The Mountain has patience…
The Mountain has been waiting a long time… Millions of years even (Dok knows the exact date by licking the rocks, but he went all shy and wouldn’t tell me)…
And the Mountain has a LOT of time on its hands in the future…
Unfortunately, we did not. Yes, it was the last day of Shredpocalype II, day 8 for me and day 7 for Herr Doktor. The previous day had left us with the impression that we were turning turd, so would we freshen up, or would we start to turn white? The Mountain was there, taunting us and watching us… Mocking our feeble chassis’, knowing that deep fatigue of both the mind and the body was knocking on the door, but would it make it inside?
We were almost ready to roll for the final day when we ran into this epic relic from bygone days when Cannondale used to make rad DH bikes and even win world cups or world champs, remember the CG days anyone? Yes, before they went full XC nerdery and even invented new categories from the minds of cunts (over mountain? Nice one Dorel Marketing gimps), they used to make some big bangers. Behold the JUDGE:
The first time I came to Whistler 3 years ago I have no idea how I did 2 weeks straight smashing in Lap after Lap… Its beyond me to be honest. I could sense when we rolled out of the hotel that everything was already feeling like the hang over you have the day after a corporate office party where I’d fallen off the buffet table whilst trying to put my face in the Chocolate fondue fountain (allegedly). The key to the last day is to not spend the last day saying its the last day, if you know what I mean. Sadly, it was the last morning at the Lift Coffee Company:
Right then, enough Asian style photos of food and coffee, we still had another day of riding to jam in before catching the saddest bus ever that night. The final day was all about trying a few different camera angles. Truth be told my Go PRO planning and choreography has been appalling on this trip and I now have 80 hours of random footage to search through to make decent Dirty Videos with, still, some of it isn’t too bad. At least the chest mount gives a better impression for how steep some of the riding is:
Of course no footage would be complete without everyone’s new favourite angle, the Spidermonkey! Fuck yes this is such a weird angle, which is why its critical to throw it in here and there, it massively gives the Dok the shits:
The last day was slightly problematic as well… I will get to the fatigue in a moment, but first we had to contend with all sorts of calamity. To start with, Dok’s Go PRO was ejected from its case by a nasty rear wheel strike (rear wheel angles and path clearly not my thing – “Looks sweet there mate”), resulting in a CSI like grid search to retrieve it.
Unfortunately, the next item to disappear never returned… One Leatt Neck Brace, yes, not the cheapest thing to lose, but it points to our mental state. First Herr Doktor didn’t realise he had left it behind and I didn’t even notice he didn’t have it on, clearly my time as a floor warden when I was a corporate zombie didn’t help with my safety focus. Its a good ad for how comfortable Leatt neck braces are though, you don’t even notice its there… Even when its not actually there.
Yes, the Fatigue had us. I am not ashamed to admit it, I felt fucked. How does it manifest itself? Two ways:
- Mental deficiency – Aside from me trying to put my neck brace on backwards in the morning and having a tantrum when it wouldn’t work, the brain just starts to struggle to cope with basic functions whilst riding. It doesn’t seem to see the lines, its slow to act and overall decision making is on par with that time when you’re cunted at the office party and decide to explain to the boss why he and your peers are gimps (allegedly)
- Physical embarrassment – This is more obvious… Sections you would previously cream pie with extreme prejudice just start to feel totally fucked. Braking in the wrong places, body not moving, hips locked, can’t get the weight back through a fast berm, loading it up wrong before a jump… You essentially start to look like a bovine on a hard tail with your stiffening style.
I seriously could not get into a groove… Braking badly, couldn’t move my hips and it felt like the Dirty Demo was riding me and not the other way around. Even on simple stuff I felt ragged and had trouble getting the brain synced with the body. Its even more of a mind fuck when you think back to how you were rolling during the Golden Period.
The only thing for it was to keep trying experimental Go PRO cut in angles, as its hard to see how shit I’m riding with angles like this:
Or try an angle that gives a much better sense of speed by getting as low as possible… Just check that the mount doesn’t shake because you’ve used 18 pieces of Go PRO attachment to make it work, cock:
After investing some more time searching for the elusive neck brace, it was time for the last drinks break and perhaps try a new addition to the DH diet plan with some bad ass Hotdogs:
A couple more runs down trails we usually finger to bits, but I was now struggling to hold on in, indicated that it was indeed time to do the thing that you never want to do, but feel so spent that its inevitable at some point: Call an end to the trip.
Honestly, its FUCKING hard… You stand at the bottom of the lifts where shredders are buzzing around you, coming down and getting back in the queue for more. You look around at what is effectively Disneyland for Downhilling. Even though you’re solidly in the diminishing returns zone, you want to do MORE… Its addictive and no one ever wants to leave… But at some stage you have to surrender to the hideous inevitability of the last spray down:
I will no doubt do a more solid rant on the Aava Hotel in the wrap up post, but it was an excellent HQ for Shredpocalypse II, especially the bike concierge and tuning set up that they have available, Dirty recommendation for sure. Dok administers the Australian Customs wash down:
We both felt disgusted that our Dirty Demo’s were no longer, well, dirty. Yes, it feels somewhat criminal to wash off the Shred HQ dirt and start that awful dismantling process. In spite of my reluctance to own something from the Big S, as well as join the hordes of Demo owners, I have to say that this thing has been an absolute weapon on this trip, allowing me to ride in a way that I have never managed before, ever:
There was time for one more sifting beer in the village stroll before it was time to punch out. Want to torture yourself? Sit in the heart of awesomeness in your last hour in town and watch people heading to the lifts for their late arvo shred time… Knowing the minutes are ticking down before you have to climb those steps onto the bus of horror that will take you away from Nirvana for another year (melodramatic enough for everyone?). Of course, BC throws in the taunting ALL the way back to the airport for good measure:
Yes, indeed, its even harder to leave Whistler than a lunch time shagging session (allegedly), even when you’re flogged out and need a few days break – Yes, there will be some commentary on format in the wrap up post. Still, it was time to start the time warp trek back to the Global Hub. Whilst leaving is tough, we were both mega stoked with the trip, its been a legendary addition to the experience bank.
There was only one thing that could save us on perhaps the cuntiest of return trips in the DN arsenal, yes, Herr Doktor’s Platinum One World card… BOOOM! Sure, he had to fly the worst route possible in the aviation world several times to get it, but we were about to enjoy its membership privileges whilst we hated on leaving:
So… there we are… Shredpocalypse II is locked into the Dirty history book. I am so far behind that this is actually coming at you out of the Global Hub back in SG, where PWD (Post Whistler Depression, an actual medical term – Confirmed by a real Doktor) is already kicking in, hard. With heavy heart and flogged out hands, its time for the last daily essentials:
1. Trail of the day – The Blue Technical line… Not its real name, but the simplest way to describe about 6 different trails that run off the top of B-Line and saved me a lot of time explaining to the boys what we were doing next. Its a great way to hit some tech when you’re perhaps not fully on your game.
2. Gear of the day – DEMO (default award). Leatt neck braces. Aside from saving your life potentially, they are so comfortable you don’t even notice them. Even when they’re not actually there.
3. “What did the Dok say” (sing it) – “Am I missing something?”
4. The Wolf void – To make sure no one misses out, in this daily essential we hypothesis what it would have looked like on the final day if Das Wolf had joined his gravity brothers:
I shall now start the mammoth task of wading through more Go PRO footage than a weekend at Red Bull Rampage, stay tuned for that action as the shredits come together over the following weeks… Not to mention the traditional wrap up love.