Downieville Classic Re-Cap – Jake’s Blog

Frame-09-08-2016-11-43-06For the past 3 years I have competed in one of the most amazing race events in America, the one and only Downieville Classic!  I fell in love with this event the very first time I competed in it. The Downieville Classic has so much to offer: the two sweet races, the cool activities, the awesome people, and the amazing feeling of being on the podium.

There two things that make Downieville so cool, the Race, and the Event

Race:  The Dowineville Classic consists of 2 ultra-fun and extraordinary challenging races, the XC, and the DH.  This is my 2nd year of competing in both of these races, and I felt I had a good chance of winning the Junior Expert Under 18 All Mountain “World Championship” Title!  IMG_3995My XC Race started at 9:35 Saturday morning.  In the first leg of the 29 mile XC race, I had to suffer my butt off up an 8 mile,3,000ft climb!  I was the 3rd junior racer to reach to Packer Saddle summit this year, just 2 minutes behind the leader Dylan Fryer.IMG_4017  Eager to close the gap I hammered the first section of trail. Once I hit the road I saw Dylan walking backwards up the course because of a race ending crash.  Knowing that the next racer was close I pushed myself even harder and caught up to the new leader Tate!  Tate and I battled back and forth for the remaining 15 miles of the race.  I attacked on the descents, and Tate pushed me on all of the climbs.  We battled with each other for what seemed like ages. Until the last 2 miles of the race, where Tate was  finally was able to gap me out!  “Noooo”, I thought as I saw him slowly pull away!  I gave everything I had trying to catch him but in the end he beat me by 18 seconds!  I ended up taking 2nd in the XC, and  led the All Mountain (AM) competition going into Sunday’s DH Race!  “YES!!!”

IMG_4070At 12:15 I lined up for my 12:24 start.  I was the last junior to start, and I watched as my fellow competitors started in 30 second intervals.  At 12:23 I move up to the start line as the racer in front of me didn’t show up for their start.  GO!  I took off at full speed and charged down the course!  As I sped down the course, I thought to myself I’m feeling pretty good!  It must have been true because within 5 minutes I had caught my first age group race opponent! I quickly caught another one of my competitors as I pedaled with even more drive!  Throughout the rest of the race I kept passing racers and crossed the finish line feeling confident that I took the win!Frame-08-08-2016-11-23-25  After anxiously waiting for 45 minutes the results were posted and I came in second 2 seconds off of first!  Dang it!!! IMG_4089That was a disappointment! But, even though I was second in the DH battle, I won the war, and was able to claim The Junior Expert U18 Downieville Classic All Mountain “World Championship” Title!

Event:  The bike racing was amazing, but The Downieville Classic Festival was an equally awesome time! IMG_4083After each day’s race at The Downieville Classic, I wandered the venue that contained bike and component company Booths. I also ran into pro racers like: Carl Decker, Adam Craig and Kelli Emmit.  When I became hot I took a trip down to the refreshing Yuba River.  While down at the river I relaxed on a tube, walked the slack line and watched the Shimano cast off contest (where competitors try to get a weight into a floating 2×2 square where whoever gets it in the most wins!)  IMG_4038I also watched the river jump where competitors ride off a ramp jump into the river. The best trick wins! Finally I played king of the floating box with a bunch of kids, which is just a cooler, more fun version of king of the hill!  It was a hard game because getting pushed in the freezing water all the time was not desirable!  After I finished hanging out at the River I headed up to the awards area to jump up on the podium with my awesome competitors !

IMG_4035The Downieville Classic Race and Festival was awesome! I had an great time hanging out in the cool town of Downieville, talking to and hanging out with some cool people.  I will always remember how I claimed my first Downieville Classic All Mountain “World Championship” 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!

Sea Otter Classic, Where Friends Are Made – Jake’s Blog

IMG_0422The Sea Otter Classic is one of my favorite events in the country!  We have attended the Sea Otter Classic for 5 years in a row.  Each year we attend Sea Otter we get to meet racing legends and cool people!  Starting at our first year at Sea Otter we’ve continuously met some of the most well-known athletes in the world.  We’ve met Pro Racers like Todd Wells, Geoff Kabush, Kathryn Pendrel and Emily Batty.  IMG_1510Last year we even met the World Champ Nino Schuter after he had just won the Sea Otter Classic Pro XC Race!  SO COOL!  That year we also met Shimano Sponsored Pro Motocross Racer Justin Barsha while he was hanging out at the Shimano Booth!IMG_1474         This year while we were waiting in line to finish our last Enduro we were amazed to see Danny Macaskill doing a backwards nose-wheelie down the famous Corckscrew!  Later, we were even able to get his autograph and a pic with him!  Sea Otter is awesome!IMG_0669  I also love attending Sea Otter because we get to say “Hi” and hang out with our racing friends, and friends from the bike industry!   This year we even shared a campsite with a racing friend, Troy Dibert.  Camping with Troy was really fun and enjoyable, as we told jokes, shared stories and just had a good time.  The Sea Otter Classic has become more than just a races event, to me it is a place to say “Hello” to all of your old friends and to make new friends, which in my mind in just as priceless as winning the Sea Otter Classic.

Sea Otter Classic Recap – Nye’s Blog

My favorite part of The Sea Otter Classic is the Expo.  There are so many cool things to see and lots of awesome people to meet.   On Friday at the Magura Booth we got a picture with Trials Riding Legend Danny McCaskill.  IMG_0669  It was super exciting getting to meet him, I could barely contain it!   Throughout the four days the Expo was open we reacquainted with our sponsors, checked out their new products and ran into buckets of friends.  IMG_0391 Joe at Shimano showed us their DI2 XTR electric shifters and derailleurs.   We saw Ergon’s new Gel filled Saddle and at FSA Mike showed us their new Gravity Dropper Post, and much, much more. IMG_0393 During the weekend a few booths had their Pro Trails Riders performing at different times during the day.   There were three big pump tracks in the Expo but with all of my Team responsibilities I didn’t have the time to ride them.  Chain Reaction Cycles had a contest where you pumped around a pump track as fast as you could.  The fastest time won a prize.    In my XC race, I placed 3rd and was able to stand on the huge Sea Otter stage in the middle of the Expo. IMG_0531 I finished 25th out of 67 in the U19 Enduro and was the best 14 yr old which made me super happy!   It was super fun creating our own Yackle Brothers Racing Expo by the Red Bull Racer Registration with our sponsors Banners, Flags and Ez-ups.IMG_0282  With 75,000 attendees passing by our Sponsors and Team got a lot of recognition.  The Expo is a big part of what makes the Sea Otter Classic a great event.  I had a great time in the Expo!  You should come out to the Sea Otter Classic and definitely check out the Expo.IMG_0402

Independence Day! -Nye’s Blog

HGEO6073A couple months ago I had my 13th birthday but what really made me proud was to be able to, by myself, build out my bike and make important adjustments and calibrations by myself.   Just a couple years ago when we built up our race bikes I could only do minor tasks like attaching the seatpost, water bottle cages and seat.  When the brake and caliper needed to be set up so the rotor wouldn’t rub the brake pads, my brother or father would have to come help me.  Now I can do tasks independently, like threading in my Shimano bottom bracket and adjusting the shifter cable so it shifts smoothly.   Being able to build my bike and do other things independently means so much to me.

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Doing tasks independently is great.  I feel so much more mature when I do things without needing help.   It makes me feel very proud accomplishing some very important jobs.  I built up my entire bike this year alone.  When I do things like that I hold my head high for the future.  I also feel very trusted when my father and brother let me do important jobs and work on their bikes independently.    Independently doing things is very important for me and I like being fully trusted to work on my family’s bikes and other things.

IMG_8844Achieving things independently is important.   When I do things unsupervised correctly my family and friends can count on me.  They can rely on me to do important jobs and other things in case of an emergency.  Another great reason to be able to do things independently is my family and I can accomplished a lot more.  Before, when I needed help with something, it meant two people were doing the same thing.  I’m happy because I can independently:  build and maintain my bike, cook, organize food menus and gear for races.IMG_7934

Being able to do things independently makes me proud and I feel more mature.  Without a doubt building a bike out from components and a frame was by far the most difficult task I’ve ever accomplished.  I want more responsibility in life so it’s important to be able to do that!  I’m learning that, if I set my mind to accomplish tasks independently the future will be great.

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KHS Team Flite Reviewed- Nye’s Blog

IMG_7945We’re honored to have KHS Bicycles as the 2016 bike sponsor of the Yackle Brothers Racing Team.  They will be supporting us with 3 great bikes: The Team Flite Road bike, Six-Fifty 800 XC bike and Six-Fifty 7500 Enduro bike.   It’s Tour quality and is ridden by the KHS/Maxis Men’s and Women’s Professional Team. 12733469_1506826206291220_1133273211182950112_nThis blog would be too long if I was to write about all three bikes so I’ll be focusing on the Team Flite Road Bike for now.  I have been riding and racing the Team Flite Road Bike since mid December and there are so many things to love about it.

 

 

IMG_8161The KHS Team Flite Road Bike is very well made. It’s super lightweight.  Lifting up just the frame feels like picking up a couple pages of a newspaper!  The frame is very stiff and ridged so I can put out all of my power and none of it goes to waste.   The bike is super aerodynamic and cuts through the wind great.  The Team Flite’s geometry is so dialed it allows me to use my wealth of technical skills I’ve honed on MTB bikes on technical road descents and for avoidance of Road hazards.   I have full confidence in the KHS Team Flite, so racing at high speeds tightly packed in the Peloton is made comfortable.  IMG_8078.JPGSo you can feel comfortable building up the KHS Team Flite Road Bike with the highest level components and it will be right in place.  We are using Shimano brakesets, derailleurs, cranksets and cassettes and Full Speed Ahead K-Force Light Carbon handlebars, stems, water bottle cages and seatposts. We are riding on Vision’s awesome Metron 40 and 55 Wheelsets and Ergon’s SR3-S saddles will be keeping our buns comfortable during our long rides. Xpedo Thrust 8 pedals put our power to the ground.  There you have it, one sexy Bike!

IMG_7921Taking it out for a serious training ride, the Artist’s Drive in Death Valley, was a great chance to see how well the bike performed.   The climb was steep and the descent was fast with a lot of turns.  Going up the climb the bike was fantastic, every bit of energy I put out went straight to the rubber and the bike is so light that I could climb even faster.  Descending I had full confidence in my bike.  The frame didn’t flex a bit when I made the quick, sharp turns and the aerodynamic design of the bike allowed me to go even faster.

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We really appreciate the attention to detail KHS Bicycles puts into the Team Flite, just as they do with all their bikes.   The Team Flite Road Bike looks hot and is a lot of fun to ride.  I haven’t ridden a better bike.  If you’re looking to buy a bike you should definitely check out KHS Bicycles.Version 2