Friday, February 27, 2009

Empower yourself

I started snowboarding over 10 years ago. Stopped for a while and started again. Taking up this sport as an adult has got to be one of the hardest must humbling things I've ever done. This past season I had the chance to ride for a few days in a row on some nice snow and made a significant improvement.

It is such an empowering experience and I've seen it with mountain biking over the years too. Though those episodse are much fewer and farther between given the higher level at which I mountain bike.

Empowerment doesn't come without a price. Pain, crashing, embarassement and humility are all up there and need to be embraced. It's a hard thing to do no doubt. It's much easier to stay within a comfort zone. But the comfort zone only gives limited payback. If you're not crashing every now and then or not falling then you aren't trying hard enough. The hard part is figuring out how much to push your envelope so you can avoid catastrophic crashes yet still improve.

But regardless of pushing past your limitations the most important thing is to just try. Without care of what others think or how you'll look. Try and keep trying.


At 10:53 AM, Blogger shawndoggy said...

Ash, I remember your posts from the XC forum from back in the day and I was checking your blog after seeing you post in the Ironhorse forum (thinking about one of those closeout azures for myself).

Anyhow, came across this snowboarding post! LOL, my bike racing fire has burned out (and it was a fabulous run) but I've taken up hardboot snowboarding in the past two years. What a hoot! (if you aren't familiar with hardbooting, sample of my riding here: ) And now when I go off to feed my passion for a day on the weekends I can drag my kids with me.

Knowing what you know now about IH what do you think about the Azure comp closeouts?

Anyhow, hope all is well!

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Ashwin Amanna said...

Regardless of IH's demise, I still love the Azure I don't think I could break my Azure (the MKIII I'd stay away from because of a known manufacturing issue with bad weld).

Granted you can't break it, Bearing replacements are available from EnduroFork seals. So there's not much else to replace frame wise.

From a value perspective in terms of the suspension technology you get for the $ it's amazing when compared to a Pivot or Turner DW Link. The Giant Anthems are close if you can find one at similar price. but I like the whole vibe surrounding Dave Weagle.

Caveats of course: Frame is on the heavy side, but truly comes to life with a really light wheels. You gotta change ride still to favor the middle ring over the granny I think to get unlock its potential.

I prefer a little bit of platform in the rear shock and front fork from that XC hardtail mindset. I love the 5th element shock, not sure how a Fox feels. It's very hard to find a 5th element and I had to get custom hardware made.

So all that being said, I'd go buy another for a backup. I kick myself several times for not grabbing a Factory frame I'd seen on ebay. And until they can make an overseas affordable XC DW link I doubt you'll ever see any DW in the same price range.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger shawndoggy said...

OK, went ahead and pulled the trigger on one of the '08 Azure Expert closeouts (SRAM equipped). Believe it or not, this will be my first MTB with discs. What's a reasonable cost/weight/durability upgrade to the stock DT Swiss x1800?

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Ashwin Amanna said...

Nice bike. J7s are good disc brakes, just don't use the purple synthetic brake fluid at Advanced Auto. that killed my seals I think.

looks like a good build.

Best bang/buck for weight weeniing is to go tubeless with Stans or with the DT system. It's not for the faint of heart or mechanically disinclined though. Also maybe some lighter tires.

If you feel the difference and like it then it might be time to go big and get a lighter wheelset. WTB Laser disc lites are rebranded American Classics and are the best value in light hubs. Not bullet proof, and require some maintenance (which is easy). Combine those with some Stans rims and you've got a super light wheelset.


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