Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Harrisville, Utah
Josh to Germany - ISDE 2012
While sitting in the backseat of a rental car in Mexico in November 2010, a conversation ensued between my son Josh (then 15) and friend Cory Pincock and his wife. Cory was participating in his first ever ISDE (International Six Days Enduro) in Mexico that year. Josh and I were there as a support crew to him and assisting two other Utah riders, Shawn Strong and Jake Vainio. This was the closest we thought we would ever come to participating in the ISDE, so we were there soaking up the entire experience.
The conversation turned to where the ISDE was going to be held the next few years. 2011 was Finland and it was known that 2012 would be in Germany. The challenge was casually thrown out to Josh that he should try and qualify and we could all go to Germany together in 2012. He would just barely be of age to go. It was said partially in jest, but Josh internalized that thought more than any of us ever knew.
Fast forward a year and a half and we find ourselves preparing for the Germany ISDE 2012, after Josh had a very successful qualification at the Idaho City Qualifier two weeks ago, winning the E1 class for the weekend.
During our time in Mexico at the 2010 ISDE, I began an online blog that I posted on multiple riding forums on the Internet. The response was overwhelming. I received feedback from readers all over the world about how much they enjoyed the “first-timer” perspective and insight on this international event. For many ISDE veterans our perspective may have been considered na´ve, but that’s exactly what it was, an account of our experiences as a support crew in our first ever ISDE without any bias, or pre-conceived notions of what we would, or would not experience.
If you are interested in reading that thread and learning more of our experience in Mexico, you can check out of any these links:
This time around, we are coming at it from another new perspective, that of racer, participant, mechanic, financier, dad, mom, sibling, and fellow friends and family trying to support a 16 year old in fulfilling his dream of competing on the International stage. Our intent this time is to provide a similar documentary and if you are interested in following “the kid next door” kind of story, then I hope you find this interesting.
To put everything into context, it is first important to understand how Josh became so interested in the ISDE. It all started with my friend Jeff Good. We were co-workers and one day while sitting his office, he showed me a picture of him competing at the Idaho City qualifier. I didn’t know where Idaho City was, and I had no idea what the ISDE was all about.
A few months later, I found myself on the starting line of the 2002 Idaho City Qualifier. I was riding in the C class without a clue what I was doing. I took my Dad with me, and Josh who was 6 at the time.
My first sound test ever (notice Josh to my left in the picture getting his first indoctrination on the 96db sound limit).
I had never seen such a thing as a bike impound (That is Josh standing by the impound).
Me on the line for the first time ever and Josh standing there cheering me on.
I finished the race (notice how excited Josh is, holding my helmet) and was hooked. From that year forward, I participated in Idaho City every single year but one. Josh came with me, and eventually my other boys, every single year. It ranked up there with Christmas on my annual schedule.
The next year in 2003, I was a lot more prepared. Me and my friend Jeff Good that started all of this for me.
I finished that year as well, and it got in my blood even more. There is nothing like Idaho City.
Once again, Josh was with me, this time 7 years old, doing what 7 year old boys do (play in the dirt).
Not only did I love this unique event every year, but I started to become more enamored with the ISDE, it’s rich history, unique race format, and the challenge of competing. Inevitably, that same interest trickled down to my oldest son. I never pursued trying to qualify. At the time and phase of life I was in with a young family, it seemed like a pipe dream. But that didn’t change how much I enjoyed this event. It was an annual event.
One of my favorite pictures of all time was this one from 2007. I had all 3 of my boys (Josh, Kobee, and Benji) with me, and a good friend Jason and his son. My friend Jason and I raced, while our young boys roamed the boundaries of Idaho City all day on their bikes (where were their mothers? ;). They had a $20 bill in their pocket which was enough to buy a day’s supply of ice cream cones, along with a backpack full of water bottles and snacks, and their bicycles. What else does a pack of young boys need.
At the end of the day they were there to greet me with enough dirt on their faces to make a dad proud.
Every year I would kind of gauge the course and try to assess when I would someday be able to race with Josh. His first attempt would come in 2009 at the age of 13. (I can’t wait to ride it with my other two boys someday).
Me and Josh (on KTM’s) and friend Jarrod on the start line in 2009.
This year turned out to be hot and dusty and we chalked it up to a learning year. He made it 40 miles on his KTM 105XC before the heat and dust got the best of him.
In 2010, we made another assault on the course. This time he was 14 and on a KTM 200. Conditions were exactly opposite of the year before. It poured rain the day before and the course was one eternal mud rut, but we were excited to give it a try.
Josh entering the grass track in 2010.
With Dad right behind.
2010 was a tough year with a huge DNF rate. We made progress though from the year before. His shock seal blew at about mile 40 and he rode on a spring only for the next 70 miles. We hour’ed out in the last transfer section before town, but he had ridden the entire 120 miles.
2011 rolled around. Josh was getting bigger, stronger, and faster. 2 weeks before Idaho City, he washed out in a corner while training at our local MX track and broke his wrist. So, I rode his KX250F and loaned my KTM300 to my brother and we enjoyed an incredible year of great conditions.
Another year passed. Josh had now been to the 2010 ISDE in Mexico as a support crew. He had the support and encouragement of fellow Utah competitors who had been to the ISDE before including Greg Gillian, Jake (Jarkko) Vainio, Cory Pincock, Shawn Strong, and Bert Bradford. He was demonstrating the potential and skill to someday fulfill his dream so he decided to sign up in the LOI (Letter of Intent) class to see what he needed to do to compete at that level. Idaho City was one of only 2 qualifiers in the nation, the other being Ohio the following weekend.
At signup he discovered he was on minute 1 and the first rider on the course. This actually proved to be a real benefit in the end.
Josh’s wonderful support crew (Mom, Brothers, and Sister).
Brother and Sister cheering Josh at the grass track.
At the end of Day 1, we discovered much to our surprise that Josh was leading the E1 class. He had a mechanical issue the last 30 miles that really hurt his special test scores so he came in thinking he had really tanked the day. With some help of some great friends, we were able to diagnose the problem and borrow a part from his practice bike (his Throttle Position Sensor had gone bad). This was actually all good experience as he rehearsed what he needed to do to get his bike fixed during his 10 minute impound period the next morning.
Day 2, he remained consistent and smooth, with no major mistakes in the special tests and retained the top spot in the E1 class.
Here he is heading out on the last 30 miles, with visions of Germany starting to become a little more into focus for him.
He finished the day strong, taking the E1 win for the weekend and was on his way to receiving an invitation to participate as a member of the U.S. team in Germany.
Josh is excited beyond belief. As a family, we are 100% behind him and there have been so many people who have let us know of their excitement and support as well.
My intent is to share our experience from now through the duration of the ISDE which will be held in Saxony Germany the last week of September, 2012.
Our life has been a complete whirlwind for the past 2 weeks since we left Idaho City. Everything is moving quickly, but I am committed to sharing the experience with others who may enjoy experiencing the ISDE vicariously.
Stay tuned for more……..
Thanks to all who helped Josh get to the ISDE by donating to his PayPal account and other support. JoshKnightISDE@gmail.com
mknight screwed with this post 06-17-2012 at 11:19 PM