Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Coach Alex!

Upon moving out West I began working at " Two Wheels One Planet" a local bike shop. One of their stipulations on hiring me was that I give skills clinics. I was stoked. Last weekend I coached my first ever advanced skills clinic on riding trail faster, having more fun, and giving more high fives. Here's some photos from Josh Witwer!

Just before dropping in!
"Why ride through the rough stuff when
you can jump it and "catch some sweet air"
A little discussion. faster corners equals more fun and more adrenaline
Then a little demonstration and it was the boys' turn

Riding fast is one thing, passing those skills on is completely different. I think I learned just as much from coaching as they did. I had to find what body motions and tips could exaggerate the skill I was attempting to teach. For instance...leaning the bike and not your body in corner......push on your inside hand, try to drop that side of the handle bar.
trying to stay early for the next corner!
no more flat corners! Lets work on some berms!
Getting them all excited to hit a drop they never had before,
"If you just set up for it two turns earlier it is so much easier!"
We worked on line choice here, it was really fun to here the
guys get excited and bounce ideas off each other
Bikes are fun, start smiling and you'll get better.
The Crew! Thanks guys for the opportunity
and I hope you learned some too!




It is extremely rewarding to see your advice progress someones riding. By the end of the day everyone was whooping and hollering and high-fives were passed around. Thanks Two wheels for the opportunity to do this and thanks guys for showing up! I hope I made a difference!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

So much roost!

As much as I love riding the desert like conditions out here, nothing beats fresh dark brown dirt and good corners. Fellow East Coaster/ Vermonter Dylan Conte invited Ella and I to join him on a Sunday trip a bit North with Walt and Lucas, two California locals. Although hesitant at first I was so stoked I went. It felt so good to be back on the DH bike on real brown dirt in and among the trees. There was no undergrowth, just green grass. It could have been from Lord of the Rings. Lots of high fives and many laps later it was well worth it.


It was so refreshing to ride in the trees and green grass again!
Dylan was remarking on how well kids from out here
commit to corners...I think he's got it pretty well dialed....

'
"Is that a huck-to-flat? OH hell yeah! Feels a bit like home!"

Walt is in his 50's and shreds like someone in
their 20's and get stoked on bikes like a teenager. This guy is rad.

Walt
Lucas is one of those kids who still sends it on
busted up clapped out stuff, and does it FAST.



Foot flat out!

Aaand he has style.

Ella is never one to be left out and thought this
 whole drifting thing looked pretty fun...."kinda like this guys?"



It felt so good to ride fresh dirt again!

It was so much fun to ride bikes with Dylan outside of racing!
 Dylan and I also realized that that our knowledge of hip hop was very limited. Have you ever heard of a dude called "WIZ"....but no one knew who Yonder Mountain String Band, or Trampled by Turtles were..so we called it and East Coast West Coast Tie.

TRAIN!

the light was too good 

the ground was so soft you could ride a new trail in in a matter of minutes!

All smiles!



6 hrs of shuttling and everyone is stoked

Walt is great guy and has helped get a lot of kids off
and racing that otherwise would not have. Good on ya mate!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pro GRT Mountain Creek. New bike, new team, new digs.



 This past weekend marked the beginning to my 2013 season with Madkats, Transition, Mrp, KORE, Spank wheels, Chuck's Bikes and Troy lee Designs. The bikes are feeling great and the kits are looking great!
The Pro Gravity tour (or Pro GRT) was held at Mountain Creek. The course was something we had raced before with some much needed improvements that made for an awesome weekend! After a bit of frantic bike building on Friday I was feeling fast and loose, Thanks Cambro! But Saturday after sent us a curve ball with an un-expected rain shower just before seeding. I gave 'er anyway and seeded in 8th place out of 54 pros!!! But I knew that many fast pros had crashed and I would be hard out for a top 20 if every one had good runs. After a little bit of suspension tuning thanks to Lewis at the Fox van and some patience I felt ready for race run on Sunday, Due to a few HOURS of course hold for timing, things really started to dry up. After the first corner I realizd how dry it was it tried to bring up the pace.

As I cam out of the last corner in the woods I clipped tree and got a bit squirly but managed to save it and only loose a second or so.....buutt I think it might have been a bit more than "squirly" because I remember 3 spectators DIVING away from the tape as I tri-podded my way back onto the bike and back on course.

I finished with a 2:23.45, 2 seconds faster than my qualifying time. I was content. A great weekend and I look froward to next weekend at Plattekill, rumor has it the jumps are big and fresh! Thanks everyone for making it possible, we're giving it 110%!
Breakfast of champions at the diner. Free attitude and coffee refills.


Team 450 frame showed up 10 minutes before we left for the race. STOKED.

Had to build her in a panic before Friday practice. No matter how much time you have you can never build a new bike fast enough.


headset was an issue as I managed to forget 1/2 of it. But team manager Jarad got me sorted out with a new lower cup.

time to bang out some practice runs on the new whip before it closes!

Course walk on the open section. 10 seconds to cover all that ground?
anndd pretty nice finish line jump well done Mountain Creek Rad track and we approve!


It drizzled all Saturday night making for some slick trickery.  Went down pretty hard on the right shin, she swelled up pretty big straight away.



woah time for a few more "pressures of air" in the rear tire dry conditions meant wide open throttles

toughest corner of the course. Corner #1.

Moto rut that ejected from the dark woods into the harsh light of the ski trail.

Open section of the course. seconds later my back end kicked out (drifted) and showered Jarad with rocks and dust. my bad dude. The 450 ate this section and felt so stable with the long and low setting.




The announcer said 2:31 when I crossed, luckily he was WRONG! 2:23:45 good enough for  14th place.

Great weekend and a great kickstart to the Madkats season!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Filming with the Big Boys


DDU 'Summer' Episode 2 from Diaries Downunder on Vimeo.


One of my co-workers is also a freelance videographer and works filming the web series "Diaries Down Under".  Only a week or two into my stay he invited to come film and episode as a guest...along with Mike Hopkins and Kelly McGarry.

Unfortunately I had a wee mishap the day before we left for the trip that involved a crash, a hole in my knee, 4 stitches, and $75, and a couple nights with little sleep....

We left Friday afternoon to meet up with everyone at the Skyline Gondola. Despite being the only one on a trail bike the covert took it like a boss and I had blast keeping up with the boys on their DH rigs!

Saturday found us on our way to Alexandra where we met up with a local Transition Shop owner Phil, he took us up into the hills for some truly unique riding. I have never ridden in the wide open with no trees. It takes some getting used to, following the legendary Mike Hopkins was pretty fun!

Alexandra is a super fun place to ride, but it is very rocky and unforgiving. On our way out I tried to get a bit sideways at a bad time and put my face and front wheel into a rock...not the best tool for trail maintenance.

From there we headed off to Naseby where Kelly and Mike got to work on some tailings from the gold mining days. It was neat to see the precision that those boys operate at even while getting their huck on!

I decided to try  and join in with the covert....but it ended with my tumbling into a rose hip bush. There's no bugs, bears, or snakes here to be worried about, but the bushes around here will tear you apart! MEAN thorns.

Sunday, we were shown around Naseby by the notorious "Keeler", the builder and caretaker of a massive trail network in Naseby. It was a super fun trail ride and I finally felt like I was riding a bike for fun again and really enjoyed myself!


Have a watch it's a great movie! Rosoe Mackay did an incredible job editing. Thanks guys for an awesome trip!
Host of the show Josh Clark, Swamp Monster??

Managed to pull 2 of the 4 stitches out when I crashed in Alexandra

contemplating...

annd the tree Huck

what if I....




Long Day

Travel.....such an incredible country

In the heart of the Gold mining era.