Dialogue - Skyler Howes
After watching the viral videos the weekend at the National Hare & Hound, it's no secret you've figured out the key to a good start. Take us through your start and the first few miles of the race...
Well, first key to a good start is get yourself a 2-stroke! My Blais Racing Services KTM 300XC is awesome at firing as the banner drops, and rips all the way to the end of the bomb. I had a solid line right up the middle, but was a little nervous of the big gap that I had to clear over the ditch. As we approached it, I was neck and neck with Jacob Argubright. He chopped the throttle, I kept it pinned and held him off all the way to the banners. After that it was smooth sailing. The only thing was the cold, my fingers got really cold, but having Flexx Handlebars kept me relaxed and able to hold on. With the dust, I was able to edge out Jacob for quite a while!
Coming into the Main pits in second, what did the remaining 60-miles hold for you and your overall finish?
Just as we exited the pits I was -20 seconds behind Jacob. I kept close in his dust for quite a while as Nick Burson closed the gap on me eventually taking the position and putting me back to 3rd. Just as we came to the first check in to loop two, I started to get an upset stomach. The more whoops and chop that we came to, the worse the feeling got. I tried to push through it but eventually lost the pace and positions to Kamo, Caselli, Morrow and Tuffy Pearson. I continued on, hoping to gain back my composure, but up to mile-90 or so I ended up actually having to stop and vomit on the side of the trail. Allowing 250A winner Josh Knight and Brady Elton to catch me. I was able to hold them off for the remaining miles to the finish, but had a rough time doing it. This kept me in 8th overall at the finish.
Well kudos for finishing and making the best of the race! Do you feel the tighter terrain of this race was more your style versus the wide open desert?
Thanks! I really like the Idaho round, being as tight and all the single track they have, makes it one of the funnest races in the Hare and Hound series. However, I do still like the wide open desert in Cali and feel like that is more my style.
Awesome. You mentioned your Flexx bars, and you actually work with Fasst co. Tell us about your role there..
I honestly couldn't ask for a better group of guys and company to work with. The whole Fasst Family is just that, a family. My specific job there is Tech Support. If you have questions on what Flexx Handlebar set up you need or tech questions on tuning your Flexx Handlebars to suit your needs, I'm your guy! I'll get you dialed with a set up that will best fit your ergonomics to make sure you have the most comfortable ride and best experience possible!
Living in Southern Utah, has it been difficult to train in the winter?
What really makes it difficult for me is work. I work 12-14 hours a day between Fasst co and managing the local swimming pool. Winter time is actually one of the best times to ride/train. It will get pretty cold but no snow, and the dirt will stay wet for a long time after a good rain storm. Summer time gets pretty gnarly though, getting up to 115 degrees makes it hard to find time to ride unless you are up at 5am.
This year you teamed up with Blais Racing to race the National Hare & Hounds. That has to be pretty exciting for you. How did you get hooked up with them?
I am so stoked to be apart of the Blais Racing team this year! I owe a lot of it to Chris Tidwell and Cole Townsend of Fasst Co for having the connection with Chris Blais. I got connected with Blais early in 2012, thanks to Chris and Cole and winning the 250A Championship last year made a good impression on Blais. I talked to him a lot and got picked up on the team! The entire Blais team has been awesome, I have learned so much already this season and they have all made it a good transition in to the pro class.
A freshie to the Pro class, what is your goal for the 2013 season?
Definitely to be on the podium! I want to be consistent in the top five each round and finish out the year in a podium position.
Aside from NHHA, where else can we expect to see you ride this season?
I'll be cherry picking some of my favorite rounds of the local USRA and MRAN series, as well as the the new Epic Moto and Get Extreme races.
Awesome! Who would you like to thank?
Of course Blais Racing Services, Fasst Co and my Parents for all of the advice, time and effort that they put in with me. I couldn't do it without all my sponsors either KTM, Torco Oil, ESR suspension, Race Tech, RAD Mfg, Alpinestars, Kenda, Pro Moto Billet, Fastway, FMF , Rekluse, HBD Motografx, Regina, TLD, BRP, Bullet Proof, DirtTricks, Eline, IMS, No Toil, Acerbis, Muscle Milk, X Brand Goggles, A’ME Grips, 763 Edits, TMFG Designs, Bike Week Radio and of course Vurboffroad for the awesome coverage!
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