We are soooo much more than a bunch of party people racing bikes. We are bike racers who know how to party. Ok for the quick round up, the Pisgah Brew Crew has been kicking ass and forgetting names as usual. As the last post showed, we rocked out one serious race a few weeks back. We went thru the post-enduro depression that hits every year then once we sobered up we started wondering, what do we do next? Well, only two short weeks following the Enduro we headed North for the first installment of the Beech Triple Crown.
The B.T.C. is a real deal downhill race thrown by the Shredi Knight, aka Ryan Taylor at Beech Mtn Ski Resort. With a gnarly course and chairlifts in effect, the Brew Crew headed out leaving the lycra and 85mm of travel at home. We ventured into somewhat new territory with Beth stepping it way up and me leaving both my comfort zone and the ground a little more than I am use to. The course may not be super gnar but when you are sporting a 69 degree head tube and 5 inches of travel it feels a little steep and the gaps feel big.
The usual suspects came out with Beth, Bruce, and I making the trip to see what the DH scene was all out. We also brought along our new crew member, Jeff Zimmerman who we met at the Enduro. Jeff takes some amazing photos and he captured the Enduro in a way that makes me smile every time I look at the photos. We piled four bikes, a ton of camera equipment, a cooler and our DH gear and hit the road for Saturday practice. Bruce and Jeff worked all day to get the perfect shot while Beth and I worked on sorting out a few lines with our limited suspension on trails that only point down and send you over boulders and gaps. Beth and I had fun, she crashed a few times and I let the step down torment my mind. Beth was on a borrowed 1990's DH bike and it was not helping her confidence level. This girl will rock out some steep stuff on her 29's with tad of travel up front but the super squish was getting in the way. She hung in there and rode before putting in some volunteer time while I tried unsuccessfully to throw myself the mini-cliff at the bottom of the course.
After a good night at an anonymous sponsors house in Boone we were back at it on Sunday morning for a few practice runs then time for your one shot at glory. I stared at the step up once more as I went up the ski lift and like clock work witnessed another dude come up short on the step down and eat it upon reconnecting with the ground. I knew if I wanted any chance at a mid-pack finish I had to hit it since taking the line around was a 3 second penalty at least. One run to warm up and one to test my skills was all I would have so on the second run I didn't let myself turn away and launched the step down. Feeling good it was time to race so Beth and I headed up to wait for our runs. Beth had ridden three different bikes over the course of about 5 runs and bravely took her race run on Kevin Booths Maverick which she had never ridden.
I managed to let go of the brakes enough to pull of a 4th place finish out of 19 racers. Beth got on the podium with a third place finish. No bad for the first DH race for the Brew Crew. We are ready looking for to the next B.T.C Race on August 8-9 and this time the Pisgah Brew will be there with a keg of the good stuff and maybe a few more inches of travel.
We already had the SSUSA Champion on the team (Go Shanna!) and now we have a USA Cycling National Champion on the Brew Crew. Big props to Beth Roberts again for heading up to Louisville KY last week and bringing home a star and stripes jersey and a giant gold metal. Beth went to the national road racing championships and brought home the masters tandem championship gold metal THAT SHE WON WITH HER MOM! Like mother like daughter they say and her mom has been riding hard for years (just ask ryan taylor). Beth's mom rides her bike harder than most of you reading this blog so no "your momma" jokes please. Beth took the bars and turned some mean speed on a tandem with her mom in toe to take the title. Way to go ladies.
As for what's next. It's more downhill action in August, Single Speed World Championships in September and we are planning on a the next Brew Crew Event to happen in late August so keep yourself in the loop.
One quick shout out to our great sponsors who have made the first half of this year such a good time.
Industry Nine, you guys rock and I can not believe how much punishment the wheels have taken this year and just come back for more. Between 7 cross country races, two downhill races, wind rock, the ED9, countless street and Pisgah rides and they are still true. Awesome product, great peeps, thanks.
Pisgah Brewing, I can't believe what a difference a year makes. From pouring beers 2 ft from the tanks last year to trying to select what beer I will have next from nine or more taps while Everton Blender plays 10 ft away from a sweet sound system. Your beer is the best and the brewery feels like home. All you guys and girls are wonderful and we thank for your support.
Suspension Experts, you guys inspire me to go bigger and give me the confidence in my bike to back it up. Great to have you in the community and thanks for all that you do. The new shop looks great and I owe all of my limited knowledge of suspension to you guys.
I also can't forget to thank Pisgah Works, Endless Bikes, and my company who understands when I go riding instead of doing open houses. It means a lot to have sponsors that I consider my best friends.
That's it for now.. See you on the trail.