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  1. #1
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    New question here. What is "Epic" to you?

    We had this question posted on another, much smaller, MTB related board I frequent and thought it garnered some interesting perspective so I figured I'd throw out the question here....

    I know I probably over-use the term and frequently say "that trail" or "that ride" was epic. When I say it, I'm more or less implying to anybody willing to listen that the trail is a "must do" when you're in the area.

    What say you?

  2. #2
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    What is "Epic" to you?

    Something that creates a lifelong memory, big enough that you talk about it later. Preferably a positive one.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  3. #3
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    Epic is a word I'll use at most once every few years. For a ride to be epic it would have to require a bit of planning and training and self-doubt - if you know at the start that you can finish a ride, it's not epic.

    Someone once told me a ride was "long" if you start to doubt you'll be able to finish right around the point of no return (that is the point where it's just as much work to finish the ride as it would be to turn around). That definition mostly works for me.

  4. #4
    Off the back...
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    The connotation of "epic" has changed over the years. It used to mean "a very long ride with consequences and potentially an overnight stay in the woods if your map-reading skills aren't that good". 8+ hours on the trail, some hike-a-bike and some bushwhacking were good signs you were on an EPIC RIDE.

    In the last few years, the meaning has morphed into "a long ride, likely tedious", where upon completion you will be quietly thankful that it's over and never contemplate riding it again.
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  5. #5
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    If I liked it it is an Epic.
    If I thought it was meh, it is not epic.

    Anyone else's opinion is wrong.
    So many trails... so little time...

  6. #6
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    The term has been popularized and overused as of recently. Everything can't be epic, or there would really be no epic anything. To get back to the original intent of the word... "extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope"

    So, in today's overuse of the term, if everything is "epic" --sh1t has to get real crazy to truly be epic. Like you found a unicorn on your ride or something.

  7. #7
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    big show (15 riders or more)

    miles of mud

    beaver pond up to headset

    35+ miles

    (all in one ride)

  8. #8
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    It's not epic unless the people leading the ride have a motto that reads something akin to "we're not happy until you're not happy".
    Last edited by redwarrior; 04-09-2014 at 08:51 AM. Reason: dim bulb

  9. #9
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    All day in the saddle, a lot of hike a biking, mostly new dirt, some place not normally ridden, deep into the forest or desert away from most. And bad weather, bad weather rides have stayed in my mind longer than any other rides. Being pelted by hail with lightening close by will stick in your mind.

  10. #10
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    A word that goes with dude. I would never call someone dude nor a ride epic.

    Last winter I spent six days skiing bottomless power off piste (backcountry) in the French Alps with constant avalanche danger and that wasn't epic. Extreme? Nah, not that either. Fun, yes.

    That's about it for me. A ride is either fun or it sucked but never epic.

  11. #11
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    Re: What is "Epic" to you?

    Due to Specialized's legal team, be advised that no longer can the term EPIC be used without fear of retaliation.

    Anyone using a GPS to track their rides who even mutters that once trendy word can expect to be swooped down upon by a Blackhawk helio sporting a big red "S", and at gunpoint be repeatedly flogged by corporate goons.

    From now on whenever riding and lost, running out of light, suffering from dehydration, mechanicals, or caught in a shiitestorm - I'll just refer to the ride as another SAM.
    (Sinyard's an Azz Muncher)

    (tapa)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    Due to Specialized's legal team, be advised that no longer can the term EPIC be used without fear of retaliation.

    Anyone using a GPS to track their rides who even mutters that once trendy word can expect to be swooped down upon by a Blackhawk helio sporting a big red "S", and at gunpoint be repeatedly flogged by corporate goons.

    From now on whenever riding and lost, running out of light, suffering from dehydration, mechanicals, or caught in a shiitestorm - I'll just refer to the ride as another SAM.
    (Sinyard's an Azz Muncher)

    (tapa)
    Just so we're clear, I trademarked the capital E before they trademarked the word Epic so from now on I would prefer if the MTB community would refer to all really challenging or cool rides as "Ride I can't describe without pissing off those lawyer bastards at Specialized!" Your cooperation is appreciated.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    ...expect to be swooped down upon by a Blackhawk helio sporting a big red "S", and at gunpoint be repeatedly flogged by corporate goons.
    ^^ This would actually be pretty Epic.

  14. #14
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    epic - a ride that did not go as planned but ended up with lots of memories and adventures.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  15. #15
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    Re: What is "Epic" to you?

    I don't know why all you twisted ****s associate 'epic' with pain, suffering, and riding in ****e conditions. If hike a bike is your thing, maybe leave the bike at home, take up hiking, and all your 'rides' will be epic. I find that increasing the amount of hours riding inherently decreases the pace and quality of ones riding, so 8 hours in the saddle only makes for epic saddle sores IMO.

    I like challenging tech, so any substantial ride with double black segments is likely to qualify. Something with a lot of challenge/reward. Also could be a ride on any trail that elicits that rare, but awesome, "I could mash forever" type of feeling.

    Actually, scratch all that. IMBA decrees that which is, or is not epic. If you had a ride, which you thought was epic, but it does not appear on the list, it was not truly epic at all. You were obviously just confused.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad andy View Post
    ^^ This would actually be pretty Epic.
    No, it would be pretty "thing I can't describe without pissing off those lawyer bastards at Specialized." Man, if you don't become more Specialized Neutral in your language they'll come get us all and ship us to the prison in the town formally known as Roubaix.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  17. #17
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    A whole day on the trail with good friends, doing 70 km singletrack just outside the capital.

    EPIC.

    What is "Epic" to you?-2013-06-23-11.17.22.jpg

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    ...ship us to the prison in the town formally known as Roubaix.
    ^^ Now THAT would be E-word.

  19. #19
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    Pigah

  20. #20
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    I have to go by examples...
    2 "epic" riding days out of my 20-some years of MTBing:
    1 was a ~28 mile day in PA that started with 16 people and ended with 5, due to broken bikes, cramps, bonking, dehydration, etc. I was in the 5 and I rode everything like a boss that day. Plus, I drove 3 hrs. that morning to get there. Did the ride. Then drove 3 hrs. home in a monsoon without crashing my truck or falling asleep at the wheel. The above-and-beyond-o-meter was pegged that day.

    The other was 111 miles of N. GA trails in 4 days. Each day by itself was hardly "epic", but looking back on the sum-total of shenanigans over the 4 days, it qualifies as an epic trip.

    So I guess "epic" requires larger-than-usual challenges, success, and shenanigans. Food and beer helps, too.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  21. #21
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    The way people throw the word around these days, "Epic" is quickly becoming the new lowest common denominator

  22. #22
    One by Nine is Fine
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    What is "Epic" to you?-biketoarctic.jpg

    Fatbike to the Arctic

    1000 miles, 37 days.

    Read it, he's a great writer and great photographer. And their adventure qualifies as epic.

  23. #23
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    Old Farts Rock

    My husband was the oldest (69 racing as 70), but by no means the last, finisher of the 60-mile Ouachita Challenge Tour this past Saturday. I thought that was definitely epic on his part. He was very tired by the end but not totally exhausted. Especially epic because he was not specifically training for this event.
    Monday, he was out doing a 3-hour road ride.

  24. #24
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    Good responses everyone. I won't try to define "Epic" but an one epic ride (IMO) that I did with 3 other buddies was The Whole Enchilada down in Moab.
    30+ miles from an "epic" climb to 11000+ feet then to the awesome 20+ mile descent along Porcupine Rim down to the Colorado River.
    One of the most scenic and technical rides I've done.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What is "Epic" to you?-img_0042.jpg  

    What is "Epic" to you?-img_0047.jpg  

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  25. #25
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    I agree that "epic" is overused. I have a very good friend i MTB and surf with who uses the "E" word to describe anything good. We tease him about it all the time, but he cant lay off using it liberally as a descriptive word.

    To me...

    Surfing Epic = double overhead+. This involves some personal perspective i suppose. In Hawaii that size is not uncommon. Here in Southern California we get a handful of days per year at best that big. If i stand on the shore deciding if i have balls big enough to paddle out, the surf is epic.

    MTB Epic = a trail that, when done, provides lasting memories and was considered FUN... yet everyone involved agrees its perfectly ok to not do that trail again for 10 years if ever.


    Common theme between both sports, fun above all but dire consequences for failure. "That was fun! Thank god i survived!"

  26. #26
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    An epic ride would be quite impressive and totally awesome.

    Last October my huband and I rode 4 full days of DH at Mont Ste Anne. The riding experience was kickass, scenery lush, food extraordinary and accomodations perfect. We had a blast! It was a grand and unique way to wrap up the DH season
    F*ck Cancer

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  27. #27
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    What is "Epic" to you?

    Getting out of bed in the morning.

  28. #28
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    He's my step-brother, oh wait, you said "Epic" I thought you said "Eric." My bad.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  29. #29
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    I don't have a set definition of what qualifies as an epic ride, but it usually involves some combination of triple digit mileage, 5 digit elevation gains, not going home at night, and generally experiencing things you don't normally get a chance to on a short ride.
    "...when I stand to climb I'm like the Hulk rowing the USS Badass up the Kickass River."
    -michaelscott

  30. #30
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    getting stoke on shredding total gnar.... is epic

  31. #31
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    The definition of "epic" clearly varies from one individual to the next. This is why so many folks get all bent outta shape over its use.

    For example,while one individual might refer to a scary roller coaster ride as "epic", most likely an astronaut would not agree.

    Does it mean that it was not "epic" for the person claiming it was? No.

    The term "epic" simply refers to something exciting/great that was totally out of the ordinary for said individual.

    .02

  32. #32
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    So why not just call it "exciting" or "great" then?

  33. #33
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    Lord of the Rings.
    And riding fast through some tight twisty stuff without crashing.

    EDIT: NOT the Specialized bearing the "Epic" name.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iamrockandroll13 View Post
    I don't have a set definition of what qualifies as an epic ride, but it usually involves some combination of triple digit mileage, 5 digit elevation gains, not going home at night, and generally experiencing things you don't normally get a chance to on a short ride.
    you actually had one of those? if so, how 'bout some details, like where for starters.
    breezy shade

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    So why not just call it "exciting" or "great" then?
    Who would Specialized sue then?
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  36. #36
    Formerly of Kent
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    What is "Epic" to you?

    Riding a stationary bike watching an Afghan sunrise, driving 120km on HWY 1, walking 25km in 95 degree heat wearing 60lbs of body armor and weapons, arriving well after midnight, seeing another sunrise on a stationary bike in a place I had never seen.

    Then, same drive/walk the next day, plus a massive IED strike on a bus 50m away. Called in MEDEVAC birds, set up HLZ, secured the area, and saved at least three lives. One being a little girl with severe bleeding that looked like my niece.

    Nothing I do on a bike in the states will compare to that. Ever.


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  37. #37
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    At 66 yrs old (and 2nd year rider), any ride I survive is "epic"!

  38. #38
    the half breed devil
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    all of the above...

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhodge View Post
    you actually had one of those? if so, how 'bout some details, like where for starters.
    Last October I lived in Bald Eagle State Forest for a week, did about 500 miles and about 30,000 ft of climbing on a bike packing trip, one day of that that trip I did 104 miles with a little over 10,000 ft. It was a good time. My best one day total was about 141 miles and about 13.5 K elevation. I'm training to do the Trans North Georgia Adventure race in August which is a 350 mile 56k ft route across the top of Georgia in August.
    "...when I stand to climb I'm like the Hulk rowing the USS Badass up the Kickass River."
    -michaelscott

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ddeand View Post
    At 66 yrs old (and 2nd year rider), any ride I survive is "epic"!
    Good perspective check. My first century (at 19) seemed epic (because it was my first ride longer than 10 miles) and it would be challenging now, but when I was racing it was a training ride, no big deal.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  41. #41
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    It's kinda like the old Groucho Marx line where he said he'd never be a member of any club that would have him as a member. As an old guy still riding, I figure any ride I can complete can't be epic, so that means it has to be singletrack longer than 28 miles with 3,800 feet of climbing (my current max).

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba View Post
    A word that goes with dude. I would never call someone dude nor a ride epic.

    Last winter I spent six days skiing bottomless power off piste (backcountry) in the French Alps with constant avalanche danger and that wasn't epic. Extreme? Nah, not that either. Fun, yes.

    That's about it for me. A ride is either fun or it sucked but never epic.
    Epic response dude... I'm buying you a virtual Dos Equis, because you, sir, are the most interesting man in the world.
    The older I get the better I was...

  43. #43
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    When related to biking "epic" may have different connotations. A super long ride, just a really great ride, or perhaps a ride with numerous mishaps. In my memory, my most epic ride started out early one morning with a map, no info, and the idea of finding a 4000' vertical trail. After 45 miles of riding dirt roads, getting lost, and pushing my bike through the woods, I found the beginning of the trail. At this point, the sun was starting to set, so I needed to move fast. Only problem was, a forest fire a few years prior had pretty much wiped the trail out and it was overgrown with a brush called Whitethorn, which has thorns about the size and sharpness of sewing needles. As I rode and hike-a-biked down, the trail became worse and worse, till finally I lost the trail. I assumed the trail was below me, so I hiked downhill looking, but found nothing but more brush. I then decided to leave my bike in a drainage and go without it, hoping that I might find it again some day. As darkness approached, I knew I was going to have to spend the night and build a fire, as I always carry matches. Well almost always. As I dug through my pack, I couldn't find any f-ing matches! Why? because I'm a f-ing idiot! All I had was my shorts, lycra shirt, and a paper f-ing map for a blanket! I frantically pulled dry grass out of the ground to make a bed. After a while I realized this wasn't going to work. I needed to move, but didn't have a f-ing light! Why? Let's not get into that. By 11 pm the moon started coming out, so I decided to start hiking down through 12' tall brush, not really able to see the steep slope. I got into a drainage, I believe called Sh-- Creek, and figured I needed to go up to have any chance of finding the trail again. As I thrashed along I thought I saw a corridor in the brush. I followed slowly and yes, I think it was a trail! Gradually it became more distinct. By 3 am I made it to the car, legs raw, red and scratched, but what a relief! After the sun came up I put two pairs of pants on and climbed up the "trail" till I saw bike tracks, then backtracked and found the bike, now with a flat tire, but it didn't matter because I had to carry the bike anyway.

    Some of the riders where I live have a saying after every ride..."Best ride ever!"

  44. #44
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    My bike


  45. #45
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    ^ Sponsored Sock?

    If not, please tell us why...
    (i.e. It regularly takes me for long adventures where we get lost, shot at, run out of H20,
    entertain cannibalism & nearly die.)

    (tapa)
    Last edited by Flyin_W; 04-16-2014 at 10:20 AM. Reason: curiousity

  46. #46
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    Terms change.

    'Organic' still rubs me wrong. ALL food is organic!!!

    'Epic' is at its best though when coupled with 'Fail'

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slee_Stack View Post
    Terms change.

    'Organic' still rubs me wrong. ALL food is organic!!!

    'Epic' is at its best though when coupled with 'Fail'
    I think organic was reborn as a marketing ploy that is generally used in a deceptive manner. All food is organic and no "organic" food I'm aware of is unaltered by humans in some way. Don't confuse that for a condemnation of more natural foods, I'm all for doubling the price of food to reduce the pesticides and lower production rates. But we're gonna need a few volunteers to cease their existance to balance things out.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  48. #48
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    If Spielberg could make a movie about your ride that the general public would pay to go see, then the ride was epic. Otherwise it was just a ride.

  49. #49
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    Hanging out with a new friend, then stealing some trees and making a boat. Spurning the advances of a goddess and then killing a bull. Seeing your friend punished and becoming obsessed with immortality. Travelling to a mountain hermit only to lose the key to long life on the way home. Recognizing immortality in your actions, not your life and living happily.

    Plus going on really long mountain bike rides.

  50. #50
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    MTB Epic, I think you've got it covered BRG. A few years ago I rode "Comfortably Numb" at Whistler and thoroughly enjoyed it. Good times, Good memories, Good Stories. I've been back to Whistler several times but haven't been back to "Uncomfortable Bum"! The time we got lost in the North Cascades and had to hike out in the dark was pretty epic as well, though not as much fun.

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