Like most things in life, you always have to pay the piper at some stage and after my epic shredding efforts of yesterday, today was the day my body was going to be making that payment. Much like a day after making a big effort in a stage race (see TDF break away riders the following day), it quickly became apparent to me on my warm up runs that I was going to be suffering a bit today, not just in the T Rex arm department, but all over.
But, I could not let my unconditioned roadie chassis get in the way of the shredding, especially as I had the day back on the dream bike! It was time for another V10c test. Differences this time? A few:
- On to a Large size… I rode the medium V10 the other day, so wanted to see which way I would lean (fucking right over shredding as it turns out)
- Fox 40 forks – A real fork, not like the rubbish Boxxer I had to endure the other day
- No insurance… Hmmm, you break it, you buy it, so keep the MF upright
- Zee brakes – This caught me out as I thought it was a full Shimano Saint build, but according to know it alls these are as good as Saints… so lets see shall we?
Here is the beauty, in amongst the beauty (halfway down Original Sin):
It wasn’t until my first Garbanzo run that I realised that the Large V10 was giving me the Marsellus Wallace treatment and I was too tired to get on terms with it… It wasn’t ball size for once, it was that overall feeling of being flogged to shit from all my carving yesterday. Yes, I had emerged from the rest day on Monday with fever and blown all my cookies. This is not a new phenomenon to be fair – If you’ve ever been to a movie with me you’ll note I eat all my popcorn before the movie starts and if you put a lemon flavoured beverage in front of me I will consume it in one go… Alas it felt like I had done the same with my reserves.
Again, not to be deterred I kept hitting Garbanzo laps in the hope I would come right (and not go down in a blaze of carbon fibre smashing glory). All the while trying to do the 3 things which are critical here:
- Eyes up – Sounds simple, but you have to keep your eyes up the track and looking where you want to go, easy right? Its the first thing you fuck up when tired or under the pump, but awesome when you get it right
- Arm up – This is easy on flat terrain, but here due to the camber and speed of approach it feels a lot harder to do, essentially you have to get your outside arm up, straighten the inside (the ATTACK position) and lean that bad boy in… Get it right and you are rewarded with an orgasmic berm carving feeling that makes you say ‘Fuck yeah, feel that’. Not that I say stuff like that of course.
- Loose hands and off the brakes – Here’s the key, if you death grip the bars, your hands will surrender via calluses or arm pump… the best thing to do? Hold on lightly, but NEVER, EVER let go… Again, counter intuitive when you first try it, but gold when you can do it.
Must be time for a gratuitous scenery shot to break up my ravings?
So how did my persevering go? Well, I finally cleaned Original Sin like a dirty floor, wiping away my failure to negotiate its hardest section yesterday by dealing with it today, it put me under the pump with the final rock section, but it was ticked off the list as being cleaned out (with a second beat down later in the day for good measure to prove it wasn’t a fluke).
However, I was still having trouble working out if the Large size was better for me? A conundrum as I was still pretty rooted and was having trouble bringing the beast to heel… Especially down Blue Velvet. It was hauling into berms so fast I couldn’t slow it down. So, a quick break and some food and I had another crack at it…
Back to the summit and time to hit No Joke, a Technical black run with everything you could ever hope to have thrown into your grill on an MTB trail… I was under the pump and then decided to carve into Duff Man, with more Gnar than you could shake a V10 at… I was massively under the pump and was about to have my mind overwhelmed and melted by epicness when I came across a couple having a fight on the trail. I love these moments, sure, there are some girls here that absolutely shred it to bits, but this was not one of those situations and instead of coming to his senses and admitting choosing Duff Man was a bad call, the frustrated BF had his c0ck voice on and they engaged in a day ruining argument whilst blocking the trail… Handy, but I needed a breather, so was happy to watch the spectacle.
Shortly after this I hit the biggest rock drop in that I have done so far… Got it on film which is a bonus, I knew it was coming, but it still gave me a massive ‘Oh Fuck’ moment when I crested it and I was sure I had lost momentum and was about to have a world class shit eating moment, but this is where the V10 does its magic. Its hard to explain, but this bike has capability beyond what your brain is wired to expect. Every time I thought it was OVER and I was going to go down, it dealt with whatever was the challenge and looked at me as if to say “Fuck, seriously? I win world cups man, what is wrong with you? Ride faster… you don’t ride road bikes do you?”
Testament to this performance? I had an absolutely ripping run down Ninja Cougar and A-line this afternoon, dispelling any concept that the bike was the wrong size, this thing was super stable and confidence inspiring. I love this bike in the same manner that people who love their animals can’t stop themselves from putting pictures of them on social media channels (you know who you are – Stop that shit).
After cleaning A-line the best I have managed so far on the trip I decided to quit while I was ahead in the 28 deg heat and drop the beast back to its cage… Sure I had a run or two more in me, but that is the danger zone when you have a volatile mix of confidence and fatigue (and not to mention a bike that wants to do stuff you can’t) and shit can go sideways very quickly in those conditions! Some awards to be dished out:
- The V10c – Yes, I am pussy whipped by it completely, not debating that, its a work of art to look at and it rides like it wants to crush terrain. Its only downside as I have said before is are you good enough for it?
- Jumping – Its getting better and better, no doubt a result of the V10, but I am finally getting to where I was last time I was here, so need to measure my nuts later as am sure there is a direct correlation between the two
- The bike park – I have ridden 90km’s of pure DH in two days and descended close to 10,000m in that period… WTF. Hard to do that anywhere else in the world.
- Shimano Zee brakes – Ok, so not a total loser… Still a quality Shimano san product, but unfortunately had trouble bringing a rabid large V10c to a stop and aren’t as powerful as Saint brakes in my opinion. People will say that they are, which means they were too tight to buy the saints and want to make themselves feel better
- Traffic – There didn’t seem to be a lot of people in the park today, except when I got to a good section… Yielding not a strong point for some people here and trying to overtake a nervous rider in a jump section could easily result in ending up like a Dutch lead out man
- Fox 40 fork – Ok, harsh yes… Again, not a total loser and better than a Boxxer, but give me my 888 any day I think.
Trail of the day – Tough one today… The lower (final) part of Blue Velvet is so glorious that I want to write songs and poetry about it or set up a cult to worship it… But I have to go with the No Joke and Duff Man combo that took me from top to bottom and absolutely put me to the sword pressure wise, I was glad that I could rise to the challenge and get it done. Stoked I nailed the section on Original Sin that got me yesterday as well.
Celebrity watch – Saw Cam McCaul today… Absolute shredding legend. If you don’t know who Cam is (suspect most won’t), he’s a Pro and oh, here he is jumping over a river, just because:
I suspect given how pumped I felt today that tomorrow will be a sleep in and an afternoon session… Yes, only 2 days of riding left, but its not a stage race and getting it right on a few runs is better than being a zombie on lots of laps. Parting shot? How about Whistler Village in the evening dusk? Fuck I am getting artistic… Or Autistic depending on your view: