Monday, July 27, 2009

When you're on top of the world.

The only thing you can do is come down..

My life kicked back into gear over the past few weeks in a very good way. Real Estate closings and new DH bikes are never bad things to have in the world of Jut. Lately on rides I can see and feel improvents in my skill level and my fitness is coming back as well. Windrock, Black Mountain, Farlow, Kitsuma, Wilson's Creek, DJ's, street and some local underground flavor. You name it, I've ridden it in the last two weeks.

Most recently was the trip to Wilson's Creek for the third annual NORAMM. Having raced ORAMM for the last three years on a variety of different bikes with varing degrees of hangovers, I figure I will finish, no matter how much I try not too. So, I decided to mix it up and go for a ride that has 100% more single track and 1,000% more jumps, with beer stops along the course and at the finish. A crew of seven lucky party goers under the instruction of the one they call Tomato descended upon Wilson Creek and managed to neither hurt ourselves or meet the park ranger and his dog. The night ride was one of the best in a long time and the days adventure on new trails never let me down. Wilson Creek was as cool and fun as people said it was and I can't wait to go back. Beer stops were enforced and I think I probably maintained a 5/1 beer to water ratio during my entire time at was at Wilson Creek. For all the boys that were a part of it, thanks for the good rides and the laughs. I'm already looking forward to NORAMM next year..

Now onto something really dumb.. The big bike itch just would not go away so I did what any bike addict does and rationalized a plan that would give me my fix. In short, trade two bikes, two frames, and a number of sweet parts out for a super bike that will allow me to dumb stuff. Once you set that plan in motion and do two weeks of squishy bike research this is what you get.

2008 Specialized Demo 7 II with all that pimp shit and a new set of I-9's to bling it out proper. OH FUCKING SNAP! This bike makes you feel like superman. Yea, I use to make fun of this sort of machine in middle tn as dudes rode around hamelton creek but lately I have been looking at lines that really call for some big bike action. I see myself floating over 25 ft step downs and riding 200 ft long elevated skinnies and that's just on day one. Well... reality checks are a bitch......

I got home on Saturday from NORAMM to find this beauty sitting in my living room having been delivered from MOAB by my oldschool bmx brethren turned mountain biker Martin Holten. I took her for a 5 minute cruise then got busy switching the wheels out to my new Industry Nines. These wheels are so hot you gotta touch them with cooking mitts. And the amount of pivots and engineering that went into the suspension is mindblowing. Note that from 2004-2008 I rode bikes with one gear and 85 mm of travel so I feel like I am in so new territory here where I can stop fighting technology and embrace the fact that having a bike with 2,000 moving parts can be fun and allow you do to really rad and at the same time stupid things like hitting this jump on day one of owning a big bike.

Yea, I was dumb. I got a little ahead of myself and thought I could do anything with a big bike. Well, I will do a lot as I realized by hitting the jump in this picture (i took this shot of scott sending it) as well as the third one in the set and sailing a cool 30 ft over a 25ft deathgap stepdown. It felt amazing! Hitting these jumps gave me more hangtime that I have ever felt on a bike and I was pulling it off. Then I got a little over confident and went for the whole set having not done a practice run up on jump #2 which was a good 23ft gap with a shorter lander. Well, the trail floats a little to the left and I thought it went straight. I had the distance but missed the lander to the right and ended up dropping to flat from a good 10 ft up. Caught some dirt or a big rock with my pedal and had all the power transfer into my ankle. What felt like bones breaking only turned out to be a really bad sprain. We'll see how quick I can rally with a sweet bike gathering dust. In the end it was probably good for me to be humbled on my first day out. Going big is fun but you gotta be ready to pay the price for 3 seconds of hang time. So on that note, I am down but not out.

Gimpin and hatin it. (for now)

jut rut

Monday, July 13, 2009

I am going downhill fast..

Long time, no blog. In short, there is a lot going on these days. Several real estate transactions are in the works and if all goes according to plan I will cover the rent for a few months and get back to the business of having fun. The R.E. market seems to be picking up here in Asheville and my head is finally back in the game. And speaking of game, I would love to check out this new film that focuses on the foreclosure crisis in CA through the eyes of skateboarders. Bad for homeowners, good for skateboarders. Hell yea score one for the cool kids it's good to know someone is making the most out of California's problems.

As for jut rut.. I have been going downhill fast. I do not mean that my life is out of control or that I am in some dark place. No, life is good and with every shuttle run or trip up a mountain on a chair lift I am going downhill a little faster. I was worried last summer when I bought a full suspension bike that I may one day opt for the downhill (gnar) experience verses the ninja line required by single speed with 85m of travel upfront. Well, I put up a good fight but lately the single speed has been collecting dust and main riding I have done has involved riding street, dirt jumps and going downhill as fast as possible.

I did my first real downhill race a few weeks ago. The Beech Triple Crown was both humbling and inspiring. The race was awesome and it pushed the limits of what I thought was capable of on the bike. I also learned that the Maverick will take quite a beating but there is a reason DH bikes don't have a 69 degree head tube. I give it up to the Maverick for not coming apart on the last step down of the course which required leaving the ground for a good seven ft drop over a good 16ft gap to a three ft lander. It also held up last week during a Windrock beat down with T-Dog and the K-town crew who were all on bikes made for riding 80 degree slabs of rock, 14 ft gaps, and running into - then jumping off boulders. My fourth place, yet still mediocre finish at Beech encouraged me to step it up and if nothing else get a bike made to handle the sort of punishment that feels sooooo good. After a year of feeling content with my bike fleet I once again feel the need to buy a new bike (damn). This time around something must go, the most pimped out surly cross check ever @ 1,300. I also must let go of the ultimate Pisgah hard tail, a Dekerf implant complete with matching fork and one super dank custom paint job (1,000). I have been racing the Soul Cycles this year and the Sycip frame has been collecting cobwebs for months now and it is just too nice to have sitting on the floor so it could be yours too (name a price). I think getting rid of a few odd bikes should cover the cost of this bad boy. Oh, and if someone is taking a trip to the beach or the north pole and needs a pugsly, holla.

Gravity rules all. Don't fight it.

Jut Rut