All In The Name Of Fun - Video

Apr 6, 2016
by Cannondale Bikes  
Views: 13,764    Faves: 66    Comments: 5


What do you do when the racing season has just drawn to a close and you have a new short travel weapon to test against an EWS proven thoroughbred? You pick a handful of your riders, including World Cup XC and EWS veterans, to compete against a few locals on their home trails of Hurricane, Utah. Just to keep things interesting, you bring along some RC rock crawlers and watch the sparks fly.

It was mid-fall and southwestern Utah seemed a little on the cool side. A weekend of bikes, beers, and buds was about to go off. Also in attendance were a few friends from Axial RC Racing with a fleet of RC rock crawlers. The format was simple: seven bike stages on two bikes and two RC stages. Given the differences of the Cannondale Habit and Jekyll, the terrain was varied. The race was like the love child of an enduro and an XC epic. Points were awarded for the following: bike stage wins, rock crawler stage wins, and life style.

Day one was full of bike building and speculation about how this race would pan out.
Day one was full of bike building and speculation about how this race would pan out.

The cold mornings made it hard to get going but once the sun took the chill off it was time to get racing.
The cold mornings made it hard to get going but, once the sun took the chill off, it was time to get racing.

The group camped out in two Yurts on the edge of Hurricane Mesa overlooking the Rampage site. Nights were chilly with whipping winds, but roaring campfires, beers, and a touch of brown liquor kept spirits high and the conversation lively. A plan was laid out, wagers were made, and the crew started in on speculating what tomorrow would bring.

Day one saw three bike stages and one RC stage. There wasn’t much in elevation loss, which played into the hands of the locals and XC specialists. It was there that the Habit shined and a cool head and keen sense of direction prevailed. There were many wrong turns that day and trash talking quickly commenced. When the first three stages wrapped up, the group excitedly headed back to camp, grabbed their rock crawlers, and got to stage one of the RC segments. Weir and Cruz, being the RC fanatics that they are, had the upper hand of the first crawl. They hadn’t had enough of the crawlers and a post dinner cross mesa crawl went off into the darkness of the night.

The liase to stage one day one. Spirits were high but the terrain was flat.
The liase to stage one day one. Spirits were high, but the terrain was flat.

Cruz taking a break to get the feel of his new Habit on a bit of slick rock.
Cruz taking a break to get the feel of his new Habit on a bit of slick rock.

While mountains rise in the distance day one was about lungs and legs.
While mountains rise in the distance, day one was about lungs and legs.

Stage one down seven to go. Osborne takes a time penalty for getting lost and wandering in circles.
Stage one down, seven to go. Osborne takes a time penalty for getting lost and wandering in circles.

Keegan was strong on day one and had little problem navigating the green cone course markings.
Keegan was strong on day one and had little problem navigating the green cone course markings.

Weir just before he got turned around on stage two and wandered the wilderness for precious minutes.
Weir, just before he got turned around on stage two and wandered the wilderness for precious minutes.

Racing for fun is exhausting. Beer is proper race fuel.
Racing for fun is exhausting. Beer is proper race fuel.

Racing blind is tricky. One wrong turn and you could find your self way off course. If you perhaps go straight and forget to turn you might find yourself flying not biking.
Racing blind is tricky. One wrong turn and you could find your self way off course. If you perhaps go straight and forget to turn, you might find yourself flying, not biking.

Twisted single track and twisted trees. The pace picked up by the end of day one.
Twisted single track and twisted trees. The pace picked up by the end of day one.

The RC crawler stages gave a chance to pull back some points if you perhaps made a wrong turn or two.
The RC crawler stages gave a chance to pull back some points if you perhaps made a wrong turn or two.

The RC crawling wasn t about speed rather it was finesse. Patience was key as points were subtracted for roll overs.
The RC crawling wasn't about speed, rather it was finesse. Patience was key as points were subtracted for roll overs.

The timing system was state of the art and so was the scoring method.
The timing system was state of the art and so was the scoring method.

The views from camp were solid.
The views from camp were solid.

Lifestyle points went to Cruz for his fire starting skills.
Lifestyle points went to Cruz for his fire starting skills.

Inferno de Cruz.
Inferno de Cruz.

Beers bikes buds and an RC crawler.
Beers, bikes, buds, and an RC crawler.

With day one s racing down it was time to scheme up ways to accumulate more lifestyle points.
With day one's racing down, it was time to scheme up ways to accumulate more lifestyle points.

With his World Cup XC background Keegan Swenson found the trails on day one to be a piece of cake.
With his World Cup XC background, Keegan Swenson found the trails on day one to be a piece of cake.

Yurt life. The crew crowded together during the cold evenings to eat dinner dressed for what looked more like an Arctic expedition than a bike race.
Yurt life. The crew crowded together during the cold evenings to eat dinner, dressed for what looked more like an Arctic expedition than a bike race.

Weir getting set up for a night crawling mission. Lifestyle points went to the man who stayed on the crawling trail the longest.
Weir getting set up for a night crawling mission. Lifestyle points went to the man who stayed on the crawling trail the longest.

Dawn cracked a bit differently on the start of day two. If there is one thing that will bolt you upright faster than a rooster crowing first thing in the morning, it’s Ben Cruz shooting target practice at 7AM with a .223 rifle. Major lifestyle points were awarded. Day two’s stages were the toughest. RC crawler stage 2 went off without a hitch and the competition got wild on the following bike stage. The enduro specialists were hitting their stride and, by the last stage, Marco Osborne had shown the locals a thing or two on their own trails. Ben Cruz dropped in and yelled, “Now we’re riding bikes!” as he hurtled past on the rocky descent to the valley floor.

Cannondale fun camp images by Matthew Delorme

While everyone didn t always agree on the fun level of the trails the scenery was top notch.
While everyone didn't always agree on the "fun level" of the trails, the scenery was top notch.

When Cruz got lost he didn t sweat it he just cracked a beer. Lifestyle points.
When Cruz got lost he didn't sweat it, he just cracked a beer. Lifestyle points.

Cannondale fun camp images by Matthew Delorme

Cannondale fun camp images by Matthew Delorme

All of the stages were raced blind so local knowledge was for sure an advantage. Marco Osborne showed the locals just how strong a rider he was by pulling into the lead on the final stages.
All of the stages were raced blind, so local knowledge was for sure an advantage. Marco Osborne showed the locals just how strong a rider he was by pulling into the lead on the final stages.

Cannondale fun camp images by Matthew Delorme

Day two s stages had more vertical drop. The speeds picked up but there was still some confusion over the course markings.
Day two's stages had more vertical drop. The speeds picked up, but there was still some confusion over the course markings.

Weir and the enduro boys crushed the final stage on Grafton. They were probably keen to get to the bottom for a cold beer.
Weir and the enduro boys crushed the final stage on Grafton. They were probably keen to get to the bottom for a cold beer.

The winners. Osborne took the top honors while Keegan and Weir rounded out the top three.
The winners. Osborne took the top honors while Keegan and Weir rounded out the top three.

In the end, Marco Osborn would take the win. Handily claiming enough stage wins to fend off Cruz and Weir’s amassment of lifestyle points. In the end, you might ask what was achieved by all this? The answer is simple: when you get your friends and a few strangers together, throw in some bikes and an RC car or two, fun is to be had. No matter what the trails are like. Any day on a bike is a good day.

Special thanks to Matt Ohran from Cannondale for putting this together and Rodney & John from Axial for the RC car demo course.

Words and images: Matt Delorme
Video: Matt Denison


MENTIONS: @Cannondale / @mattdennison / @mdelorme



Posted In:
Videos Cannondale



43 Comments

  • 11 2
 a real rider (AKA #ENDURO RIDER) would start have started that fire with a broken stick and pile of wet wood Razz
  • 8 0
 That reminded me of Top Gear and a group of lads getting together and taking the piss out of each other and doing a sort of race. We need more of this stuff!
  • 9 0
 A Top Gear-esque Bike show would actually be f*cking brilliant. Can we make this happen? We need 3 witty Brits to do ridiculous custom bike builds, stupid challenges and race the fanciest of bikes and a Full-Face wearing mystery rider that may or may not be Gwin.
  • 3 0
 @bikekrieg: Rob Warner, Claudio Caluori and Martyn Ashton. With special appearances from Ed Leigh, Tim Warwood & Adam Gendle.
  • 4 0
 @krissboo: I like where this is going.
  • 8 0
 You're a high poster. If you don't know what that means, you definitely are one."
  • 7 0
 "more lungs than skill..." hard to argue.
  • 2 0
 Mark Weir~ I challenge you to the "SKY"~!! ✌ No Hi-Postin Nutt-Huggin shenanigans... Just Manzanita Trail & a lil Buckeye action followed up with some Crazy Good Wine from Z Valley!! ;*p Cheers Brotha~ Great Stuff!
  • 4 2
 No matter how hard I try... I just can not warm to the looks of those lefty's... :-/
  • 1 0
 Poor Cruz drank that Coors and was never the same. Though real talk, shitty beers do tend to be the best in those conditions.
  • 4 1
 Kooks
  • 2 0
 Bikes, RC cars, and guns? Talk about a great ride
  • 2 1
 The best part of the trip was when Weir came in third for the RC stage behind Cruz and "TooTall," he was so ticked haha.
  • 2 0
 Proper and real fun in there.
  • 1 0
 Which glasses are those that weir is wearing at :41
  • 1 0
 I think they're Smith PivLock glasses
  • 1 0
 They are Pivlocks
  • 1 0
 Yeah but seriously who won?
  • 1 0
 Marco won after destroying the DH in Grafton. Local Bart Gillespie was winning before he flatted on the last stage.
  • 2 0
 What a great weekend!!
  • 1 0
 What happened to Ben Cruz riding for Whyte?
  • 2 0
 This was filmed last November, Ben has recently moved on to ride for Whyte.
  • 4 1
 He said "screw that kid Obsorn and old man Weir, I need a new team!" Then he pounded a beer and rode off into the sunset on his new Whyte.
  • 1 1
 [forced hug]
thats the best and honest caption and my feels about the leftys
  • 1 0
 Looks a lot like Gooseberry Mesa !
  • 1 0
 Invitation only enduro with bikes supplied... I smell a marketing oppo
  • 2 2
 When is Cannondale going to give up on the Lefty? Great bikes but come on...
  • 5 1
 Have you ride one? I thought the same thing at first but you would be superseded at how they ride and balance the bike out
  • 3 0
 Rode the 2013 Jekyll Carbon 1 for a few years and am on the latest one now with the supermax lefty and I think it rides a lot better than the Fox did. Wasn't sure how I'd like the fork or if it would take a while to get used to it, but I jumped on it and had no problems with it from the get go. Only complaint is it makes it a lot tougher to ride with no hands if you need to take them both off for whatever reason.
  • 1 0
 Monotone narration didnt jive well with the energy of the riders/event.
  • 1 0
 Mark weir is mountain biking
  • 1 0
 Yo thats my local spot too
  • 1 1
 Was anyone riding Plus tires?
  • 1 0
 Nice pictures
  • 1 0
 high poster

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