Crashes: The Achilles Heal of My Road Racing- Jake’s Blog 

I dedicate nearly all of my race Season to Enduro and XC Racing. So when I have an opportunity to compete in a road race, I need to capitalize and get the best result possible!  Out of the 13 USA Cycling sanctioned road races I have competed in during the past 2 years, I have been involved in 5 crashes. 3 of which occurred in the last 7 days!

img_9745The first crash I was caught in was the 2015 Bariani Road Race.  The crash occurred after racing 56 miles, 300ft before the finish, as a racer in the front of the peloton was blown sideways by a gust of wind, causing a domino effect crash. I instinctively swerved off into a paved ditch to avoid the multi-racer pileup, crashing there.

 

img_8161In 2016 during the last lap of the Folsom Criterium, the rider in 5th or 6th position crashed 2 bike lengths in front of me. Causing me to slam on the brakes to slowly ride around the crashed riders. This set me so far back that I had no shot at the win.

 

 

 

 

img_6477In 2017 during the Cantua Creek Road Race, the racer in 4th, who was directly in front of me crossed wheels and went down causing me to go over my handlebars. I untangled my bike and had to chase back to the lead group blowing all of my energy.  I just caught them before the finishing climb where I was dropped.

 

 

img_6741 5 days later during the Thunderhill Circuit race, on a tight, wet, corner on the last lap, a racer’s front wheel slid out causing a major crash.  I again had to slam on the brakes to avoid crashing, setting me far behind the lead group.

 

 

 

img_70622 days later during the Steve Harrison Criterium 2 1/2 laps in someone slammed into my rear wheel going into a corner nearly causing me to crash. The rider broke my rear wheel spoke and damaged my derailleur to the point where I couldn’t shift, and I was stuck in a small gear. I ended up riding to the pit zone and was forced to use a neutral bike throughout the rest of the race.

 

img_7056I’ve learned that if I get involved in a crash it is nearly impossible for me to get a points result, which I am seeking in order to upgrade from Category 3.  Since I have been caught in so many crashes, I know that in order to avoid being crashed out, I need to stay in safe positions in the peloton and always be ready to react and avoid any potential crashes!

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!!!