Toe-Moss takes second DYOG title in a row

Splitter day, serious traffic
A member of the U.S. Women’s Army Corps, Betty Magnuson, reported seeing French children in the Montmartre section of Paris riding on boards with roller skate wheels attached to them in late 1944. Fast-forward 70 years later to last Sunday, and that same energy was found right in our backyard.

It was another beautiful day in the Elk Mountains and as I crept up Kebler Pass to enjoy the fall foliage, I was inundated—rather, surrounded—by a gaggle of athletes unlike any other. Reaching the summit of said pass, a non-dairy creamer pyrotechnic sat in the middle of the road. When the firework in question failed to ignite, a gentleman of authority (I’m assuming he was of authority, given he was wearing the colors of the Forest Service) sprinted to the open flame to add a little enhancer, thus igniting the mortar. At which point the seven athletes jumped on their skateboards and proceeded to take off down the west side of Kebler Pass Road for the annual Dig Your Own Grave (DYOG) race. Never ones to shy away from a challenge, several DYOGers got a quick wheel heater on the open flame as perennial DYOG contender Puddingras offered up a Manual, while Joshua Phoenix ollied the scene. This race ain’t no Pro Cycling Challenge, nor is it Whatever. As a result there was no road closure, no road painting, and little signage. Therefore, it was all-out mayhem. While charging down Kebler Pass on the tiniest of wheels (except for former mountain board competitor Thrill Hill, who was back from extensive training in the Far East and broke out his mountain board for the event), the athletes were dodging the onset of massive numbers of leaf-peepers behind the wheels of BMWs, SUVs and any other comfortable vehicle now available, all the while dealing with G-forces, potholes and any other hazard available in an open-course format. Fifty yards into the race, things got scary as traffic refused to yield, resulting in a pile-up of DYOGers. Defending 2013 DYOG champion Toe-Moss took the opportunity to slip through the fleshy pile-up and jump out to a sizeable lead. Thrill Hill was next out of the mess and made the most of his mountain board, carving sweeping turns across the fall line to provide his own version of traffic calming. “It was gnarl,” said Puddingras. “The uphill traffic loved it. It was the downhill people driving like they got somewhere to be.” The rest of the field regrouped to return to the task at hand, the DYOG, and while Toe-Moss had a big lead, nothing is ever set in stone, except one’s headstone, at the DYOG. There was still plenty of high-speed skating to do as well as the target portion of the race, the very spot where the DYOG has been won and lost in past years. But not this year. Toe-Moss neutralized his target immediately and came charging back down to the road, hopped on his skateboard and rolled to his second title in a row with ease. The podium still hung in the balance, though. Thrill Hill was second into the range but struggled. Puddingras was third into the range and had the fastest split to emerge and take second place. Meanwhile, Matthias Rollballz saw his podium shot slip away in the range as he went for bonus points, while Joshua Phoenix came into the range in fifth place, made quick work and was out to join Puddingras and Toe-Moss on the podium in third. The rest of the family rolled down to join in the celebration of Toe-Moss’ feat, as he became the first-ever DYOGer to repeat in the race’s long history. Anyone can drive a car or ride a bike on Kebler, but who can DYOG?

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