Fireroads and death gripping

For everyone who thought “Angel Fire looks so easy,” I did too. So I did my basic quali run thing yesterday, which consists of:

-braking early so you can carry that sweet, sweet mo through the turns
-hitting your lines smoothly
-not taking any big risks
-pedaling hard where possible, but not going into cardiac red zone lance armstrong mode

Aaaaaand I got smoked. I finished in 25th place in quali’s, aka way OTB. Felt like a good run, but it was my worst result of the season. I thought the lack of technical aspects would allow me to succeed with my typical enduro strategy thing I’ve worked out and it turns out, no, there’s no strategy at all, this race is just a measure of who’s a pussy and who isn’t. And if you hadn’t figured it out yet, I don’t live in the “isn’t a pussy” category.

And you know those fire road sections everyone was talking about from the preride video? You should come race them. We’re going like a thousand times faster than homeboy with the locked out trail bike from the preride video. And it’s terrifying. In my quali run I had this wake up moment where I kind of blacked in from race mode and went “whoa, this is really dangerous, someone could get hurt out here” and then went back to racing. When we finished the fire road section and dropped in on the mid-track rock garden I remember this feeling that hit me, something like “oh thank god we’re just racing rock gardens now, this is way safer.”

In a race where patience and strategy are measured, I can normally hang. In a race where the difference between winning and losing is putting on your big boy pants, taking risks, and going balls out, I’ve got more of a, how do I say this?

It’s hard for me.

Which isn’t to say that first place qualifier Chris Higgerson doesn’t have patience or strategy. He does, clearly. But more importantly he’s been riding like a psycho all weekend, especially when he hits those rock gardens. Really, you should be here. Watching his 6’7″ frame driving his poor bike through those rocks, it looks like he would do anything to get to the other side. Reckless abandon and no thought towards his health. Like, if the Marlboro man was on the side of the track and told Chris he could get to the other side of the rocks quicker if he started smoking a pack a day for the rest of his life, Chris would double down and ask if he could smoke four packs a day to go even quicker.

“Or what if I gave you my first born, or one of my kidneys or testicles? Would that help? I’ll find a virgin to sacrifice if that would help.”

Looks boring. It’s not.

And since this is technically a race report or “rider journal” or whatever, and sponsors love this crap, might as well go whole hog: @ridegravity @feltbicycles @chriskingbuzz @troyleedesigns @fiveten_official @stansnotubes #timepedals @yakimaracks @oakley @feedbacksports @maximausa @maxxistires #stoked #blessed #fullthrottle #pinned #realdeal #manstrack #braaaaaap #alltime #vanlife #livinthedream #racetilidrop #pdx4lyfe #ndub #preparation #visualization #hydration #trainstation

20 thoughts on “Fireroads and death gripping

  1. Thank fuck someone said it. Glad you enjoyed those fire roads, Chuck. (Also: sane thought and rational considerations aren't part of DH racing… Or course building, for that matter.)

  2. True, your balls may be of equal size to those of the crying baby, but at least that baby has a chance of growing up to not suck at riding bikes…

  3. So Leogang is lame to you, but Angel Fire is “tougher than it looks”…you really are stupid

  4. And the dude who bolts a 40 to his trail bike wins…..wawawaaaaaaa!

    Reminiscent of the GRT at Mammoth last year where Marco Osbourne smoked all the same knuckleheads with a Lefty equipped Cannondale.

    Yeah, that course was gnar too bro.

  5. You guys, you really can't even feel sand when it's in your vagina. Way more annoying to have it in your eyes.

  6. It looks like bad for the sport when a trail bike wins, a real bad mark for the hawd-coe black diamond ride and a victory for image of enduro; not good for the future of gravity racing. Why did a trail bike win, you didn't talk about in your course hype-up? Significant pedal sections. ..wha?

    Any track that is won on a trail bike frame or single crown fork is banished from future Pro GRT races, and maybe even have the race director pay a fine…. Race track builders, time to get your shit together. I'm tired of this crap! As an advocate for more aggressive trails you should feel ashamed for this post.

  7. You mean Ratboy isn't fast because of his careful consideration for personal safety?

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