NORTH CAROLINA, USA Mitch Ropelato and I took the Slalom national championships tonight. Always satisfying to add a few more 'stars n bars' to the 'ol collection. Now have National Championships in 4 different disciplines- BMX, 4x, DH, and Slalom.

Good event, lots of fans were out making noise, few brews help with that, kind fitting there was a beer festival or something going on. There were patriots in the mix as well sporting their finest USA do-rags. Larry Longo on the microphone was classic too.

Had my head down trying to put in solid riding, so I only caught the tail end of the races behind me. Between being on the track and hiking up there hill, there was maybe 5 minutes to rest between rounds. Lucky to have bike pushers, for an easier turnaround. Thanks to Slayed Steve, Mr. Gwin, and the Idaho guy .

Aboard my red Transition Double, I had a flawless year in slalom, never lost a round at any event:) Proud of that.

Seems like a lot more people, amateurs and pros alike enjoy this slalom format. Scott Hart if he were here would have been out of his skull, he's the biggest slalom proponent I have ever met:) You get more ride time, no interference, skills are rewarded.

Think it also depends on the track. This one was really good , as is sea otter usually; but I have seen some real half assed ones in my day. When well crafted effort is put into a course, people are happy. It's all about turns and flow. This was a pro set up here at Beech mountain. Chris Herndon put some hours in., riders thank you.

The final with Mitch vs. Neko was really exciting, hard to tell who won the first run, but then mitch turned it up in the second round to take the victory. His set up is pretty unique to his riding style -micro-knobby tires front and rear with a single speed, normally has only a rear brake, but UsA Cycling made him put a front one on. Think he was ready for a skatepark session afterwards:) His little protege Cody Kelly, killed it for 3rd. Those two must spend hours at the pump tracks and skate parks together:) Good stuff though. Logan for 4th.

PRO WOMEN SLALOM 1. Jill 2. Darian Harvey 3. Jackie Harmony 4. Johanne Tuttle

PRO MEN'S SLALOM 1. Mitch R 2. Neko Mulally 3. Cody Kelly 4. Logan