Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pro GRT Mountain Creek. New bike, new team, new digs.

 This past weekend marked the beginning to my 2013 season with Madkats, Transition, Mrp, KORE, Spank wheels, Chuck's Bikes and Troy lee Designs. The bikes are feeling great and the kits are looking great!
The Pro Gravity tour (or Pro GRT) was held at Mountain Creek. The course was something we had raced before with some much needed improvements that made for an awesome weekend! After a bit of frantic bike building on Friday I was feeling fast and loose, Thanks Cambro! But Saturday after sent us a curve ball with an un-expected rain shower just before seeding. I gave 'er anyway and seeded in 8th place out of 54 pros!!! But I knew that many fast pros had crashed and I would be hard out for a top 20 if every one had good runs. After a little bit of suspension tuning thanks to Lewis at the Fox van and some patience I felt ready for race run on Sunday, Due to a few HOURS of course hold for timing, things really started to dry up. After the first corner I realizd how dry it was it tried to bring up the pace.

As I cam out of the last corner in the woods I clipped tree and got a bit squirly but managed to save it and only loose a second or so.....buutt I think it might have been a bit more than "squirly" because I remember 3 spectators DIVING away from the tape as I tri-podded my way back onto the bike and back on course.

I finished with a 2:23.45, 2 seconds faster than my qualifying time. I was content. A great weekend and I look froward to next weekend at Plattekill, rumor has it the jumps are big and fresh! Thanks everyone for making it possible, we're giving it 110%!
Breakfast of champions at the diner. Free attitude and coffee refills.

Team 450 frame showed up 10 minutes before we left for the race. STOKED.

Had to build her in a panic before Friday practice. No matter how much time you have you can never build a new bike fast enough.

headset was an issue as I managed to forget 1/2 of it. But team manager Jarad got me sorted out with a new lower cup.

time to bang out some practice runs on the new whip before it closes!

Course walk on the open section. 10 seconds to cover all that ground?
anndd pretty nice finish line jump well done Mountain Creek Rad track and we approve!

It drizzled all Saturday night making for some slick trickery.  Went down pretty hard on the right shin, she swelled up pretty big straight away.

woah time for a few more "pressures of air" in the rear tire dry conditions meant wide open throttles

toughest corner of the course. Corner #1.

Moto rut that ejected from the dark woods into the harsh light of the ski trail.

Open section of the course. seconds later my back end kicked out (drifted) and showered Jarad with rocks and dust. my bad dude. The 450 ate this section and felt so stable with the long and low setting.

The announcer said 2:31 when I crossed, luckily he was WRONG! 2:23:45 good enough for  14th place.

Great weekend and a great kickstart to the Madkats season!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Filming with the Big Boys

DDU 'Summer' Episode 2 from Diaries Downunder on Vimeo.

One of my co-workers is also a freelance videographer and works filming the web series "Diaries Down Under".  Only a week or two into my stay he invited to come film and episode as a guest...along with Mike Hopkins and Kelly McGarry.

Unfortunately I had a wee mishap the day before we left for the trip that involved a crash, a hole in my knee, 4 stitches, and $75, and a couple nights with little sleep....

We left Friday afternoon to meet up with everyone at the Skyline Gondola. Despite being the only one on a trail bike the covert took it like a boss and I had blast keeping up with the boys on their DH rigs!

Saturday found us on our way to Alexandra where we met up with a local Transition Shop owner Phil, he took us up into the hills for some truly unique riding. I have never ridden in the wide open with no trees. It takes some getting used to, following the legendary Mike Hopkins was pretty fun!

Alexandra is a super fun place to ride, but it is very rocky and unforgiving. On our way out I tried to get a bit sideways at a bad time and put my face and front wheel into a rock...not the best tool for trail maintenance.

From there we headed off to Naseby where Kelly and Mike got to work on some tailings from the gold mining days. It was neat to see the precision that those boys operate at even while getting their huck on!

I decided to try  and join in with the covert....but it ended with my tumbling into a rose hip bush. There's no bugs, bears, or snakes here to be worried about, but the bushes around here will tear you apart! MEAN thorns.

Sunday, we were shown around Naseby by the notorious "Keeler", the builder and caretaker of a massive trail network in Naseby. It was a super fun trail ride and I finally felt like I was riding a bike for fun again and really enjoyed myself!

Have a watch it's a great movie! Rosoe Mackay did an incredible job editing. Thanks guys for an awesome trip!
Host of the show Josh Clark, Swamp Monster??

Managed to pull 2 of the 4 stitches out when I crashed in Alexandra


annd the tree Huck

what if I....

Long Day

Travel.....such an incredible country

In the heart of the Gold mining era.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Engulfed in Mountains

I'm slowly learning with my camera and New Zealand just keeps presenting incredible opportunities.
This place makes you feel small, but significant at the same time.

The clouds here are super dramatic due to the mtns and the winds they create!

one of my favorite photos yet.
I almost didn't snap this one but Roscoe convinced me to grab my camera.
Cheers Mate!

Mtn Bikes are priority in Queenstown/

sunset from the new house....Mt Aspiring reaching for the sky

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Day at work and Coronet Peak weekend!

Postcard shots are everywhere you turn here. Rude rock trail

Rude rock trail.

I might be in NZ...but you can still Huck to Flat like it's the BEAST coast!

This is what I do all day. Forks forks and more forks! It's lots of learning.

My Comute to work. Real good fun.
Scrub a dub...Rude Rock. Super fun.

The ride home....hard to keep your eyes on the track with mtns like those!

Sticker from the workbench...thought everyone who's ever done trail work  would appreciate!

The Blueshark office, lots of character!...and bit similar to Chucks....

fox wall of fame

Co-worker and budding videographer Ross Mackay.

Tear 'm appart and make 'em happy!

The rest of my ride to work.

View from the trail to work.....
My riding is improving, I've had a few crashes getting used to the terrain but I'm starting to feel the confidence coming back! Can't wait to get on my TR 450 this weekend!

hint hint....Next Blog post....Diaries Down Under episode with Kelly McGarry and Mike Hopkins!!!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Flight and first few days in NZ!

I left California on Sunday night, and after a 12 long hours we touched down in Aukland, from there I passed through Customs with no issues and hopped on my flight to Queenstown, from there I jumped on a rickety old bus. The driver smashed his way up the side of the mountain, charging through the switchbacks with confidence. 
Queenstown airport

Aukland, Very Dramatic eh?

bad photo but it gives an idea of the scale of the mountains here

welcome to Wanaka!
 Al had a bit of work to finish up before he could swing down to get me so I spent some time just chilling on the beach. Wanaka is really cool town, there's gravel paths everywhere, and they get used  A LOT. Everyone and their grandmother has a mountain bike and uses it to get around on in addition to recreational use!
Lake Wanaka

Al my soon to be Boss had me over for dinner with his family,
quite a view from the dinner table!
I'll work on some riding photos soon, it's a bit hard to snap them of yourself when riding solo!