I am starting my blog where Nye ended his at the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We had three fun filled days of vacationing in California before we had to head to the Whisky Off Road to begin preparation for our race.
In Big Basin we did a fantastic 11mi hike through the redwood forest to upper, lower Berry Falls and to the Golden Cascade Falls. We climbed across a huge redwood that was 40ft above the creek below and encountered two odd creatures, a Newt and a ton of Banana Slugs! Nightriding among the redwood giants with our Light & Motion Urban 180s and Stella 300s was super cool! On our last day in Caifornia we were able to see the spectacular Elephant Seals on the beaches tucked into jagged rocks along the shore line of the Ano Nuevo Marine Wildlife Reserve. We beamed on our great 18mi ride along the shoreline and through the hills of the Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz, which helped loosen our legs for the 14hr drive to the Whisky Off Road. We arrived in Prescott at 8 AM only to see thunder clouds on the horizon. To make the best of the day we headed to downtown Prescott to check out the venue. Later in the day, the weather started to clear up enough that we were able to preride the first 4mi of pavement and by the time we reached the dirt road and singletrack they were already dry enough that we could ride the first 2mi of the dirt course. The Whisky Off Road 25 Proof was 29 miles long and climbed 4000ft. Nye placed 7th, I placed 5th, which was impressive considering that we had to race in the 18 yr. old and under class, the two teenagers who won pulled the two fastest overall times in the 25 Proof. When we arrived at the race venue I was amazed to see that the streets were entirely barricaded off and that there were already a few 100 racers lined up at the start, we had to scramble to get as close to the start line as possible. 400ft after the start I reached the first corner, Nye was nowhere to be seen and the leaders were aready two blocks ahead, though there was still 600 racers behind me. Out of 700 racers, me and Nye finished 20th and 66th overall and 5th and 7th in our age group. We did great! Standing upon the podium, feeling so proud my first time before such an enormous crowd brought tears to my eyes!
We were spent, after race again Sunday in the La Tierra Torture (placing 1st and 2nd), completing the Whisky Off Road 25 Proof and driving 8 hours through the night to get to Santa Fe at 2 AM Sunday. With only four hours of sleep I finished 8th overall in the category 2, 19mi XC race. It was a great accomplishment!
Our 10 day odyssey was filled with new experiences and learning. I had a fantastic time in California, trekking through the redwood forest, playing in the ocean and seeing Elephant Seals, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Newts, Banana Slugs and creatures of the tidal pools.
Since we’ve already conquered the competition in the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah we decided to test ourselves against the top juniors at the Sea Otter Classic and Whisky Off Road. Finishing 5th and 7th at both races proved that we can compete in higher age classes and with the top Juniors in the Nation. Our sponsorship activities at the Sea Otter Classic and Whisky Off Road proved two things: 1) that the Yackle Brothers Racing Team’s name has become more well known, and 2) that bicycle industry companies are starting to be interested in having Yackle Brothers Racing represent their company. Furthermore, we’ve proven that we can race 62mi, climb 8,200ft in three different XC race events, over 7 days and travel over 2,800 mi and be ready to compete at our best!