For as much flack as the Festival of Speed gets for being a glorified bike path, there is never a shortage of excitement during the five days of mayhem. The heat brings out the best and worst in people as they band together to survive the grueling conditions and turn on one another when the weight of competition bears down on them.
To some, the hill is too fast. Others think it's too slow.
Some are too light to make a pass. Others are too heavy to hold their lines.
Some people don't have enough wheels, or wear through the shoe soles. Others have so much gear that they never ride the same setup twice.
Some people get taken out. Others have only themselves to blame.
Of course there is the dominant narrative of who won the race, but everyone walks away with their own stories to tell.
Here's a few updates on the crew:
We picked up Matt K in Portland on our journey north from California. Even though his ankle is too mangled to race on, he took runs with previous champions to grab some photos.
Quentin didn't register to race, so he hung out on the mini ramp for three days. When the Sunset Sliders showed up in the middle of the night on Friday, passing through on their way to Giant's Head, he capitalized on the situation and packed his bare essentials to squeeze in with the crew of twelve to snag an extra day in Canada.
After falling on a film run and breaking his nifty camera stabilizer, Alex took to the hillside to "get the real story," filming the happenings among spectators.
Jonah busied himself with "the real story" as well, lurking around with his camera and flash, documenting the exhaustion at the top of the hill and the explosive debates at the finish line.
I spent most of my time skating and chatting with everyone from the racers to the U Haul drivers to the skate moms to the corner marshals. Tensions aside, I love the energy at the Festival.
We arrived this morning in Summerland, British Columbia for the final two days of the Giant's Head Freeride. True to form, the coffee shop is full of skaters using the free WiFi.
The sun is out. It's time to go skate.
Please don't die.