first attempt at building a jump. It’s the gateway to a lifetime addiction of fun on a bike. I’m thirty-five years old and I still feel like I’m progressing, or at least the advancements in mountain bikes have kept me from slowing down.
Jump trails offer riders repetitive practice like time spent on a BMX or pump track, but bike parks fall under a heavy blanket of snow for half of the year. Is that how we start to slip behind on our jumping skills? I’m not asking for someone to build me more jumps, …well, for the purpose of this wish list I am. But I’m not blind to the fact that jumps don’t simply appear overnight. I know they require serious grafting and letters to the council. We need more jumps.
That parabolic floating feeling is addicting and challenging to find anywhere else is life, whether you’re two feet off the ground or twenty overhead. I never want to say, “I used to hit that, but I’m too old now”. That’s not an aspect of my riding that I want to lose. Jumps are freedom. Do more jumps.
A Garage Renovation
I consider us fortunate to have one of the only houses in our neighborhood with a basement garage but, it’s a bit chaotic down there and could use some functional upgrades. There’s spare lumber for various home projects, yard equipment, travel bags, some bikes, random bike parts from 15 years ago that I know I’ll never use but I refuse to get rid of for whatever reason, seasonal clothes, a refrigerator full of nothing, and a good amount of baby stuff that’s either too small and ready to be passed down or too big, or out of season.
I’ve gone through several iterations of adding and maximizing storage available, organizing, and am constantly cleaning random things out but, it’s out of control and needs to be overhauled. In a perfect scenario, everything needs to be pulled out and a bit of water-proofing needs to take place, then I’d like to clean and seal the floor, add some ceiling tiles to hide the wiring for the house and make it cozy, and finally, add some legit storage cabinets and a nice workspace.
While it’s not all that crazy of a project, logistically, it’s a nightmare. There has to be somewhere to store everything while it’s happening, the weather would ideally be decent, and I’ll need to prepare time-wise as it’ll undoubtedly take the standard n+8 trips to the hardware store and a good amount of time staring at the walls and standing in Lowe’s, thinking about and conceptualizing the finished product to make it all happen.
There are plenty of amazing garages I’ve seen, and there are plenty of elaborate and over-the-top ideas floating around on the internet but I prefer simple, functional, and clean. Kind of like the one that Pinkbike user @Downhil posted, pictured below. Nice cabinets, a good workbench, plenty of open space. Ahh, what a dream.
So, what’s on your Christmas wish list? Let us know in the comments below!