''I'm always really excited for At's Showdown simply because its one of the most fun and chill events of the year. However, it's also the last event of the season for me and Kelowna is usually covered in snow by the time I get home. All the more reason to make the best of it and get as much riding in as possible while I'm down South!
Or at least that was the plan.....
I went out to do some filming for my season ender video a couple of days before I was supposed to leave for the trip and as luck would have it I ended up crashing and rolling my ankle pretty badly. It didn't seem like much at the time but when it ballooned to double its normal size the next morning I was starting to get pretty worried about whether I'd be back on the bike in time. The next couple days I spent Laying on the couch taking ibuprofen and icing on and off all day trying to get the swelling down. I was determined to ride so I packed up the car regardless and started the drive down. The next day I arrived in Portland, Oregon which is home of the freshly built indoor bike park called "the Lumberyard". Armed with a big roll of athletic tape and a very stiff brace I wrapped up my ankle the best I could and tried cruising around the pump track and small box jumps to see how it held up. It felt pretty good and I was feeling more and more confident that I would be competing on the weekend.
I spent the next day on the road again and arrived in San Fran Thursday afternoon just in time to help Andrew Taylor and the rest of the crew get the course finished up for Friday's practice. Friday was a tough day for me, I was really nervous about hitting the course with my ankle still very fragile and a lot of riders going down hard and having major cases on the first big jump which I knew I could not afford to do. I ended up hitting the top stepdown a couple times and the pain in my ankle quickly reminded me that these jumps were going to have a lot more impact than the small box jumps at Lumberyard. I went back to being unsure if I should risk riding and decided to call it a day and see how I felt in the morning.
When I woke up Saturday morning I knew I hadn't come all this way for nothing and was set on riding. I didn't have much time to waste since I still hadn't hit the course and the competition was starting in a few short hours. I luckily managed to make it through the course without any cases so I was pretty excited to start dialing it in and hopefully start getting some tricks. Qualifiers was a jam format so I was able to use it as practice time and start trying to put together a run. I was happy to qualify for finals and in the first head to head round I was matched up against James Visser. My run consisted of flipping the top stepdown straight into another flip on the big first jump; I intended to 360 up onto the container like I had been doing in practice but ended up straight airing on. I switched it up and salvaged the run with a frontflip on the last jump and was stoked to move onto round 2. I was matched up against Anton Thelander next and knew I'd need to put down a really solid run to move on. I started it off the same and then 360'd up onto the container unfortunately I went a bit too slow and tagged my back wheel forcing me to stop. I was hoping to tailwhip off the container and then into the frontflip again but I walked away and had a great time watching the last couple rounds of the competition.
Sunday was best trick and I had no intentions of riding, I enjoyed watching the amateur competition and then best trick started going off. I hung out and cheered on those riding but when they announced there was 15min left in best trick I suddenly really wanted to lawn dart front the first big jump. I grabbed my helmet, headed up to the top and took a quick run though the set. Yep, I was going for it. I rushed back up to the top and dropped in, what a feeling! Lawn dart fronts are one of the craziest feeling tricks I've done, especially on a bigger jump as you can really float it out and tuck in at the last second. I was so happy to land and my ankle held up like a champion. Another successful weekend of riding down and now I'm off to Woodward West to finish the season at one of the best mountain bike facilities in the world!''