Helicopters & Skateboards: Buffalo Bill Downhill

Last night after getting our son to bed, talking about what a nice weekend it had been, and preparing to get back to the reality of the upcoming week, my wife and I overheard something about a helicopter crash just west of Golden on Lookout Mountain.  Having lived near that area for numerous years, I know the nooks and crannies of Lookout Mountain well.  I made a mental note to learn more later and got back to the realities of family life.

After learning more about the back story this morning, I’m mad at myself that I wasn’t there to see it.  Not the helicopter crash per se (thankfully, the crew was not injured), but the event that the helicopter was filming:  The Buffalo Bill Downhill http://www.bbdownhill.com.  I stumbled upon this event a few years ago, by accident, while out for a hike.  Lookout Mountain (home of Buffalo Bill’s grave-site) looms above Golden and can be accessed via a winding, curvy road.  Those of you in Colorado have been on many mountain roads like this before; switch-backs, sharp turns, 20-30mph most of the way up and down, few turn-outs, and lines of cars backing up behind nervous drivers.  Even for seasoned mountain drivers, these type of roads usually hold your full attention.  Now imagine facing a road like this not in a car but on a skateboard and you begin to get a picture of what the Buffalo Bill Downhill is all about.

That’s right, a skateboard…granted, these skateboards are specialized pieces of equipment designed for high speeds and tight turns.  Reaching speeds of over 40mph, 140 racers braved the 1.1 mile course yesterday and I can’t believe I missed it.  I think the Buffalo Bill Downhill website describes the event better than I can:

“Think about all the sick racecourses you’ve been to, or maybe seen on some video. Now picture this, a long course with 7 turns, 4 of them technical hairpins. Now throw in some of the top riders in the world, sprinkle in a bit of danger, and serve it up with the epic mountain scenery of ColoRADo, and you got the buffalo bill downhill race. Makes those other racecourses look like something you could ride down on a razor scooter”.

Here’s a small taste from SkateHouseMedia of  last years event:  http://vimeo.com/11594244

Seriously, mark your 2012 calendars now.  Even if you’re not a skateboarder (and I’m not…I think it’s scientifically possible I could break my arm from just thinking about skateboarding at this point in my life) this is an event that must be experienced.

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