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Rum River BMX in Isanti hosted the Minnesota state championship races over the weekend of the 28th and 29th. Knowing that it was going to be a super competitive weekend we met up with Pineview Park Local pro Fast Eddie Olson Thursday evening for practice, we dissected the track and worked on key points on what to do for the races over the weekend. The planning paid off, although we did not get to run the pre-race on Friday as we had a funeral to attend.

Saturday morning we showed up early, set up the RV, and prepared for practice time. Jim and I both fine tuned some things we worked on with Eddie, and felt pretty good about the weekend. Other than the fact that Jim decided to change lanes coming out of the second berm in practice, taking my front wheel with him and throwing me on the pavement… a little scuff on my forearm, and a bruise to my ego…

Race time, in his typical fashion, Jim was right up front in the mix for the 15 intermediate class, transferring direct to the main out of the first moto. Unlike at home Jim actually had some competition, this weekend, and he found out that racing is more than just going fast too. Main event Saturday he had to chase down one rider, in the last berm I saw him rail the bottom and get a good run on the leader, from my angle I could see their helmets, I saw Jim’s helmet in front of the other riders and then they both disappeared! Found out later that they tangled handlebars, and both crashed… they both got banged up a little but no major damage. This is where the mind games began, the other kid’s mom thought Jim did it on purpose, and was rather upset. Even later when Jim went over to make sure the other kid was ok she was still pretty upset about the incident. There were some innuendo’s thrown about that this kid was going to get back at Jim. Jim was rather upset about the whole ordeal, we tried to talk to him about it all morning, but come first moto time, Jim found that this kid was right next to him on the gate. Jim lost the race before the gate dropped, and for the first time in a long time Jim actually had to go to the second moto to transfer. Which he did without problem, but he was really upset about it. After that, I talked to him again and Eddie even offered some advice and counsel. Come time for the main event on Sunday Jim was extremely focused, he used many different tools to keep his mind off the whole ordeal from Saturday. He did not get the best start, but was so focused and determined that even though he bonked the gate he passed everyone in the first straight, and the whole ordeal from Saturday was history, Jim won the state championship final! And is now the highest ranked 15 year old intermediate in the state and 3rd with only 2 experts ranked above him! What a great lesson Jim learned, about the mental part of racing! And it was very cool to watch him overcome such an obstacle! Great Job Jim!

Cruiser time for me was a good experience, the bad thing about this weekend was the 20mph winds, blowing in our faces down the first straight. Many guys changed their gear to accelerate more for the wind. Jim and I however decided to leave it alone. Second straight I needed the speed, and so did Jim. First moto Saturday I had my two biggest competitors Mike Aumann, and Scott Kraker. Figured I might be able to catch them this time, and I had another rider, Christensen, who is actually an age group older than me and a long time racer. I figure I could beat him, was hoping to chase Aumann and Kraker enough to make them nervous. I had a decent start, and was right in the hunt, that's me on the right! Christensen and I did some elbow wrestling in the second berm and I lost some momentum handing him the last transfer spot, relegating myself to the second moto. Second moto I got a good start and held the lead, setting up a great main event! In the Main I got a great start, and was hot on Kraker and Aumann, with Christensen somewhere behind me, I set my line, and railed the bottom of the first berm, only to hear Christensen, yell out ‘whoa!’ Near as I could tell he was going to try and stuff it inside me and run up the berm but I railed the berm so fast and low he couldn’t do anything but check up. I was able to really haunt Aumann and Kraker for the rest of the race but was unable to pass either of them. On to Sunday, Christensen was bumped up to his age bracket, and we still had 6 riders. This time even thought I haunted Kraker and Aumann all the way they only transferred two. Relegated to the second moto again! Anyway, in the second moto I was able to stay out front again and get the transfer, with some extra confidence for the main! For the big main event, I needed Aumann and Kraker to finish at least 4th and 5th or I would not have enough points to beat them for state championship positon, and at right out of the gate I did my part, I popped the gate and was out front, most of the first straight, Mike had the inside line, but I was able to rail the berm and get inside of him racing those two hard the second straight, and making them earn those #1 and #2 state plates. That is the best I have ever done against those guys and I am super stoked to be the #3 plate for Minnesota right behind these two consummate competitors, they race hard and clean, and it is a joy to ride with them!

On to the class bike! Now we’re having fun! Saturday, I had 4 in my moto, there was a mix of a couple age groups, Mark Brander, a seasoned rider from the next age group younger and I got the pop on the gate and we headed the class for the first moto.  I had a great inside move in the last berm to pass for the lead and proceded to bonk on one of the rollers and give up the only transfer position for round one. Round two, I was able to get out front and get the transfer without much of a challenge. Saturday’s main Brander and I fought it out for 1st and second, unfortunately I was not able to get by him so I ended up with a 2 for Saturday’s race. Against a long time racer I was extremely happy with that result. Sunday’s races were a little different, we had a separate class for 41 and over intermediates! I got a great start and was able to hold off the competition and transfer out of round one with a win. And some extra confidence! Main event time on Sunday was a repeat of the first Moto, I popped out of the gate and got out front, locking up a win and the #1 state plate for 41 and older!

Even though the season is not over and we have some fun racing at the barn coming up this winter, it has been an awesome season! I am so thankful to all my sponsors, FELT bikes and their awesome frames! BELL helmets for protecting my noggin, ODI and their grips that keep me connected to the bike, BOMBSHELL parts for their super stiff carbon forks and stout wheels! And REVOLUTION CYCLE AND SKI for all the help and support that they offer not only me but the rest of the Revolution team and the bicycle community as a whole!  Here is a photo of most of the team, as you can see we had a pretty successful state championship weekend!

We didn't get photos of everyone on the stage for awards but here are a few!

The following link is a video from the state finals on the rum river BMX ihigh page...


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