Kali Journal

Waldron update from the Home Office

It’s me again, Brad Waldron, founder and lead engineer at Kali Protectives. I’ve been asked to write an introduction about who I am and what I do here at Kali and even though both sales and marketing befuddles me, I’ll give it a go.
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First Fridays with Forrest Riesco

Do you remember what it felt like to get your very first bike? The shiny new frame and brand new tires just begging to be covered in dirt? Or that first crash that reminded you that you aren't invincible? Well we sat down with Kali Krew member, Forrest Riesco, a 26 year old World Cup downhill racer who resides in British Columbia and survives on peanut butter... lots of peanut butter and sweet hero dirt of course... and he shared some of his most memorable "firsts". What was your first bike? Do you remember the first time you rode it and was that the first time you learned to ride a bike? It was a black “Batman” themed rigid bike!  I would guess it had 16inch wheels on it.  I think I learned to ride on a smaller bike that had training wheels, but the first memory of riding was on this bike.  I remember riding it up and down my driveway and then venturing to the Elementary School down the road from my house.  I spent a lot of time in the coming years finding anything I could huck myself off of, built a good base of skills and also bent a lot of handlebars. Haha.    First Crash? or at least first memorable crash since I'm sure you may have taken a few tumbles learning to ride :p There are far too many to go into for sure.   But a memorable one would be wheeling off a picnic table when I was nine-years-old.  I thought I was pretty cool climbing up onto the table in front of all my friends. It all went wrong very quickly though as I took the first pedal stroke and realized I was in my hardest gear! The front wheel shot down and I face planted straight to the gravel.  My Mom wasn’t pleased with how I looked when I came home from riding that evening.     What was your first DH race? How did you feel? How long did you train for it? The Rat Race was my first DH race.  I was 12-years-old and it was my local track.  I placed first in my category.  I had been waiting a few years to be old enough to compete, so I was very excited!  The only training I did was pre-riding the track a handful of times.  I don’t remember the run at all except for that I didn’t crash. And I did beat my best friend, so I was stoked on that.  I don’t think of myself as a super competitive person, but to be a racer you do have to have some level of competitiveness in you, and there are always one or two of those people I just couldn’t stand getting beaten by.       Do you remember the first time you thought you wanted to make mountain biking a career?  It was always the dream.  When I was 16, or so, I started to see that it was a viable career.  I’m 26 now and everything I do revolves around riding my bike.  I wouldn’t say I’ve “made it” yet.  There’s a lot more I want to do and accomplish, but saying that riding my bike is my job is kind of cool.  It isn’t all fun all the time, as I’ve had a lot of injuries and lost a lot of races.  But that's not what I remember when I look back, it's the friends I’ve met and the places I’ve traveled.  I’ve learned to enjoy the experience regardless of my results each weekend.  You can’t control everything in downhill racing, sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t. You just have to put yourself in the best position to succeed and take it as it comes.  I wouldn’t trade the memories I have from racing for anything.  
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Father and Son Bike Bond, Better Late Than Never

I never pushed Max to ride a bike, even though it is one of the things I really love to do, I realized it had to be his own thing. 
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Downieville offers moment of normalcy

Downieville is not quite open. The taqueria is closed. The River Inn is not going to open at all this year. And Yuba Outfitters is renting e-mtbs, but not going to run shuttles. But you can still get a Coke at the market and the pizza place is offering carry-out. 

But being in Downieville for a brief, but beautiful moment, the world almost seemed normal. 

Not the new normal, but actually normal.

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Throwback Thursday with Brayden Barrett-Hay

Kali Sponsored athlete, Brayden Barrett-Hay takes a walk down memory lane and gives us the inside scoop on some of his most memorable Instagram posts...   During quarantine down time I took a few moments to scroll back on some older Instagram posts of just a few incredible moments I’ve had riding.    Way back in 2013, my first ever big podium. This was my second year competing in slopestyle events. In 2011 I’d decided to really chase my dreams riding and start traveling! At that time I’d set a little goal for myself, there would be no drinking and no partying until I stood on a podium at a big contest. 2 and half years later standing on that podium was such an insane feeling of relief! Best tasting champagne I’ve ever had!      A throwback post from way way back of me learning backflips. I didn’t have a foam pit or air bag set up so I collected mattresses, couch cushions and any foam I could find on the side of the road. Hand dug myself a little DJ lip almost completely in the ground then hucked my first flips!!    July 2017 Colorado Freeride Festival, Still to this day probably the most stoked I have ever been in a contest run. My first time doing a 360 Indy to tuck and a flip double whip in a contest run!!    May of 2019 unreal day filming with Brad Scholl at my old Slope course I built in Ontario, Canada. Later in the session I did a nolie 3 tuck off of a flat drop!! Pretty sure I’m the only person who’s done that, so I was quite pumped on that day!!   July 2019: I tail whipped to late no hands on the boner log at Bigwhite. Bigwhite slope event last year for me was a struggle!! I took 2 slams in practice, one of which was one of the hardest face plants of my life really putting my Kali Shiva helmet to the test! Tough weekend for me, two hits to my head, cuts and bruises everywhere. Finals day I could barely just straight air thru the jumps, I was so sore!! Came time to drop for my runs and just dropped in completely cold!! A bit sketchy but somehow in my second run I put down exactly what I had planned, ended up being an amazing weekend!    At the end of August in 2019 photo/ filming shoot at Big white with Andrew Jay. I Did my first switch cork 7s on a mulch landing!! Unreal sunset session, days before I left to Saudi Arabia for a month to work for Cirque du Soleil. Scrolling back through old photos is a great reminder of all the amazing moments I’ve had. So many they all turn into a blur as time goes on. I can’t wait for things to get back to normal and have many more contest runs, video parts and sessions!!
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Michigan Firefighter: I have the best job in the world

My name is Josh Dettwiler, I am 44 years old and I was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan. In 1997, I moved to Grand Rapids and now I currently live in Comstock Park, MI with my wife Amy and 2 kids. I am a Lieutenant for Cascade Township Fire Department. Cascade Fire is a full-time department with 12 fire suppression personnel, 3 Lieutenants, 3 Captains, Fire Marshal, Fire Inspector and Chief. We cover 35 sq miles and run approximately 2,300 calls for emergency service a year out of two stations. We have 3 shifts (A, B, C) that work in 24 hour shifts and I am the Lieutenant for the C shift.  Every little person wants to be a policeman or a firefighter or an astronaut. Did you always want to be a firefighter?  No, I didn’t but, I feel incredibly fortunate to have this as my career. Being a firefighter is the best job in the world. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. As a child I always thought I would grow up to be a supercross star! As I got older I knew I wanted to work with my hands and be active. I was a carpenter for many years until the economy took a turn forcing me to rethink my career path. I became an EMT-B and worked for a local ambulance company before turning to fire. I went through the fire academy and became a paid on call firefighter. With a lot of hard work and persistence I landed a full- me fire job with Cascade Township.  Do you have any advice for the kids out there who are dreaming of being a firefighter when they grow up?  Absolutely, never give up! Some departments have a cadet program for high schoolers which will allow you to spend time at the department and attend training. Volunteer as a paid on call firefighter when you turn 18. It always helps to have a medical license as well. This too, can be done while in high school. The most important advice I can give is to never quit learning. This profession is one that you have to be on top of your game both physically and mentally and everyday presents a new challenge. What does a day at work normally look like for you?  Our first priority is to take care of our community by responding to any call for emergency service. Every call is unique with its own challenges. There is no fire, car accident or medical call that is the same. To be at our best for our township we train on every shift. My shift starts at 0745am and ends at 0800am the next day (24.25 hrs). Typically, at 0800 we do our vehicle checks, including checking all air packs, testing the lights and sirens, pumping water and inspecting the tools. Around 1000 we will have a shift training that involves using the engines or some of the tools off the engine. Some days are medical training or technical rescue training. We take an hour lunch. In the afternoon we will work out with weights or do cardio. We are required to work out 1 hour a day while on shift to stay in shape. The afternoon will always involve cleaning the stations. We mow the lawn, snow plow and do maintenance. We also have online training that will be done in the afternoons. At 1730 we had me down. I use this to catch up on emails and other projects I have from the Chief. The rest of the evening is our me. We eat dinner together and relax.  How has your work day changed due to the current state of Covid-19?  Covid-19 has definitely changed the fire service like it has for many businesses. We get new protocols daily from the County Emergency Management team. We can no longer have full department training, where the whole department would get together to train at night. We do a lot of public events that are currently suspended. Even the way we run calls has changed. We now wear surgical masks on every call along with safety glasses, gloves and gowns. After a suspected Covid call we sanitize our vehicles, take showers and wash our clothes. All departments now have to have a process that shows their employees are healthy to work their shift. We take our temp, and vitals before every shift to assure we don’t have a fever. We also limit the number of responders going into houses for medical calls. My biggest fear is bringing something home to my family.  What style of riding do you do and what do you like about it?  I ride mostly singletrack, but I do enjoy riding at the skills park as well. I enjoy single track because of how peaceful the woods can be. Being a career firefighter definitely comes with a down side. Not every call is a call that you easily forget or move on from. Riding my bike is a way to destress after a difficult call or shift. I also enjoy the challenge of pushing myself to become faster and smoother on every ride. I also ride a fat bike in the winter as well for the same reasons. I am fortunate to live in West Michigan where there are numerous options of different trails to ride.  What got you into riding the bike, when did this begin, and what does the bike add to your life?  I have always had a bike of some sort from the time I was old enough to ride one. Bicycles turned into motocross in my teens and then back to bikes after I got married. Mountain biking was a way to connect with friends in my early 20’s. I took a little break after my second child and then decided to race BMX at age 40 with my 6 yr old. At 44 I’m back into mountain biking and enjoying the occasional race and riding with my family and friends. Mountain biking adds quality to me with my family. It adds a challenge to become faster, jump higher and farther. It connects me with friends that enjoy the same challenges and can push me to become one. Most importantly, it gives me a way to decompress from a stressful job and clear my mind so that I can be the best firefighter I can be.  Can you tell us what bike you ride, if you’ve tricked it out and what one bike bit you are wishing you had?  During the summer months I ride a Rocky Mountain Pipeline full suspension bike and during the winter months I ride a full suspension Salsa Bucksaw. I have upgraded the drivetrain on the Pipeline, otherwise everything is stock. I would love to have carbon rims to drop a couple pounds if I was going to upgrade.  Where is the one place you dream of riding when all of the travel restrictions are lifted and you can ride one off your bucket list?  I have started to really enjoy riding bike parks and would head to Whistler for the true downhill experience.   
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