…and I think I am still hungover.
Just a few snapshots of one of the most epic, strange and slightly worrying nights out I have ever had. Sitting in a Scottish curry-house round a table made up of the entire Santa-cruz Syndicate was surreal to say the least, but when Sessler got rowdy on the company card, and the drinks flowed, I started to feel more at home……We then went to a pub and the camera was pointed at stuff…..
Kathy Sessler can drink you under the table. Fact. She is also more of a legend than you may realise…this is stole from an interview with Kathy that I found on Dropmachine….http://www.dropmachine.com/Feature/the-queen-of-the-syndicate-the-kathy-sessler-interview-a512.html
”In 1972 when I was 14 years old I saw the movie On Any Sunday, since I loved riding dirt bikes. Seeing the kids ride bicycles in the movie prompted me to make a race track on two vacant lots on my street in Seal Beach, California and promote bicycle races. Also, I had a friend named Scot Breithaupt who had just started putting on bicycle races in Long Beach, just about 5 miles away (he is considered the father of BMX).
At my track I dug the water holes, made the berms, and built the jumps, the biggest was an entire 18 inches high. I made flag banners out of red, white and blue crepe paper and stapled them to string around the track. I made paper plate number plates with our local motocross hero’s numbers on them. Many kids around the world were doing the same thing, but what set me apart from the rest is that I grabbed my dad’s 8 mm movie camera and took movies of my races. I have about 20 minutes of footage. This historic footage can be seen on the Sprung 5 DVD, and Joe Kid on a Sting Ray.
Once I took our team over to Scot’s track, and I helped him keep score. A motorcycle publication called Cycle News came out to cover the event, and I believe they coined the term BMX, in that article. There is a photo of Scot and I standing on a hill at the race. Probably the first article ever published on this new thing, BMX.
Enter mountain bikes in 1990. I was 32 years old, happily married to Chuck, had two small girls, Christie and Cori, and we had just moved to our home in Murrieta,California. There are miles of trails just outside my door, and one day I hopped on my husband’s $50.00 mountain bike and rode off into the hills. When I got home, with a grin from ear to ear, I said to Chuck, “This is what I’m going to do now, race mountain bikes!”
I raced my first race at the Fall Classic at Big Bear that year, then raced the California State Championship Series in 1991. In 1992 I raced downhill in the Pro class and raced pro downhill until World Champs in 1997, which was my last race. I was 3-time National Champ Veteran Women in 1992, 1993, &1994. I was a World Championship Veteran Women’s Silver medalist in 1992, Bronze in 1994 and Gold in 1996. In two other World Championships (’93 & ’95)I was the fastest veteran woman in the Senior’s race, but our class was disqualified due to only 4 countries being represented instead of the required 5 (which still makes me upset to this day).
I competed in the Winter X-Games in 1997 and went 67 miles per hour in the snow. I raced down Pike’s Peak in Colorado, and raced in the Reebok Eliminator down the Kamikaze at Mammoth. My best pro finish was 10th at the UCI World Cup at Mammoth in 1994.
I was the first pro to ever race an Intense Cycles frame. Jeff Steber made the frame on his kitchen table for me. I was the first Maxxis girl. I was also the first pro to ever race the Intense M-1, and that first race was the 10th place finish at the UCI World Cup in Mammoth in 1994.
In 1997 while still racing, I started doing stunt work for a TV show called Pacific Blue, which was a show about cops on bikes at the beach. I doubled all the girls on the show for three years, and worked in over 40 episodes. I’ve done a few commercials and a few stunts for some B-movies. I’ve been raped, shot and killed in a bank robbery, tackled bad guys to the ground from the bike, jumped the cop bike over a Hummer, done a wicked stair fall, and tons of chase scenes. If you thought racing was the cool, let me tell you that doing stunts was off the hook!!”
Then for hangover cure we rode the ‘Red route’, which is incidentally one of the best bit of trails I have ever ridden. Little bike monster trukin’ FTW.
I lost a shock bolt low down on the trail…..10mins later and a bit of bodging had us back on the b-line esque lower section of trail….
So there we go….Fort Bill of over, wish I was heading down to Leogang with PhilPOD, but have to get back to Chamonix for work on Thursday…..Hard life I know….I would however like to thank bigstone for the trip up, Hannah Barnes for guiding us to some hidden loamy hillside and to Kathy Sessler, and Peaty. Without them I would not have been anywhere near drunk enough to lock myself outside my hotel in my underwear, while vomiting, and therefore would not have had to saunter back through the hotel lobby, still in said underwear, disturbing guests and night porters to reunite myself with my section of hotel room floor.