What's your best DH story/race?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: response3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    42

    What's your best DH story/race?

    It's snowing here, and I'm really wanting to ride, so I figured if I can't ride, let's talk about riding. Does anyone have a favorite race/ride story that they want to share?

    I'll start...Mammoth Mtn. 1997. This was the last year the Kamikaze was the official DH course there. That race was something you thought about for months beforehand. The year before, I had raced with a 56t chainring w/ my 11-28 cassette. Spun it out too, and finished somewhere in the top 10. So for '97, I was determined to go faster. I had a C-dale Super V 4000 DH, and ordered a 58t chainring built for the coda cranks on the bike. I take the bike up to Mammoth on Tuesday (the race is on Sat) and spend all week practicing. I've got it dialed, take the visor off my helmet, new IRC Missile tires w/ 45psi (to stop pinchflats), skinsuit, huge f'n chainring, check, check, check.

    For those of you who haven't been to Mammoth, or ridden the Kami when it's prepped, let me tell you what butterflies feel like. You're at the bottom (7900ft), getting into a gondola with 3 other guys who look like they're spacemen. Nobody is talking much. As you ride up the gondola, and pass through mid-mountain, the terrain drops out below you to over 300' as you climb up the face of this extinct volcano to over 11,000ft. At the top, it's like you're on the surface of the moon, no trees, no bushes, just white pumice dust and granite. There's a snow fence along the back of the mountain, and the rest of the world just drops away. You get nervous just thinking about how fast you're going to be going in a little while. Also, despite this course being located on a road, remember it's about 10,000 years of decomposed granite, a 4-6" thick in some places between the surface and bedrock. The worn-in, racing line is less than 2' wide in most places. Get out of that and it was like riding in marbles...don't or you're going down.

    So I get to the top during practice one day, and make my way to the starting house for a run. The clouds are coming in and out, it's kinda grey and drizzling a bit. Perfect. The ground is getting some moisture in it. Put the goggles on, clip both shoes in, take a deep breath to relax. Push. I'm in my 58x24 combo, shifting down, picking up speed along a 100 yard gently sloping section...Then it drops. And when I say it drops, we're talking broken elevator speed. You go from 20-25mph to 45 in less than a few seconds. It's so rough your vison blurs, and all you see is this faint, darker grey line of bedrock in front of you. Try to keep it in line, while tucked for aero reasons. At the bottom is small roller that you can hit at about 50mph and float for 30' if you've got the balls. Weird stuff happens in the air going that fast...I opt to do the fastest speed roll of my life, keeping the back wheel down.

    So I make it through the insane start, and just tuck it in and keep pedaling circles at around 50-55mph. I hear someone coming past, he's in a red/white/blue jersey, that's Brian Lopes! Sweet, I'm drafting him, and getting on his wheel into the upper switchbacks. Here's where world-class and the average joe expert differ...He absolutely rails though these two switchbacks, probably 10mph faster than me. So much for that plan.

    I'm coming up to the 'chicane' now, it's a series of left, right, left, right corners that are pretty much blind after the first b/c you're going so fast, you have to setup for the 2nd before you get there. Hit the first one at about 45mph. I've got one foot out though a couple of these, and make it through the last one, onto a straight pedaling section. Get a little rest on the 'ol hands. But not the lungs, here come the flat parts...and where I realized I over geared my bike. I'm hurting bad now, trying to keep turning the pedals. Stand UP! Pedal, pedal, pedal. Is all I can think. It's getting a little steeper, here comes the finish, don't unclip, don't unclip, sprint...I'm done...and all I can think is holy sh*t, what a rush, let's do it again!

    A year or so later, I figured out how the pro's went so fast down that. Insane cornering speed, and not breaking their tuck the whole time. In fact, I'd heard that pedaling there was slower than coasting in some parts, due to wind resistance caused by pedaling. I never bothered to find out...

    So that's Mammoth. That run during practice when it was raining a bit was the fastest (56mph) I ever went on that course. The dirt was actually tacky in some parts, and the wind was non-existent. According to my computer, my top speed in the race was 52mph, avg. speed, 42mph. Only good for 5th place in Jr. Ex. WTF? Myles Rockewell won the pro men that year w/ a 4:27.

    Today it seems slow to pros, probably b/c of the improved suspension and tires we have today. But back then, that was it, the pinnacle of 'extreme' sports. Nothing else like it in the world. Here's a video of the head-to-head race, called the Reebok Eliminator that I found on youtube of the Kami.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=oBWgfEu_oVI

  2. #2
    The Beaver
    Reputation: Mwehahaha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,153
    I was riding down a hill really fast. the end. Does this count? I don't have any good stories......
    Specialized P.1
    Specialized Demo

  3. #3
    Pro Crastinator
    Reputation: .WestCoastHucker.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,438
    i have hella good stories. i just hate to type...


  4. #4
    StraightOuttaCompton
    Reputation: Djponee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,145
    this thread is going to consist of way too much reading.
    HARDTAIL PRIDE- 09 Kona Five-0

  5. #5
    banned
    Reputation: The Tod Says What?!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    917
    My best with bullets for less reading

    - Went to sea otter early friday to get practice in
    -felt an air bubble in my rear shock.
    -took the shock too fox, but it took all day to rebuild and missed my practice
    -got the shock on.
    -got one practice run in saturday morning.
    -Had to go to the bathroom extremely bad, but was 3rd in line to start when i realized it.
    -peddled my a$$ off to get to the bottom, ghost rid my bike into a bush and pissed my brains out.
    - Heard " and Neal Wiebmer takes 3rd place" on the speeker,
    -Podiumed my first DH race ever.

    -Later first place was disqualified and i got second place


    Thats my best story so far, we'll see what happens at this next see otter.

  6. #6
    P-51 Crew Chief #38
    Reputation: dhtahoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    603
    I paced a deer on the trail almost the entire course at Donner Ski Ranch one year and won. Damn fast deer!
    Balls to the wall until you see god. Turn Left!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    151
    I don't have any killer stories but one thing I have noticed is that there isnt any kick a$$ books about downhillers/freeriders. I'm not talking about "how to do a table top or hit berms", I'm talking about someone writing a book abuot how they got into the sport, what was their back ground, what it took for them to get sponsored, etc. I would totally pick up a book like that, and if there is one, I have never came across it. I did find something from Matt Hoffman a while back, but I'm not really into the whole bmx thing, "i'm not haten" I just dig DH/FR style. Anyway, enough rambling from me, just my two cents.

    Z

  8. #8
    Locs on Spokez
    Reputation: Iggz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,903
    Apparently my friend blacked out and fell of the course yet came back to and got back in the race.
    Ground Steeze. @iggy_strbac

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: response3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    42
    @ zmtthw

    Good idea. I wish I had one of those when I raced. I had a friend on a 'factory' team explain a few things about sponsorship and when and how to send a resume in. Basically, winning helps, but it isn't as important as putting together an overall idea of who you are to a company. How well you fit with the other team members has a lot to do with it, too.

    If you can present a good image to sponsors, they trust that you will do the same when you're at the races or at home on local rides. Now things like sponsorhouse.com and myspace have changed things, but I had a two page resume, including a cover/summary letter, and a results sheet. I also included a page full of pictures. Since companies usually set their marketing budget by the end of the year, I sent about 50 resumes in Sept./Oct., and started calling the marketing manager/director at each company in late Oct. I either got the run around, or was able to get in touch with someone and made my pitch over the phone. Gotta be confident, but not cocky. Good luck.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    151
    Killer info. I wish I was a good enough rider to even get free stickers let alone a sponsorship haha. I totally got into this style of riding not to long ago, and find myself trying to learn everything about it and progress as a rider, and trust me there is plenty of room for improvment....and it would be totally cool to have some dude that has made all the right moves and put some of it on paper. Like in Decline mag, they interview people and you get a page or two of info on how it all came together for them but to have a killer book would "I think" be such a cool gig. A few months back Decline mag made a story about how Crank Brothers was founded, that would be a cool book, once again IMO. Well if nothing comes of this idea, give me about 15 years and several riding camps and put in a few races/movies/ and a poster and ill write one up haha. Maybe some dudes are reading this and start putting some stuff down on paper, IT WILL SELL!!!!

    Z

  11. #11
    i drink shower water
    Reputation: hab1b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,189
    i crashed in to a tree at a durango race and my bike got stuck in the branches. then i couldnt get it out and my two teammates who went off behind me ran over my bike. eventually i got my bike out of the tree but my rim wouldnt even spin so i hiked the to road and got a ride down with some babes in a truck. DNF for the lose.
    Prison is hard, everything else is easy

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: theDoubleD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    148
    oh chris! haha i didn't know that... thats funny that your bike got ran over, i was working as guide and couldnt make it to registration so i decided i would go and be the photographer, on the last practice run of the morning, my buddy comes by and shows us his snapped brake line, so i grab my bike and his number and raced as my friend, with no practice runs, i fell three times and got super muddy, but it was funny

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.