What do you do after a productive 3 race series on the east coast…you go to Billy Goat Bikes Racing team camp. With some racing under the belt, we still have a need to get the bike setup finalized. Racing is awesome but fine tuning the bike takes time. Everyone is on new bikes and so new setups are critical this weekend.
Five out of eight riders made the trek to base camp at Windrock. As most know, Windrock Park has been the practice place for some of best east coast World Cup riders. The terrain offers everything you need to put a bike through it’s paces.
Camp started Saturday morning. It was a beautiful morning but pretty brisk, i.e. cool. As warm up runs were under way, Matt had laid out a systematic plan for each rider that would start after lunch. Matt was walking the rock during the pre-lunch session watching each rider through different sections to see how the bike and suspension was working for them. It was clear we had some work to do.
Michael would be first up and Matt already had a good idea what needed to be done with his bike. So, with that funny little tool that Canecreek provides, Matt made a turn here and adjusted a few clicks there. Next thing was checking the volume reducers, air pressure and settings on the new SRSuntour Rux DH fork then Michael loaded up to do a couple of runs.
Behind the scenes, Jimmy was really going to town making change to his fork…
- 5 reducers, less air pressure
- no reducers, more air pressure
- 2 reducers, no compression
- change, change, change
It would be like this for each rider, make a change, do a run and give feedback. Make a change and make another run. Not only did suspensions get worked on but the rock likes to eat bike parts. The rock fought against our Novatec Wheels but by the end of the weekend the rock had lost and the Demon Wheels were declared the winner.
By the end of the day, the team was exhausted, hungry and ready to kick their feet up and relax. The talk under the tent was about blooming onions, cheese fries, steak, chicken and loaded baked potatoes. For some of the older guys, there was also talk of a tall cold beer.
The day was was over and it was more productive than we had hoped it would be. With bellies full and the pillows calling… it was bed time. It was late a night for everyone and the next morning would come too early.
Sleepy eyes, stiff hands and some sore muscles sat around the table at breakfast. Sunday morning was an earlier start and it was cold.
With most riders having a 4 plus hour ride home, it would be a day of non-stop shuttles. Lunch was served on the fly as run after run went down. Even BGB shop manager & super mechanic, Erik Running Wolfe and Team Owner, Matt would get involved in the fun on day 2. Erik was sporting his new trail bike and wanted to see if he had the pace of the DH squad. Matt wanted to show that OLDER guys can still ride too.
“This was the kind of weekend that gets me really stoked for the season ahead. We set a goal of understanding and finding base tunes for our suspension and accomplished it while having a blast. You know you’re with a solid group of people when you can spend the weekend helping teammates with their Tinder game and still come away with a dialed bike and suspension setup.”, said Jimmy Leslie.
“This weekend was absolutely perfect for testing the new steeds. We got some great changes to the suspension and we are all one step closer to being ready for this race season,” said Joshua Rogers.
“Awesome weekend of riding with the boys! The bikes and setup are running better than ever with the suspension getting dialed. Can’t wait for the next race!,” said Derek Maiden.
“Oh my, that’s over a 100% better. I can ride this bike,” said Michael Kane.
“The team camp was an awesome experience filled with fast dudes to ride with, along with nothing but a fun time together. When I first got there, the bike was all over the place and the shock, along with the fork, wasn’t set right. After a one on one with Matt, we dialed the bike in almost perfectly with it handling way better and I felt in control of the bike. The wheels are amazing, with enough flex to make them extremely durable during rough sections on the track. All in all, the team camp was a must for me. It was a great place to ride a downhill bike, good people to be around, and good criticism to make me want to push myself even more in becoming a better rider,” said Jaeger Rose.
Well, at the end of the weekend, all the work & fun was done and it was time to say our goodbyes. Road trip times from 2.5 to 6.5 hours were about to take place.
“We are very pleased with the progress made this weekend and are looking forward to the start of our season,” said Matt Haynes, Team Owner.
Thanks to our riders, Matt Haynes for his expertise, and Scott Kane for his dedication to the team.
Now its time to update the testing spreadsheet, post the results and get to bed.
“I appreciate the time, effort and dedication from our team,” said Trent Rogers, Team Manager.
“Overall it’s safe to say that Billy Goat Bikes Racing Team Camp was a big success. Our riders are better prepared for Port Angeles,” said Trent Rogers, Team Manager.
Thanks to TR for all the photos….
As always none of this would be possible without a great line-up of sponsors…
Billy Goat Bike Shop • Novatec Wheels • BikeFettish • RJ Rockers Brewery
Mountain Khakis • Onza Tires • SR Suntour • GoalZero
HT Pedals • FLY Racing • CaneCreek • Deity • Devinci Bikes