Here’s a video featuring some Gravity friends and Team Riders
Thoughts from Charlie…
This past weekend was the first race of the season, the Beacon Hill Double Down Hoe Down in Spokane Washington. This was my first race with Diamondback and Gravity, and my first race with my new Teammate Kyle Thomas. At the Double Down there are two races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The plan was to win both days.
The Saturday course was really fun. The top was pretty flat, but the turns were blind and required full commitment. Halfway down the course fed into some steep rock sections, and the bottom of the course was a tight, machine-built jump and berm trail called “Hollywood Hits.” The name of the game was carrying speed, and that’s what I worked hard to do all weekend. Kyle was there to keep me honest and make sure I didn’t ride like a pansy. I made sure to take some time to relax, stretch, and warm up for my run, and visualized what I wanted to do. As I left the start gate, I was just thinking “this is the first race. This is awesome.” At the bottom I knew I had a good run, but I had to wait about an hour to find out. I knew I had a good run, so I was going to be disappointed if I didn’t make it on the podium. I was working on my bike when out of the blue somebody patted me one the back and said “nice work.” I asked why, and apparently I won by two and a half seconds on the 1:48 track. First race, first win, booyah. Local pinner Bryan Crum was on my tail in 2nd place. Bryan always brings his A-game to Beacon, and is the man to beat.
Sunday’s course was a little bit more of a traditional downhill- faster, gnarlier, scarier. Basically it was awesome. Pro Rider and semi-pro loudmouth Bob Stenson found a new line at the top, in a section that’s been ridden for 10 years. Faced with a blind, rocky descending turn, Bob told Kyle and me that he was just going to jump the whole thing. Kyle and I looked at the line and said “your funeral,” and were both totally shocked when Bob actually cleaned his blind mega huck. By the end of the day the Bobby huck was the new line, and everyone was killing it. It’s pretty cool to see a section that’s been raced a million times through a new set of eyes. When race time rolled around I just relaxed, visualized, and shifted into kill mode. This time I definitely put some pressure on myself to win again, so when I heard that I won my reaction was go “thank goodness.” Bryan was 0.2 seconds behind me in 2nd, and another local guy, Rob Crump was in third. This is Rob’s third season riding mountain bikes, so everyone was pretty stoked for Rob.
The All Gravity Series put on another great event. It’s the relazed atmosphere and great courses that keep Kyle and I coming out to the All-Gravity events, and the Double-Down did not disappoint. These were the best tracks I’ve ridden at Beacon, and I’ll definitely be back next year. Kyle and I are feeling really prepared coming into the NW Cup and Sea Otter, and the plan at this point is to just keep winning. It seems like a good plan to us.