Another year another successful Raccoon Rally event. The Rally is the longest running trials event in the USA. It attracts well over 100 spectators throughout the day and some of the riders that have been around long enough that they can call old school new school. From both Gary and myself –huge thanks go out to everyone that continues to make it out to this awesome event every year.
After some new brakes, windshield wipers, and an oil change the truck was ready to make the six hour trek to Thunder Rocks. Too bad we didn’t get on the road until 8:30 in the evening. We had a slow start Friday morning, but that’s probably a good thing because a deer decided it would come hang out for a while. This thing was within 30 feet of us for over a half hour while we were fixing breakfast and getting ready to set sections.
Setting sections is time consuming and a blast. It’s so creative and fun to find new lines and envision people riding and how they might think to negotiate each section. Gary and I had a great teacher for section building though, Randy Vancil. Kai and his lady stopped in during the afternoon to say hello and help with some section design for the sport/expert sections and J.K. Hendriks the owner of Meta Bikes stopped in that evening as well. Too bad for all the visitors on Friday that they left before we got the fire going to cook up the three pound roast. Here’s a good recipe – cut slits lengthwise in a roast and insert spring onions, then pack fresh cilantro and salt around the outside and wrap in peppered bacon, then in aluminum foil. Bury in hot coals until it’s cooked to your liking. We fell asleep stuffed and tired Friday night.
Beginner and Sport started at 10 a.m. There were a ton of sport riders this year ranging in age from…seasoned….to really young and very international from USA, Canada, and Russia! It was awesome watching everyone ride the sections and seeing how different the lines were from what we had imagined. Gary Culbert and Anatoly Makarov took top honors in sport and beginner respectively. Chris Snell road very well in sport on a hurt wrist –sounds like he’ll be moving back up to Expert as soon as it heals up.
The Pro and Expert riders were cut loose around 12:30 for the Big show. This year we combined expert and sport sections and left the pro sections to only the pros. This worked out really well from an organizational standpoint because we didn’t have experts and pros waiting in line at the same sections and I think it cut about an hour out of the time needed to run the comp. James Barton James Barton James Barton. I met James at the world championships last year and was impressed to say the least. This guy can ride a bike. He was a little bummed because he missed his goal for the competition. I can’t believe he looked at the pro sections and thought that he needed 3 dabs for the day (all three were a planned dab in the tree root mess). He ended up with 5 dabs because something got squirrely once when he was jumping up the 5 foot rock in section three. J.K. Hendriks from MetaBikes.com ran expert instead of pro because he had torn back muscles and still managed to win. How often do you see the owner of a multinational bike company actually competing in a bike competition? Meta has some great things in the works and they are a company that actually supports our sport and riders. Keep Meta on your mind the next time your’e making a decision on a trials bike. First and Third in Pro and first in expert can’t be too far off the mark.
Many thanks to all the riders that come out to this event every year. Thanks to Chris Snell for helping me to take down all the sections while the awards were going on. Props to the Richmond Crew for a badass fire Saturday night and to the Maynards for taking pics and laughing at our jokes. See you all next year.
|James Barton (MetaBike.com)
|Mike Steidley (HaroBikes.com)
|Trevor Bodogh (MetaBike.com)
|Vaughn Micciche (Trialsin.com)
|Kai Christanson (MetaBike.com)
|Matt Browne (Caelifera Frames)
|Jesse Schnider (uni)
|Jaden Ohlsen (uni)