Behind the Scene-Who Are We?-Jake’s Blog

008It may seem funny to most people that we are already looking toward next year’s Nationals.  Though, I’m sure, it’s not a surprise to anyone, that the things you do today will determine how you will perform tomorrow.  Cycling is one commitment that takes a lot of time to prepare for.  Just look at what it has taken to get to this year’s XC Nationals. This year has been my most challenging, not just racing competitions but, training,  traveling, sponsorship acquisition, 191promoting sponsors and our Team, bike build outs and maintenance, maintaining our Web Pages, writing blogs and all of the day to day parts of life that all kids face.

Our family and race Team has been going to Nationals for 4 years.   Each additional year we put into the sport, finds us having to ride longer hours to get the same quality out of our training.  In 2012 our family put in 25,000 driving miles for our race team, of that amount 2,000 miles was traveling to Sun Valley Nationals.  This year we traveled 6,500 miles and over 100 hours of drivng just to get to Nationals!  027We make committments to go to big cycling events to make our team visible and to cultivate sponsorship.  I put in long hours keeping a updated race portfolio and preparing presentations to get company’s to support us.  For example, we had to put a lot of energy into finding a sign shop sponsor in order to get company logo’s made for our race, travel vehicle and Yakima Bike Trailer.007   People would find it hard to believe the huge chunks of time daily we put into promoting our sponsors on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter   We race a lot and that requires constant updating of our Web Page and Blog Site..  And it doesn’t stop there, our Feedback Sports Pro Elite Repair Stand gets a lot of promotion as we build out, clean and ready our Dakota d29 Jamis bikes for racing.390  On top of all of that we have the same responsibilites as other kids, like schooling, household chores and play time, we even do our own laundry to help take something off of our parents.

Now, if you think we are very committed you ought to see what our parents have to do to keep us as Elite Junior Bike Racers!  Our Dad is our School Teacher, Team Director, Coach, Trainer, Lead Mechanic, Schedule Planner, Internet Tech, Team Vehicle Driver and a awesome Dad!   Our Mom works to provide for our family and takes care of our Teams Travel and Race Event Logistics and she is a great Mom!  I know without them and our Industry Sponsors, my racing and successes would not exist!267

As you can see, I love what I get to do!  All of the hard, hard work that each of puts in, shows what a passion we have for Cycling.  How many others would do things like this?   Traveling by vehicle (because flying is too expensive and we have to set up a Race Booth to promote our Sponsors), crossing the entire Country with our windows wide open and camping the elements to prepare us for the East Coast heat and humidity.  I love my life and my family members do to!  We are so grateful that we have Sponsors because without them none of this would be possible!   I think that having to work hard to get sponsors and to go to places like PA makes me appreciate it more when I race and win.

133Nationals was great as it continues to teach me much about life.  I came away with a 5th place STXC, 4th place XC  and a 7th place SD!   I would also like to thank my Mom and Dad and our sponsors: FSA, ENVE, PANARACER, MAGURA, DT SWISS, JAMIS, OSPREY, XPEDO, ERGON and many more because without them we wouldn’t be where we are now, and this goes to prove that if you’re committed you will go far (literally!).

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Star Power Reaching Inward-Nye’s Blog

340This years Nationals was at the Bear Creek Resort in Allentown, PA and I was really looking forward to race.  I believed I had a good chance of winning because I had heard the course was very technical and rocky and that’s what I grew up doing.  On Wednesday, the day before Nationals started USA Cycling decided to make a last minute change to remove the rocky technical sections.  They claimed that it was too dangerous for the juniors, so they rerouted the course onto a ski slope and it finished on a downhill gravel road.  As it would turn out it would claim me as a crash victim as I lost control in the loose gravel.  But, without that crash I would have never learned so much about myself, things that would become permanently glued in my mind. That’s what I am going to tell you about!

At the start, 346I was in 3rd going into the first singletrack. Up until now, on this last lap, I was unable to advance my position.   With only a mile and a half to go I committed to my maximum effort to catch the 2nd place racer.  Nearing the top of the climb I caught a glimpse of him. .  I dug deep and I was closing bit by bit.  As the final descent down the gravel road came I was gaining huge chunks of time and that really motivated me.   Second place was going to be mine.  In the last 300 yards I was in a stand-up sprint and was going at a high speed down a gravel ski road.  I was only 4 bike lengths and I knew second place would be mine.  Then I hit a bump, my hands bounced off my handlebars, my wheel turned then I crashed.  I struggled to get back up!    I looked and my arm was covered with blood and my hip was hurting badly.  183I heard people yelling for me to get back up.  The medics came running up the hill and I knew I had to get up and back on my bike to race to the finish line before they reached me and pulled me from the race.  I did it, 3rd, it wasn’t the 2nd that I knew I had, but I was proud of what I had just done!  366The Medic’s arrived and took charge, they sent me to the ER to get checked out and after 4 long hours of waiting I got 8 stiches below my left elbow. I was fortunate I didn’t have any broken or fractured bones, but the long wait at the hospital meant I missed my hard fought Podium.  That hurt, but I couldn’t have been given a better gift than the lesson I learned about myself!

154I learned a lot about myself.  Like having determination for catching my competitors.  Never settling: always looking for the next higher place untill I win 1st.  Mental toughness: that’s what got me to get back on my bike and finish-3rd place on the National Championship Podium!

With Monique Pua Mata after her 2nd place finish! 365