Season Of Shred – Jake’s Blog

 
  This 2016 NorCal High School League Season has been a wild adventure!   Not only did I have a lot of fun racing, I also really enjoyed hanging out and joking with my friends, making new friends at all of the races, and helping NICA get more Kids on bikes!  2016 was my first year racing in the ripin’ fast Varsity class!  It has been a awesome racing experience to say the least. In the first 2 early season races I learned how fast the varsity class really was, as I challenged myself to hang with the leaders for just 1 lap!  Living at high altitude in Nevada I knew we weren’t getting the same Winter training conditions as racers in California, but I felt that my fitness and strength would come better the further into the race season.  At the 3rd race my new training regiment finally payed off and I was able to take a 2nd place which filled me with confidence for race #4.  At race #4 the race leaders put the pedal to the metal making for an extremely fast race, they put a pace so fast that I was dropped on lap 3. Dang it!  In the end I came in 5th in after a sprint finish!  More motivated than ever I trained with renewed energy for two weeks for the conference championships.   

Conference champs was another hard race but I felt stronger than I had thought the entire season!   I was actively pushing the race for 3 laps, then on the the fourth lap my chain dropped twice!  Near the end of the 4th lap, after having a 40 second deficit I’d fought my way back up to the second place racer!  Though, on the 5th lap I finally ran out of gas and and lost the second place racers wheel.  In the end I came in a solid 3rd place.  

  After finishing conference champs in 3rd  and taking 2nd in the series, I was super excited for the state championships!  The state championship race was SO fast! On lap 1 three SoCal racers layed the hammer down and broke away within the first couple miles, and behind them were two NorCal racers.  So for the entire race me and another fellow NorCal racer chased the top five racers for a shot to get on the podium!  In the end we just couldn’t pull it back and I came in 7th.  Although I was somewhat disappointed, I realized that being just 15 years old and taking 7th in The California High School League State Championships, Varsity Class is pretty sweet!   This season of the NorCal High School League was awesome!   I’m super excited for next year!  I’m looking forward to seeing my friends again, and I have my goal set on winning The State Championshp Title!

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I Love High School MTB Racing! – Nye’s Blog

imageRacing the NICA NorCal High School League this year was great.   One of the many reasons I love the High School League because I got to meet and hang out with so many kids.    At the first race alone I made over 10 new friends.  I am a lot less nervous at the start because my friends talk and joke with me.   The League was great in getting lots kids on bikes.  It is really inspiring watching K.C. Fontes tearing it up with one leg!  All of the races have been super fun and great experiences.   imageThe first race was extremely hard, I tried to hang with the leaders but they were too strong and I placed 4th.   Race #2 was Epic!   I had a decent start in 7th.   Throughout the race I passed kids until I caught 3rd place.   It came down to a sprint but I was crashed into the fence and I ended up in 4th because of it.   The third race was similar to the first but at the end two kids I was beating passed me and placed ahead of me in 3rd and 4th.  Race #4 was a lesson and it showed me what I needed to work on.  image
At Conference Championships I was so motivated.  I really turned myself inside out to keep my 3rd in the NorCal Freshman Season Point Series.  I met my goal by placing 3rd in the Conference Championships.  The California State High School Championships was my favorite event!   I loved the fact that so many High School family’s camped and we all socialized.  There was so many people camping it was about a 1/3 of a mile long and 1/8 of a mile wide.   The course was great and I had so much fun racing!   As a 14-year-old, I wanted to podium but placing 6th against the best 15/16 year olds in the California, the most populated State in the Nation, was a great accomplishment! image This year’s NICA High School League was so Unique…Epic…and…Awesome!!!  My goal for next year in the High School League is to get a Junior Varsity Leaders Jersey.   I can’t wait for next year!!!

Lauf, May The (Best) Fork Be With You -Jake’s Blog

IMG_0102Over my 10 years of bike racing I have raced, ridden, and pushed many different forks to the max of their performance, and although they worked well I never knew there would be a better option available for XC racing.  This year I finally have the closest fork to perfect, The Lauf Trail Racer Boost.

IMG_8369Lauf Forks have been the best performing XC forks on the market since they were introduced. In early 2016 Lauf introduced a second generation fork, The Lauf Trail Racer Boost. The Boost Fork is now 20% stiffer, laterally, and forward & aft.  This increases the suspension’s performance and gives you more feedback and control during your ride!  What follows is a review of the Lauf Trail Racer Boost.

IMG_0412The Lauf Trail Racer Boost is the best XC fork I have ever ridden and there are many things that make it the best!  The Lauf Trail Racer Boost is the lightest XC fork on the market, being made completely of carbon ( and 6 fiberglass leaf springs ) it comes in at only 2.20lbs!  The Lauf Trail Racer Boost also features 60mm / 2.35in of travel, it’s maintenance free, has 15mm thru axel, a tapered steer tube and comes with a 5 year warranty!

IMG_1001The Lauf Trail Racer Boost is not only light, but I feel it is the best performing XC fork.  CLIMBING: The Lauf Trail Racer Boost blows all other XC forks out of the water when it comes to climbing.  A racers ability to climb is most greatly effected by weight/gravity.  No one can argue that shedding  1.00-1.75lbs off your fork will significantly boost your performance!  Unlike the bobbing of an Air Sprung traditional fork, the fiberglass leaf springs of the Lauf Boost Fork do not flex during stand up climbing.  This allows me to put all of my energy into the pedals without loosing it through the compression of the fork.  And I don’t have to mess around or maintain a lockout!  DESCENDING:  Our Team has raced the Lauf Fork at events like: The Downieville Classic XC Race and The Mammoth Mountain Kamakazie Games XC Race. IMG_4635 Time after time the Lauf Fork has proven its ability to handle the rugged trails.  Given the great benefit we receive from climbing with the Lauf at those difficult courses I wouldn’t trade it for another fork!  The Luaf’s 60mm of travel is progressive, which means it is the most compliant in the beginning – perfect for absorbing small bumps and rocks- and becomes stiffer the further it compresses.  Exactly what you need for bigger hits and bigger drops!

In April I raced the Kenda Cup race #3 in Fontana CA, and it was the perfect place to put the Lauf Trail Racer Boost to the test!  The XC course had it all:rock drops, jumps, babyhead rock gardens and washboards.  The descent had several rock drops up to 1.5ft tall and the Lauf capably handled them all without bottoming out!  There were also a few sections of babyhead rock gardens.  I was able to speed  though these sections because the Lauf Boost, with it’s progressive travel, glided, extremely smoothly over these babyhead rocks!  The steep, heavily brake bumped section was where the Lauf really out performed its competition!  Traditional forks compression/rebound cycle doesn’t react fast enough to allow the wheel to trace over the wash boards, resulting in the wheel bouncing from top to top of each washboard. However, The Lauf Boost Leaf suspension is adept at tracing through the peaks and valleys of the brake bumps, resulting in a more smoother ride. Having The Lauf Boost Fork was like bonus, it handled all these obstacles capably, and boy was I loving the its lightweight, up the 1 mile, 700ft climb each lap!

IMG_1361This is my 2nd year of riding a Lauf, and 1st year of riding a Lauf Boost.  I haven’t had a single problem or complaint about either Fork.  So if your looking for a lighter, better and faster XC fork, acquire a Lauf Trail Racer Boost it will be the best fork you’ve ever ridden!