1. How did you get into DH? My buddy Derek took me out to Downieville years ago and I rented a DH bike. I was BLOWN away!! The bike had suspension, crazy brakes, etc...I was hooked from that point on...
2. Air or coil shocks? Coil on the rear/air fork....Rock Shox Baby!!
3. Hot dogs or hamburgers? My friends would tell you both(they think I have a eating problem)
4. If you could only have one bike? Now that's a tough one...I'd have to say Enduro because of the huck-ability, but also because of my eating habits..
5. Favorite motorcross racer? VILLOPOTO all the way!! Angry ginger on track!!!
6. Last thing that goes through mind at the start gate?/b> Party time...
7. Favorite DH track? Schladming will always be the best. That track had everything...perfect flow, roots, mud, rocks, open grass sections, elevation, and a perfect slope.
8. Favorite XC loop? In a little place in Santa Cruz where hippies hang out.
9. How many pull-ups can you do? 25....after hotdogs/ hamburgers..3
10. How big are your quads? The size of Schwillis' waist.
11. Describe your riding style… In control..maybe a little too much. Need to let the ginger out.
12. Biggest race for you? I personally am a big fan of Crankworx Whistler. That place gets tons of coverage, big names show up, fans everywhere, Best bike park in the world and you get to share it with your bros. It's the best barnone.
13. Who has helped you along the way? So many people..my family, friends and my amazing girlfriend Chas are the obivous. Then others like Brandon Sloan, John Dawson, Joe Buckley have done so much for me over the years, I can't even begin to tell!! So thank you all!!!
14. Carbon or aluminum? Carbon is the future!!!!
15. Flats or clips? Flats all the way.
16. Pump track or slalom? Pumptracks are so fun.
17. Who would win in a fight, Joe Buckley or Brandon Sloan? Those guys would die trying...too tough to call. Whoever bonked first would go down...so maybe Buck. Ive him seen bonk more than Sloan. I'm convinced theres steriods in DR Pepper..
18. What’s more important, geometry or travel? Geometry
19. What sort of hair products do you use? H2O...oh wait, Axis hair products from Canada.
20. Favorite breakfast?? I could eat EGGS, sausage, english muffins and French Toast for the rest of my life...3 times a day no problemo..
21. Best thing about DH racing? Worst? The challenge!!! It's so hard to be up top. It keeps me alive and well...my life couldn't be any better right now. Worst part would have to injuries and the airports. They both suck no matter what...
Metabief was awesome..May 13, 2013
Metabief was awesome...courses wise, weather not so much and Yann and crew treated me like a KING all weekend. Results on the other hand didn't go so well. I was 8th after first stage with a ok run..after that it all went downhill. 2 flats and a couple crashes. Metabief was essentially DH on trail bikes. Jerome, Remy and others were on DH cut Wet Screams or a tire with High Volume/sticky rubber for all the roots/rocks etc. Myself..2.0 Storm control casing. I tried a 2.3 Butcher (new grid) on the last stage and it was a little better...At least on the rocks and roots. But the place was a mess everywhere..open grass turns were like ice skating at times and wood sections were chaos. The Storm was like having a Fast Trak up front. I had to run a bit higher pressure, otherwise I'd flat (again) and with the hard rubber it was not pretty. Oh..and we ended putting a OLD Grid Purgatory 2.3 on the rear after friday for the weekend.
Long story short, I brought a knife to a gun fight.. We need some different tire options for the 29. Definitely for mud. Maybe a 2.3 Hillbilly in Grid casing would be sufficient. And a sticky rubber Butcher 2.3 or 2.5 Grid or Dh casing. And after talking with Jerome and some others, it sounds like the next 2 World Series Enduro's in France are straight up Dh tracks. 6- 8 runs/ 5-10 mins/ 3000' very drop per lap. All lift access. Words of advice from Jerome " you bring Dh tires to France next time" in his funny accent.
With the options we have now for 29 tires, I'm leaning towards taking my Enduro 26 to the next 2 French World Series Enduro's. Strictly based on tires...I believe the E29 is a better bike and like it more, but theres no way our tires are gonna work at those events. Unless we have something by then or try some other brands with your guys approval of course.
I'm still in good spirits and feel good about Punta Ala. I'm actually glad all this happened at that race and not at a later time in the season.
Us OpenMay 31, 2011
2011 Us Open is in the books again. Every year I look forward to this event more and more. The track here is challenging, usually dry, rocky, some wide open sweepers and typically a huck at the end. Though this year we had no huck do to the construction going on. I was told it should be done by Dec, which will bring back the tradition finish area and Red Bull jump( I hope).
This year there were a few new sections to the track..actually the bottom half was all new then some new bits near the JBL rock garden. Which by the way was VERY slick the first few days of practice. I had to trust my big 2.5 Butchers to get me through it. On the new bottom half, it was a mix of open turns and woods section. Not as crazy as the top, but still good.
Come quali time, I made a smooth conservative run just to get me in. My main concern was flatting...so I played it smart. I came down with a 2:33 in 14th. I new I was riding well so I was quite happy with that. I had a bit left in the tank. On race day sunday we were blessed with sunny weather and dry track conditions..I was excited for this!!!! I decided to let her rip in the finals...hold nothing back, just go for it. And that I did. I nailed the top section better then ever, motored the rocks and was heading out of the top woods on to the open fire road. I stand up sprinting, feeling good then before the step up I noticed that I've got a front flat.. #$%@!! Not happy, but it is what it is. That's racing and I'm gonna have to wait another year for this one.
On a exciting note, Specialized/GROM racing absolutely crushed it on the weekend taking the top 4 spots in Giant Slalom and 1st and 3rd in the DH.. Congrats guys... Chris Herndon and Tim Price are doing awesome things over there.
Now chilling for a day with the lady and off to Europe tomorrow.
My God does it rainMay 16, 2011
My God does it rain over here on the east coast. We were fortunate enough to have some sun for a few days at the 2nd ProGrt in Highland but mother nature decided to give'r on race day sunday. As the day progress, so did the rain. Which was fine with me as everyone had to deal with it. So it was just a matter of ripping some tear-offs and hitting your lines. I actually thought the track was alot of fun to ride in those conditions as it brings a whole different element to racing. Because rallying down wet rocks, roots wasn't enough!!
Brad and I also got to hang and ride with the GROM racing team as well. Sam Pensler, Tim Price, Brad Benedict and I practiced a bit together on saturday and those boys were going!! I believe Sam took 3rd in Junior X, only a few secs off first. So congrats to him. He's got lots of racing left this year and more in the tank.
I had a good quali in the morning and rode smooth to 3rd. I knew I had more for the final and all the rain was actually helping me relax a bit more to be honest. Just wanted to give it my all for the final, which I did. I had a small mistake top of the course, but everyone does. But I was happy with only going 1.5 secs slower in the pissing rain and taking 4th in the final. Congrats to Neko on his first win. He's a good kid. Hopefully he's safe with all of those fireworks he's gonna buy with that $1500. Apparently New Hampshire has THE best fireworks around.
Were now hanging out for a few days, then off to Plattekill. Sounds like more rain too. Sounds weird, but I hope it does rain in Plattekill. I must be buzzing on too much caffeine.
Just finished upMay 16, 2011
Just finished up day two of the Highland Pro Grt. I'd have to say that with the size of the mountain they have here they do a great job at utilizing all of what they have. Every inch of this mountain is got something and done properly. You can tell it's built by riders thats for sure. They've done a A+ job on this hill.
The Dh track is actually really good. It's rough, rocky, slick (now because of mother nature), couple steeps with plenty of options for lines and some nice floaters here and there. The Demo is loving this rough stuff out east.. I'm running some big 2.5 Butchers for all these rocks too...those bads boys are smoothing out those rock sections like no other. Plus my rims are much happier too :).
Should be some good racing tomorrow. Gwin, Leov, Neko, Sternberg and the Yeti Boys are here. Well see who can keep it upright and pinned on these slick roots and rocks. It's gonna be wild!!!
CippieMay 9, 2011
I've been hanging in sunny Santa Cruz for a couple weeks now shredding XC and DH. Last week we went and rode DH in Chico with the Specialized crew and Chico local Cippie (sounds like a sip of water). We had a blast as usual. Anyone who knows Cippie knows he is constant entertainment from 5:30am in the morning to 9pm at night. Oh, and if you throw some caffeine in the works...GAME ON!!
I think we ended up doing around 11-12 runs on a proper DH track. I actually think it's one of the best DH around in Cali in terms of testing for the Demo 8 and any DH bike for that matter. She's got it all. Steepness, flow, jumps, compressions, rocks, drops and little pedaling. Just the way we like it. The Demo was loving ever second of it.
I'm headed off to the east coast for some PRO GRT"S on weds and from there it's going to be flat out till August. Really looking forward to the travels/good times/ racing with Brad. Should be awesome.
Sea Chicken ClassicApril 19, 2011
Just finished up the Sea Chicken Classic last weekend and I'd have to say it was a success as always. I'm always excited to see friends/sponsors and all the craziness Sea Otter brings every year. It's kinda like Crankworx minus the mountain..but in terms of spectators and vendors..insane. Having the sun is always a good recipe for success too.
Truvativ/ Momentun Trail Concepts gave the DH a facelift this year for 2011. I have to say that with the size of the hill/ terrain/restrictions/ budget those guys had, they nailed it!!! The track was better than ever. Flowed well, safer for everyone, berms/jumps were a bit polished up and some natural rough sections. We were having a blast doing cruiser runs everyday.
For the dh this year I choose to ride my S Works Enduro. In the years past I've ridden my Dg bike, but I wanted to give the trail slayer a go. And I think I made the right choice. I ended up 8th in the dh, 2.9 secs off 2nd. Not bad, it would have been nice to be on the box. I guess I gotta wait for next year.
I'm now in route to South Africa for the first World Cup. I've heard the track is quite physical...that makes me happy :) Time to get a solid result!!
Just got backApril 13, 2011
Just got back from the first race of the year in Port Angeles Wa. It was the first stop of the PRO GRT series and our first race for the newly formed Specialized Racing USA Gravity Team including Brad Benedict and I. We made the journey up there in the Big S Sprinter van along with Grom racing coach/good friend Chris Herndon. We had a awesome time driving up...stopped every 2hrs it seemed to grab some coffee or food because we were in no rush by all means..maybe we just wanted to spaz out on some caffeine..well Brad and I did. Herndon is too cool for coffee..ha!!
We had a great set up in the pits...3- 10x10's, Sprinter van, Specialized bikes everywhere in our pits..that reminds me. Man is there A LOT of Demo 8's out in PA!!! Holy moly!! It seemed like every 5th bike was a Demo. It was cool to see.
The track this year was a little different is a couple sections compared to last year but was just as good. It was hard not to do too many runs because we were having so much fun being on a proper DH track. I'd have to say I was a happy kid riding my Dh bike. The 2011 Demo 8 with 2.3 Butchers was the ticket no matter what mother nature threw at us. Dry to muddy conditions, I stuck to the Butchers all weekend.
It been awhile since I last raced and to be honest I was a bit nervous on my seeding run. You wonder if you've done enough preparation, the right preparation, do you know how to ride a bike still?? etc..etc. So I cruised down to a 10th...I was happy with that because I knew I had another 5 in me. I walked the track later that day I found some new lines and was feeling it the next day...Race day came and so did the rain. To be honest the track was holding up quite well. I was loving it!!! I took off for my run and we were going good!!! Until I came to this weird step up thing...I ended up getting sideways up the lip and not jumping it..lost a lot of momenten for a flatter section. Oh well that's racing..that sent me back to 11th..not what I wanted but could have been much worse. So I'm greatful for that and ready for the OTTER!!!