Bike Park Jargon: Know Before You Go
Dude, how sick was that whip?
Are you trying to get into mountain biking, but are feeling overwhelmed with all the alien terminology? Here's a quick rundown of the lingo you'll hear at Crankworx this year.
A-LINE - perhaps the most famous trail in the world, A-Line is a black diamond roller coaster incorporating dozens of perfectly-sculpted jumps all the way down to the village. Not for beginners.
ATTACK POSITION - the alert, balanced position you adopt when preparing to shred tough terrain. Typically characterized by bent knees, butt above the saddle, elbows bent, and a raised head looking down the trail.
BAIL - jumping off your bike to avoid a more serious crash. Sometimes it's better to dump the bike and save yourself.
BERM - a corner that has a banked outer edge that runs the entire length of the corner.
BONK - when you run out of energy, hitting a physical and mental wall.
BROWN POW - dirt, mud, loam... brown pow is the stuff you ride on your bike.
BUNNY HOP - a hop lifting both tires off the floor so that you can clear obstacles such as logs without stopping.
CASING IT - attempting a jump, coming up short, and landing on the backside of the landing. The frame or derailleur usually hits the dirt from your suspension completely compressing, often throwing you off in the process. Similar to 'knuckling it' on skis.
CHAIN SUCK - the dragging and jamming of your chain that occurs in sloppy conditions, when the chain and cogs get muddy or gritty.
DIALED IN - when everything on your bike is running smoothly, and you are riding well, you are said to be "dialed in".
DOUBLE TRACK - two trails that run parallel to each other.
DROPPER POST - a seat post that can be raised or lowered by pressing a lever on your handlebars.
ENDURO - a type of mountain bike race in which there are a greater proportion of downhill sections, which are timed, to uphill and cross country sections, which are not timed.
FIRE ROAD - a backcountry dirt or gravel road wide enough for emergency vehicles to use, often used to access trails.
FLOW/FREERIDE TRAILS - machine built trails such as A-Line or Crank It Up that contain manmade features such as jumps, drops, gaps, wallrides, berms, and other features.
FORK - the part of the bike that attaches the front wheel to the frame.
GAP - when there is a break between the takeoff and the landing of a jump. This is different to a tabletop where the takeoff and landing surfaces are connected by a flat section of trail.
GRANNY GEAR - the lowest gear available on a bike, designed for steep uphill climbing, which supposedly only a grandmother would need to use,
HARDTAIL - a mountain bike that has no rear suspension.
LINE - the desirable path or strategy to take on a tricky section of a trail.
LOAM - dirt that is soft, moist, and almost powdery in consistency. Especially sought after for its simultaneous grip and flow. May also be referred to as 'hero dirt'.
OTB - over the bars: a crash in which the rider is thrown over their bike’s handlebars.
PHAT WEDNESDAYS - this refers to Wednesday night race nights. Complete with aprés at the Garibaldi Lift Company and tonnes of prize giveaways from Bike Park sponsors, Phat Wednesdays are a local's favourite.
POACH - to ride a trail in an unauthorized manner. Typically a private or closed trail without the land owner's knowledge or permission.
P.O.D. - photo of the day, usually referring to the daily favourite on bikeparkphotos.com.
PUMP TRACK - a dirt-track that consists of a loop of banked turns and roller coaster type features designed to be ridden by pumping rather than pedaling, in order to gain and control speed.
RAILING - committing to a high line in a berm so that you ride it as smoothly as a train attached to a railway track.
ROCK GARDEN - a technical section of trail covered with big rocks, often approached at speed.
ROCK ROLL - a large rock face or boulder that can be smoothly ridden without either wheel loosing contact with the ground, usually found in tech trails.
ROOSTED - getting hit by the dirt flying up from the back wheel of the rider in front of you.
SENDING IT - to do something rad with complete and total confidence, whether this confidence is justified or not. The related expression 'full send' means to do something to the extreme, even if it will likely end in failure.
SHREDDING - riding trails with a higher-than-usual level of expertise.
SINGLE TRACK - a narrow trail that must be ridden single file.
SKRRT - pronounced “skuuurrt.” An attempt at making the sound car tires make when peeling out or going fast through a corner. Often said in a high-pitched voice when shredding a berm.
STEP UP - a jump where the landing is higher than the take off.
SWITCHBACK - a turn on a hill that is too steep to be climbed without zig-zagging.
TABLETOP - a jump with a flat section of dirt in between the takeoff and the landing. A tabletop jump involves much less risk than a gap jump since the rider will have a relatively safe landing area in case they come up short (also known as 'casing it').
TACO - to taco a wheel means you've bent it so badly its a write-off, folded into the shape of a taco. See here.
TECH TRAILS - built to embrace the rugged shape and terrain of the mountain, tech trails include many natural terrain features such as rocks drops and rolls, roots, logs, jumps, and other obstacles that require technical riding skills.
THE ZONE - a state of mind experienced while riding. You don't think, you just do.
TRAVEL - the distance a suspension fork or a shock can compress.
WASH OUT - to have the front tire lose traction, usually while going around a corner.
WASHBOARD - small, regular bumps in the trail, usually created in areas where bikers apply brakes
WHEELIE - lifting the front wheel off the ground, usually with some combination of pulling on the handlebars, pedaling harder, and balance. People like to do this at the end of a lap to attract potential mates.
WHIP - a whip is the act of bringing the rear wheel forward vigorously during a jump, almost as if the rider were whipping the air with it.
YARD SALE - a bad crash that leaves all your various "wares" -- water bottles, pump, tool bag, etc. -- scattered as if on display for sale.
YEW - a general expression of excitement. “YYYEEEEWWWWWW!”