San Diego Season Opener
Barrett Junction, California
EDI opened their season with a race at the out of the way Barrett Junction. This race was the first of four races to qualify for the 2002 Gravity Games. The race course is the same course that IGSA has used, except the course was shortened, moving the finish line up behind the first bend. This gave everyone plenty of time to slow down before entering the congested camp area.
Saturday, April 27
Today was standup and gravity bikes. I took an early morning flight to San Diego, arriving at the race site around lunch time. One thing I noticed when I arrived, were the dueling flags.
While everyone was getting prepared for an extra qualifying time, the local skeleton riders showed up with their latest incarnations.
These looked a lot better than the last time I saw them. Still not something I would want to ride.
I put together my luge while everyone took another qualifying run. A couple of us headed up to the second hairpin to watch the racing. Cavey and Golter were on their game all day. The semifinals were interesting, only one spot to the Gravity Games was being given away, and everyone in the finals were already qualified. So the winner of the consilation was getting an invite. Cavey got the invite! Meanwhile Golter blew threw the second hairpin with a commanding lead, and apparently won with a large margin. But it was all for naught as he was DQ'ed at the start.
[Racing Photos coming soon]
Well some people were happy.
Lehr, van Bommel, Freeman
McKendry, DeKeyser, Jennings
Rodriquez, McLemore, Gonzales
After the awards were given out Biker had pow wow session with the down hill skaters.
They discussed where their sport was going, and what could be done to make it grow. While I think having the meeting was a good idea, I'm not sure if anything came out of this meeting.
Sunday, April 28
Tech was from 6:30 to 8:00. I figured there wasn't going to be that many people here, so I got to the race site a bit after 7:30. The rider's meeting got started fairly quickly after 8:00 AM, but not after a "new" rider showed up.
What would we do without Beagle? There were about 30 lugers total, a fairly sparse crowd.
A few people camped in the pit area, and some were still eating breakfast.
According to EDI rules, "boomless" luges aren't illegal, so Dave tried to get his boomless luge passed spec.
Biker decided to have a discussion about the luge at the riders meeting.
He said that he was thinking of allowing them in future races, perhaps next year, perhaps next race. But then he decided to open it up to a unanimous vote to see if we would allow the boards to be run at this race. No one objected, so Biker allowed the boards to be run!
Yesterday it was fairly cold, it was overcast and sprinkled. Today it was already warming up. Hopefully we wouldn't be doing to much hurry up and wait at the start.
We managed to get 5 or 6 runs in before lunch! Bob Ozman showed up to do some research.
He was taking the temperature and durometers of the wheels, in this picture he is also trying to get the temp of the bearings. Our first runs the temps were in the 90's and towards lunch they crept up to 120. Kahn had one wheel that was as hot as 165, but its durometer was only 65! It was a bad wheel.
We broke for lunch, and while some of us ate, others played.
DeKeyeser and Pam brought some mini bikes, that everyone was riding yesterday, but todays toy of choice was a motorized scooter.
Darren Lott and Kent Kochheiser stopped by. They cruised down on their bikes.
Chaput also joined the club of star celebrities, although he was here to promote his wheels.
I started the day off running Chaput's new 101 mm wheels. While I think these are nice wheels, I was really getting beat out of the two hairpins. Partially because I wasn't taking the turns very wheel, but I think the 101's were taking too long to spin back up. Before the last practice run I switched back to my new setup (when will I learn to NOT use a race as a testing ground?) I never did manage to figure out the two hairpins so I ended up in one of the race off heats. As there were 20 riders, there were two heats of three riders. The winner would advance to fill the 15th and 16th slots. Both Swartz and I had some tight heats, but we managed to win to advance into the next round. Again both of us took last in our next heats. I walked up to the finish line to take some photos. Unfortunately I wasn't ready for the amateur finals when Moody, DeKeyser, Kahn, and Lally all passed the finish line as close together as you could be. I missed a great photo.
[Race Photos Coming Soon]
Dave and John had a very tight race and crossed the finish line almost side by side. As usual there was much jubilation at the end.
Dave and John took first and second with their new boards.
People started to pack up before the awards ceremony. Bob decided to try out a tailess luge.
And Rat tried out some skeleton boards. These boards had disc brakes!
Someone brought several designs.
The proper head first riding technique is hands to the side.
The board looks funny, but the narrow end us where your chest goes.
Before the awards ceremony, Grace held a fund raiser for the San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally .
Raffle tickets were $2 apiece, and there were quite a few prizes. The most excited winner appeared to be Chaput when he one a deck. Does Chris really need more decks?
Moody, DeKeyser, Kahn
D. Rogers, J. Rogers, Ruhman
EDI decided to hold a race at Barrett just a few weeks ago, primarily because the Gravity Games was being held before the New York race and EDI wanted four races before the Games. Grace did a great job of pulling the race together on short notice, including some nice trophies.
The Twin Pines Gang is a group of Southern Californian riders that ride a road near LA called Twin Pines. After the awards ceremony we were taking a picture of some of the gang. I realized they were all holding up license plates. I was trying to figure out who stole a trophy, until I realized none of them had, the gang had swept the podium!
And to think it was only a couple of months ago when I made a comment about Red Bull DHX, being thankful that there wasn't six spots, otherwise the Twin Pines Gang would take them all!
This was a fairly low key start to what appears to be a fairly busy race season. The weather was perfect, and there were no serious injuries. Perhaps the worst was Biker. He apparently hit a hay bale on his first run. Although his hand ballooned to the size of a softball, and many people thought it was broken, he continued to race. The swelling went down, he didn't think he broke the hand. It was most likely just badly bruised and banged up.