Kali Journal

Po, trail dog extraordinaire, only has eyes for his riding partner, Simon.

The first thing you notice about Simon Bosman, 59, when you come upon him on the trails around Sedona is absolutely nothing.  He doesn’t take this personally. As a matter of fact he’s grown pretty accustomed to this, as he is almost always accompanied on the trail by his trusty trail dog, Po and Po gets all the attention. But truth be known Po just might be the most aloof, dare we say unfriendly trail dog, in all the land. He doesn’t give a shit about being petted, talked to or even making eye contact. He only has eyes for Simon and he makes it very clear he has no interest in standing around and chewing the fat. He’s here to rip the gnar.  Aside from Po’s complete lack of social etiquette, he is an amazing riding partner. Po hangs at the back of the pack, keeping a close watch on the entire group and then he moves up one rider at a time until he finds himself once again tucked in on Simon’s wheel. And Simon’s wheel is a great place to be. He’s wicked fast, whippy smooth with a story and filled to the brim with local knowledge assuring if you ride with Simon you will find yourself on some “special” local trails, taking in amzazing vistas and pounding through some quality Sedona chunk.    Where are you from?  I was born in Durban, South Africa in 1961. In 1968 my family and I left and moved to Zimbabwe where we lived until 1979 when we made our way back to South Africa. After all the moving I went to Phoenix, Arizona in the early 80s and found Sedona where I currently live. Back in Africa me, my brother, mom and dad used to live in tents while constructing our brick house on a reservation. We had no power tools for this job, just some help from local natives. All of our furniture was handmade. We cooked in our wood fire stove and grew our own vegetable garden. When did you start riding? I’ve been riding my whole life, I’ve always been active. My first time riding single track was when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I used to ride my friend’s bikes and never got a bike of my own until I was 16. I love all terrain and the gnarly parts of the ride extra. I used to race XC in the late 80s and did my first downhill race in 1990. As time went on I raced nationals and got sponsored. I’ve also raced dirt bikes and street bikes. I am excited by anything you can do on wheels. How often do you ride? As often as I can! It is calming. I always have to be active. My love for physical activity even reflects on my job. I hated working an office job and I currently work in landscaping.  When I’m mountain biking doing a big line I take it on staying in control bit by bit. Just like in my life. When you take on things in small mouthfuls you can achieve a lot. Riding has helped me overcome ADHD and anxiety. I can’t imagine overcoming those things without my bike. After all these years I’m still learning new tricks and techniques. Are there any destinations you want to ride at when there’s less travel restrictions? I am so lucky to have nearby places to ride like Prescott, but there’s lots I would like to explore in British Columbia, Canada.  How did your dog “Po” become so good on trails? I have always liked having a trained dog on the trails with me. I’ve always had animals but not your typical house pets. A few of my previous pets when I lived on the reservation were; monkeys, leopards, pythons and a bunch of different kinds of birds. Tell us about a crazy experience you had while riding your bike. One time I was riding with Bike Magazine on Mingus Mountain. We were doing the Black Canyon trail. This is a trail I rode a bunch of times but there’s one section that is on the edge of a 90 foot cliff. One of my friends wheelied across it but when I went across this section my back wheel caught a rock hidden in the dewy grass on the trail. This sent me backwards off the cliff. After about 15 feet of falling I caught and hung onto a bush and was pulled up by a human chain to safety.  What does the future hold for you and Po? Making a daily list of things that I’d like to accomplish. Starting with the things you want to do least but are important. I think we all have way more time each day to accomplish things than we think we have. Making a list is key to positioning yourself appropriately to succeed at whatever we want.
read more

New Year's Revelation and the Quest for Answers

I’m not really much of a New Year’s Resolution kind of guy. I’m neither for them or against them and do not judge those who do or don’t.  Even though I personally don’t do resolution, it is the time of the year when we are having deep and intense conversations about the current and future helmet lineup at Kali Protectives. They are not really New Year’s Resolutions meetings, but more end of the year strategic planning discussion.  One of the more interesting conversations revolves around the crazy increase in e-bikes sales, the eBike helmet standard and trying to predict whether the new riders on eBikes will be looking for an eBike specific lid. Which brings me to my New Year’s conundrum. Let me just start by saying I blame my riding partner, Dave. You see, I have spent most of 2020 chasing Dave up and down the hills around my house in San Jose, sometimes keeping pace and sometimes not so much. But now Dave has gone to the darkside. Dave has gone electric. Dave is motor-fied. Dave is batteries included. Dave is riding away from me with a huge grin on his face. Dave has imploded my stance on eMTBs and what I thought was my eMTB strategic plan. It’s not like I’m opposed to the massive influx of eMTBs onto the scene, but I had convinced myself I didn’t need one. Yet.  I planned on finally giving into the eMTB thing about the same time I was fitted for adult diapers and a stroller. I just had this idea in my head it was for people who couldn’t get up the climbs without assistance or a device to allow your aging body to keep up with the younger, fitter riders. But there was Dave standing at the trailhead next to his brand new Orbea Rise with a giant, painfully joyous grin on his face.  Dave is neither old, terribly overweight (a small shot at my riding partner) or lacking in fitness. He is a firefighter and he keeps himself pretty dialed. So what gives? Why the motorized assistance and why the giant grin? Well, according to the grinning fool, he can ride farther, get to more of the “fun” stuff and get just as rowdy as on his “regular” bike, all in the same amount of time. So what’s the downside? He has to take some good natured ribbing from his riding partners, of which there are now fewer and he can’t take his new whip to trails all over which seem to be banning eMTBs. I’m in. Now I just have to weigh through all the reviews to determine which of the crop of new bikes is the right one for me: Pivot Shuttle, Specialized Levo, Santa Cruz Heckler, Orbea Rise, etc… If you have a second feel free to fill out our survey below to tell me if you have taken the eBike plunge and while you’re at it let me know if you would be willing to buy an eBike specific helmet if it meant the helmet needed to have a little more coverage and the need to be larger due to the increase in the amount of foam to pass the NTA 8776 Dutch eBike safety rating.  You know by now safety is my passion and I’m super interested in where the eBike safety standards are going to go as eBikes get more power, with extended battery life and thus extended time in the saddle. What is the right answer is still unclear, but I’m paying very close attention to the data.  I hope everyone else's New Year’s Resolution and Revelations pan out.
read more

Certification for eBike Helmets

NTA-8776 E-Bike Helmet Certification What is an NTA-8776 (speed pedelec) helmet? A speed pedelec is a two-wheeled vehicle with auxiliary propulsion power, assisting the rider with pedalling up to a maximum of 45 km/h. According to the new EU directive (No 168/2013) on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles, the S-EPAC is classified as a moped. Protection“An NTA-8776 helmet is a helmet that complies with the requirements in the Dutch Technical Agreement (NTA) 8776. These requirements have been drafted by an international project group under the management of NEN. This helmet looks like a bicycle helmet, but protects against higher impact speeds and covers a larger part of the head.” Drafting NTA 8776In drafting the NTA, the project group made use of existing knowledge on head protection (a whole range of existing helmet standards, literature) and the results of tests performed on high-end bicycle helmets. Then, using EN 1078 as the base, the project group redefined its requirements towards the limits of the current technical possibilities in head protection. Next to the increased safety level, other important considerations in defining the requirements were that the helmet should be suitable for use in physical effort and should not impede the hearing ability of the S-EPAC user. How do I recognize an NTA-8776 helmet?To be permitted to place a S-EPAC helmet on the market and to be able to use it on public roads (in the Netherlands), the helmet has to contain a mark of approval which can be found in Annex B of NTA 8776. This mark of approval is tied to an accompanying certification process. The requirements for the certification process are written down in the NEN certification scheme NCS 8776. The mark of approval is to be found on (the right side of) this website, in Annex B of NTA 8776 and in NCS 8776. On the inside of the speed pedelec helmet only the text ‘NTA 8776’ is displayed. The full mark of approval is displayed on the packaging of the helmet and in the manual. Where can I certify an NTA-8776 helmet?Certification bodies that have a license agreement with NEN are qualified to certify NTA 8776 helmets. These are the VIAS Institure in Brussels, Belgium, Telefication in Zevenaar, the Netherlands and CSI in Bollate, Italy. Official Source, NEN 1999-2019© – https://www.nen.nl/Standardization/Certification/SpeedPedelec-Helmet.htm
read more

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Normally it’s the time of year when we start to slow down for the holidays, look forward to spending some time at home and begin to take stock of all the great things in our lives. We also usually let our minds drift and daydream about what awesome bike bauble we are hoping to find under the tree. But this ain’t been no normal year. In some ways 2020 has been a pretty good kick in the teeth, or in mountain bike lingo, it’s been an epic Yard Sale. Everything we had planned spread out in front of us like one big giant “Friday Fail.” Luckily for us, we have had the gift of the bicycle this year and have been able to pedal through some of our issues. In addition, with our extra time sitting at the computer instead of commuting or having contact with actual humans, we have been able to dial in both our bikes and our “Oh man, I want that!” list.  Here are just a few of the things we think everyone should be asking Santa for. Evil Offering V2  Although they are calling this "The One (Offering) to Rule Them All", we are pretty sure the Kali Uno was the first time anyone used this marketing speak to try and sell you something. After all, the Kali Uno is The One Helmet to Rule Them All, but we digress. This is a gift guide selection we are hoping our significant others read and take action because the new Evil Offering is indeed nothing short of awesome. Sort of tucked in between the Wreckoning and the Following, you might be thinking this is a compromise between a trail bike and an enduro bike and you might not be completely wrong. It is, however, the compromise we didn’t really know we were looking for. The Offering is a 29er with a 77 degree head tube angle and 140mm of confidence inspiring rear suspension. We found it a capable partner on the climbs, a ferocious descender which gave us confidence to chuck at things we have previously hesitated on and it demanded we get in the game, be proactive in our line choices and toss it around like a Nerf ball on the playground.  The only problem is that the Evil Offering V2 may be harder to find then that Christmas when everyone was fighting over Tickle Me Elmo. -Jim Lezyne Send It Caddy If you’re going to send it, then what better companion could one want then the Send It Caddy?  My Pivot Switchblade (which is lust worthy all by itself)  holds two water bottles, so with this handy device I have been able to do 90% of my rides without having the added weight and complication of a hydration pack.   Plus, it is thoughtfully rubberized so it doesn’t damage my frame, holds my spare tube, tire levers, Co2 device and a spare Co2 canister. If I have any friends on our list who have been exceptionally nice I would totally recommend you send the Send It. -Jon Lizard Skins Charger EVO grips Lizard Skin has struck the perfect balance between super comfy and great grip with their single clamp lock-on Charger EVO grips. My hands used to hurt so bad. My first thought was to switch to a pillowy thick grip for comfort. It took me a few years to realize how much more comfortable a thin grip is for me. I was riding Lizard Skins Bearclaw grips but I recently moved to the Charger EVO and my digits could not be any happier. They also make a green that perfectly matches my bike perfectly. Score. -Jon Maxima SC1  The Maxima SC1 is basically “new bike” in a can. This stuff is a silicone spray that keeps my whip looking totally fresh. The trick is to buy a can when you are about to sell your bike or your car or your motorhome. Spray it on. Wipe it off. Ta-da. Good as new (ish). It also works great on suspension stanchions and dropper posts.  Side Note: It smells like cotton candy from the county fair and who doesn't love cotton candy? -Jon Emergency Blanket If you ever had your riding partner crash during a late night, brisk, bike lights on, winter ride, then had to wait for what seems like days for help to arrive, then you will immediately understand what a great investment these emergency blankets are. They are compact, lightweight and surprisingly inexpensive. This might be the ultimate way to earn a “thank you” beer, post-ride. -Eric Shower Pass Rain Jacket Nobody likes to ride in the rain. Well, nobody in their right mind likes to ride in the rain, but sometimes, you've just got no choice. You’re committed. Or you should be. And you have to push off into the elements.  If you are a ride it, rain or shine, type of person then you should know about Shower Pass. They make serious rainwear for serious people.  Their gear is designed to keep the rain out and still allow you to vent to help dissipate the heat and moisture you are building up on the inside. Don’t skimp on wet weather gear. Don’t go out into the elements without a Shower Pass. -Eric Tern GSD S00 eCargo I was looking to kill 24 birds with one stone. I wanted to meld my exercise with my need for transportation and my love of fresh air in my face. So, you can find me winging around Morgan Hill on my Tern eCargo bike with a six pack of beer in my front rack, groceries strapped here, there and everywhere and a giant grin on my face. This two-wheeled wonder has been the excuse killer. I now don’t have a single reason why I can’t get on my bike, get my errands done and get my heartrate up. Whether I’m in the mood for Eco, Tour, Sport or full on Turbo, I have all the power I need. I just go.  For that just little bit more comfort I’m running the Kinekt 2.1 Aluminum XL2 seat post. I recommend it is the perfect holiday gift for your backside. -Jason   One Up Components Aluminum Pedals The pedals on my Pivot Mach 5.5 bike were starting to disintegrate right under my feet. Time was of the essence, so I swung into my local IBD (Independent Bike Shops rule) and perused their collection.  It turned out, I only had eyes for the One Up platforms. They were spacious and have absolutely huge inside bearings. The pedals have additional bearings on the outside and they might not be the lightest platform on the market, but when it comes to durability, and pin-perfect confidence, they are winners. The One Up pedals are where form meets function for your feets. -Jason Will Bike for Beers shirt Yes. Yes. And, of course, yes. Enough said.  -Nicole Pivot Vault I love the Pivot Vault. More importantly, I love riding the Vault and to be more specific, I love where the Pivot Vault takes me, both physically and mentally. There is no where I don’t want to go and very few places I can’t go on the Vault. This might seem silly, but one of my favorite things about my Pivot Vault is the Rogue Panda frame bag I had it fitted with. It’s like having the convenience of a  cargo bike while still feeling like you are aboard a rocket ship. I can get in a couple hour long ride, pick up some Johnny’s Donuts, a carnitas burrito and get them home fuss free. The SRAM Force Wide Range gearing makes any climb within reach and the Vaults ISO Flex seat post damper takes the sting out of teeth chattering terrain. The line has officially blurred and the Vault is ready to make your road ride more fun and more comfortable, regardless of how you define “road.” -Jim Velocio Concept Bibs They’re a little like blue jeans. On the surface they all look the same, plain black, straps and a chamois. But once you pull on the Velocio Concept Bibs you realize not all bibs are created equal.  If you are going to be spending 5 plus hours of your Saturday turning the pedals with your private bits plastered to the saddle, then a proper fitting whip, well designed, properly fitting shoes and the right pair of bibs is key to maximizing comfort.  The Velocio Concept Bib Shorts are the perfect partner for all day efforts in the saddle. In concept and in execution (see what we did there) there is nothing not to like about these bibs. They are beautifully made, the materials and execution are impeccable, and we appreciate how Velocio goes about doing their business. They are a company we can get our behind, behind. (More cleverness).  I love them and you will too. -Jim
read more

Dreaming Big with Xavier Ompok

Xavier Ompok, his wife April and their two children have not had an easy go of it, but they appear to have come out the other side stronger and more rooted in faith and family than ever before. We were so inspired by the Ompok family’s  incredible story of hope and resilience, strength and positive attitude, we just had to share. Thank you to Xavier, April, Nina, and Nico for sharing their story and being an inspiration. My name is Xavier Ompok. I am 40 years old, and I live in Nevada. I am married, and I have two awesome kids. I have been mountain biking for 11 years, and it is one of my passions. I have gone through a lot both physically and emotionally, and this life has truly been a rollercoaster to say the least. However, I would not change a thing about my life because I believe everything you go through truly shapes you into the person that God created you to be.  I love mountain biking, but I also love my family. God blessed me with a beautiful wife, one wonderful daughter, and my one miracle son. My son has special needs, which was caused by a traumatic brain injury when he was six months old and is now healthy and alive, by God’s grace, at 13-years-old.  My family and I were living in New Jersey at the time, and because of my son’s brain injury, he and my daughter were taken away from me and my wife, April, and had to live with my parents across town in mid 2007. April and I were in and out of court rooms fighting to get our kids back and prove that we were innocent of what happened to my son. We knew our kids were in safe hands with my parents, but it was still very difficult for us because we couldn’t raise our family the way we wanted. After over three years of prayer, fighting, doctor’s appointments, court hearings, tears, and believing, my amazing wife and I got our kids back, and our family was complete. About two years later, my family and I packed our stuff and moved to Nevada.   I started mountain biking in 2009, when I was 29 years old, because of what happened to my son, Nico. I got so depressed, and there was not much in my life that could motivate me to get up in the mornings knowing my kids weren’t able to spend all their time with me and my wife. April was the one who encouraged me to get up and not let my depression get the best of me and brought up the idea of trying mountain biking with my friends… and here I am, 11 years later still riding and shredding at least four times a week with some amazing people, and enjoying life even more.  Just last September in 2019, I was diagnosed with severe spinal stenosis in my neck. Because of that, I had to get surgery right away and infuse my C4, 5, and 6. After my diagnosis and my surgery, a lot of people doubted me and said that I would not be able to get back into riding mountain bikes again. But after 3 months of recovery, I have been getting back in shape, back on the saddle and have been riding my bike in some of the most amazing places. I learned from my experience, throughout what my son has gone through, to never give up. Even Nico, who doubted that he would be able to play any sport, has won 6 gold medals in his first special olympics competition and he can also ride a bike, naturally. All the things the doctors, nurses, and therapists said my son would not be able to do, he is now able to do. He is the biggest miracle in my life and brings joy to everyone he knows and is with us today.  I am so blessed and thankful for this opportunity to be able to share my story and my passion and love for mountain biking. As a father, husband, and an athlete, I believe that it is important to have fun, enjoy, and live life to the fullest. Stay true to yourself, and remember that you can do anything, no matter what people say or think. Dream big, and do not give up. You may not be able to control what happens to you or the circumstances you will face in life, but you can control how you react to it and how you will allow it to shape you as a person. 
read more

Hitting the Oregon trails

“Hey, I hate to ask but I need a huge favor,” said Brad “the boss” Waldron. “I need to deliver a car to Oregon, but I thought we could do a little mountain biking while we are up there.”

On the plus side you have mountain biking Bend, leaving the home office, brew pubs and credit for doing the boss a favor. 

On the minus side there doesn't seem to be a single thing.

Oregon here we come. 

read more