After the past few weekends it was a nice change of pace to race close to home. This past weekend was the Mid Atlantic Cup at the famous Whitetail resort in Mercersburg, Pa. Whitetail is where many riders in the Baltimore, DC metro area learned to ride. They closed their doors to mountain biking about 6 years ago when an investment company looking to restructure purchased them. So when the opportunity to ride the mountain came around, we all jumped. Friday was the first day of practice with Saturday and Sunday both having separate races the overall winner would have the best combined time.

All right are we all on the same page now?

Friday. Marvelous and I head out to get there early and practice. We arrive, register and suit up. In the parking lot we are delighted to see old friends Jason and Jason. We all ride the lift up together and excitement sets in as we begin to reminisce of years before.
The Saturday course was a fast pump course with a few manmade berms to liven things up. It descended onto the access road, shot back into the woods and cut its way through a valley with plenty of off camber sections. Now these trails had just been cut and in some cases rejuvenated from years past by the trail crew. We even pitched in a month or so back helping them get a good clean line from top to bottom. After two practice runs we begin to pick the pace up and things are looking good. The soft loamy soil is offering a lot of traction when the roots are not uncovered. As we make our way through the valley section into the off camber I pump the front end down into a rutted pocket. The front wheel washes out and my right knee gets to sort out the details of impact. I roll to the side as to not be run over by fellow riders and survey the damage. I look down at my knee and can already see the top of the kneecap showing through. “Ouch” isn't the best word to describe the pain but it is the first word that comes to mind. I try to stand to ensure that the whole kit is still working, which it is. It is merely superficial. I hobble out too the ski slope with one of the Jasons kindly getting some assistance for me. A four-wheeler trip later and I am looking for the First Aid building.

I can walk, sort of.

I decide to sit out the rest of the day. I get to watch everyone else ride. When Saturday rolls around I decide to try and ride just to get my race in. I get dressed and take a few runs just to see what on me, is still working. I cannot pedal. The upward stroke of the pedal causes my knee to flex too much and open the wound, getting back to the “Ouch” part of the story. I run my race and crash three times and I really didn’t pedal too much.
I finish middle of the pack.

Sunday morning I decide to sleep in and get to the mountain a little later. Good decision.
The amount of water that fell from the sky on Sunday was biblical. I had no idea there was that much water in the atmosphere, all of it fell. All of it. There will not be any more rain in the world for a few weeks; it was all used up on Sunday. Needless to say, I am not racing in this mess. Marvelous is practicing with Will and they are soaked to the bone. Visibility on the trail is poor due to goggles fogging up. When the race finally goes off the rain starts to slow.

We are now waiting for the race results which will end up taking three to four hours to compute on the old Amiga or whatever digital abacus they decided to use. The race times looked screwed up and inaccurate. Marvelous is pissed, he got the short end of the stick on his time, he leaves with the race promoter knowing exactly how he felt. Will gets third in the race and third overall, winning quite a few prizes. Its great to see his hard work pay off!

So to recap: We all spent 100 bucks, I saw my kneecap, Marvelous got robbed, Will won bike gloves that are extra small and the planet is out of rain.

How was your weekend?


Ed Lover and Dre would be proud.

It’s the 25th anniversary of the Puma Clyde, and who did they decide to ask to do a collabo? Well what was the freshest rap show of the 80’s? That’s right, YO! Mtv Raps. These kicks are fresh to death just like the hiphop scene of the old days, and will remain “forever fresh”. Limited to 225 pairs at select shops.

Are those Bugle Boys your wearing?

So, you have just graduated college and you have to find a job. What do you do? Well for Jordan and Nahum they will not be flipping burgers or serving cups of joe, the job they got was a beauty. These two cats work for
  • Mountain Khakis
  • a company who makes some tough ass pants. Their job is to travel around the East Coast in this Land Rover spreading the gospel about Mountain Khakis. They even popped up at the Carolina NORBA and hung out for the day. Check out their weblog and online journal of travels.
  • Built Tour
  • 6/21/06

    A nice long one.

    Today is like, the longest day of the year. Go ride a bike. Now.


    Meanwhile, back at the base...

    My niece is a nut. She is very cute and can get away with just about anything.

    Helmets. I am pretty sure we have not formally spoken about this but here we go. This is why it is important to where a lid every time you mount the two wheeled beast. Morgan Ryan, the little fast kid who has been racing since his Lucky Charms days was visiting our buddy Travis Pastrana. Travis, as most of you know is endowed with some big "cohones" and has been able to make a name for himself in the world of motocross. Well through his riches came expensive toys, such as one of the largest foam pits in the country. Morgan decides he will attempt a double backflip on his twenty inch, into the foam pit. at just about the second rotation off of the 30 foot launch ramp (intended for motocross bikes) his hands ripp from the bars and send him spinning towards the pit. His head crashes into the top steel edge of the foam pit flipping him head first into the foam pit where he begins to have seizures. He then begins to vomit while upside down. A swift helicopter ride later and he is in the good hands of medical professionals. Morgan will be okay. Morgan is a good rider that made a very bad choice and he now has to pay the consequences. In short...wear a fucking helmet!

    The boys at UK based Flipper put all of us to shame when it comes to MTB photography, give em a peruse.
  • Flipper

  • So the schedule for this weekends Capital Cup is up. We will be on site Friday through Sunday with a bit of the BBQ on Sunday.
  • Racers Edge
  • Lets play "catch up"

    (Too much time and chalk on his hands)

    So, besides the race reports, we haven't been really bringing you the oodles of info you are accustomed to. So we will try and bring you as much info as possible in this entry.
    Lets see where shall I begin… Fast girl, Marla Streb and hubby Mark were sporting the new toy around the pits at Mt. Snow. They are the new proud parents of a baby girl named Nicoya, named after the area of Costa Rica in which they have been living during the off-season. East Coast hall-of-famer Lars Tribus and wife will be expecting their own bundle of joy in October. Congrats to Lars! What else is there? Ohh I almost forgot if you haven’t heard Sam Hill is fast! Sram is leaking photos of all the new 07 product line-ups from Rock Shox and Truvativ. The new Avid Code DH brakes are super burly looking. Jenny has her own blog site now; you can see the link to the left. We are getting geared up for the Whitetail race. Reading Racing has been up there busting their humps to get the courses dialed and prepped. Marzocchi will be releasing an air version of the 888 for the 2007 season in hopes of competing with the Boxxer. The new Helly Hansen jerseys are great! The Commencal bikes are working flawlessly nimble, light and superb traction! Slater is sporting a new Morewood Izimu DH courtesy of Fifth District Cycles
    Lets just hope he gets a chance to ride it. Also getting geared up for the Deer Valley National, should be a good time none of us have really spent much time in Utah. Dave will be driving down from Idaho to join in the festivities. That’s all I can think of at the moment but I promise if anything else comes up I will be sure to let you know.


    Self Preservation

    Stop number 3 on the North American Off Road Bicycle Association’s series.
    Mount Snow, Vermont is truly a beautiful place, the combination of sunshine and temperature made it a perfect atmosphere to ride your bike or just be outside.

    After another grueling 7-hour drive we found ourselves at the door of our new home for the next 4 days. Small rooms but good breakfast. In the morning we made tracks to register and take a look at the course. For those of you who are unaware of the Downhill course at Mt. Snow, let me fill you in. Over the past 4 years this mountain has been responsible for 119 hospitalized injuries thousands and thousands of dollars in broken bike parts and has single handedly demolished the pride of many of the world’s best bike handlers.

    The course starts at the peak, approximately 1500 feet from the finish stretching a length of 1.5 miles and traversing almost all of the mountains open ski slopes. The speed of this course is enough to make you cringe. Speed traps setup on different sections of the course clocked us at between 45 and 55 mph. That is fast. The mountain is strewn with small-imbedded rocks on the course that would kick you about 8 or 9 inches in the air for about 30 to 40 feet. You must be comfortable at letting your bike slide at this speed. Your worst enemy on this course is the brake. At this speed the grip on the bars changes from one of riding and steering to holding on for dear life. Okay, I’m a little scared.

    The first few practice runs are used to just get accustomed to going that fast on the bike. On the open slope you have no trees around to gauge your speed and you must be aware of upcoming danger. Three to four runs in and the hands are starting to fade, exhaustion sets in and we decide to call it quits for the day. The next two days of practice are getting faster and faster, as Saturday rolls around we are reaching our peak. The last practice run before the race and our good friend John and I set out with me leading. The run is going flawless, concentrating on our lines and hitting our marks, we are feeling good as we crest over the half waypoint. I turn it up a notch pulling away from John. The slope is blurring past and the banging of the wheels hitting the ground is getting louder, at approximately 50 mph it happens. I push through a huge rut and the mud is grabbing the tires. My body is now traveling faster than the bike. With my weight on the front of the bike I can feel the rear wheel lift off t ground and suddenly the banging stops. Quiet. I see the ground moving beneath me and I await the pain. I slam into the ground like a 175lb. bag of spuds. Tuck and roll! I come to a stop and as I lay on my back I take a deep breath and crack a smile. When I stand up and survey the carnage I am greeted by a course marshall who checks my status. Thumbs up. I have just been bucked off a bicycle at almost 50 mph and flew about 24 feet; my bicycle was another 30 feet past me. I will now take a rest until my race run.

    As we wait at the top for our race run it begins to rain. Not exactly ideal weather conditions for a course such as this. My name is called and I get into the start gate. At the last beep I push off. The run goes well, not as fast as some of the practice runs but nobody wants a repeat offender, especially me. As I cross the line I feel good to be down and to have this race behind me. I pull a fourth place finish, which is not bad considering my hesitation. There is something to be said about self-preservation.


    Sweet Tea

    “Road Closed” said the sign. After 8 hours of driving this is what we had to show for it. 20 miles from Sugar Mountain, North Carolina we had been stopped by hillbilly construction. With no way to break the barricade we put our tail between our legs and seek out the detour they had laid out for us. Rand McNally told us that the hillbilly detour was approximately 35 miles in the other direction! Oh no you don’t! I quickly chart a new course and we buck a “U”. After a few minutes the map and reality are starting to argue, things are not as they seem. With reality winning we decide to venture on greeted by scarecrows made of junk, abandoned trailer homes and yes, the Church of the Serpent. Suddenly we are atop true southern construction, the gravel road. The Yankees are piloting a truck a little to long for our patented “U’s” and we are forced to carry on. After about 60 minutes we finally approach an oncoming car. We stop and throw out the hand of a lost northerner.
    They smile, that way that only southern women who know where they are can. She gives us concise directions away from our gravel hell.

    Ahhhh, Sugar Mountain we are happy to see you. We park and decide to mosey on up the course and walk it, since it has been drizzling for some time now and we have no intention on getting filthy yet. As we begin to fill out the paperwork to register we realize just how much this race is going to cost us. Typically to race Downhill and Super-D we pay approximately 85 dollars. Not here. They have tacked on a 10 dollar late fee and a 20 dollar lift fee. For those unaware of the customs of mountain bike racing the lift fee is usually included with in the registration fee. “I am not late!”, I belt out. “Yes you are”, she retorts. “Today is Thursday, the first day of walk-in registration, I am not late!”, “You could have registered online.”….”Uhhh, I don’t have a computer?” I smirk.
    We both paid. 120 dollars to race a NORBA race.

    We decide to go walk the course. We get on the lift, which is by no stretch of the imagination slower than walking up the mountain. We were passed several times by hikers and spectators through out the week. As the lift begins to ascend the rain begins to fall harder. Torrential downpour for 20 of the 25-minute lift ride. As we walk the course we are relatively impressed with the construction, it has a bit of length to it. Technical features and banked turns make it look really fun and fast. Half way down the mountain I notice that my wedding ring is missing, it has fallen victim of the Hillbilly Black Hole.
    We decide too go look for a room for the weekend, previous plans to stay with a friend’s family nearby have fallen through.

    Friday and Saturday we awake to clear skies. We suit up for practice and everything goes well for a change. The course is as we had suspected, fun yet challenging.

    Saturday we race the Super-D and I race Downhill, both races feel mediocre, a few mistakes here and there but nothing major, just a failure to really connect the dots.
    To my surprise I cross the finish line of the Super-D race ahead of the pack, time wise.
    I have beaten the leader by 13 seconds. I am on cloud 9. I must now go and get dressed for Downhill practice. After a few runs Will and I are not overly enthusiastic about our performance. A couple of PB and J’s at the truck and I realize what time it is, 4:30. I race at 5:06 and I have to ride that slow lift to the top, I begin to run my bike up to the lift. I jump on and await the slow ascent. As I pass spectators along the course I get time updates, I am going to be cutting it close. When I finally reach the top I rush to the start gate just as the timer announces my name. I just made it. This is good, no down time to get nervous. I race. As I get through sections the cheers of friends and fellow riders await me. The run is solid but not perfect two mistakes cost me quite a bit of time. I cross the finish line intact and here my name called as the leader. Don’t get too excited there are still a few riders after me, all who stand a good chance of beating the time. To my expectations one rider does and I am knocked down to the second position where I will stay.
    Two medals, one first place for the Super-D and a second place finishing for Downhill.
    I feel better about the previous days adventures already. Besides, there is next weekend to start thinking about, Vermont is no joke! But still I am happy I won some races and I survived the south. And for those who don’t know I will sum up the south in two words,
    “Sweet Tea”.


    "North Cackalacky and Compton"

    Wayne and Forney missing each other.
    Jamie moving forward.

    Pics from yesterday.

    Well maybe not Compton but North Carolina for sure. The Carolina Norba will be pretty interesting. The locals have been known to have an advantage on this mountain entitled "Sugar". We leave tomorrow looking forward to the trip will be some friends "kin" while down there. I'll let you know how it goes.
    The US Open was great except for all that crashing. You ain't gettin any kind of detailed race report out of this lazy mickey fickey. Just trust me it was fun.
    NEW BIKE did I mention that after much a hassle with Frenchy Pierre and customs we finally got our new Commencal bikes. They are great, ride is very stiff and responsive. Looking forward to putting some more time on it this weekend. Dave was in town last weekend and shot some pice of Slater at the 495 Dirt Jumps. Slater was sporting the new Larry Bird edition Kink. Go figure its a New England thing. Will be taking a bunch of pics this time around and will be sure to let you peruse. Sorry for the delay in posting but...life, you know.