Dude, I’m an Escalator!

Last week I got an email:

“We’re shooting a global training video for Shimano. We lost our mountain bike rider/model at the last minute. We need someone Sat AM for an hour to ride up and down the Marshall Mesa climb a few times, make $100, and be the It Guy for Shimano. Could you do it, or do you know someone who can?”

Up, up and away — I’m an Escalator today! Photo by Marty Caivano.

Heck yeah. Since my trail bikes run SRAM, I borrowed Ariel Lindsley’s Maverick ML-7.5 race bike, which has full XTR and is damn sweet. I showed up in my team jersey and tasteful black shorts, and the team leader Ray Keener handed me a pair of Shimano shoes.

As I posed for stills, I started to feel like quite the stud. “Yeah, you know, I model for Shimano videos … I’m so cool …”

Then Ray explained: “Lee, we have identified three kinds of consumers. There are the Beginners, and the Pros, and the Escalators. That’s you, the Escalator. You’re riding more, you’re spending more, and you’re a sponge for information.”

So I was the wannabe. I pinched my little pooch. Perfect — it’s part of the costume.

The camera crew had me ride over a bridge a few times, climb a hill a few times and rip a downhill a few times. Well, not rip. After my first rip-pump-braaap they told me to back off. “Remember, you’re an Escalator.” Right. I rode smoothly, but with more brakes than usual, and I pinched the tup tube with my knees — a classic technique I call the Marin Clinch.

What fun! To show up, ride a sweet bike, and rip (sort of) for the cameras. I told them: Any time you need an Escalator, or a Poseur, or a Wannabe, just give me a call.

Bonus photos

All by Marty Caivano

Surveying my kingdom.

A little manual over the waterbar action.

The ML-7.5 pedals like an XC-weenie chariot, but it still rips like a real mountain bike.

Not bad: Lined up wide, head turned, outside elbow up, bike leaned.
7 replies
  1. Roger says:

    I’m a true escalator! You’re the teacher to the escalators. How can I get paid to escalate? My wife would love it, because all my riding is driving the family budget into the dirt. Life is great!

  2. biscuit says:

    “…I pinched the tup tube with my knees — a classic technique I call the Marin Clinch…”


    This is exceptionally funny. Mostly because it’s true.
    I’ve been riding a lot in Marin lately and constantly make fun of the lack of hard trails.
    The Marin guys get all butt-hurt and defensive, but if there are more than three rocks/roots in a row on a trail they get all stiff and grip their top tube with their knees.

    Great article, and congradulations on moving up from semi-slow to escalator!

  3. Roger says:

    Reno is great. Trails are perfect down near the valley, but still too much snow up higher. My neighbor is putting a track in his back yard. All the benefits without making my wife angry!
    When are you coming back through? I’ve got a handful of people interested in clinics, I think we could keep you busy for a couple of days.

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