Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Spotlight: Stephanie Nychka

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Spotlight: Stephanie Nychka

She's real, raw and all inspiring. For some, it's the fact that she's a mom and a badass rider, for others like myself, I appreciate that she's open and honest about her BMX journey. Stephanie is a part of a very small pool of female riders representing Canada in competitions like FISE and we took some time to learn about her, but we only broke the surface at best.

Age: Old enough to have 3 kids, a doctorate and a ton of student loans.

Location: Calgary, Alberta

When and how did you get into riding bikes and I mean before competing in BMX - what’s your bike history?

I started riding urban (hard tails) when I was around 20 and living in Edmonton, which quickly evolved into freeriding and racing downhill. After a few years of living in Whistler and Portland, my passion for slopestyle and dirt jumping emerged. There are so few women who do this style of riding, I'd always be seated with the guys. I've been lucky enough to have ridden in the Crankworx Slopestyle (the only woman to have ever done so), as well as the Red Bull Freezeride (one of two women to be invited). I started organizing SlopeSistair, a women's freeride event that drew women from all over North America, because there really is no way for women in mountain biking to advance if they don't race. I raced 4x for a year in the Jeep Series event for that reason, and even that was eventually disbanded.

What motivated the idea to give BMX a try and how did you find the transition?

I was continually looking for options to take my riding to the next level. Cory Coffey and Nikita Ducarroz assistant coached at a couple mtb clinics in Tahoe where they tried their hand at hard tails and dirt jumping, and they in turn encouraged me to give the 2017 Edmonton FISE a shot. I bought a bike off a 12-year old boy from kijiji (it was far too small) and drove to Edmonton the following week, never having ridden a bmx or skate park. FISE was an eye opener- I would have been much more comfortable competing in the mountain bike slopestyle! Once I started riding bmx at BLine (our indoor bike park), transitioning initially wasn't that difficult but I've been finding that even after a year, riding a skatepark is still intimidating and not at all easy.

On a side note: I first met Ms Coffey when Specialized sent her to compete in SlopeSistair!

You did amazing at FISE, thank you for representing Canada! HOWEVER, I see you were kinda disappointed in yourself. Could you walk us through what Edmonton was like, what your expectations were leading up to the event, and how you’re feeling now looking back.

Oh, I don't think I'd use the word 'amazing'. I was definitely disappointed - I hoped that I would qualify for finals but once I started riding the course I realized I hadn't properly prepared myself. I had spent so much time having fun learning tricks and bouncing back and forth between a hardtail and BMX, that I'd completely disregarded the other skills necessary to compete on a FISE course. I didn't have the stamina or flow to throw any of my bigger tricks and that was difficult because I felt I had so much more to bring to my runs.

In addition to the above, what lessons did you learn that you could pass over to others?

I don't know if I am the right person to ask for advice. :) There are so many parts to freestyle BMX and most girls who compete have so much experience riding each of the different disciplines: street, park, vert and trail. You definitely can't get away with being a one trick pony. An athlete really needs to focus on all elements of their riding in order to succeed on these courses.

In a nutshell, what's the overall challenge with FISE?

The challenge of the FISE course is having an arsenal of tricks to take to quarters, big boxes and transfers, and flow between features in order to have the speed and amplitude to execute them.

Are you looking to compete in the Olympics? What’s your plan for Tokyo 2020?

To be honest I'm just focusing on improving my riding each time I get out, so that I can see tangible progress every event. I've always had a dream to go to the Olympics either as an athlete or a chiropractor- I'm open to either.

As of right now, BMX is very much on the bottom of the totem pole is terms of the support and funds provided. Unless it’s changed since I last checked, I don’t believe the women are provided anything right now. It’s easy to guess what you’d need in an ideal world (travel expense, training support, etc), but if you could ask Cycling Canada for a minimum level support that didn’t involve money upfront, what do you think the ladies would need?

It would be incredible to have coaches or mentors in order to create a competitive group of riders, and instill confidence in us. In dreamland, we would also have access to Sports Medicine facilities as well as Strength & Conditioning professionals, and have accommodations to train in different locations. I would also need a cute water boy/man.

Are you still a practicing chiropractor today and if you are, how are you balancing the competition, being a mom and the chiropractor life style?

I'm not currently working as a chiropractor as I have a 2, 4 and 6 year old at home, and am not licensed to work in Canada (I took my DC in the US). Instead I started a luxury concierge business for Calgary professionals that I can run from home. I wouldn't be able to do much of what I do without my husband- if he was like me, we'd be a mess. He knows how important riding is to me and we've made it a priority for me to train as well as attend a few MTB and BMX events each year.

As a chiropractor, is there anything you’re noticing from other riders that bugs you? Like… when people don’t stretch enough, or omg look at that joint etc etc. Something that a professional would pick up.

Not specifically. I find the thing I notice right away are injuries, and I always do my best to diagnose them (based on what little information I know, or the crash itself) before they visit another professional. I find a lot of the higher level athletes are pretty serious when it comes to diet, exercise and appropriate recovery time from injuries.

Who inspires your riding?

I find the people who inspire me change as my riding evolves. Currently, there are a few riders at BLine who inspire me: Joel, 40 year old friend who picked up park last November, who has methodically taught himself (and me) how to do some very technical tricks because he loves the challenge; and Carson Donovan, a fearless 16 year old, addicted to the thrill of riding and attempting new things. My 6 year old daughter Maiken's progression also amazes me and being able to share it with her brings so much joy to my riding. She reminds me why I've continued to try pushing the women's side of mountain biking.

What do you want to say to the ladies who think they’re too “old” to start biking?

WTF! You're calling me old, respect your elders! No one is too 'old' to start riding- many of the women who take up mountain biking in our clinics are over 30, and it makes them all smile more than they did on their wedding day.

Instragram: RidesLikeAMother
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Tuesday, August 7, 2018


Tuesday, August 7, 2018


"In my first competition back after injury and 8 months away from competition. I was buzzing to get out there on my mountain bike and compete in the best trick, high jump and pumptrack events at the Snow Summit Craft and Cranks Festival competition.

The highlight of my weekend was pushing my two wheel progression and riding away from my biggest back flips yet with loved ones around me. I am really living for these moments at the moment not the titles and results.

I unfortunately had crash and took a big slam to my back and head in the high jump competition along with 8 other competitors carted off to hospital with me. After a quiet week recovery I am feeling much better and enjoying being back on the bike in Canada.

Check out all the action in my video above Boosted by @BoostAus "Boost Mobile Australia"

Caroline Buchanan

Mikey King

@maxmandell_ & @raymondnorte

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Equal Prize Money at Vans BMX Pro Cup

Friday, July 20, 2018

Equal Prize Money at Vans BMX Pro Cup

This past Thursday, Vans BMX Pro Cup announced that the Huntington Beach stop on August 3 & 5 2018 will have equal prize money! An astounding $25,000 paid out for men and women. In response to the big news, I reached out to some previous invitees for their reactions.

Sarah Lampert USA
"It is wonderful news that the Vans BMX pro cup will be having equal prize purses. This is a tremendous step in Women’s BMX history. These women who are constantly competing and giving their all to the sport, deserve the same payout and recognition as the men do. Hopefully the other contests out there that don’t even have a real competing class for women can recognize this and follow in Vans’ footsteps."


Nikki Wetzel USA
"It's about damn time that us female athletes are getting recognized and paid/ treated the same as the men. It's a push for further equality in our sport of BMX."

Colin MacKay

Nina Buitrago USA
"The Vans BMX Pro Cup is paving the way for how contests can and should be run, including womens category at all regional qualifiers and global events, the equal pay out at Huntington Beach for the women is both exciting and historical! (First ever UCI urban world championship 2017 did equal prize purse)... Vans open will be the first equal pay out of 2018!! I hope other contests will follow their lead and inclusiveness at the very least. Cheers to Vans for throwing the best events and for their efforts to help grow freestyle as a whole!! 👊🏻❤️"

Colin Mackay

Hannah Roberts USA
"Equal pay with Vans is sick! I think it is going to bring a higher level of riding to not only the event but the sport as a whole! It is a great opportunity and incentive for people to raise the bar!"

Colin Mackay

Camila Harambour Chile
"It’s amazing how much the BMX women’s world has been growing lately and this is a good reflection on that.  I think we all girls appreciate the recognition of the hard work that we all have been putting along the years. Thank you Vans !!"

Cami at the Santiago stop. Credit unknown

Additional riders were reached out for commentary, but you know, people are busy. What do you think about this? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Jack Link's Presents: Running with Sasquatch featuring Nikita Ducarroz

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Jack Link's Presents: Running with Sasquatch featuring Nikita Ducarroz

It's awesome to see more female representatives in main stream media these days. We're stoked on this Jack Link's commercial starring Nikita Duccaroz, she's been riding and putting in the hard for a very long time, we're excited for her!

Jack Link's writes: "Ripping on a bike since she was 14 and now a top prospect for the 2020 Olympic games. This is how Nikita Runs with Sasquatch."

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Lara Lessmann - | Youth Olympic Games

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Lara Lessmann - | Youth Olympic Games

Meet Lara Lessmann, Germany's number one Freestyle BMX rider, as she gets ready for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics at Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires 2018 is the debut year for Freestyle BMX!
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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Spotlight: Simone Christensen

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Spotlight: Simone Christensen

Simone Christensen is a Danish racer from Denmark, she's competed at the 2016 Olympic Games and won gold at the 2015 European Games. Her race record is not only impressive but she's also some how doing her medical studies while training. She's definitely one of my favorite racers to watch, so keep reading if you want to learn more about her!

Beatrice: How were you first introduced to BMX and was being an elite rider always the goal? Did you have any set backs in between that time?

Simone: My brother was super into riding small bikes and jumping, so my parents took us down to the local track. My brother didn't wanna have the sweaty and used helmets on (bare in mind he was 6), but apparently I didn't care haha. So I tried and then he also tried, and from there on we started (2002).

I have some of my journals from when I was a kid, where I wrote that I just wanna be the best BMX'er in the world, so yes I think that was my goal the whole time haha.

Mainly the setbacks I have had, has been while I was a junior rider and Elite, not too many before that.

Beatrice: How's the race scene in Denmark and aside from yourself, are there any female racers we should keep an eye on?

Simone: Yes for sure! Specially on the girls side it's looking good with Malene Kejlstrup who was European Champ in girls 15 last year, and Mia Christensen who is former European and World Champion, she is now 15 years old.

Beatrice: You recently had surgery, and it seems your recovery was pretty fast! What happened, and how are you doing today?

Simone: Well for me it feels like forever haha, I started having this random pain in my leg in October, and no one could figure out what it was before in the beginning of January. There was a small infection in my right femur. The surgeon opened up my leg all the way to my bone, made a hole into the bone and rinsed out the infection. I had to wait 6 weeks before I could ride again, because the bone was weakened from the surgery. It still isn't the best, but it's slowly getting back to normal, and the pain is less and less, but still looking forward to it being 100% okay again!

Beatrice: 2016 was a really big year with the Olympics, but looking at your posts, it also had some devastating moments. Going through that experience, what's the biggest lesson you learned and what's your plan moving forward with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Simone: It definitely was a big year! I think I mainly learned what I was capable off. I never expected to be battling the 3 girls that ended up taking the medals in the final, but it was for sure devastating not making the final due to stupid small crashes in the last corner. There's nothing I would do differently though, I felt like I rode as good as I could and as devastating it was, I'm still proud of my riding them 3 motos.

Beatrice: These days, how do you split your week with training and being in med school? What's a typical week like and what's a general pro tip you can give to racers?

Simone: This year I have done it differently school wise, and I don't go to the classes and lectures I have and try to just do it on the side, reading the very heavy books myself. This is mainly because I wanna just focus on my training, and don't wanna be rushed to make it to a 2 hour boring lecture haha. So training is always first, and I'm still not sure if I'll take the exam I have coming up, as it is just before the World Championships, so I will see if I'm ready for that exam or not.

So a typical week for me is basically the same every day; get up early so I can study a bit before my first session, back home for some lunch and study some more, getting ready for next session if it's a 2 session kinda day, and then back home to relax and study a bit more. I try not to study too late, as it ruins my sleep thinking about medical stuff just before heading to bed.

Pro tip: Probably just try to enjoy every training, and get through the hard days knowing you still have done your best! Hard works always pays off!

Beatrice: How do you spend your recovery days and what's your go to protein shake or supplement that you'd recommend?

Simone: I spend them on catching up with my studying, as I'm always behind haha. Else I make plans to see my friends, so I can use my day off on anything else but training. That fuels me up for the next days of training! I buy my own (protein), so I just get whatever I like flavourwise!

Beatrice: What are your thoughts on the 2018 Worlds location being in Baku, Azerbaijan? Here in North America, I hear parents are opting out based on the location and safety. Any thoughts or tips on this?

Simone: I've been there before, for the European Games in 2015, and I loved the place! Obviously it's very different from Denmark, Canada etc. but I didn't feel uncomfortable at any time. I'm sure if you check out the locations, you can easily find a place to stay where you feel safe if that's what worries you.

Beatrice: If you became a tourist guide for all of Denmark, and you had to set up an itinerary for a racer, what tracks would you send us to and on top of that, what does one eat in Denmark!?

Simone: I love the Copenhagen track, but unfortunately I live a few hours from that, but that's definitely a place to be for a racer! Else Skanderborg, my training track, is also fun. For this year I signed with a club in Randers, and they are building a full size SX track that's gonna be super awesome, so can't wait for that!

Uhm, I guess if you have an old school kinda meal it's potatoes, gravy and meat. And I think we eat a lot of different types of bread haha else, I think it's pretty varied meals like everywhere else.

Beatrice: If you could live anywhere, do anything, what would it be right now?

Simone: Live in California (or at least somewhere warm), and of course ride BMX. Maybe even go to med school there!

Lastly. because I am Canadian, we want to know: Between Tory Nyhaug and James Palmer, who takes longer to take a selfie?

Simone: Haha gotta say Tory (mainly because James said that haha).

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Train Like a Pro with Dr. Jason Richardson: Mental Preparation

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Train Like a Pro with Dr. Jason Richardson: Mental Preparation

Dr. Jason Richardson is a World Champion and Pan Am Games Gold Medalist, he earned his MBA and Doctorate in Psychology while completing as professional athlete. He's worked with a number of well known athletes like Nikita Ducarroz, Jill Kintner and Arielle Martin to name a few.

Recently, I reached out to Dr. Richardson on the topic of mental preparation and got him to share some of his expert knowledge on how you can take your training to the next level. Before we do that though, let's learn more about Dr. Richardson.

Beatrice: Growing up, what influenced your decision on getting a Doctorate in Psychology?

Dr. Richardson: I was already grown… I graduated college in 1997 and got my MBA in 2000. I decided to go back to school after I had recovered from breaking my leg in 2006. It made sense that I use my sport and business background to create a business that helps people achieve peak performance and life satisfaction. Getting my Doctorate, coupled with the fact that I was a pro athlete for 15 years, set me up to be the obvious choice for action sport athletes as well as a unique choice for businesses and team looking for a speaker/trainer.

Swiss/American Rider Nikita Ducarroz, one of many athletes who have worked with Dr. Rich

Beatrice: In terms of athletes, what is the definition of mental prep and how does it play into results? Is it important as your nutrition and training, or is it more important in your opinion?

Dr. Richardson: Mental prep is important. However, I would like to introduce the idea that Mindset is key. The physical training is a form of metal prep to certain degree, but the overall mindset - a belief one has about themselves, the world, and what is possible always wins out. The work I do with people is about mindset first… then we do things to retrain the mindset… then we do things to mentally prepare for an event. That said, an athletes training and skill development are always at the top of the list. This is inclusive of what one is feeding their brain and body!

Beatrice: What does being mentally prepared even feel like in competition?

Dr. Richardson: A willingness to see through what it is you set out to do. Candidly, an athlete may not feel prepared or even confident… but that doesn’t mean they are not prepared. The trick is to understand that our brains naturally go to these negative thoughts when we experience stress. So… are you willing, ready, and able to deal with the stress? Are you ready, willing, and able to do what you are trained to do DESPITE how you may feel?

Beatrice: What advice did you wish you had when you were racing at the elite level?

Dr. Richardson: I had a very long elite career and I worked with a sports psychologist for many of those years. In that regard, I was fortunate. However, I would have capitalized more on the racing both bikes and started to use my status to get in front of more people outside of the sport.

Beatrice: Your book “It's All BS! We're all wrong, and you're all right!” was written for everyone, but is there one chapter most relatable to an athlete, and generally which chapter do you love the most?

Dr. Richardson: Self Esteem is Not Enough - But You Are! I think that is chapter 6. We make the mistake of thinking confidence is the key to our success. While confidence is nice and probably wanted - it is not necessary. This concept, once internalized, can really free an athlete up to be dangerous… in a good way!

Beatrice: What are some really common obstacles you deal with when it comes to your athletes?

Dr. Richardson: I like to offer everyone with whom I work a basic premise as to “how this will go down”. The trend I am noticing now, more than ever, is fear. Not that it is something new, but specific fear of injury (crashing) as it pertains to SX races.

Beatrice: You’ve helped so many athletes, and we don’t have to release any names … but was there ever an athlete you thought you couldn’t help?

Dr. Richardson: Of course! I am not for everyone and everyone is not for me. In many cases, when deciding to work together, it is a matter of creating rapport, trust, and seeing if the dynamic (chemistry) is good. If it is a case where those things are hard to create, for whatever reason, I want that athlete to find someone that would be more impactful to their success.

Credit to Hannah Gallacher for suggesting that we write about this important topic!

Beatrice: In freestyle BMX, eating healthy, training, ice baths... these things are only now being implemented as I think more freestyle athletes are seeing themselves as just that, athletes. In racing, was there ever a shift or were racers always professional as they are today? If there was a shift, when did it occur and was there a particular rider that lead the way?

Dr. Richardson: In racing there were several shifts. Christophe Leveque lead the way in the modern age (90s) and from there, the Olympic announcement and subsequent involvement created opportunities for the riders to learn from sport science and vice versa. I would also like to note that BMX racers were training and working hard in the 80s as well. I do not want to diminish the efforts of our predecessors.
Beatrice: Lastly, we need to ask for some free advice. Are there any techniques you can give us to remain focused in staging and do you have any tips to block out distractions?

Dr. Richardson: Create a routine. Preferably one that you do once out of the chutes (Like when you are a couple of motos behind the gate). I am a big proponent for controlling/using breathing, creating a physical trigger (like a hand clap, shaking out legs or little jumps)… then focusing on ONE thing. That ONE thing to focus on you want to be well within your control and simple to execute.

To learn more about Dr. Jason Richardson, and what we can do for you, visit him at
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Monday, March 12, 2018

Learn about Buchanan NextGen

Monday, March 12, 2018

Learn about Buchanan NextGen

Not a lot of riders can do what Caroline Buchanan does, aside from achieving heights on her bike, she's a social media wizard, and most importantly a rider who gives back to the community. I personally think it's important to donate your time and to give back to the next generation, because without your support, the sport dies. Racing in particular, heavily depends on volunteers. So, I messaged Caroline to get some info on Buchanan NextGen, in hopes to inspire some more riders to give back where they can.

Beatrice How did Buchanan NextGen get its start?

Caroline As an 8 time BMX and Mountain Bike World Champion who has had inspiration from mentors in my career, I wanted to give back to the sport that has taken me through an amazing journey to the highest level competing at the Olympic Games for Australia

I want to support and nurture the future of BMX and women in sport. To break the mould of support in Australia taking it to a new level of professionalism and have these grants available for the girls who are performing and showing that drive and talent to secure themselves in the running for the grant by applying. Then by performing at the 14 and 15 year old age group at the BMX Australia National Championships to then be eligibly for the grant of $3000 each to assist in getting to the BMX World Championships.

Beatrice What do you take away by giving away, and was there anyone in particular who helped you the most?

Caroline I loved helping the girls to overcome adversity that is faced in male dominated sport and when aspiring to be the best in the world. Give them the opportunities to compete on the world stage and gain the experience necessary to be champions of the future.

Layne Beachley 7 x World Surfing champion helped me at age 14 by being a mentor of mine and also supporting me through her Aim For The Stars foundation which has grants for young girls who are not just in sport but talented in all areas of life.

Beatrice In years past, who were your previous recipients? 

Caroline Over the past 4 years I have been able to source $37,000 in support from to assist the girls.

Past Buchanan Next Gen Scholarship girls!

Mikayla Rose - 2014 & 2015
Paige Harding - 2014 & 2015
Taylor Robinson - 2015
Molly McGill - 2016
Desree Barnes - 2016 & 2017
Shannon Petre - 2017

Beatrice When will you be announcing this years recipients?

Caroline 2018 contenders will be decided at the 2018 BMX National Championships!

Beatrice Have you received any ridiculous applications from non qualified applications, like guys? Any funny ones you'd be able to share?

Caroline Yes I have had a few guys ask my fiancé if he would do a Nobles Next Gen scholarship hahah but no males try enter my scholarships yet.

Thanks for checking out this post, unfortunately the deadline is closed, but take a look at this application and plan for next year!

@buchanannextgen on instragam
and Facebook:
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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Toronto X Jam 2018 Female Finals

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Toronto X Jam 2018 Female Finals

Photo Credit: Karl Hinkley
Karl Hinkley...he's the nicest and coolest dad in the whole world, he's also the man behind NoWear BMX and this edit! This past weekend we had the Toronto X Jam, an event that takes place along side the Toronto International Bicycle Show.

If you want to plan for next year, stay in Toronto and book off the first weekend of March. This international event has brought in ladies from all over the world, but this year was a battle between Canada and the United States. Check out the edit below, hopefully we'll see you next year!

1st Place: Hannah Roberts (USA)
2nd Place: Angie Marino (USA)
3rd Place: Sarah Dinel (CAN)
4th Place: Kara Bruce (CAN)

Toronto X Jam 2018 female finals from NOWEAR on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Jess McCormack with Berm Academy Part 1

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Jess McCormack with Berm Academy Part 1

Photo from
If you're looking to have the time of your life, for a week or even up to a month long, look no further than Berm Academy, where you can tour like a pro, with coach and tour guide Jason Carnes.

After a month of travelling across 7 states, riding tracks and trails and racing 2 BMX Nationals, Australian BMX racer Jess McCormack shows us what her trip was like, check out part 1 below.


The Ultimate Tour Experience for BMX Racers

Jason Carnes’ Berm Academy is proud to deliver the ultimate BMX road trip experience for every rider, 14 and over, from novice to pro! Experiencing the coast-to-coast BMX scene in the U.S. is an exciting vision that many riders around the world share. Whether we’re hitting a USA BMX race or practice night at one of their 350+ tracks, shredding the trails, bike park, or a secret backyard track, exploring a new city by bike, lounging at the beach, cannonballing at a local swim hole, whitewater rafting, or stopping in to check out one of the hundreds of National and State Parks, you are guaranteed to have a good time and create friendships and memories that will last a lifetime…and you’ll do it all in one of the sickest rigs the sport has ever seen.

The Berm Academy offers seven day, fourteen day, and one month (or longer) options with transportation, accommodation, most meals, and an opportunity to hit some of the country’s best tracks, trails, industry hot spots, and experience lots of road-life good times. And when it’s time to roll into a USA BMX National, The Berm Academy gives you the “Pro” treatment with a massive pit set-up that is unrivaled by all other teams, and exclusive to tour participants (and maybe a few visiting Pros).

If you want to experience tour life and do it like a pro, get on board with Jason Carnes’ Berm Academy and let’s hit the road!

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