What the what?! Henry and Lev made a little bit of geek-bike history on Aug 20, 2014 by jumping Henry’s CalfeeDesign/Ellsworth tandem off the Tetherow Jump during this years Blitz 2 The Barrel race here in Bend, Oregon. Mike Albright shared an excellent Blitz 2014 Photo Epic on Pinkbike.com, including this photo of the jump that has been shared around the world…
Henry (on the back during the jump) works here at Pine Mountain Sports in Bend, OR. Lev Styker (captaining for the main event) is a guide and co-owner of Cog Wild, the Bend-based mountain bike tour company that’s in the same building. Henry had been courting Lev to captain for the big event as Lev is a skilled jumper, had raced and jumped at Blitz 2 The Barrel before, and has proven at the Blitz 2 The Barrel arm wrestling competition that he has the arm strength to control the tandem no matter how the landing went. Plus, Lev is smart enough to not rush into a jump like this without some practice.
Here’s a few more photos that Mike Albright took of Lev and Henry breaking in and shaking down the new tandem at Mt. Bachelor Bike Park in the days leading up to the jump…
The Blitz 2 The Barrel race organizers had a practice session at Tetherow the day before the race where Lev and Henry would get their first look at it. Lev is a very accomplished bike handler, and has raced Blitz and hit the Tetherow Jump many times on a single bike. But this year the size of the jump had the team reconsidering whether or not trying it on a tandem was a wise idea. As a team, the two of them decided against hitting the jump together on the tandem during practice. If at all.
Henry hung around with the tandem until near the end of the practice session and finally decided to not let the opportunity go. Thanks to some encouragement and coaching from Team Giant rider Carl Decker, he decided to try the jump on the tandem alone… with great success.
The tandem, with 140mm of Ellsworth built travel in the rear – and a Fox 34 160mm Talas fork, handled the jump with one person just fine. After numerous solo jumps on the tandem with Henry at the controls, it gave Lev and Henry a little more confidence that it could be done. That said, it wasn’t attempted with both of them aboard until they did it in front of everybody the night of the race with Lev at the controls.
Fox 34 Talas 27.5 Fork w/ 160 mm of travel
ENVE AM 27.5 wheelset w/ Chris King hubs,
Schwalbe 2.35 Tires - Rock Razor rear, Hans Dampf front
1×10 Shimano and K-Edge Di2 hack drivetrain w/ Fouriers 32T narrow/wide chainrings
Rotor Crankset, Shimano XTR Trail brakes
Thomson stems and captain seatpost w/ Fusion dropper post for the stoker
Complete tandem weight with pedals is 38.5 pounds as jumped/pictured