Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gatorade Free Flow Tour at Mtn. High, Big Bear, and a crazy storm in SO CAL!

I flew into Long Beach, CA airport on the evening of the Friday the 15th. My mom picked me up from the airport, and we drove back to her little cottage in Laguna Beach. My friends Kumara and Megan flew down from Washington to compete at the Burton Am series. We decided to meet up, and they stayed at my mom's house. The timing couldn't have been better for us all to get together, and our epic weekend began.

We woke up early Saturday morning to go shred Big Bear. Before we left for the mountains, we cruised down to the beach to go get a look at the ocean. It was a beautiful morning, so we snapped a couple of pictures, grabbed some coffee, and got on the glorious California freeway system. It ended up taking us about 2 and a half hours to finally get there, due to some poor navigating on my part. When we got there we had to park in the overflow lot about a mile down the road. We were herded into trucks like cattle to get a lift up to the base. When we arrived it seemed that everyone was in a perpetually bad mood, with the exception of us. We tried not to let it bother us, it was a beautiful day, a new mountain, and good friends, so we were stoked. We rode hard all day with big grins. At one point we had another run-in with some angry californians. This woman accidentally almost ran into me, while I was coming off a box, and we nearly collided. I rode off and wasn't going to let that bother me. Then, what do I know but this same woman was coming after me down the hill screaming at the top of her lungs, with her four kids following behind her. What a scene! We were all laughing way too hard to even hear what she was saying, and we continued on with our shred. Not an hour later, some 6'4" man on a snowskate comes up to me, gets in my face, and says "are you that fighter chick?!" I was like "No. I'm not sure what your talking about." Kumara, Megan, and I keeled over with laughter again at the thought that this MAN was seriously trying to pick a fight with a 19 year old, 120 lbs. girl. Eventually after he got out his lung full he left us alone and we had a great rest of the day.
We took our time driving back to the beach, stopping along the highway here and there to take some fun pictures. We must have looked ridiculous to onlookers that were driving by as we were striking crazy poses, and doing yoga positions in the spectacular sunset behind us. It was a great day, and to top it all off was a double-double animal style with fries and a chocolate shake:)

Sunday the 17th I competed in slopestyle at the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Stop at Mtn. High. Fortunately it was a beautiful day, and the weather held through the end of the competition. The course was so much fun. Admittedly, I thought the course was going to be slightly bigger, but I was happy to see some very inviting, fun 30-35 footers. Practice went really well, and I was having so much fun riding. I had a couple hours to kill before the girls heat, so I went and explored the mountain. There were a lot of features, and people everywhere. It was more like an obstacle course than taking a lap through the park. It was all fun though, and very good practice. By the time our heat started it was about 12:30. I was in the middle of the heat, so I had plenty of time to get stoked with my music, and visualize my run. I was feeling good when the starter tapped me to drop in. My first run went perfect, so I decided to step it up on my second run. I've never tried a cab 540 in a competition before, but after all of my positive energy and visualizing, I went for it. Success! Feeling pretty confident after my runs, I took it easy and hung out with my awesome mom and her boyfriend, we chatted and got some food from the lodge. The chargers game was on, people were going nuts! I remembered I am in southern California. The awards started around 4, and they were short and sweet. I am so happy that I got 1st, and won a trip to Vermont for the finals on Feb. 5-7th. It couldn't have gone better, I will never forget that day.
The following day I decided to go meet up with Kumara and Megan at Big Bear again for the Burton Am Series. I wasn't planning on doing that competition originally but I heard about it while I was out there and figured I might as well! We were having a blast together practicing, and getting ready for the competition. Of course, the girls heat was the very last one, so we had to fight the weather. Luckily, the first 5 or 6 girls to drop out of the 30 of us that were there, were able to get enough speed to clear the first jump after the first rail feature. For the rest of us, we had to skip the first jump, which was detrimental to our scores. By the time we got back up to the course to take our second runs, they decided they were going to score us on one run, and call off the rest of the competition, and finals. But that's just how it goes with weather, and it was still a fun comp. anyways. Kumara took 2nd along with some cash, so I am stoked for her!!
By the time the awards had ended, the weather had taken a turn for the worst. The wind gusts had knocked over a power line, and the whole town of Big Bear had no power. It was a frantic scene, people scrambling everywhere trying to find chains to get down, and supplies to post up. My mom and I decided it was a better idea to just stay in Big Bear for the night. We found a room at the Big Bear Chateau off Moonridge Dr, down the street from the mountain. The hotel had no power either, but we weren't about to let that bother us. We had a great time roaming about the room and hotel in the dark, with screaming children, and angry people all around us. Around 7 the power came back on, and we got to enjoy the rest of our stay in comfort. My mom and I left at around 8 in the morning and had a nice window of time between the storms to drive home. When we got there, the storm was in full force again. The ocean was raging, wind was blowing giant tree branches clean off trees, and the streets were literally flooded. It was amazing to watch the forces of nature at work. I have never seen that much rain in so little time before..... ever.
The storm subsided, and we made it back to Long Beach airport. My mom and I grabbed a quick bite to eat in a cute little cafe in the upstairs of the terminal. We said our goodbye's, and I made my way to security. My plane was slightly delayed due to weather, so I got some quality reading time in. The flight went smoothly, with little turbulence, and I landed around 12 midnight. The airport was totally empty except for my wonderful boyfriend waiting at the bottom of the stairs with a huge smile on his face. A perfect way to end my trip.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Canyons NYE Rail Jam 2009

The Canyons hosted their 3rd annual New Years Eve rail jam on Thursday, December 31. They went all out this year. The setup was awesome! You had an option of two zones. Zone 1 started you off with a nice single barrel down rail, to a double barrel down-flat-down, to a fence. Zone 2 contained a fun box with a nice little drop off the end, to a giant corrugated tube, that you could either jib, or hit like a jump, ending with a VW Rabbit Jib.
All of the riders were pumped and the session commenced. We had about an hour long jam session, throughout which judges were tapping riders and letting them know whether or not they made finals. Al
l of the finalist were given glow sticks! After receiving one I decided to take it easy until finals started.
After a short intermission to fix the course finals started. By that time the snow had slowed down a little bit, and everyone was tired. There were a couple of bad falls due to fatigue. In the end I came out on top with $100 and Alice Gong took second.
I hope The Canyons continues to put on events like this. It was so nice to go to an event that was well maintained and FUN! The crowd was pumped, live music, fir
eworks, what more could you ask for?

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Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows

Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows