Rider Diaries

Rider Diary: Lucas Edwards on 2023 Gravity National Championships

In August 2023 I made the trip to Ride Rock Creek, North Carolina for the Gravity National Championships with the BJC enduro squad.

Before we left for the trip, Coach Christoph ran through all of our bikes and fixed anything as needed. Despite just getting home from BME Purgatory, he managed to do hours upon hours of work in Pete’s garage.

The next day we left early for the airport, checked our bikes and then went through security. While we were waiting for our whole group to go through security, some of us played hacky sack. This is important because hacky sack was a huge part of this trip. Whenever we were hanging out or waiting, we would take out the sack and play for a bit. Anyways, we had a smooth flight to Charlotte and Christoph got an amazing shot of Carter with his Polaroid. Like the sack, Christoph’s Polaroid camera was an icon of this trip.

When we arrived in Charlotte, we rented a van and two trucks and headed to the rental house. There was a beautiful view from the deck of a farm. During sunset, we all climbed a hill and watched the sun go down. It very well could have been the most golden sunsets I have ever seen.

The first day we did a track walk which was extremely beneficial for me because I was able to get a feel for the different riding conditions in NC as opposed to Colorado. The next day was our first preride day. It started a little bit rough for us because Maylei was stung by a bunch of yellow jackets and Ella screwed up her ankle after casing a jump. I started a bit slower and tried to ease myself into the new terrain and pick up my speed. I felt good almost the whole day, although, on the last stage, there was a road gap. It was nothing that I was that scared of, although when I hit it, I was a bit too far left and I smashed into a tree. My front wheel absolutely exploded and a good chunk of my carbon rim came clean off. I somehow managed to walk away with only a scratch on my leg. Thankfully Christoph had a spare wheel for me to use for the remainder of the trip.

The next day I felt great, I managed to pull my nerves together and have a great day of pre-riding.

Finally, it was race day, we woke up at around 5, ate breakfast, got ready, and left for the venue. My first stage felt really good. It was muddy but I felt pretty fast. My second stage was going very smoothly until I dropped my chain around 3/4 of the way through it. I managed to coast the rest of the stage. Stage 3 was probably my worst stage. It was a lot of off-camber, slick terrain and I just felt really slow. Our final stage was pretty smooth for me. I had a clean run and felt good. Finishing the race, I was happy with my performance considering that I was coming in with no expectations.

My grandma, who lives in NC, came to the race so I was able to spend some time with her after my race. The rest of the day was very chill, and we came back to the venue later for awards. It started dumping rain and everyone ran to get under shelter except us. We all were playing hacky sack in the rain. Finally, they resumed the awards and we all were able to see Henry get awarded 1st and Maylei get awarded 2nd. The next day we were all able to sleep in a bit and we got some party laps on some green and blue trails. That night we got a good campfire going and made S’mores.

I want to say thank you to everyone who made the trip possible. Thanks especially to Coach Christoph. I’m not quite sure how he managed to get us all through that trip so smoothly. He made it all very organized and it was always fun.