10 reasons 2016 can fuck off
It's not been the best ...
No matter how you slice it, 2016 has been a bad year. Unfortunately, the world of mountain biking has not been immune to that. Sure, there have been plenty of highlights, but there have been a load of shitty bits too.
Here’s why we can’t wait for this cursed year to be over:
The loss of great friends
More than anything, 2016 was heart wrenching. Stevie Smith, Kelly McGarry, Zarja Černilogar and Simon Sharp were all tragically lost this year. They were massive personalities and mountain biking is a worse sport in their absence. RIP.
Is it just us or has trail sabotage this year been worse than ever? By the end of the year we were seeing booby traps more sadistic than anything the Jigsaw killer could come up with and even once-respected MPs getting in on the act. To be honest, we’re surprised we haven’t had to report any serious injuries yet.
The CyclingUK and OpenMTB survey also revealed that 30 per cent of us have come across trail sabotage. That’s crazy! Let’s hope that next year we can all use the woods a bit more harmoniously.
Mountain biking has always been an escape from the ‘health and safety gone mad’ culture that seems to have permeated society. Unfortunately, at the end of the year, we had to report on mountain bike instructor Leon McLean who was sued for £3million when a client was left paralysed on one of his courses.
The insurance company will probably cover it but it does mean that premiums for instructors will go up and they will have to be more careful than ever when doing their jobs.
Injuries are a part of mountain biking every year, but that's cold comfort when they actually happen. This year we saw Graham Aggasiz’s hip-shattering 360, Remy Metailler’s Taxco broken back and Loic Bruni’s season ruining shoulder slam to name a few. Thankfully all of these guys heal fast but that doesn’t stop it sucking when they go down.
Bike prices on the up
The bad news (for us Brits at least) is that prices are rising for bike kit. The weakened pound means that we’re having to shell out more than ever before for kit. We’re yet to see the final outcome of Brexit, but right now it’s not looking great for us mountain bikers
Steve Peat, Nico Vouilloz, Anne Caroline Chausson and, if the rumours are true, Josh Bryceland. There’s going to be some big names missing from races next year. Of course, the time was right for these guys to hang up their helmets, but they’ll still be missed. We can’t wait to see which young guns can step up to the plate in 2017.
Fox Float X2 recall
The Fox Float X2 is a truly great piece of kit, if you need any proof, just look at how many top downhill teams use one on their World Cup bike. Unfortunately, there was a fault on certain models that caused them to rupture. This meant a lot of riders had to stop using them and were unable to ride until it was fixed.
Thankfully Mojo was able to offer a five-day turnaround on the repair and any future shocks should be fault-free.
The 2017 World Cup calendar announcement
The announcement of a new World Cup calendar is normally one of the most exciting days of the year. 2016’s was limp, really limp. There are going to be no new tracks next year, in fact, we’re just going to the exact same places as this year.
We’re sure the riders will still put on a show, but it would have been nice to have somewhere different. Hopefully 2018’s calendar will see a shake up of venues.
Trails being shut down
Mountain biking would be nothing without a strong network of trails and 2016 has seen a number being shut down. In California, Strava data was used as ‘proof’ that cyclists were being reckless and in the UK we’ve had MPs berating mountain bikers. Can't we all just get along?
Bike industry jobs going
Some sad news at the ned of the year was that more than 300 jobs had been cut from WiggleCRC following their merger. Throughout the year there were also redundancies at Planet X, SRAM and Raleigh.
Let’s hope this isn’t a trend that continues into next year - the bike industry is nothing without the amazing people in it.