Monday, June 26, 2006

Whitetail Wrap-Up

Fear of my own weakness is the source of my strength. -me

I bailed on racing. I rode both courses, and they were fun. Adam and I both decided to hang out and watch, this being our first race. It was nice to hang out and support the riders without any pressure. I regret not racing but I had a good time, for sure.

Here's Bryan on what will be called 'Dry Friday.' Can you see the moth/butterfly on his finger? I've got lots of pics from the event and I'll try to get most of them up.

Friday was travel day. Adam met me at the shop a little after 10am. We had to wait for a Chase to be delivered via UPS which put us out the door before 11am, one way or another. Of course, we left closer to noon.

The truck ran well out there. We had plenty of music and plenty of gas. It only took us about 1:45 to get out there. Not bad considering top speed, down hill, is 53mph in that sucker.

Here's RobVV's goon wheelie. Adam, Rob and I were the last one's on the mountain after around 6pm. We hiked up past the slalom course and hung out on the mtn for a while. I managed to get a bunch of solo runs on the slalom course.

The weather rolled in a little after dark and the rain came down in buckets. We lowered everyone's EZ-ups and hung out in the rain for a few hours. We finally crashed in the CB truck around 11pm. I pumped up the air mattress to find that the valve had a leak. I fixed it with duct tape and was ready for a comfortable night's sleep. I had to cut some zipties off of a cable lock to lock the bikes up outside and I followed through the zip tie with my knife right into the air mattress that was propped up next to me... Dumbass. I patched it with duct tape. I went to sleep and woke up an hour later... on the floor. So much for that air mattress. I slept like crap...

Saturday morning, we were woken by Blaze and promises of breakfast. Guess what? No breakfast... The ground had soaked up the rain overnight and people started rolling to the lift when it opened, around 10am. Here's a pic of some guys practicing on the slalom course on Sat. Here's another pic of some lucky guy going big popping out of the woods at the bottom of the Sat course. There was a nice off-camber right turn about 3 bike lengths before this drop so it was tough to carry as much speed as you might want to but this dude pulled it off. I took a bunch of these pics, most of them turning out poorly. I got Bryan dropping in but it's just him landed, not in the air. I suck.

Susan made the call to bring the kids up to hang out on Saturday. Balls. She got there a little before noon. Jeremy and Emma had a GREAT time running around. We hiked up the course to watch the riders pop out of the woods on the Sat course and some slalom riders. Jeremy was whacking everybody with a 5' stick that he found. What a boy. We took the lift up the mountain and hiked down to watch some riders come down the 'rocky part' of the course that was the most technical part of the Sat DH course. I rode it the day before after giving it a quick look. It looked a lot worse on foot than it did on the bike. I probably should have had more than knee/shin pads on and more tire than those WTB Weirwolf LTs, but I rode it just fine, thank you very much.

The rain Friday night really made the course a lot more rideable than it was on Friday, especially the slalom course. The loam got packed in and the rocks started to get exposed.

Sunday morning brought out the rain. And I mean RAIN. It was a few inches, for sure. The lift opened up within an hour of the rain start so people thought it wouldn't be bad... until it kicked in and REALLY started to come down. It didn't stop and hasn't. Lightning shut off the lift for a few hours but they turned it on to get everyone up the mountain. The course was tough, to say the least.

Here's your window into our Sunday. Yes, we were set up in about 1/2" of running water. We had to get the rain out of the tents about every 5 minutes or so. We stayed 'dry' in the sense that we weren't standing in the rain, but when Adam was standing around in his flip flops, he looked like he was just barefoot. You couldn't see half of his feet because they were under water. People were taking it all in stride and just getting wet. There wasn't too much actual mud, but it was really wet. The eternal optimist, Mike Calfo, when asked about the course said 'Aw, yeah, it'll be great. The rain will wash all the mud off the rocks so it will be really fast.' I love that guy. I was thinking 'the rain will wash the mud off the rocks and the riders will lay it back down AND your brakes won't work so well and neither will those tires.' But what do I know... He's the race pro.

And finally, my favorite pic from the weekend (besides those of my wife and kids) has got to be this one. A loving man, taking his favorite person to her favorite place: the beginning of a racecourse. Mike was seen running around on a little 50cc bike, a 6-wheeled Gator, his 4-wheeler and his new Judge DH bike. So here they are, Mike and Hillary, shuttling up to the top of the slalom course for some practice, Fredneck style. If only Mike had a Budweiser tall-boy in his hand, it would be perfect. Here's my thanks for a great weekend. DH will be a slow entry for me, especially since I fee like I'm in good xc-racerboy shape and don't want to risk injury. Yeah, that's the ticket...


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