Friday afternoon at the Nevis Range for SDA Rd 2. Arran and I had a 4 hour car journey from home and were raring to walk the track, despite the crazy wind and heavy showers. I must say, this was an epic track walk. Bottom to top and back to bottom again in 4 hours with heavy rain and high winds at about 6pm. Should have got the gondola up! The track was looking as fast as ever and would definitely be a demanding race.
I woke up Saturday morning and it was raining…again. Oh well, it was time to get some breakfast and sign on. After standing in a massive queue to sign on I eventually made it back to our set up and fitted my number board to my bike. I knew the track here well and felt I didn’t need to do heaps of runs and tire myself out, so I started late and got 1 run before lunch then a further run after lunch. The track was riding really well but was pretty sluggish in areas so I decided to whip on some thinner tyres and lighter tubes. Big thanks to Schwalbe UK for providing me with my Muddy Marys! My TR450 and Marrzochi 888s were working amazing as always. Also my Gravity chain device, chainset and wheels were strong on the rocks. The strength of my Fi’zi:k saddle was also tested, being hung from the gondola, taking the full weight of the bike, in high winds and came out on top with flying colours. I made my way to the top again for another run and half way down, my tyre changing skills failed me with my tyre blowing off and resulting in me having to carry my bike half way down the track, missing the final few hours of practice. Not to worry, still some time before racing on Sunday!
Race day and the showers were still around. After my appalling Saturday practice of 2 and a half runs, I aimed to squeeze in 2 runs before racing started. First run down and I had forgotten how good the track was running! I had a great run which gave me some confidence I needed after Saturday. I was feeling the tiredness coming so I decided to take it easy and keep it at one run in the morning. I changed in to my race gear and wrapped up warm to wait until I could go to the top for my first race run. A quick spin on the trail bike around the car park to loosen up, I grabbed a banana and headed to the Gondola. There was talk of the weather taking a turn for the worse later on which would mean racing would be cut short to one run only. This meant I had to get in that frame of mind to just pin it and nothing else. I reached the top and had twenty minutes to kill, so I stepped on the steed and started cycling around to warm up. Twenty minutes later I was called to the start and it was time for my run. I pinned the whole top section as I knew that was where I could make up some time which would then allow me to get through the woods clean and leave me with the bottom section to stay smooth and dig deep on the final pedal. I exited the woods after taking it easy and getting through with a minor stall. I took it smooth after that until the final pedalling section. I had only made one small mistake by then and I gave it all on the pedal. As I came into the finish I heard my time with a 5:16, 11 seconds ahead of second place Stuart Wilcox. I was stoked with my run and I don’t think it could have got much better! After delays and some big crashes on course, second runs were cancelled which left me with the win and Arran putting in a solid run with a stupid mistake putting him in 8th, just 3 seconds off Dan Atherton and a podium place with a 5:12.
All in all the weekend was a success. I managed to gain confidence from a solid time and Arran was beginning to feel he was getting near the pace.
Thanks to Ian Linton for the photographs.
Big thanks to all our sponsors:
Bring on BDS Rd 3 at Glencoe in a fortnight!
Take a run down the Fort William SDA #2 track with Bikesoup Gravity team DH ripper, Arran Gannicott.
I’m getting ready for another full season of contests and film trips so I wanted to put together some of my favorite photo’s and video’s from this years off season for you to check out. After another successful year with the Showdown I was ready to the start my off season.
Traveling around for the year from comp to comp is always good times but when you have the chance to hangout and have sessions around home its never bad either. My first trip I took was down to San Diego to ride some downhill. We hit up a cool DH trail at James Vissar’s house and then sessioned a couple of dirt jumps spots while we were there. Check out this video that my buddy Chris Kiker put together from the trip.
During that trip I got the idea to mount my phone on my helmet to film Point of View angles while we were riding. When I got home I started the project with my buddy Shelby that you can check out at www.pom-cam.com
I spent most of my winter riding building and working on that project.. My first trip of the year was a couple months back. It was a two week film trip to the Philippines that Niki Leitner and Linus Sjoholm, my Adiridas teammates joined me on. The story should be coming out soon so keep a look out. It was one of the best trips I’ve been on so I’m stoked to share all the videos and photo’s when its ready.
After the trip to the Phillipines Long Nguyen a photographer who also shot our Philippine’s trip came into town to shoot a photo story called “In My Life”. We ended up having a bunch of friends in town from Canada so it was a solid week of riding and shooting.
Next up was a trip down to Las Vegas for a BMX dirt jump contest. I went down with Greg and Tyler and we ended up being the only guys on MTB’s at the contest but the BMX dudes didnt seem to care at all. It was a rad trip and I’m stoked we got to ride with some of the biggest names in the BMX world.
Click to watch video.
After Vegas I had my buddy Makken from Norway staying with me so him, Greg and I headed up to Portland for the Pedal Nation bike show to do some demos for the weekend.
After Pedal nation we got back home and got ready for Sea Otter. This year at Sea Otter was different then last. They had a full on jump setup where they held two jump jams during the weekend and a speed and style race. I’m glad they finally brought back a jump jam because it made for a good weekend. Also inbetween rinding the speed and style and the jump jam we were able to session the airbag that the Camp of Champions brought all the way down from Whislter. It was a good call bringing it down because I know it was a highlight for a lot of people.
After Sea Otter was the post office jam. Like every year tons of riders and spectators showed up and we had a rad day at Post Office. This is one of my favorite jams of the whole year because it’s where I live and everyone is in town to hangout and ride.
Just a couple days before I was getting ready to fly out for the first comp of the year I had a hard crash and did a minor seperation to my shoulder. Since I had to take a couple weeks off from being hard on my shoulder I’ve been using my road bike to stay in shape. Last weekend I wanted to challenge myself so I did a ride from Santa Cruz to San Francisco and luckily made it just before dark. I’m stoked I did it but man the head wind up the coast is not fun! http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/34280118
The last couple days I have been able to ride some triails so I think I’ll get to start jumping this week and get ready for my first comp of this year. It’s a silver level event on the FMB world tour called Jump Ship. Its held in the harbor of Victoria, BC so it should be good times. After Jump Ship it’s going to be a full season of contests, film trips and coaching at the Camp of Champions so it’s looking to be another awesome summer.
Check out this video of Casey Groves killing it on both his hardtail and slope bike in his home town (Kelowna, BC).
Check out Kelly McGarry in the 2011 Ranchstyle Slopestyle highlights video.
I just got in from Ranchstyle 2011 in Grand Junction Colorado and what a siiiick weekend it was!
Ranch style is a slopestyle and dual slalom event held on a ranch just outside of Grand Junction, the set up out there is amazing! There are trails that wind all around the homestead, there is a LEGIT dual slalom course that ducks in and out of trees with some biiig options jump wise that save you a lot of time.
But the main attraction for me was the slopestyle course… as soon as I showed up it was the first thing I checked out and I was really impressed! Wooden structures all over the show, fruit bowls, drops, lips and plenty of options when it comes to line selection. The thing that stoked me the most was some DECENT size jumps in the course… some 35/40 ft dirt doubles. I love it when there are some big jumps in the course as it sets the men apart from the BOYS!
We practised all of Friday and I got the course all dialed in for Saturday’s event. The sun rose on Saturday morning and Porter and myself were up early for a photo shoot with our mate Justin Olsen on some cool Colorado trails, then we headed to the course to get ready for the event. The crowd started rolling in and Bender was on the mic with a few beers under his belt pumping everyone up for the event… so funny!
We kicked it off with a 45min qualifying jam which cut the field in half. I gave it heaps and fired out some tricks on the big jumps and made the cut and advanced to the final which was a best of two runs format.
People were going pretty nuts and firing out some big tricks… T MAC with a whip over the 40fter and a double whip on a jump that was SO steep for how fast you were hitting it! Greg Watts was ruling the course with his massive bag of tricks while Bender and Mike Metzger screamed on the mic! Hahahha
My first run was money, I cracked a big ol flip table on the 35ft hip which stoked the hell out of me! When everything was done and dusted I wound up in 3rd place and scored a $1500 pay check! HELL YEAH!!!
We all headed home to drink beers and watch the supercross finals which were running in Vegas that night.
Next day was dual Slalom. I signed up and made it through the first round but drew SLC shredder Mitch Ropolato in the 2nd round… I gave him a dam good go, just getting edged out by .6 of a second.. It was so fun and I will be hittin some more events this season for sure! All in all, it was a super radical weekend, thanks to all involved!
Kelly McGarry, styling through some dirt jumps with the new Gravity Light cockpit!
Congrats to Kelly McGarry for finishing 3rd in the Ranchstyle Slopestyle yesterday!! Here’s the official report via Pinkbike.
“The 2011 Ranchstyle Pro Slopestyle is now in the books. This year brought taller landings, bigger jumps, a massive wooden judging tower and big name riders. With the Ranchstyle Mountain Bike Festival being a silver event for the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour, the event drew riders from all over the US and beyond. This year’s Pro Slopestyle contest saw the most riders in the history of the event, and not to mention an extensive list of world class riders. Names like Greg Watts, Tyler McCaul, Mike Montgomery, Kelly McGarry and so many more, the 2011 contest the past year’s contests out of the water!
The riders were given an hour long jam to layout their best tricks and smoothest runs. Greg Watts stayed true to his “double or nothing” riding, and riders like Mike Montgomery sent floaty flat 360s and a laid out superman backflip. Tyler McCaul sized up the big double line and sent a series of massive tailwhips with a double tailwhip of the Geax sender. Kiwi Kelly McGarry blew away the crowd with his power packed run after several straight air runs. The big story of the day though was young gun Anthony Messere. He came out riding like a seasoned pro send huge tricks on every feature. His riding made such an impact he earned the second place finish below Greg Watts. Kelly McGarry nabbed the number three spot with Mike Montgomery and Tyler McCaul rounding out the top five.”
I have just been at The Upside Down and Under Ground Jam here in Bend, Oregon. The comp is held at jamie Goldman’s house
The weather turned out amazing today and the jumps were hella fun. There was a good size crew that turned up to ride from USA and Canada and every one just rode most of the day and then we had a comp in the late arfo.
The whole thing was super chill and a great no pressure vibe, I was stoked on it. Mitch Chuuubbzz ended up takin the win with some pretty wild riding!
It was a super good way to kick off the comp season. Now im off to Utah in the morning (11 hour drive!! EEEEWWW!) and then onto Colorado for the Ranchstyle comp, yeeeehaaa!
McGarry is staying at Porter’s right now in Utah. He sent us a video…