EVENT COVERAGE: Push Culture Family Picnic
Vermont weather is always full of surprises and Memorial Day weekend 2013 was no exception. VTLBC arrived late Thursday night after a treacherous drive in torrential downpours and spent Friday throwing 600 hail bails in the rain with help from some drift trikers and luge mad man Chris Hicks. After a long hard days work preparing for an epic weekend of skating we retired to the base lodge bar for some delectable eats and thirst quenching Vermont beer. We made sure race organizer Marc Dean got his first taste of our home town favorite Switchback Ale, which only seemed appropriate after driving up and down the switchback laden hill all day. After sufficient nourishment we returned to the mountain side condos for story time and gear geeking.
We learned a lot about luge from Chris and Marc while they changed eight wheels each and attach fairings to keep the cold rain from running down the back of their necks into their leather suits. We quickly swapped out wheels as Patrick Switzer sat around casually watching some car racing to dial in his lines and editing some videos knowing that he doesn’t really need to change his setup for any conditions. We were then thoroughly educated on how much goes into breaking down and reassembling a custom drift trike by Co-Owner of the American Drift Trike Association John Georgilis as he fiddled an tinkered for hours after we had everything dialed.
Saturday we awoke to a cold steady rain and made our way to the mid mountain lodge for breakfast. The scene inside was deja vu to anyone who has been to a ski race in the rain. People were excited about the hill and catching up with friends from around the globe but were reluctantly pulling on their leathers as they gazed out the window at the relentless rain and now snowy mixture. Marc started the racer meeting with help from fellow organizers Travis and Jenica Davenport, who announced that it was indeed full on snowing at the summit. Some people cheered, some booed, and some just duck taped their shoes in a failed attempt to keep the water out.
Once the skating started the snow quickly began to accumulate and after four runs or so the road was covered with two inches of slush at the summit which made for some hectic and sketchy fun skating. We quickly realized that staying on the road wasn’t the problem. The slush spraying up onto our grip tape and freezing was the real issue. After a couple runs your grip turned to a sheet of ice and it was nearly impossible to keep your feet on your board. Many people resorted to butt boarding or tried their luck with a luge. The hill was challenging and the experience was unique. Everyone had a smile from ear to ear the whole time regardless of conditions.
The snow continued to fall as we stopped for lunch and a regrouping at the mid mountain lodge. It was clear that we were done for the day and a rowdy snowball fight quickly ensued. Some took this opportunity to grab some dry clothing and head to a local bar with indoor mini-ramp while others stuck around and waited for the band to start playing at mid mountain. Stories of worldly travel and gear head conversions ran rampant through the night as the brews continued to flow and skaters and sponsors mingled. Skaters never say no to more time to party and party we did! Its always great to see everyone even if we don’t get to skate as much as we would like.
Sunday proved to be a wash, or should I say a freeze? We were unable to convince any locals with a plow to take up the challenge of clearing the course so we resorted to taking a trek up to Jay Peak’s pump house and trying our luck at the standing wave. Turns out skateboarding and standing wave surfing are completely different animals. We all had some good falls and lots of laughs. All in all it was a fun and memorable weekend. We look forward to next year and have already started praying to the weather gods for some fun in the sun.
Film & Edit by: Tyler Struss
Words by: Jake Palmer