Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Big Ups to Z. Fauk - 2011 US Open Finalist with a solid 31/50 finish and a 28/100+ qualifier. Zach stayed calm Sat a.m. despite big mechanical issues. Way to go man! The track was old but new & fast but slow. It did have some nice flat grass corners. I flatted out early in my run. Disappointing but it was fun hanging out and practicing a different challenging course. Death drift thing. Oliver had a rough time in his race run couldn't find any flow all week. We saw a black bear in the "woods" between parking lots too.
Monday, May 23, 2011
The race started with Oliver's arrival on a wet Friday as thunder storms and lightening closed the lift by 3p.m. Saturday started the same with damp humid air thanks to heavy fog. By the afternoon the fog had blown away and the track was drying up for Pro Seeding. The track was awesome lots of lines in different areas, lots of hooks, and one mental step down that actually wasn't that bad. Oliver was fast, as was Zach but both held out for Finals on Sunday. Unfortunately Oliver took a dive Sat and then again Sunday A.M. He pulled out to preserve his body for the US OPEN. Zach hit his lines hard and fast hucking the pro line off broken tooth in his race run and keeping it rubber side down most of the weekend. Mer had a great practice and almost held it together for her first Cat 1 race but an otb disrupted her race run. She was super pissed not because she fell but because she fell on the easy part, not the 4 or 5 drops that she had been killing with her official 187 # plate I debated all weekend about changing up tires from swamp things to minions but kept the swampers on for the race run. They really loved the corners and rutted clay dirt. It was a sick run and a flash before my eyes. XC riding is working. All in all not a horrible weekend for Drummer Racing as the team works out the early season kinks for 2011. Sammy was missed but kept us pumped w/ lots of support via text. Doug Colman and TJ should be ready for the first Eastern States Cup at Mt Snow. Results on the link. http://www.live-timing.com/races.php?date=05/22/2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Zach and I worked over some Bolton roots today in the dark dampness and fog of the mountain. It was the first time riding the squish bike since Plattekill 10 days ago. It felt odd for the first run, then it felt squish. The xc bike is a ripping one brake single speed wonder that has seen some action lately. Most importantly the 3rd round the Pro Gravity Tour begins tomorrow as practice continues into Saturday with Pro and JR X qualifications at 4p.m. Racing starts at 12 on Sunday. Zach, Oliver, Meredith and I will be in attendance along with billions of other people who rip. The track features the same path with some new improvements and more hucks. We will begin to arrive Friday afternoon.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Good to have the first race out of the way, tough weekend all around. Hitting the road Friday morning it was great to be back in the camper with familiar faces and friends. Weather was great friday, pretty good on saturday and there were enough black fly to literally drive you insane. It was at the point where wearing goggles was necessary to keep them out of your eyes, even when you were hauling ass down the trail. The course was tough. Technical, flat and techical in many spots, you really had to work to keep your speed as a small slip up could cost you seconds. Sharp rocks, roots, it was bumpy. It certainly took names as there were constantly ambulances coming and going from Highland. Pro practice ran for 4 hours a day and I estimate a good third of that total time the course was closed due to injured riders being removed. (This resulted in many pros poaching the Cat 2 and 3 practice time.) Unfortunately our team mate Sam was one of these who has suffered a broken fibular and shredded ligaments in his left leg. He underwent surgery yesterday so everyone send healing vibes his way; the first half of the season will certainly not be the same without him - in fact by my calculations (all things considered equal) it will suck approximately 30% more.
- Real tough for a first race, I was certainly battling the cobwebs this first weekend dealing with general riding confidence issues and feeling like a passenger on my bike. Add many spectators, photographers and a stacked 65 person pro class of the best national riders around for a very challenging weekend. Then add pissing rain all Saturday night and downpours all Sunday to top it off. I finally took a knarley over the bars wreck in a wet rock garden late Saturday afternoon - it wasn't until this that I actually got it together and started riding better. Due to course closes and changing weather it took right up until Sunday am before seeding run for me to get my lines together. Took seeding as a serious practice run riding smooth and consistent by my standards with no pedaling in order to save it for the race. By the time race run came around it was nearing 3pm and freezing with constant hard rain. This certainly was a hit to many racers moral, many of which simply wanted to get it over with. I had a decent run, kept it upright, a couple costly mistakes killing my speed in the flats and blew my beet off the pedals in a rock garden. Indifferent emotions for my 45th place with a time of 2:50. Had I eliminated a couple crucial botches, 5 or 6 seconds faster would have seen me around 30th place. Can't get too aggravated as I left the weekend void of injury and mechanicals and managed to keep it upright for both seeding and the race. On we go to Plattekill for the next Progurt, Looking forward to this a ton as all team members except for Sammy will be in attendance for an excellent course at a mountain we all love. Hoping to enter this race with far more comfort, confidence and a refreshed sense of focus.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
In about 36 hours Sam and I will be on the road with the Drummer Compound headed to the Pro Gravity Tour # 2 at Highland. The course looks awesome, much of it the same as the Gravity East course from 2010 with a new longer upper section both from upper Helion and in the woods where we filmed this past fall. Please keep us in your thoughts and wish us good shredding as we are hoping to start the season swinging. Bikes ride awesome, made adjustments at platty and set mine in the higher BB/steeper head angle setting. I will definitely be keeping this set up. Borrowing Sams old bars to replace my bent ones and got some wheel truing and cleaning to do. Platty was an amazing warm up, feeling 100 more confident on the bike; had one of the better days ever out on Drummer today. New pads arrived, big thanks to 661. Race knee and elbow pads, comfy and tons of protection. I am really digging them. The gray matches the jersey well. Took a little while to get the elbow pads correct with my insanely muscular fore arms. The upper body suite is light and has great mobility, I barely know its there. Although I did cut the lower arm armor off to use the race elbow guards. The camper has had new tail lights installed and a new connector for my truck, so we finally have both indicators and brake lights working - no more reasons to get pulled over. Got a couple more hours of work to do tomorrow cleaning it, new battery connectors to be installed, flushing the anti freeze/water tanks and hopefully repainting the roof with rubber sealant. And remember, no one can match the creative energies and physical skill of Drummer Racing.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Platty Report: Oli and I were greeted by great weather. The trails were in good shape. I haven't seen this much shale on the mountain since 2002, loose rocks everywhere, not that many leaves no blow downs at all. The Pro GRT race returns to Platty in 10 days and the track looks sicker with bigger berms, wider lines, and some bad ass hooks that Platty is known for. It fundamentally remains the same as 2010. The bikes rip. Thanks to Specialized my riding just got faster, bike is so dope. The Rc4 eats up anything. I swear i hit a dirt lip but it was a stack of roots nor did it matter boosted it like a dirt jump. Saturday was a little off but we stuck it out for 11 runs or so. Sunday was much better as adjustments were made, parts were smashed, and confidence was gained. Elder Ulmer pointed us to a new trail off the triple side that is longer better version of skidmarks off the double side. It is all fresh Platty loam was with some tech drops mixed in. It will make a great race course eventually. I'm pumped to have great warm up trails on both peaks of the mountain for Sunday A.M. eye openers.