With the Shop 12 seater Sprinter van almost completely operational, Peter and I decided it was about time to put the van to the test on an away weekend. After some scouting on possible destinations, it turned out that BRMBA, keepers of Blackrock, were having a fund raiser shuttle weekend. We decided we’d like to help the cause. The word was put out around the shop and the social medias and after much face-insta-tweeterage we had a van full ready to make the trip.
It’s a good 4 hour drag from the shop to the bike park and so preparations were made the afternoon before departure. Preparations included a bit of a retrofit of the bicycle securing mechanisms in the van. Peter spent the afternoon tinkering with this Dewalt power tools before we were loaded and ready.
After the mounting system was perfect and we’d loaded the van twice, Saturday evening and the bus was ready to roll.
4am Sunday came and the alarm went off. With the van already loaded we made our way to the shop to meet our crew. They began to arrive in various states of cross eyed. After loading up I went to snap the picture below and proceeded to step funny out of the van and land all my weight on the side of my foot, to the ground I went. Thankfully I bounced back up and got the pic!
I spent most of the drive up wiggling my foot around trying to reassure myself that I wasn’t going to have to sit in the van all day while everyone else rode. I wasn’t convinced.
After popping some ibuprofen and managing to get my foot into my cleet I rode up and down the fire road to see what sort of pain I was in. SUCCESS, no pain while riding. Lots of pain while walking. But I wasn’t there to walk!
Everyone suited, booted and headed for the shuttles.
The conditions were about perfect, it had rained all day Saturday leaving a couple of puddles in the low spots. Overall BRMBA have done an incredible job of building the trails with excellent drainage leaving just super tacky lines for us to spend the day ripping down.
Couple of highlights from the day included the BRMBA folks getting one of the Penske flat bed shuttles stuck in the mud. After all the riders had dismounted however, one of the truck drivers managed to get it to climb out of the hole under its own power.
The GPS tracks of the first run down are below. The runs seemed to go on for ever early in the day and the reward for the short shuttle were fantastic.
All of them morning runs were Go Pro’d with the chest mount pointed at the top tube, so I only posted the second half of the day:
Other places on the mountain some of the other riders weren’t being as tentative with the slippery wooden features. Damien hit this booter, then pushed back up to hit it again so we could watch and film.
For the last run of the day the shuttle operators took us half way up the mountain and we pedaled the rest. With a perfect viewing position, I happened to be pedaling by BRMBA’s Salad Tosser step up feature just as one of the other brave riders was setting up to hit it. I decided it would be worth filming. During the review of the move, the rider said he thought he was coming up short. As you can see, he made it in one piece.
After 5 runs it was nearing the end of the day and 11 weary but excited bodies started to make their way back to the van. All but one of us remembered clean and dry changes of clothes. We stopped by a pizza buffet I found on Google Maps in Corvallis. Donny seemed to be familiar with the owner and the only complaint we had over all was the lack of good beer.
Peter pulled the rig into the parking lot at Unreal around 9:15PM where I carefully and gracefully dismounted the van, didn’t want a repeat of the morning epic fail.
It was a cracking day, well worth the hours in the van and we are already looking into the next trip destinations.
Keep your eye on the facebook and the new website for details.