Thursday, September 29, 2016

AMB 26: Sean Johnson Talks About His Broken Femur, Teaching Kids to Bike, and MoCo Epic

Released: Sep 30, 2016

Sean Johnson, owner of 304 Biking, talks candidly about his recent accident, which resulted in a broken femur. He's also the MORE trail liason for Seneca Greenway and the co-liason for the South Germantown Bike Park. 304 Biking specializes in teaching kids to bike, and Sean shares his tips to help parents and others get their kid off to a good start. We also talk about the newly rebuilt flow trail in MoCo, the 10 Mile Creek Trail. He also breaks down his recent accident where he broke his femur, and agrees with me on flat pedals and bike geometry.  :)

304 Biking

Monday, September 26, 2016

AMB 24: Huge Fantastic Tips for Riding Flat Pedals on your Mountainbike

You've heard my rants on flat pedals, and today I break down the techniques you'll need to start riding them as you add this new skill.  I also pimp some upcoming interviews and spray praise on Harlan Price's skills.  I recommend Five Ten FreeRider Contacts for a flat pedal shoe. Expensive but the stiff midsole and quality construction are fantastic.

Released: Sep 28, 2016

AMB 23: Rob Raker Talks About His Adventures with Erik Weihenmayer, Prostate Cancer, and an Adventurous Life

Released: Sep 26, 2016

A touching interview with my friend Rob Raker about his adventures with blind climber Erik Weihenmayer, birding, biking, and prostate cancer.

Erik Weihenmayer's web site
Prostate Cancer fact sheet
Rob Raker's photo site

Friday, September 23, 2016

AMB 22: Introduction to Training Phases and a Rant on Autozone

Released: Sep 24, 2016

Here's another remote podcast from Cape May New Jersey, where I'm still hanging out with my friend Rob Raker and even managed to ride my bike.  Today I introduce the phases of training you might use in a systematic, periodized approach to training. I also share a bad experience I had trying to buy some stuff at an autoparts store and talk about a cool new hitch rack that swings out of the way, from Rock Mounts.

Rocky Mounts Bike Racks

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

AMB 21: How To Find Your Max Heart Rate, Intro to Training Cycles

Released: Sep 22, 2016

Today I'm broadcasting from Cape May NJ, where we are preparing to shoot photos of North America's largest migration of hawks, falcons, and other birds as they move south.  I cover how to find your maximum heart rate, why it may be important, and then do a bit of intro to periodized training cycles. I also rant about the militarization of police and their intimidating vehicles.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

AMB 20: Rob Raker Visits, A Tale of Two Bikes, Rant on Exercise Bikes

Released: Sep 21, 2016
My old friend Rob Raker visits the studio. Rob is a retired documentary filmaker, wildlife photographer, and environmental scientist.  He listens to me rant about exercise bike design, bad tube patch kits, and we compare our experience trading bikes on the Bear Creek Trail in Morrison Colorado.

Rob Raker's Website--Killer Wildlife photography

Five Reasons to Learn Basic Bike Maintanence

Working on modern mountain bikes may seem intimidating, but it is probably easier than you imagine and has many benefits!

1.  You will save money! Bike shops charge for labor and parts (sometimes with a markup) and it isn't cheap.

2.  You'll become self sufficient. In a world where we outsource so much, having intimate knowledge of your bike and it's quirks can save you if you break down on the trail and can fix or work around a mechanical problem.

3. It's easier than you think.  Even if you aren't mechanically inclined, bikes are relatively simple machines and numerous resources exist online to help you learn.  Start with small projects, like learning to change your disc brake pads or fix a broken chain.  Many bike shops put on classes on basic bike maintenance.

4. It will save  you time.  In the spring, when you need it most, that bike shop's repair schedule fills fast and you may not get your bike back in time for your first ride in good weather.  Just got some new tubeless-ready tires? You'll be able to get them on your wheels and ride on your own schedule.

5. You'll impress your friends and earn beer:  "Oh, your derailleur needs adjusting? No problem".

I added a chain retention device last year.  Ended up removing it but it was a great experience.

Monday, September 19, 2016

AngryMountainBiker Show AMB 19: Heart Rate Zones, a Mae Culpa, Recovery Zone and Zone One

Released: Sep 19, 2016
Today I correct a mistake I made in talking about heart rate zone training.  As part of a series starting with this episode I'm talking about training, today I talked about Zone 1 and it's importance, as well as recovery rides.
My main resource for training comes from a climbing training book, because I believe the cardio loads, and full body fitness requirements are very similar to high performance alpine rock and ice climbing: Long days where endurance and strength are tested in critical situations.  Here's the book:
Training for the New Alpinism

Friday, September 16, 2016

AMB 18: Mark Zaragoza Visits to Talk Strength Training, Crossfit, and Skills Building

Released: Sep 16, 2016

Local fast rider and strength training instructor Mark Zaragoza visited the studio to talk about Crossfit and weight training and why it is important for mountain biking.  Mark was a certified Crossfit instructor for five years and experienced endurance athlete, as well as a Shenandoah Mountain 100 finisher and ambassador for Bike Pro Shop in Alexandria.  Enjoy!

Bicycle Pro Shop in Alexandria
Bike James website

AMB 17: What Makes an Adventure, and How to Ruin a Milkshake

A few life rants on Verizon, bad milkshakes, plastic beer mugs, then I break down a New York Times Travel article by John O'Connor.  They had a fascinating adventure; and while they were, perhaps, a bit underprepared and underskilled, at some level, aren't we all?

New York Times article on Maah Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota Maah Daah Hey Trail Description

Thursday, September 15, 2016

AMB 16: Bike Shop Snobbery, and Why You Need to Learn Some Bike Mechanics

Released: Sep 15, 2016

I break down what can go wrong at a bike shop, and why learning to do your own maintenance is important.

Trailwerks Cyclery
Bike Lane bike shop

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

AMB 14: MTB Jumps in Alexandria and Dropper Post Knowledge Dump

Released: Sep 13, 2016

Today I steal credit for breaking news about the Mt. Vernon Trail jump line (yes, you have a new jump line in Alexandria, VA!), I run down some of the fantastic fall events coming up, then I break down dropper posts: What to look for, why you need one, and the surprising way you may use it going uphill.

Tips for Being Photographed by a Mountain Bike Photographer

I've taken a lot of mountain bike photos the past few years, and it occurs to me this might be useful when you're out on the singletrack. 

 1. Get colorful! Please wear a jersey color besides black or white. Both are boring and hard to expose perfectly.  Black disappears in the shadows of the forest canopy and white is just boring.  Blue, green, orange, red, purple, pink all pop and give some excitement. Cool socks help.  Bright gloves can make a mediocre shot into a keeper--your hands are almost always prominent so go throw out your black gloves. Now.

2. Avoid posing.  Don't smile for the camera or look directly at the lens. There are exceptions but we want your intensity, not your "Hi, Mom!" face.  And for god's sake, keep your tongue in your mouth.

3. Ride the way you normally ride. Stay within yourself and stick to your plan. I've now seen multiple crashes as people tried to jump, wheelie, or show off as they saw me about to shoot.  It's up to the photographer to make the photo dramatic, and you shouldn't be crashing.  Focus on what you are doing, let us worry about making  you look like you know what you're doing.

4. Support your local photographers by buying a digital download or print from their website.  This encourages us to come out to take more pictures.  Photographers are usually not making a lot of money on races, it is typically a sideline to more profitable photo gigs.  We do it because we love capturing the action, and we love mountain biking!  Guys like Bruce Buckley, Steve Barker, Joe Foley and of course, yours truly, Will Niccolls, are doing a great job promoting the community and trails we love.

AngryMountainBiker 13: Checking Your Ego and Tips for Leading Group Rides

Released: Sep 12, 2016

Today I actually talked for the entire 30 minutes about mountain biking! My take on ego in a riding, some suggestions for leading group rides, and announcements of upcoming guests!  And a pitch for Ascend Athletics as a tribute to 9/11

AngryMountainBiker 12: You've Got No Skills

Released: Sep 9, 2016

In this episode I rant about trashy fast food restaurants and how some of the fastest cyclists at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 need to take a skills class.  Enjoy!

AngryMountainBiker 11: Don't Miss! Climber Naz Ahmed Visits

Released: Sep 9, 2016
In a very special episode, today I take a small but important departure from rants and biking, and I talked with my friend Naz Ahmed, who has been working to empower Afghan girls, through mountaineering, leadership, and team building to give back to their communities.  She'll be going back this fall for another expedition to this beautiful and tragic country.  Support this amazing effort through a tax deductible donation and learn more at the Afghan Ascend website.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

AMB 9: Repost, Martin Fernandez Interview!

AngryMountainbiker Podcast: MTB Guidebook Author Martin Fernandez Visits!

We talk about some great but little known rides in Virginia, where to go on a day trip from DC for mountain biking, and his old friend, the late Scott Scudamore.