STRAIT ACRES SLALOM INVITATIONAL
Photos & Video by Eric Winkler
Last weekend a venerable who’s who of mountain biking showed up to Snow Summit Bike Park in Big Bear, California to hang out, and maybe compete at what is quickly being regarded as the Dual Slalom World Championship race. Hosted by Strait Acres founders, Rachel, and Kyle Strait, this second-year event migrated from the Strait’s private property to Snow Summit in hopes of allowing more riders and spectators access to one of the most exciting mountain bike race formats. With a huge turnout of riders from beginners to Crankworx, Red Bull Rampage, Enduro World Series and UCI World Cup DH winners, the $20,000 in prizes was within many riders’ grasp.
By all accounts the weekend was a hit as fans, spectators and riders were all treated to a great show. Both the weather and the track delivered some amazing shows over the weekend and despite some lightning and rain delays, racing and scrubbing went down without a hitch. Although we’d wager to say the Strait’s stress levels would say otherwise.
As a kid, Kyle grew up racing at Snow Summit and often felt the disappointment as crowds would leave as soon as the pro’s finished racing. “I wanted all the amateurs and kids to see the crowds lining the track and feel the cheers, so we run the amateurs and kids first so that everyone sticks around to watch the pro riders go last,” Kyle Strait said. Over the years Strait has progressed from a child phenom to an OG who mentors and teaches the next generation and this event, and his passion show through.
Of course, Kyle won’t take all the credit and instead (wisely) points to his partner, Rachel, who is a vital part of the Strait Acres movement. Since we know Kyle personally, we feel pretty safe saying that Rachel’s probably more than just a little responsible for the organization and behind the scenes work that made the event such a treat for everyone involved.
If you’d like to see more of this dynamic duo bantering and talking smack on their home turf, check this video out.
1st. Tommy Zula
2nd. Joey Foresta
3rd. Dante Silva
4th. Mitch Ropelato
1st. Kialani Hines
2nd. Jordy Scott
3rd. Harriet Burbidge-Smith
4th. Danielle Beecroft