‘Unkle’ Lee has had a busy skate season, flying down hills at speeds topping 100kms an hour, braving the elements, and organizing races, so we asked him to take a few minutes out of his hectic schedule to tell us a bit about what he’s been up to these past few months. Turns out he’s been fairly busy!
By Lee Cation, ioCrew Member and Pro Downhill Skateboarder
Wow this downhill skateboard thing has really taken me to some amazing places. I’ve just landed back in Vancouver after a six week North American journey.
To kick off the Canadian spring, I hosted the 8th Annual Britannia Classic. It’s a three day downhill Festival produced by yours truly just outside of Squamish British Columbia. It’s a stunning place to travel if you ever get a chance. It’s half way between Whistler and Vancouver. We had a three day event and gave away $500 Cash to our winners!
Immediately after Britannia I flew to Monterrey, Mexico for the Mesa de las Tablas Longboard Fest high up in the Mountain Reserve. The region is not what you would think. Firstly, it’s North America. Secondly, it’s high country. So, no Mexican beach scene and it gets cold at night, sometimes sub zero so my ioMerino definitely came in handy there! I was there representing the International Downhill Federation as the Race Official. While at an event the IDF official(s) provide, timing, scoring and monitors safety and fairness of the event.
From Mexico I flew to Montreal Quebec Canada in the East. The next morning some friends and I drove east of Quebec City to skate down the fastest road in the world. My friend Mischo Erban, set the world record there a few years back hitting 130km/h! Take a look at his world record run in this awesome video:
I didn’t record my speed but I know cracked 120km/h. It’s not my first time doing that sort of speed though. There is a special hill in Colorado that rivals the one in Quebec.
After Quebec, I drove down to Killington, Vermont Ski Resort with another IDF Official from Sydney, of all places, to officiate a race at the largest ski resort in the East! It was an awesome event and I got to compete in the 30 and over Masters class! I managed a 3rd place finish racing four other guys at a time on a 100km track!
From Killington we drove to Burke Mountain Ski Resort, Vermont for the first World Cup event on our 2015 Tour. The hill and road are steep, narrow and have many imperfections/features. This made for an extremely challenging race and one that most people just tried to survive! Again, I was able to get away from my responsibilities for a moment and race in the 30 and over Masters class, (not an IDF category), and I managed a 3rd place finish again! We all had a great time in Vermont thanks to these two older ski resorts that appreciate our summer action.
From Vermont, I took a week away from the Tour to meet up with my partner Kristen in Vegas. We rented a camper van from Escape Camper Vans and we highly recommend them if you ever need a van in the area. The company started in New Zealand, but has since sold and started in up a few large US cities. We drove around 1,000 miles over the week and stayed in the some of the best camp zones I’ve ever been to. First we hit Bryce National Park, then Lake Powell and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Then, we drove to Ceder City, Utah for a small downhill event with some Salt Lake friends. On the way back we hit Zion National Park and then headed back to Vegas for some luxury. The three parks are all amazing and are only a few of the parks in the region. I’ve travelled a bit in my time and this part of the globe is tops.
After Vegas, I flew to Portland and drove two hours along the Colombia river gorge to the historic Maryhill loops road for the 9th Annual Maryhill Festival of Speed. It was our 2nd World Cup event of the 2015 Tour. The Festival is a heavy race where 250 International races from 20 countries battle it out for $10,000 cash. The IDF always has to make tough decisions here due to racers protesting contact between riders.
Right now I’m back home in Vancouver preparing to host the 5th Annual Whistler Longboard Festival. And then it’s on to the 2nd leg of the NorAM tour on Pike’s Peak Mountain in Colorado and in Whistler, BC this September.
Wherever I am, when the temperatures drop, I’m always happy to have my ioMerino on hand to keep me warm and comfortable. It may not protect me if I crash at speeds of 100+km/h, but it definitely protects me from the elements!