(Photo Gallery — Slideshow below – Photos © J. Maus)
At an event that culminated Sunday in Maryhill, Washington, Portland’s Team Zoobomb showed they can ride bikes downhill as fast as anyone in the world.
the gravity biking scene.
(L to R: Chuck Bridge, Aaron Truman, Gabe Tiller)
The trio of Chuck Bridge, Gabe Tiller, and Aaron Truman capped their quest to become the world’s fastest gravity bikers by taking two of the top three spots: Tiller brought home the silver medal and Bridge followed him for bronze.
The event was run on Maryhill Loops Road, an historic, 1.9 mile stretch of serpentine road just a stone’s-throw from the Columbia River Gorge and the first paved road in the Pacific Northwest. The road was built in 1909 — but don’t let it’s age fool you. It’s closed to cars for most of the year and it had just received a fresh coat of asphalt.
At speeds nearing 40 mph and a time of just over three minutes, only Australian Brett Phillips proved faster than the two Zoobombers. Phillips came from Melbourne to compete with his custom-fabricated bike that was the envy of other competitors. During qualifying and practice runs, Phillips and Tiller ran neck and neck; Tiller even beat Phillips in the semifinal heat.
But in the final run, Phillips was just too fast. “I had him for the first third of the way down,” recalled Tiller, “but then he just blazed past me on the inside.” Tiller says he’s more than happy with second; “It was way better than I thought I’d do, when I got here and saw the competition.”
Besides Phillips and his envy-inspiring, custom-fabricated bike, Team Zoobomb faced competition from perennial favorite and course record-holder Mike McIntyre. But McIntyre made an ill-timed mistake — running off course during a semifinal heat — and did not get a spot in the four-man final.
After his gold-medal winning run, I asked Phillips if victory might inspire more folks in Melbourne to take up the sport. “Heck yeah,” he replied, “they’ll be into it for sure… next year we’ll hook up with the Zoobomb crew and hit the hills.”
The “Zoobomb crew” he referred to included not just the riders, but a large number of supporters who made the trip to Maryhill to cheer the team on. By far the largest contingent at the event, the Team Zoobomb supporters (who helped raise over $2,000 to get the team here) showed that Portland not only has some of the most talented downhill racers in the world, but we’ve got an entire community to back them up.
Chuck Bridge says he’s not sure what’s next for Team Zoobomb, but he’s got his eyes on another gravity event this spring in California. “I’m going to ask and see if the guys feel like keeping this thing going.”
I hope they do. Team Zoobomb now has a gravity-biking reputation to uphold.
Check out my slideshow from all the action on Saturday and Sunday (72 images):
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
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Congratulations. And nice boobies. What\’s the elevation drop on that course? Does extra weight help?
How many times did I say this weekend ,\”I wish I was out at Goldendale with the team zoobomb!\”? A lot of times!
But family illness held me away.
Congratulations big time! I am so proud of your skanky asses!
Check out those leathers…hott!
I was an amazing week of racing with superb conditions, strong downhill winds, and competitors from 13 different countries. We all had so much fun. A HUGE thanks to our friends and zoobomb, it is so rad to see everyone support us for the benefit party and then come out and be our pit crew as well. Also our sponsors made it all possible, thanks to the following rad folks:
and of course bikeportland.org
It\’s about a 600\’ drop and 1.9 miles. Not the fastest or steepest course, but with the smoothness of the 17 corners the challenge of this course is all about finessing the perfect line. As for the weights, yeah they hold your momentum through the less fast sections, but make cornering a trickier process.
You can see more pics of Brett\’s ride here: http://www.fyxomatosis.com/news.php?readmore=1137
Also, there are some more photos of the event up here: http://tinyurl.com/6ydd2r
thanks to everyone who supported Team Zoobomb, be it donations, sponsorship, or coming out there and being part of the cheering squad, we appreciate it so much. we had an incredible time out there, met tons of athletes from around the world, and got to spend 5 days riding down one of the best stretches of road in the area. As Gabe\’s said, we had some really tough competition out there, but everyone was very welcoming to us.
I\’m hoping to get Team Zoobomb out to some other gravity bike events in the states, and maybe even the world! next year\’s championships are in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, and Brett hopes that we can make the trek down there, so he can return the same hospitality we\’ve extended to him.
brett was the most gracious world champion ever!
great job team!
I think it is only appropriate that Zoobomber take top honors at a downhill event.
Team ZooBomB worked incredibly hard for over
a year to get their act and their bikes
in order for this Championship.
They beat the best in the World.
Congratulations Brett, Gabe, Chuck and
Stu. This time the sweethearts won the Prize.
Congrats!! And thanks for the awesome pics Jonathan! It was indeed windy; I was camping and windsurfing out there and wish I\’d remembered that this was going on. 🙁
uh, jonathon, you forgot the ZooBomb(tm). Team Zoobomb(tm) owns the \”zoobomb\” and does not appreciate unlicensed use of said trademark by the media. even if they all ride big bikes.
watch out for that copyright infringement!
It\’s ok Solid Gold, as a sponsor of Team Zoobomb™, we allow BikePortland a little bit of leeway with using our name.
Watch out though, as a private party, we\’re much more likely to take your f\’ing nuts…
very Jealous took my bragging rites away!!!! do the same in uk and bring it on next year miote ill beat ya again 😉 LOL
Dear Gabe, Aaron, Chuck, Stumanchu, Jonathan and the entire Zoo Bomb™ crew.. I just wanted to add that I have never met a more inspiring group of people or had such an amazing time. Having had the opportunity to ride, talk, recap, laugh, sweat and celebrate with you guys meant a great deal and we (all of the bike riding community down here in Australia) look forward to welcoming you with open arms, a cold beer and some stiff competition. So I add my big congratulations to the Zoo Bomb contingent and thank everyone for making it such a memorable and enjoyable gig.
Yours in custom gravity fun
World Champion & Zoo Bomb™ devotee
Hey guys, I was interested in making one of these because it seemed like something cool to do. I would not be professionally racing or anything, but does the posture of the ride hurt after a certain amount of time? Also, do these only work when going downhill? What happens if you need to go uphill?