There is something about longboarding that brings out the little kid in me. I find myself sitting at work daydreaming about whether or not I have everything packed and ready to go. The anxious feeling to be surrounded by amazing people and beautiful Colorado mountain scenery grows with every moment. If you find yourself visiting my location at work you know how excited I am to share my tales. This tale takes you to Georgetown, Colorado from Olympia, Washington.
It all began over a year ago when I first attended the 2017 Devil’s Peak race. I had no clue what I was getting into. The word on the street is that Colorado has amazing mountain runs and even more amazing scenery. Let me tell you what, the word on the street is not wrong. Between towering mountains and big horn sheep you are always left on the edge of your seat. That is of course if longboards had seats.
My favorite part about attending an event is being able to volunteer and help make things happen. It’s the behind the scenes hard work that makes it possible to throw a successful event. The Venom crew once again held an epic race. It was all possible to everyone that came together to help Justin Rolo stay sane and on track.
Day one of me landing in Colorado I find myself in a nice button up dress shirt doing 30+mph on a bike path. It’s surreal to fly through mountains at such speeds. Fresh air reminds you that you are surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains in North America. As I fly through the country side dodging mountain beavers and bicyclists I cannot drop the smile from my face. It is these moments I cherish dearly.
There is nothing that reminds me how small I am then looking up and seeing a mountain peak towering overhead. You know you’re in Colorado when you find yourself constantly saying, “WOW.” It’s time to stop staring into the beauty of the mountain side and begin to put in work. Gloves, check. Bandana, check. Sunglasses, check. Hay crew, check. This is how you know you’re ready for an epic weekend of Colorado Mountain racing. This check list is just the beginning.
Day two of my journey and I am suited up for some hard work. Hard work that pays off for the better good. We line up the course with hay bails that will help protect riders from sliding off course. The whole day goes by with success. Dirty faces with smiles light up the day. The old saying, “work hard, play harder” suits this day well. Form the hill to the Nobull house the whole day is a success.
The day has come to get some practice runs in and ride next to some of the world’s most talented downhill athletes. The first three runs of the day lead into some really intense rain runs. I take myself enough runs to feel comfortable. I stray away from the 45+mph practice runs in the rain. Instead I share tales of my travels with others from around the globe. The swag bag comes out and the sticker slap commences. Thanks to SmokinJs swag pack I was able to share my love for the company with others. Rolling papers are tossed about and stickers are placed everywhere. Losing my phone charger gives me more time to interact with others and enjoy myself.
The day of reckoning has come! Today is race day! The night before we spent the night celebrating and spinning the “Wheel of Death” to figure out everyone’s placement in the race bracket. For those new to the Pagan ways of Colorado let me explain the wheel. Picture the names of all 150 riders written on a wooden wheel. Each rider takes turns spinning the wheel to determine who they will race. After the wheel lands on your name you spin the wheel to see who is in your race heat on the bracket.
Practice runs fill the morning schedule and we race by the afternoon. 150 riders fill the bracket marking a full registration. You can see the excitement in the face of both the riders and spectators alike. Big Ty awaits every rider with a fist bump before screaming the words, “RIDERS READY…GO!”
I get a good push out front during my first heat and find myself taking an outside line that leads to my competitors passing me on the inside. For the rest of the hill I chase down the pack as we fly at 40+ mph One after the other we fly into the notorious “Party Corner.” This is a 50+mph right hand hairpin. For those that don’t know what a hairpin is let me explain. It is a very sharp turn that usually has you sliding to slow down so that you can make the 180̊ turn. I take 4 th place in my heat resulting in me not advancing. There is no way I am bummed about this. My fellow riders were amazing and kept their cool as we flew down the mountain.
The race day come to an end and everyone is pleased. Tired, sore, and ready to travel home I am. Still, we have one more task before I can embark on my journey home. I’m up at 6:00am and ready to rock and roll. My final day here I spend cleaning up hay from the hill and stacking bail after bail. Our crew was amazing and did a killer job cleaning up. I’d have to add we barely found any garbage left behind by riders or spectators alike. With cleanup a success we enjoy some well-deserved Pho from the local spot.
I don’t know what is fuller at this point; my heart or my belly. We all share stories from the weekend until it is time to give hugs and see-you-laters (it is never a goodbye with me). To me the event starts when I wake up at home and ends when I am back in my bed. Everything in between is what I call an adventure. Win or lose the race, we are all winners at the end of the weekend. My heart I would say is fuller. I’d like to thank everyone involved with both the behind-the-scenes action and those that strapped up and rode this weekend down the mountain.
Remember when I said the adventure doesn’t end until I’m home. Well, it doesn’t end there. I make it to my gate at the Denver airport to find out that the air pollution has delayed my flight to Seattle. I may be tired but no way am I to be upset about anything. I chat up some strangers at the airport and finally make my way onboard my plane. I sit next to an older lady who I find out has some really cool stories and also cannot reach the light switch above our heads. I stay up most the flight sharing stories and keeping this lady company. I’m all about sharing stoke and love everywhere I go. Which is why I fit in so good with the SmokinJs family. We are all alike in the way we spread positivity all around. Even after I land in Seattle my adventure continues. I pick up my belongings from the luggage claim and make my way to my ride. There is a miscommunication with the ride waiting for me and I am left to wait until I have a new one ordered.
Finally, I am on the stretch back home. Back to my friends and family. Back to my job that I love and the city I call home. Good ol Olympia, Washington welcomes me with open arms. As I finish up my journal from my 2018 trip to Devil’s Peak in Georgetown, Colorado I sit in my favorite place to be. The good ol Smokin Js Olympia location. Stop by and say hi if you are in the area. I am always glad to share my tales and show you some cool stuff. Until next time my friends.
Tecate Jon signing out!