Back in October Colt Brinkerhoff headed East for the GNCC Ironman. We caught up with him about his adventure and got the scoop on what happened while he was there. Colt injured his wrist and wasn’t able to finish the race, but posted that he was certainly keeping redemption in mind for the ’14 season. Colt raced one a YFZR prepped by Walker Fowler and his crew, took his own posse of folks to Indiana, and the outcome you will be able to see on video because Gerald is a soon-to-be YouTube sensation.
Tell us about where the idea to attend the Ironman came from, and your prep leading up to the event.
The idea for Ironman or a GNCC in General came from when I was just a young Gerald. I grew up by the mountains in Fillmore, UT (which is not even close to the woods I raced in!). It looked like a blast and I knew I could make it happen one day. With Fasst Co. and Zbroz Racing it finally all came into fruition. The prep was the same. I did get some tips from Josh Frederick and Trent Kendall about doing the upper body workouts more. I had the bike out of the way for once so that was cool. Walkers crew is awesome and his mechanic Mark Notman (XC1 Pro) definitely knows his stuff, I can’t thank them enough for keeping me dialed all weekend.
During the course of the weekend, what made the biggest impacts or impressions on you? The venue? The riders? The course itself?
The biggest impact was just how awesome every aspect of GNCC was. From the crowd to the racers and the terrain. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. With the crowd, over 2000 spectators easily, it was hands down the biggest event I have been apart of. I think the coolest part of it was meeting everyone that I talk to daily on the phone. The community there felt a lot like home, everyone was pumped that Chris Barnes (Zbroz Rep) was there. Another thing is I got to hand it to the riders out there, it got pretty rough and tight, they hold it wide open everywhere they go. I was impressed!
Without giving away too many secrets, how fast is Walker Fowler’s bike?
Man, Walker’s quad – Joey is the quad’s name. Walkers Grandma names all of his quads – was the fastest Yamaha I had ever ridden. Toby at Moto Xperts really knows that bike well and it put the power to the ground! He did mention to me that was a mild build and that Walker’s race quad was even better! Couldn’t wrap my head around that one. One thing I did miss was my kick start though, it’s always faster than electric for dead engine starts.
Ok, so the nitty gritty. Tell us about race day and what happened.
Race day was a scramble for me to say the least. The previous day was sunny with highs in the 30’s so it was cold but nothing like race day. It was overcast and probably in the 20’s. I knew it was going to be cold going through the river crossings. We got to the line and there was close to 2000 spectators – it felt like I was at a SX race. The best part of it all is after the prayer the announcer called each of us up to show off little to get the crowd pumped up. People we’re going nuts, it was awesome! Hearing the “teeeeeennnnn secccccooonnnnddds” before we took off was sick! It was dead quiet. The flag flew and the Yamaha delayed a bit then started and I was off. I was near the back of the pack but was just pacing myself as it’s a two hour race. We got to some more of the open fields and I would pick some of the guys off there.
I got to the Ironman hill and found a good line up the hill after some help from the great crowd. I was nailing that throttle for all she had. About mile 5 of the 11 mile course I was behind another racer as he went through a split of two trees. It was a lot smoother over there so I followed. Bad mistake, he made it through clean as I did not. I ended up wedging my two front tires in between them, it was like hitting a brick wall. I pretty much scorpioned myself and my wrist got caught in between the hand guard and the clutch lever. I came back down with the quad and immediately was in wrist pain.. I felt like a “real Gerald” for trying that one. I ended up suffering through the final 6 miles of the rough Ironman course to the Yamaha pit. Walker’s dad and mechanic Mark Notman checked out my wrist and said I probably shouldn’t continue on. I was super bummed that it had happened but that’s racing I guess. I just sat on the sidelines and cheered on all of the Flexx Handlebar controlled racers.
You said you had redemption planned. Does that mean you’re returning next year because you have unfinished business?
Gerald, Chris Barnes and I are planning on returning. I would like to make three rounds and race one of them. I would like to race Powerline Park as I’ve heard it’s funner than chasin a greased up pig around. Plus, I have to prove that a white boy from the West Coast can get a top ten in the GNCC races.
Will we be seeing a follow up to Gerald Erl’s first video?
Of course Gerald will be back, he’s on a fishing expedition up in the Teton’s at the moment but he’s ready to be a YouTube sensation once again. We planned on doing 3 segments but we weren’t able to get enough film since I only did one lap. We’ll roll it all into one great video coming soon.
If you had to settle on one thing, what was the highlight of the trip for you?
The highlight to my trip was finally meeting all the great people out on the east coast. They are an amazing group of people and a lot of talent among them. I didn’t get to meet every one of them, but I will soon! The scenery was way cool and different too. I am used to big mountains and it was pretty flat out that way.
Who would you like to thank for your Ironman adventure?
First off, I have to thank everyone that was involved with getting me there. Everyone at Fasst Co./Flexx Handlebars and ZBROZ Racing. They supplied me with the parts and airfare to get out there and to follow a dream of racing a GNCC. I know I couldn’t have had it all happen without my boy Walker Fowler and his crew. Mark Notman had built the quad with my own suspension flawlessly. It was weird showing up to a race when I didn’t really have to do much. Another one would be Chris Barnes for helping me with doing a great video and having him there was awesome, we had a great time and he really helped me dial in the suspension for the Yamaha. Also, to all my sponsors that were behind me and understanding since I was riding a different bike that had different parts.
Any last words?
Yeah last words would be “Keep Calm and Gerald On”… Oh and thank you to everyone that’s a fan or is behind me. You guys keep me going!