The US Open is always loads of fun. Riding, free food, bbq, swimming…lots of hanging out with friends. It was loads of fun. I spent lots of time riding the bike park which is pretty rad…its so good to finish practice in the morning and to keep riding all day. This weekend was a big weekend for Stevie Smith so congrats to him for the big win. The field was stacked with World Cup guys and he managed to put down the fastest time for his first big win! It was awesome to watch the finals unfold…people were going nuts!!! So stoked for him, this win was a long time coming. It was also a big weekend for Fionn Griffiths who won women’s dh and slalom. Pretty cool.
This weekend was not my weekend. I just could not get it together. I was feeling pretty solid in practice but putting a race run together is a different story. I was a mess…slalom qualifying, slalom main event, downhill qualifying, downhill finals….I was retarded. Bummed and sore are the best ways to describe me at the end of the weekend. I
am stoked to be home now so I can focus and get up to speed in the next month!! Looking forward…
So I have been horrible at updating this thing. I have no excuses. Keep checking back because it will be updated regularly…for real.
Not a whole lot has happened the last month. I have just been riding and trying to get up to speed. I have taken a few good stacks so I have been riding a bit less than normal trying to keep the body happy.
Garbo opened yesterday and I am so stoked. It is so good to get some nice long tech runs in. The last 2 days have been gorgeous…summer was late coming but it is here now.
I don’t have any riding pics at the moment but yesterday there was quite a good birthday party for my friend Charolette. Whoop Whoop.
Finally got my shit sorted here in Newark. Yesterday was a long day for a relatively short trip. Left Whistler at 7am got to Van at 10 sat around for a few hours. Got to Houston, TX…way out of the way at like 8 Houston time. Met up with Mr. Evan Turpen at the Houston airport where we hopped on flight to Newark. We got to Newark at like 1 something and then waiting for my bike box forever. The guy at oversized baggage was like…your bike is coming, I am waiting for your bike…well 45 minutes later i head over to the service desk and apparently it never made it out of Houston. Anyway, after some more mishaps we finally made it to bed around 3:30. ra ra.
So on Thursday I made my loonie debut. All of these years and I have never actually done a loonie so I decided that it was time. For those of you that don’t know, Whistler has a loonie and toonie series throughout the summer. I do the toonies but I have never tried a loonie. The loonies are xc races that are every thursday night and the toonies are dh races in the park on wednesdays. There was a massive turnout…I think there was like 300 riders. Pretty rad. The course wound around lost lake trails and then on back into town. I pretty much sucked hardcore but I had a lot of fun and it was a pretty fun social event. I rode and chatted along the way. Another cool thing about the loonies…you pay 2 dollars and that includes you entry fee, a beer and dinner. Talk about bang for your buck hell yah. I was really great to see everyone coming out of winter hibernation and filtering back into town.
The loonie also reminded me why it is I love whistler so much…where else can you can see your bosses, physio, real estate agent, bankers etc. all shredding at once???
Yesterday was opening day!! Warm weather, blue skies and clear trails what more could you ask for. Crank it up, A-line and B-line were open and totally clear. A bit of mud in some place but dusty in others. Crabapple, crack addict, heart of darkness, lower easy does it, world cup single track, hornet, monkey hands, devils cub and old school were all open too. It is looking like the rest of the lower mountain will be open in the near future. I am headed up in a few so I will keep you posted on what has opened up today. The boner yard is beginning to take shape. Tommy Hey, Simon Miller and John Cowan have been hard at work and getting burnt to a crisp (not quite like this guy…yet).
So yesterday I went down to creekside with some friends to ride Big Timber and it was looking like it was going to be clear because the top was looking pretty good BUT after ripping a few good corners the snow appeared!! Unfortunately about half of the trail was covered so we had to walk much of the track,..not cool. It seriously needs to melt. Now.
Yah so anyway, we all piled back into the truck and had a little pow wow. We decided to head up to pemby for a few laps. Mr. Mantle was telling us about this track that “is the sickest track I have ever ridden” called Resurrection. Sickest track ever!!! The dirt was amazing. The corners were amazing. The flow was amazing. So good. The track isn’t technical, there are just loads of corners, some little jumps, some loose chute things and yah it pretty much rocks. I was loving it. The weather was good too. Whistler was pretty shit when we left, it was cold and cloudy. Pemby had blue skies! We had a really good crew riding and everyone was stoked and feeding off of each other. We also ran into Tom and Alex Pro and Micayla Gatto and their crew. Good times.
We went back up to Pemby today for some more riding. It was a gorgeous day…blue skies and 80/27 degrees out. We were hot!! We started off out day at Resurection and then hit up Jim Jam. There were a butt load of people…3 truck-fulls. Makes the fire roads interesting. Today was the first day on my new Sunday. I am super happy to have a new bike but I still need to do some adjusting because it doesn’t feel right yet…soon. I just need to get the suspension and brakes dialed.
I had so much fun this weekend. I went out to Port Angeles, WA for the 2nd Fluidride Cup of 2008. The guys at Fluidride and Hurricane did a fantastic job putting the race together. This race was definitely designed with the riders in mind. There was lots of practice. I love going to a race and being flat out exhausted at the end of each day…thats how it was. You could ride all day…slalom or dh! The race ran super Smooth…no drama. They even put a box up at the start to put are hoodies and jackets in…smart!
I think that there was something like 260 riders in total…thats an amazing turnout for a brand new regional series! There was a crew up from So-Cal, the trusty Canadians, people from all over the northwest and even a Australian or 2! It was great to see a ton of ladies out at the race. I think there was something like 15 beginner women. Not too sure about Sport and Expert but there were lots. Pretty cool.
The DH track was rad! I could not stop riding it. The top third was pretty fast with lots of good corners. The middle section, my personal favorite, was super fast and flowy with some rocks and roots. It reminded me of mix between angry pirate and duffman (Whistler). It was flow galore. No pedaling just rhythm…love it. From there it opened up a bit into some more rad corners and into a double I am not sure how big it is 15-20 ft? I have no idea but from there you go into a whoops section. Then you pedal…or not. Next is Justice which was the spectator watching point…it was like this steep chute with little drop in the middle. After Justice there were some more corners and then this like g-out up to what used to be a step-up but it isn’t anymore but you can still air up it. Then a couple of table-ish mound things which I never hit right. Then some more sweet corners and a little uphill and more sweet corners which you can bounce between (ie. angry pirate) and then you are pretty much done. The course had a nice mix of everything.
The slalom track was pretty rad too. Lots of berms and some cool flat corners. I love corners!!! Lars was absolutely slaying the course. He was soooo much faster than anyone else riding the course. He had it on lock-down!!!
I feel like this weekend was a big turning point for me. I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be but this was one step in the right direction. I absolutely love going to races. Racing helps you so much to grow as a rider…you can’t not become a better rider from racing. From beginner to pro, racing pushes you to be the best you can be and thats why I love it. As much as I love it, I have struggled so much with it. I always seem to crack under the slightest pressure. I know that it is something that I just need to overcome and thats why I have been working so hard on it. Racing of any kind is difficult, period! It is so hard to put together a race run!!! Sunday I finallllllllly put one together.
I was pretty bummed after cracking in slalom on Saturday and I funneled the anger and frustration into Sunday. My qualifying run went well I qualified 1st, 17 seconds ahead of 2nd place. My run was pretty conservative I just tried to chill out and find my rhythm. When the finals came around I was so nervous, When I first started my race run it started off as they always do…I was riding like a dork, sloppy and stiff. Finally, I calmed myself…I was like this is either gonna go one of two ways…you are a) going to ride like a “dork” and crash and lose or b) gonna chill out and make it down. I chose the later. I just took it easy and tried to use the natural terrain to find my speed so that I could just pump and flow. I ended up 1st, 19 seconds ahead of 2nd place for my first Pro win so I was pretty stoked!! With that said, I was gunning for the boys and I didn’t quite get the time I wanted by chilling out but I achieved one big goal today so I am happy!!!
Anyway, enough blabber. Lars made a sweep this weekend with slalom and downhill victories. He is on fire this year. Watch out. Congrats to Leana Gerarrd for the slalom victory, I will post up the full results when they are available…here is the short list for now.
1st Lars Sternberg
2nd Andrew Mitchell
3rd Bart McDaniells
4th Casey Northern
5th Griz Mclendon
1st Katie Holden
2nd Leana Gerrard
3rd Joy Mutoli
1st Lars Sternberg
2nd Casey Northern
1st Leana Gerrard
2nd Katie Holden
Thats right you heard it. hahahah. I actually have a slight clue what is going on with my bike. I can fix stuff. I can evem wash my bike like a pro. I am particularly excited about the bike washing. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to do this course!!
The Spring thaw in Ashland, OR was a blast. It was a super laid back race and super fun. I didn’t have that great of a race run: it was super sloppy and I had one crash but it was good enough for 3rd. Anka Martin killed us all in first breaking the 5 minute barrier and Jackie Harmony was 2nd. For the Men it was a local Jared Hobbs who took the win followed by Curtis Beavers in 2nd and Mark Weir in 3rd. Local favorite and course record holder Nathan Riddle was out with a broken hand which was a big bummer, I think he was gutted not to give it a go. Aside from the race I had loads of fun hanging out with the california crew…Jeff, Dan, Curtis and Kasey (Kasey is from Nevada). It is really starting to feel like the start of summer now!!
If you have a chance check out www.bicycleweed.com that is Jeff’s website and its pretty cool. Also, If any of you want me to add your site to my links list let me know and I will add it. I am a media junkie…I love reading all the online media.
Ashland Mountain Adventures is a new business that has just started in Ashland, OR. Basically it is a shuttle service that takes you to all of the different DH tracks in Ashland. The company is run by Bill and Sue who are absolute legends. Wild Bill is pretty rad there is no way you can not have fun with him. He will keep you rolling on the floor. Bill and Sue have pimped out a shuttle van complete with tire tread on the floor of the van and an ipod hook-up. Each van can hold up to 12 bikes so there is plenty of room for everyone. Ashland Mountain Adventures is doing their part to make Ashland, OR a premier riding destination on the west coast!! If you are rolling through Oregon or looking for somewhere to go for your next trip Ashland should definitely be considered. www.ashlandmountainadventures.com
So I have been riding the Spring Thaw course down in Ashland the last 2 days. The course is super easy there is nothing technical or challenging about the course itself but I have constantly been trying to push myself on it and work on my speed and flow. I am having loads of fun, its freaking fast and finding that personal fine line is challenging. I don’t think that i will do too well on the race tommarow but I am super stoked because I have just been working on loads of stuff that needs to be worked on that I always seem to ignore. I love bikes.