Tuesday, July 26, 2011

30 Pack of Keystone?

Eric here with an update from the Keystone Classic.

Several of us started getting ready for this long Down Hill race the weekend before the race. Since we had a week off Pete, Kazzy, Jesse Townsend & myself all went up to check out the course & get our bikes dialed for the race.

We had a great day & rode a bunch of different trails. We did ride the race course a couple of times & let me tell you it is fast and scary! Toward the end of the day we were getting more & more confident & riding faster & faster. Jesse T. was riding especially well. I dropped in for a run & really put the power down. I was set on leaving him behind but could not get away. Toward the middle of the super fast open ski run section I heard him yelling at me to go faster! That made me even more nervous & I over braked in a corner causing Jesse to have to slam on the brakes making him to go down hard. He got cut all over through 2 layers of cloths in several spots & even cut his head somehow through his helmet.During practice on the actual race weekend Jesse went down again in a strange way not even riding hard. He caught a pedal & hit a tree causing his shoulder to pop out. He just recently recovered his other shoulder from surgery & now he will probably need surgery on the other one. That Stinks for him. Good Luck J.

On the actual day of the race it was extremely hot. We did not have the team rig with our EZ ups & stuff so we had to improvise. In this pic look behind Sara & you will see Blake sitting under a tent rain fly stretched between my truck & Noah's car:)
We had a pretty large crew of Grassroots riders hanging out & riding together this weekend. Not everybody raced but we all had fun. With Jesse T. out that left me Blake, Andrew Templin, Chris Hale, & our adopted redheaded step child Noah Sears.

Starting the day off with the Pro Qualifiers Andrew & I were feeling pretty good. I qualified 13th & andrew 20th in a very fast field. It was weird because the field was smaller than usual but there were a very high concentration of uber fast guys.
Next on course we had Blake Chris & Noah.
Blake had a little crash on the top but recovered to have a pretty clean run at (Time 9:55). He ended up 9th but came out safe & had fun. Blake has not raced much this year & he was a welcome addition.

Actually I see that Jesse Townsend finished 12th out of 14 in his class even though he didn't race:) Ha Ha. Pretty good. ...

I did not see much of Chris but he did a good job finishing 11th in the super fast Cat1 19-29 division. (Time 9:56)

Noah was fighting his drive train all day & only had a couple of gears working. In his race run it locked up & he could not pedal at all. Noah was disappointed but still went very fast placing 6th at (Time 9:33)

For the Pro Finals I was starting to feel the pressure. I was happy with my qualifier but knew I needed to step it up in the finals. I did not practice on Friday & Saturday like I usually do & only came up on Sunday to practice & race all in one day. I had a secrete weapon though in that I was using very light & fast rolling All Mountain Tires. This was a calculated risk & I had a game plan to ride all the safe main lines through the rock gardens. It was feeling really fast in practice & my qualifier but in my run I got excited and charged the faster but way rougher outside line through the top rock garden flatting my rear tire. I felt very silly for braking my game plan & regret it.

Andrew Templin had a great final run in the Men's Pro division. Shaving 5 seconds off his qualifying run & placing 23rd with a (Time 8:56)! I really enjoy riding with Andrew & he is really coming along.

There you happy Knepper?

Friday, July 15, 2011

More Fun Ride in Loma, CO

Amy (my wife) and I decided to ride in the heat of the day last week. It was hot, but felt good to get out and ride some XC. I haven't done an XC ride since I broke my collar bone 10 weeks ago. We rode the trail "More Fun" in Loma, CO which is an extremely technically challenging trail. The climbs are very tough with lots of ledges, switch backs, and loose rocks and the downhills are rough, tight, steep, and loose.

Amy had her reservations about riding that particular trail because the last time she rode it was last year, and she wasn't half the rider she is now. This time around was much easier and more fun for her with her new found skill.

When we finally got to the top, we were really looking forward to the ride back to the bottom only to discover it had been changed. The once pretty fast, flowy, technical singletrack back to the road (heading east) had been changed into more super tech, tight turns, and now not much fun. Whoever laid that out, please don't do that to any more of our trails. Fast and flowy is the name of the game! Maybe throw in a few natural jumps and berms.

~Pete Knepper

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Teva Shoes and Deity Pedals

We recently received our order of new Deity Decoy 2.5 pedals. They offer some new colors and graphic on the tried and true design. We have all been riding these pedals for a while now and love them. They are light, thin and grippy. Get a pair while you can, at only $85 these things fly off the shelves.

Last week we received our first shipment of the new Teva shoes. We have been riding these for the last month or so. So far everybody is pumped on these new shoes. They are nice and stiff and have a relatively sticky sole. They are not as sticky as 5.10's but still grip much better then your skate shoes. Paired with a pedal like the Decoy's you won't be having any issues with your feet moving on the pedal. I have personally fallen in love with these shoes for riding the bike park.

The Links is slightly stiffer feeling then the Pinner due to the heel lock on the back of the shoe.

Come check them out and see what you think.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

MSC #6 - Full Tilt in Telluride Recap

So we learned two things this weekend..... Super D points don't count toward our Team's Gravity points and Bigfoot is alive and well in the San Juans throwing large rocks at unsuspecting riders. For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, I was nearly killed by something crashing onto my head that destroyed my helmet on the Village Trail in Telluride (see the last picture in this post). I had riders directly behind me and in front of me and no one saw anything except the aftermath of me flipping into the trees. The worse part is no one can figure out what it was! The good news is that the x-rays of my vertebrae showed no signs of compression fractures. Be very careful in them parts!

Back to the race... The weather was rather unpredictable with heavy rain and thunderstorms at some point everyday. The dirt would go from dry to mud to hero dirt and back to dry. The rocks in the woods were down right scary when wet. We got a pimpin' condo that was within a 9-iron shot of the Gondola and had a nice garage that made it easy to rebuild two forks over the weekend and store all of our smelly gear. Everyone was super stoked with the place except for the fact we had to be out by noon on Sunday which proved to be a PITA. People in attendance were, Myself and Amy, Matt and Elizabeth, Mike and Kyra, the Landis Family, Jesse T, Jesse squared, Chris R, Andrew, Adam, and Kazzy. Everyone raced at least one race except for Myself, Kyra, Chris R, and Elizabeth.

Race Results:
  • Mountain Cross (4X) - This was a pretty exciting course. 4 individual berms out of the gate, then only 2 in the next turn, then one in the next. The other awesome aspect was the fact that you could see the entire course if you stood in a good spot which is pretty unusual for most tracks.
    • CAT 2/3
      • Kazzy got knocked out in the first round and ended up 17/19.
      • Matt blew everyone's socks off by making it into the small final and churned out a 8th out of 17. Hell yea Matt, you really are out of retirement! Now get back to training!
    • CAT 1
      • Mike also made to the small final. He was so disappointed with his first run, he had no idea he made it to the small final and almost missed his start! Good thing he made it because he won the small final with a killer pass in the middle of the course putting him in 5th out of 9 racers
    • Pro
      • Eric had yet again another solid race. He was very surprised when he made it to the small final. He ended up 7th out of 12 and said "I think I finished right where i belong at this point." Eric, I know you got more in the tank, don't be satisfied just yet!
  • Super D - The trail was entirely "No Brainer" with the exception of a muddy uphill run/ride with the bikes that started directly to your left as you got off the Gondola.
    • Women 19+
      • Amy was the only person to race SD. She was on the fence about it, and had she known that SD points don't count toward the team's points, she probably would have raced DH. The entire team came out to watch Amy race and cheer her on. When I say she was stuck behind two women, I mean stuck! She was basically running into these women in every turn because Lindsay Yost doesn't know how to corner a bike at all and wouldn't move out of the way. When Amy got to the bottom she was fuming with anger and said "I'm never racing a SD again!". Turns out she was wrecked right off the start and that girl's handlebar went into Amy's spokes breaking one of them. Amy was the last girl of the line and still pulled out a 3rd place finish! You rock Amy! We all know you should have won!
  • Downhill - The Cat 2 course was basically the old World Cup course with the exception of the drop onto the ski slope. They were routed around to the right of the drop to meet up with Pan coaster for a short distance before meeting back up with the WC course. The Pro/Cat 1 course was similar, but did include the drop onto the ski slope and then continue to the grove of trees on the other side for a brand new ultra steep section with lots of roots. It then met back up with the final section of the the old WC course. The winning pro time was 2:55 by Chris Boice just for a reference point.
    • CAT 2 Men 30-39
      • Jesse Squared and Kazzy came in neck and neck taking 6th and 7th place. Jesse took the win and managed to edge Kazzy out by only 3 seconds.
      • Adam Lavender was on a brand new (to him) Commencal Supreme DH. He just finished building the bike on Thursday and threw down a killer run on Sunday landing him a 2nd place podium finish. It was probably the pro fork rebuild by myself on Saturday night :-)... I'm going to keep telling myself that regardless
    • CAT 1 Men 19-29
      • I know Noah isn't on the Grassroots team, but he might as well be. Noah turned out a 19th out of 26 with a 3:18 and was throwing down mad style as usual.
    • CAT 1 Men 30-39
      • Jesse T has been ringing in the points for the team this year and this race was no exception with a 3:23. A 4th out of 12 will help the team nicely in the standings. Good work man!
    • Pro
      • This is kind of a flip flop deal between Eric and Andrew. Eric had a bomber qualifying time of 3:03 and Andrew got held up because someone crashed, thus Andrew was going to be starting 1st and Eric was going to be starting towards the back. Well the race run was the opposite. Andrew came down with a stellar time of 3:13 putting him in 20/28, and Eric front-flatted in the 3rd turn, landing him in dead last ... 28/28. Eric rode it all the way to through the finish line.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Yo it's D.J. Brandt thought i'd throw up a little photo update from the bike park shooting with Jeff Nass. Jeff is a great guy and rad to shoot with.