Knollfest: The Complete Story
First, I’d like to thank all of those that joined the PHX Knolly crew. We had members from Boston to Seattle, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and California join us for an incredible weekend, consisting of 75 degree weather, and lots of sun.
Honestly, when I began to plan this, my goal was to be able to ride with Noel. Leading up to the event, I had a suspicious feeling that Noel would make a surprise entrance with Dusty Friday afternoon. Later in the day Thursday, just before I headed out to pick up Woodyak, Muttonchops, and RDH at the airport. I received a note from Noel. He mentioned he would be unable to attend, and thanked me for arranging Knollfest PHX. Very cool, thanks to Noel and Dusty for the support. The swag was certainly a big hit.
Now let’s get to the goods. We had what I believe to be 21 different Knolly riders over a 3 day, 4 ride weekend.
Friday morning started out with a few faces that I wasn’t expecting. Calhoun, Woodyak, RDH, Rock Dude, Muttonchops and I pulled in to the trailhead, and you could feel the excitement building. We unloaded, geared up, took the first group shot and started climbing 24th Street.
(some duplicate photos, thanks to Skins for many great photos)
As the 10 Chilcotins and 1 DT rode and hiked our way up 24th Street, we paced over to Buena Vista where we expected to meet with Dusty for the descent down Geronimo to Cochise. I received a text from Dusty, they would not be able to make the descent and would hook up with us for the afternoon ride.
We geared up and the first real descent was about to begin. This is the time everyone was waiting for, what did PHX really have to offer? Was it really that good? I can only interpret the smiles I saw on Geronimo, which is a chunky, yet somewhat speedy run with little to no flow, as an overwhelming “YES”.
We turned down the hit Cochise, a trail rarely ridden by anyone, simply due to the technical nature of the trail, and the risks which come with it. The heart of the trail is 3 techy left hand switchbacks, followed by a mad scramble of chunk to the bottom.
Unfortunately, we did have a casualty on the second switchback. Calhoun took a hard header and looked to have broken a finger, and damaged a few joins. His hand quickly began to swell and it was obvious he was in a lot of pain. RDH, MD. stepped in and assessed the situation, provided some medical attention, and Calhoun decided to sit out the afternoon ride in an attempt to be prepared for the Saturday Goat Camp ride.
We stopped into Los Dos Molinos for a quick bite to eat, and headed up to the next trailhead for some nice tech climbing. We moved quickly up Kiwanis, and spun to road over to Holbert were we once again geared up and began the second descent of the day.
The Holbert descent was a thing of beauty. Everyone seemed to fall right into place, were perfectly spaced and we mashed it out at pace I never expected was possible with 16 riders. Once we finished the descent, we hung out in the lot for a while, had a few beers, receive some killer swag, then headed to dinner.
Saturday started out with breakfast at my place for the whole group. We had 8lbs of bacon, 4lbs of sausage, 54 eggs, 24 bagels, 3 gallons of OJ, 3 gallons of milk, 2 coffee pots running continuously, and countless amount of fruit. As we fueled up for what would surely be THE ride of the weekend, we did some quick bike preparations, loaded up, and hit the road for a short drive to the trailhead.
We began the 8 mile ascent up Mesquite trail, with little time for breaks. We quickly approached the Goat Camp descent, where we took a nice break, rested and refueled.
As we began to gear up for the descent, a strange silence overcame the group…FOCUS. We moved through the drop-in, guys were hoot’n and holler’n as they worked their way through the chunkiest segment of trail they had seen yet. We regrouped and moved on to the first session spot…the Spiral Staircase. dirtbag, Ronnie, and myself show the group the man line, through a tight rock squeeze which eats bikes and riders alike. I decided I would take the first shot at it to show the group the line. Amazng the pressure that comes with an audience. We spent nearly an hour sessioning the Staircase.
We then continued down to Jackhammer, where sessioning was minimal as the feature has been heavily sanitized, and many riders were “flowing” and just kept on going.
After a nice relaxing gathering at the cars, we headed back to my place for dinner. As we ate, we watched the Red Bull Rampage, and later decided to run the photos from Skins on the big screen. This may have been one of the best features of the weekend as it seemed we were captioning every photo, and laughing to the point my gut hurt.
Sunday was a bit more of a mellow ride. We did an out and back on National. This was a great last day ride choice as it is fast, flowy, and the effort required was less than that of the previous days ride.
Sadly, this reports comes at the expense of the end of the inaugural Knollfest. Plans are already in the works for Knollfest 2013. Thanks to all who attended, I hope you take some time to share your experiences .
I have literally hundreds of photos to sort through. I will continue to work on them and post some more photos and sequences.
Wow, what a great trip. Thanks again for hosting such an awesome event!
A few interesting fun facts:
1. The overwhelming shock of choice: CCDB Air, followed by Avy coils/Fox tuned Avys
2. POC Trabec is the helmet of choice
3. Raw is the primary color choice
1 bent rotor
2 flat tires (by locals only...go figure)
1 broken shoe (??? really ???)
repeated bent rear derailleurs
Great stuff. Looks like it was a huge success.
+1 cassette with sheared rivets
Originally Posted by tiSS'er
Add another bent rotor, deeply gouged fork lowers and a broken off DT Swiss RWS rear axle lever. I think that same rock in the notch got all three!
Originally Posted by tiSS'er
This terrain is so much chunky fun but so hard on equipment.
The type of terrain for which Knolly's are built.
Great recap TiSS'er, and thanks for playing host, guide, coach, concierge, etc. all weekend long! Bikes and body parts are a little banged up, but that's a small price to pay for such a great weekend of riding with a great collection of individuals. Looking forward to the 2013 event
Looks like ridiculous fun!
Holy chunk! It'll be interesting to see where the next Knollfest takes place. I'm really debating if I should ditch my Spot for one of those Chili's, so damn sexy
Keep the pics and updates coming, fellas. Serious stoke!
What a great experience!
Thank you Brandon and Family, Phoenix crew (Ronnie, RJ, Javier, Vik, Les, Lawrence, Rex, and the rest of the crew), and the rest of the Knolly crew that made the trip. Its always nice to put a face with a name.
There was some impressive riding going on this weekend. Phoenix is such a unique riding location. It was great to see everyone killing it; especially the locals.
Thank you all for an amazing weekend.
p.s. When are we getting Javi on a Knolly
si vis pacem...
Looks like an amazing weekend, glad everyone came out in one piece and wish I could have been there for sure. Can't wait for the next one...
Wow, looks like it was a great time, the pics are great!
If jackasses could fly this place would be an airport.
Time for bed. Here is the one video I have so far. Lots more to go through (94 total). I'll post some more after a sleep.
What an awesome time, thanks to everyone who made this possible, especially Tiss'er.
Knollfest 2012 Day 1 from RDHFreethought on Vimeo.
and Day 2:
Knollfest 2012 Day 2 from RDHFreethought on Vimeo.
and Day 3:
Knollfest 2012 Day 3 from RDHFreethought on Vimeo.
Last edited by rdhfreethought; 12-15-2012 at 05:43 PM.
Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
Washington, Montana, Idaho, South Africa
A superb event! Great riding and even better folks. Feeling it DEEP in my muscles right now. Looking forward to K-fest 2013...
Super cool - thanks for the story! Nice to see an event like this happen and future ones to come!
Wished I could of made it so my day glo yellow frame could have brightened up that crowd
But after 23 miles with 2900ft of climbing I was done after Saturday- maybe next go round or maybe the next event may be in the NW......
Stellar thread and event. The date didn't work for me so I can see I missed the ride of the year. I'll try and make the next one. My Endo loves chunk!
What a show.
Thanks for taking charge and shaping this event tiSSer'!
Nice to make some new friends and some new enemies.
Back to reality though. 19F at the house this morning, WTF.
"Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"
Some photos. Video might take a couple days (I am a newb at this, will probably leave it raw)
What is a group of MTB'rs called? Flock, gaggle, pod, pride, pack, school, troop...bah I think "herd" describes the scene the best.
Early morning ride in the desert:
Note the blue Chilcotin paint left on this boulder.
...more to come
Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
Washington, Montana, Idaho, South Africa
What an awesome weekend. Thanks to everyone that brought the stoke and made it happen.
Big thanks to tiSSer and Tania for hosting everyone at their awesome home. tiSSer even recruited his mom to help cook breakfast on Saturday...how awesome is that.
The weekend went like clockwork with no mechanicals, only two pinchflats, no bad crashes (Calhoun kept riding and drinking), dudes were on time with their sh1t together and everyone was able to keep up with the pace, shred the gnar and have a good time.
The riding was top notch and I have to admit that area is a true suspension / bike / rider testing ground. Their is very little room for error and very litttle time to relax on the descents. I used to think that the PNW was the ultimate bike testing ground...i no longer think that is true. This terrain is brutal and non stop. I definitely left a lot of aluminium (pronounced:- aa-loo-min-ium) out in the desert....
I think tiSSer had the routes totally dialed. There were no logistical issues and all rides popped right out at the car. It might have been a master stroke to start up 24th...it allowed time for any unnecessary adrenalin or excitement to be totally evaporated, allowed us to get an idea of the terrain we were in and to get to know each other better before hitting the DH.
- Squealing each time i tagged a cactus on upper Goat Camp and then hearing Dusty Bottoms yelp about 2 seconds behind me
- trying unsuccesfully to pull cactus thorns out my glove with my teeth while riding
- Goat Camp DH after the spiral staircase (about when Woodyak had to stop and allow his brain to catch up)!
- The final DH section of National...riding behind Gary and Les...two of the fastest old geezers I have ever had the honor of trying to keep up with
- Chilling after the rides and BS'ing with the crew in the parking lot
- Laughing and heckling while dudes sessioned
- Hoping in 15 yrs that i can still suffer and hang like Rock Dude.
Your photobucket collection is...interesting.
Originally Posted by rdhfreethought