Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Semenuk’

Daily Roundup: Fat Cyclist & Fit Cyclist, Semenuk, Bike sales s-l-o-w

In Bicycle Racing, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on November 2, 2009 at 2:53 am

Fat Cyclist hangs with Fit Cyclist.

Early Christmas presents are on sale at Ric Hjertberg’s Wheel Fanatyk, especially Ghisallo wood rims!

We repeat: Brandon Semenuk is redefining the expression, “Go Big!”

Shimano sales down 21 percent in 3rd quarter. Mavic sales down 14 percent. Dismal as both sound, read the links. The issue appears to be margins. The mid-range and high-end stuff isn’t moving. That’s where the fat profits are. Otherwise, the bike business is doing better than most in this Redepression or whatever you want to call it.

Kokanee Crankworx Slopestyle 2009: Wuz Semenuk robbed?

In Mountain Biking on August 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Brandon Semenuk must wonder what it’s going to take for him to win in his home town of Whistler.

In a surprise Kokanee Crankworx 2009 Slopestyle outcome Saturday, Greg Watts, a tricks specialist from the Santa Cruz-Aptos cabal in California, upset Semenuk, who was fresh off his second straight Crankworx Colorado victory and obviously hoping to kill before his B.C. homeys. Watts, who was runnerup to Semenuk at Colorado, flashed some monster moves, including a double flip whip performed by twirling the bike above you while upside down and backwards to the terrain below.

Taking nothing away from Watts, who clearly rode out of his mind, Semenuk wuz robbed. You can argue whether Semenuk’s tail whips and flips were better than Watts’ — Semenuk also did an upside-downer — or whether his run was as daring and innovative as Watts. But assuming these are arguable points, Semenuk ruled on style points.

The man — well, kid, really, at 18 — gets air like no one else. He soars so high that you almost feel the G-out in your gut. He’s like an angel floating in the clouds, only on wheels instead of wings.

By contrast (again, nothing diminished), Watts’ victorious flip whip seemed a bit rushed and incomplete. Yes he pulled it off. But did he really nail it?

Finally, Semenuk’s high-wire act had more diversity than Greg’s. It was one different move after another — back flip, tail whip, upside down whip, front flip, no-hands, reverse 360 — that left the crowd gasping and roaring at the same time.

Points are all judgment calls by the panel of experts, of course. And they took their time, presumably mulling over some of the above considerations. But in the end, they came down on the wrong side. (Some observers said Watts wuz robbed at Colorado, so this may be poetic justice.)

It might be reasoned that at his tender age, Semenuk has years to get the top Slopestyle win in the world. But slopestyle isn’t golf or tennis or even the NBA. You’re only one cracked disc or broken foot from the shelf, as the quickly forgotten stars of yesteryear (some of whom were drifting around Whistler Village the past week) can readily attest. By your mid-20s, the normal peak years for athletic prowess, you’re pretty much out of this type of competition.

Let’s hope there wasn’t a “prophet without honor” psychology going on in the voting, a subtext that says you can’t favor the hometown hero and anyway, how could someone from down the street really beat all these big names from around the world?

In any case, there’s always (or at least a good chance for) next year for Semenuk. At some point it’s going to be clear he’s the class of the competition, local boy or not.

In another surprise, first-timer Martin Soederstroem of Sweden, who must be the new Tailwhip King of the slopestyle circuit, pulled down the bronze, beating out Paul Basagoitia, the only competitor to ever win Crankworx in his first try (as a qualifier, no less). Bas is having a great year nonetheless, as a video floating around of him doing a rocket-shot flip whip proves.

All in all, another monster Monster Energy Slopestyle is in the books. Each year seems to get better, and although I hear some cavils about too many flips and whips so why bother? Crankworx never fails to amaze, delight and inspire. The magic of Crankworx is that I’ll go ride tomorrow with dreams of doing my first 360, and although at my age it will never happen, that can’t stop me from riding like it might.

Daily Roundup: Naked cyclists! Crankworx, iPhone apps, kewl Portland, naked cyclists! and more

In Bicycling, Daily Roundup on August 6, 2009 at 1:09 am

Boy…dog days of August. Not much news to round up! But here goes…

Let’s start with the always reliable wakeup call, NAKED CYCLISTS! Usually naked riders in Seattle paint themselves…and this is probably why. My take: If a mother from Everett finds offense, she shouldn’t be comin’ to downtown Seattle. O my, the things you might see in the Big City! Hey, I’m offended by Everett blue-noses but you don’t see me running to KOMO News to complain…

Mountain Bike Action‘s Web site has video of Brandon Semenuk’s monster ride to win the Crankworx Colorado Slopestyle competition for the second year in a row. Now the trick is for Brandon to repeat on Aug. 15 in his home town — Whistler. A far taller order, the pressure being on…

You know those iPhone bike apps that get so much attention? Yeah, I don’t use ’em either. BikeHugger explores why, using the Bike Your Drive app as the whipping post.

The Tyee, one of the best metro blogs around, based in Vancouver, B.C., looks at why Portland is just so kewl and finds cycling to be one of its “superiorities” to Vancouver. I’m not so sure on that point — Vancouver has gnarly biking and the Stanley Park/English Bay/West Vancouver mile-after-mile bike path, and there’s nothing anywhere in the states to compare to it — but whatever. It’s an interesting take. is cool, however, pointing out how McCain still just doesn’t get it. The butt-kicked Zona senator thinks the U.S. spends too much on bike paths.

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is tracking potential fire closures in the Seattle area. But rain supposedly is on the way starting Sunday! Is summer over? Statistically, we’ve had more than our share this year so yeah, get ready…

Speaking of Evergreen, regarding the turmoil in the club’s membership, a Town Hall will be held Monday, Aug. 31, at 6 p.m. in Duthie Hill Lodge near Issaquah. “Please bring an open mind, great ideas and positive energy,” the Yahoo! list invite reads. “We’ll touch on some specific pain points the community has brought to light…” They’re on the right track here but what do you say to a club ride at Duthie before the meeting!

Daily Roundup: Texas badass, Crankworx Colorado, Fire at Whistler, Mr. Clucky and more

In Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking, Rider Down on August 3, 2009 at 2:10 am

Houston Chronicle: The father of a driver accused of killing two bicyclists last summer urged Texas Gov. Rick Perry to veto a bike-safety “3-feet-please” bill. Perry did veto the legislation, although it’s unclear how much impact the father’s views had. Perry broke his collarbone riding a mountain bike recently, so it’s not like he’s anti-bike on principle. But the father’s argument that 3-feet-please gives cyclists a false sense of security is ludicrous. Cyclists never have a sense of security around cars.

No wonder you have cyclists and drivers mixing it up out on the roadway…

Whistler’s emerging slopestyle star Brandon Semenuk won Crankworx Colorado, so now the pressure’s on for a twofer at his home Crankworx on Aug. 15. Other surprise results: Tyler McCaul, undoubtedly rooted on by brother Cam, pulled fourth place, and Paul Basagiota showed he’s not over the hill yet with a strong bronze medal. If the weather holds and fires stay away, the upcoming Kokanee Crankworx should be the best yet!

Fire on the Mountain!
Whistler/Blackcomb got tagged with a lightning blaze Thursday afternoon, causing evacuation of both mountains. No one got hurt and Whistler’s crack fire response team was on the case. With the Winter Olympics coming up next year, they’re not taking any chances on the village.

Fire in the tree farm? Popular mountain biking areas, Tokul and Griffin Creek, look closed from fire danger, according to the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. Here’s the list posting:

Hancock: Snoqualmie Tree Farm. Includes Tokuls East and West and Griffin
Phone number: 1-800-782-1493
Pilchuck Tree Farm: all 3 tracts (Victoria, Armstrong, Pilchuck)
Webpage: Pilchuck Tree Farm
Green Crow. Ames Lake Tree Farm – includes the South part of Tolt.
Webpage: Ames Lake Tree Farm

Note: These trails systems are on privately owned, working tree farms. The
land managers are being generous by allowing us to use their land for free.
Respecting the fire closures, even though not all the trails are signed, is
an important part of keeping a good relationship with the land managers so
that they continue to allow mountain biking in their land.

Bring Out Your Dead:
A 60-year-old British mountain biker went for his last ride at a good place, Chamonix. No conclusive word on what happened, but one can only hope his last thoughts were, “I feel happy, I feel happy…”

Is it also the end of the road for Mr. Clucky, the bike-riding rooster? Stay tuned