Meet one of our grassroots riders, April Nabholz!
Hometown: Felton, Pennsylvania.
Currently Living In: Felton, Pennsylvania–I couldn’t stay away.
Number of Years Racing: Two.
Number of Years Racing Pro: One week!
Race Bike Setup
XC MTB: Liv/giant Lust 1 stock set-up; wheels set up with Stan’s NoTubes. Cyclocross: Liv Brava 2 frame set up with a Liv/giant Brava 0 fork, SRAM Red components, and SRAM hydraulic disc brakes.
Riding Strength: Climbing and short, punchy accelerations.
Favorite Race Course
MTB: I really enjoyed the course at the Fair Hill Classic this year. CX: I have a soft spot for the Ed Sander Memorial venue because it’s held at a lily pad farm and there’s always some fun terrain.
Favorite Place to Ride
I like riding with my husband and his family around his hometown in Southern Oregon (as long as we have enough food and water). You can ride uphill for hours.
What is your “Ride Life”?
Ride for fun, health, sanity, and polar bears.
What do you want to be if you grow up?
I really look forward to being a parent at some point. I’d also like to be a better citizen. I’m not trying to be cheesy.
Any advice for young riders?
For any rider, including myself. Keep perspective. It’s easy to become so immersed that the rest of life disappears. But there’s a whole, living planet. Ride your bike, but try to stay connected.
Best part about racing mountain bikes? All kinds of people do it.
Favorite Food: Sweet potatoes.
What’s your perfect date?
My first date with Andy was pretty perfect — he took me mountain biking on the back of his his Burley MTB tandem.
What was your first car?
I began cycling because I didn’t want a car. After a summer commuting 20 hilly miles to work each day on my Mom’s 1971 Motobecane I got a 1983 Mercedes Benz 300D, which my Dad and I promptly converted into a grease car. It lived with me in NC, VT, OR, and TN. Now Andy drives it to work.
I have a Belgian draft mule named Honeychild. We also have two colonies of honeybees and several bins of worms.
Your best cycling hack/tip?
Pack extra food, if not for you, for somebody else.
Eastern States Cup: Atlantic DH Cup. Blue Mountain, PA.
Pro rider Brian Scolforo attended the seventh of eight races in the Atlantic Downhill Cup USAC Regional Championship Series. The last race in the series will be held in Plattekill, NY, on October 12th and will be worth double points. Brian is currently holding a well-deserved top-15 Atlantic DH Cup series position out of nearly 100 men in in the Pro division (dang!). Brian’s race report:
This weekend was the blue mountain eastern states race. Rain all day Saturday made it a bit slick. A fast and fun course, even in the wet conditions it was hard to get a smile off my face. Sunday brought blue sunny skies and the track began to dry up. A rough crash in a practice run left me sore and had me questioning whether I would be able to make a race run. Held it rubber down and finished with a 5th place position.
Jamis H2H XC MTB Series Finale: Tymor Park Challenge. Lagrangeville, NY.
Mike and Wendi have been fully committed to the Jamis H2H Series throughout this season, with each of them competing in all but one of the eight races in the six-month series. A big congratulations to Wendi for winning the series in the women’s Pro/Open division! Mike is currently placed 5th in the men’s Cat 1 19-29 age group in the series, but will likely climb higher in the standings after his results at Tymor Park are factored in.
Mike describes Tymor as a fast race with lots of climbing. While preparing to launch an attack on the third lap of his Cat 1 race, Mike dropped his chain and had to put out a max sprint effort to shut down the gap and regain his position:
After I caught up, I decided it was best to keeping putting in a hard effort for as long as possible. I was able to create a good amount of distance between us, but lightning would strike twice on this lap, as the chain came off yet again. Just as I got the chain back on, the other racer passed me. I was able to get back on his wheel instantly. Heading into the hardest climb on the course, I attacked again. At this point I knew I was going to be giving a hard effort to the finish line. Once in front of the person I was battling with, I never saw him again and I was able to finish in 5th. It was just another fun Sunday of racing mountain bikes. (Mike)
Even though the outcome of this race wouldn’t impact my [series] standings, I was still pretty excited to race Tymor and was hoping not to have any crashes on the semi-slippery roots from the previous day’s rain. After dealing with some issues and three tiring, yet consistent laps filled with lots of roots and climbing, I ended up 3rd. And 1st in the H2H series. Hoping to find some more races to do before the snow falls, then it’s time for snowboarding.
VACX: Jamestown Cyclocross. Jamestown, VA.
Lester’s report on the first race of the Virginia Cyclocross Series:
Time to trade out wide for skinny knobbies and #handups. Yes, it’s CX season! A virtual battle royale of cyclists where dirt skills and handling meets road fitness and tactics. I’ve done a handful of CX races every since I built my first CX bike two years ago. With the new team comes time for a new rig [see photo of Lester’s new TCX]. My local Giant shop, Coqui Cyclery, turned out the build in record time and had me riding by the weekend.
I spent most of the week planning to do the first race of the Virginia Cyclocross Series at Jamestown Beach Park near Colonial Williamsburg. The course was ~1.25 miles with one set of double barriers, a small log and one large tree trunk. It came with a good dose of false flats and excellent terrain conditions mixed between pavement, grass fields, and dirt.
Off the line I was about mid-pack and put in a few digs to advance my position. I soon remembered why I had only done a few cx races, it’s a different world of pain. I settled into a pace and looked to reel riders in while being smooth and consistent on the course.
After a few minor mechanical issues (catching his Garmin sensor in his spokes and dropping his chain after hopping a log), Lester finished 16th in the Men’s 3/4 Category, confident that a higher finish is within his reach.
Lester’s Soundtrack: The Spinners – Could it be I’m Falling in Love (with CX?)
NJBA Cyclocross Cup Series: Independence Cross. Bridgeton, NJ.
After a challenging race at the recent Nittany Classic, Jon Lombardo decided to jump back into the pain and suffering with a race in the NJCX series.
I packed up my awesome Giant disc CX bike, my oldest son and some snacks for the ride. My intention was to ease into the cross season and this race would mark the start of the NJCX Cup series.. In the masters 40 plus there is some stiff competition. Right off the start I got into the lead group, with the occasional push into the lead I was trying to test the waters. Close behind was a small group stalking our every move. Somewhere around mid-race I washed out in a turn which forced me to expend a lot of energy to get back on. Unfortunately I towed up the group. In the end I slid back to 7th spot. All the while my son Rocco cheered me on! What a great kid. Solid start to the NJ series. And best part of all… my Shwalbe tubeless tires worked flawlessly! I will never glue tires again!
The race season is winding down after a long year of learning and racing. After some thought I think I learned a few key things that I’m building on for the end of the year and beyond.
Perhaps one of the most important things I have learned this year while racing Enduro, Super-D and Downhill is that the intended trail to be ridden is not always the fastest. Kind of mind blowing that the “Hershey Highway” we all have raced down might have cheated us of precious seconds. Coming from a Cross Country background I’m learning a skill almost never used in that discipline… the art of line selections. When racing XC you rarely vacillate over the precious seconds like we do on a downhill track that have multiple line options through corners and rock gardens. Usually the game plan is survival mode to not flat your tire or crash.
Its a hard habit to break from ridding the “intended” track. Learning to ride the edges more in search of firm dirt and traction. Looking at exits of corners where you want to be and working back through the corner and making a plan on how to make that happen. A lot of time can be lost and gained in proper cornering execution (something I struggle with). Sometimes its brilliant and sometimes not. Its all part of the learning process. I’m also learning that the smoothest lines aren’t always faster. The rock Garden you just weaved in and out of… You just lost time if you just hung on and straight lined through it…its all the small things that add up over several enduro stages or a Downhill race that cost time.
Perhaps my thoughts on going fast aren’t “correct” but its how I’m working on getting to that next level. Racing is an art and the trail is your canvas. I think that a level of creativity is crucial to going fast. So when I’m racing I try to tap into what ever creative ability I have and make it fun and go as fast as I can.
That’s all I got for now…
Eastern States Cup Super D and Enduro Finals. Killington, Vermont.
Amy Alton and Seamus Powell competed in the Eastern States Cup season finales of the Super-D and Enduro series. Both riders reaped rewards for the hard work they put in throughout the season.
“The Eastern States Cup Super D and Enduro finals offered up the most gnarly course features I’ve ridden to date, compounded by the slick conditions, made for an amazing season finale. On Sat afternoon, I was the first to time in for the Super D and as I reached over to buzz in, the skies opened up into a torrential downpour atop Killington. Limited visibility and quickly degrading trail conditions made for an interesting run which was accentuated by a rear flat near the base of a rock slab on one of the resort’s double black diamond tracks. I placed 2nd in the finals which gave me enough points to lock in the win for the overall POC ESC Pro Women Super D series for 2014! Not too shabby for my first year as a Pro.”
“My goal for Sunday’s Enduro was to have fun and keep the rubber side down. The weather was brilliant however portions of the trail proved stubborn to drain, especially those pesky rock gardens. On the gondola ride up, I connected with a fellow Pro woman and enjoyed riding and racing all 5 stages with her. I felt strong and fast but a few (or more) falls cost some time and I placed 4th for the day and ended up Top 5 overall in ESC’s Pro Women Enduro series.”
“Great end to the Eastern States Cup Enduro and Super-D finals this weekend. A bit of inclement weather rolled through just in time for the Super-D start on Saturday making a really hard track extremely difficult to navigate in blinding wind and rain. A few crashes ultimately ended any chances of winning so I had to settle for 2nd place. The rain made the Enduro tracks nice and slimy for Sundays events. Once again making tactics of being smooth and consistent the name of the game. In the end with plenty of crucial mistakes and falling off I ended up taking the Enduro win. With the series wrapped up I ended with a 2nd overall in the Super-D series and 3rd overall in the Enduro series. Can not wait for next year. Racing week in and week out with lots of awesome people make weekends feel like hanging out with a second family!”
Nittany Lion Cross: Valley Preferred Cycling Center, Breinigsville, PA.
“This was a double-header weekend, with races Saturday and Sunday. Since I upgraded at the end of last season, this was my first experience racing in the Elite field at a UCI sanctioned event. There were 58 women pre-registered in my class (yeah, more than in the Elite men’s field), many of them from other regions.”
“My Brava was newly built and when I arrived for my race, I still hadn’t had a chance to ride it off-road or practice barriers. I was pretty nervous about cornering and remounting, since I was unfamiliar with the bike. I managed to hold it together enough each day to finish on the lead lap, but I felt embarrassingly rusty. That said, I’ve gotten a few more rides in on my Brava since then and we are really starting to click. She’s light, her big-triangle geometry makes her easy to carry, and her SRAM Red totally floats my boat. She sprints like a little devil headed home. I can’t wait to get her back on the racecourse.”
Raven MTB Enduro. Spring Mills, PA.
Jess and Joël competed in the Raven Enduro, based out of Seven Mountain’s Boy Scout Camp (sound familiar? This was also the staging area for the Trans-Sylvania Epic).
“There were 5 timed sections, each one ranging from about 2 to 5 minutes (of course depending on how fast or slow one rides!). The timed sections were predominantly downhill, maybe a few short punchy climbs and flat sections. As stated earlier, the idea of an Enduro is to test technical skills, so of course all of the timed sections had lots and lots of rocks, roots, tight, twisty turns, and fast descents. Thank goodness for my Giant dropper seatpost, I certainly needed it! The 27.5 inch wheels maneuvered well through the tight and twisty stuff and rolled over the rocks well, this really is a great wheel size to ride.”
“Both of us raced hard, pushing ourselves and our bikes to the limit. Pushing to the limit of course brings about the risk of crashing and mechanical issues, both of which we encountered. But taking those risks paid off, I was first open female and Joël finished seventh open men. And the best part-both of us rode XC race bikes (myself on Lust Advanced 0 and Joël on the Anthem Advanced 27.5) and lycra shorts- not the typical Enduro bike and clothing choices.”
“A great weekend of camping, racing, catching up with friends, and making new friends. Enduro may not be our focus but it was fun and something different to do.”
Visit the Nankman’s blog to read their full report and to watch a video of their weekend.
NYSMTB Series Finale: Riedlbauer’s Round Top Rally. Round Top, NY.
After a few weekends vacation from racing, Mike and Wendi decided to head up to Round Top, NY, for the last race of the New York State MTB Series.
“Mike and I arrived at the Riedlbauer venue and did a lap of most of the course. I realized that it wasn’t exactly the type of trails that suit my strengths, but they certainly were fun… I figured that they would start the Pro/Open women before the Cat 1 women, but they started us together and I was unfortunately in the back from the start. I was able to pass several women in the first mile or so. But then I ended up crashing over a boulder somewhere around mile 2. Banged up my knee, coincidentally the same one I banged up a few weeks ago at the Creek race, which was still healing. And the same to my hand, elbow and forearm. After assessing the damage, I continued on and tried to catch back up. I surprisingly was able to catch a few racers pretty quickly, went back and forth with a few different Pro/Open & Cat 1 women and was sitting in 4th Pro for quite a while.”
Struggling with contact lens issues (due to the dust) and smarting a little from her injuries, Wendi rode the rest of the race a little more apprehensively, dropping to fifth place toward the end of her third lap and maintaining that position to the end of the race. Afterward, Wendi realized her fork was locked out, probably as a result of her earlier crash. She’s hoping for better luck and more sleep for next week’s race.
Mike dropped his chain twice during his first lap with his Cat 1 age group and race and struggled to recover his motivation:
“Getting back on the bike I tried to have fun and enjoy the trails. Low and behold I found myself in a nice groove catching racers left and right. To my surprise I was right in the mix battling it out with 3 racers from my group. Over the remaining two laps we traded positions back and fourth. In the end, there was only racer left on my wheel as we turned the last corner toward the finish line. Luckily, I was the stronger one and sprinted into 5th position. After the race, I couldn’t believe I was able to finish 5th with the 2 dropped chains. And the best part was I was having a blast enjoying Round Top’s awesome trails and venue.”
When asking ourselves what our most important training tool is, we thought of several great examples: Our Giant Bicycles frames, SRAM Quarq Power Meters, even our reliable Rock Shox Suspension. But after more thought, we wouldn’t have success with any of those tools if we couldn’t push ourselves to the maximum. The tool that allows us to push to the maximum is Elete Electrolyte Replacement.
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But its not just athletes that are helped by the benefits Elete provides. All types of people suffering from cramps and electrolyte imbalance can benefit from what Elete has to offer. Even the kool-aid guy…….
To learn more about Elete, and get your own bottle of liquid concentrated electrolytes of Tablyte pills, visit www.eletewater.com.