Ranch Style 2011 in steaming hot and often windy Grand Junction, Colorado just wrapped up and it was an eventful weekend to say the least.
The weather held out pretty good for the most part, the course stayed buff from start to finish and the wind only really picked up during parts of practice and held off for the majority of the competition which is always a big relief. I drove down on Wednesday with Jeremy Weiss and his Dad as well as photographer/videographer Matt Butterworth. It was a long 24 hour drive with a couple hiccups here and there but relatively smooth sailing.
We got a good full day of practice in on Thursday, it was great having two days of practice and I was able to take it real easy and just get used the riding the course as well as things like standing and walking after a day on the road. Riding as the sun goes down in the last couple hours of daylight is unbeatable practice time. Everything cools off and the wind settles to a gentle breeze so I was taking advantage of that both nights. Friday was another good day, started doing some tricks and got mostly everything I wanted to do on the course done at least once. The day went by crazy fast and best trick was going off like crazy. Greg was unloading the usual arsenal and Mike somehow always managed to throw something new and unexpected. I got in on a bit of the action and tried a couple flip whips, I came pretty close but Greg beat me to the punch and pulled off a clean one. I was really impressed with the crowd and they did a great job of getting everyone stoked to throw down with some of the loudest cheers I've heard.
Saturday was the main event and it wasn't looking so good with all the wind in the morning. However, luck was on our side once again and it calmed down a bit by the time qualifiers started. I know all the riders were pumped after watching the Am's and Open categories through down, a lot of those guys are going to be moving up in the ranks very soon I imagine. I was excited to ride and felt good but I was having some major troubles getting things going. I managed to get a pretty good run at the end of the jam with two backflips, a 360, and two tailwhips including one off the boner log at the top of the course. I wish things could have come together sooner but I didn't get hurt, had a good time and did my first tailwhip off a boner log. The riders that went to finals earned it and were really throwing down; all in all it was a great weekend and really fun competition.
I'd like to give a big shout out to all my sponsors for helping me get there and all the support on and off the bike. Also to Evan and all his family and friends my best wishes are with you and I would love nothing more than to hear that his condition continues improving and he will be okay. You have the whole mountain bike community pulling for you bud.
NS Bikes/Lama Cycles
Sun Country Cycle
SilverStar Bike Park