Fontana Winter Series Round 1

11 01 2010

The second weekend in January this year was significant for three reasons.  First it was my birthday, second it was the beginning of the Winter Series in Fontana California, and third it was going to be my first official race as a “Pro”.  Although Fontana is not my favorite birthday celebration location the weather is almost always hot and sunny, even in January.  This makes for great riding and racing, as long as you don’t breath in the smog layer too deeply. 

Ian Ferguson

A group of us consisting of myself (Ian), Nate, Josef, Leland, Evan and Ashley headed out of SLO around 7 a.m. and made it into Fontana around the start time for practice on Saturday morning.  The track was amazingly fun although not as technical as it can be down there, it was fast and flowed very well.  We were all having a blast riding all day long and went back to Leland’s Aunt and Uncles house for a feast of Panda Express, beer, and the Anaheim 1 supercross race.   After watching another race dominated by James Stewart we were all pumped to win the next day. 

Photo by: Dale Hernandez

Sunday practice went well and the track was in great condition except for a last-minute course change on an off camber section out of a steep rocky area.  Nate and I seemed to be the only racers affected by this course change but we took a few more laps and learned to deal with it. 

Photo by: Dale Hernandez

In the finals everyone’s run seemed to come together pretty well except for mine, which had a few slide-outs in a couple slippery corners.  We all worked hard along “the wall”, which is a quarter mile flat sprint to the finish and the most miserable 30 seconds of your life, to come in with competitive times.  Nate was down to a 2:26 which put him in 7th.  Leland and Josef came in with 2:27’s putting them in 9th and 11th and I came in about 10 seconds later at a 2:36 setting me back to the middle of the Pro class.  Evan had a small fall in a corner that set him back to a 2:47 and Ashley came in 2nd in the sport women category.  All in all It was a lot of fun and a fantastic way to start off the series and the season. 

Photo by: Dale Hernandez

We are looking forward to the rest of the Fontana Winter series and encourage everyone else to join us as well.

-Ian

(More pictures to follow…  Check back soon!)

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18th Annual Southridge Challange (Fontana)

7 12 2009

Two weeks ago was the annual Southridge season closer race and SLO to the Bone made the trip down south.

Evan Bissel (Photo By Dale Hernandez)

The course was by far the rockiest course I’ve ever seen at Fontana which is a plus for our San Luis Obispo trained riding styles.  Practice on Saturday went well, Daniel and I took a handful of relaxed runs and talked with our buddy Evan Bissel about lines and what we were going to have for dinner.  Meanwhile our other buddy Brett Snyder was practicing the Sport course for his first non-weaksauce DH race!  All and all Saturday was a chill day of just riding our bikes.

Daniel Brisbon (Photo By Dale Hernandez)

Sunday funday- race day!  We all got up at the ass crack of dawn to sneak in a few more “refresher” practice runs before the race start at 10am.  Race comes around and we all ended up putting together some decent runs!  Evan and I were neck in neck but it appeared that he was hiding a line from me that was approximately a half second faster!  Evan took 10th and I was behind him in 11th (both in one of our first “Pro” races).  Daniel came through on the small bike with a 15th placing in Expert and Brett in Sport class with 16th place under his belt.

Josef (Photo By Dale Hernandez)

Brett Snyder (Photo By Dale Hernandez)

 -Josef Duller





Decline & Specialized video contest

4 11 2009

Good old Josef has managed to put together a 30 second video clip of our team to submit for the Decline Magazine and Specialized Bicycles video contest in between his busy schedule of ass kicking at races and being a full-time student.  The rules are that it can only be 30 seconds long and it is nothing but cornering and turns.  Sounds interesting?  Check out our video submission on the Vimeo link below and while you’re at it, take a peak at the “SLO Done Fast!” video trailers if you haven’t seen what we are up to already. 

-Ian

 VIDEO CLICK HERE!!!





Collegiate National Championships 2009!

29 10 2009

Collegiate National Champs brings with it a very different atmosphere than any other race I’ve been to.  This was the first year I partook and I found myself finally in a “professional” collegiate setting.  Typically west coast collegiate races are at sub-par venues where the downhill courses don’t require an actual downhill bike and where you’re lucky to find a dual slalom or 4X race.  National Champs at Northstar (booked for next years Collegiate Champs, fyi!) broke this horrible trend and gave Cal Poly’s gravity team a chance to SHINE.

Rewind back to the weekend before national champs and you would have found me sweating a fever out and draining out gallons of snot.  Not a pretty picture and I was bummed to say the least.  On my fourth year at Cal Poly and I’m finally able to take time off for national champs and now I potentially have SWINE flu.  For three straight days I pounded glass after glass of water faster than I pound glasses of Red Nectar.  I was determined to be able to ride at the race 5 days later.

…5 days later…

I’m now feeling 80%, good enough to make the seven hour drive to Truckee on Thursday morning.  Friday is the first day of events and Cal Poly started it off strong with Menso De Jong taking 5th in the D1 XC race.  (A SLO to the Bone endurance team may be in the making).  While Menso was rockin some XC trail the gravity riders from SLO to the Bone (Leland, Kyle and myself riding for Cal Poly and Garret reppin’ SDSU) where all practicing the awesome new downhill course which was pieced together specifically for National Champs.  The course went from upper Karpiel, to mid Done Bone, then to a new lower section of Stick n’ Stones which shot into the lower S-berms and finally over the finishing stadium jump.  Trail conditions were breathtaking!  The best I’ve seen them in 4 years of riding at the resort.  Tacky down to the lower layers with zero dust!  Primo!!  Downhill practice went well for all of us… so well, in fact, that we missed all of Friday’s 4X practice.

Saturday rolls around and we get an early start to sneak in two more downhill runs before cutting over to 4X practice.  The 50 second course ran down the lower portion of Livewire which was a tad skinny for four riders but in the end it made for some gnarly passes!  We were all super tired from doing downhill runs but as soon as the 4X heats started it was game on.  Garret got knocked out in the first round of 32 giving him the chance to cheer for the rest of us. Leland and Kyle were placed in the same second heat and ended up knocking some elbows.  The story goes that Leland ran Kyle off the course and then proceeded to take 3rd, knocking both of them out.  I got lucky and made it through the second heat but during the 3rd heat (which determines who moves to the final heat) I got taken down in the first corner ending up with 3rd in the heat. This moved me to the conciliation where I came across first for an overall 5th place.

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Me hitting my favorite jump on the course

4X Results:

Josef- 5th

Kyle- 11th

Leland- 13th

Garret- 19th

Curtis Yarra also had a great 4X race with a 7th placing, helping Cal Poly a ton in the overall standings.

Sunday funday time!  The big day for us was on Sunday when the downhill race went down.  We woke up at 6am to make it up the mountain by 8am for our qualifying runs.  Kyle came back in the 1st place qualifying position, Leland in 8th, Garret in 11th and myself in 18th.  During the four hour downtime before finals, Kyle spent his time pacing back and forth going over his race lines and dealing with his own mental preparations.  He was feeling some pressure in that number 1 spot just in front of CU’s top downhiller (and a Yeti world champs racer), Joey Schusler.

Garret with an evolved "Gart Whip"

Garret with an evolved "Gart Whip"

12am finally rolls around and the race is on.  Kyle heads down followed by Joey where shortly after we overhear “rider down” on an official’s radio.  At this point it’s either Kyle or Joey.  Soon the rest of us are called up for our runs and in the end we all came out with some solid times.  Turns out it was Kyle who crashed but he still pinned it coming down into 8th, just missing Leland who came in 7th.  I cruised down into 11th while Garret bumbled down into 23rd.  Joey took first with eleven seconds to spare on the second place Jon Wilson from UNR. Nice job Joey, killin it!

7_Leland_Stadium_Jump

Leland with the patented "Bambi Prance"

9_Kyle_S-berm

Kyle coming in before the stadium jump

 

DH Results:

Leland- 7th

Kyle- 8th

Josef- 11th

Garret- 23nd

13_Chris_pinning

The Management (Chris Lee) enjoying the primo conditions

Many thanks to Foothill Cyclery (AJ and Josh!) for making sure we were well prepared for an epic weekend of racing.  More SLO to the Bone times to come!

-Josef





Parkfield Classic 2009 (video included)

6 10 2009

Well our first Parkfield Classic as a team has come and gone, and we definitely left our mark. In the gravity events, we took home a combined 17 (SEVENTEEN) top 10 finishes! Two notable riders of the weekend were Kyle “Wide Open” Wideman, and Jimmy Vukelich.

It was Kyle Wideman’s first Parkfield in 3 years due to shoulder injury, and he put his thing down for everyone to see, taking 4th in Men’s A’s dual slalom and 2nd in Men’s A’s downhill.

Jimmy flew down from his new job in Portland just for the weekend to put another Parkfield under his belt. He went home with first place in Men’s Cat. 1 downhill and 8th in Men’s Pro Slalom. He wasn’t even on his own bike, because he hasn’t yet replaced his slain Kona.

All in all, the SLO to the Bone riders ripped up the ranch for two days and are looking forward and training often for the next challenge.

-Chris Lee, Team Manager

 

Downhill

Mens Cat 1:     Jimmy Vukelich- #1

                             Ian Ferguson – #2

 

Mens A’s:        Kyle Wideman – #2

                        Josef Duller – #3

                        Nate Lewis – #4

                        Garrett Eggert – #5

                        Leland O’Connor – #8

           

Dual Slalom

 

Men’s A’s:       Josef Duller – #2

                        Leland O’Connar – #3

                        Kyle Wideman – #4

                        Garrett Eggert – #6

                        Nate Lewis – #8

 

Men’s B’s:       Chris Lee – #5

 

Men’s Pro:       Dan Baggs – #2

                        Mark Hesser – #7

                        Jimmy Vukelich – #8

                        Ian Ferguson – #9

A teaser video for this years hapenings is available here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gawiibEmZJE





Cal State Champs!

5 10 2009

Well at this point this story is old news but its news.  So check it!

Cal State Champs!  Not quite as big as World Champs (Nice Job Steve Peat!) but nonetheless Team SLO DH made the trip out to Mammoth, CA to try our luck.  Ian, Nate, Mark, Chris and I drove out in Mark’s yacht (crew cab Ford truck).  This was my first time out to Mammoth and to say the least I was stoked!  The six and a half hour drive out there seemed like 10 minutes thanks to the beautiful eastern sierras and Nate’s knowledge about how the mountains came to be.

We met up at Vons in Mammoth Friday night with Daniel and our friend Jeff Bowers from Specialized to grab some BBQ materials and then headed to Daniel’s relative’s place which is about 25 minutes outside of Mammoth.  Daniel’s relatives, Brent and April, were some of the nicest and most accommodating people we’ve met!  Not only did they BBQ for us but they were always out of bed before us to wake our lazy asses up with the smell of bacon and coffee.  Can you say perfect race weekend accommodations?  We can.  Thanks Brent and April!

After we finally got over the wonderful scenery around Brent and April’s house we took off Saturday morning for registration and practice.  This is where Ian pulled a curve ball on me and signed up for “Pro.”  I can’t let Ian one up me so I signed up in the same category.  (We both were ready and had talked about starting to race pro but it was a little strange and rad to actually finally do it!).  The loosey goosey terrain took some getting used to but after a few practice runs we were lovin it almost as much as Ian loves Chris’s banana hammock shorts.

So it may have seemed we got too comfortable on the trails.  Shortly after a few warm up runs we started to blow up, to say the least.  I broke my derailleur twice, Daniel punctured his brake line and Nate… well Nate almost punctured his liver but he ended up walking away with only a couple broken ribs.  Ian also overworked his wrist from a previous injury and had to sit out his race run alongside Nate.

Race day was a blast despite a similar pattern in our luck.  I was first to get the run over with and after hitting the upper rock garden I dropped my chain.  Shortly after that happened I fell twice trying to pump myself down the rest of the track. Chris had some awesome luck with a gust of wind and a rock drop (see the video here- http://www.flickr.com/photos/29068455@N02/3914955110/ ).  Mark laid himself out on the first corner and our buddy Jeff had a problem with his drive train.  The only person to ride a clean run was Daniel.  All in all it was a great weekend (as always) but there is one lesson learned: diesel trucks + high elevation + road bikers = fun.

-Josef Duller





The Death of The Stinky

30 09 2009

Coming off my collarbone incident about 7 weeks ago I had been itching to get back into the race scene.  My shoulder was feeling good again and I had been riding trail and hitting drops for a couple weeks and figured I was good to go for the last Fluidride Cup of the year at Mt. Hood, Oregon.  With our bikes, gear, a cooler of PBR and Sparks, and some Chili Peppers on the stereo we took off Saturday morning and made our way to the race. We arrived and I got registered so I could start my practice. I had only been to Ski Bowl once before and the upper lift had not been running so I was only familiar with the lower section of the course. I scouted my lines and put down some clean runs towards the end of practice and was feeling pretty good about my first race back. After practice we headed back to the car and got changed, drank some Sparks and got ready to head up the road to see the premier of “Barred for Life” at one of the local bars. Afterwards, we headed back to camp and drank some more brew, pissed off some old people, and headed to bed. It was a successful night.

                Sunday morning I was greeted with the awful taste of stale beer in my mouth and a cold breeze blowing through the parking lot. We cooked up some breakfast burritos, geared up, and headed over to the lift for the morning practice run. I hopped on the first lift with another racer. We chit chatted about our collarbone injuries and about how f*$king cold it was because of the wind. I was shivering pretty good by the time we unloaded. We headed down the fire road a bit and loaded up on the upper lift to make the final accent to the top of the race course. We get about half way up the lift when I hear the clang of metal on metal. We both turn around in time to watch my Stinky tumbling down the side of the mountain bouncing off rocks and branches on its way down. My jaw dropped and all I could utter  was, “No. F-ing way.”

At the top of the lift I inform the lifties what had happened and took the lift back down to retrieve my bike. I tried to be optimistic, but I knew it was going to be bad. Everyone on their way up was asking me if the bike down there was mine, then I get told there are two bikes that have fallen off the lift. When I get to the bottom the crew has already stopped letting people on the lift and I headed up the side of the hill with the other unfortunate soul to retrieve our bikes. The damage was pretty bad. From the initial inspection I saw bent bars, broken brakes, scratched stanchions, and a bent drailleur hanger. With no parts to fix the wreckage I ended up riding one of the rental bikes, an 08 Shore with no chain guide, for my practice and race runs and it was uncomfortable to say the least. My practice run consisted of my chain falling off and me dumping the bike about 3 times. My race run went a bit better, I was able to pedal the chain back on a couple times and I didn’t dump the bike. I ended up mid pack 14th out of 28 with a time of 3:03. After the race finished up I got to take a better look at the bike and talk with the operations manager. I found a dent on the bottom tube, bent forks, bent cranks, and bent linkage along with all the previous damages listed. The bike was done. I told the manager there was no way I was ever riding on that bike again after watching it fall 60’ into a pile of rocks and it would need to be replaced. She told me to get a second opinion from the bike shop and we would take care of it. Of course the shop agreed with me and I will find out in a couple days what they plan on doing to make it right.

And the legacy of the Stinky is over

 -Jimmy

RIP 2002- September, 27 2009

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