San Francisco, CA
Once again the XGames were held in San Francisco. The street luge portion took place a weekend prior to the main event on Seal Rock Run, as this years games was only a five day event.
The race course started on a steep slope in a residential neighborhood. At the end of the slope there was a right turn on Geary Way. Another quarter of mile or so through a meandering street, with a hard left in front of the Cliff House with an awesome view of the Pacific Ocean. The course continued on to Pacific Highway to the finish line. This year the bottom of the course, from the Cliff House corner to the finish line had been repaved. Nice smooth asphalt, the riders loved it.
Friday, August 11
I arrived in San Jose early Friday morning. They moved the rental cars off site, and baggage was slow, it was well after 9 am before I got out of the airport. Good thing practice was starting late. Traffic was horrible, I finally arrived at the venue after 11 am, practice had already started.
The riders had just finished a run, and were gearing up for another one.
While the weather was nice, a bank of fog hovered over the race course all day.
This shot was actually after practice when it was starting to lift.
A few shots of practice:
Grumpy had some problems in the Cliff House turn early on.
The gravity bikes showed up to do a demo, they also got some practice in.
During practice, Ozman got some early coachine in on the Good Morning America crew.
Saturday, August 12
After some practice qualifying started. A few of the riders watched the jumbo tron to spy on the other riders.
Qualifying was amazing, less than a second separated the top 24 riders, with those not qualifying not that far behind. The crowd began to gather around lunch time.
After lunch the dual began. The biggest surprise of the day was probably Fryer beating Biker in the first round in a very close race. Ozman knocks out one of the Rogers Bros in the first round as well.
I met this guy later at Fun Day, but I forget his name. He brought is board to the race.
Waldo joins the spectators to watch the rest of the races.
eXkate was at the race in force.
Wade knocks the other Rogers Bros out.
In his next race Fryer has an accident at the top of the course, he takes his time coming down.
Ozman continues his winning ways.
Bob and Bob meet in the finals. Wade picks up his third Bronze in a row. They line up for a photo op.
Pereya is pretty happy with his silver.
The Dual Luge podium shot.
Did I mention how happy Pereya was?
Beagle missed his first XGames as a rider, but did a fabulous job as the announcer.
The three dual winners proudly display their medals.
A closeup of Wade's bronze medal.
A very happy Bob poses with his Randal board with his good friend Marcus.
Ok I'm not really sure who this kid was, but he looked good in Waldo's leathers.
After the racing was over there was a dinner
at Seal Rock Inn that overlooked the top of the course.
After eating, most of the diners spilled out into the streets and played.
Kurtis plays on an electric skateboard.
A bunch if the templin gang were posing in the last light.
Beagle begins to imitate other riders, first he's a standup.
Then Bob gets into the act.
The Beagle imitates Kurtis "Head First" Head.
Sunday, August 13
Throughout the weekend riders were interviewed in the Luge Lounge. Beagle interviews the winnter of the dual luge.
Dennis sports some snazzy new leathers.
And the Rogers Bros always look good in their matching leathers.
The Rogers Bros, Grumpy and the rest of the gang prepare for the ride up the hill for the first practice run.
I tried some pan shots for today's practice.
The gravity bikers get some practice in.
The last practice run of the day ended in a wreck in the straights at the bottom.
Gerhard's luge gets caught underneath Waldo, it finishes the run with out Gerhard. Gerhard's helmet saved his head.
It was time for the Super Mass, and the crowd is getting ready.
I don't think there were as many people as last year, there were still quite a few.
Most were between the Cliff House and the finish line.
Even the wildlife enjoy the races, this guy has a birds eye view.
Fryer, a local boy has a few admirers.
The first heat is off clean.
I think Heat 2 has a DQ on the start.
But there was trouble in the third heat. Biker is in second,
when Biker cuts to the inside, as Darren is going by on the outside. Darren's nose catches Bikers tail,
and Biker is knocked out of the race.
Next heat we see only three riders.
Oliver and Fryer got caught up in the first turn at the top. For the second time, Oliver, one of the top qualifiers is eliminated in the first round.
The racing gets tighter in round 2.
Stein led in his heat, and was having a great day, DQ's at the start. In the next heat everyone is spread out, looking good.
Colabella slides out and slams into the hay bales.
Or did he?
Turns out he just skims the hay bales, and keeps on racing. The cleaning crew did a great job of keeping the course running all day.
Waldo was out filming the races. He catches me on camera as well.
The consolation race is run next, with Steiner out in front.
And the Final. Lee is out in the lead with Bob and John out front.
Lee is still out in the lead as they go through the corner.
Dennis and Dave bring up the rear of the train, but Dennis almost looses it.
This was a very tight race with Bob just edging Lee out in the last few feet.
The last race of the day was a new event, King of the Hill. Taking past medal winners and pitting them together. Last years dual winner Dennis is followed closely by multi medal winner Biker and last year Super Mass winner Dave Rogers. Rat, Pereya, and Ponsetti round out the field.
But once again Biker has trouble in the Cliff House turn.
I'm not exactly sure what happened, but both Rat and Biker end up in the hay.
Podium time. Bob, Lee, and John.
On the podium with props.
Wades son is on the podium playing to the crowd.
Lee and poses with the Rogers Bros.
A happy Lee also posses with I believe a family member.
Dennis, winner of the King of the Hill, hoists a Snapple.
The gravity bikes also ran a race, I missed getting photos as I was in line for lunch.
Every year the XGames asks the atheletes to sign a poster. The poster is framed and given to someone from the crowd. This years poster and winners.
I missed the classic luge demo. You might want to check out the picture at auldovertheroad.com that Dave Auld took while riding. I got a shot of the happy classic lugers at the bottom.
Team Die Trying was posing for some shots.
After the racing was finish, I climbed up the the Sutro District.
This is a park across the street from the Seal Rock Inn, and next to the race course. You actually can't see the course from the park, the cliff is too steep. But you can see the pit area.
It didn't take long to clean up.
An incredible weekend of racing was over. Many of the riders felt that this was one of the tightest racers, as well as a very friendly, joyous race. There were no major injuries. Time to clean up and go home.
Monday, August 14
I wasn't sure if I was going to the XGames, until Steve Pearl announce Fun Day. A gathering of riders at Dinosaur Point, about an hour and a half south of San Francisco. I get to see the games, and ride too? I was in.
Dinosaur Point is at Pacheco State Park
which is a reservoir, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Actually its about a half hour east of Gilroy, CA. Gilroy hosts a world famous Garlic Festival, and the smell of Garlic is everywhere.
The course at Dinosaur Point is just under two and a half miles. The top speed is in the low 70's. The course is non technical, with a few big sweeps. It was pure fun. There was a long straight away in the middle of the course with a view of the lake.
What it looks like from the lugers perspective.
There were a few turns in the course.
Dave Auld showed up early on his way home. He only got a few runs in.
I'm not really sure why we took a second group shot.
Thats me in the center with the big board. Later in the day, Lott, Fryer, and the Rogers showed up.
I don't get pictures of me riding very often, generally because I'm the one taking the pictures.
As always, we spent time milling around.
A hot day, high speeds, and a long road doesn't suite Kryptos very well.
We got another shot of the afternoon crowd.
About half the people there were first timers! In fact Steve just received his new Rogers Bros board. And he let a first timer ride it first! Steve didn't get a chance to ride in until the end of the day.
Steve did a great job of putting this event together. He got several people to put up prizes for a raffle.
Most of the crowd looks on with anticipation.
Steve Pearl as he starts to give prizes away.
Earlier in the day, someone looked in the cab of the chase truck, and made some comment about a dinosaur being back there. At first I thought they were making a jog about the name of the place, until I looked back there myself.
After the auction was over, I had to pack up and head back to San Jose, but first a stop at In & Out burgers, which caused me to almost miss the plane.
At had close to thirty riders thru ought the day. With a lot of new guys, including one in his 70's! It was a great mix of amateurs (meaning people who have ridden but never been to a race) and pros. I had a great time, and thank Steve for putting this together. Without this even I would have also missed the XGames.