It started with Jeff Herbertson, Alex Kachlakev, and I meeting up in my driveway last Sunday to load up the trucks and depart for Vail, Colorado. We made it up to Auburn that night, and got an awesome session in at Woodward Tahoe the next day, with Christian Wright. Stoked to get in a bit of foam and resi time before the comp, we eagerly made our way through the daunting Nevada desert, through Utah, and into Colorado where we began our ascent up the Continental Divide. We got in at 2:00 AM, waking up Carson Storch and Ray George so they could let us in to the three-bedroom condo that Ray booked for us. Morale was high as we went grocery shopping the next morning. We got out to the course a bit early to check it out and register, and before we knew it, practice was on! Adam Hauck and Jeremy Witek did an awesome job, making a course that flowed great, while maintaining good sized jumps with three possible lines down. I felt good on the course, and got a few tricks in before grabbing some food. It was all-in-one on the next day, with practice, qualifiers, and finals. We got out there to get warmed up, with the weather cutting practice short with some heavy winds and rain. As soon as the sun came back out, qualifiers started with riders not getting a chance to warm up before their runs, as TV was there and had to stay on schedule. I dropped in, tailwhipping the step-down, 1-foot x-downing up the box, to a 1-foot x-up off, to a flip on the spine, followed by a flip 1-foot x-up, finishing with a tailwhip on the big final jump. Psyched, I watched the other runs and made my way up for round two! I did my same run, but instead of the flip 1-foot x-up, I went for a flip no-foot x-up. I’d been briefly working on that trick into foam, and this seemed like a great time to try it to dirt. It came around dialed, and I ended up stomping it!
I was so stoked that I didn’t realize that I had cased at little bit, and when I sent the tailwhip on the last jump, I found that I didn’t have quite enough speed. I cased decently, and due to the size and speed of the jump, I got bucked off the bike and flew towards the bottom of the landing. Going straight for my head, I stuck my right arm out to try to prevent a concussion as I slammed into the ground. Thinking about my head, I was stoked that I wasn’t seeing stars when I got up. I soon realized that there was something wrong with my shoulder though. The medics rushed up and found that it was dislocated, and they got me down to the ambulance, over to the hospital, and into the ER where it was x-rayed and popped back in.
That was a huge relief, and once they got me all cleaned up and squared away, I was released in time to watch finals. The staff there was incredibly kind, and I was blown away with how much they helped me out! We stuck around the next day to enjoy Colorado, and embarked on the three day drive home after. I’ve followed up with my local doctor since, and everything seems to be in place. I’m set to start physical therapy on Monday, and I’m fired up to get my shoulder back to strength so I can get back on the bike! I’m grateful that everything went as well as it did, and for the help that so many people have given me!
I was beyond excited when I first heard rumors that Jamie was going to have his event again this year. As it got closer, the format was announced, which was a game changer for sure. Riders would be split into random teams and have three days to film and edit a seven minute themed video. I had butterflies when we got there; the same butterflies you get when your fifth-grade teacher begins to read the years seating chart. Everyone’s name was in a hat, and the filmers lined up. One by one, the riders were called, and I ended up with Carson, R-Dog, Max, Jordie, Lorny, Sam, and Garrett. Our filmer situation got a bit complicated, but Lorny ended up filming most of it, with the help of Adrean and Max’s dad Micha. We were quick to come up with a theme; mock all the latest trends in mountain biking. Strava, Throwback Thursdays, First Try Fridays, Power Hours, the FMB, World’s Firsts, claiming tricks, the list went on. Our plan was to create an edit that was raw and focused on fun, because that’s the reason that we all ride. The teams were set loose on Bend at dawn, and it was a jam-packed three days fill with hard riding, funny skits, great food, and sabotage.
Best Trick was Friday night, which went off! R-Dog and I messed around with some funny goon tricks, and got serious as the session went on! I was psyched to nail some flipwhips and even a flip pendulum! It was so much fun jamming with everyone. Jamie always wins at having the best vibe for a contest, because it never feels like a contest. Just a ton of friends from all over, stoked to ride with one another. Sam busted out two 360 double whips, and some stretched tailwhip-to-super-seaters! Eric even rode out of a 900 on the quarter! Jordie dropped in and sent a 3-flip, stomping it perfectly and taking the win! As if that weren’t enough, Jamie quickly put together a jump over the bonfire! That went off with some flips, spins, whips, and Tom front-flipping it twice! After the bonfire riding was wrapped up, the bonfire chilling started, and so concluded one of the funnest days of my life!
As time went on, we tried to figure out what the other teams had up their sleeves, but everyone kept things quiet. That made the premier that much better, as we all gathered around the projector in Jamie’s front yard on Saturday night, while the exhausted filmers handed in their hard work. It was so awesome to see everyone’s different take on the contest, as the lack of rules allowed for tons of creativity. Each video was so different; Root 1’s being very entertaining with a hilarious theme and sick shredding, Rupert and Harry’s being very cinematic with incredible footage and smooth steezy ripping, and ours being focused on fun with a funny and raw feel.
Everyone got together the next morning to rewatch the edits and vote. Suspense was high when Jamie walked in with the wad of cash for first place. He tossed it on Lorny’s lap, and none of us could believe it! We definitely did not expect to win, because of our filming confusion and antics the whole time! Hats off to Jamie and Adrienne for making it all happen and for their hospitality! It was an incredible weekend, and everybody had a smile on their face the whole time! Rumor has it that the Goldman Games might come to a new town next year! We can only hope!
Ranchstyle 2013 is in the books! I rolled in Thursday night, got my tent set up, and met up with some buddies from Colorado. Practice started in the afternoon the next day, and the previous rain made for perfect conditions. The builders did an awesome job, as the course flowed great and was super fun. Practice was a big jam, and after a course maintenance session, it was time for best trick. Everyone threw down, and I was stoked to get a flipwhip in. We got some good trains in too, as well as some wacky tricks for good measure. Everyone was fired up, and stoke was high for the next day.
We cruised out to watch the open class throw down, which always gets me stoked, and soon after was the final practice. I got warmed up and figured out my line, feeling good for finals. For my first run I overshot into the whale tail and didn’t have the speed to flip out, so I kicked a last-second tailwhip. I slipped a pedal on the landing and had to stop, so it was all or nothing for run two. I tailwhipped the drop, x-upped into the whale tail, flipped out, tailwhipped the hip, flipped the Five Ten Booter, x-upped the drop, and ended up sticking a flipwhip to finish it off! That feeling of getting your run is unreal, and everyone shared the stoked!
We made it down into town for the awards and dinner, and I ended up taking 5th! The whole event was a ton of fun, with a unique vibe. It was a great way to get the season started, and to dust off the roadtrip cobwebs. Onto Goldman Games!
This year’s SC MTB Festival was the biggest yet, with a packed expo, tons of riders, and a huge spectator turnout. I’ve really enjoyed seeing this event grow over the past few years, and it’s sad that this will be the last one at the Post Office jumps.
That gave all the more reason to throw down in the dirt jump event on Sunday afternoon. The AM class went first, which always gets me stoked, as the new generation of local riders threw down all that they had on the legendary jumps. Kids were stomping clean flips and 360s, which they had just learned, and had the biggest smiles on their faces. It was all friendly competition, with high fives and congratulations all round. The Pro Jam was next, which was a blast riding with local friends and out-of-towners alike. Some pretty incredible lines were put together through the hip line, while the trick jumps went off. There were front flips, 360 whips, flip whips, and double whips, with everyone running back up to the top after each run. Jake was crushing, as he tailwhipped the big transfer, and jumped over the upbox! Ray killed it too with his usual steezey flow, doing an insanely dumped 360 and stomping a perfect 360 downside whip. Jeff even lofted a huge front flip on the big jump, along with a perfect flip whip. Everyone got more and more stoked! I ended up putting some tailwhip lines together on the hip line, whipping the 5th, 6th, and 7th in a row; and I got a good tailwhip off the upbox. It wasn’t all business though; I snuck a few no-footed x-ups in through the jam, along with a heel-clicker, saran wrap, and no-footer to no-foot-can to no-footer.
It was so cool seeing everyone bring their own riding style to the jumps, especially Brayden with his technical park skills, as he put some insane lines together. R-Dog was killing it as usual too, being the loc that he is. Everyone was having such a good time that they extended the jam, which the spectators seemed really stoked on. The event was so cool as it gave so many riders an excuse to ride and push themselves on the Post Office Jumps, which is a gift as its days are so numbered. Nobody wasn’t stoked by the end, and seeing the support of the community really gives some hope that there may be a new city jump spot once Post is gone. It was such a rad session out there, and I’m looking forward to the Post-Sea Otter Jam on Monday!
Here’s a cool article about Post Office that came out in the Santa Cruz Sentinel today! I’m stoked to have been able to help them get some shots for it! It’s so sad to think about Post Office being gone, but they still have a bit of time left so there are more sessions to be had!
The same article made it over the hill, and they threw in a picture of me!
I just got back from Super Session this past weekend, and it was an absolute blast! It seems almost like a reunion, as it is the first time of the season to catch up with friends from all over.
Keegan Quiroz and I made the drive down on Friday afternoon, after a flustered night of brewing a new batch of IPA. Our sleep deprived bodies loaded up the truck and we departed en-route for the Kettleman In-N-Out. That gave us our second wind, and we carried on to Stallion Springs, where we were warmly welcomed at the Woodward lodge. After getting settled in, I burned the rest of the day light at the dirt jumps before moving into the hanger. I was so excited, I didn’t bother with my pads, and just took it easy, jibbing around and working on some manual lines. It was a great time to catch up with everyone, and the foot-down and bunny hop contests were just getting started. I gave the bunny hop contest a shot, but didn’t get very far, being the only one on a slope bike. Keegan and I called it a day when we got too beat, and met up with Christian Wright and Jake Crumley for a rad guitar and harmonica jam.
Day two was a long one. After grabbing some breakfast at the Chevron, Keeg and I geared up in the parking lot. I started with a big foam pit sesh, getting some practice tricking my downhill bike. I got plenty of time on my slope bike too, and got comfortable with some old tricks while working on a few new ones. It felt good to log some foam pit time, as it gives that extra mental reassurance when sessioning at the step-up or riding at contests. The Mega Train started up after, which was a good time getting a couple consecutive laps in through the dirt jumps. It was pretty hectic, with riders flying through the air everywhere, tricking, casing, yelling, and jumping over others. It was so much fun, and we kept shredding until it got too windy. I was pretty beat by now, so it felt good to take a lunch break. The Long Jump was next, and backed by popular demand, I rode my downhill bike. I got a lot further than I thought, but got bumped out after a while and watched the final few battle it out. It was back to the foam pit, then to the dirt jumps, and later to a mellow skate park for a chill cool-down session. What an incredible day of riding! We grabbed some banger dinner while watching supercross at a local diner, and headed back to watch the high-jump, which escalated quickly! With that, we celebrated the awesome past couple days at the party up at the lodge, and called it a night.
Day three was mellow, waking up with the past day’s stoke! Keegan and I got breakfast at Chevron again, and had a mellow resi/foam session on the downhill bike. I got a couple flips in on the resi, so I was pumped on that! After saying goodbyes, it was back on the road to In-N-Out, and then home. I’m really stoked to have been able to be a part of the event, and a huge thanks goes out to Vital MTB for making it all happen. What a great way to get the season going! Now the traveling circus begins for the next few months, and I couldn’t be more excited!
“It started with a spur of the moment phone call, where Jack Fogelquist and Max Kauert got an invite to a new spot. Eager for a change of scenery, they headed out and were blown away. Realizing the potential that the vast green hills and deep valleys offered, they knew they would have to come back again for a longer and more serious stay. Fast forward three years and Jack, Max, and filmer Keegan Quiroz were in Jack's front yard at sunrise, stacking up camping supplies into the beds of Jack's Ford Ranger and Max's F150.
They were soon on their way, making the roadtrip into the barren, yet familiar, rolling hills. Morale was high as they traversed in, making it to their home for the next eight days by dusk. They were quick to set up camp, cook up some carnitas burritos, and get a fire going. It wasn't all fun and games, as the temperature quickly dropped, getting well below freezing. With the new day brought ambitious exploring as the three set out to makes some sketches on their blank canvas. A steady routine quickly developed: wake up, make breakfast, dig through the day, grab some lunch, dig until the light got golden, shoot, get a fire going, eat dinner, and enjoy some moonshine over the day’s accomplishments. The first few days seemed to fly by, building like crazy and banking shots.
The three grew weary about half way through, and with some of the bigger and scarier features left on the list, it was time to hammer down. There were all sorts of emotions that came out of each individual feature; excitement of planning it, frustration of rebuilding it until it worked, fear of testing it, and the elation of riding it. That stoke and energy at the end of each long day was what kept everyone going, as a new stunt came with each horizon. Finally, the eighth day came, where they finished building the first feature that they scouted, which was coincidentally the biggest. After a stressful, yet rewarding day, dusk was upon the three as they rushed to take down camp, fire up the trucks, and depart from the place that they came to know and love so much.”
This was an adventure that I’ll never forget, and one that I feel captures the style of riding that I enjoy most. Despite the hard work, it truly was paradise out there, with nothing to do but dig and ride in a landscape that was so suited to mountain bikes. It was such a privilege to have had the opportunity to experience this, and I’m grateful that it went perfectly to plan.
Brendan Howey and I spent over a week in beautiful Victoria with Aaron Larocque to put the new Five Ten Diddie Schneider and Freerider Pro shoes to the test. I tried flipping a step-down on the first day of the shoot, but came off a bit to the right and the lip broke away. I missed the pop and bailed, rolling down the windows to get around before hitting the ground. Thankfully I came out mostly unscathed, but bonked my head pretty good. Larock and Howey took great care of me, and I was feeling good enough to ride a week later. We hammered out the rest of the filming in the short time we had left, and I’m psyched how it all came together!