Nate Kanney is looking forward to the second half of the GNCC season
JG Off Road’s Nathan Kanney
He’s taken the summer break to energize his program and build his fitness, and even fit in some time to run riding clinics. Kanney lays out the rest of his summer plans in this week’s Wednesday Wrench.
You’ve had the chance to do some riding clinics this summer. What led you to spend your summer doing that? I’m doing some riding clinics to make a little extra money to make it through the summer. During summer break there aren’t as many races so there isn’t as much money to be made. I was doing the riding school because I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback about them. I like to do the schools because it’s pretty fun to work with everyone and share my experience. And it allows me to continue making money as opposed to getting a full time job.
Do you get a wide range of ages and abilities at these clinics? I get mostly adults but I have some clinics for the younger riders. We’ll work with any ability, we just to try to separate children and adults.
Do you do these clinics every summer or is this a relatively new gig? I’ve done more this year than I have in the past. I’ve usually done one or two every year. Being able to be articulate the things I’m trying to teach is one of my assets. I think people leave pretty satisfied.
What are some of the things you’ve been working on this summer for your own program? The first part of the season didn’t go very well apart from Georgia. It’s not something I can really be happy about. Some of the things I’ve dealt with- leaving a job and having some injuries and stuff like that- were out of my control. This summer, I would say that I’ve stepped back from practicing so much on the bike and started to do more cycling to get in better shape and not put so much abuse on my body.
Road biking and mountain biking? I do quite a lot of road biking and mountain biking. We have a lot of mountain biking around where I live and we have a lot of pretty state parks and I’ll go and ride the roads that go through them. There’s not a lot of traffic so I try to use those for road biking. It’s really peaceful and nice.
Have you hooked up with anyone to train? Chris Douglas came to my house a week ago, and he’s going to stay and practice for the remaining races. For the most part, I’ve been staying with the guys I’ve been riding with and that’s always been good for me.
You had to deal with a back injury this season. How is it doing now? I haven’t had any problems. Hopefully I’m not cursing myself now. Hopefully it stays that way.
You’re a big fan of the J-Day series, have you been able to attend any of those? I haven’t been to any in a few months actually. I’m hoping that if things go well there’s a big one coming up before Unadilla that I’d like to get to.
Have you been doing any races since the break began? I haven’t done any racing since the last GNCC in Ohio. You have to really take the time off to get the opportunities of the break. A lot of work goes into doing a race. By the time you take a full day to prepare your bike to go to the race- it’s more valuable to continue training and practicing. It’s good to take advantage of taking some time off so you don’t get burned out, either. We do so much of it that when you get a chance to take a break, it’s good to get some fresh air and it keeps you really hungry when you get back to it.
Have you done any work on the bike in terms of set up? I actually had plans to meet with Factory Connection and do suspension testing but I’m really satisfied with it. Everywhere I’ve been going it’s a real pleasure to ride. I haven’t had to make any adjustments and it’s performing really well anywhere I go without any changes. That was the only thing I was thinking about doing with the bike. Right now I’m just thinking about my body and not so much the bike at all.
You have always said you’re a big fan of the bike. I am definitely a fan of the bike. At the beginning of the season I started with suspension settings that catered really well to off road riding. I felt like I had to go back to my roots and go back to the suspension setup that suits me better but is different than most off road people use. This summer I’ve been really happy with that, so hopefully I’m right and that’s something we’ve changed for the better and I can see better results for the second half of the season.
Unadilla is kind of your home race. Are you looking forward to it? It would be considered my home race even though it’s not so close to where I live. The only time I ever go there is for the GNCC then if I go to the National MX. It is local in the way that it’s the one time a year all my family and closest friends from my early years of racing can go to one place and see me race and motivate me. In that regard it is my hometown race.
The second half of the season treats you pretty well. What are you thinking about going into it? I’m pretty motivated for it. I don’t think about any of the other guys or what the races are. I think about what I need to do to prepare. I really like the bike which is nice because I don’t really have to think about it. It makes it a lot easier to think about it that way. It’s nice that the first race back is Unadilla because it’s familiar and I enjoy it. After that- I feel like I can be confident with myself. My speed is good and I’m mentally strong. I want to go to these races to put my best performance in. I’ve changed some things with my nutrition for sure. We won’t know how beneficial it will be until the season is over. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they’re the right things.
Ok, Nate! Thanks for taking time out to talk to us. Thanks, Rachel!