Tuesday, February 17, 2009
My First ever National. Borrowed the goggles from Toby Henderson, bought a billet 46 tooth big ring that day, the helmet was free. Spandex and a t-shirt. Airwalk clipless BMX style shoes (first of their kind).
Year Two. Top of the line helmet with visor, riding glasses, White Bros coil springs(no MCU) and damper, BMX flats, moto pants, shop sponsor jersey, moto gloves, V brakes!
Year Three. Mt. Snow 1997. Full face helmet w/ detachable chin piece. Tinted lens (useless), Shimano DH shoes & pedals, Intense DH/FR Uzzi (4.5" front/6" rear). Magura Hydro Rim Brakes! Free Maxxis Mobsters, Sun Rhyno rims. Thought I was the stuff w/ the grassroots Intense XC jersey. Answer DH armor underneath. No chain!
Year Four. Mt. Snow 1998. Same frame, upgrade to 6" Boxxer. First gen. Hayes disc brakes, DH shorts & DH knee/shin pads. New Shop...still an XC jersey. Legit DH helmet.
Fast Forward. Plattekill 2001. My first LEGIT DH bike. Big course...high speeds! Flimsiest rear end ever made!! But FAST in a straight line.
Sugar Mtn AMBC 2002. Sponsors galore. Free stuff. Pro deal stuff. Custom jersey. Team only colored frames. Mr. Dirt self seizing chainguide! A first year production upside down fork that seizes at the sight of mud! A reasonable 7.5" of rear travel! Light, fast, tech! Best year of racing EVER!
Skip 2003 til I can find the lost pics! Move on to 2004 and the most beautiful frame Turner ever made. Retired the ancient helmet and went to a full on matching kit w/ gloves, goggles, helmet, jersey and shorts. Finally broke down and bought upper body armor! Technology of suspension is ALMOST there. It's now the time of boat anchor 8" travel forks (top crowns that chopper the bike to the sky) and oil bath shocks that dials that often actually work. That is when they aren't breaking shock shafts. And the wonderful new frustration of 1.5" to 1 1/8" reducer headsets. Flush mount or not to flush mount? E13 saves the drivetrain...HOOOORAY!!!
Year of the Stormtrooper: 2005 Not just any old DH bike. Remote reservoir, custom designed rear shock specific to the frame. Works 888 with flat crowns...finally. Full on, fully adjustable and completely tuneable front and rear suspension. A bike worthy of being called a race bike. Not one broken part all year long. Geometry that is perfect. Unfortunately, bearing for ISIS BB's still shat themselves monthly even if steel pedal inserts don't allow the pedals to flake off on contact.
Vanity! 2006 and all it's excess. The bike and kit that reflects the excesses of my life. A Demo8 decked out to 11! Industry Nine wheels, Fox DH40, Cane Creek Double Barrel, externall BB's and bombproof cranks, fully adjustable brakes, gaudy kit, shiny white gloves and a love of the camera. The bike that could go faster than I ever could. What a shame...
2007 - The year it all came around. The kit goes from 1 extreme to the other, gaudy to subtle. And so does the bike. Not much to say really. The bike is sorted from the factory with great geometry, no pivot issues, shifting, braking and suspension are no brainers. Amazingly it took 13 years to get DH bikes to the point where thy simply work and do their job EVERY DAY!
Quit the process!!!