For many others, it was just an opportunity to get out and relive the glory days. “Tattoo Lou” DeAngelis is 49 years young this year, and he was looking forward to once again surf down the pumice plunge of the Kamikaze, pushing nearly 60 mph.
“I’m just stoked that at my age I can come out here and participate,” said Lou. “Its also nice to have such a burly bike. It’s actually comfortable going downhill now. All the younger kids should take note and give some respect. The guys and girls around me, they were the pioneers, bombing down this hill on bikes with cantilever brakes and in some cases, no suspension.”
Although none of the Legends riders were rocking cantilever brakes yesterday, there was still some old-school technology out there. Tyson Mrosek showed up on an old Ventana with Shimano V-brakes. Mike Galeoto showed up on one of his old late 1990’s rigs, complete with what Mike considers a “small” 56-tooth chainring. Cindy Buccowich (Whitehead) bombed it on an old Turner with V-Brakes. Russell Worley was the lone hardtail rider, with bonus points for rocking barends.
Former Kamikaze and World Champion Dave Cullinan wore bright yellow and green, both on his Troy Lee Designs gear and his neon yellow Santa Cruz. But what really made him stand out was his no-gloves, one finger brake riding style – a style he’s rocked for more than 20 years.
But Ken Foraker trumped everyone – conquering the Kamikaze with only one leg in a mere 6:18. Huge props to Ken!
Leigh Donovan took the ladies title with a 5:51, but she was missing her signature handlebar streamers, which probably would have made her go a few seconds faster. Second place went to Italian downhill legend Giovanna Bonazzi and Amber Naughton (Tinstman) took third. Penny Lundgren (Davidson) and Mercedes Natvig (Gonzales) were also out there shredding it up.
Troy Lee Designs was a huge supporter of this event, and many of the riders rocked TLD gear in their downhill runs. John Tomac was supposed to be in attendance, but the word is he broke his wrist a few weeks ago while chasing down his son Eli while riding mountain bikes. Heal fast, Tomes!
For more pictures of the Kamikaze, peep the gallery below. For complete results of the Legends of the Kamikaze and more info on the Mammoth Kamikaze Bike Games, go to www.kamikazebikegames.com.