Ex-Dragon Downhill honcho and international track builder Jason Carpenter and his daughter Manon (superfast up and coming rider) are out in Whistler, racing Cranky. This is part 2 of their story. (Part one here)
Jason is still getting to grips with actually taking photos and emailing them, but promises that photos will appear soon. Come on Carps, we need photos asap.
Ooops it might have been Andrew Neethling who fell into the water jump not not Duncan Riffle
Day 2 Garbanzo DH day. It all started off a bit hectic, I hit a rock with my pedal late on Saturday afternoon checking out the Garbanzo track and managed to bend my pedal and my crank arm. I had to cannibalise the dual bike for pedals and negotiate a price for a replacement crank off of RaceFace, thanks guys, all before practice which started at 9:30. Managed to get it sorted out on time, only problem is they only had 170mm in PURPLE so my bike now looks positively ’80s.
Practice went OK, we both knew where we wanted to go. The track is so huge there was no way I could remember it all, we just tried to remember where to let go the brakes for the flat bits and where the important lines were. Don’t think I’m going to describe the Garbanzo track I can’t even remember it.
After 6 weeks of dry weather it started to rain just before my run. It was only drizzle though and didn’t really affect the track. I had a sweet run, caught my 45 second guy about 1/3 of the way down, was doing well, then my chain fell off just before the longest, flattest, peddalliest bit of the track, great. I ran, I skooted, I swore, I skooted some more, pumped for a bit of speed and just about made a step up then lost all the speed I had and was passed by the fella I had overtaken ages ago. I followed him down and came in just behind him. 24th place for me, gutted all that work and a mechanical!
I went up with Manon so I could take her coat off her as it was freezing at the top. Her ribs were still hurting a bit from her crash on the dual, said it didn’t hurt riding, just breathing. Not ideal for an endurance downhill race yet she still wanted to do it. I left her at the top and rode down to watch, I managed to watch her in three different places and she looked more exhausted and muddy every time I saw her, poor thing. When I got to the bottom she was sitting in the hotseat so good news there. When it was all over she finished in 6th in pro women, 1minute 16seconds down on the winner. She said she crashed twice and had to stop and catch her breath after one of them.
That was enough for the day as we were both pretty wiped out. Went back to the Ticket2ride lodge for dinner and bike fixing. It’s soooo nice to be able to put a bike in a stand and use decent tools for a change, must remember to invest…..
We had a much needed lie in on Moday morning, my legs were killing me from running in the Garbanzo, I hardly ever run. Plus it was raining hard so the enthusiasm was waining. Manon had a meeting at 1pm to explain how the Womensworx event was going to run so we got kitted up and headed out to this. I sat it out with a nice cappucino. Apparently they were going to judge the girls on a DH section on In Deep and on jumps and tricks on Dirt Merchant, a jumpy track with tables and step ups. DH was to be judged on style, creativity/originality, fluidity, control and flow …..phew. Jumps on style, creativity/originality, amplitude, tricks and flow. Manon racers all jumps so tricks and amplitude were out. Anyways we headed up in the rain and checked out the DH section In Deep. We had ridden it the day before in the Garbanzo race so had some idea of what to expect. It was pretty much the only really hard bit of the Garbanzo race. I think the majority of crashes happened here, Manon had one of her crashes there.
I found a couple of jumps, one a root jump and the other over a stump that hadn’t been ridden before. They both linked the track up nicely as well, I tried it and it seemed to work so Manon found a really nice run up to it and after a few attempts she hit it sweet. She chose a nice smooth line on the next section that was longer than the racing line but looked a lot better. We spent the rest of the day riding in the park in the rain. The rain made A line really grippy compared to the last two days where the long dry spell had made it slick with dust.
We went out for dinner with the Ticket2Ride boys to a Rotissery chicken restaurant (went in the car too cos it was still pouring, a Huuuggggeeeee Ford Explorer, my seat had electric buttons for everything but eject). We ordered chicken only to be told they were out of them, nice. Don’t got to whistler if you are under 19 (or is it 21?) and want to go out in the evenings apres biking like. Even in the bar we were eating in Manon and Ben Moorhouse (18 today – Hapy Birthday) were told they couldn’t play pool!!!! What?!?! Apparently the pool table was in a different area of the bar or something crazy. Same rules as all the bars. Manon was told she could go to the Womensworx party until 8pm then she’d have to leave, nice. On a positive note, they have nice fruit cider here that I had a few too many of and ended up in a mosh pit to a Metallica tribute band. Apparently Palmer was there too but I couldn’t see.
Day 4 – Swim no.2 for Manon and Womensworx
Woke up with a really bad hangover. Missed breakfast. Manon threatened to go riding without me. Dragged my carcase into my body armour and limped to the lift. Forgot how to ride my bike. I was so slow that I lost sight of Manon completely. When I finally caught up with her she was standing on the side of the track soaked head to toe. She stopped to wait for me then missed her footing and fell in the puddle from hell. Not a happy bunny! The mission for the morning was the mandatory ride through of the dh and jump sections that were to be judged later. This we did, she hit her lines inch perfect so we left it at that. Got to the bottom and Manon went to change into some dry kit while I had a sleep in the sun, bliss.
We went back up to the top for Manons runs. A French journalist asked me the way to In Deep so he could take some pictures of Womensworxs so I had my excuse to save the humiliation of not being able to keep up with Manon. He was a bit slow so Manon went on ahead. At one point he got off to walk a rocky bit and stood in a wasp nest. I was confused as to why he had thrown his bike down the hill, was jumping up and down and shouting in French. They got him pretty good, about 10 stings. Funniest thing was he didn’t know what they were….wasps I said, “w-a-s-p?” he said, “yup” I said, “I will look them up on the internet” he said, “they have these in Europe too?” he said….unbelievable.
By the time we got to In Deep to watch the DH section it had finished. Manon missed one of her lineson the first section, but still went well and she crashed on the second section but said she was going fast. She got the second best score for the first section after Claire Buchar. full results here http://www.crankworx.com/whistler09/live-blog/results
Me and my new French friend went down to Dirt Merchant to watch the jumps, got there in time without any drama this time. Was pretty good, some whips, some tweaks, some bar turns???, a couple of no footers and a very nice suicide from Claire Buchar. No crashes which is always a bonus.
Rode the rest of the day out on A line, Mutant Cougars, Crank it up etc etc. At the end of the day we watched Claire and a Seattellite (always wanted to say that) Stephanie Nychka ride the first few obstacles on the Slopestyle course. They were doing the first big drop off a tower, pretty impressive too, then a too slack dirt jump into a wood/dirt quarter pipe, a cpl of step downs then into a wall ride with dirt landing. Clare was well smooth with Stephanie going a bit higher. Stephanie tried to kill herself on the last run by doing a wall ride over a big gap to a dirt landing, but didn’t clear the gap, oops. They split the prize money in the end. Full credit to them too it was a big drop, Manon didn’t fancy it at all.
She got 7th place in the end, what with a crash on the DH and no tricks in the bag of tricks. Going to have to build a resy box at Newport to learn her some tricks I guess. Clare Buchar won it, tidy.
Just had another splendid Ticket2Ride dinner, some of Bens Birthday cake, wrote this, now sleeeeeeep, tomorrow AIR DH on A-line and the GLC drops.
Jason and Manon
p.s. I’ll take some pictures tomorrow I promise.
Crankworx: Jason and Manon’s Adventure Part 2