DAINESE FULL OF INNOVATION>BOA retention system (what you see on ski boots and road cycling shoes) in their new line of knee and elbow pads, they also added aluminum sliders ( this from the roadracing suits) on the knee and elbows to the OAK PRO Guards, and to top off the last of it DAINESE developed a new padding to absorb impact better to go with their newest pads.

Made with the synergyc use of two innovative materials: Pro-Shape and Crash Absorb materials. A sandwich composed of an outer layer in polymer derived from F1 racing with the highest shock absorption capacity and remarkable elasticity is bonded to an inner layer of polyethylene foam of the highest thickness and visco elastic nitrile rubber to create an extremely flexible pad. (as quoted from Dainese)

With the popularity of Enduro Racing most companies have come out with lighter pads as well as gear and DAINESE has done the same.

For the Enduro Racer or weekend worrier the new light weight TRAIL SKINS Knee and Elbow Guards incorporate the same PRO-SHAPE materials as the OAK series of pads, but lighter.IMG_9250
Highly breathable as well as flexible one could only feel the air flow through them. You will also see side impact protection as well.

The new RHYOLITE JACKET SOFT has been updated for 2014 with added shoulder and elbow protected sleeves that can be removed. Back protection is the flexible Crash Absorb shape memory retention material (water-repellent elastic-visco nitrile rubber), along with PRO-SHAPE and Crash Absorb that is positioned in the front chest, side and abdomen areas.IMG_9252
The jacket like the pads is fully breathable.
If your just looking for the back protection DAINESE has you covered with the BACK PROTECTOR SOFT

The new Downhill Freeride line has changed as well. BASANITE jersey and HUCKER shorts are made with lighter materials and have more breath ability. If you look at the photo of the jersey from the back side you can see through it.
The shorts have nice big air panels to allow flow and comfort

The new ROCK SOLID-D gloves caught my eye. They look like the ROCK SOLIDS, but have a added PRO-SHAPE panel to the knuckle area. They were quite comfortable on the hand and as you can see in the photo the PRO-SHAPE flexes nice to the hand.
I don’t know what RL was trying to do here, but he made a nice hand model, plus his tux shirt matched the gloves.

DAINESE also has a new PERFORMANCE Jacket as well as PERFORMANCE ARMOR that uses the new MANIS Back Protector, also DAINESE has their new Enduro/Trail jersey and short called the DRIFTER. More on this later.
Look for DAINESE new gear soon.

Thanks to DAINESE guys for the time.

Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
Black Tiger Jerky

I’m sexy and I know it….I work out.

Before you start thinking this is another “I love ME (RL)” article, let me reassure you its not. Check out this photo. What’s the first thing you see? I would imagine it’s the Pink Tuxedo jersey right? Well that was the plan for me wearing it at the California Golden State Championships. I wanted to draw some attention to it and have people ask me about the shirt and in turn I can talk about Basically its a marketing tool for the site.

However, I was completely over shadowed by our friend Albert, I call him “The buffest Filipino you’ll ever meet.” Yes that’s him shirtless in the background.
Funny thing about this, he yelled to remind me to stay left on a certain spot I had trouble with. I said thanks to him as I rode away, but still managed to go to the right…the problem side, but i was able to muscle through it and have a clean run.

Fontana City Nationals Race Report: RL Policar

Fontana City Nationals is considered to be a big deal in the mountain biking community of SoCal. This event is part of the Kenda Cup West Series. The Nationals always yields some of the world’s best talent racing on local grounds.

Big names from some of the biggest race teams come all the way out to Fontana to get their lungs infected with what local racers call, the “Fontucky Lung” or “Fontucky Fungus.”

For the downhill race, they did things a bit different. Usually the Pros and Experts go first, then the Sport and Beginners.But this time us lowly beginners and sport racers went ahead of everyone. So this means the level of vultures err, I mean spectators are high and these folks love a good crash.

Saturday was practice day. This allowed me to get 6 runs, all clean. With each run I did, I kept getting faster and better. Come Sunday morning, we had a 2 hour window to practice and I was able to get 2 more runs in. One thing I didn’t get to mention. This weekend was something special for me.Why? It’s because I was riding the KHS Lucky 7. I had been racing on the Sette Venom, but when the opportunity came up for the Lucky 7, I jumped on it.

I gotta give props to Mr. C at KHS Bicycles for allowing me to have this opportunity to ride/race the Lucky 7.

The seed list is posted and I noticed that there are a total of 10 racers in my category, Beginner Men, 27-34. I see the usual suspects and a few that I’ve never heard of. Funny thing about racing in Fontana, you eventually become friends with some of your competition. So that means you wish them luck and safety, at the same time, you want to beat them.

When our group got called, we lined up and I was the 6th rider out of the gate. One by one, racers before me were hitting the trail. When I get up to the gate, I can hear the beeps, on the 6th beep I’m supposed to go.

BEEP! I take off, but making sure that I am fast, yet controlled through the first few turns. I’m midway through the upper portion of the mountain, on a sharp left turn, my front wheel washes out, I dab my foot and kept pedaling. I was so frustrated that I almost felt like giving up. But in my head I somehow convinced myself that it was just one simple mistake and that I’m going to finish this race with a clean run.
Photo Courtesy of

I keep working hard through the rest of the course, I find myself through a few G-outs and then to the bottom. I work my way towards the lower rock garden and I quickly find the line that I’ve been practicing. I go down it without a problem. Then I suddenly hear Wes’ voice saying “Good Job RL!” I lose focus only because I didn’t expect him there, the dude has a broken hip! Anyway, I brush against the boulder, I thought I was going down, but I gained control and went on towards the wall.

RL Policar DH
I find myself wanting to pedal faster, but my legs can’t. I stand up a few times to sprint only to find myself sitting back down due to the pain that lactic acid had dealt. I eventually cross the finish line and my lungs and nostrils are on fire.

After a few hours, results were finally posted. Here’s what’s frustrating and satisfying about this race…3rd, 4th, and 5th, all have the same time 2:47. But here’s the definitive times that separated us:

3rd 02:47.03 Mark Robertson
4th 02:47.15 Willy Ocampo
5th 02:47.94 RL Policar

I couldn’t believe it! As soon as I saw those numbers, I had two feelings. I was upset because if I didn’t have that wash out issue on the mountain, I’m sure I would have had a better result, but I was also glad to know that I can remain competitive to Mark and Willy. One thing you have to understand, Mark and Willy are the 2 guys that usually end up on the podium. They’ve had some really consistent, fast results during the Winter Series. So in a sense I was pretty proud of myself knowing that I can ride competitively against the faster riders of my category.

5th place. That’s my Lil’ nephew, Jake in 6th Place. Yeah he’s Joe’s son, but we just found out we’re distant cousins, small world eh?

Remember to Smile

Meet my brother Staff Sgt. Randolph (Randy) Policar. He’s in the Army. He’s some sort of Jump Master and he’s also in the HALO programalso known as Military Free Fall..

Part of his daily job is to jump out of big military airplanes high above the skies, around 12,500 feet. He’s been in the Army for at least 14-15 years and has tons of jumps under his belt. One of the things I asked my brother was, “Don’t you get scared or nervous before jumping out?” He replied with a very cool and simple, “yeah.” He then went into great detail how he overcomes his anxiety before and during the flight up to the drop zone. Want to know what he said? “Smile!”

So why am I talking about my brother and smiling. Well its simple really. You see when I first started downhill racing, my nerves would be all messed up. I would get nervous and during my race runs I’d make simple mistakes that cost me time. Since I had this pre-race anxiety, I called my brother for advice. I figured the guy did something far more dangerous than downhill racing. That’s when we told me to smile. It took me a while to get used to the notion of smiling during practice and race runs. But here’s something that I discovered. When I would try to get into the zone or focus too hard, my body would stiffen up, my grip on the bars were too hard and my reaction time was slower. But when I started smiling more, I noticed I was more limber, reaction was way quicker and I ended up having more fun!

Don’t get me wrong, this smiling thing isn’t just for downhill riding/racing. This can be executed when tackling a technical XC trail. Just check out the big smile on Priscilla’s face while racing Super D.

Try it today, try smiling as much as you can while riding, and you’ll see how that translates to your experience.

Race Report SRC Winter Series #1 Kim “Champ” Finch

Editorial-RL Policar: As always, Kim Finch had a stellar weekend at the races in Fontana, Ca. Read up on her adventures!

Well here we are back in Fontana, CA for a whole new year! As I concluded last season, I have moved to the CAT2/Sport categories in all disciplines. I am going to mix up my XC racing with my Super D races as they always fall on the same day makes it hard to do both and still make it up the hill for Downhill practice.

This past weekend I prep myself for Saturday’s XC race. Upon line up at the start line, I found two other ladies in my class. One of them I had race before in the beginner category. I was glad to see other racers in my group. I also met the three women in the 34 under category. The start horn blew and off we went.

The course was still short from previous races but considering I now had to climb the ASPHALT road twice I was not that disappointed. Two laps this race approx 11 miles. The day was perfect for XC racing, little cloud cover and perfect temp! Some changes on the start of the course but still climbing that darn road. I hit the three hills to the water tower and then was time for the fun single track! I managed to pass one of the 34 under ladies, which always makes me smile! I kept Barbara in my sights the entire race. Came around to the last climb in my first lap to the rocky hill I have yet to clear without jumping off the bike and running! There was a man on the line and gave him a little shout and there I was half way up the climb…passed him..MADE IT! I was so proud of myself and even more so when the man I passed yelled out “How did you do it?”

Lap two, I managed to pass another 34 under lady and always keeping my competition in sight. Crossed the finish line with a battle with one lady from 34 under! It was a great race and I was close enough to Barbara I was thrilled. I had figured since starting a new CAT, I will be at the bottom of the list again!

After, made a little recovery and then off to DH practice. I managed to get two runs in and calling it a day! Sunday morning got in one good clean practice run and some pointers from Nancy Harris for a cleaner line on the second split on the course. I was bumped that Traci (my rival) had been injured the day before so she was unable to race with me. At the top I was chatting with Wendy, another DH racer, and I hear everyone yelling at me! “Get up here, your lining up!” Funny was that I was so used to being the one of the last groups to start so had to RUN UPHILL!! I was tired before the start and I was trying to quickly get helmet and gloves on.

The nice thing was, RL “BOSS” was there to get me to calm down and breathe. Of course he offered to do the Team dance, but knowing “Boss” I opted for “ No thanks”! Start count down,5-4-3-2-1 GO! & off I went. All I had to do was stay on the bike and make it down the course, but NO, I still pour it on as if I am racing the world! I was a little anxious on the steep chute, as it was soft during practice but now after all the racers would be worse. I cleaned the first two turns well. Had a slight wash out at the third turn.

NO crash, but looked down and my bike wasn’t under me. LOL Grabbed the handle bar gave my bike a bit of a talking to as we got it back together and headed for the shot and did just what I planed. Scrubbed all me speed and rolled down the chute with feathering the rear brake slightly. I had a few toe dabs through the bottom section rolled into the off caber line into the rut! Then started looking for Nancy’s pointer of rolling over the big rock. Kept telling myself “find the rock”! There it is ..I am home free.

I hear friends cheering as I get through and then it is sure speed down the rest of the course. The lower rock garden was very familiar and bobbled slightly but cleared and the it’s “The Wall” I hear the yells to get on the pedals! I thought about it and was exhausted, just wanted to hit the finish line! Was a great day! Great weekend of racing & friends.

Took 3rd in XC & 1st in DH!

Dear Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet Maker…

To whom it may concern,

I would like to express my concerns that full face helmets do not offer enough ventilation when it comes to breathing through my mouth. I have used several helmets and they only offer small vents on the mouth/chin guard.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever ridden or raced downhill, but nothing sucks more than to…uh suck in your own breath.

If you’re not certain on what it is I’m envisioning, I’ve attached a photo as an example.

Check out this helmet, it has ample vents on the mouth/chin guard, and it has a hydration system built in…now that’s awesome!

Please quickly design this helmet…oh and can you throw in a salsa dispenser and chip bowl on there too?

Thank you,

RL Policar
BAD ASS Mountain Biker and Super Cool Downhill RACER!

Woodward West – Kim’s Race Report

Arrived Saturday morning to just some AWESOME weather. Got bikes off loaded, gear up & catch shuttle truck to the top of the hill. I see the same smiling faces and warm welcome we have come to expect from the SRC crew! Now it’s time to see what Donny has put together for us. Start line is at the top of a ramp, well there is a little nerves there but I did it before. Climb up to the top, hold my breathe and we’re off!

First practice run of the day. Little rock garden at top is pretty rough, jagged edges. I can hear my tire hit dead on. Couple “S” turns to a small drop that are a soft. Quick right and sharp left clear the top portion. Then came the real fun nice banking turns which I threw down my “Sam Hill” style, couple table tops I roll over. Another rock garden with nice smooth line. Few more banking turns and head for finish line. Much to my surprise and given speed I launch off what I thought would be a roller little hill! There I am in the “AIR” instant prayers going out to land on both wheels safely! I did it. First practice under my belt and all was safe! Put down couple more runs then ran in to our team member “The MOE” and Joe “J-SIZZLE”! Always nice to see all that show up at the races.

Headed over to the camp ground area to see who all was there and as always all the familiar faces were there. Traci & I chatted for a while and Nancy was there as well! Roger, Nancy’s husband even gave me a few pointers after following me on one of my practice runs. Traci & I head up for some more runs! See is getting faster, if she ever decided to pedal I am going to be in trouble!

After practice, we over headed to hotel for a shower & then out for dinner. Is always fun hangin’ out with friends! We talked about what line to take, how we felt about the course as well as catching up with each other.

Race day: Good (free) breakfast at the hotel with the team and Roy, our little camera bug. Lots of tea, couple of “Sport Legs,” pack up and off we go. Check over the bikes and hit the shuttle truck. Take couple practice runs to see the changes and man was the top loose. Major dust bowl! Manage to get in two practice runs before the call of “Race Runs” by Steve, SRC driver we all love!

Chatted with Traci as her nerves were on the edge and get her to relax. Joe was still talking about the first rock garden..but by the time lineup came he seemed to have set his mind. Tony was very calm which I thinks helps the whole team and Moe stood over things like he was “The Boss”!

Plug in the iPod, Climb up the ramp, Donny starts his count down and I was calm! Was kind of strange most of the time I get anxious but I was very calm almost excited. I told myself to run slowly through the dusty “S” turns at the top and then have fun through the rest! This is what I did on both first and second runs. After first run, and yes I got a little air out of that last jump..landed it to the sound of my cheering teammates!! It was an awesome time of racing and friends! I had so much fun on this course it felt more like a fun ride with friends then a race. My combined times placed me 8 seconds ahead of Traci for first place! YEAH!!

Thanks for all the team support! I want to through a big shout of thanks to Serfas Optics for the sunglasses as I rode my race with shade & clarity! They were awesome glasses! Also big thanks to KHS, Hoss, Evomo, Ergon & Bike Big hugs and thanks to our own little photo bug ROY!

Good Luck to the Downhill Crew

This weekend is the Rock Shox Golden State Downhill Race in Woodward West. Our DH crew (minus me) will be out there in full force ready to tear it up.
Joe Sizzzle

Kim “Champ” Finch

Tony “Wizard” Finch

Last but not least, the Angel of Death himself…THE MOE!

They’ll be showing off the new Team Jerseys at Woodward, so if you plan on racing or spectating, just look out for the MtnBikeRiders can’t miss them.

Shimano Winter Series #5: RL’s DH Race Report

This race was the 2nd to the last of the 6 part series. You would have to race at least 5 of the 6 to qualify for the overall points. So far, I’m the only one in my category that has raced at least 4 and the next race on the 22nd would make it my 5th race. So with that said, I’m leading the points to win the series for the 200 club.

After coming 2nd to my friendly arch rival, Johnny D. of KHS Bicycles, I was pretty determined in making sure I took first this time around. I had put in more time with my training such as adding running to my regimen and trying to build up to 100 push ups at a time. So far I’m at 35 without stopping, but I can do 85 total before I start crying. I know its a long ways to go, but I’ll get there soon. I also dropped some weight to lighten the load on the bike in hopes it would make me quicker. Don’t fret, I was still over 200lbs on race day. 207lbs to be exact.

I was able to get some practice runs in on Saturday and on Sunday. I felt pretty good about the steep and loose terrain. However, there was one right handed flat turn that I had crashed at on Saturday and it continued to give me problems on my practice runs on Sunday. This flat right turn came up quick and since the ground was loose, I would easily wash out.

Fast forward to Sunday. The seed list was posted and it showed that Johnny D, did not make it. But I had another big guy racing against me. I wasn’t quite sure who he was, but I recognized the name and have seen this fella get on the podium in the Sport Class in previous races. His name on the list was something different from what his jersey states, “Dirty Mike.”

As we waited at the top of the mountain, Dirty Mike and I got to talking and I found out that he had broken his wrist on the rainy day race we had a while back. He’s feeling better but not 100% and still decided to race. Keep in mind he’s normally a Sport racer so already I was feeling insecure. The 200 club is pretty much an open class, but for the most part, beginners race in it.

Anyhow, so we line up, I get counted down, 5,4,3,2,1, and away I go! I maneuver through the first sections of the course, and I get to my least favorite part, the flat right turn and over shot it and slowed down significantly. I recover and get to the off camber single track then down the dreaded fast, steep and loose chute, down the G-out with a big boulder in the middle of it, wow! I made it through!
Photo Courtesy of Eric Foltz

I hit the paved road and figure I can use my big ring, I shift and I’m not moving! I look down and noticed my chain dropped on the outside of my cranks! ARGH!!!! I eventually get it back in and then I coast into the lower rock garden. I make it through with no problems and I’m pedaling with everything I have left through the infamous WALL.
Photo Courtesy of Sharky

I cross the finish line and my lungs and legs were on fire. I couldn’t get my helmet off fast enough. Dirty Mike rolls in shortly after I do and I gave him a pat on the back for a good job. We ride back to base camp and the results were up really quick.

The MC started announcing the winners over the PA. They also had the results up on the board. Moe had actually gone up to check and comes back to ask me, “do you want me to tell you the news, or do you want to wait for the announcement?” Moe has on his Poker face and I wasn’t quite sure if he had good or bad news for me. So I decided to wait, and the MC said, “200 Club, 2nd place…(he states the other fella’s name), in 1st place, RL Policar!” Our camp cheered and I threw up my hands in the air as I said, “YES!” I let out a sigh of relief…

Now we’re off to the finals in 2 weeks, wish me luck and hopefully I can repeat this weekend’s results! I’d like to thank our sponsors, Evomo Clothing, Ergon USA, Hoss MTB, and