TCE MX Fan Experience NOW OPEN!

Want your chance to shadow a Pro MX team? How about some up close and personal time with the top Motocross racers in the world? Sound interesting? Well you're in luck! Back for 2018 is the TCE MX Fan Experience aimed to give race fans a behind the scenes unlike any other.  This is your shot at working with a Motocross team and gaining real life hands on experience.  Spend the day learning from the mechanics, trainers, team managers, and riders about what it takes to run a professional race team.  You will have a completely immersive experience all day long and we get you hooked up with major connections within the sport.  You get all day access to the team and pits to get as much out of the day as possible.  To top it all off we spoil you with goodies, swag bags, and extras throughout the day.  The best part about our program is that, through your participation we are able to help fund and support the hard working privateer riders and teams of our sport.  

We plan to hold the program with the Triggr Racing team featuring superstar privateer Henry Miller and the 3D Racing Team featuring 2017 top privateer Brandon Scharer at select rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.  Want to find out more? Check out the experience link or send us an email.  Be sure to follow us on Instagram @thecollectiveex and stay up to date on all of our offerings.

TCE Perspective with Bradi Bowers

TCE Perspective with Bradi Bowers

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Ever wonder what the sport is like from a different perspective?  How about what it takes to support a professional athlete in one of the toughest sports there is?  Well, look no further because we are bringing you several exclusives with some bad-ass women who support some of the racers that we admire and look up to.  Last week we profiled Falan Vandemeer, fiancee turned mechanic for Brandon Scharer, to get her perspective on the sport and what goes into supporting and living with a pro Supercross racer.  This week we wanted to catch up with Bradi Bowers, wife of Factory Kawasaki supported rider Tyler Bowers.  Bradi is a huge hit with fans and has been around the sport for quite some time.  Bradi's insight into the sport is extremely valuable and can help others looking to make or support a career in the sport.

For the very-very few out there who may not be 100% familiar with Bradi Bowers, tell us a bit about yourself and who you are.

Hey guys, Bradi Bowers here! I'm the wife and baby momma to Tyler Bowers. I also work for Monster Energy as a Monster Energy girl at select races because… BABY, duh. I have been working in the industry for 9 years, so I have seen a lot and have my opinions. 

How did you meet Tyler and get involved in the sport? 

I had been working for my agent, Kelly Louch, since 2009 which led me working some Supercross (Florida) events that year. Then in 2010, I met Tyler at Baltimore Arenacross, which this was my first time working Arenacross with Monster Energy. 

Did you know about Motocross and Supercross prior to meeting him?

I knew about Supercross a little bit, at this time dirt bikes weren’t HUGE in Florida. Everyone was more about water-sports like wake boarding.

 Tyler is one of the most popular riders in the pits and has been racing professional for quite some time.  His success has led him to some great opportunities, such as his ride with factory Kawasaki this year, and to some great support.  Tyler's biggest support definitely comes from his wife Bradi.  photo credit:  @opbphotography

Tyler is one of the most popular riders in the pits and has been racing professional for quite some time.  His success has led him to some great opportunities, such as his ride with factory Kawasaki this year, and to some great support.  Tyler's biggest support definitely comes from his wife Bradi.

photo credit: @opbphotography

What were your initial thoughts about the sport?

Not going to lie, my first Arenacross, I thought "people actually do this for a living?"

What surprised you the most about the life of a professional Motocross and Supercross rider?

How much work goes into this sport as an athlete. The travel, training and recovery, its a full-time lifestyle!

How has his involvement in the sport shaped your relationship?

Loyalty. He’s very loyal and committed to his teams, his goals, and his passion. All which carries into other aspects of life, including our relationship.

 Even though Tyler has a very jammed packed schedule and is goes "all out" on  race day, he and Bradi always make time to convene and review throughout the day.  The two also make sure to bring baby Max with them to say hey to fans and bring Tyler some good luck.

Even though Tyler has a very jammed packed schedule and is goes "all out" on  race day, he and Bradi always make time to convene and review throughout the day.  The two also make sure to bring baby Max with them to say hey to fans and bring Tyler some good luck.

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Walk us through a day in the life of you two?

(Riding days) Tyler and I switch nights with Max, so depending on who watched the monitor at night, the other person gets up with her when she wakes up. One person watches baby, changes her diaper and gets her ready for day, as the other gets breakfast going. Max and I pick one day to do track day with Dad because she loves going to the track. So then we pack up her essentials, and off we go to the track. When we get back home from the track, Max usually takes a nap and Tyler goes for a cycle or gym workout. Then, we play with Max until bath time and we get her ready for bed together.

How do you impact his career/training?

Tyler likes to overdo it, he’s constantly trying to do more and everything he can to do better. That is not always a good thing.  I am very good at telling him to rest when he’s starting to run himself into the ground, and can’t quite see it for himself. I'm also very good at giving him a good kick in the ass when he’s lazy and needs someone to be real with him. I play both sides well.

What is the most stressful/negative part about sharing your life with a pro rider?

NO OFF DAYS! I think everyone in the industry has the same wedding anniversary date because there are no other dates open for a wedding during the racing/training season!

 Bradi has one of the coolest jobs at the races and spends most her day greeting and hanging out with her fans.  It's not very often that riders aren't the most popular one in their crew, but for Bradi and Tyler, she certainly draws in the crowds.  Bradi has been in the industry for a quite some time and has great insight into the sport and what it takes to be successful at a high level.

Bradi has one of the coolest jobs at the races and spends most her day greeting and hanging out with her fans.  It's not very often that riders aren't the most popular one in their crew, but for Bradi and Tyler, she certainly draws in the crowds.  Bradi has been in the industry for a quite some time and has great insight into the sport and what it takes to be successful at a high level.

What is the most exciting/best part?

I love to travel, so being able to share new locations or revisiting locations is great because I am with my other half. 

As someone who has an intimate connection to the sport, what would you like to see changed within the sport?

I would love to see more rides available, but I don’t know how or where the funding would come from for this. I would love to see more professionalism in certain positions at teams. We spent some time talking to people who are in NASCAR, and they are very quick to respond to proposals and calls, whether its positive or negative, its quite nice. 

What is one cool fact/thing about Tyler that fans should know?

He’s very loving for a bear.

 Tyler spends a lot of time with his family during week to keep things relaxed and to enjoy life.  Unlike most racers, Tyler has things figured out regarding his home life and race life.  Bradi and Max are never too far away at the races and can usually be found under the tent with Tyler.

Tyler spends a lot of time with his family during week to keep things relaxed and to enjoy life.  Unlike most racers, Tyler has things figured out regarding his home life and race life.  Bradi and Max are never too far away at the races and can usually be found under the tent with Tyler.

What is one cool thing that fans should know about you?

I actually have a dental hygiene degree.

What encouragement or advice would you have for other people who’s significant other is an aspiring pro racer?

Always have plan. Never quit believing in your worth. 

TCE Prize pack raffle- your chance to win big!

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The Collective Experience is excited to have an all new TCE Prize pack raffle! This is your chance to score big time on a bin full of amazing products from our great sponsors and supporters. Included in the prize pack will be apparel from FXR Racing, Rutted Racing, and Evans Power Coolant.  Also included in the prize pack are promo codes and coupons from FXR Racing, SGB Suspension, and Evans Power coolant.  Too top off this stellar prize pack we are also including several signed jerseys from our 2018 line up of Pro Supercross riders.  Riders such as Tyler Bowers, Brandon Scharer, Mike Akaydin, and Henry Miller have made contributions and a very lucky winner will receive them all.  Your support and purchase of each raffle ticket goes towards supporting our privateer program and directly impacts our hard working and dedicated riders along with their teams.  To enter and purchase your raffle ticket head over to https://raffles.ticketprinting.com/?r=7501

Be sure to check out our sponsors and their great product lines:

FXR Racing

Evans Power Coolant

Rutted Racing

BigMX Radio

Surge Unlimited

SGB Suspension

The Moto Hub

TCE Perspective with Falan Vandemeer

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In our sport a lot of the attention and spotlight is put onto the racers and team personnel, and for good reason.  After all, they are the main features of the racing, right?  Despite that being true, there are a lot of people behind the scenes that help to make each rider a success.  Arguably the most important among them are the wives and girlfriends of these star athletes.  They often wear many hats from mechanic, to personal cheerleader, to trainer, and most importantly their biggest fan.  Without them and their constant support, many riders wouldn't be to make through this tough sport that we all love.  We wanted to take a deep dive into the dynamic of a few racers and their significant others and get their perspectives on the sport, their home life, and their lives around the races.  Over the next few weeks we'll bring you exclusive looks into the lives of the women who make this sport and the racers they support so successful.  This week we caught up with Falan Vandemeer, fiancee to Brandon Scharer of the 3D Racing EBR Performance Yamaha team.

Hey Falan! Tell us a bit about yourself and who you are.

Well to start, my name is Falan (named after my dad Alan). Im 23, and currently I am a full time, online, college student working towards my Bachelor’s degree in English. When I am not at the races with Brandon on the weekends you can find me reading. I can read basically anything as long as it’s got a good story line.

How did you meet Brandon and get involved in the sport?

It all started at a family BBQ back in 2012, I was in my senior year of High School. One of my cousins happened to have Supercross on that night, it was the first round of the East Coast that season. It also happened to be Justin Bogles rookie race…that was the race that him and Malcolm crashed together, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was hooked, and started watching Supercross, then Motocross from there on out. That same year my other cousin was getting ready to race a Loretta Lynn Regional Qualifier. My mom, step dad, and I went to the race to support him, and even though that was a stressful day for my cousin he was able to qualify! Then I started to go to any race of his I could, and decided to pick up a camera and try my hand at some moto photos. A year later I was still taking photos, really enjoying it and possibly thinking of pursuing it as a career, when I took some photos at a local event…the Transworld Slam to be more specific. I went home that evening and began to edit photos, unsure of who half the guys were in the photos (I was still learning about the sport), when I stumbled upon a photo that I really liked. There was dirt flying in the photo which was in focus, while the rider in the background was turning in a berm somewhat out of focus. He didn’t have any numbers on his bike so I had no idea who he was. At the time I was trying to promote my photos on social media, and I uploaded the photo and said just that, “One of my favorite shots, but I have no idea who the rider is”. Against all odds…a person I didn’t follow, and who didn’t follow me, tagged the rider who was none other than, you guessed it, Brandon! After Brandon was tagged in the photo we started talking, and he asked me out on our first date not long after. 

Did you know a alot about Motocross and Supercross prior to meeting him?

Somewhat yes…I had started watching it a year prior to us meeting, but I had no idea what the sport was really all about.

What were your initial thoughts about the sport?

Super exciting! One of the better sports I was into! At the time I was going to school to be a sports journalist, and I was set on being a reporter for SX and MX, that’s how much I loved it.

What surprised you the most about the life of a professional Motocross and Supercross rider?

The amount of work they have to put into the sport, which such little payback to them.

How has his involvement in the sport shaped your relationship?

One thing for sure, if it wasn’t for Brandon and his racing I wouldn’t have had such amazing life experiences. I’ve travelled to so many new places, “survived” a motorhome fire (which includes all my clothes being destroyed/burnt), and I've even been Brandon’s #fakemechanic, which has hands down made us stronger as a couple. I’d be lying if I said racing wasn’t both of our main priorities, and it’s what we plan our lives around…and I’m perfectly okay with that. In fact, if Brandon stopped racing I wouldn’t know what to do…it would be really weird.

 Falan has been an integral part of Brandon's program the last couple of years.  Not only does she help him during the week, but she also doubles as his mechanic!

Falan has been an integral part of Brandon's program the last couple of years.  Not only does she help him during the week, but she also doubles as his mechanic!

Walk us through a day in the life of you two?

To be honest, we’re a pretty “boring” couple. We don’t stray too far from our normal program. Our typical day would be Brandon waking up super early to start getting ready to head out to practice, which involves him having to force me out of bed as well. We go to practice together, he rides while I sit in the car and read whatever book I’m reading. After practice he washes and preps the bike, while I’m still reading. Then we head towards home, go to the gym for an hour or two (which he has to force me to go to as well). Then we go home and by then it’s time for dinner. Finally it’s time for bed; we actually call ourselves an “old couple” because more often than not we are in bed by 9pm. Sometimes we watch our favorite show “How I met your mother”, but only if we’re able to stay up a little late, Brandon is usually knocked out halfway through the first episode. 

How do you impact his career/training?

I give all the credit to Brandon. He is his own mechanic/trainer/racer. If it wasn’t for him and his own motivation, and his downright love for the sport he would not be racing still. All I am there for is to support him when he needs me.

What is the most stressful/negative part about sharing your life with a pro rider?

Number one, would be the constant fear that he will get hurt. I don’t care if he breaks a pinky, it absolutely kills me to see him in any sort of pain. Being his #fakemechanic actually keeps me sane on race days because instead of worrying about him getting hurt I’m focused on getting his lap times/positions during the race.

Number two would be the instability of things. Unfortunately, there is nothing permanent in this sport…one day you could be the biggest thing out there, the next people forget who your name is. You have to be committed to going all in, and being able to go with the flow. This is includes moving, not having work, living on the road…etc.

 The bond between a rider and their mechanic is very important.  Falan arguably has one of the best bonds out their with her fiancee Brandon.

The bond between a rider and their mechanic is very important.  Falan arguably has one of the best bonds out their with her fiancee Brandon.

What is the most exciting/best part?

On the other hand I would say the instability of the sport is what makes it so exciting. You never know opportunity is going to be coming next. Five years ago, I would never have thought that I would have travelled to as many places that I have been to.  Another thing I love is the fact that I have met so many lifelong friends through the sport. Shout out to our friends Brent and Christina, whom I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for Brandon and his racing!

As someone who has an intimate connection to the sport, what would you like to see changed within the sport?

I just wish there was a broader industry, not just like five factory teams…If there were more opportunities for privateers I guarantee that if you put over half of them on a factory bike you would be surprised with the results. But unfortunately, only a handful of racers will ever get that opportunity and it’s a shame. This ties in with the money issue as well…I think if there were more racers on factory bikes, the racing would be more exciting, more sponsors would pitch in money because there would be more viewers, and overall the racers would be able to live off of the salary that they are getting. Money is definitely an issue. Just my opinion.

What is one cool fact/thing about Brandon that fans should know?

One funny thing I can come up with is that he is ambidextrous, making him really hard to eat with because he can never decide what hand he wants to use and he’s constantly elbowing me!  Also,  he’s actually a decent golfer…he somehow even got me into watching golf with him! And enjoying it!

What is one cool thing that fans should know about you?

Aside from me liking to read,  I also love to write as well. That’s actually what I am going to school for, to be an author. I’m currently working on my first fiction novel…so who knows; maybe one day you will see my name on the cover of a book!

 TCE rider Brandon has had a successful past couple of seasons, each of which he has had Falan in his corner 24/7.

TCE rider Brandon has had a successful past couple of seasons, each of which he has had Falan in his corner 24/7.

What encouragement or advice would you have for other people who’s significant other is an aspiring pro racer?

Hang in there and be as supportive as you can! Things can get really difficult sometimes, but that is when you really have to step it up as a girlfriend. You are their best friend, and essentially one of the only people that they will listen to. Constantly encourage them, and support them. Don’t be afraid to go with the flow, and don’t be afraid when things get out of control. They know what they are doing, and you also have to trust them, just like they trust you (even if they sometimes don’t show it). Also, don’t be afraid to live your own life outside of racing as well. You deserve a future just as much as they deserve a future in racing! 

TCE athlete AJ Catanzaro featured on Racerxonline.com

 Photo courtesy of Cole Beach Photography

Photo courtesy of Cole Beach Photography

The Collective Experience rider AJ Catanzaro was featured in a Racer X online article where he had the opportunity to share his thoughts and insights as a racer with the public.  Around the pits AJ is known for his charismatic nature and is more than informative when it comes to discussing the sport.  Topics like the race tracks of 2018, top rider injuries, and the current 2018 season happenings were talked about.  Believe it or not, but it is very rare for riders and racers to share their thoughts openly and many fans commented on the refreshingly opened nature of the article.  Be sure to check out the article here and support privateer rider AJ Catanzaro by following him on social media along with signing up for a TCE SX Fan Experience package with him.  Stay tuned for more great content and news from behind the scenes of Supercross.

 Photo courtesy of Cole Beach Photography

Photo courtesy of Cole Beach Photography

TCE Dream Chasers with Derrick Sorensen

TCE Dream Chasers with Derrick Sorensen

How cool is it when we get a chance to do something we love? For us Moto folks, we get this feeling anytime we swing a leg over a bike.  Now imagine getting to do your dream job!  It must be exhilerating doing something you love day in and day out and actually getting paid to do it. Those lucky few really know what it takes to make this happen and we love to pick their brains anytime we can to see how we can inspire others to do the same in the sport we all love.  This month we checked in with a young technician on the Rockwell Racing team, Derrick Sorensen, to see how he is living his dream...

 Image: @browndogwilson

Image: @browndogwilson

Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do…

My name is Derrick Sorensen, but I’m known as Drizzy in the pits, I am 19 years old. I’m originally from Utah currently living in Arizona. My life outside of being a race technician consists of being a general mechanic.  I guess if I’m not outdoors mountain biking, camping, or shooting I’m probably working on my car or someone else’s car or bike. I’m the type of person who loves to be tinkering with things and I love problem solving.

How did you get into Moto?

Unlike most people in the industry or sport I didn’t grow up racing and I didn’t start riding until “later” in life when I was 12. I was always into sports and I always wanted a dirt bike, but it wasn’t really financially possible until I was 12. From then on out my story is the same as everyone else’s.  I fell in love with it.

What motivated you to be a tech?

Since I started riding late I wasn’t going to make a career out of riding. I hadn’t thought about making dirt bikes my career until my sophomore year of high school when my 250 blew up. I mean I was always fixing things and taking things apart and was mechanically inclined, but really my only experience working on bikes was stuff I learned from YouTube when my bike was having issues.  Things like how to clean the carburetor, fix a sticky throttle cable, setting sag, and other stuff like that, but when my bike blew up I had to find someone. So I started searching online for a good shop and ended up finding Matt Jory at Proven Moto. It turned out that his shop was only like 7 minutes away from my house and once I found out his background in racing I knew that I wanted him to build my bike. It wasn’t until I met him and saw his shop that I first had the thought that the only way to be at the races on Saturdays as anything other than a spectator was to be a professional race technician. Money was still tight then and so he told me that if I brought him the motor out of the bike it would be cheaper. I pulled the motor out that night and brought it to him the next day. Once the motor was done I picked it up and put the whole bike back together. The first time I started that bike up it was so satisfying to know that I had the bike torn down to the frame and then put it all back together, so the idea of being a race technician was set in stone

 Derrick has been wrenching for AJ Catanzaro on the West coast rounds of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross series.  This is Derrick's first year working with a higher profile rider and he has learned a lot in a short amount of time.    Image: @browndogwilson

Derrick has been wrenching for AJ Catanzaro on the West coast rounds of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross series.  This is Derrick's first year working with a higher profile rider and he has learned a lot in a short amount of time.  

Image: @browndogwilson

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 How did you start your on your path to becoming a professional tech?

 Once I decided I wanted to be a technician I knew that I needed to get more involved in racing and make the transition from single track rider to racer, so through Matt I met Colby Sorensen. Colby is a local pro in Utah and was starting a riding school. I took a few lessons, but again money was tight. Colby was great and said that if I came and helped him maintain his track and help with some of the younger kids then I could ride for free and he’d give me pointers every now and then. But I still needed to figure out where I was going to  learn more. Enter the ever so attention grabbing MMI Facebook ad. I went from clicking on the ad to having a recruiter at my door in the matter of a few days and I ended up enrolling. My start date wouldn’t be until after I graduated highschool, so there was still a lot of time for me to change my mind, but I stayed involved and actually was taking auto shop at the time and found out about a competition called skillsUSA where highschool kids compete at the state level in various trades. Well it turned out there was a motorcycle mechanic competition and if you placed you got scholarship to MMI. I found out how to get signed up and my first year competing (I was a junior at the time) I took third in state and won 3000 dollars in scholarship money to MMI so after that there was really no going back.

Going into my senior year I was planning on competing again and  winning, so I spent months practicing, but only ended up taking second in state.  It was good for another 5000 dollars in scholarship money. After graduation I worked for the summer and then moved out to Arizona to go to MMI. I learned very quick that MMI sets you up to go to a dealer and not to go to a team, so I reached out to as many people as I could asking if anyone would let me come to the races even if it was just to wash bikes. I really just made everything in my life revolve around bikes and doing well at MMI. Eventually, after messaging people another pro from Utah Shawn Yarbrough messaged me back and said he could use help at Phoenix and believe it or not that was my first time even being at a Supercross race. It was one hell of a way to experience Supercross for the first time. It was a dream come true, and after that I ended up helping Devin Sorensen (also no relation) out in St. Louis.

From there it was basically just messaging everyone I could and trying to go from round to round and help people out while going to school. One of the people that I also ended up helping out was Bryce Stewart at Salt Lake. We clicked well and I told him if he needed any more help to let me know. Bryce also mentioned he might need help at the first three rounds of outdoors and so from then on out I kinda stuck with him. I drove out to Vegas SX to be there for him and ended up driving back and forth from Phoenix to his house in California every weekend until the AMA Outdoor Nationals started. Things were going well and I decided that I wanted to take a break from school and stick with him when racing headed east. I was with him up until about Unadilla. Once I got back to school I started the MMI K-Tech program and was talking with Devin about doing east coast once I graduated. (We’re pretty good buddies now so shout out to him!).  I ended up finding out that Rockwell watches had a team and needed someone. Shawn was working for Rockwell at the time so I hit him up and got in contact with Ryan Clark the team owner and Chris Elliot the team manager and sent in my resume. I guess they liked what they saw and said I had a spot on the team, the only problem was I was supposed to take the Suzuki fast program and I wasn’t gonna graduate until February, well I decided real quick I’d be better off working with the team than taking Suzuki so I dropped it and graduated as soon as I finished K-Tech at MMI. I graduated on a Thursday and was at the track that Friday. I’ve been with them ever since.

What are your daily responsibilities as a technician for Rockwell?

 My day to day responsibilities for Rockwell Racing depend on if it’s a regular weekday or race day. During the week I usually will wash the bike and tear it down on Monday and clean,grease and polish everything on Tuesday, and assemble on Wednesday. I like to just put music on and go through my routine. I try to talk to my rider AJ Catanzaro during the week and form a game plan for the weekend and debrief, if you will, about the past race. During the weekend my job is pretty simple, myself and fellow Rockwell Racing mechanic Eric a.k.a. "Jelly" set up the semi and get the bikes through AMA tech inspection. Saturdays are usually pretty crazy and the only things I worry about are the bike and AJ. The bikes get ran through and checked over completely before they go out for each practice and race. And besides that I just make sure AJ is happy with the bike and doesn’t want to make any changes. 

During the pre-season and off time I am responsible for maintaining the shop and fixing or fabrication various things around the shop. Me and Jelly usually team up to take inventory and clean. Going back to race day it’s for sure awesome to be with Rockwell because there’s always a crowd of people and there’s so much going on with Nuclear Blasts set up and the Justified crew doing their thing selling their apparel. I mean for A2 FXR brought out a really trick snowmobile and at Houston we had a fully set up Timbersled, so that brings a lot of people over.

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 Rockwell is one of the coolest teams in the pits.  What is the vibe like under the tent with the guys from your perspective?

 As far as the team goes everyone vibes pretty well. Ryan Clark is definitely the mentor type and is so helpful to have around, Chris is like the team mother in a way because he is always making sure everyone has what they need and everyone is taken care of.  Chris Sharpe handles things on Rockwell’s end and is always keeping things running smoothly and brings the two sides together really nice. Jim is our team cook and is the unsung hero. There’s not a single person that doesn’t help out in their own small, but major way. That’s why it’s a team because everyone has a job and without all the great people on the team things wouldn’t be possible. Over all I think the vibe is really easy going, a lot of teams have their area so roped off where as we always have people over and up close to the action checking out watches talking to riders, and talking with the Justified crew. It’s cool that so many people in the industry rep our gear so it’s just cool to be a part of that

 What is it like working with AJ? What are some things that make him stand out from other riders?

 I’ve really liked working with AJ because for one I am a fan and so when I found out I was gonna be working with him I kinda had a "fan-girl" moment.  AJ’s definitely very laid back and usually doesn’t ask for a lot and doesn’t change a lot of things so it makes my job really easy.  I’m a little bit of a jokester so it’s nice to know I can joke with him and he can take it and it doesn’t throw him off his game. I think what sets him apart is just how likable he is.  It seams like he always has a long autograph line and is always talking to someone. Plus I mean it’s the "Cat" and everyone knows he’s got a nasty style and flow. It’s hard not being able to work together durning the week, but I feel like we’ve got a pretty solid rapport going.

 What is it like being on the floor during an SX race?

To be on the gate during the night show is unreal! It’s so cool to see all the people and know that there’s people in the stands that wish they could be in your shoes. It’s so cool to me when people will see me after the race when we go out to eat and say, " Hey nice job the bike looked great all day" or people will ask me questions about the bike while I’m doing my run through and it almost makes you feel like a celebrity.  It’s just cool to be a part of something especially when it’s your dream. Not very many people get to live their dream so it’s rad.

 What is the most fun thing about your role?

 Again, I’d have to say the most fun thing about being a technician is being on the floor and talking to people and getting to see the bikes on tv or pictures and knowing that you were a part of that.  But I’d also say that being with the team and going to dinner or joking around after the race is always fun too. Really it’s all fun no matter how much hard work it takes I love it.

 Derrick works under the Rockwell Racing tent and seems to be really liking the squad.  The Rockwell team sets themselves apart with a great atmosphere, open and welcoming staff, and great displays for fans.

Derrick works under the Rockwell Racing tent and seems to be really liking the squad.  The Rockwell team sets themselves apart with a great atmosphere, open and welcoming staff, and great displays for fans.

What are some things you’ve learned that you didn’t expect to?

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned that maybe I didn’t think I would is really just how much it really takes to keep a team going and how much effort everyone has to put in. I’ve learned how to be better at certain things and definitely how to be resourceful, but I expected to learn that. So by far it’s just seeing how much goes into things

 What are some misconceptions that people have about tech’s?

I think the biggest misconception people have about techs is that we only work on bikes, where as I have many different hats and play many roles. It’s really a full time thing and a lifestyle. I also think people assume we have secrets and use magic when really it’s just a lot of common sense, practice, and routine. It definitely takes more than just being a good mechanic though , you have to know how to talk to your rider, play mental coach, and sometimes detective.

What is one thing that you would change about the industry if you could?

 It’s hard to find something I’d change about the industry just because honestly this sport is so great. But if I could change one thing about the industry it’d probably be how expensive it is to be a part of. Tracks are getting more and more expensive to ride at. Bikes cost more than ever. Gear is expensive. I know it kept me out of racing when I was younger and I feel like it’s keeping a lot of other people out of the sport too.

 How do you overcome the fear of starting out at this level and making mistakes?

 I think for me I was never afraid of starting out because it’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to get my shot and I wasn’t afraid of mistakes because I knew I was going to make them. I think the biggest help for me has been just telling myself that I belong. New things are always scary to some degree, but it’s important to just embrace it

 What are some skills that others can use to get where you are?

 I’d say the most important skill you can have as a mechanic is the ability to think outside the box and be organized. Organization is key! Give yourself timelines and schedules or a routine or list. Find what works for you and refine it. But by far the most important skill to have to get to where I’m at (which isn’t very far by the way, I’ve yet to accomplish anything substantial) is perseverance. People skills help a lot as well. I’ve quit jobs to go racing, I’ve been broke, I’ve lost sleep, I’ve invested all my time and energy into my goal.

 Derrick pours tons of effort and long hours into AJ's bike.  No detail is too small when working with athletes at these level.

Derrick pours tons of effort and long hours into AJ's bike.  No detail is too small when working with athletes at these level.

 What advice do you have for other young tech’s who are just starting out?

 So to summarize I think what it boils down to for me is the fact that I’m never satisfied, no matter what I do I know I can do better, and the key for me is I’m brutally honest with myself. I sit down and evaluate things and I think to myself, "Am I really doing absolutely everything I can be? Where can I improve and if somethings not working am I tryin to change it?" I think that knowing I’ll make mistakes like everyone does (even the top mechanics and riders do), but choosing to learn from them instead of getting discouraged about it has helped. When I make a mistake it lights a fire underneath my ass because I see it as a spot to learn and grow. But at the same time instead of worrying about what I’m not good at I found what I was good at and doubled down on it and became tunnel visioned. It just happens that dirtbikes was that thing that I found. So anyone that wants to do this can if they really want it. You can't just say that you want it. There’s no reason that anyone can’t be or do anything they want. The formula is simply hard work and dedication. The best place to start is changing what you can immediately to be better, so don’t wait to meet the right people. Instead go find them! Don’t wait to be taught, go learn! Go to the track or go work on your own bike. Just make everything you do in life about achieving your goal. Then, once you get your shot worry about refining your craft, being organized, getting a routine, trying new things and always-always try to learn more.

Stay tuned for more stories and exclusives with industry insiders...

TCE Check in with FXR's Cade Clason...

TCE Check in with FXR's Cade Clason...

Pro SX racer Cade Clason has had quite a busy career as of late.  In 2017, he had a great AMA Supercross season as he grew his popularity and fanbase ten-fold and raced in several main events.  Not bad for a privateer racer.  For 2018, Cade has some new ventures that he is embarking on.  We caught up with Cade to get the inside dirt on his career to date along with where he is taking things for 2018 and beyond....

 Cade has a very big fans base in Canada and relishes his experience traveling up north and competing.

Cade has a very big fans base in Canada and relishes his experience traveling up north and competing.

Hey Cade! For those out there who may not be as familiar with you as others, tell us a bit about yourself?

 I’m 23 years old, I grew up racing and going to school in Ohio, but for the last several years I have been living down in South Carolina. I have raced dirt bikes basically my entire life, but I also enjoy golfing, fishing and being around friends. I recently got engaged also, so there is plenty going on in my life.  

How did you get started in the sport?

Well my parents were horse trainers and I grew up on a farm. One of their client's sons raced and I had a bike and got invited out to go riding with them and basically have been hooked ever since. 

Tell us about the last few season as a privateer? 

Honestly, some people think that being a privateer is the worst thing ever and for me it really isn't. Obviously, being on a big team with a lot of money makes everything way easier, but being a privateer is something special that I don’t think some of the factory team guys really know what it is like. Its harder yes, money is always tight and you don’t always get or have everything you need. But while doing it, you make amazing friends and meet so many people that you would never get to if you were on a big team. You get to interact with fans and sponsors more and thats why I think so many people have a different kind of respect for privateers. But for me, I can’t say that I have had any issues with it. I have almost always had great people behind me that wanted to see me succeed as much as I did so that was what was important. 

 Cade had a successful run in 2017 and made strides throughout the season.  His popularity soared with each round of the series.

Cade had a successful run in 2017 and made strides throughout the season.  His popularity soared with each round of the series.

You’re pretty popular around the pits with riders and fans.  What can you attribute to your popularity within the sport?

Honestly, I have no idea.  I feel like when Alex Ray and I became such good friends and we started doing everything and going places together.  People really started to notice us both and it grew both of our images. We both like meeting new people and talking to fans so that might be part of the reason because some people just don’t take the time to do those things and its really important. 

It’s no secret that you’re sitting out a few seasons due to some issues with the FIM and AMA.  Can you give us your 2 cents on where that all stands?

Honestly, I can’t right now, basically we have made some head way with the situation and getting it some what straightened out, but nothing great or set in stone. I should know more in the next couple of weeks…… hopefully. 

Since then you have gotten yourself into a pretty sweet new gig with FXR Racing, can you tell us about it?

Yeah, Its something I actually have really been enjoying. I get to go to different types of FXR events and races or photo shoots and basically be a rep for them. I bring stuff to the races for guys and help out two of our head guys at the office to take a little bit of stress off them. Its just something fun to get my foot in the door and experience new things so It is actually really cool and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity. 

 Cade joined the TCE squad in 2017 and added to the impressive roster of dedicated and hard working privateer athletes.

Cade joined the TCE squad in 2017 and added to the impressive roster of dedicated and hard working privateer athletes.

How does your experience in the sport help you in this new role?

I have spent a few years around this sport racing and I have dealt with a lot of good and or difficult people. Learning from those people/situations and putting my experiences into place I just hope to help and treat the guys at the races the way that I would have liked to be treated.  We have a lot of riders that I am really close with so it is fun to go and help them succeed. 

Tell us a bit about a few things that you’ve learned in this new role that you didn’t expect to or that surprised you.

Some guys just love complaining. I always thought it was just Alex (Ray), but some people are almost as bad. 

What are your plans or goals for the rest of the year?

Well, I am planning on heading back to Canada to race this summer, so I just started training again for that. Besides that, not a whole lot. I’ve been taking some college courses online so that takes up some of my time and I also love hiking so I want to go on another trip somewhere out west this fall!

 Cade's talent and passion for riding landed him some great support when he competed up north in Canada.  Cade plans to travel back to Canada to compete in 2018.

Cade's talent and passion for riding landed him some great support when he competed up north in Canada.  Cade plans to travel back to Canada to compete in 2018.

Where do you see your career going in the future?

With all that is going on with me right now its hard to say. I would love to say I will be racing supercross for the next 10 years, but I have no way to back that up. I would love to get a job in the industry doing something, but like I said I am still so in the dark about my future with racing it is hard to be sure about anything and what direction I am heading. 

As for racing up north in Canada, what are some of the major differences between the Canadian series races and the US series races?

Well with the new series that is starting up there this year it will be a complete reset, but it is just so laid back up there. Everyone is so friendly and helpful it makes it a lot of fun to be around. For myself, it is really competitive with more people my speed.  I can contend for podiums and top 5’s so it really gives me realistic goals to work towards! 

 Extremely likable and charismatic, Cade has a bright future ahead of him in the industry wether or not that's on the bike or supporting riders much like himself.

Extremely likable and charismatic, Cade has a bright future ahead of him in the industry wether or not that's on the bike or supporting riders much like himself.

Cade has a lot of cool things going on in 2018.  He's a great example of the awesome opportunities that are available within the sport after racing is over or when you are ready for a change.  Following your interest and passion can really lead you down some fulfilling and rewarding paths.  What opportunities and positions in the sport would YOU want to take on?  To follow along with Cade's journey and to stay up to date on his latest ventures be sure to follow him on social media.  Stay tuned for more in-depth articles and stories centered around the sport and the people who dedicate themselves to it.

Cade Clason Instagram

Moto Fitness with Nicole Nathan of Hayward Fit Fans

Moto Fitness with Nicole Nathan of Hayward Fit Fans

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When it comes to Motocross and Supercross it goes without say that it’s a fairly unique sport.  There’s nothing quite like it in the world and it’s physical demand can’t even be replicated.  The mantra, “ Nothing beats seat time” rings true in every rider’s ear as we try to condition ourselves in gyms across the world.  Often times training for this sport off the bike requires highly certified trainers, specialized equipment, and rigorous routines. Despite this, there is one physical practice that has seen a rise in popularity due to it’s direct benefit to racers in many disciplines.  It promotes flexibility, cardio vascular health, muscle strength, and much more.  Even the most high profile trainers are implementing this into their programs to help their athletes.  What practice are we talking about?  Well, it’s one that you might not have considered.  The practice is Yoga.  Trainers like the legendary former racer Ryan “Ryno” Hughes boast about it’s unique mental and physical benefits and how elite riders everywhere can elevate their game even further by practicing yoga.  We wanted to fully understand the true benefits of Yoga and it's direct application to Motocross and Supercross so we reached out to Nicole Nathan, a highly experienced Yoga practitioner who has ties to the sport.  Nicole gave us her two cents on the background of yoga and how even the everyday rider can use it to improve their health and riding...

Hey Nicole! Give us a bit of your background in the sport and within the yoga world?

I began teaching group fitness in college and decided to make Health and Fitness Promotion my career. I opened a fitness studio in my hometown and really wanted to learn about yoga as part of my teaching repertoire. I absolutely fell in love with it and yoga has now become my central focus. Motocross has not always been in my life, either. 15 years ago I started dating Chas Kadlec who rode bikes and raced in the summers and I would be hauling all over with him to races. I admit at first I wasn't a huge fan, but over time I really started to admire racers and what they were doing. When I started practicing yoga, I'd be doing poses back behind the trailer on race weekends so I had something to do other than wash gear and spectate. A couple years ago, Chas started Triggr Racing and it became an even bigger part of our lives, by default I became a Motocross/Supercross super-fan and now I've gotten to take my yoga practice all over the united states. I'm that weird gal doing handstands in the pits.  :)

 Nicole is a huge part of the Triggr Racing team and spends her time supporting the riders and Chas, the team manager/owner, with anything from meals to pre race Yoga workouts.

Nicole is a huge part of the Triggr Racing team and spends her time supporting the riders and Chas, the team manager/owner, with anything from meals to pre race Yoga workouts.

Explain the main idea behind yoga and some of the principles?

The word yoga can be translated as "to yoke" or "to unite" and is typically explained as a union or a method of discipline. The main principals integrate 5,000-year-old Vedic wisdom with modern interpretations, creating a philosophical road map for daily yoga practice to help unite body, mind, and spirit. These ancient principals consist of what are called the eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption).  Most people today who are practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb - asana. It's a physical program consisting of postures and poses designed to purify and strengthen the body while creating better stamina and flexibility. 

 How is it different from other forms of fitness work?

Some people see yoga and physical fitness as very different things. The definition of 'exercise' is "bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness."  Traditionally, physical fitness, although maybe a welcome by-product of the yoga practice, was not the purpose of yoga to begin with. Yoga was done, traditionally, for enlightenment. Nowadays, with all the hybrid forms of yoga like yoga sculpt and cycle yoga it's hard not to become confused as to why yoga is not considered 'exercise'. To me, it just depends on what kind of yoga you are doing. From my perspective, yoga and exercise are close cousins, but they didn't really know it at first. 

What sort of benefits does it have on the body?

What I love most about yoga is the relationship you build with your body and your mental strength. Almost all forms for exercise are aimed at building muscle and improving overall fitness, but yoga does that and helps you develop an inward awareness. Many people see yoga as beneficial for flexibility and stress relief only, but yoga also increases cardiorespiratory fitness, circulation, purification of organs and blood, improved musculoskeletal strength and injury prevention. That's a biggie! Yoga trains you to be more aware of your body; it slows us down and helps remind us to take care of ourselves.  

 Last year Nicole was able to work with privateer hero Henry Miller and use her expertise in Yoga to get him stretched out and primed before each Pro race.

Last year Nicole was able to work with privateer hero Henry Miller and use her expertise in Yoga to get him stretched out and primed before each Pro race.

How can Motocross and Supercross riders benefit from yoga?

I'll answer your question with a question - how can riders NOT benefit from yoga!? haha I truly believe all people can benefit from some form or yoga or another. Profesional Motocross and Supercross riders are some of the most elite athletes in the world and yet even your weekend-warrior amateurs are in need of some physical training to compete. The demands of riding a dirt bike are limitless and it requires stamina, coordination, balance, alertness, and serious strength to push a 250 pound metal mule around.  Because we know yoga can do all these amazing things to help improve our body's physical and mental systems, riders of all levels should be capitalizing! The main ways I believe someone can benefit, specifically riders, are injury prevention, core strength, balance, muscular endurance and focus/mental awareness. 

What was it like for you working with a pro rider in 2017? 

Experiencing Motocross and Supercross from behind the scenes the last few seasons really gave me a new perspective and appreciation for these athletes. Especially a guy like Henry Miller who is so dedicated physically, emotionally and mentally to his passion. He trains, eats, thinks, communicates like the elite athlete he is. Being around that definitely made me look at my own career and my personal growth differently in the sense that - what we do on a daily basis matters to getting us closer toward self-mastery. Whatever it is, if you find balance and are dedicated to your training/learning/growing..... then it’s all possible! 

 Were you able to help him with fitness or flexibility with yoga?

Truthfully it was never a formal arrangement, I think Yoga was just happening naturally wherever we were together. Like I said, I was doing poses all over the pits so it was just there.  Henry already knew quite a bit of yoga and practiced regularly at Clubmx even before we met. Generally, we’d be hanging around in the camper, hotel room or wherever just stretching together or I’d offer to help him loosen up the way he felt he needed to before a race. I’m pretty sure I was doling out some Thai Yoga bodywork to all the Triggr racing crew at some point.  

Do you think we will see yoga having a bigger presence in the sport?

Without a doubt! I know trainers like Ryan Hughes and Roman Brown are big believers in utilizing yoga for training motocross/supercross. Yoga already has a presence in the elite sports and fitness world and I feel it will continue to make it's way into the mainstream. 

What are some basic yoga routines or poses that could help or benefit the everyday rider?

 Chaturanga - I like to call this "Cowabunga" because it's fun but difficult. Core, Arms, Wrists will benefit from strength and flexibility. Because of the difficulty of the pose, start in plank pose, begin by lowering your knees to the floor and then, with an exhale, lower your sternum to a few inches from the floor to build up to the full movement with legs fully extended. 

Chaturanga - I like to call this "Cowabunga" because it's fun but difficult. Core, Arms, Wrists will benefit from strength and flexibility. Because of the difficulty of the pose, start in plank pose, begin by lowering your knees to the floor and then, with an exhale, lower your sternum to a few inches from the floor to build up to the full movement with legs fully extended. 

 Downward Facing Dog - Calms the brain, reduces stress, energizes the body, stretches the shoulders, hamstrings and calves, strengthens the hands, arms and legs - just to name a few benefits. Start with feet shoulder width apart and knees very bent, as you progress you can begin to bring the feet closer together (hip width apart) and extend the knees more. 

Downward Facing Dog - Calms the brain, reduces stress, energizes the body, stretches the shoulders, hamstrings and calves, strengthens the hands, arms and legs - just to name a few benefits. Start with feet shoulder width apart and knees very bent, as you progress you can begin to bring the feet closer together (hip width apart) and extend the knees more. 

 Chair Pose - This is of the best poses for building the resilience of the legs, upper back and core. It also stretches the ankles, thighs, calves and spine. You can increase the strength of your thighs by squeezing a block or thick book between them during this pose. 

Chair Pose - This is of the best poses for building the resilience of the legs, upper back and core. It also stretches the ankles, thighs, calves and spine. You can increase the strength of your thighs by squeezing a block or thick book between them during this pose. 

 Dancer Pose - Quadriceps, Hip Flexors, Chest and Shoulders receive a nice opening in this pose and it's an excellent balance enhancer. Dont get frustrated if you find balance to be difficult; try to focus on something out in front of you, keep your spine long and keep your standing knee slightly bent. 

Dancer Pose - Quadriceps, Hip Flexors, Chest and Shoulders receive a nice opening in this pose and it's an excellent balance enhancer. Dont get frustrated if you find balance to be difficult; try to focus on something out in front of you, keep your spine long and keep your standing knee slightly bent. 

 Crescent Lunge Pose- Releases tension in the groin and hip muscles while toning the legs and back. Excellent for preventing injury and if done in moderation can abate back/sciatic pain. For beginners, place the back knee down on the floor for support until strength and flexibility increase. 

Crescent Lunge Pose- Releases tension in the groin and hip muscles while toning the legs and back. Excellent for preventing injury and if done in moderation can abate back/sciatic pain. For beginners, place the back knee down on the floor for support until strength and flexibility increase. 

 Pyramid Pose - Strengthens Legs. Stretches Legs, Hips & Hamstrings. Improves Sense of Balance. Calms the brain. Optional arm placement: bring the hands behind the back and hold each elbow with the opposite hand to stretch the shoulders and chest. Keep the front knee slightly bent to relieve tension in the hamstring and press into the back heel to keep it from lifting off the floor.

Pyramid Pose - Strengthens Legs. Stretches Legs, Hips & Hamstrings. Improves Sense of Balance. Calms the brain. Optional arm placement: bring the hands behind the back and hold each elbow with the opposite hand to stretch the shoulders and chest. Keep the front knee slightly bent to relieve tension in the hamstring and press into the back heel to keep it from lifting off the floor.

 Boat Pose - Amazing abdominal, hip flexor and spine fortifier. Improves digestion and helps relieve stress. Work to keep the spine very straight. To Challenge yourself in this pose: try extending the legs up. 

Boat Pose - Amazing abdominal, hip flexor and spine fortifier. Improves digestion and helps relieve stress. Work to keep the spine very straight. To Challenge yourself in this pose: try extending the legs up. 

 Seated Twist improves posture and spinal health. Stimulates digestive fire and tones liver and kidneys. 

Seated Twist improves posture and spinal health. Stimulates digestive fire and tones liver and kidneys. 

 Child's Pose - Gently relaxes the hips, thighs and ankles. Great for reducing stress and back/neck pain. 

Child's Pose - Gently relaxes the hips, thighs and ankles. Great for reducing stress and back/neck pain. 

 Child's Pose Option 2 - Bending the elbows and bringing the hands behind the head offers an additional chest, tricep, latissimus stretch which can also fight fatigue. 

Child's Pose Option 2 - Bending the elbows and bringing the hands behind the head offers an additional chest, tricep, latissimus stretch which can also fight fatigue. 

 Standing Straddle Bend - Calms the brain by brining blood flow to the head. Strengthens and stretches the inner and backs of legs. Relieves spinal compression and tones the organs. Hands can come down to the floor, if preferred.  

Standing Straddle Bend - Calms the brain by brining blood flow to the head. Strengthens and stretches the inner and backs of legs. Relieves spinal compression and tones the organs. Hands can come down to the floor, if preferred.  

 Garland Pose - Tones the belly and digestive system. Improves flexibility of the ankles, hips and back. Be careful if you have low back or knee injuries. 

Garland Pose - Tones the belly and digestive system. Improves flexibility of the ankles, hips and back. Be careful if you have low back or knee injuries. 

 Bridge Pose - Opens the chest, lungs, neck, quadriceps and spine. Helps to reduce anxiety, fatigue, headaches, backaches and insomnia. 

Bridge Pose - Opens the chest, lungs, neck, quadriceps and spine. Helps to reduce anxiety, fatigue, headaches, backaches and insomnia. 

 Crow Pose - This fun, beginner arm balance is really a total body pose, especially the core! It's also very good for opening the wrists and strengthening the arms and chest. I started doing this pose by keeping my toes on the floor or a block and eventually working to get one then both feet to float. Draw the belly button in firmly, this pose looks like all arms but it's SO much core!

Crow Pose - This fun, beginner arm balance is really a total body pose, especially the core! It's also very good for opening the wrists and strengthening the arms and chest. I started doing this pose by keeping my toes on the floor or a block and eventually working to get one then both feet to float. Draw the belly button in firmly, this pose looks like all arms but it's SO much core!

Do you plan to get more involved within the sport?

I would be stoked to be more involved with it! Dirt bikes are such a huge part of our world and yoga has offered me so many amazing and fun opportunities both personally and professionally. Our hope is to "keep an iron in the fire" somehow and see where it takes us. I would love to see myself offering yoga lessons to racers, mechanics, race wives/girlfriends and their kiddos. I think we could have our own little ''yoga party in the pits'' and that would rock my world!  

Be sure to check out all of the cool things that Nicole is up to in the Yoga and Motocross/Supercross world by following her on social media and checking out her website.  For more informative and unique stories stay tuned to The Collective Experience.

Instagram - Nicolie148 and TriggrRacing

Website - haywardfitfans.webs.com

TCE SX Fan Experience gets you connected in the industry

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Getting into the industry of your dreams can seem like a journey that not only takes a lifetime, but can also be riddled with obstacles that seem almost insurmountable.  The vision that we have for ourselves in these goal worthy roles can get muddled and blurred after each small set back or step in the wrong direction. This is something that we all deal with and can easily relate to.  So  then how do we go about making our dreams a reality? How do we take the necessary steps to land our dream roles?  Where can we start?  These lingering questions paired with an immense passion for the SX industry sparked the creation of The Collective Experience and the TCE SX Fan Experience.  

The goal of this program is to give fans a completely immersive experience unlike anything offered in the industry.  This program gives participants a true behind the scenes look at what working for a pro team is all about.  It allows the everyday fan to get some very detailed insights into the industry and helps them to make some invaluable connections within the Supercross racing world. It also helps them to get a head start on a possible career within the industry. Many participants in the program have made life long memories along and connections that have landed then with opportunities that they once thought out of reach.  

 Robbie got some incredible hands on experience and got to learn from industry experts on a list of topics from bike set-up to program management.

Robbie got some incredible hands on experience and got to learn from industry experts on a list of topics from bike set-up to program management.

Superiors fan Robbie Good got a chance to shadow Supercross Pro AJ Catanzaro at the 2017 Metlife Supercross race as well as Pro Rookie Jon Ames the 2017 Budds Creek Pro MX National.  Robbie jumped into the program head first and fulfilled a lifelong dream of connecting with pros and more.  Robbie gave us a bit of insight into his experience with TCE....

"Since the time I can remember, I’ve been around dirt bikes.  When I was 4 years old my parents bought my brother and I a Kawasaki KDX50 and from there on my love for 2 wheels has never left.  Growing up I always felt the calling to join the military and when I was of age to serve my country I tried to enlist.  Unfortunately, due to health issues in my past it made me ineligible to join so from there on I was left searching for what “my thing” would be and what my future would look like.  Well, I figured my love for the Moto industry and riding has always been there so I started looking at opportunities within the industry.  To my amazement this past Spring I won a giveaway to shadow AJ Catanzaro at the Metlife Stadium Supercross race thanks to The Collective Experience.  When I was first introduced to AJ and his Team I felt comfortable right away.  It was like I was a part of them immediately.  When Jeremiah, AJ's mechanic, had me help him out I was able to learn the little things that he does to prep AJ’s bike and make sure all his sponsors are cleanly represented on the bike. I learned proper vehicle prep and much, much more about the bikes themselves.  I also got to learn from Rob Clingan, AJ's team manager, about analyzing where AJ is looking good or bad on the track and how to go about fixing those issues.  From all of the things that I learned on that day I feel that it translated over to my personal riding development.  This experience helped me to win my first College Boy 2 championship this past season.  I just applied a lot of the same principles to my program that AJ and his team implemented in theirs".

 AJ Catanzaro and his team are always extremely hospitable and love bringing new fans into their work environment to teach and inspire.

AJ Catanzaro and his team are always extremely hospitable and love bringing new fans into their work environment to teach and inspire.

"Because of all of the things that I learned at the Metlife Supercross race I decided to do the TCE Fan Experience program again, but this time for the 2017 Pro Outdoor Motocross National Series at Budds Creek Maryland. For this race I was partnered with Savij Racing rider Jon Jon Ames.  Once again I felt right at home with this team.  I got a very similar feeling with this staff as I did with AJ Catanzaro's team earlier in the year.  I got to learn from and be around industry renowned engine builder Chad Sanner and Team manager Broc Schemlyun.  Throughout the entire day I made a ton of connections in the industry with people like Jeff Jetton from 3N1MX and the guys from Panic Rev ministries.  I also got to have some good conversations with Factory riders Shane Mcelrath, Josh Mosiman, Zach Osbourne and many others. Both of these experiences were not only a dream come true, but were something that sparked my love for this sport even more!"

"Since my TCE Fan Experiences I have been pushing myself week in and week out training on and off the bike.  Because of the connections that I made through TCE I have recently been able to do some training with AJ Catanzaro and Pro Rookie Tyler Stepek at AJ’s track at Tomahawk MX.  I have also been getting ready for a new role where I will be working with a Pro rider in the Pro Motocross National series later in 2018.  I have learned a lot of skills, tips, and tricks around working with sponsors in the industry that help me keep going through the season with a solid gear setup and bike. I’ve also learned how to manage a program/routine myself on race day. By participating in this program I have learned more than I imagined I would and it’s been a very beneficial and fun time.  I know without a doubt that I will be signing up for one again in the 2018 season."

 Robbie also got to shadow Jon Ames and the Savij race team for a look inside of a different race team's program and to help make some added connections.. 

Robbie also got to shadow Jon Ames and the Savij race team for a look inside of a different race team's program and to help make some added connections.. 

For your chance to experience the same opportunities that Robbie did, be sure to sign up for the TCE SX Fan Experience and shadow your favorite pro rider at a Supercross race of your choice.  Get inside the action and get an experience unlike anything you imagined.

Introducing the 2018 TCE SX Internship Program

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We are extremely excited to offer fans from all over the country the amazing opportunity to be an intern for a pro rider on the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross race series.  Applicants will be entered into a national pool to see who gets the coveted internship role with privateer racing hero AJ Catanzaro and his race team.  The position will give the intern weekly access to the team and rider at each of the east coast rounds of the 2018 Supercross series.  This opportunity will enable the intern to be a full member of the team with responsibilities including scheduling, rider operation prep, social media, hands on support and more.  Working with a professional team will yield amazing connections within the SX industry and will offer an experience of a lifetime.  Never before has an opportunity of this magnitude been offered to fans at this level and we are pleased to give someone a head start into the industry that is a huge part of so many lives.  

AJ Catanzaro and his team plan to take you, the intern, under their wing and show you the ropes.  This gives you the chance to learn from industry experts and professionals on a wide range on topics.  Whether you want to be a pro mechanic, trainer, team manager or even a pro racer, this internship program is a great way to get fully immersed into the racing world.  To apply click here and access the application form and admission fee.  The admission fee will go toward helping to support the hard working privateers and teams of our sport.  Email the form with your signature to contact@thecollectivexp.com.  Don't be afraid to get creative and be sure to follow @thecollectiveex, share our post about the 2018 TCE SX Internship Program, and tag all your  buddies who would love this opportunity. Feel free to include a resume or any other submission that you feel would increase your chances of being picked.  For questions please feel free to contact us through our contact link.  Best of luck!

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Help out a local privateer!

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Privateer rider Deven Sorensen has re-joined the TCE SX Fan Experience program for 2018 and wants to give a lucky fan the chance to work with a pro rider.  Deven is looking for a race fan to help him during the week with his day to day operations and training.  This New England rider has  been putting in serious effort for his personal program and hopes to have some breakout rides on the east coast rounds of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross series.  Deven will be stationed out of Club MX in Chesterfield, South Carolina along with several other talented pros.  This is a great chance for anyone who is looking to gain some valuable hands on experience with a pro rider.  Duties may include filming, running a pit board and taking lap times, working on riding drills, and other various hands on support tasks.  To enter for a chance to be selected make sure that you are following The Collective Experience and Deven himself on Instagram and Facebook. Also, be sure to follow FXR Racing and share the posts.  A winner will be selected by Deven in the coming week.

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How to get noticed in 7 easy steps...

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Have you ever wanted to be a stand out rider?  Of course we all crave the feeling of being the fastest rider at the track, but what about someone who stands out and gets the attention regardless if they win out right or not.  How about someone who gets the attention of the sponsors and race shops?  Sounds interesting right?! Well we're here to help!  All too often we run across individuals and racing families who are looking to stand out and hopefully attract some sponsors to help with the sometimes dauntingly high cost of racing.  We wanted to address some simple yet beneficial things that anyone at any level could implement and put to work to make the difference in their programs.  All of these things don't cost anything to you except some time, strategy, and elbow grease!  Let's dig into how you can get noticed and get the support you need.

Step 1) Be social!

One of the biggest things that we hear from people is " We don't bother with social media, we aren't tweens".  This is understandable, however it won't get you to where you want to go.  Our being social tip plays two fold: Being social online and being social at the races, but we'll cover the latter a bit down the road.  Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are modern marvels that far surpass anything a cable network of yesteryear would have been capable of.  The sheer impact and outreach of these two platforms alone can rocket just about anyone to multi-million dollar stardom.  You can see the evidence of that every day.  To let this ultra-powerful tool go to waste is a huge loss and something budget conscious racers shouldn't do.  If you haven't already (and we know there's a few of you out there) make sure that you create your own Instagram and Facebook pages, two of the most popular platforms.  These help to tell your own personal story and to help "brand" or market yourself.  This can really be a great tool for anyone who has a unique persona or charismatic personality as it helps to highlight this and set you apart from the herd.  The cool part is that we all have a unique voice and point of view no matter how "normal" or mundane we think we are.  An added bonus is that you get to post pictures of yourself getting steezy on your dirt scoot- always guaranteed to put a smile on your face!  

Owning a social media page also gives sponsors a place to learn more about you from a far and you can also use it to interact with the hundreds of millions of people around the world! It's pretty easy to find and DM a brand rep of a new gear company or a sales person from a parts manufacturer to strike up a conversation with.  This builds a relationship that could one day turn into a sponsorship. Using your social media page to tag or use trending hashtags can propel your outreach exponentially and put you in the face of some pretty influential people across multiple industries.  With these platforms also comes  the ability to create your own live videos, tell pictured stories, and stay connected with anyone at any time.  These can truly be your marketing magic wands.  For more information about how to properly use these platforms to maximize your outreach check out a few of the hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube that are all about this topic.

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 Pro riders use their social media platforms to showcase themselves and to promote their sponsors.  It's very easy to see how a riders popularity, level of support, and social media presence all correlate.  

Pro riders use their social media platforms to showcase themselves and to promote their sponsors.  It's very easy to see how a riders popularity, level of support, and social media presence all correlate.  

Step 2) Results matter!

This one goes without saying.  Results always get the job done.  It only makes sense, right? After all, our attention is only on the top 3 at any race we go to.  This rings true for every Pro Supercross event all the way down to the local 85cc beginner classes.  We as a collective society focus on the winners, and brands know this.  People and reps who want riders and racers to represent their brand want those individuals who have the most attention on them.  Typically, that includes those who are in the top tier of their classes.  If you want to get the attention of brands and have something to put some weight and credibility behind your name then results are the key.  This means doubling down on your training and development as a racer to ensure that you hang at the top of your class.  We recommend signing up for as many race schools as you can to get hands on lessons.  You can never practice the fundamentals too much and learning under the watchful eye of a professional is always a plus.  Can't afford MX schools?  Try to see if you can work with the local fast guy at your track.  Often times these guys are more than happy to help a fellow rider out and all it usually costs is a beer at the end of the day.  Once you get your results where they need to be make sure that you are compiling them into a very organized and informative racer resume.  Many brands and companies use these to validate all prospective applicants.

 Many companies look for good results and top finishes.  A good finish at a major amateur national could set you up for a long road of support and opportunities.

Many companies look for good results and top finishes.  A good finish at a major amateur national could set you up for a long road of support and opportunities.

Step 3) Make connections!

Along with being more social online, you want to make sure that you are social in person.  Meeting new people and getting your name out there is more important than you would think.  A motto to live by is "You are only one handshake or hello away from your next greatest opportunity". You never know where relationships or interactions can lead.  It's always a great practice to be very outgoing and helpful to as many people as possible at the races.  People really notice and begin to associate you as a kind/worthwhile person and this can go a long way, especially with sponsors.  Think about it. If that one person you met at the track all of a sudden gets a gig working for a major MX brand and is looking for people to help out in your area, who do you think they are going to go for? The person who he or she doesn't know who randomly emailed them about getting sponsored or you, the one person who she/he became friends with after you striked up a conversation about how Ken Roczen's arm looked like corned beef hash after his crash at A2?.... Get the point? These stories happen everyday at almost every local track or race.  Being social, kind, and open to making friendships goes a long way in this industry.  It's not about who you know, it's all about who knows YOU.

As you can see, navigating and getting the most out of the MX and SX industry is all about the connections that you make.  If you ask a majority of the mechanics on the line at a Pro race, they would all say that they got into their roles from the relationships and connections that they made.  You can never know too many people and it always pays to have a lot of people in your corner.  Being at the forefront of people's mind when they are giving out opportunities that directly align with what you want is the name of the game.  Make sure you are taking every opportunity to make valuable connections at the track, at the local shops, online, at the races, in the Pro pits, and even connecting with the annoying race announcer guys at the local weekend races....

 Always make sure that you are making connections and talking with riders and others in the industry.  These types of relationships can yield incredible opportunities for both parties and set you up for success.

Always make sure that you are making connections and talking with riders and others in the industry.  These types of relationships can yield incredible opportunities for both parties and set you up for success.

Step 4) Be part of the action -join clubs, groups, and race classes

One of the best ways to get noticed is joining a riding club or organization that has a big outreach or platform.  Racing in big area competitions and with clubs that have a big social media following or video coverage can have a huge impact on you getting noticed.  Some races and clubs can generate hundreds of thousands of followers and video coverage of this magnitude can reach even more.  Getting your face or shots of you riding in these can propel you to that next step.  There have been a lot of racers who leaped frogged in popularity thanks to being featured in a video from a big race or from being tagged on social media by one of the race organizations with a large following.  This also helps out even more if you already have sponsors that you wish to highlight.  Getting your sponsors seen on a national scale solidifies your value as a sponsored rider and motivates them to work with you on upcoming seasons or projects...it's a win for them and a win for you!

 Classes and camps are a great way to learn, make connections, and stand out.  They can help to shape your racing skills and its a great opportunity to learn about the industry from pro riders up close.

Classes and camps are a great way to learn, make connections, and stand out.  They can help to shape your racing skills and its a great opportunity to learn about the industry from pro riders up close.

5) Get to know your local reps and sponsors

This ties directly into being social and putting yourself out there.  Often times people don't think to talk to their local reps of MX companies that they like or buy products from.  These are great relationships to have and are often times the easiest and most sure fire way to get noticed and supported.  There are a lot of MX companies all over that have regional reps that travel to races, shops, and other events.  Many times they are on the search for new vendors or shops to sell to and even new talent to represent the brand.  Why not have that person be you?! Find out who your local reps are and build a relationship.  A few of us have done this and it's led to lasting relationships with opportunities to become sponsored, test new products and bikes, and even ride with some of our favorite pro riders!  Also, don't be afraid to hit up local businesses in your area like hardware stores, auto centers, or even restaurants. After all, who wouldn't want to be associated with a Motocross racer?!  Trust us, it works!

 Reaching out to reps and sponsors can go very far and help keep you on the track each weekend.  This sport can be very costly, but the right level of support and help can ensure your season won't get cut short.

Reaching out to reps and sponsors can go very far and help keep you on the track each weekend.  This sport can be very costly, but the right level of support and help can ensure your season won't get cut short.

6) Learn from others

One of the best ways to learn or master anything is to get a good teacher or to use someone as a great example.  We all do this when we buy "How to videos" from our favorite riders.  We can apply this directly to getting noticed and supported.  Try to talk to or follow the example of some other riders who have the level of support and attention that you aspire to have.  What are some of the tools they are using to put themselves out there?  How are their results? How did they get their support? Don't be afraid to ask them and see what advice the have.  It's always a great idea to check out their social media presence and how they interact with everyone.

 It never hurts to keep an eye out for what the faster and more heavily supported riders are doing to get to the next level.  It's always good to push yourself and try new ways to up your game!

It never hurts to keep an eye out for what the faster and more heavily supported riders are doing to get to the next level.  It's always good to push yourself and try new ways to up your game!

7) Keep your set up clean!

This is another big one to make note of!  Keeping your bike, gear, and overall set up clean and professional looking really makes you stand out.  Think back to when you were at the track and a super clean and pro looking bike rolled up to the track.  What was your first thought? $20 says it was, "Wow that person must be good!" We all think it.  Really cleaning and getting your bike looking like a pro's bike will attract a lot of attention and shows sponsors that you take pride in your bike.  Brands want to make sure that their stickers and logo are shown in the best way possible.  This is the reason why so many pro mechanics spend so much time keeping the pro bikes looking clean and polished.  Spend a little extra time scrubbing your ride and making sure that the scuff marks and all of the dirt is off the bike.  Also, it's good to go over the bike with some polish or tire shine to really make it pop.  Check out one of our previous articles on keeping your bike Pro level clean.

This also extends to your gear set up.  Nothing looks worse than showing up with gear already mud splattered and helmets with broken visors for example.  Make sure that your gear is cleaned after each ride and that nothing is missing or broken.  Everything should be clean and as pro like as possible.  This doesn't mean that you need the latest and greatest gear, but making sure it's devoid of tears, stains, and any other damage is the goal.  Making sure that your set up is as #lit as possible without breaking the bank is very do-able for racers on a budget.  

 There's nothing that stands out better than a fresh looking bike.  Sponsors greatly appreciate riders and teams that represent their brand well by keeping everything looking ultra professional.

There's nothing that stands out better than a fresh looking bike.  Sponsors greatly appreciate riders and teams that represent their brand well by keeping everything looking ultra professional.

What do you think about these tips?  How can you implement these to make the most out of your racing? Try to apply these tactics and tips and work on getting the attention and help that you need.  Feel free to add in your own personal flare and tricks and feel free to share them with those round you.  Be sure to check out our upcoming articles on more industry tips, interviews, and contests.

Photo credits (IG):

@mannyfresh_860

@ddrakes175

@ajcatanzaro

@cadeclason

@h_miller48

@dlb21racing

@lauracristineh

The inside scoop on Pro Sponsorship

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One of the many great things about our sport is the incredible level of support that is all around us.  If you are anything like us then you marvel at all of the highly supported and ultra-trick factory bikes of the top riders.  Brands like Toyota, Red Bull, Alpinestars, Monster, and Microsoft have all had representation in the sport with both top level factory teams and smaller support efforts.  As any fan of the sport can attest, it's encouraging to see such well-known brands get behind the relatively small industries of Motocross and Supercross.  When it comes to support, it is very obvious to see why the top riders and teams have such big sponsors behind them.  They have the attention of the fans at the races, they are always on the podium, and riders everywhere want the same parts and gear as the pros in their very own garages.  But have you ever wondered why some riders get sponsored while others don't?  Have you been curious about why one rider can be doing very well, but can't seem to lock down the same level of sponsorship as the guys he or she is beating?  Well, it turns out there are a number of reasons why this happens.  We were curious to find out more about what the whole "sponsorship world" boils down to and how we could help our readers and fans apply some general tips and tricks to get more support.  

 Andy White has worked with some of the most famous and highly talented privateers and satellite supported riders around.  As FXR brand manager he is front and center for rider support and sponsorship negotiations.  His experience allows him to elevate the FXR brand and help riders all the same time.

Andy White has worked with some of the most famous and highly talented privateers and satellite supported riders around.  As FXR brand manager he is front and center for rider support and sponsorship negotiations.  His experience allows him to elevate the FXR brand and help riders all the same time.

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During our search for answers we reached out to two well known industry insiders to get the inside scoop.  First was FXR Racing brand manager and all around moto-insider Andy White.  Andy has experience as a rider/racer along with several other roles, including team manager of a full race team some years back.  In his 20 plus year run in the industry Andy has amassed quite the knowledge base.  His latest role with FXR gives him an expert point of view on what goes into sponsoring a rider.  Our second expert source came from current Rockwell Racing's team manager and moto die-hard Chris Elliott.  Chris has also held several high profile positions within the sport and has extensive knowledge on the racing sponsorship topic.  Thanks to the insight from these industry experts, and others within the sport, we got the low-down on what the pro sponsorship scene consists of...

 Chris Elliott manages a major racing outfit and is in charge of finding talent to bring to the team. (credit: Krystyn Slack)  

Chris Elliott manages a major racing outfit and is in charge of finding talent to bring to the team. (credit: Krystyn Slack)  

 Chris brings years of experience in the industry to the team and builds special relationships with the riders. He knows exactly what makes a rider worth sponsoring. (credit:Krystyn Slack)

Chris brings years of experience in the industry to the team and builds special relationships with the riders. He knows exactly what makes a rider worth sponsoring. (credit:Krystyn Slack)

What is your role within the industry?

(A.W.) Well I actually wear a few hats right now as FXR is new to the off road industry. I am the Brand manager/ rider rep/ inventory control and much more

(C.E.) I have done a little bit of everything in this industry…but right now, I am the Race Team Manager for the ROCKWELL RACING Nuclear Blast Records FXR team.

How did you get into this role?

(A.W.) I just finished up working for KTM Canada and I was talking to Aaron Weibe from FXR about his racing. Next thing you know I was consulting for FXR in 2015, then it turned in to a full time position.

(C.E.) That’s a long story and unlikely story. I am originally from Kaministiquia, Ontario Canada and my first “break” in the industry was as a FMX writer for Direct Motocross in Canada…from there I started my own site called FMXnews.com; shortly after launching FMXnews.com, I was luckily enough to get on with ESPN as a writer. It was a pretty unlikely scenario from me, especially if you asked me ten years ago if I’d ever be a writer, let alone contribute written content to ESPN. After my time at ESPN, I got into digital marketing with a company called Media Axe. In my time at Media Axe, I ran accounts in Indy Car, SST, of course moto and even a Super Bowl campaign. I ended up with a KTM team for what was supposed to be just a Saturdays only contract and that is where I met Clarky (Ryan Clark). After 2016, he and I decide to run our own program, found the perfect partners over at Rockwell Watches and here we are.

 Sponsorship can make or break a rider and team.  Support at any level is a much needed benefit that keeps riders racing and competition week in and week out.  At the privateer level a good supportive group and sponsor can elevate you to the next level.

Sponsorship can make or break a rider and team.  Support at any level is a much needed benefit that keeps riders racing and competition week in and week out.  At the privateer level a good supportive group and sponsor can elevate you to the next level.

What was your introduction to the sport?

(A.W.) I rode a mini bike when I was 8 years old and I was hooked! I then started racing at the age of 16. I worked my way up to the pro class and now I am still riding and race the occasional vet race.

(C.E.) I like most kids just had cool Dad who used to ride and it was kind of our thing. It definitely helped to have rad parents who were willing to spend a ton of money to go racing and have fun at the track as a family. My uncle had used to race at a pretty decent level when he was younger so he was involved a fair bit. I was NOT very fast, but we had fun.

Why do companies sponsor riders?

(A.W.) They sponsor riders to help brand the company.  This brings attention to the company and translates in to sales from consumers/customers.

(C.E.) That’s a tricky one, cause I am on the other side of that coin. But I would say traditionally it comes down to marketing, whether you are paying a rider or just giving them product at a discount; you would look at the rider as an investment in your brand. In most cases, your hope would be there is a return on that relationship, which could be something a little as brand recognition at local tracks, to the best case scenario in that a rider you sponsored would help influence consumers to purchase your product giving you that return on the initial investment of sponsoring that rider(s).

 Sponsors love when their athletes interact with fans and the media.  The more likable and open a rider is, the more marketable and value added the rider is.  Aj Catanzaro was a perfect example of great customer interaction at the 2017 Atlanta SX rounds.  Acts like these led to him being signed with FXR Racing and the Rockwell Race team for 2018.

Sponsors love when their athletes interact with fans and the media.  The more likable and open a rider is, the more marketable and value added the rider is.  Aj Catanzaro was a perfect example of great customer interaction at the 2017 Atlanta SX rounds.  Acts like these led to him being signed with FXR Racing and the Rockwell Race team for 2018.

What are some of the things that sponsors look for in a rider?

(A.W.)  Good question, Results, Social media , well liked . As for the different types of sponsorship levels there are discounted programs all the way up to fully paid athletes in Pro Motocross and Supercross.

(C.E.) If you are talking OEMs and million dollar contracts, usually the decisions start and stop with results. But for me handling a non-factory supported team, my big thing is marketability. And in that I mean how the person handles themselves both on and off the track, and at times the most important one is on their social medias. The easiest way to track numbers/influence is through social media analytics and brands can/have/will use this when negotiating with riders based on what they feel their influence on fans (consumers) may be…

What are some common misconceptions from riders about sponsorship?

(A.W.) Some think they deserve way more than we offer them. They forget we talk to the other companies and we usually know what the support levels are out there.

(C.E.) Again, OEMS want results. But brands dealing with amateurs and smaller teams team may take a different approach. Like I said for me, I don’t get to concerned with how many 16th place finishes a rider had last year and not because that isn’t extremely respectable. It’s because that usually doesn’t move the needle for brands, I challenge someone on the spot to tell me who finished 7th in Dallas last year. You CAN’T, and you probably couldn’t tell me third place either…maybe you could recall who won, but that is it. If you are not winning, brands want activation both at events and digitally. We want kids that are going to help market and push our sponsors (who are our business partners) while giving it their all on the track every night.

 Professional sponsorship and support gives some riders the best equipment along with financial support to cover the immense costs of racing.

Professional sponsorship and support gives some riders the best equipment along with financial support to cover the immense costs of racing.

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How have you seen the sponsor/rider relationship change in recent years?

(A.W.) Its been pretty consistent , however I do see riders jumping from company to company with no real loyalty in recent years.

(C.E.) The digital platform, more specifically social media has allowed riders to take their careers into their own hands. With the ability to have a presence almost instantly online, riders are able to be their own publicist 24/7 and if done properly, their worth can grow.

How have social media outlets influenced the sponsorship process/consideration?

(A.W.) They help, its easy for us to see if the rider is social or not. We are looking for riders that post nice pictures and thank their sponsors.  Gratitude and holding up their end of the deal is crucial.

(C.E.) Obviously you should treat your social platform like your own marketing firm and your clients are your sponsors. You constantly want to engage your sponsors in a positive way with your followers as much as you can. I would also recommend keep it clean when posting “non-moto’ content. Everyone is entitled to own beliefs, but engaging in any religious, political, or vulgar content creation may hurt your bid for sponsorship depending on brand.

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 Social media interaction is increasingly becoming one of the most important factors that sponsors looks at when it comes to signing a rider.  

Social media interaction is increasingly becoming one of the most important factors that sponsors looks at when it comes to signing a rider.  

What can the average racer at any level do to increase their chances of getting sponsored?

(A.W.) Good results, post on social media, keep your set up clean. Network in the industry and be friendly. The industry is small so its easy for reps like me to call another industry person and get feed back on a rider.

(C.E.) Just be the best person you can be. Real recognizes real and as long as you are riding well, have a clean look, and put in the effort to promote your sponsors. Brands will reward you!

 Which riders do you see needing more support or sponsorship?  What are some attributes that they need to get them to the next level?

Which riders do you see needing more support or sponsorship?  What are some attributes that they need to get them to the next level?

Andy and Chris both know sponsorships and how they benefit both the rider and company.  In a sport like Motocross and Supercross sponsorship is a must for so many.  They enable the industry to thrive and take our racing heroes to the next level.  Stay tuned for a step by step guide to how YOU can apply these guidelines and insights to get sponsored and get to your racing goals. 

Chris Elliott - Rockwell Racing team

Andy White - FXR Racing

 

 

 

2018 TCE SX Fan Experience NOW OPEN for sign ups!

As the 2018 race season nears fans all over the world are itching for the start of yet another action packed season.  We are excited to announce the return of the program for 2018 and that sign-ups for our first round of Tier 1 riders are now open to the general public.  More riders will be announced in the coming weeks.  TCE has also opened up the program for the entire race season per popular request from our great fan base.  Race enthusiasts now have the opportunity to shadow and go behind the scenes with their favorite privateer riders at every round of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross race season.  This is a great adjustment that has both riders and fans grinning from ear to ear.  For more information about the program be sure to head over the TCE SX Fan Experience page and sign up.  Spots are limited so act now!

2018 Monster Energy Supercross race series schedule:

Round 1 Saturday, January 6, 2018 Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium

Round 2 Saturday, January 13, 2018 Houston, TX NRG Stadium

Round 3 Saturday, January 20, 2018 Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium

Round 4 Saturday, January 27, 2018 Glendale, AZ U. of Phoenix Stadium

Round 5 Saturday, February 3, 2018 Oakland, CA Oakland Alameda Coliseum

Round 6 Saturday, February 10, 2018 San Diego, CA Petco Park

Round 7 Saturday, February 17, 2018 Arlington, TX AT&T Stadium

Round 8 Saturday, February 24, 2018 Tampa, FL Raymond James Stadium 

Round 9 Saturday, March 3, 2018 Atlanta, GA Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Round 10 Saturday, March 10, 2018 Daytona, FL Daytona Intl. Speedway

Round 11 Saturday, March 17, 2018 St. Louis, MO Dome at America's Center

Round 12 Saturday, March 24, 2018 Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium

Round 13 Saturday, April 7, 2018 Seattle, WA Centurylink Field

Round 14 Saturday, April 14, 2018 Minneapolis, MN U.S. Bank Stadium

Round 15 Saturday, April 21, 2018 Foxborough, MA Gillette Stadium

Round 16 Saturday, April 28, 2018 Salt Lake City, UT Rice-Eccles Stadium

Round 17 Saturday, May 5, 2018 Las Vegas, NV Sam Boyd Stadium

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TCE Dream Chasers with Tayler Kaplan

 

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One of the great things about the Moto industry is that there are so many different facets and avenues to pursue within this quickly expanding industry.  From racer to mechanic to promoter to sponsor, there are tons of different paths to travel down.  One of the most sought after positions within the industry is the role of brand ambassador or model for some of the top brands in racing.  The lucky few in these roles are adored by fans and enjoy the spotlight from magazines, websites, and even live shows.  One lucky new comer to the scene is Connecticut's own Tayler Kaplan.  Tayler has been apart of the racing world her whole life and somewhat recently embarked on a journey to become one of the leading brand embassadors in Supercross and Motocross.  We took some time to talk to Tayler about her racing past, the industry, and what it was like being featured by Transworld Motocross.

Hey Tayler, so for those out there that maybe unfamiliar with you tell everyone where you're from and little bit about yourself.

Hi everyone, and thanks again to TCE for having me! I’m Tayler and I’m 20 years old, New England born and raised. I have been a promotional model for about 3 years now and I’ve established myself a niche in the world of motorsports. Growing up, I attended just about every major motocross event on the East Coast from Canada to Florida so it’s such an incredible feeling getting to be hands-on and involved in the sport. I attended my first Supercross when I was 3 months old at Daytona in 1997 which planted the seed for a lifelong love of all things motocross. My dad tossed me on a PW50 with training wheels as soon as I could walk, but as far as riding goes these days I pretty much stick to ripping pitbikes under the lights in our yard! To follow my journey you can find me on Instagram @TheTaylerKaplan or on Facebook as Tayler Kaplan.

How did you and your family get into the sport of Motocross?

Oh man, it goes way back. I come from a long line of motocross enthusiasts. My Dad got his first bike as a Christmas gift in the early 70’s and his whole life has essentially revolved around the sport since then. He even rode through the hallways of his high school on a dare once- he’s a very balls-to-the-wall type of guy. For around 30 years he raced the New England circuit with clubs like NESC, NEMX, and NEMA (RIP), which meant that we were always traveling. Eventually, my brother and sister started racing too so it was a total family affair. My sister won a championship against a class of all boys once when she was 6 which was badass. As for me, I played pit chick and loved it ironically. I worked with some of the tracks running the 30 Second Board and flagging while my family raced. Every family vacation revolved around some sort of motorcycle event, most often Daytona. I guess the point that I’m getting at is that I didn’t really have much of a choice, at the beginning at least. But even when my dad couldn’t make it, I carried on the tradition myself. Last year I drove up to the Unadilla national in my Corolla and had full intentions of sleeping in it until a very good friend who was racing that weekend let me hang out with them.

 Tayler's family has an extensive racing history in New England.  Racing is in Tayler's blood and her connection to the industry has helped propel her into national recognition.  Above Tayler and her dad Ken pose aboard some fresh Suzukis.

Tayler's family has an extensive racing history in New England.  Racing is in Tayler's blood and her connection to the industry has helped propel her into national recognition.  Above Tayler and her dad Ken pose aboard some fresh Suzukis.

What led to you wanting to pursue a career in modeling/brand endorsing?

Being a young girl attending Supercross races, I always looked up the Monster Energy girls. In my mind they were a symbol of the perfect mix between beauty and badassery: something I knew I had to be a part of. On top of that, I was always tall, and when you’re tall you constantly get asked two questions: 1. Do you play basketball? Or 2. Well you must be a model then, right? Eventually I realized I had to at least give modeling a shot (I’m far from coordinated so ball sports were never an option), so at 12 years old I started working with my first modeling agency. High fashion modeling was always boring to me (and kind of ugly- oops, did I say that?), so I’ve always focused on the commercial and promotional side of the industry. It’s truly all I’ve ever wanted for as long as I can remember. I’m a huge marketing nut as well.  Right now I’m studying Digital Marketing with Duke University online so promotional modeling is the perfect crossroad since I get to market and promote different brands on site. My first promotional gig, however, was as a spokesmodel representing Progressive Motorcycle Insurance at Laconia Bike Week, which was a crazy experience. I knew this from my years attending Daytona Bike Week, but the biker community is so different from the moto community, especially from the aspect of a promotional model- the energy is just completely different. From there, I continued to market and brand myself and began to receive offers from different agencies and companies that wanted to work with me.

What's the most exciting aspect of this career in your opinion?

The most exciting aspect of this career path is the ability it gives you to travel and meet so many like-minded people. Representing Fly Racing at the Southwick National (my home track) was by far one of the most fun days of my life. I got to take photos and talk with hundreds and hundreds of moto fiends from all over the region. I also love the fact that there’s no limit as to where you can take this. There are endless opportunities in the modeling world and so many different ways to use your platform. As I grow my own platform, I plan to start spearheading a motorcycle safety outreach. In the past few years I have lost (and almost lost) way too many people from motorsports incidents. I really hope to bring some awareness to the general public and hopefully work towards developing new safety initiatives off-road as well. Look twice, you could save a life!

What has been the most challenging and also the most rewarding part of your journey?

By far, without a doubt, the biggest challenge I have faced as a promotional model is the fact that I live in Connecticut. There are very few opportunities in the industry out here. The only real major moto events are the Southwick and Unadilla nationals, Laconia Bike Week, and most recently Foxborough Supercross which are all held annually. I have plans to move to the west coast in the very near future so it won’t be too much of a problem any longer. I was actually booked for SEMA this week until the agency realized how expensive it would be to get me out there from the sticks of Connecticut! It’s incredibly frustrating that I can’t work on my craft as often as I’d like out here so I can’t possibly get out fast enough. It’s just a matter of getting all of my ducks in a row!

The most rewarding part of the journey has been the fact that I’m able to be immersed in such an incredible culture and represent the brands that I’ve been surrounded by and supporting my entire life. I know it sounds incredibly corny, but it truly does feel like home. Being surrounded by people who are just as passionate as I am is just an added bonus!

 Throughout her relatively short stint in the industry Tayler has managed to land some amazing opportunities that allow her to make strides towards her dream role.  

Throughout her relatively short stint in the industry Tayler has managed to land some amazing opportunities that allow her to make strides towards her dream role.  

What's something about this journey and career that most people don't know about? 

This is a tough one! Honestly, I think people underestimate just how much goes on behind the scenes. People laugh at how seriously I take Instagram, but as a model it is a huge business tool for me! Each and every photo I post is an opportunity to be approached by a new photographer, casting agent, or brand that I can collaborate with. Lately I’ve been aiming to shoot at least once per week- which means creating new concepts, putting together the right wardrobe, scouting a location, tracking down props, and finding hair and makeup help. Each and every step of the process is such a blast so I’m definitely lucky for that. I love that I have the ability to orchestrate every aspect of my work and the story my photos tell are all my own.

What are some key things that you have learned along the way?

This journey has taught me so many things about humanity in general. When your job is to put on a revealing outfit and take photos with fans, many of whom are intoxicated on some level, you hear some of the craziest things. At Southwick, a grown man literally got on his knees in front of me and bowed. I love everything about what I do, don’t get me wrong, but it teaches you a lot about interacting with different types of people. I have also learned how important it is to have a thick skin. This asset is absolutely VITAL to be successful in any capacity in the modeling world. The truth is, I’ve been told “no” FAR more times than I’ve been told “yes”. However, if I had stopped the first time I was told I should, I wouldn’t be where I am today, with the honor of being interviewed by TCE or having been featured in Transworld Motocross last week. And I’m just getting started!

What's one thing that you would change about the industry as a whole?

This problem isn’t just limited to the moto or modeling industry, but it is a bit of a challenge to be taken seriously as a woman. It just happens to be ten times more difficult in a male-dominated industry. I hope to be part of the force that changes that, however. I can be pretty, AND pretty smart, too. A woman shouldn’t have to be modest in order to be respected- It’s 2017!

How has your background in the sport helped you break into this role?

My background in the sport helped in that I didn’t really have to break into this role at all, I was basically born into it. Having the right network in the industry surrounding me is huge- people such as Paul Buckley, New England’s most well-connected man in motocross, have become an incredible resource for me. Even if it didn’t morph into a career for me, I would still feel blessed for all of the years I spent growing up involved in motocross.

We've seen you work with Billy of Surge Unlimited on some amazing projects, can you tell us what those were like?

Billy is absolutely incredible and I'm honored to have been able to partner with him on some cool projects. The New England moto scene is pretty tight knit and I always knew Billy through his association with JDay. When I found out he ventured out on his own and started his production company, I approached him with a concept that I wanted to submit to TWMX. I had him meet me in my Dad's abandoned mill complex on a 37 degree November night where we took the red bikini shots on the 500. I was FREEZING. As soon as he finished editing them I immediately submitted them to Transworld. Ironically, I never heard anything from them, until this past Monday night (literally almost a year later) where Don Maeda emailed me "Hey, sorry I never saw this. Can I still post them?" and I woke up the next morning to 200 new followers and about 50 friend requests. We were both pretty stoked to finally see our vision come to fruition and I'm so honored to have gotten national recognition from a magazine I've been reading for as long as I can remember. Last time I checked, my feature had over 800 shares in 48 hours which is pretty cool for some photos that are now a year old! I've also collaborated with Billy on some product shoots for his Surge Unlimited clothing line. That was fun too, besides the part where he made me walk through pricker bushes.

 TCE partner and media power house Surge Unlimited got some stellar shots of Tayler in her families incredible motorcycle museum located in historic Connecticut.  The shots came out great and landed Tayler in a feature on the Transworld Motocross website.

TCE partner and media power house Surge Unlimited got some stellar shots of Tayler in her families incredible motorcycle museum located in historic Connecticut.  The shots came out great and landed Tayler in a feature on the Transworld Motocross website.

Surge Unlimited has partnered with The Collective Experience on a few projects as well and the work is unparalleled, what do you think makes Billy stand out as a photographer/videographer?

 I’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of very talented photographers, but what makes Billy stand out to me is his unique vision. He sets out to each and every shoot with a precise vision in mind and does not leave until he achieves it. We are both very creative-minded so we always end up with some insane images when we join forces.

What are some plans or goals that you have for the future?

I am a firm believer in the law of attraction so I'm going to speak this one into existence: Miss Supercross 2019! I know you’re listening, Feld! ;) As far as short term goals, the first order of business is definitely to get my ass out to the west coast so I can dive right into all the area has to offer. Speaking long-term, I do want to pursue modeling for as long as I possibly can, and start my own business along the way. I constantly have to be involved in exciting and creative endeavors or my mind goes crazy- there’s truly no telling what I’ll end up doing next, but it’s sure to be an adventure!

What keeps you motivated to keep going and pushing to make your dream a reality?

The biggest source of motivation for me is the fact that I’m not where I want to be. I always feel like I can do better or be better. There is so much left out there for me to accomplish, I’m just getting started! I’m still trying to have my voice heard and to be seen by some key players in the industry. Having a clear vision of what you want from your life is the most effective way to stay on track and crush your goals. I won’t stop until I get there.

 Always looking for new creative perspectives, Tayler isn't afraid to try new things and stand out with new concepts for shots.

Always looking for new creative perspectives, Tayler isn't afraid to try new things and stand out with new concepts for shots.

There are lots of girls and guys out there that are aspiring to do exactly what you are, what advice would you have for them?

The absolute biggest piece of advice that I can give any guy or girl that wants to pursue this industry is to harness the power of social media. So many people really don't seem to comprehend that they have one of the biggest tools to success in 2017 literally in the palm of their hands. You can connect to the entire world in seconds. I was featured in Transworld Motocross solely off of a Facebook message. Branding yourself is HUGE- create a voice for yourself online, distinguish your character, and work on your craft any chance you can get. Another piece of advice I always give to aspiring models is to stay strong and stay persistent. Keep a clear vision about what you want from your career and don't fold. I'm the type who will literally keep going until I'm told yes, which isn't always a good thing I suppose. But some people do appreciate tenacity! ;)

Lastly, thinking long term, what impact do you hope to have on the industry?

This is a man’s sport that I’m trying to create my own lane in and bring my creativity, entrepreneurial skillset and ambition to play. I want to be a positive representation of the culture that is motocross. Women riders are the fastest growing demographic in the industry and I hope to play a key role in encouraging more women to participate. At the end of the day, I guess all that I can say is time will tell! There are so many things that I want to get involved in- the possibilities are endless. Stay tuned!

Journeys like Tayler's remind us to keep pushing forward and chasing goals.  To keep up with Tayler be sure to follow her @thetaylerkaplan and check out her killer shots.  A special thanks to Surge Unlimited for the shots. For more inspirational stories and interviews with industry insiders be sure to stay tuned to The Collective Experience.

2018 TCE SX Fan Experience schedule announced

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We are excited to announce our 2018 TCE Supercross Fan Experience Program schedule.  We had a very successful and fun filled 2017 Supercross season and we look to continue with that momentum and energy into the upcoming 2018 Monster Energy Supercross race season.  Like the 2017 program fans will be able to have an unparalleled experience unlike any other.  This is your chance to go behind the scenes with the privateer stars of our sport and get an inside look at what it takes to have a professional program at this high level of racing.  Fans get a chance to have one on one interactions with the rider and team members, get exclusive tours of the race set-up with select riders, and get industry level seating courtesy of their favorite rider.  Not to mention the bundles of free swag, photo opportunities and much-much more that is offered to fans.  New for 2018 we are offering a tiered style program with riders based in two separate price groups.  This allows the fans to truly tailor their experience all while keeping the cost at a comparable price level.  As always our program's goal and initiative will be to support privateer race efforts by giving a majority of the cost for each experience directly to the privateer athletes.  It is our goal to positively impact the Supercross and Motocross industry and to provide experiences of a lifetime for our fans.

2018 TCE Supercross Fan Experience schedule:

Round 1 Angel Stadium Anaheim, CA - January 6

Round 7 AT&T Stadium Arlington, TX - February 17

Round 8 Raymond James Stadium Tampa, FL - February 24

Round 9 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta, GA - March 3

Round 10 Daytona Intl. Speedway Daytona, FL - March 10

Round 11 Dome at America's Center St. Louis, MO - March 17

Round 12 Lucas Oil StadiumIndianapolis, IN - March 24

Round 14 U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis, MN - April 14

Round 15 Gillette Stadium Foxborough, MA - April 21

Round 17 Sam Boyd Stadium Las Vegas, NV - May 5

In the coming weeks we will open the program up for sign ups.  Make sure that you stay tuned to the website and our social media pages for updates and possible changes.

Take a look inside the movement that is Privateerlife.MX

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Within the Motocross and Supercross industries it's common knowledge that those at the top of the sport get the most opportunities.  It goes without saying that the attention and spotlight lies solely on those house-hold names and factory.  So what happens to the rest of the pack? What spotlight do the privateers get?  Well, often times they don't get much opportunity or attention.  Over the years it has become increasingly difficult to compete at the top level of racing as a privateer.  The cost of racing in the professional series is astronomical to say the least and many privateers struggle to follow their dreams and make a run at the top.  There are very few companies and programs who are hoping to change this.  The goal of The Collective Experience is change the sport in a positive way and give privateers all over a bigger platform and funding to stay competitive.  Naturally, when we come across others who share the same vision of impact within the sport we do our best to share their story.  Garrett of Privateer Life MX is doing some incredible work with the sports privateers and has been working diligently to help raise funding and awareness for these working class athletes.  We wanted to find out a bit more about Privateer Life MX as well as Garrett's plans for the future.  We hit up Garrett to get the inside scoop on everything.

Hey Garrett! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I grew up in the Bay Area and was somewhat of a late bloomer when it comes to motorcycles.  My dad taught me how to ride in a creek bed on some old Honda 90 when I was a kid.  I didn't get my own dirt bike until I was probably 21 in college.  I got a '92 KX125 and things progressed from there.  I graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in '99 and then started riding a lot more. My friends got me into racing Hare Scrambles with District 36 shortly after that.  The hare scrambles started implementing more motocross tracks into their loops and I realized I sucked at riding track so I started practicing and racing Moto exclusively.  I haven't raced in a few years just due to having 2 daughters and life being busy, but I do plan on getting back into it.

What drew you to the sport?

Once you start riding and racing a lot you seem to be drawn to all things motorcycles it seems...almost any discipline you can admire and get excited to watch or participate in.  I've done about every stick and ball sport growing up, lettered in 3 sports in HS and will say by far that Moto is the hardest sport to be at a top level in.  That's where a lot of my admiration comes in for what these guys do.

Where did your passion for the races come from?

When you start racing and then you actually go watch pros in person whether it be SX or MX, you see how good they really are.  Then you obviously buy every video you can get your hands on just to get your fill for watching the pros do what they do.  My other passion just comes from knowing how much work has to go in to being at a top level in this sport and I can appreciate anyone willing to make that much sacrifice to reach their goals.  I've always told anyone that asks that once you ride a dirt bike it's in your blood and you will ride the rest of your life if you can.

Can you explain a little bit about Privateerlife.MX?

Privateerlife.mx was inspired from finding out and seeing just how rough things are out on the road for the guys chasing that dream on a shoestring budget.  They truly are the life's blood of the sport.  Back when the "Great Outdoors" MX Videos were coming out they had a spinoff of those videos called "The Privateers".  I remember watching those with my roommates and seeing how much those guys struggle on the road in every way.  That was probably 10-15 years ago.  As I was watching those videos I just told myself that I would totally let a guy like that come stay at my house, feed him, let him do a load of laundry, etc.  Anything to make his journey a little easier and hopefully save him some money on the back end.  So like any other idea you think of how great it would be, self doubt creeps in and those ideas just never end up seeing the light of day.  So earlier this year I was just looking at my life and told myself that I didn't want to look back when I'm 65 or 75 years old and wonder what if?  So I kicked all that self doubt in the nuts and accepted that I would rather see an idea fail than never try at all and that's when a friend and I started designing the website.  I do want to emphasize that this website isn't just for pro license holders chasing their MX/SX dreams.  This site is for any discipline of motorcycle racing, age, skill level, etc.  Every discipline does a fair amount of traveling as you progress and get more serious with your racing so this is for everybody.

The core of the website has 2 main components....the Supporters and the Racers.  When you sign up as a member of the website (which is free and always will be free) you can sign up as a Supporter, Racer or both.  As part of the sign up process you fill out the information you feel comfortable with and then there is a menu of services or amenities you can click on as a Supporter.  For example, as a Supporter you might have a spare room or couch you'd be willing to let someone crash on as they are going through town, a place to do a load of laundry, a pressure washer to wash their bike, a practice track to ride on, etc.  As a Racer you would go out and do a search when you know the route you'll be traveling and search out in that State or zip code for the services you're looking for.  Hopefully you get a match, contact that Supporter, and make your life on the road a little easier.  A lot of people love this sport, but can't really afford to help a guy out by giving him $50 or $100. However, most people do have resources that aren't money related in the true meaning and can still help a Racer save money on the back end.  This could be by not having to drive around looking for a laundromat, pumping quarters into a laundry machine or pressure washer at a car wash, renting a hotel, or even paying to ride a track

 Throughout the 2017 Privateerlife.MX has helped many Pro riders by raising funding for their entries.  Riders from all over were able to get some support and lighten the financial burden that so many privateers have.

Throughout the 2017 Privateerlife.MX has helped many Pro riders by raising funding for their entries.  Riders from all over were able to get some support and lighten the financial burden that so many privateers have.

How did you get involved with the privateers of the sport?

The more you're involved in any discipline of racing the more people you get a chance to meet along the way.  Our sport is unique where you can actually meet and talk to the pros of the sport.  Obviously local pros are a little more accessible and that's where I started by reaching out to a couple local guys I know and they got me in touch with other people and it just snowballed from there.

What motivated you to help out?

I'm, by nature, a person that likes to help people out whenever I can.  Based on that and my love for this sport I realized that the privateers could use the most help and support.

What are some of the goals for Privateerlife.MX?

My biggest goal is to be able to create a community that any and all racers have access to as long as people are racing motorcycles.  If you've been traveling to Loretta's for the last 6 years then you probably have a pretty good network of people you can call on or count on to stay at their place on the drive out.  For a first time guy or girl you probably don't have any resources.  My master plan is to have a turnkey network for someone new to the sport or someone that has been doing it their whole life to make their life easier while traveling around the country chasing whatever goals you have that involve motorcycle racing.

What are some of the things that you need to make the biggest impact?

The biggest thing is just getting the word out.  With all the social media out there I've been able to reach 95% of the racers I've wanted to.  Obviously not all of them write back, but I'm trying to just let them know what we're doing.  I would print out all the guys that signed up and were on the entry list for Arenacross, 250 Supercross, and the premier 450 Supercross and reach out to them on their Instagram accounts to try and spread the word.  That was pretty time intensive and I got my account locked out a couple times on IG because my messages looked so similar I'm sure their algorithm recognized some patterns and probably thought I was some kind of SPAM.

For SX I'm trying to get my guerilla marketing plan in place so when you come out from each round of the SX Series there will be a business card on your windshield telling you what we're about.  I really need industry supporters at this point.  The Racers have been more than willing to sign up so far.

 Garrett hosted several cash drawings for Pro riders tor receive funding and gave many riders another level of exposure and attention. 

Garrett hosted several cash drawings for Pro riders tor receive funding and gave many riders another level of exposure and attention. 

What were some of the best and most memorable moments that you've had with Privateerlife.MX?

There have been a few actually.  About 2 months after the site was launched I was lucky enough to get on "Good Day Sacramento" which is a local morning TV show while the Arenacross Series was in town.  That was a little nerve racking as I've never been on TV before, but it went pretty good.  We've also been fortunate enough to be on Daniel Blair's podcast, Main Event Moto, and Brad Gebhardt's podcast, BigMX Radio.  I can't thank those guys enough for helping get the word out.  I'm still working on getting on some other podcasts as well that I think would definitely help get the word out.  VitalMX was also nice enough to let me post about the website when we first went live with the website.

We were only able to make the Oakland SX and Washougal outdoor rounds this year, but by the time Washougal rolled around we had been able to help quite a few guys out financially so it was cool to meet a lot of the guys in person.  All the guys have been very gracious and thankful for what we're doing which is great.

What were some of the challenges that you had with this?

I think the biggest challenge has been getting the word out to fans and potential supporters that this website exists.  I know there are thousands of people that are like me that would be more than willing to help these guys out with resources they already have.

What are the impressions that the riders have of this venture? What are they saying?

I have had great response from the riders.  We were able to actually put together an "Entry Fee Reimbursement Program" this summer for the Nationals that was sponsored by Westside Buidling Materials out of Oakland, CA. We literally picked a different privateer's name out of a hat each week and I would then Paypal them the $245 it costs them to just sign up to try and qualify.  The only stipulation was that you had to be signed up as a Racer on the website and then just message me the rounds you planned on doing.  Joe and Rachel Rodriguez with San Luis Obispo Painting who also happen to be a big sponsor and supporter of the Enticknap brothers caught wind of the reimbursement program and reached out saying they would like to also donate $100/round to a different privateer which was awesome.  We would then have a secondary drawing each week for that and a couple rounds they would donate an extra $100 so a total of 3 lucky guys would get some cash to offset their expenses.  We've had my daughters, Joe and Rachel Rodriguez, Adam and Tyler Enticknap, Chase Stevenson, Zack Williams and one of our amateur LL riders, Tryston Pullin, all pull names out of the hat for us which was pretty cool.  

Who are some of the people/companies that have helped you along the way?

As I mentioned above Tommy Vairetta and Tom Torrez with Westside Building Materials and Joe and Rachel Rodriguez with San Luis Obispo Painting have really helped out and helped get our name out there.  Daniel Blair with Main Event Moto, Brad Gebhardt with BigMX Radio, VitalMX, Good Day Sacramento and all my family and friends that have reposted our social media stuff to help spread the word.  Kelly Campbell with Premier Nutrition out of Oakland, CA was also nice enough to donate a lot of healthy Power Bar products that we would send out as part of a care package to each of the privateers that were picked to reimburse their entry fees.  Also as part of that care package they would get a Westside t-shirt, Privateerlife.mx t-shirt, some nice thick mil stickers and some snacks from Premier Nutrition.

 Privateerlife.MX also helps the everyday rider and the network of Supporters and Riders that they are building is a huge benefit to everyone involved.

Privateerlife.MX also helps the everyday rider and the network of Supporters and Riders that they are building is a huge benefit to everyone involved.

What are the plans for 2018?

We've definitely got some plans to bring on additional sponsors for 2018.  We don't have anything set in stone yet, but I'm excited to just talk to a few new people looking to come on board.  Obviously we would love to continue our relationship with the people that have already helped out and hopefully show them some value for their businesses by being involved with us and the sport going into 2018.

We're also working on getting an app put together since that's what most people do these days, but finding the money and time is a little difficult right now.  All the money is going out the door at this point which is fine because we're doing this to help people out and not as a business venture.  Ultimately we would like to get some advertisers within the industry on the website to help offset some cost and make improvements to the website and ultimately the app.

Be sure to check out Privaterlife.MX and follow them on Instagram (@privaterlife.mx) for more announcements and details on the program.  Make sure that you keep an eye out for the local professional privateer near you and cheer on these unsung heroes of our phenomenal sport.

Savij Racing's Broc Schmelyun talks about the new team debut

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A few months ago we featured Broc Schmelyun in a monthly "Dream Chasers" stories about his role as team manager of a professional Supercross and Motocross race team.  Broc gave some incredible insight into the world of racing and shared some of his many experiences in the hopes of inspiring others to get involved in the sport or make some valuable head way into an industry of their dreams.  Broc shares in our sentiment of truly attacking each opportunity that comes your way as a means to get closer to your dream-whatever that may be.  This is evident in each decision and tactical move that Broc and his team makes.  Since our last talk with Broc he has had some big changes to his racing program and has simultaneously embarked on a totally new venture.  We wanted to get the inside scoop from Broc himself and learn about what he has been up to over the past few months...

Since the last time we checked in with you there have been some serious changes with the team and riders.  What happened and what caused the change?

I would rather not comment on my previous employer, but things have been great since the change. The pay is slightly less, but the quality of life is better in my opinion. We had such a great group of guys heading into the season. It was a real bummer to see it kinda fall apart, but we are in a great spot right now. As for Jerry Robin it just wasn't clicking on either side. I believe we both wanted a change. I'm really happy with our decision to pick up Jon-Jon Ames. He really exemplifies what you want in a rider. Jon-Jon is still really young too and I believe you will see a lot of him in the near future. 

 Broc is one of the most hands on team managers around.  This is one quality that his team really appreciates and it also gives him another perspective that most mangers don't get to encounter.

Broc is one of the most hands on team managers around.  This is one quality that his team really appreciates and it also gives him another perspective that most mangers don't get to encounter.

How has the team taken the change?

The team morale is up drastically. You might think that losing the big rig and everything for the rest of the year was a huge blow to the program, but we were running on an extremely bare minimum budget anyways. Our bike budget actually increased after the split so we were able to provide closer to what we were capable of. Everyone top to bottom just seems to be happier which is really cool because that is an aura I really try to capture. People ride better when they are happy. 

What have you guys been working on?

We recently started an engine building company called Savij. We have been doing some privateer motors and also some amateurs in this area. (based right below Pittsburgh, PA) I have been hitting some local races and plan to go almost every weekend. I want to make sure the people we help are supported at the track as well. I believe its really important to have trackside support and not many engine builders in this area offer that. Also with my racing background I can help people on the bike and with training tips as well. Overall we want to be a fuller experience for people that need work done to their dirt bikes. 

 Chad Sanner works with Jon-Jon Ames' mechanic Justin Kahabka to keep the Savij tuned Waynesburg Yamaha machine running in tip top form.  Each week these guys go over the bike in fine detail to make sure Jon-Jon has what he needs to get the job done.

Chad Sanner works with Jon-Jon Ames' mechanic Justin Kahabka to keep the Savij tuned Waynesburg Yamaha machine running in tip top form.  Each week these guys go over the bike in fine detail to make sure Jon-Jon has what he needs to get the job done.

How did the idea for Savij come about?

Chad Sanner and I both have one goal in common. We really enjoy helping people. We helped a few privateers in motocross and supercross and I had a great feeling from it. We talked about starting an engine building company together and basing it off of helping others to reach heights they may not have been able to without our help. That is where the company idea started. As for the name, I wanted to break the norm of engine building companies. Instead of an industry sounding name or few letters put together I wanted to have something different. I wanted to be able to brand the name itself and above all - I wanted to have something I could picture someone saying they ride for with pride instead of just another company name. We aim to be game changers in many different ways with this opportunity. 

Chad Sanner has a lengthy career in the sport and has a lot of experience. What sets Chad apart from other tuners?

Other builders try to keep up with what Pro Circuit, Geico, or Star are doing. Chad looks to other entities like F1 and finds ways to implement that technology into dirt bike racing. I really believe that he is two steps ahead of a lot of the competition. We had a very low budget this year for the bike. If we race in 2018, we will be much more prepared with something we are more proud of. For 2017 our bike was good, but it wasn't at the level that we were capable of. If we do start from practically scratch this year I am not worried. Chad won "Lites start up team of the year" in 2010 and 2011, I know we will be in good hands between the two of us. 

 Chad and Broc are a great team.  Their communication and respect for each other's expertise is second to none and makes the team dynamic much more friendly and enjoyable.

Chad and Broc are a great team.  Their communication and respect for each other's expertise is second to none and makes the team dynamic much more friendly and enjoyable.

 Even without the luxuries of their old rig, Broc and Chad still manage to complete the day to day tasks as if nothing has changed. 

Even without the luxuries of their old rig, Broc and Chad still manage to complete the day to day tasks as if nothing has changed. 

How does the Savij team differ from the Blue Buffalo Slater skins team?

There really weren't a lot of changes. The budget was practically identical just from myself and Sanner paying out of pocket. We had some amazing sponsors step up and help us out tremendously to really make it all worthwhile. Waynesburg Yamaha gave us two bikes to help out which was HUGE for us. The freedom of not having everything micro managed was really nice, but the rig made life easier as well. I believe it was a pretty even switch all things considered due to the stress of having to throw everything together in two weeks as opposed to an entire off season. It was such an extremely small period of time. 

How did the riders react to the change?

Jerry was with us when the switch happened. He had the option of going with us or staying with the old team. He chose to move on with us. We rushed for Millville and had a catastrophic day. I rushed everything getting ready and put together and it caught up with us all weekend. I have learned from it and it will not happen again. We mutually decided to split ways after that race. It was just time for a change from both sides. 

We noticed that Jon Ames was a new addition for Unadilla.  How has he adapted to the new bike and team?

Jon Jon has adapted incredibly well. He is a super respectful guy with a great family that all want to see him succeed and are very supportive. Jon Jon rode really well the last couple of rounds. His results didn't always show on paper, but he had an awesome performance at Budds creek running top 10 for half of the Moto. He had a lot of mistakes, but that is just part of being a rookie. Jon will be one to look out for in the future if he keeps with his work ethic and grind. 

 250 class rookie Jon-Jon Ames has been a great addition to the team and Broc, along with the rest of the team, enjoys working with him and helping him to reach his professional goals.  They see a lot of talent and dedication in Jon-Jon.

250 class rookie Jon-Jon Ames has been a great addition to the team and Broc, along with the rest of the team, enjoys working with him and helping him to reach his professional goals.  They see a lot of talent and dedication in Jon-Jon.

What are the goals for the team?

Right now our goal is to find some financial contributors for 2018. It would make it a lot easier to have some outside help to shoulder the load while we represent them to the fullest. It could be personal bias, but I don't know of another team who pumped their title sponsor and got more involved than we did this year. We really put Blue Buffalo first and always focused on how to grow their footprint in the sport. Hopefully we have the opportunity to do that for a company next season. 

What are the plans moving forward into the off-season and into 2018?

Right now we are going to focus on Savij and growing that as much as possible. It would be nice to grow that enough to make it a co-title sponsor for 2018. Our brand is built off of high quality products and great customer service; two things I imagine any company would want to be aligned with. 

 The team really knows how to make their bikes stand out.  Fans always stop by for a picture of the bike as it is one that definitely catches the eye and is riddled with cool/trick parts.

The team really knows how to make their bikes stand out.  Fans always stop by for a picture of the bike as it is one that definitely catches the eye and is riddled with cool/trick parts.

What does the team need to be successful and gain momentum?

Right now we are in the same position as the riders. We know what we need to do, we know the blueprint, now it's up to us to work for it! It is going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of grinding, but I know we are prepared for the challenge. Hard work and sweat are needed most right now.

Who has been some of your biggest supporters during the change?

There are so many to name. On top of all of our sponsors Waynesburg Yamaha, Enzo, FMF, Defiance, Rekluse, Renn Fuel, Ride Engineering, Dunlop, Evans Coolant, Mika Metals, Guts Racing, Vortex, MotoTape, Lightspeed Carbon, Moto Hose, SuperTech, Twin Air, Matrix Concepts, 180 Decals, Tamer, ICW, Acerbis, and Bristol Core I had a lot of help from Chad Sanner, Justin Kahabka, Jay Cavanaugh, Billy Chamberlain,  Bill Dill, Dave Drakes, Casey Scheman, my mom, dad and girlfriend. So many people had to work together to make it all work and I am very thankful.  

 Broc and team are always full of smiles, even in some not so favorable circumstances.  The team truly is run like a family and everyone is welcome, respected, and given what they need to reach success.

Broc and team are always full of smiles, even in some not so favorable circumstances.  The team truly is run like a family and everyone is welcome, respected, and given what they need to reach success.

Your group is always seen with a smile and it has a very "family-like" feel.  What makes the difference for you guys?

I have to credit that to everyone else. I try to have fun in every aspect of life and luckily the guys are cool enough to go along with it. We always have some bet rolling or some type of challenge to keep it fun and exciting. We never have a dull moment. Plus, I think it is hard to not smile while you are helping others. As long as that is our goal we should always be smiling from ear to ear!

 

Be sure to keep up with Broc and the Savij team in the coming months to see how the team is coming along.  As always check out the TCE Instagram page for more thrilling photos and a look inside the life of privateer riders and teams.

 

 

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