Stoked Is the New Suffering

Personally, romanticism of intense physical exertion hasn’t been my thing. Probably because as fitness found me like a dog finds the wheel of a moving car, the ability to document rides took precedent over turning myself inside out climbing.

In short, the main motivation for getting fit was being able to ride, shoot photos and not be dying the whole time.

Presenting cycling as something that is excruciating alienates a large potential of thrill seekers, at least according to my opinion – ATMO. Instead, going up that tough climb and stopping along the way to capture a switchback, or redirecting the group back to a technical section for a photo, always lends itself to a more engaging riding experience.

People often ask if it’s possible to get a real ride in while documenting the whole time. The answer is yes, your definition of ride just needs to change.

Introduction aside, there are a lot of people I know who, at least at some capacity, live by this loose mantra of riding. Most of them are really, really, really fucking good at bikes, but even better at fucking around. These dudes live, breathe and eat cycling. Cycling, and tacos.

Yesterday, Sean from Team Dream, Ty from Golden Saddle and myself headed up Brown to El Prieto for a quick and easy MTB ride. We’re all strong in our own ways. Sean can sprint up a fire road and look scared on descents like none other. Ty is a gravity bully on descents, but will always stop to hit a line that no one else sees.

Myself, I’m an ok climber, equally as ok descending and decent at shooting photos. My crowning achievement yesterday, however, was my #RubberSideUp. Party on dudes.

  • barry mcwilliams

    For my part, it’s not that I romanticize the suffering so much as that I suffer every time I try to keep up with buddies, and love it! Granted, we’re also pretty good about finding the coffeeshops & photo ops, so “suffering” is pretty damned relative.

    Having said all that, I do have a suffering quote painted on my top tube to remind myself to push through :)

    Welcome back to LA!

  • bongofruit

    Dude. Picture number 24 gives me chills. That is the one that gives me the urge to hop on the saddle and push it. (Push it real good)

  • is this a regular tallboy with a 140mm pike?

    • Yeah, it’s quite strange… It was used previously in Downieville for the XC and trail / DH stuff. Kind of a Swiss Army knife of a bike. Interesting, but I’d prefer it with a 120mm travel fork. It’s just a loaner…

      • That’s why I’m asking. I ride it with 120mm and 140mm would probably destroy my knees with that seatangle (;
        Great photo set John!

  • tony365

    Thats funny I just got back from Brown mountain, great photos as always

  • alexroseinnes
  • hans

    well done!

  • alexroseinnes

    Great stack of pics, BTW, awesome.

  • kyle von Hoetzendorff

    I don’t ride because I want my legs to hurt.

    • We ride because, tacos.

      • Ruschhaupt

        I like tacos.

  • Jonathan Neve

    Reminds me of Alex’s post from a few weeks ago! Great thoughts. /yes-enthusiasm-is-the-new-suffering-8aab78d11fef

    • Nice! Missed that one.

      • alexroseinnes

        Got my inspiration chiefly from this site.

        • kudos!

          • alexroseinnes

            Hoping to be at the Tour of Cali next year. Can’t wait to ride in LA and beyond.

  • In love with this photoset. I need to ride LA trails

  • Richard Dreyer

    My last road ride involved rope swings, walking into the ocean, picking up beach glass and sea shells, some dirt trails, photos, and climbing a ladder down into a bunker. 30-some miles in 5-ish hours I think.

  • …And this is in Austin?

  • JoshHayes

    Ripping stuff here John. Ripping stuff. I do enjoy seeing the BMX come out of Ty on these types of adventures.

  • Cody

    I ride this trail all the time, and I didnt even think that rock ride Ty does at the end was even possible. Dude must have been hauling!

  • Davey Struthers

    really nice photos! warm and bright

  • Jake Kruse

    used to do a lot of riding with folks who were all about glorifying the suffering aspect and i began to find myself thinking that way as well. i’ve moved on from those people and now do lots of stuff i love besides cycling and enjoy the time i do spend riding much more.

  • Andy Higginson

    Cycling and tacos and beer, you forgot beer.

  • Trail Bound co

    Out of the two, getting stoked is always top of mind for the years to come.