Hello all! Pat Keller checking in with Peter Mills on stop 3 of our Renegade East Coast Tour. The goal: combine riding and kayaking in the best locations the East Coast has to offer. Simply put, we are on the search for the most epic road trip we can possibly imagine. Chasin the dream.
After getting the final pieces of my Morewood put back together we took off for the Northeast. Peter, with his extensive background in the mountain biking/dirt jumping world knew of many ultimate lift access destinations up in this area. The plans changed from the westward push to Whistler to the much closer (and gas friendly) jaunt NE. After all, 12 hours in a car is waay better than 50+...no matter how you cut it.
Pushing late into the night, the decision was made to bust over to the Wisp Ski Resort in Accident, MD. Issac Levinson and Matt Fithian, two of my buddies for the area hooked us up with a place to stay and the location of a bad ass breakfast nearby. Peter had raced here in the Gravity East series a few weeks ago, and we were both stoked to get some laps in on some trails.
Buff and fast, the trails at Wisp were the perfect warm up to get the feel back on the bike. I was tripping out on how good the bike felt, as I hadn't ridden my DH bike since I'd cracked my heel in may.
Peter was coaching me on my (bike) race mindset, and how to find the 'sniper lines' that allow one to make up time on the competition - usually by finding the straightest line. Blows my mind how much kayak racing and DH racing knowledge transfers over! straight lines, boosting off of the same rock features I'd be boofing off of if there was water underneath me. A huge shout out to GRAVITY!!
We left Wisp with a pinched tube, a few scrapes and bruises en route to Plattekill Mtn in New York state. Just another easy 5 hour drive and we were there!
Theres something incredible about making the push out to the west coast, but to make time to a bad ass spot in the home mountain range - what could be better.
Plattekill game plan was a bit of a different pace. Green Race style. Fast as you could go, with the clock ticking off the seconds in your brain. Wide open with caution was the best way to win. Peter and I sessioned out the Pro/Expert race line multiple times, and I got some quality time lapping out the Sport line. It was one of my first races, and the rules for USA Cycling say that you have to race sport before you can race expert class. Either way, it was a great excuse to get some awesome laps in on new trails.
The race was a huge success for both of us! Peter killed it with a 3rd place in Expert (only one second off the winners time), I ended up 3rd in Sport and another NC boy, Ben Hulse held it down in the pros for second.
Team. First gas stop
Big shout out to Smith Optics for hooking it up on the trip.
Road sunset colors
Mmm DH machines...
Industry Nine wheels out of Asheville hooked it up as well!
Chillin and scopin out the sniper lines at Plattekill
Plattekill race scene
Sport Mens 19-29 PODIUM
Mens Expert 19-29 PODIUM
Pro Men PODIUM
...Hell Ya for NC!
Currently at Whiteface, training up for the next race. Found a little gem at the bottom of the hill here, in the form of four huge waterfalls! more updates from that coming soon.