Here's what the team has been up to during the off-season...
Billy Lewis (Billy's Blog)
For those who aren't aware, Billy is now part of the Raleigh America family serving as Assistant Product Manager for the Raleigh Pod. Under Kyle Casteel's leadership, Billy will assist with product spec on bikes. Billy will continue to ride for Diamondback and will serve both brands the way he always does - to the fullest!
We are super stoked for Billy's move and know that this is just the beginning of a bright and promising career for Billy. Welcome to the team bro!
Here's an update from the kid himself...
Winter in the Northwest has been tame. It actually feels like we’ve had more of an extended fall instead, so the riding has been amazing. And the like the adventures have been coming in hot one after another! The fall and early winter months have to be some of my favorite times to ride. Getting to shred the mud with friends reminds you how awesome the dirt ‘pow’ days are.
The most notable of rides lately has been on Orcas Island’s Mt Constitution, here off the coast of northern Washington in the San Juan Islands. The trails are only open during the winter months so it can be hard to plan around the bad weather, but the area is still pretty dry compared to other locals riding stops and we got lucky with some blue skies. There is something for everyone to ride, from XC to freeride stuff and we got to shred it all! I always enjoy a ride that has incredible views and the trails to back it all up. Although fun to get out of town and ride, the riding close to home has been superb as well.
We’ve gotten to shred some nights in the freezing cold and have headed up even pass the snow line for some real pow days. I also spent a day shooting with Paris Gore and Walter Yi at a local skatepark and some trails. We got a couple of cool photos and a little video of the day’s fun.
There is now snow on the ground in Seattle. So winter’s finally here.... I hope it won’t last for long. This is the kind of weather that makes me really miss the warmer months. Back in July, Paris Gore and I took a trip down to Oregon for a story in the recent fall/winter issue of Freehub Mag. We ended up spending the bulk of our time at Windells enjoying the jumps and the flowy skatepark.
On an August trip, I met up with photographer Ian Hylands to build a stunt in the woods near his house that he had dreamed up and long been wanting to do. He had the idea to build a quarter pipe made of cedar planks that shot up to a tree completely covered in ivy for the rider to hit. The rustic planks would provide the natural aesthetics and the ivy-covered tree and surrounding forest would make for a unique shot. It took us a bit to complete the build but with the evening sun shooting in just right, the pictures were worth every bit of the labor. Ian chose the photo for Pinkbike Photographers- Best of 2011.
So, I have been lucky enough to have a reasonable winter, but I still can't wait for the t-shirt riding weather to return now!
Eric Porter (Eric on Twitter)
It's been a busy fall for me this year. One of the coolest things I got to do was shoot for "Built to Shred" tv show on Fuel TV. It will be on the air February 9th, make sure not to miss it! It is the very first episode that includes mountain bikes, so that makes it even cooler. We built some really wild stuff inside their studio.
Also look for an article about it coming up in Decline magazine. Even though it's technically winter right now, this has really been far from it. Utah has almost no snow, the trails are mostly dusty and dry, my backyard jump is running, DH shuttles are going, it's great! I know it can't last forever though so I've been riding every day taking advantage of it.
Been spending a lot of time on my Sortie 29er, I absolutely love this bike. If you haven't ridden one, put it on your to do list for 2012. I've also been riding my DH prototype hard, it's a blast.
We just sent in our feedback to make the 3rd prototype leaps and bounds better, should be seeing that soon! Enjoy this mild weather and ride while you can!
Kelly McGarry (Kelly's Blog)
Its been an awesome couple of months in the DEEP SOUTH of planet earth (Queenstown, NEW ZEALAND) , I have set up base camp here and I'm proceeding to launch an attack on all trails, jumps, berms and assorted riding features in the region using my Diamondback Bikes ! The Scene here is great . There are so many motivated people to ride with , so many trails to ride and also plenty of sunshine to keep the ol' smile on the dial!. Actually ....YOU may want to come and visit after you watch this episode of Diaries Down Under (with special guest Kelly Mcgarry!!) which promotes Queenstown as a MTB destination!
Also.....YOU cant win some new Gravity cranks if you write a caption (make it a funny one!) about this photo of me Launching my Diamondback DH rig into outer space!
Also... bit of a Mcgazza SHREDIT edit right here
Also, this edit just dropped of my Diamondback and Unit clothing team mate Nate Berkheimer and my self shredding some Dirt jumps on our DB's in none other that Seattle USA! it scored Video of the day on pinkbike.com and is sitting on over 27,000 views. Cool Bananas!
SO ,Its all tickin along just fine here in NZ but I'm looking forward to once again packing my bags full of bikes , bike gear and not nearly enough clothes and heading back to the Northern hem to see you good folks, as soon as the snow is melted ,the comp scene is pumping and the trails are ready to rock! Yeeehaaaaa!
The winter has been really mild so far, and as such I’ve kept busy with teaching on the bike in November and December, and into the New Year. Most of my time instructing has been spent on my Mission…love that bike! I’ve also taught a fair bit of cyclocross - loving the cross bike too. My students are taking a huge interest in the brand now as well and are riding the bikes in my classes so I think that the ROI should be big here. Check out the promo piece I created for the DH prototype...
In addition to keeping busy with current instruction, I’ve also spent time planning for the summer months of 2012, to ensure a good busy season. I have some great instructors on board for my Fluidride Whistler Camps, including Chris Kovarik, Katrina Strand, Claire Buchar, and Katie Holden. Claire is the newest addition to the crew, and comes with considerable teaching experience, as well as a Bronze Medal at the 2011 Downhill World Championships – Claire is silly fast!
Most exciting is the release of my new instructional DVD "Flowtonic. You can order Flowtonic here.
I’ve also been doing lots of Yoga and other off bike training during the short days, and my perseverance has paid off not only with increased strength and fitness, but also in becoming more involved in the Yoga community. I’m currently co-teaching a “40 days to your best self” class with renowned yogi Dora Gyarmati (Google her photos…super freak!) at Spira Power Yoga. I’m leading the dietary portion of class, and am also helping with inspirational readings and a bit of hands on help with participants as well. We have 42 people in the class, so that’s kept me busy in my ‘spare time’. It’s been really inspirational to work with people who have made the decision to take their lives to the next level.