methow grist 2011-2014 archive


Student Damien Wallis, who will enter the eighth grade this fall, wrote
this for an assignment from his seventh-grade teacher Dani Golden.

The Double

“Tap, tap, tap, tap.” Tapping my finger on the table is not making time go any faster at all. I look at the clock for the millionth time. 7:24. They were supposed to be here at 7:00. Time is slowing down, or that’s what it seems like. I waited, watching Jack, my cat, roll over and over trying to catch a moth until my head started to spin. After another century of waiting I look at the clock again. 7:25. This is insane, although not uncommon with my aunt Rebecca. When she calls and says that she will be there at 7:00 it usually means 7:30. Finally, I hear the car pull up. I run outside to see my two cousins grabbing their bags out of the sleek black car. But on the top of the car was a sight to be seen! However, I couldn’t look closely at it before Aunt Rebecca grabbed me and pulled me in for a big bear hug. After the bear hug I looked up at the top of the car and there standing in front of me was a lime green, black market, dirt jumper, mountain bike. Man I love Dominic’s bikes.

After hours of convincing, we finally talked our parents to let all of us, me, Dominic, and Marco, drive up to my dad’s house so we could make a huge double jump. The ride up to my dad’s from my mom’s house was as bouncy as riding a bull. But it was worth it. As we came around the last corner of my driveway I noticed the R-30 excavator out in our back yard and I knew that it was going to be a good day.

The next morning, all three of us decided to wake up early to start building the huge double that we had planned to build all winter. The plans were simple: build at least one double that met the standards.

  • Standard 1: had to be at least 5 feet across if not more.
  • Standard 2: have a take off that was a gradual slope up until it was near vertical.
  • Standard 3: the landing has to be a bike length wide and enough of a gradual slope down that you could land a foot down from the landing.

The standards were hard to meet but in the end we were able to build the jump to meet all the standards. Dominic said he wanted the landing to be wide so he could get really whippy. Whippy means doing huge whips with your bike. As we finished I couldn’t help thinking that I was doomed. The jump looked so intimidating. And it got even more intimidating after what happened to Dominic.

After going inside for huge gulps of water and to grab my knee pads and elbow pads I went outside. As I opened the screen door I heard Dominic going up to the jump and then an “OH NO, I . . . ” but it was cut off by a big thump and then a yelp of pain. I ran to the railing of the porch and vaulted over it to a six-foot drop and then tucked and rolled out of it. I don’t mean to brag but it was pretty cool. As I looked up I saw Dominic throwing his bike off of himself and holding his side, infuriated. I asked him what the heck happened and he said that the side of the take gave out and he was hurdled off his bike and onto the other side of the landing. He was so mad that I barely had enough time to fix up the jump before he did it again and landed a perfect tuck-no-hander - bike language for putting the handle bars where your stomach is and then throwing a huge no hander. Wow, if you don’t succeed at first, throw a huge tuck-no-hander on your second try.

That gave me all the encouragement I needed to perform the task of trying the double. I told Dominic that I was going to speed check him and then hit it, but he just told me to try it my first try. I didn’t want to tell him I was scared. So I pushed all the fear out of my head and decided that I was going to hit it. I jumped on my black market, black, hard tail and pedaled. As the jump grew closer I became more scared and as I grew more scared I felt less committed. And the key to executing any jump is that you have to be committed. So once again I pushed all the fear out of my head and felt as committed as a professional motocross rider about to attempt a 50 ft triple. As I rolled up to the jump I somehow pushed all the fear out of my mind and in an instant I was in the air flying with the birds. I felt as if I was up in the air for centuries and the feeling was so great that when I touched back down on the ground I was so disappointed. I put on my break before I went too far and bounced into the bobcat. My dad yelled at me and asked if it was good. I didn’t respond. I was to busy running back up the hill to try it again.