A lot of work goes into making something like this happen. Everyone was stoked on the idea and came together to help build probably the biggest jump in Kelowna, test it, make any changes needed and then have one last super sender session before the snow started coming down.Did I mention all this happened over the course of one weekend?
The ball got rolling on a Friday night when Myself, Wes Booth, and Scott Milton were seshing the famous Dreamland stepup. Off to the left of the step up there was a huge mound of dirt that we had placed there early in the season when we had brought some machinery in. We figured we would make a big jump there one day so why not. Everytime I ride the stepup I stare at that pile and think we should really go build that. Well on this Friday I think everyone was just staring at that pile thinking the same thing so we opted to come up early the next day and get it done.
On Saturday I came up pretty early and started working in the landing, Matt Butterworth from Evergreen productions
came up shortly after and we got started on the lip. As the day went on, more and more people came and by lunch time we had a fully buffed 50 ft gap thanks to a whole crew of helpers. I had stated that I wanted to hit it first so I strapped on a GoPro and started warming up. When I was ready to go the cameras were rolling and I went for it. I ended up coming a couple feet short so I hit the eject button and rolled out of it unscathed. After reworking and packing the run in a bit I was ready for take two. Things turned out worse this time...I had the speed, but I got bucked a little coming off the lip. I knew I was nose heavy, but I thought I could ride it out so I decided to hold on. Bad choice, as soon as my front tire touched the dirt I was headed for a face plant. Surprisingly nothing really hurt, I had knocked the wind out of myself, but the main thing I was thinking was "dammit my visor is probably broken". Luckily for me I was fine and more importantly my visor was intact. I decided to call it a day at that and just relaxed and rode the pump track. Wes took it upon himself to rework the lip and by the time the sun was going down it was looking a million times better.Sunday
Everyone was already there by the time I arrived and everything was looking buff so I threw on my pads and started warming up. A couple more riders had shown up today and I knew it was going to be a good session. Today Matt Gretzinger was the guinea pig and It went less than ideal for him as well, he ended up coming about a bike length short, luckily he had lots of travel to help cushion the impact, but needless to say I don't think it was the most comfortable landing. I then dropped in and landed it perfect, I think the small fully I was riding probably helped propel me the extra distance. It felt awesome to finally land the damn thing. Things really got going then. The scary thing is that everyone who attempted the jump crashed at least once before landing it.
Here Wes Booth successfully sends the gap for the lens of Mike Kirk.
The run in got more and more packed in as we rode it and pretty soon the guys on DH bikes were clearing it too. I started to get more and more comfortable on it and I threw a little no hander which I was pretty stoked on, but all I could really think about was how badly I wanted to backflip it. After I stuck the no hander we had some troubles with the sun blinding you as you were coming up the lip, so I headed over to the step up and started just doing backflip after backflip after backflip. The Sun finally snuck behind some clouds and it was on. I hiked up to the top, tried to visualize the flip the best I could, and dropped in. I knew I wanted to flip a little faster than I needed to, there was no way I wanted to be second guessing myself about whether I would get it all the way around or not. It all happened pretty fast in the air, but when I landed it was like everything was in slow motion, everyone was running over to me cheering and it was an awesome feeling for sure.
That wraps up the weekend and now there is definitely too much snow to do any serious riding, but I'm certainly not done with this jump yet. I have big plans for next spring. In the mean time check out this wicked edit from Mr. Butterworth and try to survive the winter without going too crazy!
Big thanks to all my sponsors for making it all possible, everyone who came out to help dig, film, take pictures, or just hang out, it's all appreciated. I also owe a big thanks to Mr. Justin Wyper for lending me a fork to use!
Sun Country CycleSpank Deity SilverStar Bike Park
- Mike Kirk