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!

The Game Changers!-Jake’s Blog

IMG_6714Throughout my entire life I have met many different, unique, and helpful people.  Nearly all of the people who I’ve met have been very friendly and cool, but there are few that have truly, enthusiastically supported me and Yackle Brothers Racing.  One person I’ve known for a good chunk of my racing career is Wen Heish, the CEO of KHS Bicycles.  Wen is a great man and a perfect example of the enthusiastic supporter that I am referring to.

I was extremely stoked when our team director informed me that KHS and Wen were going to be our official bike sponsor for 2016!IMG_8078  Similar to our other fine supporters, Wen provided us with the normal bike products we needed to race. However, Wen has gone beyond the typical and has enthusiastically helped us become the best race team possible.  For example the initial Enduro bike frame we received didn’t allow for our cutting edge, mechanical, 9point8 internally routed dropper post.  So, we explained the problem to Wen and he immediately saw that it was in our partnerships best interest to provide us with KHS Bicycle’s newest Enduro model that allowed for an internally routed dropper post!IMG_9293  Its more than that.  Wen’s care has even gone beyond our typical yearly bike sponsorship.  We talked to Wen about how we’d like to purchase and represent KHS with a couple Dirt Jumper Bikes. Ya’see we use DJ bikes at the bike parks for Enduro training, and occasionally for Dual Slalom Racing.  We needed 2 large SJ200 bikes, but KHS had none in stock and no new production planned.  Wen was super accommodating.  He is solving this by having his factory specially build 2 large DJ bike frames.  Wen has even reached out to us to tap into our racing and bike knowledge to help KHS with its design of a new bike.  Now that’s enthusiastic support!

We all know that people who truly, enthusiastically support others are extremely rare!  What makes them enthusiastic supporters?  Enthusiastic supporters are friendly, caring, you can’t help but like them and there is a mutual respect for one another.  I know the characteristics of an enthusiastic race team supporter and I know that enthusiastic supporters take a lot of interest in what we do.  IMG_8847They congratulate us.  They ask us how we like their products or if there is anything they can do to make it better.  They also make sure we have everything we need to perform at our best during our races.  Enthusiastic supporters also love to help us however they can.  Especially, they communicate in an appropriate timeframe.  Enthusiastic supporters are not only accommodating with business matters, but they take interest in us as their Friends, they love to talk and interact socially.

 

IMG_8838Meeting and becoming friends with people who are enthusiastic supporters is a true pleasure.  They are friendly, caring and truly good people!  So if you ever meet an enthusiastic supporter, treasure and respect your relationship because you never know if you’ll meet another enthusiastic supporter again!