The past weekend I was invited to the Asia Pacific Downhill Challenge near Jakarta by the great people from Shimano. As soon as I landed I was looked after so well by the great people running the show, they showed me around and we checked out the city and the sights.
The first day up we all headed out to the press conference, which was super cool, meeting all the other riders and talking to the press and doing a bunch of interviews. It was a good experience and it is what all downhill races should be doing.
The next day was first time we saw the race track. It was a new track for this race and as we walked it the first impressions were good. I did think the bottom was flat until my first run down when the bottom ended up being pretty fun and flowy, up top was cool though with some drops and a few cool jumps and some hard turns.
The second day at the track was way busier, the crowd had rocked up and the pits were getting busy with autographs and photos with fans. Our first run down was our qualifying run so it felt a little sketchy but just when I starting getting into it and having fun with my run, I had a mishap with my tire coming of the rim, so I decided to stay with the crowd and yell at the other lads. Everyone was stoked yelling and screaming and this was just qualifying.
After qualifier we got to punch a few more laps in and I ended up busting my chainring and cranks up on a rock pretty bad. Lucky my Shimano mates were there to help me out with a new crank and the LORD of Jakarta hooked me up with a sweet chainring to get my bike going for the finals the next day.
The next day was finals ad an early start as we all wanted to get a run in before our race run. The weather rolled in and ton of jungle rain came down and stayed all day so we decided to wait it out and just smash out a single finals run for the day. The delay gave a good chance for all the fans to get some photos and hang out with the crew a little.
My final runs started I went of first for the elite as I didn’t finish my qualification run. The run started out alright , I was just trying to feel out how slippery the track was, and once I got through the steep stuff I pushed it in a few of the flat turns, and found it to be like riding on ice pretty quick with a wild near wash out doing a nac nac through one section, but got it together for a good save. As I was coming into the finish area, with only two more turns to go, I did a sick drift through one then when I got to the next turn I washed out and into a tree and did my best imitation of a penguin slide on my stomach. Even discovery channel would have been fooled thinking I was a penguin.
I quickly got up and collected my bike and rolled over the jump and through the finish with the fastest time, straight to the hot seat. I was there for nearly the whole race knowing I had lost some serious time with my crash and I stayed there until Sam Hill pushed me out for the win.
Me and my Supreme Operator ended up 4th for the day. I was stoked with that considering the crash. After the podiums and the autograph session and the millions of photos, I have to say it was very good weekend. I just have to say thank you to the organizers for looking after us so well and making it an awesome trip, they went above and beyond to make everyone feel comfortable and put on a great event.
I think I blew a fun fuse I had such a good time. I know I will be back next year.