Interview – Dave the Builder

Here’s the second in the series of folks that “git er dun” down at Horn’s Hill.  Dave Huff is quite handy shaping earth with a couple of tons of metal around him.  But he’s also got big plans for 2011 as new team manager of the Horn’s Hill Collective.  Get the low down below.

Dave the Builder

Tell us a bit about Dave, how long you’ve been riding, your background, and what makes you tick.

Well I haven’t been riding too long at all. I got my first DH rig in 2009. I actually grew up riding and racing motorcycles from around the age of 5. As far as what makes me tick… I’d have to say that trail building is up there.  There’s nothing better than seeing people bomb your trails with a huge smile on their face.

You had a big part in the creation of Horn’s Hill, what role did you play there?

I actually met Bob Bevard through one of my moto buddies. I basically eves-dropped on their conversation and told him that if he needed a machine operator that I would help out.  I had no biking background at all but had built numerous MX tracks in the past.  I was the man in charge of the machine operation at Horn’s.

So that’s where your handle Dave the Builder came from then.  What do you like better, building or riding?

Man that’s a tough one.  I’m going to have to say that building trails is amazing and a great workout so I’d say building. If you threw racing in the mix I’d go with racing because there is nothing that replaces that feeling of having a perfect run top to bottom.

Dave the Builder

You’ve taken over the Horn’s Hill Collective race team for 2011, what changes are you making and what is your vision for the team?

Yeah, Bob Bevard started the team and managed it the past two years and he just wanted to step down and focus on some other things ya know.   The main changes I made were to separate the team into two levels.  I mainly did this to be able to provide the guys that were on the PRO or CAT1 level a better level of support with our sponsors.  I wanted to be able to give back to the riders that focus on an entire series or lay it on the line for the team.  I also found a company in Columbus named Heath Care Logistics that donated a 2000 E350 Cargo Van to us for $1!  I’m in the process of converting it to a full on race vehicle to haul our bikes and work out of at the races. That was huge!

My biggest vision for the team is to make our team a well known name in the Downhill scene and let people know that these dudes from Ohio can throw down.

So who is on the team, and what races are you focusing on?

Man we have some fast guys on the team this year.  There are like 20 riders this year!  We picked up Josh Clark, Shawn Metcalf, Vance Nonno, Davis Nonno and Blanton Unger.  Also picked up a Pro level Slopestyle rider from KY named David Thacker that has a ton of BMX and 4X experience and Conrad Scouton also living in KY that will be a CAT 1 DH racer this year with us.  Returning from last year are Harrison Reynolds, Scott Lowery, Dan Watts, Scott Metz, Bob Bevard, Bill Lamar, Rick Burchfield, Jake Hostettler, Jamie Johnson, Chuck Kales, Tommy Agler, Connor Smith and myself.  We basically have a guy in nearly ever class to offer our sponsors so that’s huge for getting our name out there.  We are going to focus on the Gravity East Series and Snowshoe Powerade Series this year as well as hitting up the US Open and Nationals @ Beech MTN.  There will be some random races we are going to as well.

There’s some strong talent there!  And it’s more than just Horn’s Hill locals.  Sponsors?

Yep there are some super fast guys for sure. We look to be on that top step a lot this year.  Our sponsors have been awesome this year.  We have Kenda Tires661ONE IndustriesDivision 26 clothingAzonic hardware,Backcountry.comHuck N Roll.com and Stone Brewing Company helping us out this year.  Mongoose is also helping me and a few others on the team out which is a big reason for why I can continue to race so I wanted to give them a shout out.

Sounds like a borderline professional production!  It’s great to see this for the sport in Ohio.  Where do you see gravity riding headed for Ohio, and how do you think we should get there?

Man I’m doing my best to give the riders what they need to go fast.  Our pits will look legit and I know we’ll have some results to back it up.  Yeah, when we get to the races in Vermont and New Hampshire it always turns heads when they announce that we’re from Ohio.

I’d say the sky’s the limit for gravity riding in Ohio.  The biggest thing is making sure the folks with the ideas and passion find the riders to help them get their ideas in the dirt so people can shred it.  The biggest obstacle to trail building is finding the helpers to make it a reality. How’s that quote go?  Ideas are nothing without execution.  That’s so true in trail building.

Any personal goals for the coming season?

Well I won my class last year in the Gravity East Series so I’m moving up and it’s going to be tough.  I just want to have another great season and try to stay injury free.  I think if I do that and stay consistent I can get another class championships this year.  I’d also like to see an Ohio Gravity Series come to fruition this year.

Anyone that has ridden Horn’s I’m sure sends their thanks to you for your work there, and I know the Horn’s Hill Collective is looking forward to next season.  Keep up the good work man!

Thanks Aaron.  I’ll do my best.  See you on the trail.

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