Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red Bull X-Fighters Russia

Been awhile since my last post, things have been crazy. Just got back from building a freestyle course for the Red Bull X-Fighters Russia. Imagine being on the front lawn of the White House, starting up your dirtbike, and hitting an insane freestyle course.....that is pretty much what Red Bull X-Fighters Russia was like. All I knew upon departing for Russia, was that we were building a course at Red Square in Moscow. Once we arrived on site, began the planning and building - it all began to sink in. Right behind us was the Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and to the left was Kremlin Wall. We were standing on a cobblestone street that was laid hundreds of years ago, and the only thing we used to protect it was plastic. We were actually building a freestyle course on a historic landmark.

We began building on the 14th of June. The first week of the build we had to build at night so that construction was not occurring during the day...we worked from 5pm to 8am. Surprisingly enough we had great equipment from Zeppelin CAT, being in another country this normally is a struggle. The dirt started coming in at midnight on the 14th and the course started to take shape...kind of!! The dirt was coming in so wet from the previous weeks rain, the loaders were unable to get on the dirt because the ruts were so deep. So, we had to start out by pushing it up with the bulldozer, and then had to scramble to find an excavator. To add insult to injury, once we were two days into the build, it rained for another two days. We salvaged what we could with tarps, and soldiered on. At one point on the third day of the build, one of the trucks came in with such a heavy load that it actually flipped when it raised the bed to dump. After a couple days of sunshine and continually turning the dirt over, the dirt started coming around and the course started taking shape. In the end, we actually finished a day early, with one of the coolest backdrops I have ever seen! In addition to having an awesome freestyle course built for the riders, Red Bull when one step further and had a really cool rider staging area built. What they built was a life-size lincoln log house for the riders area, and each rider had their own individual lincoln log stall. We were trying to figure out how we could get it home once the event was over because it was so cool!

The event was insane. As the sun started setting, and the bikes were flipping, the backdrop was one that will never be forgotten by riders, fans, and crew. Everybody put in their best performances, but in the end Levi Sherwood threw down an amazing run with some of the craziest spinal dislocating tricks I had ever seen and took home the win.

When it was time to tear down the course, or bump out, as we call it - there was a lot of dirt to move. Then it was presented to us that we would be peeling the final layer of dirt off of the historic cobblestone street that was only protected by a sheet of plastic. Adding to this feat was knowing that right next to where we will be peeling dirt off of the historic stones was Saint Basil’s Cathedral. The story behind the Cathedral is that once it was built, the architect was blinded so that he could never build something like it again. So if they blind a guy for building one of the most incredible Cathedrals in the world, what would they do to the guy that tore up their historical stones?! No pressure....right?!?! I even joked with friends and family...”well if I come up missing, you know why!!” All joking aside, the bump out went very smooth...not a single stone was damaged and we left Red Square just as we found it!

All in all it was an amazing trip. I enjoyed stepping aside from my normal building world of supercross and motocross tracks to team up with Dane Herron of DHI and his crew. They are truly the best in creating freestyle masterpieces! It was a true privilege to be part of this monumental event, and look forward to future opportunities with the DHI crew!

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