With three straight days of rain leading up to Blue Mountain Bike Park’s Rider Appreciation Day, spirits were a little bit low. However, the skies cleared on Friday and the bike Gods smiled down upon everyone who arrived for the festivities on Saturday morning.
One of the main draws of the day was the Flat-Turn Duel Slalom. This was no Crankworx-style Dual Slalom or Pumptrack Challenge. Instead, two parallel lines packed with grassy flat turns. A true test that would reward those who could walk the fine line between all-out speed and bike control.
The format was just as simple as the course layout. Qualifiers were open to anyone up to the challenge. Riders would take one timed run on each course, and the fastest overall would find themselves in the head-to-head, single-run elimination bracket.
As the day went on, the course burned in and the grassy roost started flying. The format was unforgiving with many riders seeing their chances of advancing vanish before their eyes as a they overcooked it into a corner and washed out. When the dust settled, Chris Paul would stand atop the podium on the Amateur side, followed by Jesse Bawn and Lewis Park. In the Open division, it was Keith Grant taking the win in front of Joe Bauckham and Simon Scholte.
Huge thanks to everyone who came out to race, ride and partake in good times. Extra huge thanks to the Luc Belanger and the Bike Park Repair Shop, Smith Optics, Troy Lee Designs, Matt Morrish and Cycle Solutions, and Mike Towers and Sam Measures for contributing prizing to the day!