Above: Krunkshox gettin some on Tres Hombres in ’09. Check the red spray paint send it lines, which were still innovative in ’09. +5 hp for demonstrating an excellent privateer team kit. -5 hp for purple handlebars.
This photo also captured the short-lived era where everyone rode flats. 2008 was the year of PFP (Peak Flat Pedal), with seemingly half of every local pro field on flats, and seemingly half the World Cup ranks too. It was a simpler time, an optimistic world with bright hopes for the future, with dreams of race-winning inside lines and foot-out drifts. I know I ran flats at Sol Vista. Eventually, most of us discovered we weren’t gifted with gobs of natural talent, we were typically faster on the main line, and we left our feet on most of the time anyway. Most racers eventually settled on the less romantic reality of running clips and just trying harder. Most non-racers followed suit and bought clips again, because rank-and-file bicycle customers always copy pros.
This year was the first of eight (maybe nine?) Aaron Gwin National Championships. So far, Aaron’s winning secret for National Champs has been not crashing. He’s pretty much batting 1000 if he A) shows up, and B) doesn’t crash.