Monthly ArchiveSeptember 2007



Mountain Biking 25 Sep 2007 01:24 pm

Thank you for all the great support in 2007

Interbike is now upon us which can signal change and transition in the bike biz. Sometimes it’s just a new higher tech wrapper for an old product. Sometimes it’s the next gadget that will revolutionize the way you ride (and sometimes it really will). People jockey & jostle for a better ride, and brands will do the same thing for a better dealer. Or it’s also just a good time to share stories & shake hands with long time comrades. For most I suspect it’s a little bit of all those things.

I’d like to take this time to say thank you to all the great people & companies that have showed me so much support this year. All of you (and the little pet Demon I must feed) are the reasons I ride. First of all, my biggest thanks go to my Wife, Wendy Maynard, for being my biggest source of encouragement, and for reminding me that no goal is too high if I bend my will to it. My family for always believing in me. Thank you to my WTB teammates (a group of people who support each other as strongly as they try to tear each others legs off–kinda like a wolf pack) for making sure the bar keeps getting higher. Thank you to all the race promoters out there who continue to put on these tests of skill & endurance I’m so addicted to. Without you guys I’d probably be half-wheeling all my friends all the time, and you all know how great a feeling that is.
Thank you to all the others racers out there, you make me faster because I don’t want you to win.
Thank you WTB for being such a cool company run by people who honestly love to ride bikes. Thank you for all the great support this year. Thanks for taking your only wheel off the Downieville display so I could race the next day! Thanks for taking me on rides & showing me cool trails.
Thank you to Gamut Usa for supplying me with chainguides that haven’t let me down once in two years.
Thank you Hayes for stopping me from hitting trees & going off cliffs.
Thank you Gravity dropper for getting me addicted to your product.
Thank you EAS for the rocket fuel and bodily repair supplements (after the rocket fuels burnt out)
Thank you Santa Cruz for making rocket ships with no seatbelts
Thank you Thomson for being such a solid company that makes solid parts that I never have to worry about–good thing in a seatpost and stem.
Thank you FOX for the plushness
Thank you Giro for helping to preserve what cognitive I abilities I have.
Thank you to my work United Bicycle Parts for always working around my race schedules (sometimes on fairly short notice too…eh-hem)
Thank you to my dog Piper who is sometimes to only one strong/crazy enough to go out on those cold winter night-snow rides. And she LOVES it!

Cheers to a great year of racing!

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Downhill Racing 10 Sep 2007 09:15 pm

2007 Mt Hood Scotty Graham Memorial race

My second race up at Mt Hood Ski Bowl this year and unlike the last my fortunes were a bit better this time. I’ve described the Mt Hood course in previous posts so I’ll just add what was new this time. Mt Hood Ski Bowl promoter Petr Kakes decided to open up the rocky chute, which cuts a switchback out of the decomposed fire road that is cannonball, near the top of the course as he does for about two of the five races a year. It’s a ninety degree left hander off of a 35mph section of cannonball–Then you dive into a fairly loose steep rock chute where the line seems to change each time (or maybe it’s that I keep changing my mind on what looks like a good line through there) The reality is that there is no great line through it and thats why it’s so great to have as part of the course. Other than that it was blue skies great temps & great people.

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The race format for the weekend was 2 runs combined time which definitely requires a change in strategy. For me that meant bump the tire psi up about 20% and the risky line factor down by 10%. Unlike the best of 2 format a flat means you’re fineeto and a crash, well a crash is always bad, and there’s no equipment testing strategizing first run to fall back on before a balls out second run.

I was a little freaked going into it because in practice the day before I’d hit something really hard in the first 100yds. Hard enough that I popped a little hole in my casing & got squirted by Stans until the hole sealed up on its own, which made me think of what happened to Weir at D-Ville this year. I topped off the tire back at base camp (the parking lot) and let it sit over night.

Race morning dawned warm and blue and my rear tire seemed to be about where I’d left it the night before. Still nervous I added 5psi more & had just enough time to get 1 practice run in before the course was shut down to racers. I kept hitting something up top of the course HARD but couldn’t quite figure out what it was. I added a couple more psi & headed up for my first race run. I was second off the start line after Daryl Young ( who at 41 still kicks my ass on a very regular basis, which is for me both inspiring and frustrating ). Hit that same something hard again clenched ass cheeks, grimaced & generally made due until I realized that I hadn’t flatted, caught Daryl half way down the course. He’d flatted— apparently on the same thing I’d been so stressed about. He went home–I can’t blame as him with the combined format there was no hope. Ironically if the previous race at Hood had been combined he’d have won it.

Now the real stress began because I noticed a HUGE ding in my rim from that first run…I could see tire bead…Now I had a good hour or so to really focus on whether or not my tire was going to blow on my second run or if I should just go ahead & change it out. I puttered & pondered, made some voodoo tire knob trimmings until I ran out of time & then I think I added some more psi and went up for my second run. By this time I’d added so much tire pressure that even on tacky dirt I felt like the princess & the pea–Like I could feel gravel underneath perfectly good dirt. But hey might as well look on the bright side–Those tires were rollin’ FAST, and anyway, I’ve got 10 inches–of travel.

It’s starting to become a familiar saying but my second run wasn’t pretty—-good enough though to keep me in first…My first first at Hood this year. I ended up with another huge rim ding but somehow everything stayed together & didn’t flat–Thank you WTB, Santacruz, Gamut, Hayes. I’d really like to thank Simon Lawton (part of a large & fast pro field in the Northwest) from Fluidride for the kicker check that he gave out to the top three fastest times, one of which was a semi-pro, which was in addition to the payout from Hurricane Racing (cosponsored by Shiloh Cyclery in Gresham Oregon). There are a few semi-pros in the Portland OR area that really ought to think about upgrading sometime soon–I’m not naming any names or anything—-PHIL WEIRING

I didn’t know it at the time but the event drew some press which reminds me of another semi who picked up a 4th place overall– Jason “kneehigh” Moon, owner of Boone Dog Bikes, who needs to get a website going so I can link to it.  Also Mike Estes from pinkbike.com wrote a far superior Mt Hood story than mine with lots of great pictures so you should check it out too.downieville_mthood-082.jpgLeft; Bart McDaniels Middle: Me Right; Simon Lawton (damn he’s tall)