So far in my race career there have been so many events that have been incredible. This has been a super unique year, this is the first year we’ve raced gravity sports, but there is one thing that is amazing in retrospect. As far back as I can remember we’ve been inspiring kids, teenagers and even adults. Our trip to Interbike turned out to be a special one because I was reminded just how much we inspire others..
Looking back 4 years ago when we still lived in Cortez, Colorado our Team went to race at the Whiskey Off Road. There, we met Phil Thomas for the first time. He was so impressed that he was racing side by side with Jake to the finish line that he had to show his six-year-old son Siddy our Facebook page and tell him what great kids and mountain bike racers we were. He told us that really motivated Siddy to start riding. Through that, we stayed friends and kept in contact.
Again in 2013 Phil reached out to us and asked if we could send an old Yackle Brothers race kit for Siddy to remind him to ride with passion. We knew that, the one we sent inspired Siddy, as we saw Phil proudly posting riding photos of how stoked Siddy was.
At Interbike this year it hit me just how big of an influence our Team has become to others. Since, we gave Siddy our Jersey, we learned that recently Siddy had lost his passion for riding! Phil, once again drew upon our help. Phil had excused Siddy from a couple of days of school and had driven all the way from Phoenix to the Outdoor Demo, just so Siddy could ride and interact with us.
I was amazed how important and influential Phil thought we were to his son. We rode bikes together and taught Siddy a few skills. Phil went out of his way to stay at the same hotel as us just so Siddy could play with us in the pool and talk with us, once we finished our work day at Interbike. I’m blessed to know that our team is making a difference! We’re doing more than just racing, we’re helping out our community, motivating kids to ride and inspiring them to have a passion for bicycling.
A few other short stories:
The Boggs NorCal High School League race this year I encouraged Taylor one of the Coaches daughters, from the Cycling Development Team to ride bikes. Her sister said she and her parents had been trying to get Taylor to ride but she didn’t until she met me. Her sister said “she wasn’t sure whether she should punch me or thank me.” I laughed! I guess I created some new competition there! .
A few years ago we competed in the USA Cycling Nationals in Sun Valley and met the Fluckigers Family. They had two kids, Adam and Dylan. They raced a just times, but after they learned we competed in race events half of the year, and the awesome places we went to, they were really motivated to race more! The next day we both won the National Championships, and Adam said “I can’t wait to be like you guys and win Nationals”. I hoped they would stay inspired, race hard and Have Fun!!!
One of the coolest things that happened this year was when we were at Interbike, we bumped into the Hepners, they own VeloSoul Cyclery He stopped us and said , “your Yackle Brothers Racing right?”, I nodded. He said he followed us on Facebook and saw all of the things we were doing. He showed his three-year old son what we do and he idolize’s us. . . And Danny McCaskill, too. I almost dropped dead! Someone was idolizing us along with Danny, I never thought that day would come so soon! It was Amazing!!! That was the coolest thing that happened all year!
Now that I think back on It, the Yackle Brothers Racing Team has inspiried cool and unique juniors from around the Nation since 2010. Many of the juniors liked us because we were unique too, we were young and fast. On the outside they saw two who raced their hardest, on the inside they saw two people with good character and were inspired to be just like that! Our parents taught us to always do everything the best we could, and to always be friendly and to treat others with respect! They were intrigued at how much skill we had at our young age! We showed them that anything is possible if you try really hard!
Inspiring people to ride and race is the best thing, it’s so fun and you get to meet all of these great kids who look up to you! When I started racing my Parents and Grandparents always told me to race my hardest, never give up and treat others well. I’ve endeavered to do that throughout my racing career and kids have been inspired by me to ride and race bicycles.