Friday, June 26, 2009


Finally got up there, Highland Mountain Bike Park. Un-be-frickin-lievable. It was a long day, and a hard day in a different kind of way. My arms just 'bout fell out of their sockets and I feel like I lost a push up contest to...some guy who can do a lot of push ups. Maybe Bruce Lee, he looked like he could do a lot of push ups.

Dave O'Connell, Trek Regional Tech Rep was there to hook up Trek dealers
with the Remedy and Session demos. Thanks Dave.

Erich Leas, Dan B., from the shop and some guy who I didn't meet but he looks like a nice guy.

Me, Colin, and Dan hit the lift. There was a learning curve with the whole lift thing. The lift operators did a really good job of laughing at us for fucking up getting on, then smiling and looking really, really stoned. I spent a whole lot of time on lifts during my previous incarnation as a snowboard bum but there's always a bit of first lift ride of the season nerves. Then you get to the top and realize that you aren't sliding like you do on a snowboard and before you figure out that you actually have to run out of the chair's way, it whacks you in the back of the legs and you say "ow!".

Of course some of the gnarliest stuff is right under the lift. I felt like someone going skiing for the first time and seeing nothing but Black Diamonds wherever I looked.

Then you run into Gerry Finnegan and he gets you stoked as all hell to be doing whatever it is you are doing because he himself simply exudes stokedness about everything in life and things to do with bikes in particular.

Colin had one of those crashes that sounded like King Kong charging through the trees, crushing everything in his path. I looked back to see my bike, The Remedy which he was borrowing, peaking out of the trees, on its side, Colin was nowhere in site. I was worried. "Are you okay?" I yelled. "Ya, I think I am". A team of tree saplings had broken his fall.

You know it's a good crash when your shoe falls off. It's better still when your shoe is still on and Colin's has fallen off. This isn't like a Skater's shoe falling off, a bike shoe is like an ice skate or a ski boot, or a fiberglass should not just fly off like that.

Jesus Christ, the kid went sailing, it was insane. We never did find his glasses - which were Dan's. Note to self: when planning a massively catastrophic nightmarish it in borrowed glasses.

Speaking of freakish. Dan took a flier as well. Later he noticed that one of his cogs had completely disintegrated like an Air France jet. This may have been what sent him flying. I've worked as a bicycle mechanic for...I have no idea how long and if I try to calculate it I will just end up being sad and feeling like a total failure, and Dave is a Tech rep for Trek, neither of us had ever seen anything like this.

Three runs to go at the end of the day we discovered (hey, we're like Christopher Columbus over here) a run called "Maiden Voyage". It was by far our collective favorite. It was all steep and rooty and wet and muddy with drops and chutes and gnarly kookiness everywhere. The third time we hit it I was all over the place, half a dozen close calls, I knew it was time to pull the plug. Colin and Dan convinced me to do one more run on "Fancy Feast" which was easy in comparison to "Maiden" but the lift closed before we could get back up there. Just as well. I was spent, little kid playing all day in the hot sun and forgetting to eat or drink tired. I was an accident waiting to happen to myself.

Drinking problem.


mkr said...

Sounds like an awesome time. I miss DH/FR riding. Maybe next year ...

I've busted a SRAM cassette on my cross bike in a similar manner; one cog just busted into pieces. Also ripped a Shimano XT cog off the alloy carrier at KT on our tandem back in the day.

dougyfresh said...

looks like fun. I love riding up there. Clearing those tables on NE Style is a hoot.

Colin R said...

I refuse to believe the those tables on NE style can be cleared by mortal men