24 November, 2014
The Downieville parking lot. Empty.
It's that time of year. Road trips seem an afterthought or their destinations creative, daylight becomes scarce, charging lights becomes as second nature as taking one's shoes off at the door, and there's always that re-realization that I still don't truly have any real winter riding clothes. Doesn't mean you can't shred though, you're just faced with a slightly different landscape.
A winter wonderland awaited us, transforming Downieville's Packer Saddle parking lot view from the usual too hot, dusty, looming crag of forlorn terrain to a serene, blanketed playground of empty, silent beauty. Enough transfixing, we had business to attend to:
Shredder McFadden ahhhem, Heather McFadden following Jeremiah's Breakpout tracks. Did I mention berms are fun in the snow too?
2" layered everything. It's amazing how smooth and inviting everything looked - every twist now appeared tilted and soft. I couldn't fixate on every pebble, had to see long sweeping turns, must be how people who know how to ride ride. As we descended, it only became better.
Jeremiah O'Riordan, WTB Industrial Designer, putting his Breakout tires and a prototype saddle to the test. Oh yeah, our smart people shred too. Oh yeah yeah, Breakout 2.3s are in stock now, snow-tested, shred-approved.
Slippery rocks became less slippery, confidence built, sloppy became tacky, tacky became better, better seemed to get perfect. More perfect.
Shredder McFadden searing the best berm on Third Divide. Yep, you all know that berm.
So next time there's a little dust on your crust, swap out your frumpy pants for your happy face - it's lurking somewhere, probably beyond the next muddy berm or snow covered roll over. Here's to a good season of winter riding.
Just like in Batman, when the WTB wolf head logo hits the winter sky, it's time to heed the call.