Practice and Qualifiers

It was HOT.

We had practice and qualifiers on Saturday. Ryan, Jeff and myself raced Pro/Open and Ryan and I qualified. It was a big goal for myself to qualify this year since I had not the previous 2 years. The rest of the TN crew (DJ, Josh, and Ziska) plus Karl raced AM and only DJ was able to keep it upright down the course to qualify. The Pro class had 100 competitors trying to make 60 spots. In the AM class there were over 400 competitors qualifying for 100 spots. So as I said, its the toughest competition you’ll see all year.

Ziska crashed pretty hard just before qualifiers and busted himself up pretty bad. He couldn’t even try to qualify.


After 12 hrs on the road, we arrived late in the afternoon on Thursday, registered, walked the course, and set up camp. And the the fun began.

The basecamp at the venue…

Fun at camp…

The US Open – Early Start

Well, it was upon us. The US Open in Vernon, NJ. Its the toughest competition we’ll face all year and most of us didn’t qualify for the show on Sunday, but its the best time we’ll have all year.

Karl and Jeff arrived late Wednesday night from B-Ham and Ryan arrived from ATL. We had a few things to get done on Jeff’s bike before getting to bed. But we packed the truck and got an early start.

This is going to be a dial-up killer since there are over 100 photos, but every single one is worth it. However please view at your own risk. Nothing bad, but a bunch of rednecks having fun in Dirty Jersey.

New toys

Well, it has been a long time since I updated anything. I have been really busy with my contract work at Nanotek and now I have started a DAQ job with Cane Creek Cycling Components to setup data acquisition on their rear shock, the Double Barrel. More on that later.

But this week is my birthday and Meghann got me a cool new digital camera to help put more pictures on this blog. We have a really nice digital SLR, but its bulky and I don’t want to break it while riding. She got me a Pentax Optio W30, which has lots of cool features, most notably its waterproof. My buddy Curt has one and he uses his to take pictures while he is fishing. Even underwater movies and stills of fish.

I haven’t had much time to play with it, but here are a few shots.

My DH bike with a few upgrades. Can you pick them out?

Here are some action shots Meghann took of me at Windrock lastnight. The Sport feature is a little tricky, but we’ll figure it out. I appreciate her driving shuttle for me as well as taking these.

I am heading off to the US Open of Mountain Biking tomorrow morning. I have tried to qualify in the Pro class the last two years and haven’t made it. last year I was 3 spots from qualifying. This year will be different.


[QUICKTIME 320 257]

Bret took this vid of me at Bigfoot on the 6 pack. I told him if you do slo-mo and add some cool music and riding can look cool. I think it turned out pretty funny with the circus music and the sun setting the background.


The first big DH race was this past weekend at Massanutten Ski Resort in Harrisonburg, Va. I had pretty poor race prep and I flatted in my race run. pretty much summed it up. DH racing is so mental.

Florida Vacation

Well, last Friday was Meghann and my anniversary. Our 5th year anniversary. Its been a great five years and to celebrate we took a mini-vacation to Florida. We left Knoxville Thursday night and drove to Charleston, SC to spent the night at my sister’s house. We got there about midnight and went straight to bed. We got up early and drove north of the Daytona Beach area. We found a quaint motel on FL-A1A right close to the coast. We spent the afternoon on the beach, had some local cuisine, and enjoyed each other’s company.

The next morning we drove a little further south to Ormond Beach at met a biking riding buddy, Mark, who used to live in Seveirville and helped make some the early DH trails and DJs at Bigfoot. Currently he is attending school in Daytona and living on the beach. In addition to school and surfing, Mark has started to build some DJs on in secret location. While Meghann spent the afternoon lying on the beach Mark and I hit up the dirt jumps. He has pretty good start on some real fun jumps.

After some jumping, we started on a small pump track line that turned out really fun and technical to ride fast.

To try something new, Mark taught Meghann and I how to surf. Well, its much harder than it looks and its quite an aerobic workout. Flagger County, just north of where we were had a huge forest fire and the smoke drifted through, heavy at times. You can see the smoke in these pictures.

Mark is pretty good at it and makes it look too easy…

Meghann gives it a try…

One of the (very) few times I actually got up.

Mark and I together on the same wave…

Didn’t last too long

Then to cap things off Mark and I found a skate park and got in a little riding late Sunday night.

The most awesome thing!

What a weekend. I was able to ride, with others, that wanted to ride as hard and as much as me on my home turf. It is always good when Geritt, Jeff and Karl come into town. The only thing missing is Ryan Bloch. But this just in…. he’s going with us to the US Open! He called lastnight and informed me that he was missing the action too much and wanted to go. This is good news because he is the dirty glue that keeps us together.

I have done some good rides on Monday and Tuesday. Monday I tried to ride my DJ at Haw Ridge. What a mistake. The fork was messed up and in a matter of a few miles, my hands were numb. I cut my ride short and went to Bigfoot for some jumping. Good thing too. There were a bunch of new faces out there enjoying the place. Bret is a newcomer and has good video skills… check this out:

Right-click and save