WORDS Nathan Bailey PHOTOS Austin Michels
Howdy Wheelbaser’s! I’m back with another recap of a super rad event! This time I visited Jefferson, North Carolina for the NCDH Mt. Jefferson DH Race! This was the first year of this event, but that did not limit the fun we all had. There was a great turnout in all aspects: Riders, spectators, and sponsors. All them contributed to make the event more successful than anybody ever hoped for. This Mt. Jefferson race was truly well planned, organized, and executed. Local volunteers and Mt. Jefferson State Park Ranger’s all helped the race run smoothly, from shuttling spectators to marshalling the course. NCDH really know’s how it’s done!
Mt. Jefferson’s race course consisted of 2 miles of smooth pavement with 3 hairpins and a long straight into the finish line. For a racer’s input on the course, I asked Original team rider and lady shredder, Emily Pross, for her insight:
The course is fantastic! It’s definitely one of the best premier race courses on the East Coast. It’s fast, it’s technical, and it’s simply amazing. This is the closest thing we have to skating California out here in the East. North Carolina is very gnarly and this is an excellent venue. I love coming out here and racing with these guys. It get’s super tight and enjoyably competitive too. – Emily Pross
On the first day of the event, dry weather riders took full advantage of practice runs that ran all day long. Riders took every opportunity possible to skate this beautiful mountain road, and they ripped it hard! They also enjoyed breaks in between runs while spectators were shuttled up and down to various hot spots on the course. These breaks made it easier on, not only the bystander’s legs, but also the racer’s. The intermittent time spent out of a tuck was positively appreciated.
The second day—race day—brought forth another daunting challenge besides the already hectic course: Rain. An exceptional amount of rain fell Sunday without a single break in the showers. This did not stop the true racers though, as those who had rain wheels threw them on their boards and took their morning practice runs. I don’t think the Vancouver natives even noticed it was raining at all. Ha, ha!
Race heats began and the top two riders in each advanced. Rain separated the men from the boys, or at least the prepared from the unprepared. No disrespect given to those who opted out due to weather, as this was not the course to try to trump. But those who chose to stick it out weren’t afraid to get down and dirty in some tight race heats. It was truly exciting to watch. To the surprise of most, riders kept it clean and got through racing without any serious injuries.
This first iteration of NCDH Mt Jefferson Race event was as huge success and this event is sure to grow even bigger in the years to come. I can’t wait to return in 2016 and possibly try my luck at this killer East Coast gem. All of you are encouraged to come out for yourselves and support NCDH in spreading the stoke and the scene to uncharted territories in North Carolina and beyond. The NC crew really knocked it out of the park on this one, and I want to thank them on the East Coast community’s behalf. Thank homies!
NCDH, Mt. Jefferson State Park, on course paramedics, all the volunteers, every local and spectator who came out, Dan Oliver, Loaded, Orangatang, Sector 9, Local Clothing, Recess, Ian Tilmann Foundation, Human Powered Transportation