ASPEN, COLORADOOriginally we came to Aspen to deliver the briefcase,,, but Blasting the Mass in Snowmass is just as good too.
Back in 2004, when I was on Yeti, this was my first real downhill race. Everyone says it's the same course, kinda, but I only remember bits and pieces. Top seems vastly different and longer. Bottom is really similar though; the waterfall section, high speed, that Rennie turn from Fundamentals vid, etc. You remember Earthed 2 had a section from here.
Anyway, the lift is super long, 20-25 min up. The "high speed" chair is running at more of a turtle pace, bike loading?. But Plenty of high speed on the track to make up for it. I need to put my Knog on and find out a Top speed- swear it's 40+ in a few bits, eyeballs rattling around, outta gears. Quite different terrain than at home, but lars and I were really liking it, he said he was "having a Blast", hehehe, good one? but indeed, very moto like, lots of fast off camber chopped out sections, some arm pump, not too much pedaling, loose dirt and rocks, just typical Colorado style terrain, really a lot of fun the more runs we do. 4pm thunderstorms are like clockwork too, so all fresh in the am, pretty sweet.
The turnout for a regional is pretty impressive, think a few other people had the same idea as us to get ready for national champs. Got Aaron Gwin here, Joey schusler, Dave Z, Brad Benedict, Lars, Matty Thomson n creeeew, Crusher, Team Geronimo, Buhly, Jackie H, bunch others, most all of colorado's finest DH racers, etc. The general vibe wasn't all condensed with people hanging out, everyone was just kinda doing their thing and riding. Top of the chairlift is about 10,500 feet, bottom 8,500feet, so lots of room to spread out.
There are actually two courses and two races being raced for some reason. One is the O.G. aspen track, and the other one is pretty crap. Really flat, tons of pealing, smooth, no good turns, people on 6" trail bikes. We did one run and decided to donate our money to the family of the kid who passed away at the Angelfire round instead!.
Oh almost forgot. Those of you who know Keith Darner (he runs these Mountain states cups) normally he has 3 little Jack Russell terriers that follow him everywhere. Anyway, he is now up to 6 Jack Russells!!!, it's like a flock!! pretty funny (one missing from photo). Yeti owners + employees are here riding, taking pics, filming video, etc. Conroy, Steve, college, John Reynolds, etc. It's rad to see other companies supporting grassroots racing like this. Fun event so far!
Rich Houseman's mom, and dad Cheese, are here too. cheese was super amped, per usual. They just moved to the Rockies from Cali, Cheese used to be the regular MC at fontana races, think he may have a new role on here at the mountain states cup:)
Anyway, Gonna have another crack at practice to get all dialed in tomorrow and race sunday. Dunno if it's just a coincidence, or if someone thought it it'd be a good joke, but I got #69 as my racing number- about 15 people thought it was hilarious enough to point it out, squids:). Later.