Baby, You’ve Come a Long Way Baby- Jake’s Blog

imageThis year has been a huge learning experience!  From our race seasons beginning until this day I have been learning how to become a fast Enduro racer; from going to bike parks; to jumping off ledges to racing dual slaloms. It has been quite a challenge, physically and mentally.  It all started on the first day of our race season on my trip to the Jim’s World Bike Park and ended when I achieved season’s “dream list” goals of 1 Scott Enduro Cup series, and 1 California Enduro Point Series Podium!

Learning The Ropes                                                                                                                                           Striving to be the world’s best XC racers my coach knew that Nye and I had to develop world class descending skills.  He knew that the top XC racer in the world, Nino Schuter was a downhill’er before he became a 3x World Champion XC racer.  He has proven over and over that his extraordinary descending skills and XC fitness makes the fastest XC racer in the world!  So late last summer our coach decided we needed to focus on Enduro racing to develop the skills necessary to become the worlds best XC racer, just like Nino Schuter!


When we first started preparing to race Enduro, Nye was a better descender than I was and even beat me at a local Super D Race.  On the day of our first scheduled once a week training session at the Jim’s World Bike Park,  I had to go to an eye doctor appointment. Nye was able to go!  The next week we went there I was surprised to see that Nye was already able to jump a 4ft tabletop!  I immediately thought I would be able to do it. I was wrong, it wasn’t easy at all!  I started on the same 4ft tabletop that Nye did and tried to see how quickly I would clear it.  Learning how to jump with flat pedals and to control my bike in the air was one Super Hard Task!  From 7 years of using clip-in pedals while XC riding and racing I was used to pulling up with my feet, but now when riding my BMX bike with flat pedals when I tried to jump, my feet just flew off of the pedals.  I was so frustrated!  I felt like a bug hitting a windshield when I smashed onto the top of the table top!image  It was even harder for me mentally because Nye had more experience and was better than I was!  Not being more experienced and better than him filled me with Determination and within the first day I closed the gap and was able to jump as well as he was!   I was really looking forward to the day when I could easily handle my bike in the air!   Over the next few weeks we went, something clicked, I felt like a bird that just learned to fly, and suddenly I was able to control my bike in the air and clear that tabletop and many more!
It wasn’t long after that I was able to jump a series of gaps ranging from 4ft to 20ft wide, and Nye wasn’t far behind!

Getting The Hang Of It                                                                                                                                                 Once we learned to jump at bike parks, we took that to our trail system and started to learn how to jump off a 6ft Rock drop on one of our local trails. It was really hard for me to jump it the first time because I was such a chicken back then!  Once I got the hang of it, jumping off ledges and rocks, wasn’t that hard.

image  It was super fun!  Now it is my favorite thing to do on my bike!  I also learned it is about technique; like to keep my weight as far back as possible, carry enough speed and keeping negative thoughts like: I Don’t Know If I Can Do That out of my mind!  It hardly seemed we’d been training long, but then in early April our first Enduro at The Sea Otter Classic was upon us!  Being my first Enduro race I was nervous, but once I started racing my nervousness faded once hit an awesome section of the trail which had lots of table tops and sweet jumps! I was Stoked to have 13th against he fastest juniors in the country.  That let me that know that my training was on the right track and I was excited that future Enduro podiums were within my reach!

imageBeing Competitive                                                                                                                          Racing Enduro is a, rad and awesome experience, but if you want to be competitive there are certain techniques you will difinantly want to use!  My first priority is to pre-ride the course, riding the course 5, 10, even 15 times is the best thing you can do, because the more you ride the course the more time you’ll take off of your race time, I find the fast lines and get the know the course so well it is like the back of my hand.  I have also learned that to be the fastest and competitive racer I have to, keep developing the skills I’ve talked about previously, race Dual Slalom which teaches me urgency, how to corner better and how to manual!  Dual Slalom is awesome!  I loved being able to race neck and neck with my competitor it pushes me really hard and is an Awesome adrenaline rush!  Aside from being super fun, it taught me one super important skill, to be more urgent.  This skill has helped me go faster in Enduros.  Getting in a habit of being urgent was great because it made me pedal as hard as I could in every possible place the trail offered!  It is a great way to go faster, but I have to admit it is really tiring if your not in top shape.

image  Battleborn Enduro was the first Enduro race I competed for the win in. Being a local I knew all of the stages like the back of my hand!  Being familiar with the trails made me go super fast and came away with a sweet 3rd place.  My last Enduro race of the year was the Kamakazie Bike Games Enduro Race, from the moment I finished my first stage I could tell I had improved big time from the last time I raced there at the Enduro National Championships.  Having had ridden the course previously at Enduro Nationals was a huge advantage!  It helped me because I knew all of the fast lines, where all of the obstacles were,  and I could tell that each stage I raced at the Kamakazie Games I felt WAY faster, smoother and more confident than I did before!  It was the most fun I’d ever had at Mammoth!  At the end of the year I ended up with 4 top five finishes and two Point Series podium finishes.  I was 2nd in The Scott Enduro Cup Series Junior Men Under 18 class and 5th in the California Enduro Series Cat1 Under 18 Expert Men class!  Next year I hope to improve even more and win both Enduro Point Series!                                                       .image
I’ve learned a ton this year about improving my skills and about racing Enduro.  I’m looking forward to next year so I can improve more and put my skills to the test again!   What I’ve learned this year just proves if you put your mind to it, no matter how hard physically or mentally it is anything is possible!

Inspiration Does Amazing Things! – Nye’s Blog

IMG_6994So far in my race career there have been so many events that have been incredible. This has been a super unique year, this is the first year we’ve raced gravity sports, but there is one thing that is amazing in retrospect.  As far back as I can remember we’ve been inspiring kids, teenagers and even adults.  Our trip to Interbike turned out to be a special one because I was reminded just how much we inspire others..

Horny Toad 073Looking back 4 years ago when we still lived in Cortez, Colorado our Team went to race at the Whiskey Off Road.  There, we met Phil Thomas for the first time. He was so impressed that he was racing side by side with Jake to the finish line that he had to show his six-year-old son Siddy our Facebook page and tell him what great kids and mountain bike racers we were. He told us that really motivated Siddy to start riding. Through that, we stayed friends and kept in contact.

IMG_6692Again in 2013 Phil reached out to us and asked if we could send an old Yackle Brothers race kit for Siddy to remind him to ride with passion. We knew that, the one we sent inspired Siddy, as we saw Phil proudly posting riding photos of how stoked Siddy was.




At Interbike this year it hit me just how big of an influence our Team has become to others.  Since, we gave Siddy our Jersey, we learned that recently Siddy had lost his passion for riding!  Phil, once again drew upon our help.  Phil had excused Siddy from a couple of days of school and had driven all the way from Phoenix to the Outdoor Demo, just so Siddy could ride and interact with us.

IMG_6602I was amazed how important and influential Phil thought we were to his son.  We rode bikes together and taught Siddy a few skills.  Phil went out of his way to stay at the same hotel as us just so Siddy could play with us in the pool and talk with us, once we finished our work day at Interbike. I’m blessed to know that our team is making a difference!  We’re doing more than just racing, we’re helping out our community, motivating kids to ride and inspiring them to have a passion for bicycling.

A few other short stories:


IMG_1150The Boggs NorCal High School League race this year I encouraged Taylor one of the Coaches daughters, from the Cycling Development Team to ride bikes. Her sister said she and her parents had been trying to get Taylor to ride but she didn’t until she met me.  Her sister said “she wasn’t sure whether she should punch me or thank me.” I laughed!  I guess I created some new competition there! .

356A few years ago we competed in the USA Cycling Nationals in Sun Valley and met the Fluckigers Family.  They had two kids, Adam and Dylan.  They raced a just times, but after they learned we competed in race events half of the year, and the awesome places we went to, they were really motivated to race more!  The next day we both won the National Championships, and Adam said “I can’t wait to be like you guys and win Nationals”.  I hoped they would stay inspired, race hard and Have Fun!!!

interbike 008One of the coolest things that happened this year was when we were at Interbike, we bumped into the Hepners, they own VeloSoul Cyclery  He stopped us and said , “your Yackle Brothers Racing right?”, I nodded.  He said he followed us on Facebook and saw all of the things we were doing.  He showed his three-year old son what we do and he idolize’s us. . . And Danny McCaskill, too.  I almost dropped dead!   Someone was idolizing us along with Danny, I never thought that day would come so soon!  It was Amazing!!!  That was the coolest thing that happened all year!

Oak Flats 024Now that I think back on It, the Yackle Brothers Racing Team has inspiried cool and unique juniors from around the Nation since 2010. Many of the juniors liked us because we were unique too, we were young and fast. On the outside they saw two who raced their hardest, on the inside they saw two people with good character and were inspired to be just like that! Our parents taught us to always do everything the best we could, and to always be friendly and to treat others with respect! They were intrigued at how much skill we had at our young age! We showed them that anything is possible if you try really hard!



Full Tilt Telluride 051Inspiring people to ride and race is the best thing, it’s so fun and you get to meet all of these great kids who look up to you!  When I started racing my Parents and Grandparents always told me to race my hardest, never give up and treat others well.  I’ve endeavered to do that throughout my racing career and kids have been inspired by me to ride and race bicycles.

Enduro It’s A Merry Go-Round Of Skills – Nye’s Blog

imageThis year racing Enduro has been very helpful, it’s helping us improve in Road and Cross Country racing.  In order to get better in Enduro racing we are active in Dual Slalom, Dirt Jumping, Riding Flow Lines, Pump Tracking and Downhill Trail Riding.  It’s been fun and has shown me skills and techniques which I need to apply to Enduro and my other disciplines of racing too!

imageRacing Enduro is helping me with a number of things racing and also helping me with my riding techniques.  In the past, as I descended I now know that I leaned way to far forward on my handlebars.  I’ve learned now to center my weight over my pedals so when I hit a bump I won’t go flying over the bars. I am also learning to develop a sense of urgency when racing my Enduro courses. My Coach asked me to break the trail into several small segments so I could more easily mentally focus on sprinting and braking throughout the segment.

imageMy coach has always taught me to manage my bike but the high speeds and difficulty of Enduro racing has shown me just how important managing my bike is, so I’m able to cross the finish line and hold on to my Series Standing position.   I learned that the hard way at one of my Enduro races I didn’t pay attention to where I put my wheel through a section of rocks and I blew a tire, broke a dérailleur and snapped a few spokes.  Up until this race I had finished every race I was in, but I just didn’t realize then how much more IMPORTANT managing my bike in Enduro races was!  Being prepared is vital for racing Enduro, having all of your tools and spare parts with you is very important. At our last Enduro race we didn’t finish putting our spare Wheelset together.  The night before the race we set up our new Full Speed Ahead SLK Wheelset with tires, but we didn’t put our rotors and cassettes on.  In order to be fully prepared for our Enduro race we ended up finishing our work before our nine o’clock race start.    That caused a lot of stress that morning, and I know that we didn’t perform as well because as we would have without all of that.  The list of things that you need to be prepared for is endless and I know that not being prepared has detrimental effects.   So remember to have all of the phases of your racing preparation covered, it’ll save you from being stressed, getting a DNF in a race, ruining your point series placing, getting injured, breaking your bike and costing you a lot of money.

imageEnduro has proven very helpful for my other race disciplines. Racing Enduro has helped me improve my descending when I’m racing Cross Country.  I get training for Cross Country during the transfers in Enduro too.   We started racing Dual Slalom just recently and Its helped me work on going my fastest down the course.  Participating in Dual Slalom and doing Dirt Jumping, Pump Tacking and Downhill Trail riding is building our skills and helping us immensely in all of our other disciplines!  It’s like a circle, everything helps you improve your skills and fitness in another racing discipline.

image I’m learning things from racing Enduro; it helps me find flaws in my form, improves my skills, requires me to manage my bike, and teaches me to develop more urgency during races. Additionally it teaches me about managing my bike and being prepared.  I want to thank my great parents and my sponsors for supporting us and making our race career possible!

Safety First- Jake’s Blog

imageOver my 8 years of racing I’ve been taught by my Dad that being safe is the top priority, because if you aren’t you could end up seriously injured or dead and have a very unexpected life in the future! Being safe keeps me healthy and confident that I will be able to Enjoy the rest of my life!  So over my many years of racing, and wide varieties of riding I’ve experienced multiple ways to stay safe while: XC, Road and Enduro racing and riding.

IMG_4635Staying Safe XC Racing: I feel XC Racing and Riding is the least dangerous discipline of the three we race, because you don’t carry as much speed as you do while Road or Enduro racing and crashing won’t be because of someone else! What I do to stay safe while XC Biking is to ride within my limits, by not doing any crazy jumps or riding something my bike can’t handle. If you choose to, you can ride with protective gear while XC riding, though most of the time XC trails aren’t dangerous enough to                                                                                      .                                                                                need them.

IMG_5206Staying Safe Enduro Racing: Enduro racing is the second most dangerous of the three. The nature of Enduro racing allows for use of Protectives, unlike during Road and XC! To stay safe we put on elbow and knee pads, full face helmets and goggles. They also have chest, neck and back protectors. These are great for protecting you WHEN you crash, not IF you crash because in nearly every crash your elbows and knees are the most at the most risk for injury. I love full face helmets, especially my rippin’ Met Parachute helmet, because WHEN the time comes that I face-plant I’ll be grateful to still be alive and have my face intact!!! The goggles are perfect for keepin’ me seeing straight when I’m eating dust, or when an occasional rock flies straight towards my eye!

IMG_8169Staying Safe Road Biking: In my opinion Road biking is the most dangerous discipline, because there are so many vehicle drivers who don’t pay attention or look where they’re going. That’s just while training, and racing isn’t much different. If you think about it, if you crash during a road race it is almost always because of the people around you, like because the person next to you crossed a wheel or bumped into someone. The things we do to stay safe (and I suggest you do to) when road biking are: staying focused and alert,  training we put on our rad Light and Motion bike lights to keep ourselves extremely visible, along with our with our Awesome Primal Wear Kits we should be impossible to miss! While racing we stay near the front of the peloton where there is the least likely place for a crash and we don’t cross wheels so we are as safe as can be! Those are the best ways I know to stay safe while road biking.

I’ve had dozens and dozens of experiences where I was glad I was prepared to be safe. But if you aren’t safe the consequences can be bad, just last Saturday after an Enduro race a friend of mine was doing a downhill run without protectives and crashed and broke his back! If he would have taken the precautions I was talking about he could have avoided this!  That was a good example of why you should wear Protectives, but if you need another…….. Today I was going fast doing a manual and the bike shot out from underneath me, I slid on knees elbows and stomach, but thanks to my Protectives I didn’t have a single scratch! I probably get more injuries around the house than I do biking! Hmm, maybe I should wear protectives around the house?

IMG_4860So I guess the lesson to be learned is always to err on the side of safety.  Being safe has saved my hide tons of times, and it will save yours too! So next time you go ride, be safe, because if you aren’t there might not be a next time!

Mammoth National Championships, Experience of a Lifetime- Jake’s Blog

IMG_4860This year’s National Championship Race Events were awesome and unique! Right from the start, I could tell that this year’s National Championships were going to be great!  For the first time in 5 years that USA Cycling was holding the gravity an endurance races at the same venue.  We were there for a full week to take in this unique experience!

Day: 1 Monday: We arrived late Monday morning at Mammoth Mtn and went to pre-ride the XC race course.  The race course was really fun!  1/8 of a mile from the start you went up a steep fire road climb,  turned onto a singletrack climb. You follow the single track climb until you hit another steep fire road and then follow that to the top.  IMG_4635The descent was super fun and technical with lots of huge washboards, rock gardens and rutted powdery corners. We spent most of our day finding the fast lines on the descent and getting them dialed in for our Race.

Day: 2 Tuesday: We spent the morning practicing the most technical rock garden on the Shotgun Trail, which was part the  XC  course descent so we could go through it as fast as possible. After that, we practiced Nye’s Short Track course.  Afterwards, we talked, hung out and relaxed with our Uncle Tim for the rest of the day.

Day: 3 Wednesday: To keep my legs and body in top physical condition, Dad and I went and rode Uptown, Beach Cruiser, Bering Straits, and down Off the Top to Beach Cruiser trails on Mammoth Mtn. We made it over half way up the Mountain and looked over The Minerets.IMG_4586  One back, I helped Nye get warmed up for his Short Track race.  After, I wished him good luck I went to my spectating spot at the top of the climb so I could have a good view of Nye’s race.  I watched Nye as he raced his way from a 20th place early on in the first lap to a solid 12th place in the 13-14 age group!

Day: 4 Thursday, XC race day:        We prepared our bikes for the XC race, and then we went over to the race venue. At noon I went over to the staging chute with an umbrella to keep cool from the super hot Sun.

IMG_5194As I waited for my 1:00 start I stood alone for half an hour, because It was important for me to get there early, so that after the top 16 racers were called up I would be the next person to line up,  At 12:45 they lined up the 16 call up list racers, and I was ready to move when they called up the last racer so that I could get the best starting spot. It didn’t happen like that.  After the 16 racers were called up, the race official kept on calling people’s names to stage! The rules clearly stated that only the top 15 racers and the previous year’s National Champion would be called up, but the race official kept calling people up, so I ended up around thirtieth and in the 5th row!  I was so mad USA Cycling messed up their own rules and that I waited an hour for Nothing!  In the beginning of the first lap I stayed around thirtieth until the climb when I moved up a few positions. So over the 1st lap I passed racer after racer until I caught the lead group just as we crossed under the finish line which put me in 5th going into the 2nd lap. By the end of lap 2nd  I was in second, and one quarter of the way into the 3rd lap I passed and dropped the race leader. Throughout the remainder of the race, I extended my lead to over 1 minute on second place, and became the Cat 1 15-16 National Champion!IMG_4970                                                                                                                                                    Nye, at the young age of 12 raced hard, and managed to place 13th in the 13-14 category.  There was no time to celebrate because at 4:30 we had our Dual Slalom qualifying for our races on Friday.IMG_4461                                                                  I ended up qualifying 16th in the 15-18 category and Nye was 8 out of 16 in the U14 category!

The awards ceremony for the day’s races wasn’t until 6:30, although it was a short wait, but my anticipation made it seem a long wait.  When I was called up to the podium I was so proud and happy to be able to wear (my 3rd)  Stars and Stripes Jersey again!


Day: 5 Friday with two races to come I still needed to keep my fitness up. So we went out for an early ride. My Uncle Tim was kind enough to give us a shuttle to the start of the Mountain View Trail which was right next to the scenic overlook of the Minarets!IMG_4876    The Mountain View Trail was super fun and flowy, it was just what I needed to stay amped up for my upcoming races!  Our Dual Slalom race was at 2:30. IMG_4474I had the 16th fastest qualifying time so I had to race the fastest qualifier.  The race start gate dropped I kept up with my competitor until the lower half of the course until he put a small gap on me. I was pretty happy just to be able to keep up with the racer who eventually won my age group and became the national champion.   I was also happy to have learned to race something new!  Nye did much better than I did he beat his first competitor, but he lost to his second competitor who went on to be the National Champ, and Nye ended up 8th (he might have placed higher but he had a small crash) out of 16 racers which I thought was great!

Day: 6 Saturday. The only practice times for the Enduro were from 6:00pm until dark on Friday and Saturday.  Friday I need to get some rest and recovery so I didn’t practice.  Dad and I decided to pre ride the Enduro Course on Saturday, when I wasn’t tired from my XC and Dual Slalom race. At 6:00 Saturday night me and dad went to practice all 4 of the Enduro stages before dark, which was going to be a huge feat and an adventure, for sure.  We quickly learned how technical and crazy the stages were!  Each stage held its own set of challenges. Stage 1 was super technical, with tons of rock drops, root drops, rock gardens, roots, jumps and steep descents!  It was the Pro Downhill Line, so hard it made a former World Masters Champion say “it’s a handful”!  I’d have to say I agree!  Stage 2 was the most pedaly stage, and was my favorite because there was a big drop onto a wooden ramp!IMG_5090 When I first came up to the drop I thought “that looks hard!” but after I jumped and cleared it, I was thinking how I couldn’t wait until race day to shred it again!  Stage 3 was another pedaly stage.  There wasn’t anything technical until the lower half of the course, where fun was kicked up a notch.  There were lots of concrete paver birms, steep descents with tons of rocks, roots and drops, which all were super fun.  The stage ended on the lower half of the Dual Slalom, which was awesome! It was rad to finally have a really unique race course!  Stage 4 was a lot like Stage 1. It was gnarly, with drop after drop, it made me have to stay completely concentrated. After going through a rock garden, the course came to a fire road and followed that most of the way down the mountain. The last part of the stage was SO FUN!  After getting off of the fire road the trail dropped down the side of the hill and hit a couple huge table tops and then descended down a steep, loose and rocky decent down to the finish!  We finished the pre-ride just as it got dark, but even if it had gotten dark we were prepared to keep riding, because we had our awesome Light and Motion bike lights to light our way!

Day: 7 Sunday’s Enduro went great for me! Being the first ever National Championship Enduro race I was inspired to do my absolute best!  Stage 1 went good, I cleared every obstacle except  a set of two rock drops where I lost all of my speed in some really deep crushed granite just before them.  Aside from that my run went great and I flew through all of the other obstacles with ease!IMG_5206  I having a great time on Stage 2.  I went as fast as I could through all of the pedaly sections, and I was so happy when I finally hit the big wooden drop and cleared it!  On the super steep, loose and rutted finishing descent I went faster than I thought was possible for myself!  On Stage 3. I had a great run and blew through all of the obstacles until I hit a rock too hard and sliced my tire, but thankfully it didn’t go flat until I crossed the finish line.  I quickly fixed and headed up for my last run!  I had my best run on Stage 4. I nailed all of my lines, hammered the road sections and flew down the last steep, rock and loose descent! In the end, I had a ton of fun and I ended up 14th out of 37 racers in the 15-18 class!

IMG_4613This year’s Nationals was awesome!  I had so much fun, I learned about racing in a Gravity discipline, I rode some of the most Crazy trails of my life and I became a National Champion for my 3rd time!  I am already really looking forward to next year’s National Championships and I hope they will be as fun and unique as this year’s were!

Marin Bikes In Downieville—Nye’s Blog

imagePrevious visits to Downieville have been great, the trails were super fun and the people were very friendly.  We’ve done training camps similar to this one before.  I’m going to tell you about our weekend training on our Marin Bikes in Downieville and all the fun we had!

imageTraining for The Downieville Classic was a blast!  I was looking forward to riding the trails for a long time! The trails there are super fast and have lots of technical features on them.  There’s a little of every style on the trails, flowing, rocky, optional jumps and several sections with water flowing down them.  So basically the trails were RAD!!!  I shredded down the trails thanks to my sweet Marin CXR 29er Hardtail Cross Country Bike!  Everyone their rides a full suspension bike on the course, but my Team Director felt that I would benefit from riding a hardtail and gain time over the entire course rather than just those few section technical sections where one or few seconds a full suspension bike might gain here or there on the descent.  Riding my Marin CXR Hardtail also has helped polish skills because I couldn’t just barrel down the trail without watching out for obstacles like I can more easily do on a full suspension.   I had to maneuver through rock gardens and bunny hop roots.  We stopped at several spots to find optional lines and practice them.  I think I should be well dialed for the race.

imageSince he is racing the All Mountain class (which includes separate Cross Country and Downhill Courses) Jake is riding his Marin Attack Trail Enduro Bike and he was tearing up the trails during our practice camp.  He still can race up the climbs really fast!   From watching him behind going down the descents and from what he told me after the ride his bike was fantastic, racing through rock gardens and jumping over roots super well!   He said it glided around corners and kept his momentum, jumping off of roots and ledges was simple, I could see that!

imageThere are lots of fun things to do in the Downieville area, right where we camped at Union Flat Campground there was a great swimming hole.  In the middle of the river there was a big boulder and we jumped off of it into the river!  We enjoyed that!  We saw people dredging for gold in the river.  That looked cool.  In Downieville we stopped by 49 wines to say hi to our friend Will Clark, my parents enjoyed a couple of beers while we had some ice cream.  We had a good time talking with him and walking around.  Our dog Rex had a great time too, chasing squirrels and chipmunks around the campground.  He didn’t like the river though.

imageJake and I are really excited to race at Downieville again this year.  I’m going to only race Cross Country because the Experts and Pros are the only ones who can race it.   Last year Jake became the Downieville Champion in the Sport U18 category and 2nd overall in sport!  My goal is to follow in his footsteps and become this year’s Sport U18 Downieville Classic Champion!

imageDoing training at Downieville was super fun.  We believe that the Marin CXR Hardtail is a perfect choice for the Cross Country and because they threw in a 20 mile downhill race based on the results for the Cross Country race the Marin Attack Trail Enduro Bike was perfect for that.  I just love going to Downieville, the trails are fantastic, the people are nice and the river is super fun and cooling.

Our Day Will Come—Nye’s Blog

IMG_4258Patience is A Virtue! Since I started racing, I’ve raced against people who have been several years to several decades older than me. I’ve had trouble sometimes understanding that losing to people who are years older than me is nothing to be ashamed of. In bicycle racing when your my age patience is always a virtue.
Sea Otter 036

When we lived in the Four Corners area in Colorado and did races there the lowest category was under 18. I first did some kids races and did really well and I wanted to race some more. When I began racing (in Colorado and New Mexico) against 18 year olds and adults I did really well, too! I was racing against 18 year olds but the caliber of my fields need to be greater. I usually won or was on the podium because of that. It was hard racing against some of the kids in Colorado who were that much older than me and really fit. Those races were rare around where we lived. I raced against adults a lot too! I usually beat them, but they weren’t Cat 1 or 2.  After 5 years of racing there we moved to Reno to find more races that where closer to where we lived.

Sea Otter 102Racing in California was a lot different, I was super fit from racing kids (and adults) who were much older than me,  but, when I didn’t win or be on the podium and that disappointed me. That continued and I lost some  confidence. I got bummed out after every one of those races and I didn’t put it in perspective. We occasionally did a race where it was my age group were I did well and my confidence grew a bit but, then I lost it when I got beat by higher aged or cat racers. That made me impatient not doing more races where I was going to podium and I got bummed. I never put it in perspective because these kids where just as old as the kids I was racing in Colorado but a lot more fit.

Version 2This year we are racing Enduro to rekindle our technical skills growing up on Moab and Colorado tough trails and to have a new form of fun. Our first Enduro race was the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey. I felt great doing practice runs on it and it was super fun, I placed 14th and that wasn’t what my goal was and I was bummed out the rest of the day. I should have been proud of myself, beating almost half of the field and the category was U18!  It was the same in a the next couple Enduro races I did. My parents kept telling me I did great, especially since I was racing 18 year olds, I new when I raced against kids my age I was always beating them. I finally thought about what they said and it was true. I should have been stoked I was placing as high in the races as I did in, since I was racing 18 year olds!

IMG_4235Have fun racing, don’t be sad when you place below adults and teenagers many years older than you. If you had fun, did your best and felt like you did well, let that determine how you feel, not your result. To all of you younger racers out there, remember, patience is a virtue. Our day will come!