MSC #1: Chalk Creek Stampede

The gate has dropped on the 2007 season, and the Mountain States Cup is pinning it toward September. OK riders, let’s set ’em up …

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Thanks to Dylan Patterson for shooting photos.

Mountain cross

We rocked the new Extra Crispy course, and it was a handful for many.

Snap down the ramp and pedal over the step-up table. Drift the soft left over the mini double, rail the right berm and rat-tat over the two pointy doubles into the mega 180 left. Pedal/rail/drift to 100 miles an hour, pop the medium double, suck up the short double, and braaap another double into a 180 right. PEDAL up the face of the big double-table, catch loooong backside, stick the banked (not bermed) left then make a decision. 1. tight left around the tree, three rollers and a straight shot at the finish or 2. a lippy dirt-jump double, a tiny kicker double then a tight chicane. If you can jump, boost #2, hip into the final berm and crank it to the finish.

How sweet is this? Evan leads Chris in JrEx action.

The split at the end. If you can jump, rider’s right is WAY faster.

Matt sucks up the roller option.

Rudy Unrau leads the second straight. These doubles were bucky!

Your pro men’s final. Ross, Petr, Cameron and Jermiah.

As for me: I rode a perfect qualifying run — clean, controlled, very pretty. It felt fast, but apparently 32 other pro/semis went faster. I got axed in the first round. Following … waiting for Ross to make a mistake … still waiting …

Dual Slalom

Familiar sight: Rudy, 19, hanging with a top pro. Ross pushes back down so he can use his Awesome Power.

Yes: a game of skill, precision and all-day braaap-ability. Dude: I love dual slalom!

Beep beep beep BEEP! Pedal pedal, pump the roller then fold into a blue-grooved 90-degree left. Your knobs and jowls stretch in opposite directions. Reel in the Gs and hit the two lippy doubles — pop pop — and land in the rock-hard berm already carving. Braaap! Press into the mag-chloride prepped dirt, unweight over a little roller then plunge into the hole — the Abyss of Opportunity. Jump from the edge to one of the steps, or manual the whole thing.

A few seconds later. Rudy has always been on it, but since racing Steve Peat at Sea Otter, he’s ON IT!!!

As you gather speed, gather your wits for the hard 90-degree left. In the right lane it’s tight; in the left lane it’s tiiiight. Rip goes the dirt as you redirect and lay down the power. Suck up two monster rollers then prepare for the last berm: In the left lane, pedal some more, set an edge and carve as hard as you dare. In the right lane, downshift, brake hard and send your head right through the flag. Steer your bike around the outside and pivot on your ear. Whew. Pedal!

The flat left has been Buelled. I believe this is Michael Buell, still pedaling I’m sure. Photo by Todd Wilson

Shimmy through the flat left and right, just clipping the gates with your shoulders, then stick the rutted left … wait for it … NOW! Pedal as hard as you can. Manual the double rollers, hammer around the soft right, then do what you like with the triple rollers: pump, hook-double, double-hook, triple-manual or just plain triple. Catch the last backside, sneak in a couple cranks, break the beam then bleed speed over the tabletop jump. Oh yes. Heart rate: 200. Happy rate: a zillion.

Repeat after me: Chris. Boice. Is. Sick!!!

But I still plan to beat him some day … Photo by Todd Wilson

RossCam. So dang sweet.

Dualing Fix Monkeys: Evan and Joey give ‘er in JrEx. Joey won both 4X and DS.

Local Heroes: Rudy Unrau and Steve Wentz. Both nice guys, both scrappy as heck.

Mr. Benge isn’t only the founder of the Young Rippers of America; he’s also a member. Yeah look at that attack position!

Jr. Beginner Showdown: Brendan and Zach.

Brendan is new on The Fix Jr. Team, and he’s off to a great start. 2nd behind the Mighty Zach ain’t bad.

VetEx – When you absolutely, positively have to get down the hill fast. James and Clay.

The sportmanship that makes MSC so cool: 1. Mike (left) and Phu do their first round; Mike gets the advantage. 2. Mike races pro short track. 3. Phu refuses to advance because Mike misses the round, waits for Mike to return. 4. Mike finishes short track, pins it up the hill and races in his skinsuit. 5. Phu wins this round, but not by enough. 6. Mike goes on (but he puts on baggy shorts).

Me pegging the tricky flat left. 1. Line up wide. 2. Carve a late apex. 3. PEDAL! Bike: Specializd P.3. Tires: 2.2 Specialized Chunders. Photo by Todd Wilson

As for me: I felt great and pinned my qualifier to take 17th out of 50something pro/semis. I got through the round of 64 fine then faced a fast cat in the round of 32. He got the advantage in the first run. I knew I had to do something special in the second run, and I did. I PINNED IT in that zone between perfection and calamity — making mistakes and recovering the whole way. What fun. I stayed with him, but it was all for naught.

Good stuff. Must rest, train, repeat.

The army

The Fix monkeys killed it! They were all over the podiums, as were dozens of racers from other teams I’ve been working with. Beginner, Sport, Expert and up … what a great thing, to help these people reach their goals. And what a treat, to have dudes on the box pointing at me and saying thanks.


Compared with last year, there was a much larger pit area and significantly more racers. While the Shimano truck provided pro support and huge fields pushed racing near dusk, the race still had that grassroots feel we all love. It’s a tough balance to strike — satisfying big sponsors and average riders — and it gets harder as an event grows.

There are only so many hours in the day, and only so many days in the weekend. The Chalk Creek Stampede pushed Saturday and Sunday’s daylight to the max. As participation grows and events get added, it becomes impossible to fit every race on the weekend. For example, the 4X and DS field sizes have reached the point where we need separate practices for the classes, and if they keep growing we’ll need separate days too. Which means weekday racing, missed work and a higher perceived cost to the consumer. Not to mention the demands of big sponsors, which limits viable venues, which necessitates longer drives.

As the series grows, I can feel the change happening. But the guys at Bigfoot Productions knows we riders are their customers, and if anyone can grow the series the right way, it’s them. Let’s support them. Publish globally, ride locally, race regionally …

AND OF COURSE: Thanks to Keith Darner for hosting the event. You rule.

Next: MSC#2, Chili Challenge, Angel Fire, NM. May 26-28. Also a gravity national.

Full MSC schedule

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