DO YOU HAVE TO BE SOMEWHERE
Monster Mike Schultz LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
le fi o r P r e d i R s!
n i W y a l b m Tim Tre
s r e n n i W t s nte o C t s e V k e T Tekrider Newsletter
IN THIS ISSUE MESSAGE FROM STEVE MIKE SCHULTZ INTERVIEW RIDER PROFILE: CHRIS MCCONNELL WIN A TEKVEST
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PHOTO CREDITS: WAYNE DAVIS, BOB ISLAND, JB2, JIM PIILOLA, SNOWGOER MAGAZINE, DANIEL CEDOLIA & DAVID MOSSOP, GARY WALTON (BACK COVER)
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WIN A TEKVEST! TURN TO PAGE 16
Meet Chris McConnell: Turn to page 10
was in contention for the points chase on our local circuit, the CSRA. Three weeks ago, at the SnoCross event in Barrie, Jeff had a major crash and was lucky to get away with only a broken leg. He hole-shotted a Pro Lite Open heat race but spun out in turn one and high-sided. His sled chased him down and the studded track hit him in the back on the first roll and on the second roll we guess his tunnel broke his right femur. This was Jeff’s first time in an ambulance as he has made it through 17 years of racing relatively unscathed. Now he has a 40cm titanium rod in his leg as he works at mastering wheelchair wheelies.
Spending another weekend together.
For years we’ve heard many crash stories and talked to lots of people who’ve had their normal Monday morning routine radically altered by a sled crash or bad get-off. Our showroom is packed with heavily damaged TekVests that racers have shared with us. We study all of them in detail and are always searching for ways to improve. We’re happy to say that our product is still performing well when called upon to do so. Our family is typical of most snowmobilers - our kids are heavily involved and following closely in our tracks. It’s great to see your kids enjoying our sport but at times the price can be high. I’ve spent a lifetime at the race track and for the last 17 years have been proud and very fortunate to have been able to give my two sons, Jeff and Kevin, the opportunity to experience the thrill of competition. Jeff and Kevin both entered their first SnoCross race at age five aboard a Kitty Cat, and have since progressed to the ProLite and Sport divisions respectively. They’re now both full-time engineering students and racing is a great break from their studies. Jeff was having a great year on his new mod sled, and
Jeff’s TekVest now hangs in our showroom and bears personal testament to product performance. Jeff’s crash was captured on video for all to see, something his brother thinks is very cool. Kevin, AKA KK (Krash Kevin) is no stranger to injuries, having spent many months in traction and hospitals but with no permanent record of the crashes. Get well soon Jeff! And yes, we’ll be racing again and no, I won’t sell off your sleds.
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Mike Schultz TekTalk was able to catch up to Monster Mike Schultz. Mike was able to give us a snapshot of his life busy life and what heâ€™s been up to. TEKTALK: For those who may not know the story, tell us about your injury and how it happened. MIKE: The accident was Dec. 13th 2008; I was going into my fifth season as one of the top five professional snocross riders on the ISOC National snocross tour, I had just signed with Warnert Racing on Ski-doo and things started off great. I finished the opening round in Duluth with a couple decent finishes, considering I was on a new machine and race team. The second round was in Ironwood, MI and I felt I was going to have an even better weekend than Duluth. I lined up for the first Pro Stock qualifying race on Saturday morningâ€Śthe green flag flew, I punched the throttle and my sled hesitated off the start. I was nearly the last sled coming into the first corner. I needed to get to the 5th place spot in order to make to the final so I put my head
down and charged. About half way through the race I was in 6th position and blasted down the gnarly downhill section when the sled started swapping side to side. I wasn’t able to hang on and was sort of bucked off the side of the machine. As a stuck my leg out to brace my fall, my knee was in full extension on impact, it instantly crushed and hyper extended my knee. It was a compound fracture of the tibia plateau. The crash also severed the main nerve and artery that supplies the lower leg. It was the most painful injury I’ve ever had. After a horrible experience at the first hospital, I took a two hour ambulance ride to Duluth and had multiple surgeries. The doctors attempted to repair the damage but I was having circulation problems. My physical condition was at rock bottom and there was a possibility I may not survive more surguries, we had to make the decision to amputate just above the knee. To me, it was unbelievable that a knee injury could end up this way! Thirteen days later I arrived at home on Christmas Eve day, minus my left leg. TEKTALK: Tell us how your current prosthesis came about? MIKE: While I was in the hospital, friends and family were joking about me building my own leg. After a couple weeks at home I started to get a plan going with Chip (my prosthetist) at Prosthetic Laboratories. They were always really interested in getting me back into action as soon as possible. I did get back on the sled even before I had my first prosthesis and I could lean into the left
corners like nobody else! My ideas really went into overdrive in March of ’09, I had heard of the Adaptive Supercross at the Summer X Games and I wanted to go after that. I needed something new to focus my energy on so I did not start being bummed about my situation. I designed the knee prosthesis (what I now call the Moto Knee) around a Fox mountain bike shock because of the compact sizes and lightweight materials. Ricky Stroble with Fox Shox allowed me to use some of his machining equipment to get the first prototype going. I had never used a mill or lathe at that point so one of their employees and a friend of mine (Ben Hayes ) taught me the basics. I created a bulky working prototype a little over a week later. I bolted it all together, walked over to the motocross bike and hi tailed down the ditch. Within 2 minutes, I knew I was on to something great. I had a smile from ear to ear and you probably could have seen it through my helmet! Over the next few months I fine-tuned it to the motocross bike and headed to the ESPN Summer X Games Adaptive Supercross (seven months after my accident). I came home with the Silver!! It was an unbelievable experience and never would have dreamed of anything like that right after my amputation. I do have to say this: the snocross community and my home town (Brainerd, MN) put together a benefit shortly after my accident. The amount of support and number of people that attended was absolutely unbelievable. That event is what allowed me to get the Moto Knee project started. So I need to give a huge “thank you” to everyone that was
involved and that attended. TEKTALK: Since your injury, tell us how you’ve changed your sleds to go racing? MIKE: The fall of 2009 I decided to get back on the snocross track, especially after hearing that the X Games were going to have an Adaptive Snocross as well. That winter I was still involved with Warnert Racing as a riding coach and practice track builder. I remember the first time I finally got on the track with the Moto knee, I had pretty high expectations after riding motocross all summer. The first day of riding was a huge disappointment, I felt so awkward I was wondering what I was getting myself into. I just kept at it and made adjustment after adjustment to the knee and the sled. The biggest modification was to the running board on the sled, I had to control where my foot position needed to be. So I developed a stirrup that held my foot from sliding too far forward but would still allow me to get out when I needed to. TEKTALK: How did you have to change your race style? MIKE:Well, the biggest thing was that my mental speed had to slow down a lot to match my physical speed! Meaning; I wanted to go much faster than my legs would allow me. I need to ride with much more control and not let it “hang out” like I could before, I am physically unable to react the way I did. For example if I get bucked off balance one way or the other I can’t just bend my leg to transfer my weight. Think of it as always having your quadriceps
Photo: John Hanson
engaged and not being able to use your hamstrings to pick your foot up off the ground. My speed is always getting faster but I need to ride at ¾ throttle instead of “Wide Open”. TEKTALK: Is there a silver lining with your disability when it comes to racing? Any advantages? MIKE: There may be a silver lining. My accident opened my eyes and I look at things different now. I try not to take things for granted. I enjoy the sport and the people much more. There are two advantages; my left hand my toes never get cold no matter what the temperature is, and if I crash and break my left leg I can just go over to the toolbox, grab the spare and be ready to go in about a minute and a half. Everything else is pretty much a disadvantage. TEKTALK: Since your injury, how has it affected your life in terms of racing? MIKE: It is amazing how many things have changed but yet so much has stayed the same. By definition I am still a professional athlete/racer. I have a great group of sponsors like Loctite, Prosthetic Laboratories, Amsoil, and Fly Racing (among others) that support me with all the things I want to do. TEKTALK: Tell us more about your adaptive company? MIKE: In the summer of 2010 I officially started my company called Biodapt, Inc.. The goal of it is to develop the highest of quality and performance adaptive sports equipment for amputees. Right now the main focus is the Moto Knee and soon I will have two different feet available for action sports. I kind of have the best of both worlds right now, I have my own company that sells the equipment that I develop through the racing and competitions I do. I still get to race, and while I’m racing I am marketing the products as well as testing them to the most intense conditions possible. TEKTALK: What are some of your racing highlights this season? MIKE: This year I am competing in the Pro AM Plus 30 class on the ISOC national tour and so far I’ve had 3 podium finishes. The other highlight is that I compete in the Adaptive Boarder X race (snowboard) at the Winter X Games since there was no snocross. That was one of the most heart pounding things I’ve done… I ended up launching my snowboard over 55ft off the finish line kicker! The best part was that I stomped the landing and ended up 5th. TEKTALK: Tell us about your dirt racing? MIKE: I race motocross in the summer (that’s actually how my racing was started back in 1998). I was able to compete at two Summer X Games events and ended up winning a Silver in ’09 and a Gold in ’10. Those two races rank right up there in my lifetime highlights. This summer I will be competing at the Extremity Games in Michigan and hopefully a couple other big events throughout the summer. TEKTALK: I see you’re involved in many other sports - can you tell us about them? MIKE: My two main sports are motocross and snocross. For cross training I do a lot of road and mountain biking, I also just got into snowboarding, skiing and wakeboarding. One of the main reasons is so I can tune the Moto Knee for as many sports as possible. This way I can have a good baseline set-up for customers that purchase the Moto Knee for those activities. Oh, and it’s a ton of fun too!! TEKTALK: I see you were in the middle east for the xHEAVYMetal Tour. What was that like?
MIKE: The trip to the Middle East was with the American300 Warrior Tours developed by Rob Powers. A lot of you may know Rob from behind the mic at the ISOC snocross tour. Let me tell you, he is just as amped up every day as he is when he’s behind the mic! It was tough to keep up with him. There were four of us altogether; Rob Powers, Levi Lavallee and Glen Kafka. This was a great group to travel with! We traveled to 4 different countries in the Middle East and stopped at roughly 20 different military bases. We would spend about 30 to 60 minutes with each group and tell them our story. The whole idea was to promote resiliency, and to show that we haven’t forgot about the sacrifices that the military personal are making. It was a great experience and I am sure I will be doing more of it in the future. TEKTALK: What were some of the things that stood out for you while interacting so closely with the military? MIKE: The memorable thing for me was when we spent some time in Germany at the Landstuhl military hospital. We were able to meet some of the guys who were injured from down range. There were multiple amputees and you could tell they didn’t really know what to expect. I was able to lift up my leg and say hey, the road definitely doesn’t stop here, so don’t get to discouraged. Then I would tell them about what I was able to do and accomplish as an amputee. By the end of the conversations you could tell they had a different positive look in their eyes. That is what the trip was all about for me. TEKTALK: What else have you been up to? MIKE: My main focus lately has been snowboarding at the X Games and doing some filming with the Edge
Factor Show up in British Columbia. We filmed some back country riding out of a helicopter…ya, it was pretty sweet! Technically it was classified as work (marketing the Moto Knee). Stay tuned to www.edgefactor.com for the video trailer in mid-March. TEKTALK: What are your future plans? MIKE: I announced my retirement from snocross at the opening round in Duluth this year. It was and still is a tough one to think about, I’ve been racing snocross for 12 years now and the people and race teams involved with it have been my second family. It is hard to think about not doing it anymore. It’s time for me to focus on my business and move to the next chapter. I feel like have a great opportunity with Biodapt, Inc. and want to make sure I do it right. I am going to finish the season and go for the Pro Am Plus 30 points championship (I’m currently in 2nd). With all that being said, I will always be involved with the industry one way or another, I just won’t be lining up on the snocross track in the foreseeable future. TEKTALK: You’ve been wearing a TekVest for most of your career - has it ever saved you from injury? MIKE: I have never lined up without my TekVest in the 12 years I’ve been racing. I’ll have to say that I have taken some nasty diggers in that time. I’ve been bucked off, run over, run into and I have been dragged behind my machine. My TekVest has always done its job. I remember one season I was run over and the studs and carbides passed over me. It left some pretty crazy looking marks in the vest but I was in one piece. So, for all of you that have a possibility of getting run over by razor sharp studs and carbides, this is definitely something you should be wearing! TEKTALK: Do you wear a TekVest while recreational riding? MIKE: I just started wearing one while trail riding. As you get older you start to think of the consequences a bit more. There is always the chance of someone else taking the oncoming line through the trail, and that is why I’ve started wearing mine on the trail. It also works as Boardercross armor as well… I wore it while I raced Boardercross at the Winter X Games this year. Thanks for making a great piece of durable equipment!!
To stay updated on what Mike is up to, check out; www.monstermikeschultz.com , FacebookMonster Mike Schultz #5 (Athlete Page), Facebook- Biodapt, Inc. Team Sponsors: Loctite, Prosthetic Laboratories, Ski-doo, Amsoil, Biodapt, inc., Fly Racing, Fox Shox, Brothers Motorsports, Action Graphics, C & A Pro Skis, Stud Boy, Spy, GLS Promotions, General Equipment, HMK, 50 Below, TekVest, Team Industries, GoPro, CTI, Rox Speed FX and more.
Got a little captain in you? This great photo was sent to us by our Facebook friend Anders NĂ¤sen. He can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/6ptaoa2
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Do you have to be somewhere on Monday morning?
Chris McConnell is a 44-year old rider who lives in Lake Tahoe, California. Chris is a member of Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue. He’s been using a TekVest for upper body protection both on the bike and on the sled for recreation and also during search and rescue operations.
a high intermediate.
TEKTALK: Has your TekVest ever saved you from injury?
CHRIS: Multiple times. The best example I can give you is the day I unfortunately didn’t wear it. Some friends and family were headed out TEKTALK: What level of rider would you on what was to be an easy ride with some say you are? new riders. I looked at my TekVest and said to myself “I won’t be needing this today, I’m CHRIS: I’d like to think I’m an expert but there just going for a short ride with some beginare a ton of people I ride with that are way ners”. About an hour later while climbing better than I am. We ride off-trail, steep and the steep and deep my sled hit a buried log deep mountain terrain so maybe I’m an expert which immediately stopped both me and the in other regions but around here I’m probably sled while travelling at about 40mph. I was
thrown hard into the mountain bar, enough the knock the wind out of me and crack a couple of ribs. It took me about six to eight weeks to fully recover. This injury occurred because I didn’t wear my TekVest. Never again will I ride without it.
TEKTALK: Tell us a bit about your search and rescue (SAR) work and how you view the TekVest in terms of SAR work? CHRIS: I am a member of Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue in Lake Tahoe, California. We are first responders when someone gets lost or injured. Typically a skier/snowboarder goes out of bounds and gets lost, calls 911 or their
family reports them overdue and calls 911. Our team responds quickly in an attempt to locate the missing person. Among the many assets we bring into the backcountry besides skiers and snowcats are snowmobiles. Snowmobiles are a key tool in rescuing the lost. It’s not uncommon to head out during the worst conditions. It’s adventurous and rewarding and it is the best job you will never get paid for. Having a TekVest is a critical piece of gear for SAR work. It’s often at night and stormy conditions where things tend surprise you all the time. It’s nice to know you have a TekVest to protect you. Thanks for making a great product!
“I WAS TERRIFIED AS
! Y A L P T A CHRIS
WIN YOUR OW
The winner of a brand new TekVest’s is Jerry Lakota Jr. Jerry’s story is a familer one positive attitude despite his injuries so we decided to send him a TekVest. Jerry en Sport Vest on the right to go to our website, fill out the entry form and tell us why
Jerry Lakota Jr. - Freeport, IL JERRY’S WINNING COMMENTS: One day a friend and I were at the practice track where I was making the triple jump all day long. On the last lap of the day I cased the triple and the handlebars hit me in the abdomen. I woke up in the ICU at our local hospital. When I became conscious, I asked the nurse what happened and told me that I lost my spleen, appendix and gallbladder. She said that I lost a lot of blood and that I was lucky to be alive. In total I have had six surgeries to repair all the internal injuries from the crash. Thank God I am still here. I think that if I would have had a vest on I might not have been injured. I have enclosed a picture of my injuries. Thank you for the chance to win a TekVest. - Jerry
e to us - a bad crash while not wearing upper body protection. We liked Jerryâ€™s ntered our WIN A TEKVEST contest located on our website. Click on the Super YOU should win a TekVest!
ENTER HERE AND WIN!
Meet Craig Nicholson Craig’s take on being intrepid: having the determination and flexibility to continue despite unexpected challenges.
Craig Nicholson is a freelance journalist, writer and communications consultant who specializes in motorized recreational activities, including snowmobiling. As an avid snowmobiler, he logs up to 15,000 kilometres (10,000 miles) on the snow each winter and has snowmobiled in every region of Canada. His one-of-a-kind tour book, “Canada’s Best Snowmobiling – The Ultimate Ride Guide”, chronicles his adventures. As a snowmobiling expert and authority, Craig is unique in North America because he writes, broadcasts and advises for multiple media outlets and organizations, unlike most other members of the snowmobiling media who only work for one company or in one medium. Besides being perhaps the only truly independent snowmobiling media personality, Craig is also the only journalist who regularly writes and broadcasts in the mainstream, non-snowmobiling media. Through his diverse activities, Craig Nicholson has an established, credible reputation as a trusted spokesperson with hundreds of thousands of snowmobilers across North America. Every week during the winter months, Craig reaches up to two million snowmobilers across North America through various media activites. Craig’s writing about snowmobiling has also appeared in magazines such as Snow Tech, Snow Goer U.S., Motoneige Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Cottage Life, Outdoor Canada, Canadian Geographic and Better Farming, as well as in the Toronto Sun. Check out Craig’s latest adventures at his website located here:
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Our congratulations to Tim Tremblay and Warnert Racing for winning the 2012 ISOC # 1 plate!