Last weekend while my buddies and I were ending a mountain bike ride when we noticed two guys with skateboards (officially called longboards) standing around getting ready to hurl themselves down a road descent that locals call "the backside of Rist". The fellow dressed in black was all excited because he reached 72 miles per hour on the last run.
My thoughts began racing...
A crash at 72 mph on a skateboard is going to leave a mark, or two, and most certainly a Band-Aid will be necessary - even though he's dressed in full leathers, helmet and Vans shoes.
I grab brake coming down that descent on a bike.
My max bike speed has never exceeded 60 mph.
I have brakes.
I wonder how many Vans/brakes it takes to make it through a season of racing?
We did watch them come down the hill and it was really amazing. The focus, skill and athletic talent it takes to do this sport is interesting to me, though I am not remotely interested in trying it myself. I snapped a couple of photos the guys on the run-out, which gives no justice to the sport.
I chatted with the guys a bit and found out that they competed in the 2009 Buffalo Bill Downhill the previous weekend. Below is some footage of the racer I spoke to, Josh Weisfeld (in the all-black leathers in my still photos), going downhill fast outside of Golden, CO:
I did a little more research and found out that other longboarders have discovered Rist Canyon as well. Apparently the steep drop, curves (yes, curves in the road) and the run-out make it perfect for longboarding.