Bonelli is always a fun time but as far as all the racers are concerned it’s a super lame race…..yet they still come.
The course used to be a straight line until quite a few years back now they added the right hand turn into it.
The turn is kind of technical though. It is pretty flat after the turn so riders must hold their speed as much as possible through the turn to win it.
This causes many crashes since everyone is trying to take the line as fast as they can but not so fast that they slide or crash into the hay bails.
The hay bails lining the turn are the best 3rd basemen in skateboarding. I call it crash corner due to the large amount of crashes.
This actually makes for a very entertaining event for the spectators also.
There seemed to be a lot less crashes this year compared to the 2010 or 2011 races we attended. That’s not to say there weren’t a lot of crashes, but there weren’t as many.
For those who don’t already know Bonelli is a sanctioned IGSA race. It is actually the U.S. Nationals. The race is not just downhill skateboarding but also includes street luge, classic street luge and inline rollerblading.
The big story of the day is 18 year old Daniel Luna taking 1st place in the open division. Great job Daniel!
The final heat coming around the first right hairpin. Photo By: Leecifer
Barrett Junction is known for its rough janky pavement full of potholes and cracks. Although the road is super unforgiving, it is also really fun to skate. It’s kinda hard to explain.
I have heard stories from when the road was first discovered many years ago. People did not think it was skateable. These are good skaters we’re talking about too.
Each Barrett junction is different and holds its own story. Memories are made which we will never forget, stories to be told.
Here are our top 5 memories from this Barrett Junction, October 2012.
1. Waldo Autry’s crash with Niko Kroha
Waldo Autry’s crash with Niko Kroha was one of the gnarliest street luge crashes that I have witnessed in person.
Niko was out in front of Waldo, I was right behind them and Tabitha Mitchell was right behind me.
Waldo went for the pass on Niko on the inside. Niko was pretty far inside though and there wasn’t much room for him to pass.
Instead of throwing his feet down and braking Waldo was trying so hard to pass Niko two of his wheels left the road for a second. As soon as this happened he got the speed wobbles and wobbled straight through the right hand turn before Docs corner.
As he wobbled through the turn he clipped wheels with Niko causing him to lose his line.
Waldo hit the rock and dirt covered wall at around 45 mph and the wall exploded around him.
After his wheel was clipped Niko was also headed to the dirt and rock wall. As soon as his luge left the road the front dug into the dirt and catapulted him into the wall.
Me and Tabitha Mitchell threw our brakes down because we were right behind them when all this went down and the crash looked pretty intense.
I looked up to the crash scene and waldo was laying on the side of the road not moving. His street luge was flipped upside down on top of him.
Niko was also walking towards Waldo. “Waldo? (no response)…….Waldo are you there?” said Niko.
All of a sudden Waldo started shaking around and shoving the street luge off of himself. “I was just checking everything out, making sure I was alright” said Waldo.
“I just want to see them coming in” he said. he watched everyone come in then turned around and left. Photo By: Leecifer
2. Having the border patrol stoked on us being there and coming to watch
It’s pretty cool to be 5 miles from the border of Mexico and have the authorities let us mind our own business.
Not only do they let us mind our own business but they come and watch sometimes.
We’re all sitting and chilling in the shade under a tree at the bottom of the hill. The van took a load of riders to the top not long before.
A border patrol agent drives up on his atv and just parks facing up the hill without saying a word.
“How’s it going?” we ask him.
“Good,” he replies. “I just want to see these guys coming in fast.”
We had border patrol officers coming by throughout the day to check it out. Even guys on the night patrol would come to ask if there were any cool crashes or anything.
“A few years ago this girl dressed like freaking (lets use cat women for the sakes of the story and the fact that I can’t remember exaclty which superheroine he compared her too) catwomen crashed into the wall. It was some crazy stuff. How’d it go today?”
“It went well,” we replied. “You should come by tomorrow and check out the race.”
“Negative,” he replied.
“Why not?” we asked.
“Because you all are crazy,” he replied.
With that we all laughed and he told us good luck and to have fun.
The fires department was so stoked after they got to watch us bomb the hill. Photo By: Leecifer
3. Having the fire department post 2 trucks full of firefighters on some turns so they could watch.
It was the middle of the day and we were taking a break. Everyone was kinda relaxing and eating when a big fire engine pulls up.
The firefighters got out and came over to talk to us.
“We’re just here out of curiousity,” said on firefighter.
“Where can we go to see these guys hauling ass down the hill?” chimed in another.
Once he said that it was on. Art started rounding everyone up for a run and everyone started grabbing their gear.
While everyone was grabbing their gear a second fire engine full of firefighters rolled up.
We all packed into the Muir van and Art told the firefighters to follow him.
Our first stop was at docs corner. Art directed the first fire engine to park off the side of the road on the left of the corner.
The next stop was the first right hairpin turn. Art directed the other fire engine to pull off the side there.
We proceeded up to the top of the hill and geared up. Going down the hill is always fun but coming up to the first corner you could see all the firefighters standing on top of their fire engine and on the hill recording the action on their phones.
Coming up to the second fire engine in docs corner was a similar story. They were all on top of the fire engine stoked as hell.
We got to the bottom and they came down giving the sirens little blares.
“That was awesome! Who was the guy on the bike?” someone from the first engine said.
“That was me!” replied Andrew Schumaker.
“That skid into the turn was awesome!” said the firefighter.
“Thanks!” replied Andrew.
“Who was the guy in white out in front?” asked some one from the second fire engine.
“That was Mike McIntyre,” we replied and pointed him out.
We talked to them a bit longer, then they left to go take care of their business and we continued taking runs down the hill.
4. The crazy lady who lives in the house at the bottom
Every time I go to Barrett Junction now I will remember this. I can not tell you the whole entire story because I don’t know it, but for the last few years at least we have always camped out at the bottom of the road right next to it. We take moonlight runs and wake up ready to ride.
For some reason this time she was really worried about us starting a fire. So worried that she told us we couldn’t camp there.
The land doesn’t belong to anyone so we didn’t oblige.
She called the cops on us and when he came he was totally on our side.
He pretty much told us that dealing with her wasn’t worth it and so we starting breaking down the tents in the dark and getting ready to move them to the cafe down the road. It sucked but what can you do?
Standup Podium. 1st place- max Capps (white Ronin shirt in middle). 2nd place- Levy Green (right). 3rd Place- Scott Lembach (black muirskate shirt, left center) 4th Place- Mark Barfield (left)
5. Max Capps winning the race.
Ok, so even though there wern’t necessarily a lot of the faster riders there it was still rad. Especially watching the footage from the helmet of Mark Barfield who took 4th.
That was a race heat!!!! So exciting!
The final heat was close and super intense.
I know how much Max hates that road. Racing it sucks and unexpected things WILL happen there. Even though he hates it he still troops it out and gives it all.
In this case it was all worth it. Congrats to Max Capps on taking 1st place!
Here’s video footage of the final heat from the helmet of Mark Barfield.
Barrett fucking Junction! If you have ever skated the road you understand this very well. This is the jankiest pavement you can find. Most people would say it is unskateable. This road has that sketchy gnarliness to it and you have to expect the unexpected. It is well known because of the pavement which grows continually worse each year.
Barrett Junction is a big bro-down with good friends and a road that we don’t get hassled at as long as we are American. Each Barrett Junction seems to be a new book of it’s own where stories are made, tales are told and friendships bond.
The first night you are there, as you look into the sky and you can see every star in the universe, a shooting star or two go by. You can see the milky way, planets and other foreign objects. A wolf howls, the branches move and then the dirt bike comes roaring back into the camp reminding you that you aren’t alone out there.
Sunday morning rolls around and it’s race time. With Mike and Joe running the show there was no bullshitting around. Practice runs were held in the morning and once the race had started heats were run one after the other. It was over in a fashionable time and the award ceremony didn’t take an hour. Straight to the point. No kissing anyone’s asses for 2 hours after the race.
If you haven’t made it out to one of these events yet then you are missing out on a great time. It was my first time there myself but I will not miss it again. – Leecifer
The San Diego Downhill Racing League (SDDRL) met up August 7, 2011 for another Sunday adventure at a road known as “Church.”
“Church” is a fun road with a straight steep drop accelerating riders to speeds reaching close to 50 m.p.h. The road then shot up a little hill into a right hand turn which then dropped you back down another chute. The road then went up and down a couple more humps where riders would reach the finish line.
All anyone ever got was practice runs. Some racers didn’t even get their leathers on before the cops kicked us out.
“Go home” said the cop kicking us out at the top of “Church”
With an unfortunate turn of events after getting kicked out by the cops we headed around the corner to race a private driveway belonging to friends of the SDDRL crew. The cops followed us but with the owners support, the cops could not kick us off of a private driveway.
The driveway was not the ideal race course, however it did provide a lot of excitement. The driveway took a slight left then became very steep dropping down into a hairpin right turn that challenged every riders abilities to find the best lines into it. The driveway then dropped again coming to the finish line and the end of the driveway.
Sean DeGracia throws a stand up slide into the hairpin right turn on the driveway we raced
Aaron Enns from Bakersfield absolutely killed it taking home the well deserved win after punching through a tough wall of competitors. Judson Jager also went home with a trophy. Two 1st place trophies were awarded to both Aaron Enns and Judson Jager.
Judson Jager (left) and Aaron Enns (right) holding their first place trophies.
Post race activities included a pool party featuring a belly flop contest and best jump contest. Tye Donnelly also brought a large tarp for some tarp surfing fun which eventually turned into a giant slip and slide.
It is safe to say everyone had a good time despite the unfortunate turn of events at “Church.”
Thanks to Tye Donnelly who always puts together these rad SDDRL events and it was great meeting Michael Brook and Notorious Nate. – Leecifer