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!

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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!

Point of Fact, Preparation Pays- Jakes Blog

imageThe Scott Enduro Cup in Sun Valley Idaho last weekend was awesome! They had a great race venue, and the trails were really unique and fun! Not only did I have an outstanding race but I received reassurance that PREPARATION PAYS OFF!

Let’s take a flash back to the Wildwood Enduro, to show how much not preparing can cost you. We arrived at the Wildwood Enduro venue noon, the day before the races started and inadvisably we only were able to pre ride one of 8 stages. That turned out to be a huge mistake, because I didn’t preride 7 out of 8 stages. So at Sun Valley Enduro, unlike at the Wildwood Enduro where we didn’t pre ride the course,  we were determined not to make the same mistake twice!

imageWe arrived in Sun Valley Idaho late Wednesday afternoon two days before the races started. On Thursday we went out and rode the Backcountry Stages. Stage 1 was very pedaly during the beginning of the stage. Once it started going down, the trail turned very steep with lots of baseball sized rocks. Stage 2 had 30 seconds of pedaling right off the gun. Then it turned into a super, steep, narrow and rocky trail. After about a mile there was a steep 15-20 percent grade climb then back to a steep descending trail to the finish line. Saturday was the Resort day so all of the stages were on the ski mountain. With no chair lift running we rode up 10 miles with 4,000 ft of climbing, but since one of the 3 stages was closed we only rode 2 stages. Stage 2 had a mile and a half, nearly flat section of trail  before the tight and windy single track began, and continued for 3 miles. Stage 3 was a 5 mile long, on an exposed hillside, twisty loose and very pedaly stage and it was super important to pre-ride.

The Enduro Cup had only one class for Juniors, 18 and under, as a 14 yr old I knew I alway have to be at my best against my older competitors and PREPARATION is a must!  When day 1 started I was confident that our pre-riding would pay off, and it did! On stage one all of my lines were smooth and I had the 2nd fastest time.image Stage 2 was super fun and techy, but I felt like I had a great run. In the end I came away 3rd!  So for day 1, I was sitting in 3rd overall, 8 seconds behind 2nd. Pre-riding the course was paying off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

imageDay two was very hard! Stage 3 (the one we didn’t pre-ride). Was by far the most technical, especially with nearly the entire trail covered in baseball sized stones and blown out tight corners. I had a hard time on that stage. The rocks were difficult to maneuver through, and I was being jolted and bounced all through the stage. After that stage I looked at results and was 8th place in that stage now 40 seconds behind 2nd. If wanted to get second place back I was going to have to go full-out! But I had high hopes because I was one of the few racers that pre-rode stages 4 and 5 which were so pedaly the could have been part of a XC race course. On stage 4 I felt awesome. Being a XC racer defiantly helped me do well on this pedaly stage. I came in 4th and the top 4 were all within ten seconds of the winner. On stage 5 I felt even better than stage 4. I pedaled on every section possible and when I finished I literally fell to the ground from exhaustion! My time was only 2 seconds from the winners time! I thought about how much that stage would have sucked if I haven’t pre ridden it. By the end of the day I had placed 2nd 15 seconds ahead of 3rd! If that doesn’t show that Preparation Pays Off I don’t know what will!

imageThe Scott Enduro Cup in Sun Valley is the Perfect example of how pre-riding and preparing pays off and in the converse the Wildwood Enduro, where I finished 7th shows the opposite.   Without pre-riding stages 4 and 5 there was no way I would have made up 40 lost seconds and gained 15 seconds on the rider who was in third! Now that I have proved to myself and every one reading that Preparation Pays Off, I’m never going to be unprepared (if it’s at all within my power) again!

Preparation, Never More Important for Enduro Success-Jake’s Blog

IMG_3444Enduro Racing is a blast!  From: traveling to new places and adventures, getting to ride and race, awesome, fun and unique trails, to meeting cool people. Throughout my 8 years of racing I have gained a lot of experience, from maintaining my bike, knowing my limits and knowing when to eat and hydrate. There is one thing experience can’t account for, and that is NOT BEING PREPARED!  So, when race day comes around, you’re at the start line, and the buzzer sounds, there is only one thing that is going to guide you to success and that is PREPARATION!!!  There are multiple things you need to do to be prepared.

Being prepared is the key to success, and to be prepared you need to:

A)    Keeping Your Body Is At Peak Performance, by having proper nutrition and by staying hydrated, drinking lots of water and electrolytes and making sure you aren’t tired and fatigued, but well rested.                                                                                                                       B)    Pre-check Your Bike, make sure you check, your shifting, tire pressure/tread wear, shock pressure and anything else you think might be damaged or worn.                                                              C)    Prepare All Of Your Gear, make sure you have enough energy and water, check to see if you have the tools and gear you need to fix your bike if you have a mechanical problem, and if you have an early race it is especially helpful to lay out your clothes, helmet, shoes, glasses, gloves and anything else you’ll need.                                                                                             Version 2D)    Pre-ride, in my opinion pre-riding is essential to prepare yourself for the race!  When pre-riding I take mental notes of the trail, like what gear to be in on a certain obstacle.  Pre-riding is also helpful because you’ll  know what is coming up on the trail. It also tells me how long I’ll be racing and how much food and water I’ll need to take.  Knowing these things helps me go much faster on race day!

 

Though pre-riding is a huge benefit!  Completing it, is not always an easy task!  There are many differences between pre-riding a cross-country course and an Enduro course.  On one hand pre-riding a XC course is relatively simple, you park near the start line, get your bike ready, and go for a ride that is only about an hour or two long.   Pre-riding an Enduro course is much more difficult!  Enduro Events are held many hours of travel from our Home, so going there prior to the event never is an option for Us.  Having working Parents means scheduling extra time before the race is difficult, too.  Plus, with the stages spread out over 50 or 60 miles and multiple days, accessing an Enduro course can be quite difficult, let alone having the extra days to get pre-riding done.  So we are faced with the daunting task of trying to pre-ride the day before we race-it’s a difficult situation!  IMG_3409If you wanted to pre ride the day before the race, you would use up a lot of energy, but you would gain valuable knowledge of the course.  It rarely comes down to that choice, because the lack of time, it still is logistically not feasible to preride an entire course!  Those racers who can preride have a monumental advantage!  Contrast our last 2 Enduro races.

Bend Enduro                                                                                                                               IMG_3385We arrived at Bend Friday afternoon and set up our camp at the race venue. Saturday we  decided to get up early to pre-ride all 5 Enduro stages.  We spent most of the day pre-riding the stages, scouting the fast lines and riding the fast lines until we comfortably knew the course.  We took mental notes of what gears to be in before obstacles, and figured out how much water and energy we need to take. On race day we felt that other racers didn’t have an enormous advantage!  In just my 3rd Enduro, knowing the trail and it’s obstacles helped me place 4th in the U18 category, only 9 seconds behind third!  That wasn’t our only benefit from pre-riding.  We were the last group to start, there were so many racers before us, and the Enduro suffered race delays, so there wasn’t any water left at the feed stations.  It effected many racers who relied on it, but not us, because we pre-rode we knew how much water and energy to bring!

Wildwood Enduro                                                                                                                         IMG_3876When scheduling our Season, we decided to spend our week between the Bend Enduro and the Wildwood Enduro races by taking a vacation down the Oregon and California coastline.  So as we typically do, we arrived at Fort Bragg, near the Wildwood race venue (our 1st 2 day Enduro) the day before the race.  We realized that the posted Course Map wasn’t sufficient to direct us to and around the Jackson State Demonstration Forest, so we had to wait until 3:00 PM for Racer check in to see about better maps. We were pretty frustrated since many riders took advantage of the Race Promotor’s guided Tours of the course 2 weeks prior to the Event and had been practicing it ever since.  The guided tour was something we couldn’t take advantage of anyway, because Wildwood was a 16 Hr round trip for Us!  After we checked in we knew we needed to set up our camp because the camp areas were tight.  By the time we finished setting up it was around 4:00PM.  However, now we finally had details to get to the Race Course area!  We went over to Saturday’s start area of the Enduro (Wildwood was a 2 day event) and were deciding whether or not at this late stage, a preride ride of just the 1st of 8 stages was even worth it, at this point!   We knew, if we did more we would have been miles from where we parked and would have finished just 2 Stages late on Friday night.  IMG_3732Brianne Spiersch, fellow Marin Bikes Racer convinced us it had to be somewhat helpful to preride at least one stage.  So we did and came back to Camp and prepared our: bikes, bodies and gear for Saturday’s race.  My race started at 9:00am and I was glad that I had already prepped myself for the race.  All but one of the stages on Saturday were narrow, difficult, tree lined trails with lots of blind corners and super sharp, blind switchbacks.   After each stage I kept thinking to myself, “it would have been so nice and beneficial to pre-riden that trail”!  The final stage was the one we pre-rode and I felt like that was the one I did best on because I knew what was coming up on the trail!  Sunday went just the same way as Saturday, the trails were very tight and technical with lots of ruts, sharp corners and undulating terrain which put me at a disadvantage not knowing what to expect.  In the end I came away with a 7th place in the U18 category.  I’m certain, difference between my results at Bend and Wildwood proved how vital it is to pre-ride!  Whether or not my family can get me there beforehand, with sufficient time to do that is another question!

IMG_3457I truly belive that no matter how skilled you are, if you don’t Pre-ride and Prepare yourself you won’t be highly successful. The Bend and Wildwood Enduro races are perfect examples of how pre-riding and NOT pre-riding can effect your race!  So next time you consider whether or not to pre-ride and prepare yourself, just remember that it could cost you a lot more, like a serious crash, than just the top spot on the podium!

Stelvio Elite….a Great Bike Takes You Amazing Places—Nye’s Blog

IMG_8178Road racing this year seems so much different racing on Marin’s Stelvio Elite Road Bike. I haven’t ridden and raced on a better road bike so far in my career. Combined with Visions Metron 40 Wheelset it crushes the steep climbs and glides around corners carrying momentum and shoots you out of them going even faster than before. They are also very attention grabbing with the red Vision logo. When you go fast enough it looks like a red lightning streak.  There are a lot of great things about the Marin Stelvio Elite Road Bike, how great it performs and the great places Cycling takes you.

The Stelvio Elite Road Bike is Fantastic! It’s so light, picking it up feels like you’re picking up a newspaper. I’ve had four road bikes in my life and I can tell this one is tops.  Wimagee do all of our local Road Races, Time Trials and Criteriums on our Marin Stelvio Elite Road Bike and it seems to have a nitch for every one of those races.  In Crits it’s perfect, the bike is very maneuverable, which is just what you want to keep you out of danger and position yourself for the podium.  Since we don’t have a Time Trial specific bike we do all our Time Trial races on our Stelvio Elite Road Bike.  Its great for Time Trialing, the bike is very aerodynamic and stiff, and that benefits me a lot.  In the Road Races, going up the steep climbs is much easier with such a light bike.  Earlier this year Jake was doing a race in the men’s Cat 4 Road Race and they were coming down the finish straight away and someone swerved across the entire peloton and took many people out! Jake made a split second decision to crash into the ditch rather than into the big pile of people in the middle of the road. Once he crossed the finish line he was scratched up a bit but his bike survived undamaged! No damage! That’s a durable bike!

image There are always memorable road races, Crits and TT’s that just stick in your head, sometimes, like if you had a crash or you won your category.  2 years ago I raced in the Valley Of The Sun Stage Race in Phoenix, AZ which was a super cool experience.  That was one of our first really competitive races and I placed 2nd in my age group and that made it a very memorable experience.  In Reno last year we got to do a charitable ride with the Schleck Brothers and Jens Voigt. I had a blast!  It was fun talking with professional racers about their experiences in their races.  We were driving back from one of our races in California and stopped to watch the finish on the Time Trial in The Tour Of California last year.  We even met Peter Sagan!  I asked him what he liked more Road or Mountain Bike Racing?  He said he liked road racing more because there’s more money in it.  That made sense.  The Sea Otter Classic this year would be unforgettable because I met my bicycling hero Nino Schurter! WOW!!! I didn’t think I’d ever get to meet him.

imageOne pretty memorable race was the Nevada City Classic Criterium in Northern California.  The race course was really challenging.  There was a 1/2 mile climb with an average grade of about 8% and a steep decent with two pretty sharp corners at the bottom starting the climb.  Last year I didn’t do as well as I had set a goal for.  This year coming into the race with my new Marin Stelvio Elite Road Bike with Visions Metron 55 Wheelset and Shimano’s Ultrega Drivetrain and Brakes I’m feeling really confident that I’ll achieve my goal!

imageMy thanks to all of my fantastic Sponsors: Marin Bikes, Shimano, Full Speed Ahead, Primal Wear, Yakima Racks, Panaracer Tires, Osprey Packs, MET Helmets, Sidi Shoes, Lauf Forks, Slime, Genuine Innovations, Marzocchi Suspension, Xpedo Pedals, Ergon Bike Ergonomics, White Lightning Lubricants, Light and Motion Bike Lights and Velo Reno Bike Shop because I couldn’t do it without you.  Thank you Mom and Dad for all of the hours you dedicate to me and our team.