Don’t Encourage Them – An Extract from Spent One

Don’t Encourage Them – An Extract from Spent One

Editors note: This was originally written for and published in Spent One. One way to support this and our other titles is by purchasing something from our store.


The definitive story of mountain biking by Guy Kesteven


Sliding corners on a California mountainside on beach cruisers sends a burning brake smoke signal round the world.


BMX brands jump to bigger wheels. MX innovators get busy with their lathes. Shimano makes us special gears. Clunkers get a whole lot less clunky.


Fat tyres and wide bars conquer Colorado passes and crush the boredom of bent back, rule ruined road biking.


Screwing up a patent gives ‘Mountain Bikes’ a proper name. Shrewd Silicon Valley hippies turn into Stump Jumping hype beasts. Playing on bikes in the dirt is suddenly the coolest thing EVER.


So much neon but Jacquie Phelan looks coolest wearing only paw prints.


Suspension forks, purple shit, bolt on bar ends and foot long wobbly stems rule.


Nobody notices we still have road bike geometry.


Team Smoke and Dart or Team Porcupine.


Nobody look at the bikes with back springs, you’ll only encourage them.


Tomac is a god. Even with drop bars. And a stupid back wheel. On a Raleigh in a rubber suit. Yep, still a god.


Kamikaze and MASSIVE chainrings.


The French do proper training, telemetry and nose wheelies round switchbacks. XC racers run up and down stairs in the middle of the night in their pants to get a shot at an Olympic gold medal. Big name beer, denim and car brands stick their names on skinsuits.


People take their peaks off voluntarily. WTAF.


Too soon Jason. Far too soon.


Snowboarders in gold suits and punks with piranhas around their necks slap us out of looking like dicks. Thanks for that.


Nobody look at the bikes with 29er wheels, you’ll only encourage them.


Bikes are still a shit shape, but suspension, tyres and brakes aren’t trying to kill us now.


A log falls and blocks a trail in Canada. Someone rides along the log instead. Hello freeriding.


Bender sends a cliff in Utah. He doesn’t quite die. Kids everywhere copy him. Thank fuck kids are made of rubber.


Whistler becomes the coolest place on earth. Apart from Fort Bill on the day Peaty finally wins there.


Nobody is ever going to look at a website called Pinkbike.


Your tyres now have spunk in them.


Goodbye front shifter. We never loved you.


Danny Hart makes Page and Warner fill their pants at Champéry. How is he sitting down?


Gwin does lots of winning. Even without a chain. Jesus.


Nobody look at the fat bikes, you’ll only encourage them.


Another wheel size? Are you shitting me?


Enduro, bro.


Everyone finally listens to Fabien. Longer, lower, slacker. FASTER.


Ratboy blows his ankles and his rainbow stripes.


More French we can’t pronounce turn up and rewrite the rules.


Chainsaw. Gutted.


Rachel rules and goes perfect.


Nobody look at the e-bikes, you’ll only encourage them. Ah shit, too late, now your dad’s bought one. And your mum.


Have you seen what XC courses look like now? Fair play.


Slopestyle can only be understood in slow mo.


Steeze and schralp mullet makeovers.


High-pivot hype.


Ben Cathro helps everything make sense on the internet. In Scottish.


Covid kids dig a bike park into every woodland in the world. You try and panic buy a new bike.


Neff, Evie and Pidcock mean XC is cool again. Even without peaks.


Minaaaaaaaaar goes GOAT.


That bike you ordered is still two years from delivery. (It won’t have a chain until a year after.)


Best just go and ride all those trails the kids built.


On your mum’s e-bike. Whatever wheel size it has.


Take a rubbish bag, though. Thanks.

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