Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dirt Jumps

So I got the call from Geritt at Morewood Bikes that it was finally time to build some jumps. He told me he had a machine on their property and had managed to make a huge mess and needed some help. Well in the end they turned out a little bigger than we had planned, but that isn't always a bad thing. The wood is because they got a little over watered and we just couldn't wait to try them. Another few days and it should be all dirt. Here's the vids

video

video

And a little perspective, the center of the jumps aren't even full depth and I am actually on a low jump through the section here.

video

So by the end of the day we ended up hitting the 3rd set. Took a little work to get the landing good but it is now by far the most fun jump. The best part is this is only the begining!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The ride from Utah to Vegas

This was Cody and my spot for the 7 hour drive. We each took a 3.5 hour shift. here is the view from the front

Collegiate National Champs

So this past weekend I opted out of a race I have been working towards for many years, the Jeep 48straight finals. Instead I attended the 2008 Collegiate National Champs. Years ago I raced in college and it has forever made an impression on my life and my racing career.

This year I have been helping out the Brevard College Cycling team. It is a new team with this being only it's second full season. Last year I was involved, but with this being it's second year I new most of the racers on a more personal level. It is not even that I really coach any of the kids, more we just ride together. Naturally we talk about riding and it seems that they get something from this. Something different than being coached, something better, and for me it is something I can't describe. Winning used to be everything, and don't get me wrong as a racer I still want to win. But now I have found something that meens as much to me and most of the time more, and that is seeing someone else enjoy what I have experienced through my many years of racing. Whether it is a first win, or first big loss, or just riding something that they never saw possible before. These are the things that have formed me into the person that I am today and it is amazing to watch others experience these things.

On to the racing...The races were held in Banner Elk, NC and were hosted by Lees-McRae College. The weather, well for anyone that has ever raced at Sugar Mountain you know it always rains and this weekend was no exception. We had Months of good weather leading up to this event and even the day prior to the first race we had 65 degrees and sunny. Friday moring we were up at 5 am and out the door at 6:30 with still over an hour of darkness before the sun finally came up. It was XC day, and the boys needed to be on the bikes in the dark just to get a proper warm up before the early morning start. And as the day broke the rain started to fall, 48 degrees and raining and it was race day. If there is one thing BC has it is a strong XC team. Returning from a silver medal last year was Tristan Cowie and all he wanted was the win. A mishap off the start put all but Tristan at the back of the pack. The boys charged on but it is hard to start from such a deficit. Tristan was in second for most of the race but on the last lap put in a massive attack and ended up winning by a few minutes. Next off were the women, with only two at Nationals they knew they had their work cut out for them. Both had great starts and we ended up with a 5th and a 7th.

Friday afternoon was DH seeding run and I was supposed to do a Team America course walk and a little bit of coaching. It was set for 1:30 and when I arrived at the top of the mountain visiblity was less than 100 feet and I couldn't even open the door to my truck because the wind was blowing so hard. After a long cold wait at the top of the moutnain the seeding run was called off and we could all go get out of the weather and warm up.

Saturday was another early morning with Short Track XC, this time it was the womens turn to be up early and on the bike. It went well with a 5th and a 8th place finish. Next up were the men and Tristan had a mission again and that was to win. I had my doubts with the effort he had put in less than 24 hours earlier. A Union College rider was off the front early but Tristan looked calm. He laid down a attack to bridge back to the leader and then sat on his wheel for a couple of laps looking completely blown, that is except when he gave a little smile every time he passed by us. Then came the attack of all attacks. It was perfect. Tristan knew the other riders weekness and at the perfect moment he went and by went I meen he was gone. In just a lap he put over 30 seconds into the former leader and ended up holding on to the win.

Finally on to the gravity events. Our gravity team is young and inexperienced but we have tons of talent and even more important the want to make it happen. The rains had finally lifted but not until after almost 2 inches had fallen. This made for a typical Sugar Mountain DH. Our boys didn't fair well but both riders said they learned a ton and I know that feels so it was great to hear. The girls went a little better with Johanne Tuttle taking Silver on a slalom bike. Just wait til' she finds out what a DH rig can do.

Saturday night was the infamous banquet dinner. Surprisingly this was the most mellow one I have ever been to. The guest speaker was to be Brent Brookwalter but without a PA system he opted out of yelling over the rowdy Collegiate crowd. Awards were given and National champions were crowned. The only real chaos of the night was when a window was broken out, later we found out it was just someone trying to moon the people inside the banquet that got a little to excited.

Sunday was Slalom day. I built the Slalom track for this years race and I was really excited to see it raced on. We were all a little weary about how the track would hold up with all the rain we had earlier in the weekend. Practice was extended as it was cancelled on Saturday and the track seemed to be holding up. The racing was amazing and you never knew who was going to win until they crossed the finish line. Our boys qualied good in 2nd and 5th. Unfortunately Danny Ceasar #2 qualifier crashed out early and couldn't make up the differential in the second run. Dan Ennis ended up taking 3rd in Slalom which secured his 4th place overall omnium finish. Johanne Tuttle was the fastest womens qualifier in both division 1 and 2 and after some early mistakes ended up taking the win and also secured the womens omnium National Championship. It was a lot of fun to watch, but was more stressfull than any race I have raced for a long time.

In the end Brevard College took 4th as a team and I see great things for them in the future. I was really worried about my decision to "stay and work" instead of "go and race" but it was a great weekend. I know coaching will be in my future at some point. Congrats to all of you that were at Collegiate Nats, that in its self is a hard task to accomplish. BC, thanks for letting me be apart of such a great thing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

dislocated shoulder!!!

So last weekend I dislocated my shoulder. I was down in Clemson, SC helping out with the Brevard College Cycling team. I tried to scrub this jump that I had been over jumping. Something went wrong off the lip???? Still don't know what but it ended pretty bad with me hitting the edge of a bridge full on with my shoulder. My shoulder was out for about 15 minutes before I got someone to help me set it. It was by far the worst dislocation I have ever had. Pretty weird but it is the fastest recovery of all time. I already have full range of motion and it has only been 3 days. My bicep is really bruised and the muscles are really sore. Could of been a lot worse. I missed a lot of really big trees on the way to the bridge that I ended up hitting. When I did hit I knocked 4 boards off of it. If they hadn't gave way I would be in a lot worse shape.
Here is how it looks and the bruise is only getting worse.

Slalom Track

5 days later and the 2008 Collegiate National Mountain Bike dual slalom track is ready to go. Last you guys heard I was on my way to build another track. This new track is at Lees-McRae College. I started two Mondays ago and with the great help of head coach Brian Sheedy we had the machine work done in just 3 days, that is 3-12 hour days. Anyways I think the track turned out to be pretty fun. Here is the video.
video

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Last Month

So it's been a while and so much has happened. Here goes. Cole was here, soooo much fun, we played so hard. Brevard College home race...Worked about 50 hours the week leading up to the race. Building trail, race set-up, working the bugs out of the new slalom timing system, and all around chaos. The race went well, everyone seemed to love the tracks and other than a few minor issues the event was a huge success.

Next, built a new bike('09 SX) which might be the most beautiful bike I have ever seen. Flew to Utah the next day for the second round of the Jeep 48straight series. Met teamate Cody Warren and new wrench Colin Bailey (that's right the same Colin you all know, just turned mechanic, and he is sick!!!) at the airport. Rode like a complete little girl on one of the burliest slalom tracks I have ever seen. Made the cut for the finals in 14th spot and got put out first round by the great Eric Carter.

On to the long drive to Vegas. We were in Colin's truck and had so much stuff that we actually had to take our bikes apart and put them back in the boxes to make it fit. It took 5 tries but we finally made it work. I did leave out the part that it was a single cab Tacoma with a camper shell. No way 3 grown men could ride up front all the way to Vegas so we made a little cubby hole and well....Cody and I both took a 3.5 hour shift in it. You could barley roll over and some one had to push you by your feet to get into it, but hey it was an experience. Vegas was good, we were there for the trade show to sign some posters and just hang out. We rode lots of roller coasters went swimming and were just generally lazy, that is if you don't count the miles and miles of walking. Walking is just a bad way to get anywhere, it is so slowwwwwww! But with not much else to do we walked.

Home for a day and then off to build a new slalom track, more on that to come!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back On The Road

It is already time to hit the road again. I have had such a fun few weeks home. When Cole was staying with me here in NC we, built a ramp, fixed a pump track, road 3 different pump tracks, rode dh in the rain, dh timed runs at 26West bike park, lake jumped(no back flips learned, we are lame), trail run in a downpour, tons of xc, and just enjoyed being in one place long enough to unpack the ol' gear bag.

Cole left last Monday for Schladming and since I have played a lot less and worked a lot more, but it was good. All last week was spent preparing for the Brevard College home mountain bike race. With rain the weeks prior we still had a lot of trail to build as this was a new race venue. We must of set a record for how fast we were building trail, we barely got the loop finished before the rain set in again. Most of my Thursday and Friday were spent trying to get a new Dual Slalom timing system to work. I spent hours in radio shack and definitely made up for the last 10 years of my life of never going to that store at all, it felt liked I lived there. Down to the wire but at 4:45 Friday afternoon the system was done and WORKED!!!! The race started early Saturday morning with DH, then Short Track XC, and finally DS. I already had about 50 hours in by Friday and Saturday added another 14 to the total. It was a long stressful day but everyone seemed really happy with the race and it was nice to see some organization on the collegiate level. Sunday was XC and I was helping with the scoring, well.... I did a lot of cheering and some riding around on the quad but not much work. It was a pretty relaxing end to the weekend. I had so much fun as a collegiate racer and it is still great to be involved with it all.

Well now it is time to hit the road, I leave out later this week for the second Jeep 48straight series race. We are headed to the Canyons in Park City, Utah. After the race we will head South to Vegas for the trade show and then home again. Once home there is rumor I might get to help build the Dual Slalom track for this years Collegiate National Championships. Hope it works out because that would be a fun project!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sickest trophy EVER!!!!!!

This is the handmade series overall trophy from Snowshoe. It is a really bad photo of it, and doesn't show much of the amazing detail that it has but hopefully you get the idea. It was based off the race series poster. The trees are holding the course tape and are watching the riders as they pass. Thanks to the guys at Snowshoe for the great series and for providing something for the series win that I will keep forever.


Snowshoe #3

It was a great weekend of racing. So much fun having teammate Cole Bangert along. We started off the weekend with a little private coaching lesson on Friday with some of my good friends Matt and Ellen Adams. It was a lot of line selection and corner setup with an emphasis on body position. This was a great opportunity for me to really look at the track from all different angles. In the end it was a lot of fun working with them and they seemed to really race well on Sunday.

Saturday we woke up to a really slick West Virginia style course. Lots of roots pointing every direction and slick mud covered rocks everywhere else. Practice was a blast and Cole opened my eyes to lines I have never seen in years of racing at SS. It is great to see someone else's perspective and be able to learn from them. I think we cranked out 7 practice runs before it was time to head to Slalom. After a few hour weather delay(thunder and lightning) we finally got started. Just as the Elite class started getting in the gate for qualies I heard a faint rumble of thunder and knew the race probably wasn't going to happen. Qualifying would be important as the final results would most likely go off of that. Sure enough just as the Elites finished qualies a weather delay was called in by the powers that be at the resort and the race was called off. Cole and I finished 1-2 and it was good to be able to go relax after a long day of DH runs.

Sunday morning saw typical Snowshoe fog which cleared into a beautiful sunny day with light winds. The DH track was drying out fast but from experience I was sure the woods would still be slick. After a quick loop on the lift we saw perfect dry conditions on the open sections, but I still had my doubts on the woods. Cole was the second rider off as he was not in the point series and threw down a pretty sick pedal wheelie, getting dangerously close to the tape down the first straight. It lightened the mood and I think everyone was glad to have him at the race. I got to watch everyone leave the gate on there runs as I was leading the series and the last one to go down the mountain Sunday afternoon. I managed to keep my nerves pretty calm and I think it helped having Cole there as I knew one of us had a great chance of winning. It is a really cool thing we have with Team America, none of the teammates really care if another teamate beats them as long as no one else beats the team. Cole and I did most of our practice together and I knew it was going to be tough. Cole had been in the hot seat since the time he had crossed the line and I barely managed to knock him out of it. 1-2 again for Team America. Super stoked to have Cole out here racing some East Coast races preparing for the upcoming World Cup Finals in Austria.

Snowshoe is a unique place, the racers are all so friendly and that is what makes it so great for me. It seems like it is it's own little world within racing and I am glad to be apart of all the fun that goes on there. To everyone that raced...It was fun and see you next year.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Home!!!

Can't wait to be home for a little night pumptrack session in the back yard.


Here some of the Brevard College boys and the
828 crew get a late night ride session in.

Jersey!!!

Hey Everybody, All I can say is I have been busy! After my crazy Colorado trip where more fun stuff happened at Cole's house post racing than I can even remember, I headed to Whistler BC for 10 days of riding and a whole bunch of racing. I raced yet again two slaloms while in Whistler, the first being regular slalom. It was anything but a regular slalom, This thing looked like a sculpture. I swear you could roll a basketball out of the gate and it could of made it down the track. Super smooth and just as the track was perfect, you had to be perfect to ride this track well. I qualified low in 16th place and by the time I advanced to the second round I was the only guy on a full suspension bike left. Well with Lopes being the number one qualifier it was time for me to race him once again. This time I finally came out on top and it felt good. I really wanted to go on for the win but with a few mistakes in the semi-final I found myself racing for 3rd against my teammate Cody Warren. The only consolation for not making the main was that one of my mistakes was turning to hard and dragging my handlebar in the dirt almost causing myself to crash.



Next weekend we raced Giant Slalom which was a really long slalom with huge berms and jumps. The jumps were about 60% to small for the speed we were carrying. This made for a pretty scary combination of breaking and scrubbing off the lips of the jumps to try to keep from landing to flat or the uphill of the next jump. Again I qualified 16th and Lopes?? Again he was first. I advanced past Brendan Faircloth in the first round, and then very next round Lopes again! I am starting to see a pattern. I really can't complain, it is the best experience I can ever get and I love the opportunity. I do need to start qualifying better though. Well Lopes got me, he was riding really well and had a super strong first straight.



Finally the whole Jersey thing. Well this weekend I am at Diablo Freeride Park for the Jeep 48straight race. Today was qualies and I got 11th, better than 16th, but still not what I am after. Tomorrow are the finals but you might just have to wait to find out the results of this one until it airs on CBS September 28. Hope all is well and we will see you at the races.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Slalom Video from Crankworks

Here is a little slalom video from Crankworks, sick track. http://freecaster.tv/1000006_1005614

Slalom, Slalom, Slalom!!!

This past week I have been out in Colorado staying with Cole Bangert and his family. We arrived at Crankworks Colorado on Wednesday to find a really sick Slopestyle track and what looked to be a fun slalom. Cole is recovering from a shoulder separation injury that occurred just before National Champs. He had decided it was finally time to try out some xc so we headed over to Sol Vista bike park. While there we had a great ride and also got the info that there would be a slalom race Saturday night. The XC was fun and it was good to see Cole recovering so fast.

Saturday was Slalom at Sol Vista. The guys over there put little time into building the track and it speaks volumes for how good they really are because the track was great. Saturday morning we had qualifying, then back to Crankworks to watch a little Slopestyle, then finally some racing under the lights. I was riding really good and found myself in the finals with Brian Lopes. I took the first run and Lopes took the second with an advantage big enough to take the overall. It was a great night of racing and I really felt like the crowd was behind me.

Sunday saw what felt like a really early morning of practice after the late night of racing at Sol Vista. Lopes and I met once again only this time it was in the Semi Finals which meant only one of us would make it to the finals. Brian took the first run and I took the second but not by enough. I ended up taking 3rd while Brian would take the win. It was a lot of fun and I feel like I am riding better than I ever have, a good feeling going into the next few weeks of racing. Look for a Crankworks slalom update soon!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Team America website

Here is the link for our team website www.declineteamamerica.com . enjoy

Colorado with the Bangerts

Hey everyone, I am out in CO getting ready for the Mountain States Cup at Snowmass. Cole picked me up on Monday and we have been pinned ever since. Here are some pics from the trip so far.


The Yeti boys invited us over to ride their new dirt jumps, here Blenkinsop noses in hard



This is the start of Cole's DH track we went here to ride after building bikes in the Best Buy parking lot.



Timmy whipping the last set


Aaron Gwin is the master mind behind these jumps and he has done an amazing job. There are some many lines going every different directions, hard to see from this pic but it is amazing.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

On the road again

So tomorrow I fly out for the Snowmass Mountain States Cup. Teammate Cole Bangert is going to pick me up in the morning. Tim Price is also flying in, another East Coast ripper and Cole will be accompanied by Jonty Netherling, the younger of the two South African brothers. We are going to head straight to Colorado Springs to do some DH runs and then up to Cole's parents house in Twin Lakes. For those of you that have heard me talk about Cole's parents house you know it is a dreamland. We always have so much fun there. Hopefully I can lay down the bike for a minute and give you guys an update. Until then here are a few pics.

Here is Cole's place in the winter,
the pic is titled "Cole is an Idiot"
in my computer.

This is why I never have time to update my blog...
We are always "Training" or playing on a log
in our camp site however you like to look at it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's been a while

Hey everybody, been quite some time now. I have no excuses, just plain laziness. Well a lot has happened. Once back from the Open, I went straight into finishing up the new DS and DH tracks at Headwaters Outfitters Adventure Village here in Brevard, NC. It was a big push to get them done before the skills clinic Joe Haley and myself put on last weekend. Well the tracks were just barely finished when everyone started showing up Saturday morning, but it was worth all the work. Thanks for everyone that came out, we had a blast riding. I hope everyone enjoyed it and that you will all come back and ride some more. Big thanks to David Whitmire for giving us the opportunity for what I think is a great track. I have been promising for ever so here are some pics.
Matt, Jeremy, and myself
post Massenutten


Who ever thought getting into Canada would be harder than getting into the states once at the front of the line it took us another hour and a half to actually get into the country!


Geritt with the big "W" in Canuck land

Thursday, May 29, 2008

US Open

So I am already home at this point and boy it has been a whirlwind of a trip. DC was great, it was an amazing and very motivating trip. A lot of driving though. We got back to Diablo Freeride Park Thursday evening and had to get ready to race again. We setup the trailer, and worked on bikes until well after dark. After trailer setup we manged to walk the track just before dark. It was pretty much the same with a few small changes that made it ride a lot better. Friday was a practice day for DH and slalom and also was slalom qualifying. I qualified 1st in slalom which is a first for me at a big event. Saturday we qualified for DH and I took 17th. That evening we raced slalom and after many delays from the DH qualifying we ran out of daylight. The ski lights came on and it was on with the show. I was riding good but had a hard go with the lighting just between sunset and fully dark. Everyone had a hard time with it. I made some big mistakes and missed making it to the next round by .18 of a second. Very frustrated with myself but it was still cool to quali first. Sunday was DH, and the track got really fast and really rough. It is amazing what 550 racers can do to a track when they ride it non stop. I had a good race run with some really fast sections, but I just didn't link things together how I needed to. I ended up 16th and 5 seconds off of 5th. I was again great time on the bike and I really feel like things are coming around. Sunday night we headed to the Red Bull after party and Sharp Shooters finals. This was a contest for the photographers with an all expense paid trip to a Red Bull event on the line. Well lets just say you will be seeing the shots soon and the winner is a beauty. Monday was the long drive home, and boy it is good to be home. This weekend I will be in Raleigh for the grand opening and fundraiser at a new city bike park. Pictures, pictures, pictures, I know I will try to get some.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh Canada

Hey Everybody, it's been a while since I last wrote and since then I have put a few thousand miles on my truck.  I left last Tuesday headed towards Canada.  Along the way I stopped to see some friends in Virginia and New York.  Wednesday we picked up teammate Curtis Keene in Newark NJ.  He was fresh back to the states from the first World Cup in Slovenia.  Thursday we picked up "The Kid" teammate Andy Becker in Albany NY.  Friday morning we were up early and on our way to Canada.  The border crossing was fun as always, we got held for awhile because of the kid.  Apparently if you are a 15 year old from California trying to cross into French Canada with a bunch of people that don't share a common last name it throws up a few red flags, who knew?  Anyways we were finally to Bromont, where we realized that there was a practice going on that was not on the schedule.  We grabbed the bikes and started to ride one of the most fun tracks of all time.  This track will be used at the World Cup race later in the year.  This race was a Canada Cup, which is their national series.  Saturday practice was 9 am to 5 pm which has to be the best practice schedule ever, so many runs.  Sunday we raced and it was super fun.  I got pretty sick while in Canada and didn't have the best race but it was great time on the bike and my bike finally feels like "my bike".  Curtis took 4th and good friend Geritt took the win, he was pinned all week and I was excited to see him on top.  I am looking forward to the US open this coming weekend in New Jersey.  Currently we are in Washington DC checking out the sites and waiting for the rest of the team to arrive for a photo shoot.  TEAM AMERICA!!!!!!! ____ yeah!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Asheville Pump Track

Just when I got back in town there was a pump track party in Asheville. It was a ton of fun with lots of kids, big and small alike. Here are some pics Robert Seth of Kinetic-Images.com took of one of the bigger kids having some fun.
This is trying to double out of an over 90 degree berm. Geritt tried it and this is my first attempt.

There has been some grumbling that I never crash, quite the opposite this year. Here is proof of what happens when you push just a little to hard. believe it or not I was actually headed the same direction as in the picture above.

Sunday Super D

So Sunday we raced super D at the king of the lake race. It is a really fun track with about one minute of pedaling up top and two minutes of fun at the bottom. It was a beautiful day and after Saturday hard to get motivated to head up the hill for practice. Wes and I lounged for a couple hours in the sun before we ever thought about riding our bikes. Once on the hill I realized just how tired I was from the day before. I did almost 2 full practice runs and called it good. Time to lounge in the sun some more. Finally we headed up to race. I had a pretty good run and found myself sitting in first with a few second buffer over Andy Devault. We pedaled around to cool down together and both quickly realized how much the other didn't want to have to do another run (it was a best of two run format). A quick gentleman's handshake later and we were on our way into the woods to do some spectating and cheering. Well it worked out for both of us, as no one was able to best our times. Another great day of racing and big thanks to everyone who made it happen. Pictures are up at Kinetic.images.com under event coverage.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Littermag Photo

Just got the heads up there is a pretty good shot from Sea Otter on Littermag.  There is a link to littermag on the right side of the page and it is under Sea Otter Bonus Photos.  Check it out. 

BMCC king of the lake series #1

Saturday night, just got back to the hotel after a great day of racing.  Wes, Danny, Eddie, and I headed down yesterday to Wilkesboro for the first round of the king of the lake series.  It is an interesting format, we raced a cross country time trial this morning and then a dual slalom this afternoon.  Tomorrow we will race a super d race which is a really pedaly downhill race.  What makes the format so cool is the emphasis is on the overall points from all events.  Anyways the TT was sick.  The most fun 8 mile section of trail I have ever ridden.  Wes and I have talked a little smack about this event and when it came time to race I went off first and he started one minute behind me.  Talk about running scared for 8 miles.  It was super fun and somehow I managed to hold him off, not by much  (7 seconds) but enough to not be passed.  Wes took the overall win up on me by 52 seconds, I came in second with a pretty good margin over 3rd.  It was hard!  34mins 59secs average heart rate 182 bpm.  Hard!!!!!  Next up was slalom.  It was a really fun course and there were some really good riders on hand.  Wes and I met up first round and we agreed it would only be fair if I didn't pedal.  I managed to make it out of that round ok.  Next round it got a lot harder, I met Dwight, a super fast bmx racer from Raleigh.  He threw down a great gate and we pulled even through the first few turns. It was a great race bu I ended up taking it and heading to the finals with Joe Haley.  For those of you that don't know Haley took 4th at the national championships in Vermont last year.  Our runs could of been the finals at the national champs this year.  I gave it all I had and think he did to.  We were flat out, in the end I barely took the win.  It was slalom racing at its best.  Big thanks to all the guys at Brushy Mountain Cycling Club for a great day of racing and looking forward to another tomorrow with the super D.  Check out more at BMCC

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Almost time to leave again

So I have been home for exactly one week and tomorrow I start packing to leave for another race. Luckily it is just down the road in Wilkesborro. I will be racing at The King Of The Lake Series. Saturday morning will start off with an 8 mile cross country time trail, then in the afternoon we will race Dual Slalom, and finally Sunday we will race a Super D. Should be a fun weekend and I am looking forward to hanging out with the local crew. Tons of work has been going into my Dual Slalom track. I say it is mine but actually it is the new Brevard College training facility, going to be sick. Pictures coming soon. Hope all is well with everyone. Later.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

47 hours of driving later and I finally made it home late Wednesday afternoon. I was running on 10.5 hours of sleep since Sunday morning of the downhill. Well I just made up for some of those lost hours putting in a nice 13 hour night. Chris Bennett was along for the ride and somehow seems like he had a good time sitting in the truck for that long, I guess it is a pretty rare experience to drive from the Pacific ocean to NC as fast as you can. Anyways the best part of the trip was getting home yesterday, unpacking my xc bike and going for my best ride of the season straight out of the truck. Wes, Thad and myself put in what for me was my fastest ride of the season yesterday evening in Dupont State Forest. Soooo much fun! Not looking forward to all the catching up I have to do from being away for 5 weeks but unbelievable glad to be home. Pictures soon.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On the road home

Hello all, I am finally on the way home. We have put in two long days already and have made it to Twin Lakes, CO. About to hit the road and try to make it to Columbia, MO today. And then onward to home tomorrow. 20 something hours out of the way and only another close to 30 hours to go. Shoot I am almost half way:) Anyways the racing was good, I qualified 16th in Slalom and new I had a little more in me. I met up with Justin Leov first round. He is from New Zealand and rides for team Yeti. He had an advantage of just over a half second after the first run. I managed to make up the differential and advance to the next round where I met Brian Lopes the current world champ. The first run was good, I had an advantage until about 2/3 through the course where a little bobble allowed him to close the gap. He won the round, but by just over two tenths of a second. Back to the top for run two. I was pushing hard and gave it my all but he won the second round and I was done for the evening. Lopes is the best in the world right now and I was glad to have ridden so closely with him. The weather was miserable, cold and 30 mph winds. It was a great day of racing but I am glad to have Sea Otter '08 slalom in the record books. Sunday was downhill, I'm not going into the specifics but I had a good run and ended up way off the back somewhere in the 50's. Our team is going well, again it still isn't official but we are TEAM AMERICA. Look for more to come.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wentzies

If any of you read the comments from the pump track party you will know that Steve Wentz was there. Well I have to tell anyone that doesn't know that Wentz is the man on a pump track. We came up with some ridiculous lines to try and in true Wentz form he accomplished most of them first try. If you ever have a chance to win some money going head to head with Wentzies on a pump track I recommend you walk away!

Almost Sea Otter Time

Hello everyone, it is finally Tuesday and we are headed to Sea Otter tomorrow. This morning we had a good xc ride over the hill in Aptos. The usual group of Curtis, Cole and myself and a bunch of Specialized guys. It was a fun ride at a place I had never been before so that was a good change. Today we are packing up the trailer getting ready to head out tomorrow mid day. Wes, Jimmy, Ray, and Bennette get in tomorrow and I am excited to see the boys from home. Sea Otter this year is going to be the race of movie premieres. Thursday we have a massive group going to a documentary on Travis Pastrana called 199 lives. Friday is Clay Porter's new race video called F1RST. You can see a little preview from this video and teammate Cole Bangert on Decline magazine(link on the right of the page). Finally Saturday night is the new freeride video Seasons. Somewhere in between all of this is some racing, hopefully I will have a chance to let you know how that is all going. Later.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rung out at a local

So I finally got my handle bars and stems for my bikes. Friday I threw my new Sunline bars on the slalom bike. Bangert and I headed to some dirt jumps so I could get a little time on my bike. That evening we left for a local race in Santa Barbara. By local I mean small, because it was about a 4 hour drive. We got in late to a beautiful ranch out in the country, we couldn't find where everyone else was camping so we just parked in a huge pasture, unloaded the bikes and slept in the bed of the truck. As usual just before day break I froze. I think no matter what temperature it is I will always be cold just before the sun comes up. So on to the race...Well I was expecting a little bit bigger crowd of racers, the slalom was a small turnout. Cole had went up early to check out the track, when he came back he told me there was a big quad jump up on course. He sounded half joking so I couldn't tell what he really thought. Anyways the track was good, really fast, good berms, jumps and a few flat turns at the finish. The quad he had talked about was 4 rollers meant to be hit as a double double or to be rolled. It was really long and had a tiny lip. After a few runs we decided we should give the quad option a try. I was the test pilot for attempt one. You had to hit two big berms and just pedal as hard as you could. It wasn't exactly pretty but I cleared it and it was pretty fun. Cole hit it up next and came just a little short, he decided it probably wasn't the best idea on his already hurt wrist. Practice was a blast, qualies were a one run format on the red lane. I crashed, but somehow made it to the final round of 5???? Yeah this is where things got interesting. For those of you that don't race, you can't have a round of five, it has to be 4, 8, 16 and so forth. Anyways race promotions were interesting at best. I ended up racing the same guy in both my rounds, crashed hard the second time we raced to find out that we weren't using the usual 1.5 second max advantage. Lets just say whatever I thought I knew about slalom was different at this race. I truly had no idea what you had to do to win. Cole crashed hard in his second round hurting his injured wrist again. Even though he couldn't even finish his run he ended up placing higher than myself in the final standings. Like I said interesting race promotions and I still am not sure what it would of taken to win. It was a great day of riding, I always have fun riding some slalom. I had 3 crashes on the day, two of them being pretty hard slaps. I am bruised and scraped, but hopefully I have all my crashes out of the way before the biggest slalom of the year next Saturday at the Sea Otter Classic. Cole is feeling good the wrist isn't to bad and we are planning an xc ride today on the slalom bikes. More to come on the long drive home last night.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fontana CA qualifying caos

My right foot came unclipped a few turns up and I was riding my heal the whole way through this section. I was ragged and when I finally came to a stop all I could hear was Bangert screaming and laughing on the side of the course. Looking back it probably wasn't him as he was filming this, but when I did look up Clay Porter was right there with his huge HD camera. Scott Hart had a redneck noise maker(rocks in a milk jug) I know some of you have already heard about this. Anyways thought you guys might like it.

video

Gamut pump track

Last night we had a little pumptrack party over at Gamut USA. It was a pretty mellow night, no 151 lap records or anything like the previous week. We had a big group from Specialized, Tyler McCaul and friends from Santa Cruz, and a few others.
Here is a pic of the group
I took a little spill and scraped my knee pretty good, as Bangert said "leave it to Herndoggy to slap on the pump track and hurt himself"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tour de Dirt Jumps


Hello Everybody, it is Thursday lunchtime and i just got back from a little recovery spin. Yesterday Cole, Juan and myself went on a tour of dirt jumps. We left Morgan Hill around 10 am and got home around 7 pm. We hit 3 different jump spots and finished the day out at the Gamut USA pump track. We had to get some secret training in on the pump track before Rachel's big pump track party tonight. (pictures to come) The jumps out here are sooo good, other than the fact if you crash it is like hitting concrete because everything is so hard packed. We started the day at Calabasas, this is a city park and is one of the most manicured I have ever seen. Everything here was table tops, but they were tall and steep so it made for a good warm up before we moved on to the more difficult spots. After Juan pulled his tire off the rim landing a little sideways we headed to the gas station to get some air. Well the tire wasn't on the rim all the way and with the help of a big ol' gas station compressor you can imagine the rest. Let's just say Juan couldn't hear so well for the rest of the day. Next stop bike shop to get another tube. Finally on our way to a place called shells. This place gets its name because all the jumps are basically made out of dirt containing sea shells. It is right on the water of the San Fran bay. Hard to find this place without some type of wind being that it is right on the water. Well it was windy and a bit scary, but there were some sets lined up with the wind that we could jump. All I can say is don't crash here, a million sharp little sea shell scraps all packed into concrete hard dirt. Pretty much the closest thing I have ever seen to a human cheese grater. Next some Chipotle for lunch....soooo good. Then we headed to another spot(can't remember the name) This place was by far the most fun of the day, out of the wind, big gaps and steep landings. Pretty scary the first few runs through and never easy the whole time we were there. I want to ride this place again when I am not so tired. After a quick stop at Home Depot to pick up some watering supplies we headed to Juan's house to ride the pump track. The dirt out here is so bad everything needs to be watered or it will just crumble and fall apart. So a quick water and a few laps later it was time for Cole to do his intervals. For you athletes out there you know how hard interval training is, and for those of you who have ridden a pump track you know how tiring and hard that is. Well combine the two and you have what I think to be the hardest intervals I have ever seen. Luckily it was only Cole doing intervals yesterday so I got to be time keep and verbal motivator for him. Sorry for no pics the camera got left behind but I will put something up of the fun we have been having.
Brandon, Cole and myself

Out for the most off route Slick Rock ride of all time, fun!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Another week in Cali

So I am on week 4 away from home now and I am about ready to be home. This past week was filled with a lot of riding and a lot of bike building at Specialized. The riding was fun the bike building not so much. We have spent a lot of time riding in Santa Cruz at the campus trails which are some of my favorite of all time. Bike building has been a struggle as we are still missing a few of our new parts. Let me just say the new Demo 8 downhill bike is going to be the nicest bike I have ever had. Elaine at Specialized did an unbelievable job on the paint and graphics of the new rig. Some of you know about the new team that is coming together, for those of you who don't it should be released in the next week on Declinemagazine.com . Then you will all know why this new Demo is so nice. Anyways, I am looking forward to Wes and all the boys coming to town next week. It will be nice to have a taste of home. This weekend I am headed to the Firstone Classic down south near Santa Barbara. It should be a good tune up race before the Sea Otter Classic the following weekend. Until something else fun happens hope all is well where ever you guys are.

the long drive cross country

the long drive cross country
somwhere in Utah