longboarding's Awkward Stage
July 01, 2016 - Remember when you were in elementary school and you were friends with everyone you met? And then you got a...
Colby Cummings (center) proves his 2015 P-Town Throwdown win was no fluke after winning again for back to back wins in 2016. Cummings has aspirations to beat the course record next year, so in the spirit of long distance push racing, it would seem the lead he has on his competitors won’t be narrowing anytime soon.
If you aren’t familiar, a push race is just as it sounds: it’s a skateboard race where instead of racing down a hill, you race on flat or through moderate hills--it can be as challenging and painful as it is fun and unique.
P-Town Throwdown is a mix of both flatground and hills. It incorporates Portland Oregon’s moderately hilly topography with a downright grueling 3.5 mile flatground finishing stretch.
The race starts at Mt. Tabor, a well known park where longboarders and skateboarders are welcome to ride on Wednesdays when the park is closed to car traffic. From Mt. Tabor, the race snakes through Portland’s SE neighborhoods following well established bike paths. Neighborhoods and houses give way to shops and PDX’s SE Industrial district. Racers quickly make their way to PDX’s East Waterfront where the crowd starts to thin and the most challenging part of the race begins. It was here that Colby Cumming’s training pushing against cyclists paid dividends.
We caught up with Cummings after he won the race for an interview:
1. What's your name? Where are you from?
My name is Colby Cummings. From Portland Oregon
2. What do you ride? What's your setup?
Current set up is the Moonshine County Line V1 Firm. Caliber trucks with Bones Swiss bearings, wearing Orangatang Kegel 80mm 83a.
3. How long have you been skating?
I have been skating for about 15 years, but didn't get a longboard till I was in middle school. Sector 9 pin tail beach cruiser.
4. Why did you start skating?
I started skating because I love surfing and the feeling of floating.
5. What kind of skating do you like the most? What got you into distance pushing?
My favorite kind of skating is getting a group of friends on a paved trail and just going for hours. The P-Town Throw down is what got me into distance skating and IDSA.
6. What was the first race you attended?
My first race was the P-Town Throwdown.
7. When was your first podium?
My first podium was at the 2014 Push In The Woods. I finished 2nd in the 10k.
8. How do you train for push races? Exercise routines?
I push on the Springwater Trail as much as I can. Out pushing local cyclists is great training. When the weather isn't in my favor I go to the local gym. I do a lot of different exercises, but I mainly do sprints, stairs, rowing, and planking.
9. Any pre race rituals? Athletic sweat absorbing tighty whities?
I have a few pre-race rituals. First thing I do when I wake up on race day is listen to motivational speeches on Youtube, while planking to get my body and mind ready. The second ritual I can only do in a few states lol (hint: I live in Potland.... I mean Portland).
10. How does it feel to win Ptown Throwdown for the second year in a row? How many times have you attended this race?
Winning the P-Town Throwdown twice feels great but I'm still not the King of Springwater. I'll be back next year to fight for the win and hopefully beat the course record.
11. What was your strategy off the start line?
Blast out the gate is my strategy off the start line. The fist part of the race is mainly downhill with a few stop lights.
12. How did the stop lights come into play? It must have been troubling to lead, only to have the rest of the pack catch up to you again.
Its very important to either make the light either in front of the pack or with the pack. You won't win this race on the downhill sections save your energy.
13. What went through your mind when you were racing?
My mind was in the best place during the P-Town Throwdown. During a race with live traffic keeping calm is the best thing to do. A lot went through my mind when I almost ran into the back of a parked car on the downhill section.
14. What was the hardest part of the race for you?
The downhill section is always the part that gets me. There are speed bumps, stop signs, and pot wholes. Keep your eyes open there is even a median in one of the intersections. Grip it and rip it. Or do what Al Kopas and Clark Blumenstein do and just jump it.
15. Who gave you the most competition?
Sol Bilderback stayed right behind me the whole race, Every time I looked back he was in eye sight. All it takes is one wrong move and someone else will take the win.
16. What's the hardest race you've competed in?Push In The Woods last year was by far the hardest fast pace race. Joe Mazzone aka Crazy Leg kicked my ass. I have crazy respect for him and his passion for the sport. Miami was and is the most challenging race there is.
17. What gets you in the zone when you're racing?
My pre-race rituals get me in the zone before the race.
18. What is it about push racing that you love so much?
I love LDP mainly because of the camaraderie we all have. We are all there to win but at the end of the day we are all together to skate.
19. What are your future goals? What're you looking to race in the future? World record maybe? Adrenalina?
My original goal was to be the first to do 300 miles in 24 hours. Andy Andreas and Eric Palmer are animals in LDP and beat me to it. My goal is to be the 3rd to do 300 miles. I'll be at Adrenalina again for sure planning on getting on the podium. Skating 10 miles to the race last year wasn't smart.
20. Shoutouts? Thanks yous?
Shout out to Robin McGurik for hosting this amazing race for so many years. Thank you Moonshine MFG and Brandon Desjarlais for giving me the County Line deck last year. Great all around board to say the least.