Ranchstyle 2012 Event Report12 mai
Road trip! The first fmb of the season for me went off last weekend in Grand Junction, Colorado. Me and my Ns bikes/Lama cycles teammate, Aeron Learmonth, set out on the road for a whole day of driving to make it out there. These drives are starting to feel like an everyday thing! The drive crawled by but we were excited to arrive thursday night with just enough sunlight left to check out the course and brainstorm line ideas for the next day of practice.
The course was pretty similar to the year before so I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do. Practice went great and we managed to ride all the lines and start to get comfortable on the jumps. My foot was still not 100% from my crash 3 weeks earlier in Utah but it was holding up suprisingly well. I made sure to tape it up really well and luckily I was able to avoid casing anything. The top drop although pretty small definately gave me the most trouble but it was clear sailing from there and as long as I didnt have any rough landings or crashes I didnt really notice it much.
Best trick was that night and I knew I wanted to frontflip the last jump in my run so I figured it was the perfect time to do it. I dropped in early in the session and stomped it clean first try! I was pretty happy to get that out of the way and the croud seemed pretty stoked to see the first frontflip of the competition. I sat out the rest of the best trick and enjoyed the show, things were going off and I was hesitant to keep riding at risk of hurting my foot more and not being able to compete in the main event the next day.
Saturday morning finally rolled around and after a hearty breakfast me and Aeron got out to the course early and were some of the first people up there practicing. Just one of the benefits of camping at the course instead of staying at a hotel in town! We lucked out because there wasnt much time before the wind really picked up and it was pretty gnarly just to try and ride through the course. We had a long break before the pro slopestyle started and it was a nice chance to relax, eat some good food, and get ready for the main event. The event was delayed a couple hours because of the harsh winds, some people chose to practice in the wind but I felt confident that I had gotten the practice I needed in and didnt want to risk going down in the windy conditions. When they finally started things off there was only time for a 2 run final with no qualifiers. I was perfectly okay with this since unfortunately the wind was still fighting with us. When it was finally my turn to drop I just looked straight ahead and tried not to pay any attention to the flags and just focus on my run. I started off by just creeping off the top drop and trying to stay light on my foot. I went into the whaletail line and backflipped off the stepdown. The next jump was the windiest and biggest on course and had already claimed a couple riders so I held on for dear life and simply survived haha. The jump after this one was the big "5 10" kicker. I spun a 360 on it and knew right away I was going to over rotate quite a bit. I'm still not sure how I road it out because I landed just about completely sideways but either way it worked out pretty well because if slowed me down perfectly for the boner log which I threw a tailwhip on. Finally I was at the last jump and I frontflipped just like I had the night before and completed the run. When I got off my bike I saw that part of my tire had blow off the bead on the over rotated 360 and not even a second later it completely blew off the rim and the tube shot out and tangled around my chainstays like a snake. I couldnt believe how lucky it was that I finished the run before it completely blew off.
I hiked back up to the top and fixed my tire but opted out of my second run. I was pretty happy with the first run I did and with the way the wind was taking people out I figured I'd quit while I was ahead and finish healing up before the next contest. As always after the competition we all went out for some drinks and the Strength in Numbers premiere as well as the awards. I was pretty happy with how I did and ended up in 9th place and bumped my fmb ranking to 35th. The weekend was a great success and I'm excited to go back! I've already started planning out my runs for next year and I can't wait! Up next is John Henry's Jump Jam and then back to Colorado for Teva! Hope to see you there!