Please welcome the newest member of the race team, Nick DiBlasi. Nick is relatively new to the whole sport of cycling in general. He’s been road riding for the last 2 years with his wife Megan. Nick got into BMX and mountain biking within the last 4 months. He’s been racing at the Orange Y BMX track in Orange, Ca. His first win and race for biking was during a BMX race last week. With all this talk about BMX, how does Nick fit into the team? The way we see it, we’ve pretty much got all the disciplines covered by our racers, we compete in XC, Super D, Downhill, Single Speed, and Endurance. But there’s been a void that we’ve had this whole time and that’s 4X/mountain cross. Given Nick has some great BMX skills, we’re thinking that he could do some fancy pedal work and bring on some badassery in the name of MtnBikeRiders.com.
Nick with the red bike.
A little bio on our friend Nick. He’s seen the movie RAD, so that makes him cool already. Plus he’s a Sr Technical Sales person at JE Pistons and has been there for 6 years. Prior to that he owned a fabrication company in Lake Forest where they developed race chassis and engines. Prior to that, he worked for an engineering company in Foothill Ranch doing medical electronics R&D. So do you know what all that means? It means Nick can pretty much make anything out of metal! In fact he and I have been in discussion about modifying my tandem bike, but more on that later.
So with all that being said, welcome to the team Nick!
One of my good friends, Loren Brewster used to be a BMX race back in his prime. He used to race at the Orange Y track in Orange, Ca. He was pretty decent and even made it up to the Nationals. Since I knew he used to ride BMX I figured he’d know how to handle the 4X track in Fontana, Ca. So I asked Loren if he’d be interested in riding the track to see if he still has it going on.
On Saturday morning, we drove to Fontucky, suited up and since I didn’t know how to really ride 4x, I followed Loren and mimic his moves. What was cool about our experience, I was able to see Loren become more and more comfortable on his bike…until it had problems.
There was a table top that was at least 10 feet long and I wanted to practice jumping over it. I ended up clearing it the first time, and then the second time I cased it on the transition. No harm done, I still felt good because I didn’t have to roll through it.
I saw that Loren wanted to try jumping, but since his bike was out of commission, I lent him the KHS XCT 555. He must have done 7 runs in a row and each time he got on the bike, he was going faster and faster! Here’s what he was able to do…
A pair of gravity veterans took home the USA Cycling 4X Pro National Championship in Angel Fire, New Mexico on Sunday.
Rich Houseman (Temecula, California) claimed the stars-and-stripes jersey for the pro men, while Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Arizona) won the title for pro women.
Houseman tore through the newly re-vamped Angel Fire 4X course, besting 30 of the country’s top professional riders. Blake Carney (Camarillo, California), Chris Boice (Albuquerque, New Mexico) and Joseph Backus (Mesa, Arizona) all had impressive performances, blazing through the early rounds and finishing second, third and fourth overall after the final.
In similar fashion Buhl earned the national championship over a strong field that included runner-up Neven Steinmetz (Boulder, Colorado) and third-place finisher Jessica Vogt (Boulder, Colorado).
This Memorial Day Weekend Joe, Priscilla, our friend Christine and I did some riding at a couple places. Our first destination was Fontucky to ride the world famous Southridge XC course. What’s great about Fontucky is that this place has a XC course, DH course and a 4X section. Nationals are held here every year and some of the biggest names in the business show up.
Anyhow, Priscilla has been itching to do some races and the last time we were at Fontucky she didn’t like the trail. But since then they’ve carved out some new sections that eliminated the parts that she didn’t like. This trail is pretty fun, but can be brutal…especially if you’re on a single speed. Joe and I macho’d up and both rode our SS rigs.
I’m not going to lie, Joe and I walked up some of the toughest parts of the trails…no shame in that. At the end of the 7 mile course, we played on the 4x track. It’s pretty similar to a BMX track and you have to do allot of pumping much like a pump track…and it comes with some sweet berms!
I love stuff like this so I made a few passes on the track. I’m sure I was going way slower than what some 4x racers ride this thing through, but it was really fun!
I made a little video of our adventures at Fontucky…enjoy!
Then on Monday, the three of us decided to meet up at El Moro, its basically the Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach. But as we drove down there, dark clouds were hovering the area. As soon as we got there Joe, who had arrived earlier and was waiting for us, said that the trail was closed due to some rain that occurred last night and early this morning.
It sucked to see this sign…
We were all pretty bummed out, so Joe led our caravan down to Santiago Oaks in Orange/Anaheim Hills.
Once we got there, we geared up and about a mile into the ride, we saw a rider who stopped and was obviously staring at something…a big rattler! From what I’m hearing from other riders, these suckers are coming out all over SoCal to get some warm spring sun…
Pretty eh…this is the view we were treated with.
Here’s a shot of the girls right before we got into some single track.
and Joe doing his “queso” pose.
Today I was riding the new test bike that we have at HQ, the KHS XCT 535. The bike is set up as a mix of XC and trail bike, and so that meant climbing was doable and bombing down trails was a must. Santiago Oaks has some really nice, groomed single track with plenty of technical sections that can and will beat you up if you’re not paying attention. The trail varied in terrain, from hard pack, clay, baby heads 1-2 footer drops and chutes. What’s cool was the XCT 535 was able to handle everything that Santiago Oaks had to dish out.
Priscilla got a new haircut, its cute huh?
Joe and I broke off from the girls just so we can have some extra fun. It felt like we were flying down some of the trails and it was really cool to ride with Joe because I feel like he and I have the same riding style. So that means we were both speeding through some of the hardest parts of the trail. In the shot below, it was pretty gnarly.
Right before it is some single track that has some exposure on the left side. I came around the corner way too fast and looking at where I had to go, I felt like I ran out of options. I braced myself to go over the bars and luckily I sat way back on the XCT 535, so far that it felt like the rear tire was buzzing my butt! I tried to slow down as I entered this section but any time I tried to, my rear wheels would skid and I’d lose control momentarily. I figured, I’ll feather the brakes, but I was still going too fast for comfort. As I pointed the bike exactly where I needed to go, the bike responded, and the suspension was very forgiving…I made it without eating it! Phew! I was so relieved.
When I finally got down, Joe joined me at the bottom and we waited for the girls to show up. But these two riders appeared and Joe and I were doing some trail side commentary. The first guy started loosing control right at the beginning and slid down sideways with one and sometimes both feet on the ground. But the fella made a great recovery and rode through. The second guy came along and he freaked out and held onto his bars while both legs where on the ground trying to slow himself down. Luckily he was able to make it down without getting hurt. So now it was the girls’ turn. They were smart and walked that portion of the trail. I don’t blame them, that section is pretty scary.
So today this bike was pretty much my guardian angel. The KHS XCT 535 is still being reviewed but after today, I have come to realize that this bike is the shiznitz! In other words, it’s wickedly awesome!
Mt. Beauty is the last Downhill National series race in Australia. It rained on race day…in fact, 7 out of 7 national rounds have rained in AUSTRALIA. It’s starting to feel like Europe.
Womens DH Results: Tracy Moesly 1st, Tracy Hannah 2nd, Caroline Buchanan (KHS) 3rd. This awesome result placed Caroline 3rd for the Australian National Downhill Series (2007-08). Caroline is only 17 and places 3rd behind two Elite Pro women. Incredible!
2007-08 Australian National Champion 4X Australian National DH Champion and Australian National 4X Overall Series winner.
Under-19 Downhill Champion and 3rd place in the Overall National Series Championship (2007-08).
We recently received some goods from the fine folks from Blackspire Bicycle Components. The super cool fella, Aaron hooked us up with some parts we needed for the KHS DJ300 bike we’re building up.
What you see here are some fantastic samples of a Chain Guide, Chain Ring, The new White C4 Chain Guard. 36T Downhill Chainring,DH/FR stem, and a set of Mr. Chunkie Pedals.
Here’s the progress as of yesterday afternoon.
But as of last night, I’ve installed all the Blackspire Components, a SRAM 9SPD cassette, rear XT derailluer, Specialized tires and rotors onto the Tag Wheels. We pretty much need a headset and chain, other than that, we’re almost done.