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