Two-day gravity festival at Silver Mountain, ID. Always a good time. This morning is a short-course DH done in jam-session format; you get four runs in the time window and your fastest run counts. This afternoon will be the Super-D; uphills in single 38T ring setup - - wahoo. Tonight is loud music by questionable local bands, good food and a bit o' brews. Tomorrow will be the long-course DH: 15 minutes top-to-bottom.
Gotta see if I can defend last year's crown and keep Arnold at bay.
The weekend at Silveroxx was a blast! Two days filled with enough high-speed gravity action to satisfy any adrenaline junkie. And it was a great time to hang out with friends from the other side of the state who I only get to see once or twice a year and to meet some new folks too.
Saturday morning was taken up with the short-course DH Jam. It’s about a 2-2½-minute course on the upper part of the mountain done in a jam-session format; you could do as many runs as you wanted between 9 am and 1 pm, with your fastest run counting.
If you had any energy left - - or are just a plain ol’ masochist - - the afternoon race was a Super-D that encompassed about 2/3 of the mountain’s elevation. In typical super-D fashion, there was a LeMans start that launched you immediately into a (hot! - - temps in the high 80s) 3/10-mile fire road climb to spread the field. After you wound around the knob, there was more double-track passing ops on another access road plunge until we got down to one of the lift bases, where a single-track climb started. That one was somewhere around a ½-mile. I actually managed to catch one of the young guys on that climb - - pushing the 38/26 combo on my trusty Blindside. Then we crested a ridge and got to bomb some downhill singletrack, which spit us out on one last access road and the sprint to the finish.
Saturday night was capped with really good pizza and pretty good beer in the village, accompanied by a properly fully-loud and semi-talented local band.
Sunday was the signature Endurance Downhill. This is the long course, which goes from the top of the gondola all the way back to the valley floor 3,700 feet below. Depending on the rider, it’s about a 13-20-minute all-out hammer. The run is punctuated by a couple of short access-road connectors; but there’s no coasting on them either, because they’re not quite steep enough; so you get only a little bit of breather while you’re still having to spin top gear. Us experts got to do a new section of expert-only trail that was feature-filled and a bit gnarly for a race line. I might have felt more confident on if I’d gotten more than one practice run on it. As it was, I played it conservative through that section, knowing if I lost a few seconds through there, I had plenty of more course that I was more familiar with to wick it on and make up for it. By the time I got to the last woods section, my fingers tingled, my lungs burned and I was fighting to keep focused and make myself pedal sections when I just wanted to coast. But I got to the bottom knowing I’d spent it all on the mountain that day.
So, the tally:
Saturday Jam DH: 2nd, Expert 30+ (they combined all the over-30 Experts in one class) behind my good friend Chris, who is a blazing-fast 40+ Expert.
Saturday Super-D: 1st, Exp 30+ (though, in all fairness, there was only Arnold Mukai and I in that class)
Sunday Endurance DH: 1st, Expert 30+ - - and against some genuine 30+ experts this time. I’d felt like I had a good run; but as it turned out I killed the course with a 13:51. I don't know what odd twist of the space/time continuum happened there but I'll take it . The only expert time faster than mine was the 13:01 post by the kid who won the 19-29 expert class. I couldn’t believe it.
Sorry no pics yet; will have some when the photogs post 'em up.
It’s always fun being part of an event like that; and it’s all the sweeter when you get to come home uncrashed and unscathed. Getting to bring home a bit of hardware is just icing on the cake. Silver Mountain hasn’t “arrived” yet as a world-class (or even North American-class) bike park yet; but the bones are there and the organizers have a lot of enthusiasm and are doing better every year. Siveroxx rocked.