We all have that place in our life where you first put tires to the dirt, hit your first jump, raced your first race, took your first crash; and for me took your first mountain bike photograph. I’ve been racing and photographing at Beacon Hill in Spokane, WA since 2003. My career started here, along with a few other folks. Downhill racing has gone on here long before my time starting in the late 90’s. The hill has changed through the years and currently the best it’s been. I was saddened to hear this would be the final race at my home mountain.
| Beacon Hill lays just outside of town with Mt. Spokane lingering in the background. Fortunately, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has a new chapter in Eastern Washington lead by John Henry. Evergreen is currently working on a trail plan and a full park for Mt. Spokane, which up until now has had a massive back lash on mountain bikers. Change is in the air..|
| Josh Tofsrud is the man behind it all, Wheel Sport East has been putting on races here at Beacon for many years. Buy this man a beer next time you see him. They have some of the most fun races I've been too, and will continue to do so.|
Due to development of the upper portion on the hill, it would cut out nearly 1/3 of the already pretty short racecourse. Pro times hitting around just under 2:00, housing developments would make the course too short to make races worth running. Beacon Hill is the only official mountain bike area in Eastern Washington. Nearly 15 minutes away from downtown, the hill provides legal mountain bike trails for all levels of the community. There are two parts to the mountain, and will continue to be a mountain bike park. There’s no word for sure, but hopefully there will be another course worked out in the future.
Moving on from the sad stuff, the Double Down Hoe Down finished off with a bang. Unlike most races, the DDHD has races both Saturday and Sunday with two different courses. Transition Bikes' Lars Sternberg took double wins on both days, gaining victory against his previous year here where Lars took a nasty tumble in the rocks.
| Jaime Rees pushing up for some more. Jaime is a Spokane local who made the US Worlds DH team for 2012. She took first on Sunday's race.|
| Man of the weekend Lars Sternberg gains full redemption with double wins compared to last time he raced here where he completely destroyed himself in the lower rock section.|
| Tommy Magrath dropping in... Saturday's course is filled with a few more jump sections and requires more pedaling compared to Sunday's technical course. Some riders chose to ride smaller bikes on Saturday to gain some time in the pedal sections.|
The Beacon race is always great due to it generally being early on in the year. One of the first races of the season in most of the NW, the race attracts racers from Canada, and as far as Montana.
| Your weekend winner for best pants.|
| Infamous Girthmore drop made its way into the Cat 1 / Pro course. Lucas Chalcraft wakes up to a big huck early in the morning.|
| Born in a barn. Lars Sternberg rallies down to his second win of the weekend.|
| This little dude took it like a man, hopefully he will save his pennies and buy a full face helmet. Lesson learned without too much carnage.|
| Last jump of the course is the hardest to make to tranny. Bob Stenson sends it.|
| Michelle Benson makes her way down Sunday's course.|
| Youngest rider I saw over the weekend, making his way down on 20" wheels.|
| Karina Magrath stepped her game up this weekend in CAT 1 class landing in second place on Saturday.|
| The berms and jumps at the bottom of Saturday's course gave a lot of riders some trouble in the tight turns. Bob Stenson rallies the first turn and gets taken out in the second.|
New to this year, Gravity Components put on a jump jam show on Saturday afternoon. MC’d by Diamondback's Charlie Sponsel, the local boys put on quite the show. Steven Bafus took the cake for his massive style and 3’ing all the jumps in a row.
| Chaz MC'd the jump jam with Caveman right along side with his own cave mic.|
| Spokane is known for its sporadic spring weather.. Steven Bafus isn't exactly the most excited person about snow..|
| NW Camouflage; (left to right) Billy Lewis, Jay Trautman, and Steven Bafus await their turn to hit the freshly built jumps.|
| Joe Perrizo got wild with his dumped 360's and gave the crowd quite the show.|
| Winner of most sketchy bike jumped on the doubles. Perrizo gets weird on the Frankenstien bike.|ResultsSaturday
| No one has ever had more published photos of no foot can's than Deity's Steven Bafus taking the win|
1. Lars Sternberg
2. Craig Hill
3. Lucas Chalcraft
1. Jaime Rees
2. Michelle Benson
1. Lars Sternberg
2. Matt Patterson
3. Jake Grob
1. Jaime Rees
2. Michelle Benson
3. Adrian HopkinsJump Jam
1. Steven Bafus
2. Joe Perrizo
3. Skye Schillhammer
I would like to personally thank everyone at Wheel Sport East, Chris at the Bike Hub, med crew, Jon Henry for driving me to the top in the ATV countless times and everyone who has made this race possible in the last few years. You guys have a big heart for racing and it shows. All Gravity Series has a bunch of more races in the future in the Inland NW throughout Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana. Check out the all gravity series website
for more information on the upcoming races near you! Shout out to Skye Schillhammer for building the slope style course for Saturdays jump jam.
All Gravity Series would like to also thank Shimano, Transition Bikes, and Deity Components for their support in making these races possible.