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  1. #1
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    Sure ya can.

    I've been spending increasing amounts of time riding in bike parks the past two years. Simply put, I stink at getting airborne and being graceful while up there. And because I'd never seen anyone else get 'up there' gracefully on a big wheeled bike, I kinda sorta wondered if maybe being fluid in the air wasn't among the easiest things to do on a 29"er.

    Devin and Brandon disabused me of that line of thinking up at Winter Park a few days ago. Devin was light and fluid and smooth through all of the jump and drop lines in the park. Uncharacteristically smooth--he rides like he weighs 100lbs less than he does. Brandon sessioned the slopestyle park and, quite frankly, blew any preconceived notions that *I* had about airborne big wheels out of the water.
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mjx30ODNE7B4LcjDwdKdqKkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPZvxXDy3I/AAAAAAAAYSM/1QJm_kwT2ko/s800/IMG_4327.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rTOir5kmfQyTCC3LjGWuJ6kSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPZxLtMG9I/AAAAAAAAYSU/rkyBzUv-84A/s800/IMG_4328.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/y8AFTnVu7ciuXkxYmOEhm6kSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPZyd_6z6I/AAAAAAAAYSc/_44pbLKovEw/s800/IMG_4329.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Hxx-V-V212q961hkj9YNb6kSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPZzhWhKOI/AAAAAAAAYSk/YfMr2FLsejY/s800/IMG_4330.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/nB3jOmLrAzdo9y0Pv8a-C6kSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPZ1NMu-WI/AAAAAAAAYSs/DIkn2M9YJL4/s800/IMG_4331.JPG" /></a>

    See?

    Keee-<span style="font-style:italic;">rist</span>!

    Although Brandon had thrown umpteen no-handers throughout the day, it wasn't until I saw him execute the one above that I realized (with a shiver!) how wrong I'd been. Grace in the air is a simple function of rider experience and comfort, <span style="font-style:italic;">NOT</span> wheelsize.

    See?
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9KyURMNox3t1cT4nR_mrhqkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPbbkgO_9I/AAAAAAAAYS8/d4PbpagmEbU/s800/IMG_4386.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/MVFyI0q-aPvweCFZnIT5gakSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPcswqJh2I/AAAAAAAAYTM/40Bbv-QkqkA/s800/IMG_4424.JPG" /></a>

    Lower down:
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/pdab_9EG0jA2VaKb2x9PwqkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPdEl9lC3I/AAAAAAAAYTc/pLYlyM7jVbI/s800/IMG_4448.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_zScJtbFZ5CtjQlWZqKVaKkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPdF5-C6YI/AAAAAAAAYTk/tQDntD1piIM/s800/IMG_4449.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/251mAvACaq1A8Wel91XLcakSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPdHJBkfXI/AAAAAAAAYTs/LuyZIUkDWQI/s800/IMG_4450.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/dKUMS9sDpvmKVbnMs28JEKkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPdIZeB1zI/AAAAAAAAYT0/UP9Mag5l4ps/s800/IMG_4451.JPG" /></a>

    I guess I was just guilty of believing what I'd heard from so many industry 'wizards' and local bike shop owners through the years. Big wheels are too weak for DH, are too cumbersome in the air, only work for taller riders, blah de facking blah.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ceQJFctA5QRV5aTfUOCijakSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/THPdvDHlzbI/AAAAAAAAYT8/u1NSmbht2Zo/s800/IMG_4480.JPG" /></a>

    Skippy and I are counting down the days to an end-of-summer session at the <a href="https://www.whistlerbike.com/index.htm">biggest and baddest</a> bike park on the planet. Thanks to superstar riding by Devin and Brandon, I've got a new goal for the time I spend up there.

    A psick no-hander?

    Nope.

    Hucking it huge?

    Nah--I'll leave that in Skippy's capable hands.

    I gotta start smaller and work my way up. Whenever I find myself <span style="font-style:italic;">way up there</span> I just wanna be able to <span style="font-weight:bold;">keep my eyes open</span>...

    MC

  2. #2
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    Some folks just seem to be really comfortable in the air.... no matter the bike (I are not one of them). The PBJ doesn't seem to be holding Devin and Brandon back any.

    Very cool pics. You did crosspost in the DH/FR forum didn't you?

    Jealous about the Whistler trip. Have a great time. I may me back in operating shape by time you come back through if you want to ride. We've got a few new tricks to show you. Let me know.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I stink at getting airborne and being graceful while up there
    I relate.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    ......Grace in the air is a simple function of rider experience and comfort, NOT wheelsize.
    I agree.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  4. #4
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    I'm confused. 220# 250s doing double backflips. 230# 450s w heavy cranks doing whips at plus 90* rotation on two axis, but somehow a 3" bigger wheel is supposedly the reason some people don't appear "fluid" in the air? I wasn't even aware anyone thought that.

  5. #5
    SyT
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    "I guess I was just guilty of believing what I'd heard from so many industry 'wizards' and local bike shop owners through the years. Big wheels are too weak for DH, are too cumbersome in the air, only work for taller riders, blah de facking blah. "

    oops. This sheds some light. I missed the between pic comment.

  6. #6
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    Next time video and tunes por favor.
    Professional Amateur

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy
    Next time video and tunes por favor.
    Workin' on it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Some folks just seem to be really comfortable in the air.... no matter the bike (I are not one of them). The PBJ doesn't seem to be holding Devin and Brandon back any.

    Very cool pics. You did crosspost in the DH/FR forum didn't you?

    Jealous about the Whistler trip. Have a great time. I may me back in operating shape by time you come back through if you want to ride. We've got a few new tricks to show you. Let me know.
    Agreed that some are. I aren't one either. Like those bastiges that can wheelie one handed for blocks, or manual downhill and around corners while texting.

    I'll drop you a note if we're gonna be anywhere near your department. Sounds like you wadded it up? On the moto?

    MC

    P.S. Yeah, I took your hint and X-posted to DH/FR. A surprising amount of rational discussion has ensued. So far...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Like those bastiges that can wheelie one handed for blocks, or manual downhill and around corners while texting.
    Yeah. I knoooooow. What's up with that. I don't have the wheelie gene either.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Sounds like you wadded it up? On the moto?
    Nah. The Knolly. I did a stupid slo mo OTB on the little gap jump up the canyon where I took you last year. Was falling to the downhill side and just instinctively stuck my hands out to break my fall. They "broke" the fall ok. Shattered radial head on the left elbow. Surgery last week. Out for another four.


    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    P.S. Yeah, I took your hint and X-posted to DH/FR. A surprising amount of rational discussion has ensued. So far...
    It's alway tough posting stuff about the PBJ. Most of the 29er crowd has no interest in that type of riding and most of the DH/FR crowd has no interest in 29ers. One convert at a time, eh? One of coolest bikes I rode last year at I-bike.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  10. #10
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    doood... sweeet!!!
    damns KRob... don't know ya, but heal up quick.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Some folks just seem to be really comfortable in the air.... no matter the bike (I are not one of them).
    Me neither, but I came across this in reading about horses - they almost never fall down if left to their own devices, and if they do, they are always head-up. I think it partially explains why certain people can nearly always land on their wheels/feet, or at least they know when to bail.

    proprioception

    Sweet pix!

    -F

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I guess I was just guilty of believing what I'd heard from so many industry 'wizards' and local bike shop owners through the years. Big wheels are too weak for DH, are too cumbersome in the air, only work for taller riders, blah de facking blah.
    Goes to show that even experienced and respected industry people can get it wrong... big time.
    This is why I don't believe something unless it makes sense to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  13. #13
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    Awesome pics

  14. #14
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    I never worry about the flying portions, it's sticking the landing that's my downfall... That and poor runways to land on.

  15. #15
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    Sweet pics!! Is that Brandon's normal ride or just a trial? He must be a seasoned park rider.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada 29er
    Sweet pics!! Is that Brandon's normal ride or just a trial? He must be a seasoned park rider.
    I think that was his second day demoing it. Pretty sure that's the only size small PBJ in captivity. Also pretty sure he isn't planning to give it back--he was ripping...

  17. #17
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    Like a lightbulb went on over my head...

    My current obsession with long travel bikes has a mile-wide grin plastered on my face this week. Thanks to Devin Lenz, Brandon Schmitt, and Skippy Wixom for pushing me harder and faster than I'd previously gone before. Which, of course, means that now the bar has been raised, the comfort zone has ben enlarged, and next week will be harder and faster still.

    Awesome.

    All 4 of us were (are!) riding <a href="http://lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=15">LenzSport PBJ</a> 29" park bikes. Devin and Brandon are on <a href="http://www.manitoumtb.com/index.php?page=fork&fork=Dorado+Pro&discipline=all ">Manitou Dorado</a> 29 forks. Skippy and I are both on White Brothers <a href="http://whitebrotherscycling.com/forkspecs/groove200.html">Groove 200's</a>. All of us are riding wheels that I've laced using DT 440 hubs, Sun MTX 33 rims, butted DT spokes and Prolock alloy nipples. All four of us are riding the WTB Dissent treads in 29 x 2.5".

    Put simply, these bikes just flat rip. The best way to explain it is that they are built for the riding you don't know how to do *yet*, but are willing to learn.

    'nuff with the verbiage.

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/14538235?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;c olor=ff9933" width="900" height="506" frameborder="0"></iframe>

    If that doesn't make you wanna ride, you might wanna check for a pulse!

    Cheers,

    MC

  18. #18
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    great video Mike

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by brado1
    great video Mike
    most excellent

  20. #20
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    What're you guys running for wheels to be able to handle those tweaked landings?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermont29er
    What're you guys running for wheels to be able to handle those tweaked landings?
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    All of us are riding wheels that I've laced using DT 440 hubs, Sun MTX 33 rims, butted DT spokes and Prolock alloy nipples.
    Killer vid, mike!
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  22. #22
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    Ha! I was laughing out loud at you guy giggling in the video. No Quarter, Rainmaker, 2B are all so much fun!!!!

  23. #23
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    Beautiful shots and a timely post - need some beefier tires for South Mtn and the Dissents looks nice and Speedgoat has a sale thru the end of the day
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermont29er
    What're you guys running for wheels to be able to handle those tweaked landings?
    That's an excellent question. Got all night to hear the answer?!

    I've been experimenting with rims for this kind of application the last few years. Which means DH'ing under non-smooth guys (raises hand) that really, really want to learn go fast through chunk, but whom lack the requisite reaction speed to do so smoothly. Or whom want to get booted and lay the bike out flat, but as yet lack the skill to be able to get it all the way back before impact. We've killed pretty much every rim out there, some MUCH faster than others. Current record for speed-of-death is a Velocity P35--lasted less than one run before the sidewall cratered in on itself and would no longer hold a bead. Another P35 "lasted" a full day at Angel Fire, but more closely resembled a stop sign than anything round.

    Others that were tried and held promise, but didn't hold up so well long-term are Gordo's, Semi's, Flows, Rhyno Lite's, Edge AM's, and Halo Freedom Discs. Semi's were/are the most impressive of these--they are amazingly stout for their ~575g.

    To be 100% fair, if you're charging hard on an appropriate bike and weigh more than 150# you can plan to kill a rear rim pretty quick when DH'ing. Like once a season, maybe more. And it's a SHORT season! Beefier tires will help a little, but the fact is that regardless of wheelsize rear rims don't last long when DH'ing. Pro DH racers sometimes go through several rear rims *per weekend*, but that's a horse of a different flavor--they're not worried about preserving them, they just want to find the fastest line down the hill, period.

    Current record for lasting on and on in 29" are the Sun MTX 33's. I've put heaps of dents into mine and they aren't quite as true or round as they were when new, but the tension is still acceptable and the bead clinch is still clinching, so on we go.

    Enough for now...

    MC

  25. #25
    SSolo, on your left!
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    Wow, great vid! Wish I was that good at jumps.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

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    awesome!

  27. #27
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    Awesome video Mike! You're absolutely right, it's one of those that makes you want to ride. I'm glad my bike is on the roof of my car right now for some fun after work. Unfortunately, my ride will look nothing like the video! But I'll be riding my bike in the woods and having fun, so I'm happy.

    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Mark

  28. #28
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    What happened with the Edge rims? That is one expensive experiment.

    Devin going to be at Outdoor demo again this year?

  29. #29
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    =mikesee
    All 4 of us were (are!) riding <a href="http://lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=15">LenzSport PBJ</a> 29" park bikes.


    MC

    Finally, someone that "gets it". Lenz PBJ's are Amusement Park Bikes for E ticket rides that are lift assisted.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by eMcK
    What happened with the Edge rims? That is one expensive experiment.
    About what you'd expect. The rock won.

    Quote Originally Posted by eMcK
    Devin going to be at Outdoor demo again this year?
    Not that I know of--but you'd maybe better ask him.

    MC

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    Lenz PBJ's are Amusement Park Bikes for E ticket rides
    Absolutely. Braaap!

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    that are lift assisted.
    Not exclusively. I have (and will continue to) used mine for all-day chunk epics. Planning to lap Teton Pass several times on Monday. Braaap!

    MC

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  33. #33
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    Up on Teton Pass...

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/14832945?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;c olor=ff9933" width="900" height="506" frameborder="0"></iframe>

  34. #34
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    sweet

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    I want to go to there. Looks like a good time.

  36. #36
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    Ya'll rockin' flat pedals or spd's?

    P.S. Nice videos.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7HVN
    Ya'll rockin' flat pedals or spd's?

    P.S. Nice videos.
    We're clipitudinally challenged. Both on mallets.

  38. #38
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    Skippy in the WBP.

    Trails shown are Fade to Black and Dirt Merchant.
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Gh9ueXSKzQWIlb-vblpgkqkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/TIsDVEz4LZI/AAAAAAAAYkY/zTd_PO_IG5s/s800/IMG_6329.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/oouBQnbnQGtMIK3b1ZWFgKkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/TIsDBy5HLoI/AAAAAAAAYkE/WTwArHhiUA4/s800/IMG_6344.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Nni8wmeaH0pQo5gVhHWt-qkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/TIxr--T4e2I/AAAAAAAAYmk/ly3negsu8Go/s800/IMG_6281.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/t-9VlIfaKTeYD9p3WDHQbakSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/TIxsGee5oII/AAAAAAAAYms/_Dl9BwyJK6M/s800/IMG_6300.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Kmg1KUkEz_-pniiw08L4LKkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/TIxsO5BtF5I/AAAAAAAAYm0/0pDznkR997M/s800/IMG_6309.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0cX3qe3w8TdM8wxlfd4EYqkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/TIsEBNmFj4I/AAAAAAAAYko/RQOSceME_DM/s800/IMG_6368.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ma3maC-Op7Pfb510hb-GjqkSPGazL-W3ZE7WSvxtBaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_Z3iU73Uw_T8/TIsLDNlM83I/AAAAAAAAYlY/gdY2zg4Jxhw/s800/IMG_6327.JPG" /></a>

  39. #39
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    It occurred to me that I never brought this thread full circle.

    Here are three vids from the BC trip last fall, each ~completing this discussion in it's own way.

    Fade to Black:
    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/14902364?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;c olor=969696" width="580" height="326" frameborder="0"></iframe>

    Dirt Merchant to A-Line to biker-x course:
    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15338311?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;c olor=969696" width="580" height="326" frameborder="0"></iframe>

    All over the hill:
    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15408998?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;c olor=969696" width="580" height="326" frameborder="0"></iframe>

    Yeah?

    Heck yeah.

    MC

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