Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dirksen Derby: Survival

What it's all about
The Derby is demolished. The courses took 10 guys six days to build and brought over 300 riders to town to rip it up over three days. Why? Tyler Eklund, that's why. In 2007 he broke his spine practicing at USASA Nationals and is now paralyzed from the neck down. This year the Derby raised over $18,000 for him. The stoke he gets from it is immeasurable. He even takes runs down the courses with the help of Oregon Adaptive Sports. I'd imagine it's a weekend he looks forward to all year.

Parrilla, chowdering the masses
Terje and Dirks with super-secret tech
This year the Dirksen Derby was bigger than ever. More riders, more money and more buzz. Terje made the trip, but the deafening roar at the top of the venue was the chant for Curtis Ciszek. Haakon missed the mens' podium by a scant .04 seconds to speed racer Dustin Anderson who took the bronze glove. Bellinghamster Blair Habenicht had something, breaking the beam in second, but Norway was not to be denied as Knut Eliassen Nitro-boosted his way to the top. These top three will now compete in the Derby Elite division whenever they return. Speaking of the Elites, Curtis was getting so much noise because he was the defending champion. Scotty Wittlake and Austin Smith put down Ridgemont High-style fast times, but Curtis wasn't flinching. Repeat champ, fastest time of the day, bragging rights for another year. For all the complete results check out mtbachelor.com. Also, quality video on Yobeat and ESPN.

Austin Smith and Bryan Fox trying to catch Curtis
Knut, "This has been the coolest event I've ever been to."
If you're looking for my name, go ahead and skip to the bottom. I didn't belong in the finals (sneaked in on a timing error) and I went out and proved that. My run on the red line was as slow as possible without falling and then I fell twice trying to make up for it on the green line. You're welcome, Donny. You weren't last. The courses were super-tight, but also fun as hell, like Baker's squirrely little brother.

For the record, Jake Blauvelt qualified on a timing error, too.
If only we could get something like that together on Hood to benefit Snowdays. Did I mention they raised over $18,000 for Tyler? How rad is that!?

None more rad
As for the rest of Bachelor, they've got a hell of a mountain open right now. Yeah, there are some 'unmarked obstacles' (rocks and treetops, like those seen in the middle of the Derby courses), but they also have legit parks. We're talkin' real jump lines, not just rails, but some nice 40 to 50-foot booters in there. Also, they're only two lifts from being 100% firing. No Summit, no Northwest. Outback is a go for all your dingo- and kangaroo-chasing pleasures. For what it's worth, Saturday was 10-times busier than Sunday. All that only a three hour drive from Portland. Problem is, that's twice as far as Mt. Hood.

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