Beacon DDHD Will Not Die.

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Written and Shot By Mike Estes.

So, there I am, minding my own business on Facebook one day this winter and I discover an announcement of the ‘Double Down Hoe Down 2014’ was officially set. WAIT A MINUTE! Last year you guys announced it was ‘No More DH Racing At Beacon’ and made the entire NW DH community spazz out thinking that one of the greatest venues will be under a housing development? SAY IT ISN’T SO!

Well, ladies and germs, unbelievable to me, The AllGravity Series 2014 #1 event was scheduled for Mar 21-22nd. I was in total disbelief thinking to myself “Really, Spring DH Camp is back on?!?” I made plans with some friends whom I pestered for weeks in advance only to get the news that I’m solo for this years trip due to schedule conflict. I didn’t hesitate to go as I personally have a pretty good history of earning podiums. Something natural for me, opening race, of the year (I did this in skiing as a grommet) is a can-not miss situation for me. It also sets the tone for the rest of the year. Which means I always get a good result. Confidence set.

I convinced my little brother Jared, to tag along with me for support. I forgot he had no drivers license and he has this frustrating ability to ‘over-think’ the simplest tasks. So he got to experience Beacon Hill for the first time. With Baker (my dog) and all the gear for camping at Camp Selkani packed in the trusty Dodge Caravan, we left Portland early Friday, first stop was Multnomah Falls. Such tourists.

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We drove the 6 hour trip in 5 hours. Roadtrips make for good photos. Instagram consumes me. (@m_estes)

We drove the 6 hour trip in 5 hours. Roadtrips make for good photos. Instagram consumes me. (@m_estes)

I arrived and signed up. Thankfully Barry and Josh were at the helm to answer our questions, mostly I asked ‘Why is there a 3 stage Enduro’ race this same weekend? Can you guys pull it off? That’s 5 timed runs?” I candidly inquire. Josh didn’t hesitate to say “We got this- it will be fun!” I respond “To who, the poor souls who are taking 5 races’ runs or the DH’er that’ll have to wait for this to conclude?” It was apparent both types of gravity lovers were happy to have a bike event period.

I was there for the DH, just the Sat race too. I knew the energy it takes to push a DH bike up and ride down a 2 min long track- its 20 mins of pushing for that 2min gravity fed reward. I love this track, its like a 4X track strewn in-between granite boulders- sweet jumps including a road gap, steep granite chutes into tight trees, line options are there- but you gotta be looking out for them, ending your run down the ‘Hollywood’ section thru cheering crowds and into two punishing jumps to anyone ‘out of gas’ is truly humbling. I live for it.

Friday’s Practice was like a class school reunion. Hugs. How ya doing? Long time no see! It was awesome. Oh thats when you find out the kids who race JR X in years previous are now pro- like Nikolas Clarke.

 

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Jesse Ransavage, plate #333, that is only 1/2 to the # of the beast, so would he just be a beast in training?

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Nikolas Clarke- Rookie Pro, learning his lines before the big show on Sat.

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Stage 3 of the Enduro, Rider Unknown, but I love the rusty ass barn for the backdrop.

Sat, race day. The previous night I froze my ass, trains blowing horns all night long too. The DH race didn’t start until 1pm, or so we thought- the 3 Stage Enduro kinda went longer than expected. So lots of time to warm up. I hit the lower section of the course where one jump leads into an off camber turn- I focused on this because everyone was crashing there, myself included.

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Kuu-Kuu Cha-Choo its the Walrus! Jesse sunning his Seal Lion-like torso in the warm NE Washington Sunshine.

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We patiently waited for the timed runs. Mitchell Schmitty of this other PDX Bike Shop that shall remain unmentioned was one of the first groups to go- amazingly- after taking this photo- I literally dove outta his way- Wild Man on Track!

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Follow @Shit_MTBRS_Wear on Instagram. This guy made the cut. Guns out Payton Manning!

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Notice anything unique about Kyle Thomas bike? Oh its a 27.5 DH bike you say? Yes it is. Its not available to the public either- so drool on that product searching nerd-bots.

Mr Thomas earned the King Crown winning all 3 stage races of the Enduro and won both DH race runs on two separate tracks. He also slept in the parking lot Sat night…….what a manimal. I hope to be his finanical advisor after the race, at the bar.

I did what I set out to do- I earned a step in the Cat 1 40+ class which is now deemed the most competitive and watched class. Denz put it down to beat me, but Connolly has the greatest race career going at the moment- stoked to share the podium with both these ‘Mighty Mouses’. But this was only the Sat DH- there is a 2nd race on Sunday.

That good ole Estes Steeze!

That good ole Estes Steeze!

The DJ scene in Beacon is unreal- check this 16sec video out: http://instagram.com/p/l3Tu4TGS62/

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Should I stay and race on Sunday? Hell No! We froze our asses off and after awards we packed up, headed to Taco Time for Taco Cheeseburgers (my tradition in Spokane) and somehow drove the 5 hours home- And I’m not sure that was a smart idea now that I think about it. I was heavy eyed from Hood River to PDX, but we pulled it off.

Until next year Beacon Hill, until next year.

-Mike Estes

 



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