Wednesday, August 31, 2011

World Champs

Men's World Championship Final
Sunday, September 4, 6 am

The guys you should be cheering for:








The guys you should not be cheering for:


The way I figure it, here are the real contenders:

Gwin: The obvious pick. Totally on form, five wins under his belt, and no reason to stop now.

Gee: He won here last year in the rain. A very talented rider on super technical tracks. That's exactly what he'll be racing on if it rains.

Fabio: He's a World Champs specialist. This race is his last hurrah, and he's won races out of nowhere before (Maribor, 2009).

Danny Hart: This kid's on a roll. Give him a track that's wild and dangerous, and watch him get to work. Tons of potential.

Slam Hill: He came back from a horrific injury to win World Champs last year. Don't count on a repeat, but definitely don't rule one out.

Brendan Fairclough (maybe): The kid is talented, and this is one of his favorite tracks of all time. He's been out of form all year since his knee injury, but I wouldn't count him out. He could win.

Me: Sure I'm still at home, sitting on the computer. Sure I haven't booked a flight yet. But what if one of our guys can't handle the pressure and cracks? When Cougar cracked on his sortie, that's how Maverick got into Top Gun. Once I'm there, I have no pressure to do well, and I have the element of surprise in my favor. I'm a shoe-in. The only real question is which of my close friends will have to die before I can self-actualize.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Speaking of trail jams

This looks like Red Bull Elevation, Version 2.0. The emotional BS about "what riding is all about" is a little bit much for me, but at the end of the day...


I don't care if you do or don't buy energy drinks, but if you do buy energy drinks, and you buy Monster, kill yourself.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

WARNING! from Team Robot

Your Team:

Our Team:

Photo of Chaz at the trail jam courtesy of Tex Diesel.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Team Robot salutes: Bob

Bob is a recent transfer from Beautiful Arizona. He has already stepped up the heckle game at races, casual trail rides, and even at the Portland Bridge Pedal. As good a rider and racer as he is, I think his true talent lies in heckling.

Team Robot salutes Bob Stenson.

Bob killing it at PA:

Bob killing it at the trail jam on Saturday:

Bob killing it in 2nd grade:

Yesterday you said you would probably want to kill yourself at work on Monday. If you're reading this at work I hope it cheers you up. I just hope it doesn't cheer you up enough to prevent you from killing yourself.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Trail jam went off

Pretty much this video sums up what we did all day at the trails:

15ft drop to flat on

When keepin' it real goes wrong

N.Y. Post: ‘Drunk’ teen on jet, an Olympic hopeful, pees on girl

An apparently drunk teenager accused of urinating on a sleeping girl on a JetBlue flight Wednesday turns out to be an Olympic hopeful whose status may be in jeopardy because of the incident.

The New York Post first reported the incident in which Robert Vietze, 18, of South Warren, Vt., said he was drunk on the flight from Portland, Ore., and New York City:

“I was drunk, and I did not realize I was pissing on her leg,” the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Vietze said, according to law-enforcement sources.

Vietze told police he had consumed more than eight alcoholic beverages, reported.

Witnesses reported that the incident was a "total downer" and "totally killed the vibe on the plane." David Katz, a call center operator from Milpitas, California was a passenger near the incident. Katz stated that the incident "made it super hard to enjoy the on-flight movie," "50 First Dates," starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

A spokeperson from the airline apologized for the incident and stated that "all passengers would be compensated for the interruption with a ticket to see 'The Change up' or 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' or some other s***ty romantic comedy."

He was taken into custody when his plane from Oregon landed at John F. Kennedy Airport Wednesday morning. A federal summons for indecent exposure was later dropped, reports The New York Post.

Vietze, among the 75 best skiers in the nation, has refused to apologize for the incident, according to the paper. The US Ski Team declined to comment on Vietze’s status on the squad in light of the incident, but his name was conspicuously absent from the team’s developmental roster Thursday afternoon, reports the Post.

The Post reported that the father of the girl he urinated on is a Stage 4 cancer patient who had to be separated from Vietze on the plane.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NW Cup #5

Had a great weekend out at Port Angeles. We ran virtually the same track as this year's Pro GRT. It was drier than I've ever seen PA, which meant the track was super fast and sketchy. I was really enjoying the conditions, and my TR 450 KILLED IT out there. I set it up super hard and slow for the big bumps, and it motored through everything I pointed it at. It was the perfect bike for the course.

They also added a new roadgap right out of the start gate, which meant that you had to be pedal super hard. It's good to toss in something that makes you work a little bit. Here's Dave Camp blasting the new gap:

Bryn made it out to the race to watch, and it was the first time I'd seen him since the injury. He's looking a LOT better, and it sounds like he should be back on the bike sometime soon.

I was first out of the gate for qualifying, and I felt like I had a pretty okay, so so run. When I crossed the line, I thought I should be good for maybe a top five, but they didn't read off my time. My name wasn't even on the board for the top ten, and I had no idea what my time was. I was talking to Pat from Team Robot, and he told me to just go ask the timing people.

I talked to the timing people after qualifying had ended, and they said I wasn't entered into the system yet. They had my start and finish times, so they did the math on paper right in front of me, and it turns out I qualified first! Stoked, I rolled up to my car, switched tires, cleaned my bike, and grabbed lunch.

After my first pro win two weeks ago, I had decided that winning was way more fun than not winning. Going forward, winning is going to be my new gameplan. Another guy named Charlie totally agrees:

I was the last guy to drop in. Before dropping in, instead of thinking about where to pedal, who was in the lead, whether somebody had crashed, I just thought about how thankful I was to be there. Riding bikes has been a really good thing in my life, and I just said thank you for bikes and for my loving family:

With that, I rolled out of the gate and had a heck of a run. Diamondback's Kyle Thomas had a burner of a run right before me, and people must have thought he was the last guy down. I almost hit three different people walking down the middle of the track, and I had a four letter exchange with one of them. It was exciting. I blew out one corner, double unclipped and rode out on my seat, but I kept it together and pedaled hard for the finish.

When I crossed the line, I saw: "Kyle Thomas: 2:46, Dan Sims: 2:47, Eric Loney: 2:48." When my name popped up as "Charlie SPonsel: 2:45," I was over the moon. I won the race and my good friend Kyle Thomas won the series for the second year in a row.

It was my first Happy Gilmore-esque big check in my life. I was so stoked. The check could have been for a dollar and I wouldn't have cared. However, I did run into some problems at the bank trying to cash it...

A quick call to the event promoter Scott Tucker of ODS, and we got it all sorted out.