As many of you may or may not know, Airborne's World
Headquarters is located in Ohio. Winters in Ohio tend to be very
cold with snow (usually) on the ground from late December thru
Most of us here are year-round riders and have been riding thru
the winters for years. We'd like to share a few tips with you that
we've learned to help you get the most from your bike and your
TAKING CARE OF THE BIKE
Winter can be rough on a mountain
bike, but if you take steps to prep your bike, you'll
keep your bike in tip top shape. Some of us use an older
bike during the winter to prevent water or salt damage to our
"good" bikes, however if you only have one bike its still possible
to ride all year round as long as you take care of it. How
much prep and maintenance your bike needs depends on how and when
you ride your bike.
TAKING CARE OF YOU
Winter can also be rough on you as it is on your bike. However
if you heed some of our hard-earned clothing advice it won't be so
bad. Below are our tips for riding in temps of 32F and below.
That's it! Use the simple tips we've given you above to extend
your riding season and stay fit and healthy! If you do a good job
of it you'll be in great shape when the weather breaks in the
spring and you'll be leaving your buddies in the dust on the
If you've called Airborne to ask questions or order a
bike, chances are you've talked to Eric Mckenna or Jeremy
Mudd. Eric and Jeremy combined have 35+ years in the bike
industry. They even went to the same high school together and raced
on the same teams in the past. They don't do it all by themselves;
they are backed by a dedicated staff of folks at Airborne that help
them make it look easy.
Here's your chance to get to know them a little better,
in 20 questions.
Name: Eric Mckenna
Official Title: Customer Service and Tech
Representative, Airborne Bicycles
Name: Jeremy Mudd
Official Title: Product Manager, Airborne
1. What is the first thing you think about
when you get up in the morning?
EM: Getting Rory (daughter) up and getting
her ready for school
2. What is the last thing you think about before
you go to sleep?
EM: Did I lock the front door?
JM: Did I answer that last email that the
factory sent me?
3. What makes you awesome?
EM: I didn't know I was AWESOME…. I guess
being Rory's PAPA.
JM: I figured out a way to make people pay
me for playing around with bikes all day.
4. When you look in the mirror, what do you
EM: A very tired old man!
JM: A guy brushing his teeth.
5. When you enter a crowded room, what theme song
begins to play in your head?
EM: Clint Mansell - Lux Aeterna (Orchestral
JM: The theme-song from Shaft.
6. If you could party with one person, who would
EM: Don Gentile
JM: Samuel L. Jackson
7. What's your best excuse/justification for not
trying something on your bike?
EM: I have a kid to take care of.
JM: I have a photo-shoot in the
8. What motto would you write on your top
EM: Sau Sponte
JM: THIS SIDE UP.
9. If you didn't work in the bike industry, where
would you be?
EM: Graphic Design
JM: Archeologist and/or Professional
10: What's the next piece of bike technology that
needs to be improved?
EM: Clipless Pedals
JM: Shifting systems
11: What's the best bike you've ever
EM: New Goblin ( 2013)
JM: JMC Andy Patterson signature
12. What's the best thing or experience riding has
EM: My Good Health
JM: I thought I was going to make a career
out of racing bikes when I was a teenager, but
(fortunately) riding and racing led me down a career path
instead and here I am now!
13. Five websites you visit every
14. What's your worst moment or experience on a
EM: Watching Emily ( girlfriend) crash in
front of me and not being able to help or stop it.
JM: State Road Race in 2000. Brought one
bottle thinking that race was shorter, had no hand-ups. Race was
twice as long as I thought; ended up so dehydrated I was looking at
spent waterbottles along the side of the road hoping some had
enough liquid in them to get a drink.
15. What's the strangest item you've purchased
JM: I can't put that in print,
16. What fad or trend do you want
EM: Hanging pants off your butt
JM: Honey Boo Boo, but dubstep is a very
17: Favorite type of riding?
EM: DH.. close 2nd XC
JM: Anything with 2 wheels.
18. Last time you surprised
EM: Aug 25th 2012 at Snow
JM: When I said something out loud last
week that I shouldn't have.
19. Last time someone surprised
EM: This morning..
JM: People surprise me every damn
20. Last meal request?
JM: Any kind of pasta, with some sort of
meat, smothered in cheese.
We normally don't do sales at Airborne.
Mostly because our bikes offer great value already at their list
price. And partly because we operate at much lower profit margins
than the big bike companies (hence the "great value") that don't
allow us to sell them any cheaper and keep our doors open!
Being an internet-direct bike company however, we do get to save
a TON of money every September because we don't have to spend
hundreds of thousands of dollars on an Interbike Booth in Las Vegas
and all of expenses that entails: booth fees, freight, drayage,
carpeting, electricians, trinkets, brochures, bar-tabs at the
So this year we've decided to do something different: pass that
savings along to you, the consumer. So, for a limited time from now
until the end of Interbike weekend (Sunday September 23rd, 2012) we
are offering some smoking deals on some of our most popular
The above prices also INCLUDE FREIGHT to the continental 48
states. The above models are the only ones included in this promo.
All prior sales are excluded. Again, this sale ends on Sunday,
September 23rd, 2012.
Please contact us at 800-888-BIKE or go online to www.airbornebicycles.com
Thanks so much to all who applied this year! The applications
were overwhelming to say the least; in terms of not only volume but
quality. There were so many great candidates that it made it
EXTREMELY DIFFICULT for us to decide on the finalists.
First, here are the members that will be staying on for another
Dan Lucas, now a 3rd year Flight
Crew Member. Dan is a good all-round rider in VA that rides
AM/DH/FR/DJ/XC and even an occasional CX ride. Dan may crash a lot,
but its his crashes that help us make bikes that hold up to
anything that can be thrown at them.
Jerry Hazard, now a 2nd year
Flight Crew Member. Jerry resides in CO and pretty much rides
anything with two wheels. Jerry's photography and blog posts always
inspire us to get out there and ride!
Neal Bryant, now in his 2nd year
on the Flight Crew. What Neal lacks in riding experience (he's been
riding for only about 2 years avidly) he makes up for in heart and
the ability to try anything and succeed at it. Neal works in the
film industry and has made all of us step up our game when it comes
to video production.
Todd Haskins will be staying on
and an official Airborne Test Pilot. Todd will continue to be
active and integral in product development and feedback. Todd
brings a "level-headed-ness" and years of industry experience to
In addition to the folks above that are staying on for another
year, we are adding the following new members:
Dane Sink and Kim
Sink, a great husband and wife duo based in Bend,
Oregon. Bend is a mecca for all sorts of riding and we are excited
to have such a great team based in that area. Dane and Kim are not
only great riders but awesome at blogging and photography.
Robert Robertson, an XC/AM rider
currently serving in the US Army and stationed in Germany. Rob will
be racing the Leadville 100 this year with the Flying Frogs US Navy
SEAL Team later this year.
Michael Mequi, a teacher living in
Denver, CO that races and rides XC. Michael has been riding for
many years and has been responsible for getting many folks into the
sport. Michaels job as a teacher gives him lots of riding time
during the summer.
In addition to the Flight Crew Members, we are also bringing
some racers on board:
Niki Dallaire, a Pro that races XC
and Cyclocross and just won this past weekend at the US East Cup
Race in Conyers, GA on her nearly stock Goblin 29er. Niki is a
consumate professional in terms of racing, training, and public
Emily Walling, a Cat 1 racer in
both XC and DH. Emily is a local near us here at Airborne World HQ
and frankly we don't like riding with her because she embarrasses
all of us men with her speed and fitness.
Look for both Niki and Emily to tear it up on both the regional
and national levels this season.
So that's it! We have an awesome group of folks representing
Airborne this year online, at races, and on the trails. With their
help Airborne is set to have another great year in 2012.
Please help us welcome all of the new and returning people!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Airborne to sponsor World Cup Downhill team for
2013, full-time position up for grabs.
Centerville, Ohio USA - April 1st, 2012
Airborne announced today that it will be sponsoring a 6 man
professional team to compete in the World Cup Downhill Series for
"We know that the best way to continue to move our brand forward
is to compete, and with the success of the Airborne Taka downhill
bike the past two years, we feel that it is time to enter the World
Cup" says Airborne PR Director Ty Webb. "We have been in final
negotiations with a former World Cup Downhill champion to be Team
Director for 2013. While it is too early to reveal her name, we can
say that she rode downhill as fast as a missile, and will bring a
lot of experience to the team."
Airborne recently hired industry veteran Carl Spackler to come
on board to develop the new Taka DH rig for 2013. "Look for the new
Taka to put the team on the podium at every event in 2013. We will
be the 'Cinderella Story' of 2013" says Spackler.
In addition to the team, Airbone will be holding a contest for a
coveted full-time race reporter position.
"We are looking for someone to travel with the team and cover
the entire race season on our blog, complete with photos and video.
This will be a one-year full-time position with all expenses paid,
and a salary of $100K" says Webb. "Details regarding the contest to
be posted on Facebook in the next few weeks. We recommend that
anyone interested in the position to be certain to "like" Airborne
Bicycles to ensure they don't miss the announcement and
Contact: Ty Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org
First let me preface this story by saying I don't poach
trails anymore, and believe that it is a VERY BAD IDEA. It doesn't
do any good for the folks that work hard for trail advocacy. But
back in the day, when I was young and dumb, I did a lot of things
that I would tell you not to do now…………
During my early days at the first Airborne, I used to
ride a lot with a friend of mine named "Don" (name changed to
protect the guilty). Our favorite trail to ride after work on
weeknites was a 17 mile loop that consisted of mostly hiking trail,
with a little bit of road section, at the Ceasar Creek reserve.
It was a known "Hiking ONLY" trail, but the enforcement of it
was rather lax at the time and most everyone we knew rode there.
And the signage was bad; it only was visible if you rode the trail
clockwise because the signs only faced in one direction. All of us
knew that if we were stopped and questioned, we were to just play
dumb and say that we were getting off of the trail right away. The
spot where we parked was a bit out of the way and there were never
any signs at that entrance to the trail head.
Don and I hit the trail at 5:30 on a late summer
Wednesday nite looking to get a nice easy 2 hour ride in. Something
you have to know about Don: he always carried his wallet with him
where-ever he went. Even though I lectured him about the fact he
didn't need it, and that a copy of his ID stuffed in his seat-pack
would suffice for body identification if things turned sour, he
didn't like leaving it in the vehicle. And it wasn't a small wallet
either. It was like George's wallet on Seinfeld. Big, fat, and
stuffed with everything to the point where the rubber
band strained to kept it all together. It barely fit in
his jersey pocket.
The ride was awesome. Except for the tall, old and
haggared hiker guy who yelled at us for riding on the trail.
"Sorry sir". "We didn't see the sign". "We'll get right off!". I
think I heard him say something about "pesky kids" but I wasn't
We arrived back at the truck at 7:30pm and the
post-ride euphoria began. Visions of Bentino's Pizza and
a beer began dancing thru my brain as I started packing
up my gear.
"Uh oh what?"
"My wallet fell out of my jersey pocket somewhere on the
Damn. After talking about it for a few moments, Don and I
decided the thing to do was ride the trail in reverse, looking for
the wallet. He remembered having it still when we were more than
halfway in during the first lap, so the thought was we might find
it going back in reverse quicker. It started getting dark fairly
fast in the woods, and by 8:30 it was pitch-black. We were
forced to make our way back to the truck.
No lights. No wallet. Hungry.
We made it to the truck by 9pm and packed up the bikes in
the bed. On the off chance that someone had found the wallet and
turned it in, we drove over to the Ranger Station to check. I
stayed in the truck with the gear and bikes while Don went
10 minutes passed. Then 20.
Don, along with a ranger, finally
appeared at the front entrance. They both walked out
toward the truck. The ranger poked around in the back of the truck
and looked at the bikes, then had a heated discussion with Don
before he got in the truck and we left.
"Remember that old hiker on the trail? The one that
yelled at us? Well, he found my wallet and drove back here to turn
it in after his hike. He told the ranger that I was riding on the
trail. I just got a $100 fine."
Sometimes Karma can be a bitch, and sometimes it comes in
the form of a hiker.
Validation comes in many forms. Our personal
favorite is hearing it from riders who appreciate our efforts to
make best-in-class bikes that are also the best value around. But
kudos in the cycling press? Well, those are pretty darn good,
We've already shared some of TwentyNineInches.com's thoughts on
the Airborne Goblin here.
And it's clear Guitar Ted "gets" the Airborne brand and why we
think it's important to make good-quality machines available to
regular folks who aren't necessarily willing to blow the college
fund on some Dream Ride (don't get us wrong-- we love those bikes
too, but they're not necessarily for everyone, and we're happy to
provide an alternative).
So it was
especially cool when we learned this morning that not only had we
made the TwentyNineInches
Top 10 Products list, but had managed to snag the #3
slot. And as far as we can tell, it's also the first time a "value"
bike has ever made the Top Ten list.
Following are some of the nice things Guitar Ted had to say
Kudos to Flight Crew member Wendy
Davis for turning her regular weekend ride into a
mini-canned food drive/fundraiser for local needy families. You can
read about it on her blog,
A Pabst Smear, but here's the basic idea:
That Wendy. Pretty smart, huh? Just one reason why we like her
PS: Happy Holidays from all of us at Aribone.
The trails around here have been wet recently, so last week I
decided to do a day- hike at Caesar Creek State Park. An epic
hike is great for clearing the mind sometimes. Cycling is my first
love, but hiking breaks up the routine of cycling and allows you to
see the things that you might miss while blasting down the
During my hike I decided to take a detour and walk the old "50
Springs" XC mtb course that connects to the big south loop. In the
90's the 50 Springs course was home to many XC and CX races. The
Kenda Ohio Off-Road Series ("KOORS") was a staple there, and it was
there that many a tri-state area XC rider tried their hand at
racing for the first time.
It was your typical 90's XC race-course; fast, flowy, and
big-ring all the way. This was during a time when XTR only came in
46 and 48-tooth big ring configurations and 80mm of shock travel
was the norm. I spent many countless hours out there practicing and
racing. 50 Springs also was well known for its group night rides.
The last time I rode there was probably over a decade ago on a
chilly fall night ride with a good friend of mine.
Why haven't I been back there since then? Probably for the
same reasons that no one else rides there anymore. A series
of events conspired to turn a once great race venue into a barely
passable hiking trail:
First: The KOORS mtb series ceased to exist
because the promoter decided the money was in organizing Triathlons
and not mtb races. The Ohio CX scene also found more favorable
venues to race at. This meant all of the experienced riders and
racers went elsewhere.
Second: The park became over-run with men of
questionable motives that parked and hung out there looking for a
"good time". This is always a small problem and public parks
but it became a huge problem there.
Third: A more beginner friendly mtb trail
network began to grow in a nearby town, causing people to migrate
there to ride instead.
So it was on this day that I experienced quite a bit of sadness
as I walked the trail. Even though it had been a decade or so since
I last was on it, I still knew every corner and tree like it was
just yesterday. There's the spot where I lost several race
positions because I forgot to check for thorns in the tire before
pumping up the new tube. There's the picnic shelter where we would
hang out during night rides and swap stories.
The trail had deteriorated to the point where it would require a
monumental effort to bring it back. As usual, my weakness of trying
to "fix things" came out and I began to think "If I could just get
some volunteers out here with some tools and a chainsaw we could
have this back in great shape………".
Luckily for me I had a moment of clarity near the end of the
hike. I realized it was time to let it go. No amount of work to
bring it back would be worth it: the problems would still
exist. I wouldn't ride it. Nor would anyone else for the
reasons mentioned above.
So farewell old friend. We had some great times together that I
will never forget.
Note: the following is a sort of prologue
to the post Flight Crew member Todd
Haskins wrote in his
Scope That Colon blog last week… about having to
rebuild his entire season's training, "starting from scratch and
doing all the little things I didn't do last season."
A lot of us go through that kind of experience,
reaching the end of the season and realizing we didn't really
accomplish the goals we'd set for ourselves and that we'll have to
start all over again for next year.
Doesn't sound like such a big deal either, until you realize
that for Todd "starting over" means something a little different
than it might for the rest of us. And because Todd doesn't talk
much about how being a cancer survivor impacts his day-to-day life-
and because everything he says comes drizzled in his unique of
deadpan humor- it's easy to conclude that "all that stuff" happened
a long time ago.
So I asked him to write this prologue: to give a little more
context to what "starting over" means when you have to really Start
Over. Just a little something for the rest of us to think about
when it's tough to get up in the morning and get on the bike or off
to work or whatever.
I remember the day last summer like
it was yesterday....
My sons, Noah (7 at the time) and
Luke (5) and I were sitting one morning eating breakfast. Noah-
sensing that I was feeling awful that particular morning- turned to
me to ask if he or Lukie will get cancer.
I was taken aback and scared to
answer, but we always try to be open and honest with the kids
(within reason, of course). I told him the truth and said that
because it's "in the family" there's a chance that one of them may
end up getting sick too.
But I wanted them to know two
First, they are way too young to
worry about it. If it does happen, it won't be until they are much,
much older and there is no need for them to worry about it right
Second, if they do get it, by that
time there will be a cure and better treatments than what they are
watching me go thru, so it won't be as bad.
Noah looked at me and accepted the
answers... after pondering a few seconds on what I said his reply
was, "Well if we do get it, I hope I get it so Lukie doesn't have
to go through it."
This happened about half way thru my
6 months of chemo for stage 3 colon cancer. To me, it sums up what
cancer means to me... an undying selflessness that leads to fight,
help and hope.
For those of you who don't know me,
my name is Todd Haskins and I'm happy to say "I'm a cancer
survivor!" Just think of me as "Lance Lite".
It was February 4th, 2010
when I got the news. Ironically, the timing was doubly terrible. It
was just a few days before that my wife left for Pennsylvania to be
with her family following her dad's passing. Here we were, over 400
miles apart and in desperate need for each other. A horrible
Cancer? Why? How? When? What the
hell? (OK it wasn't that clean, but you get the idea). Two weeks
later I was going into the hospital for surgery.
Here's an entry from my blog on my
second day back home...
Well as most of you already
know, I came home a couple days ago (Might of been Tuesday, I can't
The whole experience really
sucked. I don't mean that in anyway derogatory toward the staff at
St Francis who were wonderful, but just the whole package in
They ended up taking out a chunk
of colon and 15 lymph nodes.
First few days laying in bed
next to people I don't know and only able to eat ice chips made me
reach for the pain med dispenser button quite a bit..lol.
After a few days they took me
off the pain stuff, but I still wasn't passing anything "down
there" so I was forced to stay there eating chicken broth and jello
(god, I hope to never eat that crap again).
The worst was night time when you're "sober" .
You don't realize how much noise the normal day to day shuffle
drowns out the "unpleasantries".
When you're not all doped up you
hear every machine, every bed alarm, every moan from pain and every
crying family member who comes in the middle of the night with
his/her sick relative.
Spent the last two nights there
just trying to cry myself to sleep or just aimlessly walking around
the hospital at 1:30 in the morning.
Finally we were able to get me
some help with the sleeping, but by then the damage was done. I was
a beaten man at that point.
Anyway, they found the cancer
has attacked my lymph nodes (11 of 15... those are pretty crappy
odds) so a pretty aggressive chemo program starts in a few weeks.
We spoke to the doctor about it and he threw around a lot of
medical terms and stuff but at that point I was just ready to go
home and didn't care about the next step.
Spent most of Tuesday in a
haze and fog over the whole experience and my insanely strong wife
kept me focused and helped me realize I need to be strong to beat
this so that's the way it's going to have to be....
Hit up Dick's Sporting Goods for
a Livestrong Sweatshirt, so now I'm ready, right?.
The crappy thing is that having
staples like this (I had gotten 14" of my colon removed and 16
staples from my belly button to my crotch), means that wearing
pants really sucks...and they just don't make cool bed shirts for
men... At least not ones I can wear out to drop Luke off to school
And then there was the 6 months of
For those of you who have never been
through it, it's sitting there for 6 hours at a time, getting
pricked with needles a lot, dangerous chemicals pumped into your
body, feeling like crap for a few days (which gets longer as the
program goes on), allergies to meds (of course I was one of 1% of
people allergic to a certain family of nausea meds... go figure),
depression, joy and confusion, all rolled into one big ball of
Jealous, aren't you.
The weirdest thing was "cold
neuropathy"... the chemicals they gave me made it so I couldn't
touch or drink cold. If I did, instant pins and needles. Just in
time for summer.
So how do you get thru it? To steal
a line from Nike, you "just do it". My family and friends were
always there when I needed them. Being a stay at home dad made
things a bit easier too.
But damn it, if I didn't have an
appointment someplace, I walked them to school, took them to the
pool during the summer, and tried to keep things as "normal" as
possible. Doing so was really important to my wife and me. You get
up every morning, look at cancer in the mirror and say "you won't
beat me today", then you go off and fight it with everything you
I realize that I can go
on about this for a really long time. You can all get a better
"real time" idea of what fighting and beating cancer is like by
blog. It'll give you a better idea of my feelings during it all
(and a better taste of my well-documented sense of humor).
I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by
great family and great friends. Believe it or not, I almost feel
like I'm a lucky guy to have gotten cancer. There was a time in my
life were maybe I took too much for granted and this experience
helped me realize how fortunate and blessed I really am.
On a personal note, I want to thank Rick at
Airborne for asking me to write this. I spent a good part of the
week end trying to figure out in my head what to say. Spent the
last few hours looking back at my blog and re-reading the feelings
I had at the time. It had been months since I've done that.
The "fire" that cancer gave me has
been flickering back to complacency the last few months and doing
this project opened my eyes to that. I owe everyone many
So now that you know the context,
click here for Todd's Total Tear Down
PS: You can learn more about Big Todd Haskins here
on the Airborne Flight Crew page.