I guess this photo has made the internet rounds and I’m now even more semi-semi-famous than I was before. Some of the comments are pretty entertaining:
And of course, Drunk Cyclist. Before I signed the waiver to do the jump I was actually asked if I’d been drinking. I said no. The guy looked at me hard for a few seconds before he said okay and agreed that I could do it.
I wrote this for work so it’s a full on explanation of what I was doing there, the race, stuff most of you already know, etc. But I can’t be bothered to write it all again in my regular voice. I did add in a few swear words and one or two lines to make it feel a bit more bro, like a true mountain biker would:
In the Spirit of Sea Otter, I got some sweet air on my time trial bike. As a roadie, I was in Monterey for the four-day stage race. I’d won the climbers jersey on Friday’s road stage, so I was having a pretty decent weekend already. Things would get better though.
On Saturday I finished 7th on the Stage Three time trial, which I was pleased with. I was supposed to take part in the podium presentation because I was in the climber’s jersey, so I had to be back at the crowded expo at 6:30PM. Plenty of time to ride the long way there.
Half an hour later, as I entered the jam-packed festival, I had a group of mountain bikers mockingly encourage me by shouting, “Faster, faster, you can do it!” What they really meant was, “Hey nice time trial bike, nerd.” Immediately after that another couple guys yelled, “Go Lance!” That was it. I needed to find some way to get even, show those bastards what’s up. I had a few minutes before the awards ceremony and on the way there I saw a large jump going into an air bag landing. Air bag landing? No sweat. Now I had a mission.
Unfortunately, one of the guys running the Camp of Champions jump told me to come back tomorrow since it was currently closed for a private session. “Even if I do it on this?” I asked, pointing between my legs at my sweet Planet X time trial bike. He looked confused at first. “What? Seriously? Hey, get this guy a waiver!”
The wooden ramp was tall and steep—45 degrees and around two stories high with a large platform and covered roof at the top. Down at the bottom the jump was 8-10 feet high and steep enough to do back flips. One of the guys in charge followed me up and yelled, “Hey, this guy goes next!” There was a crowd of people at the top waiting to jump and the GoPro guy filming at the bottom didn’t want to wait for my inevitable tacoed wheel, face-plant crash at the bottom. How hard could it really be though? A little kid was doing it and really, this was at most soft porn compared to descending the circuit race corkscrew at 50+mph. Not even soft porn. More like Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana. So still pretty good actually.
As I came to the top I stepped around the line of people and off the grippy, metal-footed strip by the hand rail. My feet quickly went out from under me as soon as I attempted to walk up the slick ramp. Unable to stop myself, I slid down on my stomach until I grabbed onto someone’s foot. The crowd down below licked their lips in anticipation. This guy is going to EAT it.
When I did finally reach the top I had someone hold my bike (time trial start-house position) so I could clip in. By this point all the spectators down below at the cyclocross race were watching and cheering for me to hit it in the aero bars. I contemplated it for a second but decided I’d rather keep all my teeth instead. I took a few pedal strokes and went for it. Hitting the ground after the ramp was a bit of a jolt on skinny road rims, but I held it together. I took aim at the jump and a second later I was soaring majestically in space…very briefly. Not nearly enough air. Bigger is better, so I hit it two more times.
Photo credit Colin Meagher of Pinkbike.