Y’all know what I’m talking about. Those “rare birds” on the trail, well… just taking up the trail, suspiciously lazy with no matchy-matchy attire. Terrible at their sport (and likely questionable at daily life duties), they are the Ronnie Mac’s of mtb, goonin’ all day long. No one understands why these exaggeratingly awkward riders exist, but when encountered, they possess the ability to make you cry like a Celine Dion song turned up to 11.
According to historical British etymology, the term “Jerry” stems from early 20th century English vernacular. During WWI, the Brits used the term as a dearly affectionate handle for the Germans–their helmets resembled the same shape as a 19th century chamber pot, which was referred to in Queen’s slang as a “Jerry” (similar to “loo” or “John”).
In similar fashion, the name is used to describe things that are poorly (or crappily) constructed, or a bloke who lacks clear, non-lazy understanding of how to perform. (“That dude is such a Jerry – look at how he’s zip-tied his bars to his stem!”)
You’ll notice them littered among many other modern-day athletic populations, to include skiing, motocross, and road cycling (often referred to as a “Fred”). Curious how they do it? Just follow the simple steps outlined below and you’ll be totally dialed.
Garbage in, garbage out, bros!
1. To fully emulate a Jerry with superb authenticity, one must achieve a balance between two important and foundational attributes: $6 worth of skills on a $6,000 bike. Let me stress… it must be THE bike. We’re talking at least 6 G’s – more is always better.
2. Do not remove the following items that come on your carbon steed, no matter what anyone tells you (this is very serious): plastic spoke protector/dork disk on the rear cassette, those cute lil black valve stem caps, and the rear, front, and in-spoke wheel reflectors. To comment further on the last part – bling is important. Everyone should be able to see how well you bodaciously shred gnar and Jerry the hell out of some whoops, especially at night.
3. Kneepads go over your skinny jeans, Joey.
4. To help emphasize your delicate musculature, wear a race-cut zip-up jersey with baggies (or skinny jeans à la #3 above). If you’re attending a shop ride, make sure your jersey has mail-order logos all over it. Some choose to pair this classic outfit with white socks, white shoes, and a white helmet. Perfect for your upcoming video edit.
5. On the trail, who has the right of way? YOU have the right of way. Especially downhill. Especially when about to session some turns going fast AF.
6. To make sure everyone else in the area can hear you coming (see #5), never, never, EVER lube your chain.
7. The safest place to rest is in the middle of a trail or in the landing of a jump. These are the choice spots to open up a trail Budweiser and really take in your surroundings. Totally zone out, meditate, and appreciate your impeding interference with everyone else’s flow.
8. Make sure you always look just in front of your front tire. Better yet, just keep your eyes on the tire, or even the stem if you really start to feel unsafe. Why look down the trail at all? You might hit that giant rock or hole right in front of you and taco your wheel. No one likes compromising their own stoke. Even worse, you may not see another rider coming the opposite direction – Refer back to #5… come onnnnnn.
9. Ensure your elbows are always locked. Straight arms are strong arms. A great time to practice this technique? When you’re cleaning some tree roots or a small set of drops.
10. Who needs a rear brake when attempting to clean some steep-ass descent? Pffft… not a Jerry. Squeeze that front brake lever HARD… I promise you’ll get all the attention you’ve never thought to ask for. Remember: skidding is rad. Skidding uncontrollably is radder… and the only thing radderer is going OTB, guaranteed.
11. For the ladies: “Boobs to bars” has nothing to do with bike handling skills. (This idea can also be applied to those with moobs, however, a word of caution: you’ll probably be drinking that ice-cold Budweiser alone.)
12. For those late afternoons you just don’t wake up early enough, you can always ride in gym shoes or flip flops. And forget a helmet: there’s no time to waste when you’re wasting time.