The 2nd annual Crescent City Freeride went down this past weekend despite some controversy that had been stirred up over the past few weeks from a few local protesters. The local protesters had caused quite a public spectacle out of the gathering by making some wild accusations about the effects that the jet skis might have on the beach. This did scare off a few riders as they did not want to be involved with the controversy. Most of us chose to make the trip and ride in support of protecting the ride spot for future riders. In the end it was the right decision.
From the moment we arrived at the spot on Friday morning, we had nothing but positive comments and people that thought it was great that we were having a group ride in their town. Someone even brought us cookies! We were asked to come back again by many of the businesses we visited and some even encouraged our group to have multiple events. I feel 100-percent comfortable about riding at Crescent City as should any rider that chooses to ride in a safe and respectful manner.
After showing up at the Rooks house on Thursday night, we had a quick bite of dinner and caught up with old friends and made a few new ones. As the sun rose on Friday morning we headed to the beach feeling a bit giddy about how the surf conditions might turn out. The forecast had been looking good all week and we were pretty stoked to get in the water after the 10 hour drive down from Washington. As we unloaded and the morning fog started to lift, we were greeted by consistent 4-to-8 foot waves with good separation and the occasional 10-to-12 foot sets coming in out back. It was awesome.
I ran almost a full tank before coming back in on my first ride because I was just having so much fun. You know that moment when you should probably come back in for a break because your body is worn out and you feel like wet noodle. That’s the way I felt after every ride because the conditions were on point all weekend and it was hard to come back in and take a break. We did what you do at a freeride. We rode, took a break and chatted with some locals, visited, talked skis and what to do to our skis next, who’s buying a new hull next (Chris Batten). We ate some of my soon to be famous meat cups that include carne asada, bacon and asparagus. Friday night it was back to the Rook’s Paradise for a private party for all the riders and friends. We had great food and the rest of the freeride crew showed up in anticipation for Saturday which was to be the main day.
We didn’t quite know what to expect on Saturday considering the controversy that had been going on in town over this gathering. We showed up and unloaded just like any other day. We were again greeted by some really nice locals that had come to watch and see what the fuss was about. We rode, ate meat cups and visited all day as a group. We had no issues with locals or law enforcement and again the surf was really good but a bit smaller than Friday. We had great weather and rode a ton. There were about 20 total riders from all over the northwest to include out of town riders from Idaho, Oregon, Colorado and Washington with quite a few local riders.
By the end of the day, we along with the rest of the locals were scratching our heads as to what the big deal was in the papers. Everyone seemed to enjoy the fact that we were there and many were pretty baffled over the whole thing. My thoughts were that there really is no problem and I’m glad we got to see that first hand. Saturday night it was back to the Rook’s to have Tri Tip dinner and hang out. The food was amazing but the people were even better. What a fun night. NorCal Watersports showed up with some awesome Liquid Militia, ODI, and Jet Pilot gear. Dave Collins did his first superman of the day in the garage. Then five of us had an all night snoring contest in Kendri’s living room. I’m pretty sure I won.
Sunday we were all pretty worn out from all the riding the previous two days but Sunday would prove to be the best day of the weekend. That morning had some of the cleanest surf that I have ridden in. The sun was out and it was beautiful. We had one small incident where a surfer purposely paddled out into the area we had been riding but that was it. We rode again most of the day in killer conditions and sunny weather then loaded up and ran down to a crystal clear river to rinse out and play a little more.
All in all this was a fantastic trip and I can’t wait to get back to Crescent City for another ride. What an awesome spot with some of the coolest local riders and people you will meet. I can’t wait to see everyone again at the Grayland Open. Many thanks to Kendri and Roy Rook, the Jones, the Smiths and the nice local people from the town that hung out with us all weekend. A big thanks also to those that made the effort from all over (Roger Harnack, Chris Farrell, Pete McAfee and the Rooks) to protect a jewel of a riding spot from being shut down by a very few people with their own special interests.
Additional imagery provided by Patricia Fiske. Unedited originals can be purchased HERE.