KMC Chains Winter Series #3

Last weekend the boys were out racing some Super D at the KMC Chains Winter Series at Southridge. So we asked each racer to give us a brief report on their race experience.


First up is Knight Rider-Kyle Knight:

Kyle Knight

Super D was pretty cool this week. I liked the layout of this course super fun pretty tech and kept me on my toes. I was able to get in a little bit of practice, really trying to get the rock garden line down. My run went well felt good about my race run on the techy parts but there were some sprint spots that I just could not push as hard as I would have liked. Over all great weather, great dirt after the rain, and a really fun course. Thank you to my and Dainese D-Store of Orange County. I placed 15th out of 21 racers.

Leandro Parada

Round #3 at the KMC Chains Winter Series, if you can call it winter. We had a light amount of rain during the week, which made track conditions nearly perfect, in addition to the layout of the course, which was long and fun, we couldn’t ask for more. This time around we had a good number of racers in our class, well over 20, and fast guys.  The track was long, with some fast turns, a technical rocky part, which we practiced a few times to get the line memorized, in addition there was a good little climb, which on this type of race format  was going to get just about everyone.
Race time came about, I took off confident, first fast turns, no problem, not crazy fast, just fast enough.
Climbing time, pedaled it, paced myself as there was plenty more to come, as the climbing section was over, I felt the stress on my legs from the climb, then the rock garden, I was confident and tired, I pushed through it, made it through, then I got confident, hit a small rock and went over the bars, ouch! Yes I was mad, good bye race time…
I got up as soon as I could, straighten my bike, hoped on it, and kept going. I tried to push a little harder to make up time, and stumbled on another section that I usually know by heart, but oh well, I kept at it. I finished off the race, I was tired, mad, and at the same time happy, I was still in one piece, with just a small bruise from my crash.
I was the first one of the team to make it down, I went over by the finish line to cheer on my team mates as they came across the finish line.  So here we are, another event in the books, took 19th place out of 24 I think, maybe less, all I know is I was not last. This was a fun day, the mistakes I made only make it for a better story to tell if I don’t win. I want to thank my team mates, for the fun times, and. All the sponsors we have, and overall God for keeping us safe, none of us suffered any major injuries, and we look forward to the next one

Dan Burdett is a man of a few words, actually he’s not. The guy looooooves to talk. If you get a chance to, ask him about audio and visual equipment. He’ll give you  break down on everything you need to know. However, he works really hard on the race course. Dan took 8th in Sport Men 35+

We call him Super Dan

The belle of the ball would be Adam Spik. He just came off training for marathons and drinking raw eggs and punching a side of beef in a meat packing house. Plus he saved a little girl and her kittens from a burning building just the day before. He too is a man of a few words. When I asked him for his race report, this is what I got….

3rd place “Thanks to the support of and The Dainese Store of Orange County.” I couldn’t have done it without you.

3rd place for Adam Spik!

So there you have it folks! Thanks to all the guys for putting 100% of effort out there and we do want to thank our sponsors and The Dainese D-Store Orange County



Why Super D Racing might be better than Downhill

This past weekend I participated in my very first Super D race at Southridge at the KMC Chains Winter Series. I’ve been racing bikes on and off for a few years now, some XC and mostly downhill. When I did race downhill, I found that I really enjoyed it.

But after this weekend, I think I’m going to focus more on Super D racing instead. I thought about this during my drive home after the race. There were a few things that clicked in my head that made sense to me on why and how Super D is better than downhill racing. I’ve got some bullet points for you, ready?

  • No need to buy a downhill specific bike
  • Race the bike you ride with during the week
  • No need for full face helmet and body armor
  • Bike is way lighter
  • Pedal up the instead of pushing your bike up
  • Super D Races are typically twice as long as downhill races at Southridge.
  • Practice and Race on the same day

So those are my bullet points on why I think Super D is better than racing downhill. But I probably should note that I’m speaking in terms of it being held at Fontana, Ca. If you’re a SoCal regular or you’ve raced in Southridge, then you know that the venue really doesn’t compare to any world cup destinations, but it’s still downhill. In fact you’ll often find super big name pros racing at Southridge like Arron Gwin, Gee Atherton, Kyle Strait and many more. Basically Southridge DH is good enough for pros, so it’s definitely challenging enough for guys like me.

But I digress to my bullet points. Here’s the thing, if you want to race downhill, try giving Super D a chance first. You can use the same bike you normally ride because it doesn’t really require a bike that has more than 6″  of travel. The bike I used was the Titus Rockstar with 5″ in the front and 4″ in the back. While the other guys on our race team rode 5-6″ trail bikes. Actually Art Aguilar raced with his carbon fiber XC bike. That was enough bike to handle the course.


Super D might be better than DH

Another point that I wanted to make about Super D is that you can use your current gear. Most DH racers will ride with a full face helmet as well as some sort of body armor. There were a few Super D racers that used a full face and armor during the race. But I find that a full face can be very constricting when you’ve got a long pedal section.

One last thing that makes Super D great is that when you do race, you’re riding a bike that you’re familiar with. Often times in DH you’re riding a completely different bike. That means you spend less time on it, not as familiar with all the handling quirks.

In conclusion, racing Super D opened my eyes to a whole new opportunity to enjoy my bike and racing


Hurt my back, no ride, got bored and built up a bike

Yep that’s how my Saturday turned out. So without boring you with some lame details, here’s some pictures. But first, let me tell you about my Bro-Date with Art Aguilar. He’s so dreamy! We had some tacos by the beach.
Art McDreamy Aguilar

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about what I did. So ya, I hurt my back moving stuff the night before and I woke up with my back still aching. Oh sorry, I forgot that I said I’d spare the details, oh well. So let’s get to it. Since I wasn’t riding, I decided to spend some time in the garage. Pulled out the Retired Burt Reynolds. I had some parts laying around I figured, I’d build him back up again.

First thing to deal with was to remove the Plasti Dip that I put on a few months ago.
burt reynolds
That whole process took me about an hour. Crazy how long it took. Actually I’m so A.D.D or ADHD…not quite sure which, but one of those, that I decided to leave some of it on the hard to reach places like the drop outs, and other nooks and crannies that the plastidip got into.
plastidip bicycle
One of the things I like to do while working on my bikes is to smoke cigars. I didn’t feel like using up one of my premium ones, so I opted for a “daily smoke” cigar. I realized that a bike frame makes for a great cigar tender.
cigar and bicycles
The Plasti Dip did a great job in preserving the paint on the frame.

Yep this is the same 1×10 drive train that came off the the Titus Rockstar. I didn’t want it to just sit there and gather dust.

Here’s how it looks now with the 1×10 and honestly, it looks like how it did before I dipped the bike.

For the kids that like to weigh everything, here’s the weight of Burt Reynolds. 25ish pounds.

Fontana Nationals Super D

Finish line jump on the 4X track

Team Big Bear rolled through Fontana on March 24 with their latest bag of endurance offerings and I was on board for the super d. For those of you who are unaware, super d is an awesome combination of downhill and cross country with a spirited amount of pain and suffering mixed in. The course designers at Fontana created a beautiful pair of courses which appeal strongly to gravity riders but will punish those who aren’t fit. There is a short course which races in about 4-5 minutes and a long course which is about 6-8 minutes in length. Each of the two offered a good mix of climbing, technical descending and both ended on the four cross track pushing riders abilities there as well. This would be my second super d race and, having learned my lesson from the first one, I put a lot more effort into my preparation. My cardio was better adapted for races of this length, I knew the courses better, and I was much more used to the bike I had been using which was the KHS 556.

Obviously this point is subjective, but I feel the KHS is the perfect bike for a super d of this nature. The bike pedals extremely efficiently and even has lockout controls for the fork and shock. These lockouts are not remotely mounted which makes them a little funny to activate during a race but I found it possible and useful. The bike is very light considering it’s hefting 5.5in of travel around everywhere it goes making it real easy to lift up and over obstacles. This is crucial because carrying speed is the ticket to doing well at the Southridge venue. Of course though, the most important thing is that the bike matches the new 5 Year duds.

I was caught off guard by Team Big Bear’s skill classifications as there was no beginner, sport or expert division; instead there was only pro and open meaning the other three were all lumped together. This made my decision process a little easier considering I was torn between sport and expert, but this also intimidated me because it was a decent size group I was up against and there were a handful of talented experts in there. Not to make excuses here, but I felt that it would be difficult to be competitive in expert without a seat dropper especially with the added course length over the last time I raced. I calmed my nerves with a couple practice runs and was feeling ready.

Just past the next rider

Off I went for the first race run on the longer course. This consisted of some minor rock gardens and an array of turns with a steady down hill slope.About a minute into the run the course became much less assisted by gravity and this was when I passed the first rider. He moved readily for me to get by and I chugged on to the next major juncture: the DH hecklers. The super d course briefly intersected a paved road which is the same road that shuttles the downhillers. This was one of the most exhausting sprints on the course and the DH guys were ready with their “motivational” banter to make me push hard through it. I cleaned all the technical parts of the course much like I was hoping and was just suffering through the final XC part of the course when I saw the next rider ahead. My heart rate at this point was well above 100% max and I was beat tired yet incredibly determined to pass the next rider. When we came to the final sprint before the 4X course I had to strike because I new it would be difficult to do on the 4X track and I knew he would hold me back if I stayed behind. He would not let this be an easy overtake because as I sprinted he did the same. I barely edged him out and finished out the race literally the most exhausted I had ever been in my life.

Needless to say, the long, steep push back to the top was as slow and scenic as I would be allowed, punctuated with many water breaks. I was fully gassed after the first run and I knew it, fortunately the second time through involved much less pedaling that the first. About half way down the second race run there was a good technical rock garden with a multitude of lines. Coming into this section I noticed a very hearty number of raging spectators who seemed to have the depreciated sobriety levels that any racer would feel blessed to preform for. I elected to take the “hero” line with a decent size (relative to these smaller bikes) huck off a boulder which really fired those guys up. I was shocked they were all there just to watch the super d. Is this niche of biking finally gaining momentum? Again, I passed one rider ahead and then took it shamefully easy on the final pedal to the finish.

Not disappointed, just exhausted...and matching

My goal was to place top five and stand on the elusive podium once again. They posted the results for the individual runs and I tried feverishly to do the mental math to determine my placement but there were too many variables for me to take in. Finally, the results were posted and my efforts reflected my ambitions as I got 5th out of 15 riders. Elated, I waited for the podium ceremony to start so I could represent my team up there but I nearly choked when I saw that Team Big Bear only ran the awards three riders deep. I guess I’ll have to break top three next time I’m looking for recognition.

This discipline requires a more well rounded rider but is also generally easier on the body when compared to downhill which broadens the age range of riders that can be competitive. My speculation is that mountain biking is still a very new sport and with the early boomers now getting older they are seeking new ways to use their talents to compete. That could be one of the main reasons super d is growing but another is that this form is the closest to normal trail riding which is what the majority of mountain bikers partake in, thus making super d the least foreign to riders who are new to competition. Hopefully it continues to grow and fuel a new sect of super d specific products and marketing.

To be as good as Art Aguilar, one can only dream….

The other day, Team Racer, Art “Jedi Master” Aguilar and I were having a conversation about racing. We got on the subject on amount of skill level that it takes to race in the Expert Category. While on a drunken stupor, Art began to explain that there is a HUGE difference in skill and talent. Basically he was telling us sport and beginner guys that we suck compared to him…

Here Art illustrates the “big difference” between Beginner and Expert.
art difference

He also mentioned that Beginner/Sport racers have small balls…again he illustrates it in this photo.

In this photo, he depicts something that I won’t even describe, I think you know where he’s going with it.

With that being said…one can only dream about being as good as Art….(sigh)

Southridge Racing Company-Awards Banquet

This past Sunday the crew attended the SRC 2011 Awards Banquet. This event tallied all the points we accumulated through out the season and based on it, some of us received awards.

Let’s start start with Stacey “Got it going on” Stone, he took 5th in 4x.

Artie “The one man DH Party” Aguilar takes 5th in Expert DH.

Dan Burdett (not pictured) takes 2nd in Single Speed.

Yours truly placed 3rd in Beginner Men 27-34 DH.

Last not but certainly not least, Wes Castro takes home a Championship in Beginner Men 35-42 Men. Check out his new Championship Jersey, way to go Wes!

The Moe joined us for the banquet, but quickly left in his limo because he was on his way to Japan to help develop a new type of drinking straw that works on both ends.

Art Aguilar has an article in the works in which he’ll talk more in detail about our racing season in 2011. You’ll be surprised at some of the facts he’ll be coming out with. So for now, I’d like to bid all the guys on the team a great job!

Don’t be a Chaz

This is a letter to racers out there. It’s as simple as this, if another racer calls out left to pass you, let him or her pass. Don’t be a douche about it, just let them go. We had a situation the other night at a SoCal race venue when one of our team racers, we’ll call him Tattoo, called out that he was passing another racer who we’ll call Chaz. As Tattoo made his move, Chaz veers into him causing Tattoo to go into the weeds, Tattoo calls out, “Yo man, what the heck!?” Chaz asked Tattoo, “What class are you in?” Tattoo replied, “Same as yours.” Then at that moment, Chaz responds, “Well, I’m not letting you pass!” But once the trail opened up, so Tattoo can pass, Chaz says to him, “Now you can pass!”

Ya…how classy was that for Chaz to do that? Here’s the thing guys, it’s racing, if someone better than you needs to pass, even if they’re in the same category as you, let them go! Just get out of the way because chances are there are other people behind you that will need to pass you eventually.

Another thing to remember, unless you’re some sort of Pro-Rider who has a full-ride sponsorship in which you get paid to get on the podium, you’re just like the rest of us. We all ride bikes for fun, we all have to go to work the next day, and we all have families we need to come home to.

Here’s a perfect illustration on how you should act if someone needs to pass you. Mr. ODI Racer calls out that he’s passing on the left. Dan Burdett graciously lets him pass with a great attitude. He even tips his helmet to Mr. ODI as we passes.
passing lane

All I’m saying is keep it classy. Don’t be a Chaz. Why? For one the mountain biking community in your area is rather small. You’ll end up seeing that person again at another race or on the trail on the weekend. Besides, its more fun to make friends than enemies. Just look at that picture above, Dan and Mr. ODI have become buddies. Every time they see each other at the races, they’re always super cool and give high fives, well I don’t know about the high fives, but they remain cordial like a cherry and act like gentlemen.

Race Report: Over the Hump Series

This summer here in Orange County at Irvine lake is a local mountain bike races series on Tuesday nights. The Over the Hump series spans about three months and is twelve races long. This past Tuesday concluded the second installment of the series.

Riders gathering before the race.
Riders gathering before the race.

The first race had around 600 hundred riders participate and there were 77 riders in my class alone. The course is a fairly simple one with no major technical sections, and only two longer extended climbs. The starting line is a fire-road type section overlooking a nice view across Irvine Lake. From the starting line the road makes a generally straight shot to the first climb, but it is subject to two way traffic from the riders (mainly expert/pros on the first lap) ahead returning from the first loop. The course takes a hard right hand turn up the first climb of the lap.

Waiting for the race to begin.
Waiting for the race to begin.

The climb starts the first part of the loop and at the top it levels off hits a added section that differed from the first week’s course. It went through a few turns and and headed down the other side of the hill from what we climbed and then back around and up to where we dropped down and back down the way we came up. After this descent was the fireroad that led back to the starting line.

Down the first descent of the course.
Down the first descent of the course.

Just past the starting line the course makes a left across the lake. After a short rise and matching decline the course leads into another flat. The flat leads around the back of the back the hill which holds the final big (relatively to this course) climb of the lap. From there a short descent leads to the the longest section of mainly single-track with some quick turns. The first week this area ended in a big very muddy section through the brush, but for the second race was a reroute through the sand. Once out of the brush a short fire-road leads to the finish line.

Finishing up the first lap.
Finishing up the first lap.

The first week I was in a rather large class, as I mentioned before, and I started near the back of the group. So for the second race I made sure to try and start closer to the front of the pack. Once off the line the leaders where in a full-out sprint. I sat and spun at a good clip and tried to keep the leaders in site. By my count there were about 7 riders ahead of me at this point and I was trailing the lead pack. We hit the first climb and I thought I passed about 5 riders on the climb. I stood the whole way through the climb hoping to put the other two riders back in sight, but to no avail. The first lap continued uneventful I didn’t see any other riders from my class.

As I exited the brush at the end of the first lap a I finally saw another rider from my class as he passed me. I made sure to stay tight on him through the flats to the first climb where I return the favor and passed him. I pushed hard up the hill to put as much ground as I could between us. Down and back up the back side of the hill I pushed hard before heading down and out of that section. As I crossed the lake the other rider in may class was able to pass me again. After leading through that section of flats I didn’t have enough to fend him off. I made sure to keep him in sight and thought I should be able to gain some ground back on the final climb. I did gain ground, but only cut the distance in half and it was not enough to pass him again. Only twenty yards or so separated us as we zipped through the remaining single-track. As we hit the sand he was able to get around a sport rider who was keeping a good pace. He was going fast enough that I didn’t have enough left to pass him through the sand. As I hit solid ground again it was a hammer-fest to the finish line I was stood the last quarter mile in a full sprint to the finish line.

Clearing the top of the final climb.
Clearing the top of the final climb.

I finish 14 seconds behind the other rider in my class, thinking we were probably about 4th & 5th respectively. Once the results were in to my surprise, I was way off. It turns out I finished 2nd, and once the results were finalized, after the first two races I am leading the series as well.


Come Participate in the First Ever XC Race in Orange Counties’ Irvine Regional and Santiago Oaks Parks – Saturday, July 16th

Irvine, CA (CFEpr+) May 16, 2011 – – Okole Stuff, makers of the “Worlds’ Best Chamois Ointment” announce the inaugural OKOLE STUFF CUP mountain
bike race for riders of all levels, to be held at Irvine Regional Park on July 16th, 2011.

In addition to the race, multiple manufacturers will provide bikes for consumers to demo on the course when the racing is finished.

“Okole Stuff is proud to present the first mountain bike race to ever be held in one of Orange County’s awesome parks ,” states Ron Sawicki, President of Enduro Stuff, makers of Okole Stuff. “I’ve been to World Cups around the globe, and this course is absolutely World Class.”

For multiple reasons, OC Parks have never authorized anyone to put on a race in County property, until Sawicki presented his plan for the Okole Stuff Cup.


“The course itself is unbelievable,” continues Ron, “we start in the back of Irvine Park at our Festival-style Start/Finish area, then make our way on pavement to some open fireroad, across the creek and then onto incredible new single and double-track climbs in Santiago Oaks, before dropping down the ridges back to the Festival area.”

Each nine-mile lap contains over 1000 feet of climbing, smooth singletrackand technical rocky drops, providing exciting mountain bike action for participants and spectators alike. Beginners will do one lap, while Pro’s will do three on kona use this this challenging course.

For more info, READ THIS. T0 register for the Race HERE.