A fun weekend in Bend has come and gone. The 7th annual Dirksen Derby banked slalom was held despite low snow levels in Oregon. Dirksen and a volunteer army of workers, hand built another great set of courses this year. A mellow, exposed course; the green, and a forested, steeply bank walled course with more airs and consequence; the red.
Cj, Kelso and I rode together all weekend as well as in our brief practice and contest runs. We all opted for the green course having not had time to wrap our heads around the difficulty presented by the more technical red course. The tight banked slalom courses of the Derby are a season highlight to be pumping corners with race ambition on. This year however, none of us qualified for day two of racing. One bobble on your run and that was good enough to consider yourself axed.
The weekend in Bend was great to reconnect with one’s inner snowboarder as it’s already mid December and I don’t feel like I’m into the season or riding mode until now. Part of this feeling or lack of feelings, is due to the weather. Seeing Mt.Bachelor with less then a two foot snowpack is so strange. Brown snow from broken down logs being jibbed was as common a sight last weekend as a Derby bib strapped to a snowboarder’s leg. We missed the plentiful fresh snow from the 2012 Derby. I’m already looking forward to the 8th annual Derby with hopes of better snow. Be gone warm, dry weather. It’s winter damn it.