the ümabomber

MAKING AWESOME HAPPEN ONE BIKE RIDE AT A TIME

Dear Ümabomber

Send me your burning questions about bikes, bike gear, bike stuff, bike rides… Or any other questions about life, love, and the pursuit of pedal-powered pleasure. You can ask me anything—but I highly encourage bike-centric inquiries. I don’t claim to have all of life’s answers, but I definitely know how squeeze the crap out of the questions and make them squeal. Click to send your questions to me—anonymously—using this form.

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What Women Want

Posted by on 9:41 am in Ask Üma, Cycling, Essay, Feature, MTB, Ümabomber | 0 comments

What Women Want

Interbike 2015’s #sockgate isn’t an isolated instance. It’s never an isolated instance, anymore. It’s endemic. It’s cultural. And the only was it’s going to change is when more men carry the torch of fair and respectful treatment of women colleagues, coworkers and customers.

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Building Skills One Grain of Salt At a Time

Posted by on 11:46 am in Ask Üma | 0 comments

Building Skills One Grain of Salt At a Time

Dear Umabomber: I recently started to get into mountain biking with my BF. He’s really good at it. He works in a bike shop and has been riding bikes his whole life and he used to race BMX style when he was a kid. I want to get better so I started going to the Burlington bike park to learn how to do basic things. Sometimes there is an instructor but most of the time it is just me and my BF and his friends. They are all really good bikers. But they try to tell me what to do so much that I get confused. They all have different...

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MTB Rx: Ride Goofy

Posted by on 8:35 am in Ask Üma, Cycling, MTB | 0 comments

MTB Rx: Ride Goofy

As mountain bikers we tend to ride with our dominant foot forward, putting uneven strain on the pelvis and lumbar spine. Practice switching your dominant foot back when coasting or cruising, not just when necessary for cornering. Off the bike, do more lunges with your non-dominant foot forward. These simple tweaks will help balance out the innate imbalances that start to add up over time for almost all riders, not just those of us who’ve had a bad crash.

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Better Mountain Biking Through Neuroplasticity

Posted by on 7:00 am in Ask Üma | 0 comments

Better Mountain Biking Through Neuroplasticity

Dear Ümabomber: I recently moved across the country, and from one particular kind of mountain biking to another. Back home, I was a fairly accomplished rider and racer. In my new home, things are so different that I’m flailing, a beginner again. The trails are different, they require different equipment and skills, and I don’t know anybody here. It’s been hard to start over, and the enjoyment I’m used to feeling on the bike is much harder to find here. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’ve gained weight (in...

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Fat Bikes or Fad Bikes?

Posted by on 8:00 am in Ask Üma, Ümabomber | 0 comments

Fat Bikes or Fad Bikes?

Dear Umabomber: I fancy myself an avid cyclist. I enjoy both road and mountain biking. I’ve got 4 bikes right now—a hardtail mountain bike, a full suspension bike, a 10 year old road racing bike that I now use for recreational and fitness rides, and a cross bike I use mostly for commuting. I’ve been thinking about getting a bike to do more comfortable off-road-but-not-quite-single track bike trekking adventures. I’ve been looking into gravel bikes for this purpose, but lately I see more people getting fat...

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Stretching Before Or After Riding?

Posted by on 7:00 am in Ask Üma | 0 comments

Stretching Before Or After Riding?

The old-school myth that one should stretch before exercise was a widely accepted practice. Recently, several studies have tied that myth to the stake and burned it, but like Sarah Palin, for some mysterious reason it keeps resurfacing to bother us again.

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Shift Happens: 3 Easy Steps to Getting Unstuck

Posted by on 1:06 pm in Ask Üma | 0 comments

Shift Happens: 3 Easy Steps to Getting Unstuck

Dear Ümabomber: Are we meant to mate for life, or just have people in and out of our lives for certain times and purposes? After a divorce and now a significant other not interested in moving forward, I’m stuck. Should I be content to exist in second gear? —Nancy Sore Heart Dear Heart— Aww, girlfriend. Had you asked me this 10 years ago—or even 5 years ago—I probably would have offered a different answer. And if you ask me ten years from now, I’ll probably have something different to offer than I do now. But you are asking now, and I...

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Pump It Up: A Newbie’s Guide to Shock Pumps

Posted by on 7:00 am in Ask Üma | 0 comments

Pump It Up: A Newbie’s Guide to Shock Pumps

Dear Ümabomber: I don’t know if you’ll remember me, but I met you once out at Sandy Ridge a couple of years ago. I had ridden my road bike up the access road and was about to ride back down. I was just getting back into riding and my husband was out mountain biking. You arrived at the trailhead map and began making adjustments to your bike. I asked what you were doing and you said you were “tuning your suspension”. At the time I didn’t mountain bike because I was intimidated to go out with my husband and his friends, but seeing you—a woman...

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How To Not Ruin Your Relationship With Mountain Biking

Posted by on 11:52 am in Ask Üma | 2 comments

How To Not Ruin Your Relationship With Mountain Biking

Dear Umabomber, My girlfriend is getting into mountain biking and every day is either a breakthrough-dance-on-the-tables success, or it’s a total disaster. The problem is that there is virtually no way to simultaneously try new trails and destinations, and at the same time predict if it’s going to be just the right incremental step up in difficulty. I try to keep it reasonable in length and technical ability, while still getting some scenery and new destinations on the roster, but man oh man does it stress me out to get it wrong. Is there a...

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Crash Like a Man

Posted by on 11:46 am in Ask Üma | 1 comment

Crash Like a Man

Dear Umabomber: I have been a cyclist most of my life (I’m 35 now). I started racing triathlons in my late 20s and I’m pretty fit and strong on the bike. I place well in my age division in competition. My new boyfriend is into mountain biking as are many of our mutual friends. I would like to try mountain biking but I am afraid to crash. It seems every few months someone in our group of friends or in our local trail riding meet-up group is hurt from crashing into something or missing a turn or a jump and tumbling down the mountain. Sometimes...

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