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Sea Otter 2008
Day Two
Genghis Kahn Video
Intro Day One
Choose Life Video

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Tara Llanes:
Determined to Recover
Finding your Green Self


New Feature:
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Cross Nationals
45 Minutes
Win or Lose
Gale Force Cross
Elements of Cross


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Got Pink?
Speaking With:
Magnus Bäckstedt
Wounded Warrior Project:
Phoenix to Vegas
Grow Your Own Bike?
Young Mechanics
Speaking with:
Shonny Vanlandingham
Stories From the Road:
The Spinning Stars


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Interbike
Faces on the Mountain
Cross Vegas
The Showroom Floor
A Cycling Shambhala
BMC FourStroke 03
Rock & Roll Lives at Defeet
Demo Days
WTB MX Prowler Review
Interbike 2007 Intro


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Junior Development
Voices:
Benny and Christian Zenga

Green Choices
On the Soldier Ride
The Jury is Still out...



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Pedros
Faces of Pedros
Lea Davison Teaches
Kids to MTB

Women's Skills by
Alison Dunlap

Coming alive
Going Green



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Voices: Reginald Harkema
Bike The World: New York
Team Trips For Kids
The Ironclad Triathlon
The Ride of Silence
Ladies Night at R-A-B
Bike the World
Bike Polo
Get Your Friends to Ride!



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Sea Otter
Grand Theft Velo
In the Heart and Mind
of the Beast

It's All About the Wheels
A sense of Paradox
Sea Otter: Super D
What is Sea Otter?



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Which Holiday Treat
Are You?

Raisin a Comeback
Marilyn Price:
Making Trips for Kids




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2006 CX Nationals Sidelines
2006 CX Nationals Day 2
2006 CX Nationals Day I
2006 CX Nationals Intro



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Warmth Recaptured
The Road Ahead
On The Well Worn Path
Fireflies in the
Garden of Gray

A Ride With the Cannibal
Hoop Talk



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Interbike '06
Grande Finale
Innocence Lost
Outdoor Demo
and Hangover Ride

Interbike 2006 Intro



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24 Hours of Willamette
Twilight at the Velodrome



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Pedros Fest '06
The Faces of Pedros
Not-so Still of the Night
The Bold and The Vulgar
Trailing Off
Stickers, Glue, Ribbons,
Markers

Good Times in the Sky
Downhiller Hunting at Jiminy
Pedros Fest Intro 2006



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Heart Rate Monitor
Mt. Hamilton
Critical Mass
The Mountain of the Devil
Fighting for the Finish
Hey Watch Your Feet!
Special Film Pull-out
Bicycle Film Festival
Tour du Parc
The Five Boro Bike Tour
VOICES: Peter Sutherland
VOICES: Brendt Barbur
VOICES: Jacob Septimus
Stillwell Interpretive Trail
Resurrecting the Vanderbilt
Motor Parkway

Kicking it up a Notch
Bicycle Film Festival Intro
The Fat Tire Classic
The Road to Zamora
Edison, NJ Show
Carlisle, PA Show
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SLIME Torture Test
Step Away from the Lube
Energy Crisis
CX Camp for Juniors
Gear Guide: 2006
Inside the CX Nationals
Road to Nowhere
Take it Hard, Take it Easy
Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day Three

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day Two

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day One

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Intro

Holiday GIFT GUIDE
The Unbearable Art
of Wrenching

Tasting the Brew
A Crewman's journey
275 Miles for Youth
Letters from the Road
Patterson Pass Insurgence
The Power of Critical Mass



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Travel:



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Interbike '05/ Las Vegas
IB '05: Red Rocks Canyon
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IB '05: Lake Mead
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IB '05: Intro



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Pedros Fest '05
Night Moves
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Words With Tinker Juarez
Pedros' Faces
Jiminy Peak Free Ride
Womens' Skills Clinic
Pedros: Day One
Pedros Intro



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Chicago
Bicyclist Haven?
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West Coast
Cali Travel Intro
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Tarmac Tacos
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Roaring Mouse Race Series
(Spring 2005)

The Agony and Ecstacy
of Icy Rain...

Visions in Saffron
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Repurposing
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26 Degrees of Separation
The Abondoned Bike
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Death Valley:
Two Cyclists Enter

Car-Free: Kara
Car-Free: Max
And the Winner is...
Halloween in Gotham
Battling El Diablo
Interbike: The Event
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Cape May,
A Cyclist's Dream

A d'Liteful Adventure
Catching up with
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BTC Daily 2004
Crashpads:
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IBEX MTB Trail [Series]
Prelude to a Champion
Rudy Project: Part Deux
Take Time to Appreciate
Stretching for a Fit Body
A Soggy 5 Island Tour
Incident Report
The Pump Showdown
Manhattan Greenway
Burley D'Lite Pre-Review
Bike Rodeo
When Polar Bears Attack
Almighty Leap Ride
Essential Cycling Toolkit
Training up! [The Series]
Selle Italia/Cannondale Ride
Wanna do a charity ride?
PBBC 2003 Season Opener
Rudy Project Eval Ride
Fixing Flats On the Go!
The Ride Dine 9.13.03
Road Riding Safety
Winter Riding Safety
Cycles Le Femme Jerseys
Helmets and Safety
A bike tech talks about the charity side of bike repair

It's really a pretty simple machine when you think about it. A metal frame, two wheels, and a pedal driven chain to turn them. The first example of this type dates back to about 1873. Simple to build, simple to ride, simple to maintain. Somewhere along the line, like all means of transportation, it evolved into a racing device. Once that happens, technology takes over, pieces become lighter, things are constantly being added - gears, derailleurs. Slowly but surely, the bike has become more like the car - something that most drivers just can't do all the maintenance on. And that's where we come in. We are the bike techs.

a collection of wet bikes sits while riders eat lunch

On charity rides, the role of bike tech is a two fold. Our main goal is for the riders to have the best experience possible. That means we make sure everything on the bike is working as well as possible, and making sure that the bike is safe, that the rider is comfortable, and that the bike will stay together for the next however many hundred miles. But we actually have another role, that most of you may not realize: We need to make the riders feel confident about their bikes.

a bike tech fixes a riders bike

Most of the time, when a rider brings a bike to bike tech, the rider has a problem with the bike (occasionally they just want to check out us hot techies, ahem...) Now when you are going to spend a few days pounding up and down hills and on long stretches of road in the middle of nowhere, what you don't want is to have any of your effort being wasted. You want to maximize what you are getting out of each pedal stroke. If your brakes drag or your gears slip, you are going to feel as though you are working twice as hard as you should be! So riders bring their bikes to bike tech frustrated, tired, hot (or cold!) maybe wet, but usually pretty much not happy. It's kind of like working at a help desk. No one ever calls the help desk to say "Hi, how are you doing?" It's more a matter of "My _____ is broken, fix it NOW!" So most of our visitors are frustrated people. This is where the psychiatrist part of the job comes into play.
a bike with an issue

The first thing we have to do is to make our riders feel confident in our ability. On charity rides I usually do this by wearing something very outlandish, or at least provocative. I find that being able to disarm the rider and defuse their ire through misdirection helps quite a bit. This shows the riders that I have no fear and no shame, so they feel that they can trust me with any mechanical problems that their bikes might have. I also find that it helps to say "Holy S---! I've never seen anything like this before!" or to comment that theirs is a type of bike that you have heard about and always wanted to see. This makes them feel special and unique.


Once I have established their trust in this manner, I send them off in search of liquid refreshment and sustenance. This is critical because the riders get so caught up in what is wrong with their bikes that they forget to take care of themselves. Of course, this way they won't see me when I fumble around trying to figure out what is what, or when I get out a very large hammer to swing at their $10K titanium machine.

a cyclist spins through adverse conditions

I find it very helpful to learn some terms that riders won't understand. Then when they return from being distracted, I can chant some mumbo jumbo that will cause them to nod their heads and look full of awe at my magical abilities. It's also good to find things that I can blame on them. "Hey, when did you last clean this chain?" is one good one. Or "Where do you keep this bike, outside in a thunderstorm?" I also find that it adds to their confidence level in you if you can look superior. For this, my best suggestion is a pair of strappy little pumps. That makes you taller so you can be looking down on them, making them feel inadequate in comparison. Others will just be envious of your shoes and beg you to tell them where they can get a pair like it!

Now that you have fixed the problem (and fixed the blame for the problem squarely on the rider,) send the rider on his or her way with friendly words of encouragement. A comment related to the color of their urine is always a good one (it reflects their level of hydration), or an admonition never to create this kind of problem with their bike again. It helps if you have some instrument of torture with you to strike them upon the hind most parts as they leave. It is critical that the derriere is the location for the blow, since as the ride wears on, that will be the part most receptive to this form of correction.

Bike tech - it's a difficult job, but someone has to do it.

the techs take a break in the wee hours of the morning

A bike tech talks about the charity side of bike repair

It's really a pretty simple machine when you think about it. A metal frame, two wheels, and a pedal driven chain to turn them. The first example of this type dates back to about 1873. Simple to build, simple to ride, simple to maintain. Somewhere along the line, like all means of transportation, it evolved into a racing device. Once that happens, technology takes over, pieces become lighter, things are constantly being added - gears, derailleurs. Slowly but surely, the bike has become more like the car - something that most drivers just can't do all the maintenance on. And that's where we come in. We are the bike techs.

a collection of wet bikes sits while riders eat lunch

On charity rides, the role of bike tech is a two fold. Our main goal is for the riders to have the best experience possible. That means we make sure everything on the bike is working as well as possible, and making sure that the bike is safe, that the rider is comfortable, and that the bike will stay together for the next however many hundred miles. But we actually have another role, that most of you may not realize: We need to make the riders feel confident about their bikes.

a bike tech fixes a riders bike

Most of the time, when a rider brings a bike to bike tech, the rider has a problem with the bike (occasionally they just want to check out us hot techies, ahem...) Now when you are going to spend a few days pounding up and down hills and on long stretches of road in the middle of nowhere, what you don't want is to have any of your effort being wasted. You want to maximize what you are getting out of each pedal stroke. If your brakes drag or your gears slip, you are going to feel as though you are working twice as hard as you should be! So riders bring their bikes to bike tech frustrated, tired, hot (or cold!) maybe wet, but usually pretty much not happy. It's kind of like working at a help desk. No one ever calls the help desk to say "Hi, how are you doing?" It's more a matter of "My _____ is broken, fix it NOW!" So most of our visitors are frustrated people. This is where the psychiatrist part of the job comes into play.
a bike with an issue

The first thing we have to do is to make our riders feel confident in our ability. On charity rides I usually do this by wearing something very outlandish, or at least provocative. I find that being able to disarm the rider and defuse their ire through misdirection helps quite a bit. This shows the riders that I have no fear and no shame, so they feel that they can trust me with any mechanical problems that their bikes might have. I also find that it helps to say "Holy S---! I've never seen anything like this before!" or to comment that theirs is a type of bike that you have heard about and always wanted to see. This makes them feel special and unique.


Once I have established their trust in this manner, I send them off in search of liquid refreshment and sustenance. This is critical because the riders get so caught up in what is wrong with their bikes that they forget to take care of themselves. Of course, this way they won't see me when I fumble around trying to figure out what is what, or when I get out a very large hammer to swing at their $10K titanium machine.

a cyclist spins through adverse conditions

I find it very helpful to learn some terms that riders won't understand. Then when they return from being distracted, I can chant some mumbo jumbo that will cause them to nod their heads and look full of awe at my magical abilities. It's also good to find things that I can blame on them. "Hey, when did you last clean this chain?" is one good one. Or "Where do you keep this bike, outside in a thunderstorm?" I also find that it adds to their confidence level in you if you can look superior. For this, my best suggestion is a pair of strappy little pumps. That makes you taller so you can be looking down on them, making them feel inadequate in comparison. Others will just be envious of your shoes and beg you to tell them where they can get a pair like it!

Now that you have fixed the problem (and fixed the blame for the problem squarely on the rider,) send the rider on his or her way with friendly words of encouragement. A comment related to the color of their urine is always a good one (it reflects their level of hydration), or an admonition never to create this kind of problem with their bike again. It helps if you have some instrument of torture with you to strike them upon the hind most parts as they leave. It is critical that the derriere is the location for the blow, since as the ride wears on, that will be the part most receptive to this form of correction.

Bike tech - it's a difficult job, but someone has to do it.

the techs take a break in the wee hours of the morning

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