14 + JV = V Jake’s Blog

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2015 was a great year in the NorCal High School League.  I was sad to see it come to an end, but on the bright side I had a GREAT time at all of the races.  I had a good performance at the California State High School MTB League Championships race, my best so far this season. I came away with a 2nd place only 15 sec off the winner, and had the 2nd fastest time out of 190 Junior Varsity racers!IMG_3097

We arrived at the venue at around 6:00pm on Friday evening.  My duty was to get out for a pre ride!  Quickly, I found that the course was not yet marked. So I just took my best guess of the race course and did a hard 30 minutes of riding.  By Saturday the size of the venue was HUGE!  it was 1/3mi long and 1/8mi wide with hundreds cars, RV’s, campers and trailers parked in it!IMG_3053
It was definitely the biggest venue in the League history!  Later Saturday morning Dad and Nye went and ran the course to get a detailed look at it.  They told me what to expect, and I went out and did  a couple of practice runs until I knew the course like the back of my hand.  I woke up Sunday morning excited and ready to shred!

After getting myself prepped, and finishing my warm up, I headed to the start line ready to try to claim a State Championship Title. As the announcer called me and the racers up, 2 people were missing from the call up so they decided to start us 4 across. In order to put my strategy into play, I lined up in the 3rd row on the far left side of the road. “Your going to start in 5 seconds” said the Announcer, 5….4….3….2….1….GO!  I took off like I was shot out of a Cannon and immediately passed the racers in front rows and shot into the lead. After about 1/4 mile I was passed but I quickly regained the lead. Just before the single track I was passed the SoCal leader Mikael Rogers and a NorCal High School MTB League racer, Charlie Velez.  IMG_3016We knocked out the first mile on a frantic pace, once we hit the first long, steep and switchbacking climb (the Firestone Wall) we had developed a large gap on the next group of racers.  We reached the top of the first climb leaving the rest of the 90 JV racers a long way back. Surprisingly, we were leaving them behind, but thinking back not really because we were really cranking out the Watts!IMG_3019

Next, after a longer, flat we hit a minor climb.   Mikael and Charlie went so hard I had to dial it back, I knew that we still had 16 of our 18 miles still to hammer out!  That allowed them to gain about 30 feet on me and it stayed that way the rest of 1st lap.  On the 2nd lap I was starting to catch back to Charlie and by the time we reached the top of the Firestone Wall climb I had passed him.  Now all I had to do was catch Mikael who was now 2 switchbacks ahead. All through the 2nd lap the gap between me and Mikael stayed consistent and I had the final lap to close this gap.  On the last lap looking up the Firestone Wall switchbacks I could see Mikael was going slower than I was, so I pushed harder to catch him. Halfway into the last lap on a really tight and switchbacking climb, my job of closing the gap was DONE!IMG_3041

 

Soon after we caught a group of racers. They let Mikael by with no problem, but they seemed set not to let me pass. So when I did pass it was very forceful.  They got so mad and yelled some pretty bad words!  Not what I expected, but I have a job to complete!  I tried to catch Mikael again but since I was held up so long he had reestablished the lead I worked so hard to close.  So I chased, for the rest of the race (which was about 2 miles) as hard as I could!  Race traffic made that a daunting task, but I came to within 15 sec of him, I happily took 2nd!  All total there were 255 Racers on the 6 mile loop course.   I passed 90 of the 97 Division 1 wave of Junior Varsity racers that started 6 minutes ahead of my Division 2 wave, plus probably a few other Varsity and my Division 2 class JV racers!IMG_3043

I was REALLY happy with my result.  What if was what I felt, I felt I could have beaten Mikael if I would have been allowed to pass (the group of racers that held me up) as easily as he did.  Still, I had my best result of the year a 2nd place in the Junior Varsity D2 Boys (and the 2nd fastest JV time out of 155 racers) at the NICA California State High School League State Championships!

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Racing in the NorCal High School League this year has been a blast!  I had a great time, racing for nearly 3 months and I am super sad that they are over.  I can’t wait for next year’s NorCal High School League to start.  I am super honored and proud that as a true 14 year old I have been able to accomplish the entire set (when I only need one) requirements for automatic Varsity Upgrade, very few, if any, race age 15 year olds accomplish that!  I also look forward to when my brother Nye will be able to race Freshmen and to help represent our team!

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Osprey Packs, The BEST Pack Company In Existence!— Nye’s Blog

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Shredding Enduro races and tearing up Trails!  The stuff Mountain Biking dreams are made of and Osprey Packs, one of our great sponsors just made it easier with their brand new Zealot Enduro Pack!  Enduro is challenging and fun to race!  It builds technical skills but if you’re not careful,  it comes with a price, you might end up on the side of the trail with a broken bike and body.IMG_0812

IMG_1265This year we started racing Enduro to rebuild our technical skills that have been dormant since our days of living in Southwestern Colorado! California XC racing though fun are really on nontechnical courses.  We also wanted to explore some new trails and have a lot of fun!  We’ve done 2 Enduro races so far and have had a blast: the Sea Otter Classic Enduro race, which was unique with the awesome downhill course that they made Stage 1.  Stage 4 was Sea Otter Classic’s signature Dual Slalom course!  We also did the Battleborn Enduro Race right here in Reno.  It was so fun finally doing a highly competitive race on our home trails.  Racing Enduro sometimes can come with a price, if you don’t manage your bike properly! That’s where the Osprey Zealot pack shines!  It has the correct design to allow you to store and carry the gear and the tools to fix your Bike in the field. IMG_0815

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Now that I’m racing Enduro I have my Osprey Zealot Enduro Pack stuffed with gear in case I have any problems.  I’m pretty good at managing my bike and my body when it comes to flying down the hill.  You need to bring items to protect your body and to repair your bike in case of a mechanical and the Osprey Zealot Enduro Pack is perfect for that.  I carry these items to protect my body and to repair my bike if I have a problem: knee and shin guards, elbow pads, 3 liters of water, tire pump, shock pump, tube, Slime tire levers, co2 cartridges, patch kit, sealant, tire hole plugs, valve stem and inflation head, bike tool, spare dérailleur hanger extra lube and cable, zip ties, goggles and nutrition.

IMG_2406My Osprey Zealot Pack is great for holding all of my gear.  It has a fold out tool pouch for the small parts and repair tools which I have never seen in any other pack!  There is a 3 liter water bag and the cool Airspeed Zone, a ventilation area for your back to cool off during hot rides.  Osprey is a great company with so many friendly, unique and interesting people who have some of the greatest stories to share with you!  We’ve known a lot of the workers at Osprey Packs since we first started racing.  They were the first company to get behind Myself and Jake and then supported Yackle Brothers Racing when it evolved!  This year at The Sea Otter Classic we stopped by the Osprey Packs Booth.  I looked down at my watch and we were talking an entire hour because they were so friendly and outgoing.  I think Osprey is among my favorite sponsors, the workers at Osprey Packs are at another level!!!!  Osprey Packs is an industry leader in the support for Outdoor Conservation and is always involved with Community Service!  Owning an Osprey Pack means you can support this too!

IMG_0817Try racing Enduro and you will be surprised how much different, fun and physically challenging it is!  The Osprey Zealot Enduro Pack is perfect for Enduro racing, stowing all of your gear and it’s so comfortable to ride in!  Osprey Packs is a great company with great products so if you ever get the chance stop by talk with them and try out their products, you’ll be amazed!!!

NorCal High School League, Let The Good Times Ride-Jake’sBlog

DimageSo what makes the NorCal High School League so, unique, fun and inspirational? The best things out the NorCal High School League is that they help get kids on bikes and help them have their hard work pay off! What I also like about the NorCal High School League is that the people are super friendly and ready to have a good time. Racing against them is fun because there are so many High School Athletes to race and it really makes you push yourself.

FUN: My favorite part about the racing aspect of the NorCal High School League is hanging out with the other racers before and after the race. It is so fun talking, and it helps me be more relaxed for my upcoming race and to have a great time!

imageAnother thing that I like about racing in the NorCal High School League is that, because there are so many racers, over 850 in NorCal, and between 60-90 in Junior Varsity (division 2).  Given my age, It’s inevitable that there are going to be people who are as fast as you. Many Pro Cyclocross racers, Cross Country Mountain Bike Racers and Road Bike Racers once raced in the High School Leagues across the country.  That is how fast you can get racing in the League and I think that makes for a super competitive and challenging race!!

 

 

 

UNIQUE: The NorCal High School League is also great about bringing people together.imageAll of the Teams are having a good time and the racers, even if they didn’t have the race they  hoped for, they are always happy. The League is also helpful for team work, so many people, like Nye, our Mom, our Dad and Myself and many others volunteer and work together as course marshals, race stagers, scoring assistants ect. At the end of the season, NorCal had a Podium to recognize the volunteers.  I thought was great because without the volunteers thy couldn’t hold these race events! Since Nye couldn’t race In the High School League this year he volunteered many times at the races. At the conference championships, when they called Nye up to the podium, he looked super happy.  It was great that they recognized the volunteers for their hard work!!!image  Having hard work pay off is an awesome feeling, and the NorCal High School League is defiantly the place to have your hard recognized.

 

 

 

INSPIRATIONAL:                                      The proof of how the NorCal High School League gets people on bikes is a boy named K.C. Fontes.image After the 4th NorCal race we read the race recap and saw that there was a boy ( K.C. ) that completed the entire Petaluma race with one leg!  We found that super inspirational, so we met him at the next NorCal race and presented to him some items that he could use to purse his dreams of racing bikes.

 

By presenting him items we worked hard to earn (Genuine Innovatons Inflation products, Panaracer XC Tires, a Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Bike Pack and our 2014 Yackle Brothers Racing Team Race Jacket) We wanted to remind him that his racing Dedication, pays off!!!!!  

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Racing in the NorCal High School League is great. If you want to: meet lots of great people, get this generation, and the next on bikes, have a super fun race, and know that you hard work will pay off, then you should get a High School League started in your area!

Service to OUR Community-Oh So Important! – Nye’s Blog

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imageLots of things are good to do in life!   There are some things that are just fantastic. There are a lot of things that you can work to accomplish.  Community Service is a fun, unique and a good thing to do.  l love doing charitable things and feeling proud of myself because I gave back to people.   Helping out in my community, being a role model for my family, friends and my Sponsors.  Being charitable is very important, it well benefit you and others a lot and is a very good thing to do.

imageJake has been racing the NorCal High School League for 2 years and now he is racing in the Junior Varsity category. Since I can’t race the League until next year I’m loving helping out the NorCal community by volunteering.  I’m doing some fun things like: Podium assistant, staging the racers, being an assistant for the Merchandise booth and many other fun things. Last weekend was the Boggs Mountain NorCal High School League Race.  We saw an occasion that inspired our Team and we were motivated to do a act of Community Service.

imageK. C. Fontes, racing the JV category from the South Conference has lost his right leg due to cancer.   When we saw him racing (2 weeks before) the League and tearing up the trails and that was very inspirational for us.  So we wanted to show him that hard work and dedication doesn’t go unnoticed!  We decided that we we’re going to present him a few items we worked really hard to earn, that reflected our passion and dedication for Cycling. image Jake’s race was Saturday and we usually never stay the second day when the South Conference races, but this time we did so we could be at the post race, Salinas Cowboys team meeting where we presented these items to K.C.. We gave him our last year’s Team Race Jacket, an Osprey Packs Raptor 14 hydration pack, hat, tote bag, coozie, a pair of Panaracer 29er Driver and CG tires, Genuine Innovations tire levers, patch kit, co2 cartridges, an inflation head and X mount. We gave him these items to inspire him to always work hard and never give up!  That really inspired us and I think kids should look up to K. C. as a Hero!

imageOur family and Team has been involved in community service all our lives.  In 2012 we fundraised around 7,000 dollars for the Livestrong Foundation to help people who had cancer and that was a great thing to do as a Team.  It was weeks of Hard work, but well worth it’s!

imageWe’ve helped many local trail crews build new trails and repair old ones.  We recently worked onrepairing the Truckee Bike Jump Park and now 2 months later it looks like it’s alive again!  Once we moved to Reno in 2013 we visited the Renown Children’s Hospital and gave out some of our sponsors products, talked with the kids and that definitely brightened their day!

imageWe participate in the Major Taylor Program.  The Reno Bike Project helps at-risk-kids from all across Reno and the area get on bicycles to stay fit and healthy while enjoying nature.  It’s a great program for the big community of Reno.  It also teaches them what is safe while you riding, all of the traffic laws and they do really fun rides!

imageI think K. C. is an great example of why we do all of the charitable things we do.  He is a amazing person and people should be inspired for helping other people because he/anyone can be a Hero, some just need a little encouragement to be!  Always be charitable and give back to other people, you’re a better person if you can do that, you’ll feel proud you did and the people you help will too.