An Awf-some, Off-Season!!! – Nye’s Blog

IMG_5789In 2013 we tried bicycling all year long.  Many do it, but it just didn’t fit for Us.   In the beginning of the 2014 race season at several races including the Pro XCT’s in So. California we were falling behind the pace of the racers we usually contended with.  Our Coach knew our legs were tired and fatigued from riding year-round.  At the end of the season that year we took a 2 month break from cycling and have never looked back.  I’ve seen the results of taking a off season break and its very beneficial.

IMG_3181Taking a off-season break is great because I get a big chuck of time to relax.  Since we’re not training for bicycling we have “full-time” to enjoy life off our bike.  There’s more opportunity for us to celebrate the Holidays, as we are not tasked with pursuing another race, another title and a continuous quest for results.  We make some home cooked meals and do some fun activities together.  An off-season break gives our muscles a chance to fully recover too.  If we ride all year long our muscles plateau.   An off-season break lets our muscles rebuild and be able to get ready for the next build.

IMG_8249We do different sports and activities during our off-season break.   Football, Basketball and Badminton are a few of the different sports we play.   Football is really fun, we throw the ball, kick it and run pass patters.    We enjoy some winter activities like: Snowshoeing and Snowball Fights.   Snowball fights are my favorite.  Our family’s together, playing and having fun.    It’s great taking a couple month break, we can engross in some really cool sports.

IMG_7610During our off-season we did a couple new, exciting activities.  While we were visiting our grandma in Denver we went Bowling.  It was really fun!  I learned that to be good you have to continuously have good form and have pin-point accuracy.   A couple times I was able to knock over all of the pins.  During one game my mom knocked all of the pins over 4 times in a row!   Right before the end of our break, we went to a race electric go-carts.   It was one of the coolest things I had ever done!  The go carts could go up to 45mph and the track we raced them on was like a small version of a Formula 1 track.  One lap I went really fast into a corner, let off the gas completely, hit the brake hard and drifted around the corner.  I lined up perfectly for the straightaway and gained lots of distance on my brother.  That was the most unique and exciting thing we did during our off-season break!

IMG_7604I wouldn’t want to ever race full time, year after year!  My muscles get fatigued and tired and I never feel like I am gaining progress, like I do when I take am off-season break.  Taking a break is fun, there’s lots of cool things to do and I get more casual time with my family.   Just remember, a off-season break is the right thing to do!

Benefit, not Burn-Out – Jake’s Blog

IMG_6889I’ve been racing bikes for nearly 9 years.  Over my many years of racing I’ve acquired a lot of skills that have helped me become a successful racer. What has helped me improve in racing even more than bike skills is making time in my schedule to enjoy life’s adventures. Trying new sports and exploring new places keeps me happy and that makes me a more successful racer!

Ever since I was a tike I’ve loved to play in any sport available to me.  My coach taught me that if I get too focused on cycling I will lose the excitement, energy and drive that keeps me happy, and motivates me to race my hardest. Combine that with multiple years of bike racing without a break, I know that I would likely burn out.  Since bike racing has become so serious over the past couple of years, my Dad/Coach decided that we needed to add a two month break at the end of each year, to put away our bikes and get our minds off of racing.  imageWe filled this two month gap in our race schedule with fun sports like: Football, Basketball, Running, and Bowling.  Playing these sports is very fun and they also have many benefits.  Football and Basketball provide me with skills like: having a quick reaction time and  good hand eye coordination.  Running provides me me with good agility and endurance, while Bowling provides me with the skill of having pin-point accuracy and perfect control of my body.  Each of these sports has provided me with at least one beneficial skill, and the one thing that they all provide me with is the energy and excitement that makes me happy!

017Ever since I can remember my parents have taken me to explore some of America’s most beautiful places.  It is one of my favorite activities to do, and it still puts a smile on my face!  Over my many years of exploring I’ve been to some awsome places, and one of the coolest places I’ve ever explored was the Subway Lava Tube in the Mt. Lassen NP.  The Subway Lava Tube was awesome!   I was expecting the Lava Tube to be small, no more than 6 or 7 feet tall, but it was much bigger!  The entrance to the lava tube was a place where the ceiling had collapsed.  When we arrived I was surprised to see that the Lava Tube’s entrance was nearly 20ft tall!Ahjumawi Lava Springs Park 128  Excited, I quickly climbed down into the Lava Tube to go and explore it.  After I said goodbye to the daylight, we headed into the depths of the Tube. Almost immediately it became so dark I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face!  We turned on our headlamps.  It was like we had entered an alien world! As we walked into the depths of the Lava Tube we came across three rock falls that nearly blocked our path, but luckily we were able to get past them.  As we walked through the Lava Tube I admired it’s smooth, shiny walls and ceiling.  Without thinking about it I looked down at the floor and saw that the smooth walls ended and were covered by the hardened remains of the ancient lava flow!  The rough lava flow’s bubbling and blistery shape made it look other worldly!  I was amazed by the Subway Lava Tube’s beautiful sights and unique characteristics, but I was starting to get seriously spooked out!  Ahjumawi Lava Springs Park 133Apparently I wasn’t the only one who was getting spooked out, our dog Rex looked like he had just seen a ghost!  His legs were spread wide like he was walking on ice and his eyes were so big they looked like they were going to pop out of his skull!  Rex looked so hysterical that we all laughed at him! Once we had explored the lava tube til’ our hearts content we headed back out to the sunshine and blue sky!  Exploring the Subway Lava Tube was super fun, and it made me happy to have explored another cool place!

I feel diversifying  your biking schedule by playing new sports and exploring new places is key to becoming a more successful racer.  The combination of trying new sports and exploring new places brings back the excitement, energy, and drive that you need to stay happy, which motivates you to try your hardest at each race, and THAT makes you a More successful racer.  So if you need to re-gain your excitement, energy, and drive, I encourage you to try new things, you’ll be glad you did!

A Year To Remember. – Nye’s Blog

IMG_5846Learning from experiences is important.  Finding your mistakes and improving, gives me better race results, keeps me safe and prevents bike and equipment damages.  This year has been very unique and I’ve gain so much valuable experience.

IMG_3487This year I’ve had some important lessons in bike management.  During the 3rd Stage of the Bend Enduro, I failed to chose my line correctly through a rock garden.   I allowed my    derailleur to impact a rock.  It bent over into my wheel,  snapping some spokes and warping my rim.  The wheel is ruined and un repairable.  That was a big mistake, it cost me results, the loss of a wheel and was a dangerous situation.  I’ve been working harder than ever now to make sure I watch the line I take with my bike.

IMG_9745Last Season,  I really became acutely aware how much I needed to focus on Safety for all the bike disciplines we race!   Early this year my brother had a real potential bad road race crash in California.  During the sprint a racer wasn’t thinking safely, swerved across the entire peloton and wrecked the entire field.  Jake had to make a quick decision to crash onto the pile of racers or ride into the ditch.   He chose to ride into the ditch because he quickly decided his chances for severe injuries would be lessened.  Thankfully he got away with just a little bit of road rash and a flat tire.  We both learned to not only watch where we put our bikes but to watch other people as well.  Being careful in Enduro is important too, you go fast and there are lots of jumps, rocks and trees that can cause life threatening injuries.  Its dangerous but if you ride, think smart and have the necessary protectives you can really improve your safety.

Version 2Being prepared was something I didn’t do at this year’s Northstar Enduro Race.  Enduro racing is very hard on tires and wheels, so before races I need to have ready a back up set up wheels.  This insures that I can my best shot at finishing the Race.  Prior to the race I should have set up both sets of our new  FSA Carbon SLK Wheelsets but I only readied one set.  Raceday morning, my coach learned I had no back up wheelset prepared. That made for a super messed up morning, as I had to put on the cassettes and rotors. It was work that I hadn’t planned for and time that I really didn’t have.  I got really stressed out and that messed up my morning preparation for racing and my race results were proof positive.  During the week leading up to the race I placed my bike chain and didn’t use a brand new chain pin.  On one of the stages and broke my chain, likely from the used pin.  It cost me lost me a lot of time and ultimately many places in the Overall Results.  I learned a lot from that race!

IMG_6970Prior to the Kamikaze Games my coach was always checking up on my preparation, because of what happened at the Northstar Enduro.   I know my Coach has other things he has to do.  I want to be and need to be responsible and mature.  I know it is my job to do that and I did!  We had all of our bikes, components and equipment prepared and we even made the long trip to Mammoth the weekend before to get more practice.   It paid off a ton.  During the race I had all of my lines dialed and managed my bike through the many, drops, rock gardens and didn’t have one problem.  In the biggest and tough field of racers all season, I did well, enough to keep my 3rd overall place in the California Enduro Series and I had a blast, too!

IMG_5508I want to thank my Mom and Dad for teaching me all of these things and thank my Sponsors for supporting our team.   Racing is fun but I have to master a lot of things to become my Best!

Find Your Love and Passion-Jake’s Blog

DSC03671My entire life I’ve been blessed with a great upbringing. The freedom and encouragement to explore life’s opportunities. One of the greatest opportunities I have been given is to ride bikes with my family in the beautiful and serene wildernesses of America! I love riding my bike because it makes me happy. I get to be competitive. I get to spend time with my family and friends and I get to pursue my own independence. In my awesome experiences and successes in biking I have learned that if you love what you do in life, success will follow!

DSC01024My love of riding bikes began since when I first started Mountain Biking, in Cortez Colorado! I was 6 years old when my family and I rode at our awesome local trail system called Phil’s World. It wasn’t long before we were riding 2 or 3 times a week. My favorite trail there was The Rib Cage, which contained a ton of huge whoops that swooped back and forth through a small drainage. It was so fun! Over the years our family would take bike trips to Grand Junction, Moab, Bluff, UT or into the San Juan Mountains and ride the crazy fun trails there!

The trails in Grand Junction were awesome! They were some of the most technical and challenging trails I had ever ridden. My personal favorite is the Holy Cross trail, it weaved through huge boulders below an escarpment. It contained tons of ledges, tight narrow sections and gnarly descents off of stacked rocks and slabs. Cortez was located perfectly between the 12,000 ft. mountains and the awesome red rock deserts. Growing up I learned to love the fun trails and beautiful areas in Colorado and Utah. I also became very fit from riding so much! After I had just turned 8 years old, my parents thought it would fun for me to enter in a local MTB race to see how all the riding I had been doing would fair in a Race.

DSC01384My first MTB race was the Escalante Days Classic in Dolores Colorado.  After my Mom and Dad told me how fun racing was going to be I became very excited to race!  I still remember waiting for my Dad (who rode with me during the race) to catch up to me on a 2 mile long climb during the beginning of the race.  I was glad he came with me because he kept encouraging me and telling me to keep going!  After I finished my parents told me I came in 4th place in the Beginner, 18 and under class.  I got a prize and was super happy.  I had a great time and being able to ride so well with the older teenagers made my feel proud!  After my race I talked with other riders about the race, and they were very encouraging to me and stoked for how well I did.  I was really happy!  After my experience at The Escalante Days Classic I wanted to keep racing bikes because it was so fun and the people were so nice!  I would have to wait until of the Summer 2009 before I raced again.

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That year, I raced 5 times and won 3 of the races.  I already loved riding with my family, but that’s when I fell in love with Racing!  I’ve loved racing ever since, because it is super fun and it always makes me happy to be able to spend time with my family and friends!  Racing is also a great way to explore some of America’s best trails and finest and most beautiful natural places.  I’ve now been racing for 8 years and I still love racing and being competitive.  One of my favorite things about racing is putting in the hard work and having it rewarded with racing success. Winning is what we all strive for and it makes me feel accomplished!  I feel that the reason I been so successful is because I love riding bikes.  If you can find your love and a passion, you’ll be successful too!