The Joy of Filth – Issue 53 Extras (Premier Content)

by Mark Alker 9

Our Joy of Filth feature in issue 53 consisted of a collection of thoughts from a range of riders but as is often the way with print we weren’t able to publish the whole collection in print. But that’s what our premier Accounts are for! And so here we present Dave’s introduction to the article along with a contribution from Simon Robinson we simply didn’t have room for in the mag.

The Joy of Filth – From Issue 53

Days shortening, temperatures dropping and all accompanied by the turning of the leaves on the trees. Dusty, dry trails are slowly reverting, traction slipping away. These are the signs of an end of summertime. That short season of so called perfect riding. Nirvana. Really?

Here’s the facts.

There’s something special that separates us from the other two wheeled clans; the ability to put up with a bit of hardship. The extra resistance training of plasticine mud, headwinds and sticky tyres. The ability to ride on regardless of the grinding sound that emanates from your expensive drivetrain. The enthusiasm to climb into favourite cold weather gear and face the grimness of it all head on. Rides completed coated in a chafing layer of mud and grit.

What’s that? Not for you? You’re one of the fairweather ones who retreats onto the road, the indoor turbo trainer, or worse still the sofa, sucked into a yawning chasm of self regret, TV and donuts. Don’t worry. It’s just that you’re weak. It’s not your fault; you’re just one of the unlucky ones, the ones that have yet to discover the Joy of Filth.

Lets not kid ourselves here. The filth is hard. The filth is unrelenting. The filth is unmotivation to the power of ten. The filth eats bike parts and riders in equal measure.

But you can learn to love it. Learn to appreciate the fitness it gives, the tweaking of bike handling skills, the friendship that comes from shared rides in shite weather, the opportunity to actually feel alive in this plastic world of ours.

The season of filth is my favourite time of year.

Lets all meet it head on.


Here’s some reflections on the Joy of Filth to get you in the mood, to give you motivation, to get you out on your bike in what is soon to come……….

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Comments (9)

  1. Sorry to sound cranky guys, as I do so love the brilliance of ST when it hits the spot, but sometimes it falls wide of the mark. This ‘Joy of Filth’ article was singularly the most lacklustre part of issue 53 by far. It was so chok-full of nausiating bombastic hubris it almost made me feel like never ever riding a bike again. So many writers had evidently been bouyed up by the pitch, which probably went somthing like: ‘Right, we need you to write 200 wrds to convince the lazy people that read our magazine that riding through winter is a good idea.’. So off they all went and did exactly that, each one with the same ‘Just get out there and DO IT’-type moronic statements, which were lacking in humor, insight or originality. The article was about as interesting as watching a Mr Motivator fitness video. Riding in the wet and grime of winter is fun – and riding in the dry and dust of summer is fun too. End of story. I don’t need convincing. It’s called mountain biking.

  2. LOL, not as bad as Ed-O’s piece, the gist of which was “I get lots of free bling kit so I might as well ride it in the mud, who cares if it gets knackered, someone will send me some more for free shortly”

  3. What part of the mag did you like?

  4. I agree with all off the above, A least it was better than the racing issue.

  5. Haven’t read most of it yet (which probably isn’t a good sign). Liked the jacket group test and Steve Pete’s bike porn. The Shaun Palmer article might be good although there was a similar piece in DIRT recently which was great, so dunno. The keilder 100 article was okay, although oddly not as compelling as reading the first hand accounts on the forum.

  6. When you’ve read the Shaun Palmer article could you let us know what you think?

  7. I loved Mike Ferrentino (sp.?) – I always do! And that one about the courier stuff in London – an article simultaneously managing to condense everything about living a life of cycling and the weird idiosyncrasies of London into one bemusing article. The guy who does that is consistently good value. The Kielder stuff was fairly inspirational too… I think I might actually give that event a go now! The carbon bikes bit was good for drooling over. Same comments about Ed-O’s piece. If I was MTB-ing for a living I’d use XTR all year round too, for sure..

  8. Sure, it probably won’t be for a few weeks though, when I glanced at it the other day it looked like there were rather a lot of long words. I don’t like long words – they make my head feel funny. So you’ll have to wait whilst I cut them all out with my Bob the Builder scissors. If you’d like a review of the article sooner could you send me a version that has all the big words replaced with smaller ones?
    Thanks in advance.

  9. Actually went back and had another look at the mag again over the weekend, decided I wasn’t very interested in much of it….. so cancelled my subscription. Thanks Mark for helping me make my mind up, might never have gotten around to it otherwise.

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