The itinerary for Fridays' schedule at the 2021 Proving Grounds had been set a number of days ago; a couple of hours of practice, followed by lunch, then a couple more hours of practice seamlessly flowing into a jump jam in the evening on The Megladon - the last jump on the course and it wasn’t named ironically, this jump is huge. However, the gods had other ideas. We’d be warned about the weather coming in starting Thursday night / Friday morning, although the only people taking it seriously were the people who had cell service and could access The Weather Channel app.
The rain came right on schedule. It lasted from the wee hours of Friday morning and went until mid-morning. It let up just long enough for the athletes to get their riding gear on and their bikes ready, then we heard a laugh from above and the heavens opened again. Fortunately for everyone who had made the trek to Prineville, Oregon, the sun did come out to say hello, but not until mid-afternoon - at which point the schedule was shot.
As the course makes its way down the hillside the type of dirt changes quite drastically, and as a result, the moisture played havoc with the top section, but left the bottom half of the course with a consistency that was similar to “hero dirt”. And although everyone in Oregon had been hoping for this storm, it unfortunately only left the riders with the lower features available for practice on Friday, so although there was no official “Jump Jam” all the girls and guys came out to session a couple of the available features, encouraging one another, leading each other into the features including the massive flat drop and providing the spectators with a show they won’t quickly forget. The evening concluded with an all-time level of stoke, and anticipation with a load of excitement for what’s in store on competition day!