nochainmatt.jpgPirate Ride #4 

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Watch Matheson on Hoopa Step Down

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I rolled up Big Hill behind schedule, having to pick up da film crew and get our gig together.  As I rounded the final bend and pulled into the trail head parking all fatigue and feelings of melancholy were extinguished by the sight of vehicles lining the road to capacity, bikes being pushed in every direction, and smitten chains dangling from the hands of many.  Practiced revealed that the chainless theme was not one that would have to be enforced, after witnessing the flow that is the Red Tail DH, riders willingly forfeited any thoughts of pedaling for free coasters and charged the mountain.  With an impressive list of thirty plus racers it was a tough one to call.  On hand were many new faces who had traveled south from Oregon as well as local favorites Greg Newkirk, Hank Matheson, Jeremy Rollins among others.  Riders lined up in random order to seed themselves, on a track that was incredibly buffed and bermed.  Coming down first and holding the hot seat for over ten minutes was Newkirk with a nearly untouchable time of 2:51.  All would fall short except for Chinese DH winner Jared Delong, who cruised in with a 2:48, putting serious pressure on all top qualifiers.  While some had troubles in their semi runs most had cruised and had no problem stepping up the pace in the final.  Clouds gathered in the sky and threatned, but remained dormant as the final runs began.  Down first was top qualifier Delong.  Immediately after flying across the line he dropped his sled saying "That is a winning run, I don't think anyone here is gonna touch that."  His calm and confident words proved true as his 2:45 held for the remainder of the day.  Newkirk ragdolled in the top section setting him back into eighth position.  Threat Jake Todd, who failed to seed due to a flat tire, was on pace but a finish line tree hugging incident set him back behind the three minute barrier.  Sliding into second was Hank Matheson putting in an uncharacteristic consistent day.  Robbie Rhall had a fantastic day taking third with a 2:55, proving that his new SWD and practice are paying off.  Despite qualifying first amongst hardtails with a slick tired 3:11, Koa Oliver fell back leaving it open foir Jason Allen to take the hardtail victory.  Soon all riders were to the top, and sessioning a massive road stepdown, impressivel;y stomped for the first time on a hardtail by Oliver.  Awards were to follow with plenty of schwag to go around, wrapping up and heading out just as the storm unleashed its fury on the homeward bound bikers.  Positive vibes prevailed and many promised to return for the SoHum final on April third.  Thanks to all participants and helpers.

Point Standings

Place Rider                                                      Qualifier Final  

1st Jared Delong 2:48 2:45
2nd Hank Matheson 3:00 2:53
3rd Robbie Rhall 3:02 2:55
4th Jeremy Rollins 3:02 2:58
5th Jason Marsiano 3:07 3:01
6 Jake Todd DNF 3:01
7 Matt Snyder 3:05 3:02
8 Greg Newkirk 2:51 3:04
9 Joel Graves 3:12 3:05
10 Jed Olson 3:14 3:06
11 Evan Hobart 3:06 3:07
12 Otis Staples 3:13 3:10
13 Seth Rand 3:31 3:14
14 Jason Reiman 3:18 3:15
15 Jason Allen (1st HardTail) 3:27 3:17
16 Andy G 3:28 3:20
17 Koa Oliver (2nd HardTail) 3:11 3:21
18 Josh York (3rd Hardtail) 3:41 3:27
19 Aaron Anderson 3:57 3:45
20 Blaze Carpenter 3:45 3:50
21 Ray Ray Williams 4:01 4:00
22 Bill McKovey 4:08 4:07
23 Shawn Cole 4:08 4:07
23 Mark Matthews 4:13 4:13
24 David Dodd 3:22 DNS
25 Dave Richmond 3:28 DNS
1st Andy Lane (W/ Chain) 3:07 3:03
2 Zane Longden (W/Chain) 3:31 3:25
3 Jared Longden (W/ Chain) 3:42 3:30
4 Dave Richards (W/ Chain) 3:52 3:50
5 Mike Rinnan (W/ Chain) 4:05 4:11
6 Brian Comsotck (W/ Chain) 4:29 4:18