Unlike my usual weekends of riding with my bros, I set out to Killington for a weekend full of photo shoots, late night wifi/electricity hunting and of corse, sunburn.
Friday : The Start
The weekend started at the 4th of July parade in Warren, VT. If you’ve never been, GO! It’s nationally known for it’s monstrous crowd of dancing humans in front of the Warren General Store. Every year since birth I had been part of the parade in a float with Peggy and Sparky Potter. For those of you who don’t know who those two are, they’re the mother and father of the one and only Gracie Potter.
Following the parade I met up with some friends from Mass, and New Hampshire who I hadn’t seen in a fairly long time (for a 16 year old). We hung out in the crowd of people dancing and doing our thing until it was time for me to meet up with my ride to Killington. The original plan was for me take a bus up to Sugarbush to meet my buddy Brooks, but things didn’t go as we presumed.
Apparently it’s a legal law stating that you’re not allowed public transportation with any kind of explosive. The way the bus driver told me that was more like “Get off my bus you hooligan it’s extremely illegal for you to carry that on here!” Thus I parted from my friends and was just standing there on the curb with a whole duffle full of bike gear in one hand, and a leaking propane tank in the other.
I was thankfully in Vermont where everyone is part of a community, aka everyone is very kind to any neighbor. So I walked to the nearest house and asked for the phone, called Brooks, and then waited, for an hour n’ a half. Sitting there with no service, because again, it’s Vermont. I just sat and sat knowing that eventually Brooks would show up to go have a killer weekend. Turns out he was late because his parents made him clean his room. Classic. We set out on our 2 hour drive to the base of Killington and began preserving iPhone battery life like it was our life that only had 20%.
Upon arrival we pitched or tent, built a fire, and went for a sunset shoot with our friends Evan and his younger brother Ian.
Eventually it was pitch black so we set back toward the parking lot where we would box of our own area with cars/trucks, sleep in a trailer for 2 nights, eat 26 burritos, and dream of the sick riding that was yet to come.
Saturday : Shooting
We all awoke at the same time, to the trailer shaking more than it had been all night. I say all night because we were rocked for 8 hours by the 45mph wind gusts taking over Killington.
After we all did the classic wake n’ piss routine we met went to the store downtown to buy a couple boxes of cereal that was supposedly going to last us 2 days. It didn’t.
Following breakfast we rode all day eventually taking a break for lunch around 2. We met up around the same time with another rider, Areg, whom Brooks and I had previously shot with before at NEMBA Fest.
We ate, we fixed the rear hub on Evan’s bike, and we snagged last chair up the mountain to shoot for the next 3 hours in dry heat with a zillion mosquito’s all over. We got some stellar video and great photos that will be up later this week.
After we had gotten our shots we rode down to camp and I took a river bath because I hate being dirty. Everyone always notices this when we’re camping and knows I’d be trouble to backpack with. I just needed to get the extra layer of caked mud off my body. I just didn’t want to try and sleep with feeling that gross. When I was back at camp we all pooled our money together, headed to the store and bought all the beef and cheese burritos we could buy. Turned out to be only 25. Yes, we bought all the burritos in the store. Grilled them up, and sat around the campfire sharing tales of injuries and memories of other good times. All the while we set of some fireworks Areg brought for us, then headed to bed.
Sunday : Race Day
Sunday was the work day. Get up, eat, and get to the top of the downhill race track so I could start writing my pinkbike.com article. There was just one glitch, Brooks was sick.
Not just like a cough, but he could barely walk, let alone go hike around downhill track shooting photos. So he left. He left for the doctors, eventually just ending up back home in the MRV having learned he somewhere along the way got bronchitis.
Shooting the race was nearly a disaster. My speed light wasn’t working. Racers kept coming at awkward times. A 38 year old had to be taken down in a stretcher because they smacked a tree and we soon learned that they blew up their kneecap, thus causing a 30 minute race delay. When you’re on a mountain that has no cell service I was just sitting on the track waiting for another racer to eventually show up.
Once I had gathered my self to start taking good photos the racers began to come again. What I didn’t know what that the list of racers was almost done, and I was only at the half way mark. It seemed impossible, upon reviewing my shots, to bring my self together and write an overview of the race that would seem likely to ever be read. Turns out it was liked enough that it was put on the homepage of PinkBike.com in front of thousands of riders worldwide. Over all the weekend seemed to work out better than planned. I went into it just hoping for a good time and some great photos, but turned out to be sick ridding, excellent photos, but all in all just a great time. I’m looking forward to shooting more races and potentially being able to write more photojournalism, and potentially have it as a career.
You can find my article here : POC ESC Downhill Cup #2 – Killington, VT
My photos can be found here : POC ESC Downhill Cup #2 – Killington, VT