Monday, June 4, 2012

Hutchinson UnitedRide Team Report Val Di Sole


Hi everyone,

Val Di Sole is over! It has been a rough week end for everyone.

Unfortunately, Tim broke his collarbone on Friday during practice, he went back to South Africa to get a surgery, we all wish him a quick recovery and can't wait to see him on a bike again. Apart from that everyone was having a good time on this dusty steep track and in he hot sun of Val Di Sole.
Saturday, it's qualification time. Guillaume and Fabien crashed and didn't make it into the 80th, but Fabien being 19th overall he is a protected rider, he's still qualified.   Fabien was struggling with arm pumped issues and finished 75th.   
Mick had an average run and qualified 23nd.  Come race day, Mick had a few mistakes in his run and ended up in 32nd; he's now 6th overall. 
Tracey crashed pretty hard in the fastest section of the track and qualified 8th.  Sunday morning, pressure is on for the finals. Tracey was on a good run until she crashed, she finished at 9th place. She's now 2nd overall! 

It's the first hard week end for the team this year, we know it's part of racing and we are already looking forward to Fort William where we will try to get back our team leader rank.

Thanks to all the staff for the hard work and thanks to all our partners like Morewood and iXS for the support.

See you in Fort William next week,

Hutchinson UnitedRide

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stephanie on the Pro Podium

Stephanie raced the Prot GRT/Eastern States Cup this past weekend at Plattekill.  Battleing the shale with her trusty Morewood Izimu and iXS helmet the infamous Red Izimu Bandit had this to say:
"Awesome weather and a crazy fun course at the Eastern States Cup and PRO GRT at Plattekill last weekend! My Little Red Izimu felt great over the roots and loose shale, sticking the berms. I'm really excited about a 4th place finish...my first pro podium! Off to Attitash in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire this weekend, one of my favorite courses from last year! Wheeeee!!!!"
Photo Nicolas Barry
Check out all Matt's photos on VitalMTB.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Man Camp V2.0

You may remember a post about Ned and his Morewood Makulu "Man Camp". Man Camp will be receiving green Spank rims and some various other custom bits before it is finished.  Enjoy Ned's work thus far.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stephanie and her Little Red Izimu

Stephanie Levesque Sowles attended the Pro GRT#2 and ESC#1 at Mountain Creek Bike Park in NJ this weekend aboard her Morewood Izimu.  Not the results she was looking for but she displays the best attitude on the mountain.  Good luck at the next race Stephanie!

"Not one of my most stellar race runs. I wrecked twice in a short stretch. Dead last. Someone has to be last so I guess I'm honored to take my turn in that spot! But another bonus of the Izimu...it's light! Less weight crashing on top of me! hehee"


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ashland: Spring Thaw Classic


Morewood Kalula:

Grammo wheels
Deity cockpit
MRP Crank/Chain Ring/Chain Guide
SRAM Drive train

Winning run for Austin Lancaster at Ashland Spring Thaw in 4:50





Monday, May 7, 2012

Jared Hobbs at the NW Cup#2/PRO GRT/MTB GP/UnderWorld Cup


Jared Hobbs at the NW Cup#2/PRO GRT/MTB GP/UnderWorld Cup

     Downhill Mountain Bike Racing...  It's challenging, frustrating, dangerous and expensive. But It's all worth it when we get to ride a track as good as the one in Port Angeles Washington. A sprint out of the gate into high-speed slick turns, deep braking bumps years in the making, roots, rocks, ruts and tight narrow berms in the trees, it has it all. And then there is a new section of trail I haven't ridden before, Chunder Dome/Ninja Falls, it's wide, steep and raw. This place is called Dry Hill partly because no matter how much it rains, you just don't seem to need mud tires. The combination of the hard packed dirt with slick-rock mix and those narrow berms at almost every turn keep everyone on their dry tires. Thankfully the rains held off which makes the whole weekend nicer too. No one really wants to sit around a campfire in the rain. A thick fog eventually rolled in on Sunday morning just to keep things mysterious.

Photo by Grey Tubbs 
    When I get to any race venue my plan is the same. Walk the track and memorize it. Get up to race pace then stay there. Full runs top to bottom, trying to squeeze out any problems or mistakes from my run. This system works well for me, using limited practice time to build speed, confidence and consistency. And on Friday a problem did arise! Somewhere in the Chunder Dome I went too far to the left and rode right over this large-slick-parallel-stump-thing. Causing me to really hit the next turn wrong, and sent me off the drop-to-flat all over the front of the bike. It was obvious I was going over the bars and proceed to cartwheel down the steep chute. The whole time hoping my Morewood Makulu didn't crash on top of me. Another one of those 'Did my Leatt Brace save me?' I'll never know...later the shuttle truck slid off the road and for a second we thought we were going to roll down the hill. My next pass down the trail I hit all my lines, feeling quick and in control, time to call it a day.

    Saturday was spent fine tuning the track as a whole in preparation for that afternoons' seeding runs. Trying some alternate lines and pushing my comfort level in a few key spots. Remembering where to down shift and where to to pedal hard out of the turns. Getting the Cane Creek Double Barrel Shock tweaked just right and testing the boundaries of tire pressure. All Racers have their own strategy for qualifying/seeding runs, but the way I look at it is, I'm on the clock and I want to see what I can do. Maybe not 100% but somewhere in the 90% range. That said, my run was solid, not perfect but no major mistakes. Everything just kind of fell in place, one section after another, and it was over before I knew it. I think I ended up 40th-ish out of over 100. Considering the level of competition, with about 20 World Cup Riders and almost all of the best racers from America and Canada, mid-pack here isn't too disappointing. Knowing I had some more speed for tomorrow, I went back to my campsite for dinner and fireside track meditation.

Photo by Grey Tubbs 
    It's Race Day, time to get down to business. A thick fog hung in the air Sunday morning, making me wonder if it will rain for finals? After waiting-out the crazy-long lift line for the mornings practice run, I caught one of the last trucks up and was suprised by how saturated the dirt was. The top half of the track seemed slick, so I started out easy just going with the flow. We battled with soft dirt, big holes and deep ruts all weekend. This heavy fog was going to slow down the track for sure. Later I ran back up the hill to see some of my friends in the Cat 1 race, and to watch the trail conditions evolve... everything was looking good. The riders and spectators were definitely enjoying the day. The next few hours back at the Team iXS Unique pits were occupied with preping the bikes, eating some food and staying relaxed yet focused. Talking about the track,seeding runs and bike set-up with my teammates Mikey Haderer, Dante & Jackie Harmony, kept our heads in the game. It was great to have the Unique Sports crew at this race, and thank you for all of your support!  After some spinning on the trainer and more visualization, I took one last pass down the old 4x track to loosen up, I was ready. Now up on the start ramp I hear a few short beeps, and I attack. Hitting turns faster than in practice, throwing in extra pedal strokes, staying low and riding aggressive. I have to admit, the top half of my run was very good. Then after skipping over the moto-whoops I get to a flat root filled left turn and lose some speed. Momentum I really needed for the next kind of flat, rolling section. But I get on the gas and try to recover.  Then the next big right, I swing wide getting close to the trees and have to fight to get back on line. All at a spot I should have been pedaling and that caused me to drop into the real steep gnarly section a little slow. Maybe that let me compose myself because the hardest part of the track I ride smooth and precise. Sprinting hard every chance I get, I slam a couple more berms and cross the line. 2:48.46 Slightly slower than my seeding run which is frustrating, but with track being a bit slower that Saturday afternoon, I guess it's not too far off my pace. Race runs are rarely perfect and those three mistakes in my run were pretty minor. 53rd place was where I ended up, but in a field this big every little thing counts. Five seconds faster and I would have been 30th. There were 18 riders within +/- 1 second of my time. And Top 30 of the Americans at a big national level race sounds pretty good to me. That's one of the best parts about Downhill Racing, there is always a way to go faster and chasing after that elusive, perfect run is what brings me back year after year.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Mad Haderer takes Port Angeles


Sea Otter was over and it was a quick trip home to stop by work then off to meet up with the Harmonys and the boys up at Unique in Oregon so Steve and I jumped in the van and headed up to Central Point. Got in right around breakfast time and rearranged some seats and bikes and we caravan-ed with the DeathStar North towards Port Angeles. A whole bunch of the big guns from Sea Otter decided to come up to the venue as well. The Syndicate, Brendan, Steve Smith, Team Yeti, Norco, KHS, DRD Intense, Mick Hannah, and Trek World Racing were all on the same road as us to ride the first real DH of the year. Long day of driving and a camp out in the local Walmart parking lot and we were at the venue ready for a course walk.


Steve the Official Pit Wolf.
Track was a good mix of everything the northwest had to offer. Some highspeed slick rock and turns up top with some rooty rutted turns in the middle that we have raced on before going on to a whole new wooded section with lots of fresh loam and BIG holes. They finished up the track with another new steep and loose section nicknamed the  "Chunder Dome" and with waist high braking and suspension bumps the name fit quite well. the team had just bolted up some of our new rear shocks from Cane Creek so it was time to do some tuning and testing on the first day of muddy practice. Put on the fresh new IXS Pants and hopped in the first shuttle truck for afternoon practice. The track rode fairly slow with the early morning rain so it was going to be a struggle to keep speed up. After a few practice runs it was time for some good old fashion BBQ for dinner. The motley crew headed out to the Blue Flame BBQ joint in town and was fed entirely too much dead animal. Back to the deathstar for the nights rest going into seeding day on Saturday.




Saturday morning woke to some light showers overnight which actually helped keep the track from getting to sticky but made it a bit slick. We all decided to go with dry tires and the Hutchinson Barracuda was the tire of choice for the weekend. A few clicks and turns on the Double Barrels and the bikes felt great. Now it was just time to keep speed up and try to stay out of the holes that were growing bigger every run. I hoped in the truck to grab one last practice run before seeding when near the top the truck started to shake and move and before we all knew it the Uhaul van started to roll. Being inside of the box we really had to reference to what was going on other than the floor was now at nearly a 45 degree angle I felt as though i was going to flip over and land on top of Mick Hannah who was now below me. After the were finally let out of the truck we could tell that the driver must have been facebooking while driving and slid us off the side of the raised shuttle road and had it not been for all the logging recently done on Dry Hill we might have kept rolling down the side of the mountain. After this little incident the track didnt seem at all scary anymore. Seeding runs came around and lets just say I did my best impression of a full motion Sunny Bono and smacked right into a tree coming to a stop. Ran a time somewhere in the top half but knew I had a LOT more to take off for finals the next day.




Finals day. Woke up early to find the whole hill Socked in completely with fog as well as a fair amount of rain which turned the already scary fast top section into a small stream and extremely slick at speed. We are allowed one practice run on race day with nearly 500 racers going off that day it became a day of HURRY up and WAIT. Sitting around the pits for about 5 hours before finals really took a bit of a toll on me and i dont think i was really ready for my race run. Finally it was time to ride and headed up the hill just in time to roll into the gate. Set off on my run and just couldn't quite get my rhythm in the first few turns. I tried to get things back under control but after about half the run I was still struggling to ride smooth. Overbraking in turns and having some very interesting encounters with roots it was probably my worst race run in memory without coming off the bike. Finished in the same second and my qualifier with a whole lot of disappointment on my mind.  All and all it was a good learning race for me and gave me some new fire to spend alot more time just on my DH bike. On to the next one. Stay tuned for some new bike news!


Read the Harmony's Race Reports HERE.
Now, go here and click "Like": Facebook.com/UniqueMTB

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Team iXS Unique and Hutchinson UnitedRide - Sea Otter 2012


Who is the team with the biggest space?  Oh, that's us...Team iXS Unique.
Dual Slalom Woes...
Mikey's DS ride.  Check out all the Slalom bikes on VitalMTB
In the dual slalom, Sick Mick qualified 1st,  Fabien 12th, Mikey 17th, and Jackie in 5th.

Fabien’s 8th final was against Kyle Strait. Fabien was on a very good run, they were elbow to elbow but on the last jump, Fabien’s derailleur broke. Fabien was then ready to fight on his second round. He finished in front of Kyle Strait but it wasn’t enough. 

Sick Mick on the other hand won his 16th and 8th finals. He looked very fast. The quarter finals were against Cedric Gracia. Mick was leading when, on the last jump, his derailleur broke too. He then had to make quite a lot of time on the second round. He finished in front of Gracia but the time lost from the mechanical issue wasn’t enough. 

Mick and Fabien were disappointed since they had the speed and felt very good on their bikes. Finally it’s Kyle Strait who took the win of the race and it’s too bad when we know that Fabien was able to beat the winner without a mechanical.

Mikey ran into some shifting issues out of the gate and was knocked out in the first round. Mikey than moved on to help the announcers.
Jackie, "Saturday was a full day for Dual Slalom, we had practice, qualifying and finals all in one day. I was riding a new bike, which has a secret name, winning practice as usual. I nailed all the lines I wanted and struggled a bit on the climbs back up the hill, due to the extreme heat of the day. I qualified 5th, knowing I botched the blue course and was ready to redeem myself during finals and advance to the top four. I won both tracks on my first heat and was excited to win the next. However I was not so lucky on my next heat, I lost the first run and won the second, but it was not enough. Steffi beat me by .01 and was able to advance to the semi-finals."
Place Name Team
1 Kyle Strait
2 Troy Brosnan MONSTER ENERGY-SPECIALIZE
3 Cedric Gracia BRIGADE/SANTA CRUZ/FOX/SHI
4 Danny Hart GIANT FACTORY OFF ROAD TEA
5 Michael Hannah HUTCHINSON UNITED RIDE
6 Greg Minnaar SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE
7 Brendan Fairclough SCOTT SPORTS
8 Luke Strobel PIVOT KENDA
9 Mitch Ropelato SPECIALIZED GRAVITY USA
10 Josh Bryceland SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE/FOX/S
Professional Women
Place Name Team
1 Jill Kintner TEAM NORCO INTERNATIONAL/R
2 Melissa Buhl KHS/AZONIC
3 Manon Carpenter Satasen Madison
4 Steffi Marth TREK GRAVITY GIRLS
5 Jacqueline Harmony TEAM IXS UNIQUE
6 Wendy Palmer

7 Eva Castro SPECIALIZED/MAMMOTH
8 Katie Holden SPECIALIZED/SRAM/CAMELBAK
9 Joanna Petterson MAXXIS/NEMA
10 Andrea Napoli

DH Action...
Sunday morning was foggy and a bit cooler. Mick’s start was pretty early and he did a time of 2:03 which put him in the hot seat for a while. The last riders were pretty fast but only Jared Graves, specialist on this track, beat Mick’s time by only 0.5 seconds.  Fabien did a good run considering his mistake and finished 13th.
It was the first time a rider of the team went on the podium at Sea Otter and with a 2nd  place, Mick Hannah finished just in front of Aaron Gwin, the 2011 world cup champion. 

Mikey whipped big for the crowd, they were still whooping when he drifted a corner.  Next corner the same...opps, too much.  A crowd favorite Mikey ended up in front if Team iXS Unique's enduro specialist Jared Hobbs.  
Jackie, "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday my favorite day was foggy all the way through the women’s Downhill race. My name was on the top of the start list and I was excited to be the first one down. Race morning practice was a little frustrating, due to the change in weather my suspension felt a bit sluggish. I am glad I did not change anything because I knew the weather would be changing and the more I rode my bike the better the suspension would feel. The Sea Otter Downhill has been known for smaller travel bikes to do the best, however I decided to race on my trusty Orange 224 and just pedal as hard as I could. The race run went smooth and I charged all the way to the finish, definitely feeling all the off- season training taking affect. The end result put me in 6th, 0.6 seconds off of 5th and 1 second off of 4th place."
When a jump comes around, you must whip it.  Whip it good!


Fabien charging.
Mick rocking the short travel bike.
Podium for Mick
Mayhem
On the first day the sidehack was mauled by Fabien Cousinie and Lance Tueller.  Look for footage of that in the upcoming Hutchinson UnitedRide footage.  Mikey Haderer and Matt Condrashoff headed over to our friends at COC and backflipped the sidehack into the bag.

Mikey also hit up the Speed and Style in a speedo which we are going to spare your eyes the photo evidence.

video


Up next...
This weekend Fabien is off to France for the Avalanche Cup of Lyon and Mick Hannah rejoins Jackie, Dante, and Mikey (Team iXS Unique) for the Pro GRT/NWCup #2/US Grand Prix in Port Angeles, Washington.
 
We are stoked to share some sponsors with the Hutchinson UnitedRide Team like; iXS Sports Division, Morewood Bikes, and Hutchinson Tires.

We would also like to thank VP Components, Cane Creek, MRP, Deity, White Bros., Feedback Sports, and Solar Sense PV.


Dante's Whip on display at Deity. The DS bikes made their way to most every sponsors booth.
For now Jackie, Dante, and Mick are about to hit up Mt. Ashland in Oregon...see you on the trails!

36 Second Video with Tim Bentley

Short attention span?  Go Timmy!!!



Morewood Bikes: Tim Bentley from lloyd ramsay on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pink Izimu, Pink Makulu, Pink...

Pink, it's my new obsession, yeah 
Pink, it's not even a question 
Pink, on the lips of your lover 
'Cause pink is the love you discover 
Pink, as the bing on your cherry 
Pink, 'cause you are so very 
Pink, it's the color of passion 
'Cause today it just goes with the fashion                                                                                     
- Aerosmith 
Go Tracey Go!
 No doubt you have seen Tracey's Pink Izimu.  Tracey won the 2012 Australian National Champs and the first World Cup in South Africa aboard this bike.  Well the factory in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa has been cooking up a Makulu...in pink.  Check out the last photo below.


Sad to see the Izimu go.  So, let's see, here in the USA you can get a handmade, Championship winning, Cane Creek Double Barrel equipped, adjustable geometry frame for $2,136.84.  Can anyone match that?


That's right adjustable geometry, with the turn of an allen key you can raise/lower the bottom bracket, shorten/lengthen the chainstay, and change the head angle.  Oh yeah!


Podium Pink

Soon to Podium Pink

TriRide Velocity.ZERO // Pietermaritzburg DH World Cup 2012

Watch Hutchinson UnitedRide team members Mick Hannah and Tracey Hannah shred the DH World Cup #1.  Mick rolls on the Morewood Makulu while Tracey kills it on the Izimu.  Mick's section starts at 4:00 and Tracey starts at 5:45.  Although you will want to watch the whole thing.  



TriRide Velocity.ZERO // Pietermaritzburg DH World Cup 2012 from TriRide on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NW Cup #1

The Enduro contingent headed for the NW Cup #1 in Port Angeles this weekend.  Jared Hobbs was rocking the #4 plate in the Pro Division.  Jared rode his Morewood Makulu to a final time of 2:57.02 which was good enough for a 17th of 39 Pros at the event.  This was Jared's first race on the Makulu.


Jared protected himself with an interesting combo...iXS Hack Knee Pads and iXS Hack Shin Pads.  The Hack Knee Pads are the ultimate in Enduro protection and lightweight.  He added some shin protection and hit up the DH.  Nice idea!


Scott Punt hit up the Cat 1 race with his Makulu, stay tuned for an event report from Scott on this blog.


Be sure to "Like" the team on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UniqueMTB


See the full results here: http://nwtechanddesign.com/nwcup/files/DH-Results-Overall.pdf

Photo by dsedivy on PinkBike.  Check out his other photos HERE    

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fontucky...Winner, winner; chicken dinner...

Fontana, California was the first stop for the iXS Unique Team to shake off the Winter as a team.  The Team's Makulus were not ready for action so Jackie and Dante climbed aboard one of Unique's other brands for the weekend; still handmade single pivoty goodness.  While the Harmony's got used to their rides Mikey dialed in his 888's on his Izimu with the help of the awesome support at Marzocchi. 


Come race time the sky opened up and the rain began.  Sorry for the lack of action shots, next time we will bring more weatherproof camera equipment.


Jackie got top spot on the podium...not bad for receiving the bike the day before.  Can't wait to get her on her Makulu.  Mikey shared the 2:10 time slot with five others riders good for a 16th spot out of 41 Pro Men.  Dante also having spent a few hours on a new bike pulled a 24th spot with a time of 2:13.09.   


Results:
Pro Women DH
1. Jacqueline Harmony       2:25.12
2. Gabriela Williams            2:27.40
3. Margret Gregory              2:32.43


This is another "W" in the column for iXS, USCO, VP, Cane Creek Double Barrel, Marzocchi, Deity, MRP, and Feedback Sports.


We shared our pit with Privateer racers Ben Mclelland, Ryan Sholes, and a couple members of Unreal Cycles Team Sprockets Grommits.  


Morewood Makulu Rider Results:
DNF Ben McClelland - Sprain Ankle...get better soon buddy!
8th Ryan Sholes - Expert Men 27-34
8th Scott Punt - Expert Men 19-26


Let's get ready for Sea Otter!!!  Wooooooo!

Those Split Tails are BRIGHT!!!
Lance added a dropper post to Mikey Haderer's Izimu right before the race. 
Pretty little ladies all in a row...
VP in the house!
Too hot for the internet? You decide!
Is that a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air on that Makulu?  Dang!
Steve approves this message.
Shhhh...Jackie is resting from her win.
A big thanks to all our sponsors...we hope to put you up on the podium again soon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tracey wins, Mick 3rd

Womens Results:
1st - Tracey Hannah
2nd - Manon Carpenter
3rd - Emeline Ragot
4th - Jill Kinter
5th - Miriam Ruchti

Mens Results:
1st - Greg Minnaar
2nd - Aaron Gwin
3rd - Mick Hannah








Friday, March 16, 2012

First in Qualifying

Tracey coming in at first spot in qualifying aboard her Morewood Izimu!!!  

1st - Tracey Hannah
2nd - Emmeline Ragot
3rd - Floriane Pugin
4th - Sabrina Jonnier
5th - Jill Kinter

Full results from our Morewood Brothers Southern Downhill HERE

The Izimu features adjustable geometry through the XPI Pivot.  With the turn of an allen wrench you may adjust the bb height,  chainstay length, and head angle.  Check out how the XPI works HERE.  Click and hit the XPI tab.


Mick Hannah qualifies in 6th aboard the Makulu!  Full men's results HERE.


Mick is ripping it up on the Makulu.  So stoked for Sunday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ned's Man Camp

"Man Camp" is getting a paint job...can't wait to see this Makulu in full glory again! 

British Racing Green?  Awwwe yeah!