Thanks to everyone for coming out! A few notable competitors from previous years weren’t able to make it, but we had a few new riders there to take their places. Since this is the fourth year we have done this competition, I think it came together a bit smoother than past years.
I arrived on thursday and with the help of Aran and Joel, started accumulating ‘rubbish’ to ride on. We found a large tractor tire and a bunch of spools and picked up a pile of pallets from Home Depot. On Friday a bunch of other volunteers showed up from seattle and portland to help with section building. Michael (Astergeisha), Brian (thegreatcornholio) and his son Tanner did a great job putting together some cool beginner and sport obstacles including a giant teeter totter, a table supported by tires and overturned trashcans.
Pro and expert sections were a bit easier to build this year as we had more large obstacles to work with. Section 5 was built around the 5′ tractor tire and the truck, section 6 included a mainstay of the tacoma comp – dismantled playground equipment, followed by a janky skinny, a large gap and then a couple of moves in the rocks (including a pallet ‘randomly’ tossed into the rock pile) Section seven had a somewhat short run up kicker line followed by the Snake… a line that took out a couple of pro riders. Section 8 was a large up to a 6′ spool followed by an up to a trashcan and then a series of tech rock moves.
This comp was a bit of an experiment because we decided to split up the sections a bit differently. Instead of running pro/expert in one set of 6 sections/two laps we did two sets of four sections/two laps. In the morning, the pro/expert riders faced 4 ultra tech marathon rock sections. These sections challenged accuracy, stamina, speed and balance. In the evening, Pro/expert riders were then tested by the urban sections which required power and consistency in big moves, as well as some “urban” skills such as kickers and skinnys. In between the two pro/expert sessions, beginner and sport riders rode their sections. These were put together in the traditional manner of 6 sections ridden twice. The sections were three urban sections and three natural sections which were split in a similar manner as the pro/expert sections, with the natural sections testing balance and precision and the urban ones testing consistency and power.
I think that the experimental format worked great – the only complaint I got was that there was too much time between the two pro/expert sessions. I would love to hear any feedback competitors have – I already have ideas as to how to improve it for next year.
After the comp was over, we headed up to The Hub to have some pizza and beer. The food provided by the Hub was amazing as usual. The Harmon Brewery (owner of the Hub) have supported this event since it began 4 years ago, so a well deserved thank you goes out to them! The food is always amazing and they always treat us very well (even when someone tries to order otterpops each year…).
Instead of going out on the town to celebrate this year, everyone headed back to the comp site for some aftercomp play on the obstacles. As it got dark, this of course spiraled into some crazy riding on the pixie bike that Matt brought up from California. Its a bummer that no one got it on video, but some next level riding was going off on 12” wheels.
The weather was not great – It rained basically all day thursday and friday and then was mostly dry on saturday… until minutes before the final pro/expert sections were about to begin! The downpour made it instantly more interesting as the rock lines turned to ice and the urban obstacles made up of mostly wood and metal a bit more dangerous.
Overall, the rain didn’t seem to slow anyone down. Everyone who came out was still pushing it each day, and apparently it would take a hurricane to make Webster dab. With only 1 point over 16 sections, Webster was truly dominant. Aran cook was killing it on the natural sections with only 6 points from the morning, but had a couple of nasty fives on the urban sections that knocked him from contention. Mike Steidley had some trouble getting used to his new bike and dropped a few unnecesary points in the morning but picked it up in the afternoon sections where he managed to avoid any fives and edge out Aran for second place.
In the expert category, Pete and Phil rode very well in the morning and were able to keep it going through the evening. Phil even managed to pull off a couple of the pro lines in the urban sections. The canadians Jason, Jason and Rob rode really together all day and were looking solid (except when they accidentally rode one of the pro sections!). Jason yu managed to edge the other two out, doing a bit better on the tech sections. Rob Adams urban consistency was matched by Jason Cuthberts dialed natural riding, and the two finished on the same score – Jason just edging Rob out on cleans. Brandon Law also rode really well – managing to finish a section when he got a flat halfway through – but had a couple of unlucky fives and a nasty fall.
In the sport class, Matt McFarlane and Brian Cornman duked it out to the very end, both finishing with scores in the low teens. Matt was able to overcome technical problems with his drivetrain to finish just ahead. Both riders looked dominant – we hope to see you in Expert next year! In third place was Dan Jaffe an old face in the seattle trials scene. Dan finished on a respectable 24 points which was more impressive since he hadn’t been on a trials bike in years and was riding my janky bike with almost no time to get used to it. The young Tanner Blake was riding quite solid, finishing with 30 points. He will no doubt be a rider to watch as he grows up.
This competition truly would never happen without the volunteers who show up early to help me set up. Aran Cook, Matt Meyer and Phil Lucero, Peter Hellenbrand, Mike Steidley, Brian Cornman, and his son tanner, and Michael Horton were there to help from the very beginning of friday until the very last bit of tear down on sunday. Without their help, the urban sections could not have come together, so I really appreciate their willingness to show up early and stay late!
Big thanks to everyone who was willing to check all day – Eric Prosch-Jensen, Jason Dada, John Webster, Dan Jaffe, Brian Cornman, Aran Cook, Matt Meyer, the Sherpas and anyone else I forgot. It is great to have experienced checkers, especially for the beginner and sport riders. I heard from a few different people that they got very good advice from the Pro checkers – very cool!
Thanks to Joel Chang from Metroparks Tacoma (MPT) who puts a ton of effort into this event even though it is relatively small and he is always super busy during the summer. MPT always supplies a food tent for riders, reserves the spot, transports obstacles to the comp area, supplies shirts for the riders, promotes the event in tacoma and a myriad of other things including bringing volunteers to help setup and check sections. Huge thanks to MPT and Joel.