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little kids who use thier bikes like pogo sticks, with pegs
coming out of the front axle. Should be confined to the Circus
or other freak show reviews.
space between the tires and the ground. (Both tires must be off
the ground or it isn't "air".) Said to be caught or gotten. See
your child, or children (anchors) that keep(s) you from riding.
"Wait till you anchors grow up, you'll have road rash for breakfast
and prunes for dinner!" To be used as an endearing, not demeaning,
frequently-misspelled abbreviation for "anodized". See purple.
All-Terrain Bike or Biking. A synonym
to involuntarily take samples of the local geology, usually with
one's face, during a crash. See face plant.
roundish rocks which tend to be found in a loose jumble on hairpin
corners or other dificult-to-negotiate sections of trail. Similar
to death cookies, but bigger.
scabs on a rider's knees, elbows, or other body parts.
one who always agrees to ride, party, gather, etc. but
rarely shows. bag v. to fail to show. "Tom swore
he'd be there but he bagged."
to jump off in order to avoid an imminent crash.
that short time during almost every ride when you start to fall,
lose your balance without reason, or seem to be unable to clean
even the simplest obstacle.
low hanging branches, the kind that smear the guts of that banana
you put in the pouch on the back of your camelback when you don't
duck low enough.
1) v. to slip off a pedal, causing it to slam one in the
shin, when one gets kracked with a pedal. 2) n. the toothlike
scars resulting from being beartrapped.
any female rider.
a crash. Synonyms: wipeout. v. "I biffed and then wiped away the blood."
a now-discredited Shimano techno-fad where the chainrings were made intentionally
not circular -- instead, they were elliptical, in order to (allegedly)
smooth the power delivery, by giving the rider an effectively
lower gear for part of the spin cycle. Now used to describe any
uneven pedaling motion. Also used as a synonym for pogo-ing.
a bike with full (front and rear) suspension. Might possibly be
considered offensive by certain owners of said bikes.
same as bonk.
a woman with breast implants. Derived from the term for after-market
bicycle parts that are literally bolted on.
to ride with wild disreagard to personal safety.
the earliest mountain bikes, converted from cruiser roadbikes
to race down mountains.
to run out of energy or grow exhausted on a ride. "I bonked so
early it was embarrassing."
to expel pre-ride stomach fillers due to extreme physical exertion.
"That climb was hairy, I think Brian had to boot back there."
the rubber strip placed inside the rim to protect the tube from
a biking computer, usually featuring an odometer, speedometer,
clock, and other "important" display modes.
a helmet featuring more vents than protective surface.
a rider that will only buy high-end parts/gear with name recognition.
Wouldn't be caught dead using LX level parts or wearing a pair
of Nashbar shorts.
home a Christmas tree v.
to ride (or crash) through dense bushes, so leaves and branches
are hanging from your bike and helmet. See prune.
acronym for "Bike Store Guy".
1) same as betty, but used to emphasize the
female rider's body; could be considerd insulting to some. 2)
female novice rider.
bunny hop v.
to lift both wheels off the ground by crouching down and then
exploding upward, pulling the bike with you. Useful for clearing
obstructions, such as curbs, potholes, logs. Differs from its
older BMX & trials meaning -- see jump.
a rim braking surface that's bent inward towards the tube, forming
a section that looks rolled like a burrito.
euphoric feeling. Commonly used after a particularly hard passage
is successfully completed. "I got such a buzz after that uphill
carve v. (from skiing)
to ride with great speed around the corners of a twisting fire
to "go down with the ship". Usually the result of a novice spud-user
failing to clip out in time.
to be too tired to ride any farther; bonked.
chainring tattoo n.
the dotted-line scar you get from gouging your shin on the chainring.
See rookie mark.
condition when the bike chain gets jammed between the frame and
the chain rings, or when the chainring is so worn that it holds
onto the chain and lifts it up to meet the incoming part of the
extravagant parts used to dress up a bicycle to make it more impressive
toe cuffs n.
see toe clips.
to negotiate a trail successfully without crashing or dabbing.
"I cleaned that last section."
one who desires to remain clean; a wimp who will not have fun,
stays on the clean trails.
misleading name for a pedal-and-shoe system where the clips or
cleats clip onto the soles of special shoes. Called "clipless"
because they replaced toe clips.
out (or, sometimes, click out) v.
to disengage one's spuds.
slamming into the ground, resulting in a ringing head, or a delay
in the action. Term used in biking, skiing, and snow boarding.
the act of catching an upper body part (e.g. the neck)
on a low piece of vegetation, resulting in separation of the rider
from the bike.
cob clearer n.
the lead rider who has to clear out all the spider webs for following
riders. May experience wang chung while trying to get the spiders off his face.
Similar to spider patrol.
one who allows his bike to fall in disrepair, and whose bike invariably
fails him at some point in every ride. These people don't know
why their bike always breaks, and often would rather buy new parts
than keep their bike in good condition.
the little plastic or rubber thing that protects your tube's valve
stem from rim damage.
to become covered in silt, usually after a fall.
how one's head feels after augering. "When my lid nailed that rock,
I had a definite feeling of cranial disharmony."
sudden impact between a male rider's private parts and something
very hard and pointy, such as a handlebar stem or seat.
expensive erasure of low-hanging, shiny parts of the bike on a
curb or rock.
to place the front wheel up on a curb and allow the rear tire
to scrape along the curb, usually resulting in a loud tearing
the parts used to upgrade/dress-up a mountain bike". See also
to put a foot down in order to catch your balance on a difficult
section of trail. "I made it without crashing, but I had to dab
death cookies n.
fist-sized rocks that knock your bike in every direction but the
one you want to proceed in.
death march n.
a ride that turns into an investigation of your endurance limit.
"The bridge was out, and I had to go all the way back the way
I came. So the morning's nice, easy ride turned into a Bataan
when a bike is set up nicely and everything works just right.
a face plant. "Look at that guy on that gnarly single track...
he's going to go over the bars and do a digger."
an off-road motorcycle. Usually louder than MTBs.
any part with lots of holes drilled in it to make it lighter.
a full-suspension bicycle.
a dirt road used by four-wheeled vehicles rarely enough that their
tires have made ruts that became parallel singletracks. Also called
doubletrack. See singletrack.
the maneuver of flying unexpectedly over the handlebars, thus
being forcibly ejected from the bike. Short for "end over end".
"I hit that rock and went endo like nobody's business." See "superman".
In BMX riding, "endo" used to be a synonym for front
a food break at the edge of a cliff.
a ride that must last for at least six hours and include at least
three mechanicals that add at least an extra hour to the ride
time. Epics are usually started with a statement like "the trail
is buff, should only take three hours." Similar to death march.
face plant n.
hitting the ground face first. "Joe hit a tree root and did a
spectacular face plant." Synonyms: auger, digger, soil sample, spring planting.
an expression exclusively used non-chalantly by others to describe
a death march, in hopes others will
try it, fail, and revere them as bike gods.
credit to the first rider in a group who crashes and starts bleeding
as a result.
when you endo into a clothesline.
foot fault n.
when a rider can't disengage his cleats from the pedals before
falling over. See horizontal track stand.
1) a person who spends a lot of money on his bike and clothing,
but still can't ride. "What a fred -- too much Lycra and titanium
and not enough skill." Synonym for poser. Occasionally called a "barney". 2) (from road riding)
a person who has a mishmash of old gear, does't care at all about
technology or fashion, didn't race or follow racing, etc. Often
identified by chainring marks on white calf socks. Used by "serious"
roadies to disparage utility cyclists and touring riders, especially
after these totally unfashionable "freds" drop the "serious" roadies
on hills because the "serious" guys were really posers. According
to popular myth, "Fred" was a well-known grumpy old touring rider,
who really was named Fred.
front wheelie n.
what endo used to mean in BMX: a trick where
the rider applies the front brake and lifts the back wheel off
the ground; this is the basis for many BMX tricks. Most riders
cannot pedal effectively while doing a front wheelie. Also called
a "nose wheelie" or "stoppie."
FS or F/S adj.
an ambiguous term, can mean Front Suspension or Full Suspension.
Not used by anyone who wishes to be understood.
gear masher n.
someone who always rides in too high a gear, stomping on the pedals.
all the colorful parts and pieces that you can add or change out
on a bike.
treacherous, extreme. "That vertical drop was sheer gonzo."
extreme technical sections. Characterized by very rough, rooty,
slippery, or rocky sections. Commonly found in the Pacific Northwest
and New England. "He has got some great bike handling skills and
can really scream through the gnarl."
granny gear n.
the lowest gear available on a bike, which only a grandmother
would need to use; designed for steep uphill climbing, but extremely
easy to pedal in on flat ground.
gravity check n.
a long uphill climb.
"All that dried mud and sand left me with a loud case of the grindies
in my drivetrain."
a very difficult climb, requiring use of the granny
a bicycling commuter.
a trail so narrow and/or overgrown that you'd hesitate even to
call it singletrack.
the condition of skin, post auger, when geological contact was made with sharp rocks such
as on a shale skree slope.
to ride fast and hard. n. someone who hammers.
any bike with front suspension but no rear suspension. Contrast
with rigid and F/S.
an obstacle (e.g. a log or boulder) placed in trail by
biker-hostile trail users.
Hateful Old Hikers Association. "HOHA
members hate mountain bicyclists with a fervor exceeding that
of rabid wolverines."
to vomit due to cycling exertion.
horizontal track stand n.
a foot fault that happens at a stop
International Mountain Biking Association. An organization for
all the junk on a bike that impeeds performance and looks
involuntary dismount n.
to accelerate quickly; to go very fast.
when a riders face gets covered with spots of mud, making him
look like "John Boy" on the Waltons. "I hit that mudhole and got
John boy'ed big time."
acronym for "Just Riding Along," a phrase
universally uttered by people bringing both halves of their frame
and the remains of their fork in for warrantee replacement.
jump n. or v.
where we now say bunny hop, BMXers used to say "jump".
an injury to the shin received while doing trials, a kack can
be the result of any injury receive during technical riding.
a bunny hop in which the rider pushes
the back tire to one side.
acronym for Local Bike Shop.
the desirable path or strategy to take on a tricky trail section.
male blindness n.
when a male rider watches a beautiful female ride over rough terrain
and stares intensely at all the jiggling parts, making him too
dizzy to see straight when it's his turn to ride the same terrain.
how one's jaw feels when it and the handle bars attempt to occupy
the same space and time. "Fuck!" "Pray, whats wrong?" "I've got
hole covered with autumn leaves, resembling solid earth and effective
at eating the front wheel of the unsuspecting rider.
(muh RINN') the county in Northern California where MTBing is
said to have been invented. Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
see organ donor.
momentum. "If you don't get in gear at the bottom of that hill,
you'll lose your mo."
charm or icon worn by a biker or attached to the bike.
magazine writer speak for a full-suspension bike.
the activity of MounTain Biking. Or a mountain
bike itself. v. "MTBing". See ATB, OHV,
what happens when a bike slows abruptly in mud, throwing the rider
into wet goo.
1) a shower after a ride on a muddy trail. 2) the act of becoming
nard guard n.
used to prevent wang chung.
the nut at the end of a spoke that nobody knows the real
the state of being in absolute control and totally in tune with
your bike, the trail, and your physical strength. "I was just
doing it all so smoothly and delicately and quickly, it was nirvana!"
Synonym for The Zone.
n. National Off-Road Bicycling
They organize most of the larger races.
the crusties you pick from your nose after a ride in a dusty environ.
see front wheelie.
OHV, ORV n.
Acronyms for Off-Highway Vehicle and Off-Road
Vehicle. These have motors and are not bicycles.
someone who rides without a helmet. Also called a "metal head".
blood donor n.
a rider who is injured while doing an endo.
panic skid v.
to try with all one's will and strength to prevent an impending
stack by attempting to implant one's heels as deeply as possible
in the ground. Usually a dumb idea.
Bike Store Guy who is always trying to sell stuff on the trail.
"Blow off, pimp. If I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
the noble art of being able to identify tires from the tracks
they leave on the ground.
Potential Organ Donor..
to bounce on a full-suspension bike like a pogo stick. Also, for
a full-suspension bike to bounce annoyingly and uncontrollably.
n. Piece Of Shit.
The antithesis to real bicycles, typified by Huffy, Murray, and
any of a number of other bicycles that are poorly designed, manufactured,
derogatory term for people with $7,000 bikes that never see an
actual trail. Usually found near a trail head and never dirty.
Seinfeld may be an example. Synonym for fred.
potato chip n.
a wheel that has been bent badly, but not taco'd.
a two-wheel sideways slide, with the foot opposite the direction
of travel kept on the ground.
to hit the ground hard, usually bending or breaking something.
to use one's bike or helmet to remove leaves and branches from
the surrounding flora. Usually unintentional.
purple ano adj.
anodized aluminum in purple. Some riders need to obtain as much
of this as possible. It comes in other colors, but they are of
no consequence here.
1) a novice's pedaling motion, consisting of alternately pushing
each foot down, instead of spinning. 2) a Shimano techno-fad shifting system.
Return Authorization number. A number a vendor gives
you to return the "defective" part you broke while JRA.
to wreck in such a way that one's person is tossed like a flimsy
scrap of cloth. "Did you see me rag dolly back there? I think
I pierced my ear on a tree branch."
hikers who always block the best singletracks, so named because
they're always wearing those funny red socks. Also known as HOHAs.
a rider who prefers an old bike with old components and isn't
fond of new, high-tech equipment.
going down a hill so steep that your butt touches the rear wheel.
a parting phrase used by riders with out much else to say.
a bike with no suspension.
a rider who prefers riding on paved surfaces.
contact dermatitis; an allergic reaction of skin to moving asphalt.
removing rocks, dirt, gravel from one's person after a yard
sale. "Some betty stopped by and performed a rock ectomy on my knee after
the wreck, I think she digs my scene." rocket fuel n.
the mandatory pre-ride coffee.
an unintentionally performed hardness test rendered by a trial
side object on your anatomy or possesions. Requires the use of
a number to rate the event. "I 50 Rockwelled on that last buster."
"No way, dude, it was at least a 60!"
rookie mark n.
chain grease on a rider's pant leg. "Give that guy extra points
for his rookie mark. It's even on the wrong leg!" See chainring
to go fast or accelerate quickly. Or, to stop suddenly.
the act of reaching a trail head and not riding. What is done
when one really can't stand the thought of starting a ride. Talking.
free stuff. "Hey, they're handing out scwag over at the Rock Shox
1) n. a real biker's dream ride. 2) n. a long, straight,
and deceptively steep hill. 3) v. to bomb so fast one can't pedal fast enough to make a difference.
trail just wide enough for one person or bike -- the MTBer's holy
grail. Contrast with dual-track.
the mark that your large chainring makes in your calf or other
exposed body part when you fall.
that section of trail that nobody ever expects or remembers that
always appears too suddenly when riding too fast. Usually switchbacks.
Named after all the skid tracks left there from previous riders.
to jump extremely high. To get big air.
a double puncture of an inner tube, caused by hitting an obstacle
too hard or by under-inflation of tires.
an object hidden by snow on the trail. "Be careful of the snowmines
-- you know, rocks, logs, hibernating bears..."
soil sample n.
a face plant.
spider patrol n.
lead rider, or first rider to run into a mongo banana spider.
Similar to cob clearer.
to obtain a chainring tattoo on the back of the calf, usually
the result of a newbie trying to dab or panic skid at high speeds.
smooth pedal motion. Opposite of push-push.
spring planting n.
a face plant.
crashing as a result of not being able to unclip from spuds
in time to avert disaster.
"SPD" (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) clipless pedals.
crash. v. crash.
your bike, the reason for your existence.
euphoric feeling of enlightenment, caused by adrenaline rushing
to the brain during a gonzo clean. stoned adj. describes a rider after a crash
which imbeds stones into the rider's skin.
see front wheelie.
a rider who flies over the handlebars and doesn't hit the ground
for a long time. This may result in injury, but when it doesn't,
it's really funny for everyone else.
the stuff that manufacturers and vendors donate to be given away
at bike related events. When you race, go to bike shows, help
put on events, write bike articles, you are often rewarded with
swag. Sometimes called "schwag".
a jump in which the rider throws the bike sideways in mid-air.
Less commonly, a jump made over a hill that reaches a plateau
and goes back down.
to bend a wheel over on itself, in the shape of a taco. "I taco'd
my wheel, and it cost me a hundred bucks." Worse than a potato
when a whole group of riders stops and chats, and nobody seems
to want to ride on.
a section of trail that is difficult to ride because of rocks,
tree roots, steep drops.
a screwy or unique technology that a dominant company tries to
foist upon the innocent cycling public. Past techno-fads include
Biopace chainrings, and overly complex "thumb-thumb" or "push-push"
a rider who knows more about the newest MTB parts and techno-fads
than about the trails. Someone who buys lots of gadgets to add
supposed iotas of performance to the bike. Greeting a friend whom
we haven't seen in a year, I might say "Hi, Marta!" A techno-weenie
might say "Oooh, you got White Industries hubs on that bike now?"
1) v. to cause severe ecological damage to a trail, usually
during the wet season. 2) adj. a damaged trail "That trail's
really thrashed after last winter."
a ride that looks like a piece of cake at the outset but turns
out to be a death march. Derived from
the theme song to "Gilligan's Island."
Some riders would replace their watches, rings, glasses frames,
and gold tooth-fillings with titanium if they could afford to.
toe clips n.
a clip-and-strap system that connects a rider's feet and toes
to her pedals. Toe clips usually don't require special shoes.
one of those damn little rocks protruding out of the trail which
you don't notice because you are having a heart-attack climbing
to balance on your front wheel while turning your back wheel 90-180
degrees in either direction.
stand n. (from road-cycling)
a maneuver where the rider stops the bike and attempts to remain
the involuntary release of last night's dinner by the way it came
in, usually with the assistance of too many adult beverages and
accompanied by a long grinder.
equipment or accessories dropped by other bikers and found on
when a bike has the latest and hottest components.
a jump during which the rider twists the handlebars back and forth
in mid-air, the more times the better. v. 1) to slightly
injure a part of the body or the bike in a crash. "I tweaked my
wrist when I fell." 2) to make a minor adjustment. "My brake pads
were rubbing but I tweaked the cable and it went away."
describing a bike or accessory made from expensive, high-tech
material. A play on "unobtainable" and "titanium." n. a
piece (of god knows what) that has come off from the inside of
something else and rattles around, impossible to retrieve to stop
the rattling. E.g. a piece of weld comes off of the inside
of a bike frame.
vegetable tunnel n.
a singletrack that is heavily overgrown with foliage, so a rider
must duck and bend to get through it.
1) to empty the contents of one's bladder. "Where were you, man?
We waited for at least two minutes." "Sorry, dude, I had to void,
my back teeth were floating." 2) a deep chasm that you have to
clear or you will die.
VTT n. Velo Tout-Terrain,
the French term for mountain biking. Velo = bike, Tout
= all, and don't even ask me about terrain. :-)
spectators who line up at dangerous obstacles in hopes of seeing
wang chung n.
what you might get when your stem has no nard
guard. See crotch-testing.
small, regular undulations of the soil surface that make for a
very rough ride.
to have the front tire lose traction, especially while going around
a MTB owner (not even necessarily a rider) who is more concerned
with how many milligrams a certain component saves off the bike's
total weight than with how to be a better rider.
lifting the front wheel off the ground, usually with some combination
of pulling on the handlebars, pedaling harder, and balance.
a combo of a wheelie and a jump, used to negotiate a large drop
with little speed due to a limited run-out.
a series of up-and-down bumps, suitable for jumping.
wild pigs n.
poorly adjusted brake pads that squeal in use.
a reflector. "Nice winky set, fred!"
a crash. v. ("wipe out") to crash.
"WOmen's Mountain Biking And Tea
Society", a Marin-based organization founded by writer
and former MTB racer Jacquie Phelan.
not functioning properly. "I bailed, and now my wheel is all wonky
and all I hear are wild pigs."
to work on one's steed, to adjust or repair. n. a bike
shop mechanic. "I blew my shock but the wrench at Charlie's dialed
it back in for me."