Season Of Shred – Jake’s Blog

 
  This 2016 NorCal High School League Season has been a wild adventure!   Not only did I have a lot of fun racing, I also really enjoyed hanging out and joking with my friends, making new friends at all of the races, and helping NICA get more Kids on bikes!  2016 was my first year racing in the ripin’ fast Varsity class!  It has been a awesome racing experience to say the least. In the first 2 early season races I learned how fast the varsity class really was, as I challenged myself to hang with the leaders for just 1 lap!  Living at high altitude in Nevada I knew we weren’t getting the same Winter training conditions as racers in California, but I felt that my fitness and strength would come better the further into the race season.  At the 3rd race my new training regiment finally payed off and I was able to take a 2nd place which filled me with confidence for race #4.  At race #4 the race leaders put the pedal to the metal making for an extremely fast race, they put a pace so fast that I was dropped on lap 3. Dang it!  In the end I came in 5th in after a sprint finish!  More motivated than ever I trained with renewed energy for two weeks for the conference championships.   

Conference champs was another hard race but I felt stronger than I had thought the entire season!   I was actively pushing the race for 3 laps, then on the the fourth lap my chain dropped twice!  Near the end of the 4th lap, after having a 40 second deficit I’d fought my way back up to the second place racer!  Though, on the 5th lap I finally ran out of gas and and lost the second place racers wheel.  In the end I came in a solid 3rd place.  

  After finishing conference champs in 3rd  and taking 2nd in the series, I was super excited for the state championships!  The state championship race was SO fast! On lap 1 three SoCal racers layed the hammer down and broke away within the first couple miles, and behind them were two NorCal racers.  So for the entire race me and another fellow NorCal racer chased the top five racers for a shot to get on the podium!  In the end we just couldn’t pull it back and I came in 7th.  Although I was somewhat disappointed, I realized that being just 15 years old and taking 7th in The California High School League State Championships, Varsity Class is pretty sweet!   This season of the NorCal High School League was awesome!   I’m super excited for next year!  I’m looking forward to seeing my friends again, and I have my goal set on winning The State Championshp Title!

I Love High School MTB Racing! – Nye’s Blog

imageRacing the NICA NorCal High School League this year was great.   One of the many reasons I love the High School League because I got to meet and hang out with so many kids.    At the first race alone I made over 10 new friends.  I am a lot less nervous at the start because my friends talk and joke with me.   The League was great in getting lots kids on bikes.  It is really inspiring watching K.C. Fontes tearing it up with one leg!  All of the races have been super fun and great experiences.   imageThe first race was extremely hard, I tried to hang with the leaders but they were too strong and I placed 4th.   Race #2 was Epic!   I had a decent start in 7th.   Throughout the race I passed kids until I caught 3rd place.   It came down to a sprint but I was crashed into the fence and I ended up in 4th because of it.   The third race was similar to the first but at the end two kids I was beating passed me and placed ahead of me in 3rd and 4th.  Race #4 was a lesson and it showed me what I needed to work on.  image
At Conference Championships I was so motivated.  I really turned myself inside out to keep my 3rd in the NorCal Freshman Season Point Series.  I met my goal by placing 3rd in the Conference Championships.  The California State High School Championships was my favorite event!   I loved the fact that so many High School family’s camped and we all socialized.  There was so many people camping it was about a 1/3 of a mile long and 1/8 of a mile wide.   The course was great and I had so much fun racing!   As a 14-year-old, I wanted to podium but placing 6th against the best 15/16 year olds in the California, the most populated State in the Nation, was a great accomplishment! image This year’s NICA High School League was so Unique…Epic…and…Awesome!!!  My goal for next year in the High School League is to get a Junior Varsity Leaders Jersey.   I can’t wait for next year!!!

Lauf, May The (Best) Fork Be With You -Jake’s Blog

IMG_0102Over my 10 years of bike racing I have raced, ridden, and pushed many different forks to the max of their performance, and although they worked well I never knew there would be a better option available for XC racing.  This year I finally have the closest fork to perfect, The Lauf Trail Racer Boost.

IMG_8369Lauf Forks have been the best performing XC forks on the market since they were introduced. In early 2016 Lauf introduced a second generation fork, The Lauf Trail Racer Boost. The Boost Fork is now 20% stiffer, laterally, and forward & aft.  This increases the suspension’s performance and gives you more feedback and control during your ride!  What follows is a review of the Lauf Trail Racer Boost.

IMG_0412The Lauf Trail Racer Boost is the best XC fork I have ever ridden and there are many things that make it the best!  The Lauf Trail Racer Boost is the lightest XC fork on the market, being made completely of carbon ( and 6 fiberglass leaf springs ) it comes in at only 2.20lbs!  The Lauf Trail Racer Boost also features 60mm / 2.35in of travel, it’s maintenance free, has 15mm thru axel, a tapered steer tube and comes with a 5 year warranty!

IMG_1001The Lauf Trail Racer Boost is not only light, but I feel it is the best performing XC fork.  CLIMBING: The Lauf Trail Racer Boost blows all other XC forks out of the water when it comes to climbing.  A racers ability to climb is most greatly effected by weight/gravity.  No one can argue that shedding  1.00-1.75lbs off your fork will significantly boost your performance!  Unlike the bobbing of an Air Sprung traditional fork, the fiberglass leaf springs of the Lauf Boost Fork do not flex during stand up climbing.  This allows me to put all of my energy into the pedals without loosing it through the compression of the fork.  And I don’t have to mess around or maintain a lockout!  DESCENDING:  Our Team has raced the Lauf Fork at events like: The Downieville Classic XC Race and The Mammoth Mountain Kamakazie Games XC Race. IMG_4635 Time after time the Lauf Fork has proven its ability to handle the rugged trails.  Given the great benefit we receive from climbing with the Lauf at those difficult courses I wouldn’t trade it for another fork!  The Luaf’s 60mm of travel is progressive, which means it is the most compliant in the beginning – perfect for absorbing small bumps and rocks- and becomes stiffer the further it compresses.  Exactly what you need for bigger hits and bigger drops!

In April I raced the Kenda Cup race #3 in Fontana CA, and it was the perfect place to put the Lauf Trail Racer Boost to the test!  The XC course had it all:rock drops, jumps, babyhead rock gardens and washboards.  The descent had several rock drops up to 1.5ft tall and the Lauf capably handled them all without bottoming out!  There were also a few sections of babyhead rock gardens.  I was able to speed  though these sections because the Lauf Boost, with it’s progressive travel, glided, extremely smoothly over these babyhead rocks!  The steep, heavily brake bumped section was where the Lauf really out performed its competition!  Traditional forks compression/rebound cycle doesn’t react fast enough to allow the wheel to trace over the wash boards, resulting in the wheel bouncing from top to top of each washboard. However, The Lauf Boost Leaf suspension is adept at tracing through the peaks and valleys of the brake bumps, resulting in a more smoother ride. Having The Lauf Boost Fork was like bonus, it handled all these obstacles capably, and boy was I loving the its lightweight, up the 1 mile, 700ft climb each lap!

IMG_1361This is my 2nd year of riding a Lauf, and 1st year of riding a Lauf Boost.  I haven’t had a single problem or complaint about either Fork.  So if your looking for a lighter, better and faster XC fork, acquire a Lauf Trail Racer Boost it will be the best fork you’ve ever ridden!

Sea Otter Classic, Where Friends Are Made – Jake’s Blog

IMG_0422The Sea Otter Classic is one of my favorite events in the country!  We have attended the Sea Otter Classic for 5 years in a row.  Each year we attend Sea Otter we get to meet racing legends and cool people!  Starting at our first year at Sea Otter we’ve continuously met some of the most well-known athletes in the world.  We’ve met Pro Racers like Todd Wells, Geoff Kabush, Kathryn Pendrel and Emily Batty.  IMG_1510Last year we even met the World Champ Nino Schuter after he had just won the Sea Otter Classic Pro XC Race!  SO COOL!  That year we also met Shimano Sponsored Pro Motocross Racer Justin Barsha while he was hanging out at the Shimano Booth!IMG_1474         This year while we were waiting in line to finish our last Enduro we were amazed to see Danny Macaskill doing a backwards nose-wheelie down the famous Corckscrew!  Later, we were even able to get his autograph and a pic with him!  Sea Otter is awesome!IMG_0669  I also love attending Sea Otter because we get to say “Hi” and hang out with our racing friends, and friends from the bike industry!   This year we even shared a campsite with a racing friend, Troy Dibert.  Camping with Troy was really fun and enjoyable, as we told jokes, shared stories and just had a good time.  The Sea Otter Classic has become more than just a races event, to me it is a place to say “Hello” to all of your old friends and to make new friends, which in my mind in just as priceless as winning the Sea Otter Classic.

Sea Otter Classic Recap – Nye’s Blog

My favorite part of The Sea Otter Classic is the Expo.  There are so many cool things to see and lots of awesome people to meet.   On Friday at the Magura Booth we got a picture with Trials Riding Legend Danny McCaskill.  IMG_0669  It was super exciting getting to meet him, I could barely contain it!   Throughout the four days the Expo was open we reacquainted with our sponsors, checked out their new products and ran into buckets of friends.  IMG_0391 Joe at Shimano showed us their DI2 XTR electric shifters and derailleurs.   We saw Ergon’s new Gel filled Saddle and at FSA Mike showed us their new Gravity Dropper Post, and much, much more. IMG_0393 During the weekend a few booths had their Pro Trails Riders performing at different times during the day.   There were three big pump tracks in the Expo but with all of my Team responsibilities I didn’t have the time to ride them.  Chain Reaction Cycles had a contest where you pumped around a pump track as fast as you could.  The fastest time won a prize.    In my XC race, I placed 3rd and was able to stand on the huge Sea Otter stage in the middle of the Expo. IMG_0531 I finished 25th out of 67 in the U19 Enduro and was the best 14 yr old which made me super happy!   It was super fun creating our own Yackle Brothers Racing Expo by the Red Bull Racer Registration with our sponsors Banners, Flags and Ez-ups.IMG_0282  With 75,000 attendees passing by our Sponsors and Team got a lot of recognition.  The Expo is a big part of what makes the Sea Otter Classic a great event.  I had a great time in the Expo!  You should come out to the Sea Otter Classic and definitely check out the Expo.IMG_0402

Independence Day! -Nye’s Blog

HGEO6073A couple months ago I had my 13th birthday but what really made me proud was to be able to, by myself, build out my bike and make important adjustments and calibrations by myself.   Just a couple years ago when we built up our race bikes I could only do minor tasks like attaching the seatpost, water bottle cages and seat.  When the brake and caliper needed to be set up so the rotor wouldn’t rub the brake pads, my brother or father would have to come help me.  Now I can do tasks independently, like threading in my Shimano bottom bracket and adjusting the shifter cable so it shifts smoothly.   Being able to build my bike and do other things independently means so much to me.

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Doing tasks independently is great.  I feel so much more mature when I do things without needing help.   It makes me feel very proud accomplishing some very important jobs.  I built up my entire bike this year alone.  When I do things like that I hold my head high for the future.  I also feel very trusted when my father and brother let me do important jobs and work on their bikes independently.    Independently doing things is very important for me and I like being fully trusted to work on my family’s bikes and other things.

IMG_8844Achieving things independently is important.   When I do things unsupervised correctly my family and friends can count on me.  They can rely on me to do important jobs and other things in case of an emergency.  Another great reason to be able to do things independently is my family and I can accomplished a lot more.  Before, when I needed help with something, it meant two people were doing the same thing.  I’m happy because I can independently:  build and maintain my bike, cook, organize food menus and gear for races.IMG_7934

Being able to do things independently makes me proud and I feel more mature.  Without a doubt building a bike out from components and a frame was by far the most difficult task I’ve ever accomplished.  I want more responsibility in life so it’s important to be able to do that!  I’m learning that, if I set my mind to accomplish tasks independently the future will be great.

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The Game Changers!-Jake’s Blog

IMG_6714Throughout my entire life I have met many different, unique, and helpful people.  Nearly all of the people who I’ve met have been very friendly and cool, but there are few that have truly, enthusiastically supported me and Yackle Brothers Racing.  One person I’ve known for a good chunk of my racing career is Wen Heish, the CEO of KHS Bicycles.  Wen is a great man and a perfect example of the enthusiastic supporter that I am referring to.

I was extremely stoked when our team director informed me that KHS and Wen were going to be our official bike sponsor for 2016!IMG_8078  Similar to our other fine supporters, Wen provided us with the normal bike products we needed to race. However, Wen has gone beyond the typical and has enthusiastically helped us become the best race team possible.  For example the initial Enduro bike frame we received didn’t allow for our cutting edge, mechanical, 9point8 internally routed dropper post.  So, we explained the problem to Wen and he immediately saw that it was in our partnerships best interest to provide us with KHS Bicycle’s newest Enduro model that allowed for an internally routed dropper post!IMG_9293  Its more than that.  Wen’s care has even gone beyond our typical yearly bike sponsorship.  We talked to Wen about how we’d like to purchase and represent KHS with a couple Dirt Jumper Bikes. Ya’see we use DJ bikes at the bike parks for Enduro training, and occasionally for Dual Slalom Racing.  We needed 2 large SJ200 bikes, but KHS had none in stock and no new production planned.  Wen was super accommodating.  He is solving this by having his factory specially build 2 large DJ bike frames.  Wen has even reached out to us to tap into our racing and bike knowledge to help KHS with its design of a new bike.  Now that’s enthusiastic support!

We all know that people who truly, enthusiastically support others are extremely rare!  What makes them enthusiastic supporters?  Enthusiastic supporters are friendly, caring, you can’t help but like them and there is a mutual respect for one another.  I know the characteristics of an enthusiastic race team supporter and I know that enthusiastic supporters take a lot of interest in what we do.  IMG_8847They congratulate us.  They ask us how we like their products or if there is anything they can do to make it better.  They also make sure we have everything we need to perform at our best during our races.  Enthusiastic supporters also love to help us however they can.  Especially, they communicate in an appropriate timeframe.  Enthusiastic supporters are not only accommodating with business matters, but they take interest in us as their Friends, they love to talk and interact socially.

 

IMG_8838Meeting and becoming friends with people who are enthusiastic supporters is a true pleasure.  They are friendly, caring and truly good people!  So if you ever meet an enthusiastic supporter, treasure and respect your relationship because you never know if you’ll meet another enthusiastic supporter again!