Striker’s Tales: Vernon Downhill
It’s Monday after the Vernon DH tour and I’m already exhausted. It really hasn’t stopped since Danger Bay but I’m feeling not bad at the moment. It’s too bad I’m finally getting the mojo to start typing about the last trip here and it’s 10:58PM. Got to work today almost falling asleep tough to get in the mode after a weekend of driving, barking two days straight, and keeping good company. This years Vernon DH was the best in years!
No more IGSA, no more IDF finally after ten years Mischo finally ran this event like we were waiting for. Chuck away the timed qualifying and run race to qualify. That was all it needed. For me and the spectators and the paying racers it was a huge improvement and a step forward.
This year’s entry fee was a $160 bucks for two days of playing and racing. You got a set of these wheels, a sick as water bottle an event t-shirt and two days of the most healthy lunch racers could ask for. Yeah, Mischo fed the racers… twice! Totally worth it if you ask anyone that raced this year.
But that wasn’t all, the cash was flowing to the podiums, everyone that got on the podium got special Vernon DH 10 medals and the open class even got special plaques to add to that. Mischo has raced races all around the world and he sure knows how to make the riders feel good.
It was a special time for me and I’d say on my top five list of best moments ever while on the microphone calling a race but Mischo pulled on his leathers and took some runs. Next thing you know, he was racing in the Master’s class. It felt so good to see the guy ride again. Not sure the whole story but a doctor misdiagnosed him and it caused him to stop racing immediately after eight years of straight bombing hills. He had to stop racing for two years and still shouldn’t be racing. He owns the record for fastest man on a skateboard. He’s been a world champion numerous times. He has devoted his life to downhill, living the visa dream all to be taken away in a split second. Could you imagine? How would you feel?
Mischo pulled on his leathers and it didn’t even look like he was racing. He was rolling in fourth every run as if it was just another run. Tell you the truth I didn’t even know he was racing. But what I couldn’t see was as soon as he rounded the last corner he squeezed into his tuck and passed everyone he needed to pass and eventually was back on top of the podium of the Masters class.
The excitement he had when he ran his first run in two years, clenching his fist like he just won the world championships again. The jolt of everything, happiness, relief and adrenaline, to name a few, pumped through those arms and I could feel it. For the first time in years it looked like Mischo was having fun skating!! It wasn’t about winning it was all about getting on that hill and skating and it really showed.
I came into this weekend thinking maybe this would be the last year but after talking to Mischo and seeing how stoked he was there is no way he won’t run this race again next year, it’s on and he has a few other tricks and ideas up his sleeve so just you wait and see Vernon will strike back with a vengeance in the future and a race that has been so important to our British Columbia scene all these years I was so happy to see the racers support and the racers numbers climb from the previous years!
I got to announce the two days this year and like I said the race to qualify really made a difference to everyone. The crowd stuck around to watch because they got to see racing for two days. The old Vernon DH we would be there watching over a hundred and fifty racers do two qualifying runs. This would mean we would sit there all day on the Saturday watching one rider roll by us on the corner till all the racers were through and then we would bus them to the top of the hill and do it again. It was painful! But this year was the best! Racers got like ten or more runs in on the Saturday!! Lots of action and crashing for all!
Let’s take this from the top now. Mentally struggling with myself over doing another full year or not on the Crib-Bomb. The year from my last years tour sponsors are almost up and the heat is on to try to keep the continued support and or try to drum up new and other sponsors. Without the support from the sponsors this tour would have sank last year guaranteed. I crunched the numbers of this years tour and it’s enough to scare a guy into his home and just relax with his family and collect a cheque from the post office.
I pretty much have a week to keep my sponsors or find now ones or just relax and maybe fade away into the mist like almost every other OG longboarder that I started skating with and now miss yelling at on the microphone. I’ve asked myself, do I really want to do this again. Does anyone care the amount of dedication and heart I put into this. Do the sponsors care about the dedication and heart I put into this. I know most the riders know where I’m coming from that have been on a few tours and know it’s really crazy hard work and it takes a certain type to pull this shit off like I do. The bills pile up fast running this tour and I can’t justify taking a credit card to pay for bumps in the road. Nothings for free and so far I’m $2000 in debt this year and missing some very special moments with my Billie girl. I need the sponsors support but will run the 2014 season even if it kills me.
I woke up and I headed to the F-Bomb, it’s at the stoop for now but it’s a risky spot to park it because the city bylaw will tow its 33-foot ass and charge me huge. I’ve already had a five hundred dollar impound bill and don’t need that again. As I approached the bomb I seen a nice white ticket and I was almost ready to quit right there. The Vernon tour was already putting me in debt and I haven’t even left. I ripped the ticket off my window and read the toilet paper and to my surprise it was a warning ticket. That’s enough to make a guy smile. Great, things were looking up and my mood was changing into a good one.
But this does create a problem for me because I got this ticket on the Friday and by the time I make my way back to my parking spot at the Stoop the city will be back to work and see the bomb there like it was never moved and hit me again with another ticket. I’m on the radar now so the struggle continues with where to park this sucker. If it’s not close to home then that’s another day away from my family. After a long trip that’s all a guy wants is to wake up and see his baby girl’s face and to be there for her. So parking, safe parking is a huge deal for me. Fingers crossed for the moment and thanks to the Stoop crew for looking out for me.
I open up shop and New York east coaster young Tyler Topping shows up and hands me some cash for gas but it was like I was in the 1980s or something, he gave me some old school money for the tank. I wish I could have kept these bills but the gas tank needed a drink and cash is king.
We loaded up and picked up Mike Yardwaste in Abby and met up with team green ripper Raggie, Jonny Yardwaste and awesome king. On our way out of town the boys wanted to hit a run just off the highway so they hit it and I must say I loved seeing the Yardwaste boys kick it hard down the hill. Thrashed it there is no other way to coin it. They have all really stepped it up in the years that I’ve known them I’m excited to see them this year and how they climb the ranks. Stoked! After this run I was in the best mood ever this is what it’s all about! I don’t really have a picture to do this run justice but this is all I could snap that turned out.
Last weeks Sheep Creek Outlaw and Coastal Mountain Tour was a real test on the F-Bomb and its power to continue climbing mountains but even though it made it out of that tour perfect doesn’t mean were all well and good because at the end of the day when your crawling up the Coquihalla summit and you see oil explosions and burnt cars you start to think of things that could go wrong but again, we prevailed.
We were climbing another huge mountain out of Merritt, BC, a route I have taken more than eighty times in my life since I started bombing hills when a big yellow sign caught my eye on the left and it kinda looked like a run away lane sign. I kind of flipped out and asked Bridge if he seen the same thing he confirmed it and I knew this was a hill we had to investigate. What if it was all fresh blacktop? It’s a road beside the highway so it must be a good one.
We got to the top of the hill and turned onto this unknown road and looking us right in our face was a JACKPOT!! We found a magic hill; we just found a secret break check. Not one sticker on the sign this was way too much for me to handle we found a new brake check sign!
It wasn’t the dream virgin blacktop hill I was hoping for but you cant go wrong with a mountain road that resembles the old pavement thirteen years ago on the number five and number three highways. This style of road took me back to my good old days of risking it all now it was the young men, the new generations turn to explore and for me to enjoy.
I jumped into Raggies van and followed the guys down this dusty, cracky pothole filled 8% trying to snap pics but watching and laughing at the same time while staying on the road. I sped up and caught up to bridge and followed him to see how he would fair down this sucker and he was riding it hard and on edge like the rest of the guys. I followed him around a corner and to everyone’s surprise the pavement ended and a dirt road waited for him to test his skills at speed. Bridge came flying into the dirt standing tall trying, committed and ready to giver shit but that all ended in a cloud of blood and smoke. The laughs all around came from the guts but Bridge was the one that took a beating and in the end was ok.
I jumped out of the car knowing that Raggie and Jonny were still coming down the hill and awaited a nice little gift from the magic brake check. Raggie aborted with a nice slide and Jonny dove right in giving us another good old crash to remember, Jonny’s board almost hit me and I don’t know how I blew that shot. Damn!! Awesome King made it down without even getting his clothes dirty, Jonnys knee pads saved him and Mike Yardwaste’s new Cariboo hoser hockey jersey saved him.
We got to Vernon late so we decided to take it easy and maybe get some sleep for once so I was in for that but it was Vernon ten and we did need to play at least one game of beer pong and so like a game of road hockey we decided to suit up and play a couple very quiet games of street beer pong with out sick new Cariboo beer pong table and beer pong kit.
Just like street hockey when a car rolled up the hill we whispered “car” and carefully packed the table with all of the cups off the road to make room for any cars. The odd drunk spectator or late night jogger couldn’t believe there eyes as they made there way home usually ending up in “right on eh!” The wind made it difficult and the hill was hurting every time the ball bounced off the table we were chasing it down the hill, but I did get a little workout so my heart thanks me for that one for now.
Woke up and got to sleep in a little bit and was woken up to riders getting ready and the first aid crew yelling at me to get my ass outside and to the mic. So I pulled myself out of bed and climbed up Mischo’s sketchy ass tower. When I got up there I had to laugh at the cones on the outside of the track to protect the spectators and the hay on the inside corner to protect the rocks.
I love the Vernon DH it’s the only race where the community cares about me. I kinda feel like a king when I’m there really the neighborhood loves me. Last year I got fed for two days straight and my rv got fixed. This year was just as crazy! I took some pictures of some of the gifts I got while keeping everyone entertained.
First I got a plate of chips and a samosa. Then I got this gooey cinnamon bun it was to die for and then a sandwich.
Then I got a really healthy lunch with a tasty sandwich, one organic banana and some vegetables.
While I was eating we ran a Popsicle sucking contest and from now on I think we will make this contest for anyone eighteen and older but it was hilarious.
The next day I woke up to the first aid banging on the RV again but this time he told me that the eggs and bacon was ready and to get my ass to the microphone so you didn’t need to ask me twice.
Look at this breakfast, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s by far one of the best ways to wake up and start calling an event. Then the samosa family decided to hook me up as soon as I started talking about the best samosas in the world. Then I got a Pepsi to suck back after.
Riders kept flying down the hill and I kept on getting yummy food!
Hey and I forgot to mention that slimmer totally took care of the crib-bomb crew and the rest of us look at this picture we took over his alley with not even a problem
Ok, back to the goods now. It wasn’t long until my finger nails were starting to really bug me when I just asked if anyone had some extra clippers I could borrow then out of heaven the tower shook and there were two pairs of nail clippers one for a huge job and one pair for a much smaller more practice job.
Then I talked about burning and my nose getting roasted and like magic I got some really good stuff to keep me safe from the sun.
Then I talked about food again and more banana’s and sandwiches along with a couple more samosas came rolling in from the heavens!
Then a much more unhealthy snack made its way up the tower and these were two cups of heart attacks. I had some though.
I seen a guy eating watermelon and pointed that out and sure enough it was mine in no time. Yum yum yum love this stuff!
Then I started talking about last year and how I got a full on pepperoni pizza, like a full on XL pizza with extra sauce. Then no lie five minutes late boom Fabio and shake and bake ad to the fun and I got his as a gift. Loved the little not on the box too. All I was asking if anyone knew anyone that worked at a pizza shop.
Then I opened up my gift and look at what I got!! This is all while were enjoying the Vernon DH. I couldn’t pass this up. No way in hell! Look at this stuff! And Good Shit Shadow thinks he can eat!
You know while I was up there you cant just sit here and eat eat eat so I hinted I was sleepy and hot then these came up the ladder! Ice coffees and two of them for me. While I was getting all this food I was getting beer as well I was up to a case of beer by now but I was driving so I was giving these away to visitors. I don’t drink coffee but this kicked ass.
The day was still so hot and now after all this lunch a guy needed some dessert and I talked about a dream I was having at the moment of vanilla ice cream with blue berries and strawberry’s then all of a sudden I got two different batches of dessert. It was amazing.
Then Landyachtz had some giveaways and so Wolf brought up two complete Dinghy’s so one was for the kids and one was for the goddess in the house across the street that has been taking care of us all these years. Like ten years straight! The Schnitzel brought two cordless mics so I sent Troy Yardwaste over to the goddess house to award her with the board and to check out her bathroom, bedroom and fridge just to keep me in the loop. This was stuff I needed to know.
Then I dreamed out loud about a grilled cheese sandwich with pickles and extra cheese and ketchup to dip it in. then like my next baby it showed up but where the hell was the milk and where the hell was the ketchup? That’s ok things could be worse I mean she almost burned her house down trying to cook this one and Troy saved the day putting out the fire in the kitchen.
I was getting thirsty again and so before you know it I got three more ice coffees to put Tim snortins to shame. I guzzled them all!
Now it was getting serious and I was really needing to go to the bathroom in a bad way and fast a plate showed up but I couldn’t bring myself to unload on a plate while announcing the Vernon dh ten this time so I called on troy to see if the goddess had a toilet plunger because If I went into her house to destroy her bathroom it wouldn’t be the first strangers toilet I stuffed and flooded. But she had one but I waited, I was hoping for a forklift or something in case something blew inside me trying to get off the scaffolding. Next year I need a port a potty up there I’m thinking.
But I still really had to pee and I wasn’t ready for this all of a sudden a blanket and a ten liter water jug made its way to my hands. Some knew what was going on but for the others they thought there was a ghost flying around the track this year making spooky sounds. It was perfect and it worked I released and was able to continue the show.
Then I got a freezie as soon as the samosa family ran out of samosas they started feeding me freezies. I was happy with that too.
It really was getting late and I was getting hungry again so I talked about perogies and onions with garlic and sour cream and you guessed it, look what showed up shortly after.
Then Jakco won the Vernon DH and that makes him the first Australian to win a Canadian race! It’s a huge task to beat us Canadians on our home turf and he got to celebrate with five other auzzies including little spoons.
After it was all said and done we had to get a shot the three of us it was the Attack of Danger Bay and it was the Sully Challenge and three year later this young man was drilling us about the Vernon DH. The Vernon DH was the young race on the scene and now its one of the oldest. Here a pic of the three of us together. I love it we have been through a lot over the years. Look at my gut after a full day of eating.
Another thing I thought of while I was entertaining the crowd and calling the race was there was no original crew form the old days of coast racing. Everyone is gone, all grown up and moved along. I really miss the old years of yelling at all the boys and making up crazy shit about their lives to the crowd that wouldn’t know any different. I thought of the old days when top gun Jesse Tynan used to rip around this corner and thrash the sidewalk freaking out spectators and getting the loudest cheers. That whole group of friends is gone now. Its all new kids and the kids that were kids have grown up like Riley, little Anna to name a couple but just as I was thinking this one man came flying around the corner and it was the schnitzel. It got me so excited to see this man with those red and white leathers and the old school motorbike white and green helmet still racing. I’ll tell you this right now there is nobody that has listened to me yell and scream, entertain the crowds longer than this guy. There is no other racer in Canada that has raced longer than the Schnitzel. He’s still keeping it real and it makes it all worth it. I’m not alone. Brings tears to a guys eyes! Thanks Shnitz! Thanks Mischo! Love you guys!
The race was over and I could barely move. I couldn’t even walk I had to crap so bad never in my life have I struggled like this. I had to walk up the hill backwards and very slowly to the goddess house. My ass opened the door and I moaned and grown still walking backwards as my ass was sniffing out the whereabouts of the toilet or pool. We found it and the awards ceremony was put on hold till I was ok to walk again.
Oh well, before I go check out a quick clip of the Popsicle sucking contest!
This week I’m off to the Maryhill G-RIDE with a crew to make up for the Skylines race being canceled.
Then back and get ready for the Vancouver Island Disaster Tour. It’s a first for the Cribb-bomb, were exploring new parts of Vancouver Island thanks to Banting and the crew. This tour looks like it could be packed full. But email me to see if we have any room for ya!
The we will get back from that tour rest for a few days and hit the road back to America for the Festival of Speed and its ninth year and Loose Tooth will be headlining the show so I need to find some time with the boys and get crackin’. This trip is almost full as well. Were in full swing and its go time. The Sully Challenge is almost full already so check the tour poster and find the events you want to go to and email me right away.
Thanks to our 2013/2014 Cribb-bomb Tour Sponsors you really save my ass and helped us all make the best memories and stories to tell for years to come. Legend!