Barrett Junction 2013
Here’s a quick overview of this year’s trip to the Barrett Junction race in CA from the perspective of Nick D’BK – in 16:9.
Boom. What a way to start off the 2013 season. Early this January, Boulder locals Justin Rouleau, Garrett Creamer, Zak Maytum, and myself left Boulder on a cold Friday night for (in my opinion) one of the best outlaw races around – Barrett Junction. This race has been going on for years and while right now it is an outlaw, it was once sanctioned by the IGSA in the early 2000’s. January 2012 was my first year at Barrett. It wouldn’t even be right for someone like me to try to go into the history of this. Folks like the Rogers Brothers, Danny Conner, Frank Waterhouse, Rick Kludy, and Rob Mckendry could tell you a helluva lot more than I know. Instead, this is a summary of our trip this year.
To start, check out this photo to get an idea of what the entire road looks like:
That gem you just saw (and yes those cracks and chunks of broken pavement are exactly what makes this road so awesome) is located in California south of San Diego. “Uh oh…that brown kid in the back of the big van shoulda brought his passport.” That far south. Actually, even though Barrett Junction is technically in the United States, there is still a border patrol inspection point when traveling northbound on the return trip.
The Boulder crew fixed the side mirror, vacuumed, and loaded up the Venom vanom late Friday night and hit the road with Las Vegas set on the GPS. No booze this year was needed, no D’BK bday shotguns at every piss stop like last year, the van still partied hard all the way to Vegas where we picked up Vegas Mike and also convoyed out to Barrett with some other folks. The van held up well and did not roll like a pipe as we hauled ass through the windy roads to get to Barrett and get as many practice runs in as possible.
This year there was no tailwind and the hill felt unusually slow. Unlike last year a safety footbrake for the first turn was comfortable, but not required. Well, I guess I should say – as comfortable as wobbly footbraking over massive cracks can be. We saw quite a few riders go down in this corner. I had a run where I was instantly pitched trying to dive into the apex. Another rider who made the trip out from the East coast totaled his brand new Icaro in this corner as well. This road doesn’t mess around. Here are some photos:
Gregg Kent followed by myself, Zak Maytum, and Muir Scott
After the downhill rodeo was over, we immediately rounded up a few folks, got in the van and drove to the Barrett Junction café. This is a small place with great onion rings, an overused shitter, and slow service, but it’s run by 1-2 people. You definitely have to get here before the rest of everyone for dinner or you’re going to have a long wait.
Back at the hill the party was pretty unspectacular this year. Interestingly there was one fellow who didn’t ride who had never been to Barrett before that was so stoked (and wasted) he decided to get a “94 for life” stick and poke on his thigh. Highway 94 being the road. Luckily for him the guy who threw the race had a lot of tattoo experience and it turned out pretty good. This got Danny Conner stoked on a Barrett Junction tattoo, and then someone else who got “# YOLO” on their forearm. That’s gonna suck in not too long.
The next morning it was back to the Barrett Junction café and then to the hill for a few practice runs and then race heats. We got one good practice run with a tailwind, but unfortunately it mellowed out just before the race. Unlike up here, at sea level as soon as you have to break tuck or throw an arm out you slow down significantly.
Unfortunately I don’t have too much to say about the race, Garrett and myself were out early. Normally I’d be bummed, on this road I’m just stoked I had fun and didn’t fuck myself up. Rolo, Vegas Mike, and Zak made it pretty far. Rolo and Mike made the semis, Zak finished 4th (there was some confusion over where the finish line was, but whatever). The podium ended up being Tim Del Rosario, Mark Barfield, and Jacob Gellatly.
Zak Maytum and Jacob Gellatly
Barrett is such a fun road to ride, quite a few folks were still taking runs after they were out. Personally, I was up to beer and shenanigans – and buttboard racing for more beer once I was out of beer:
After this we went back to LA and stayed at the Skatehouse, got some awesome cheap sushi, then went to skate GMR the next day.
Victor Kerr and myself
GMR is such an awesome road. The only thing I’m bummed on about this trip was how torched my legs were by the time we got there. #doyouevenliftbro? Not a chance.
P.S. thanks to Spez Adams and Ali Mehreban for the pics!