Ron and Jackson Goldstone drove from Squamish to California for an event at Woodward West. They picked me up at LAX after a twelve hour flight from Taiwan. The plan was to attend the Santa Cruz Bike Festival and Sea Otter, but we had the whole week to kill in California before heading north. Our first stop was the new Fox Racing office in Irvine.
After a short stop in Irvine we headed north to Tehachapi to spend the day riding with Jake Kinny at Woodward West. Jake Kinney has been a great influence on Jackson. Without people like Jake, Jackson would not be improving as fast as he has been.
Jackson described Woodward as the place where his dreams come from. Jackson was invited to ride there the weekend before I arrived in the USA. After spending the night in the van he woke up in front of Woodward; dreams come true.
No Dig No Ride is a motto that a lot of mountain bikers live by, Jackson earning his laps at Woodward.
This jump is easily twice Jackson's size. Watching him drop in for the first time my heart was probably pumping faster than his.
Woodward has been involved in creating and shaping a lot of great riders over the years. While we were there Jackson was riding with Pat Casey and Coco Zurita.
The Luv Line at Woodward is no joke, it was amazing to see someone so small make it through this line.
We made a detour to Morgan Hill on our way to Santa Cruz to see Geoff Rogers at Specialized. The stop in Morgan Hill started with a history lesson in the Specialized museum.
After our history lesson we had a lesson in physics in the helmet lab. The only time Jackson was still the whole trip was while Clint explained how Specialized designed their carbon DH helmet. And no trip to Specialized is complete without going down the fire pole into the main lobby.
After the tour of the inside Jack put on a lesson of his own while riding the pump track in Specialized's back yard.
Jackson at the most famous Post Office in the mountain bike world. From the sounds of it this might actually be the year that the jumps get torn down.
A lot of people have left their blood, sweat and tears in Aptos. Jackson can add his name to that list after biting off a small piece of his tongue.
Remember sitting in school on a sunny day and looking out the window at the playground? Watching Jackson do his homework with the Post Office jumps outside the door was a lot like that.
Everyone in Santa Cruz has their own personal spot. There are so many jump spots that we were driving to a new secret place everyday. The Aptos Step Up has been in dozens of videos and Jackson did his best to make it a memorable experience.
Atpos was not all fun in games Jackson competed in the pump track contest and in the groms dirt jump contest.
Racing against kids much older than him and on bikes with bigger wheels Jackson had a hard time in the pump track contest. It could also have something to do with jumping as high and with as much style as possible that slowed him down.
The practice at the Aptos Step Up paid off because Jackson won the dirt jump contest with a clean 360 and a couple of no footers.
The next week was all fun and games. We rode skate park, rode local jumps and camped out at the Post Office.
Sunset shoot at Fun Spot in Santa Cruz. Jackson rode all day and then he rode until it got too cold or too dark.
The Cliff jumps have the most amazing backdrop, but the wind made it pretty difficult to ride there.
Los Gordos burritos, jumps around every corner and the beach makes Aptos one of my favorite places in California.
After a week in Aptos we left to hang out in Monterey for the Sea Otter Classic. The heat and the line up made DH practice the longest part of the weekend.
During Jack's race run it was pretty clear that his practice paid off. He was on the gas and making sure he made the tranny on all the jumps.
Top step on the podium has its perks; first place medals, winner's jersey and kisses from podium girls.
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