Bigfoot Kidnapped!! (long)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bigfoot Kidnapped!! (long)

    The Kidnapping & Rescue of Bigfoot
    Or “A Tale of Two Large Humboldtians”


    This is a story about two very large individuals known and loved around the Humboldt, California mountain bike scene. The first is Curtis, a long-time fixture of Humboldt events. Curtis is big (265lbs+), loud, sometimes obnoxious, but has a heart of gold and is usually the first to arrive to help with a race, and the last to leave.

    I sometimes compare Curtis to “Tigger” for two reasons. First, there is only one Curtis. Much to the relief of some. Secondly, Curtis has a phenomenal amount of energy. It took me a while to learn to harness that force. Now before he calls it a day at any given race, he’ll have jumped in and directed parking, put up course marking, driven the downhill shuttle, worked as downhill starter, and run the post-race barbecue. He’s easy to spot. When in “official” capacity at our races, he wears a striped referee’s shirt and a huge Stetson. He was born in these parts and grew up riding motorcycles on the trails that criss-cross Humboldt. Point to just about any area on the local map, and Curtis will have a (usually long and elaborate) story of some ride, some trail, some crash right on that particular spot.

    The other large Humboldtian is shown in this photo. Some years ago I had a local artist make this 8-foot stand-up sign for the Bigfoot Classic mountain bike race. That first year we attached him to a redwood tree with his directional arrow pointed into the Campfire Boys & Girls camp where we held the race. Later, after the event when I was taking him down, a passing motorist honked and called out “Don’t take him away.” Another stopped to ask, “Are you supposed to be taking that?” The locals had grown attached to our mascot.

    In the years since he’s been at all of our events. For the last couple of years for the Bigfoot Classic we’ve cabled him to a signpost on Hwy 299 to direct racers onto the 4-mile dirt road that leads to the timberland where we hold the race. Every year we get a few calls from incredulous racers, asking “Your flier says to turn at the 8-foot tall Bigfoot--is that for real?”

    On Saturday of the 2003 event after the cross-country was over and we’d had the awards, the Huffy Toss and the barbecue, and after I had marked the downhill course for the next day’s race, I settled into camp for a quiet evening. That’s when my cell phone rang. My girlfriend was calling to tell me that she noticed when she was leaving that Bigfoot was gone. He’d been kidnapped!

    I always kind of thought that this could happen, but always assumed that no one would be ballsy enough to make off with our guy---too conspicuous. I lamented the loss, but was thankful for all his years of loyal service. “We’re all gonna miss him,” I thought.

    But this story isn’t over. Not even close. Curtis had been at the cross-country that day and after manning the barbecue grill for a solid two hours, told me good-bye, that he was headed back into town to pick up his downhill bike to loan to a friend. That’s Curtis, always willing to help in any way that he can. Before he left we cobbled together a makeshift sign for Curtis to put up in place of our mascot so that the downhillers could find the venue come morning.

    A few hours had passed since my girlfriend’s call with the bad news of our missing Sasquatch, when Curtis drove into the race venue. There in the back of his truck was our missing Bigfoot! “You found him!” I yelled, leaping up from my camp chair, “How?!, Where?!”

    It seems that after putting up our replacement sign, Curtis and his friend were on the highway to town when Curtis happened to glance into the back of a passing Nissan pick-up truck and spotted Bigfoot! “We pulled right up on ‘em,” Curtis explained. “One of ‘em looked back, saw the bikes on the rack and realized that they were in trouble.” Curtis went on to tell of how the Nissan was occupied by couple of young guys of perhaps 20 and that the truck had Maryland plates. “I guess they were gonna take Bigfoot back to the East coast,” Curtis surmised.

    For fifteen miles Curtis stayed on the Nissan, with a couple of frightened 20-somethings occasionally twisting a head back for a glance at their pursuers. Finally they pulled off the highway, and at the stop sign at the bottom Curtis jumped out of his truck and grabbed Bigfoot from out of the back of the Nissan.

    Imagine being a skinny kid, being a continent’s width away from home and finding yourself on the bad side of a 265 pound local. You’d keep your mouth shut, right? Not these two! “What are you doing,” one of the kidnappers asked. “Taking back our sign,” Curtis replied. “But, we found him on the road, he fell out of a truck,” the other one stammered. To which Curtis countered, “Really? You found him? Well then you should come over to the race tomorrow. I’m sure that the guys from Team Bigfoot will want to reward you. That’s worth a six-pack, at least!” Then one of them got snotty with Curtis. Bad move. “How do we know he’s yours,” the kid demanded. “Look,” Curtis retorted, “The only reason we’re not all talking to the law right now is that I pulled a lot of crap like this when I was your age.” With that Curtis set Bigfoot into his own truck and drove off, leaving a pair of stunned Maryland boys in his wake.

    I was glad to have Bigfoot back, but mentioned that it was a bummer that we didn’t recover my lock or cable. “Yeah, about that,” Curtis asked, “How’d they cut the cable? I mean, who drives around with bolt cutters in their truck.” “That’s easy,” I answered. “Thieves.” Or in this case, Bigfootnappers.

    Curtis takes a lot of flack from some of the other racers. Like I said, he’s loud. Can be a bit overbearing...okay, a lot overbearing, and always has a strong opinion on any topic. But if ever your eight-foot tall legendary hominid turns up missing, you’ll wish that you had someone like Curtis around.
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  2. #2
    beer thief
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    LOL, great story. The Passionites from MD will be a bit embarrassed by it, most likely.

    Thanks for that.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    LOL, great story. The Passionites from MD will be a bit embarrassed by it, most likely.

    Thanks for that.
    Yeah, thank goodness I recently moved to Virginia!

  4. #4
    Perpetually single track
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    Good story...thks for sharing

  5. #5
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    Thanks for sharing! had a good laugh at work! nm
    A good friend will come bail you out of jail.
    But a true friend will be sitting next to you saying
    "Damn... we fcuked up!"

  6. #6
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    Well done. I really enjoyed that little tale....nm

    [QUOTE=Bigfoot]The Kidnapping & Rescue of Bigfoot
    Or “A Tale of Two Large Humboldtians”

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    ... and if we just ... ohhhhhhhh

    I did the XC that day and seen he was gone on my way out. did'nt know what happend. Has Curtis seen this?/

    when is bigfoot this year>?

  8. #8

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    What a great mountainbiking story! Very well written too. Three cheers for Curtis.

  9. #9
    It's the axle
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    Yay! Great work Curtis! The return of BIGFOOT.
    I was at the Classic last September. Came in third, and I'm still crowing. One of the best parts of the day was meeting Curtis. He casts a shadow on bigfoot. And his character is a monster, too.
    Well, back to the trails. There are one or two that I haven't done yeti.

  10. #10
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    This year's Bigfoot Classic #1...

    ...is July 16, 17 & 18, once again at Bald Mountain. Free hillclimb is Friday...a good chance to get in a pre-ride of the course, XC is Saturday, Short-Track XC is Sunday morning, DH is Sunday noon with a best-2-out-of-3-runs format.

    Bigfoot #2 is Sept. 17, 18 & 19, and might...just might be at the beloved Tish Tang course...if not, we'll be back in Arcata in the Arcata Community Forest.

    Watch the website for developments. www.teambigfoot.net

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