Nic Garvin Jericho, Utah, Hare & Hound Race Report

Our man Nic Garvin talks about life and racing as he recaps his experience at the recent Sage Riders Motorcycle Club’s National Hare & Hound in Utah.

Coming into Round 5 of the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, we were sitting seventh overall in the standings and came off our best finish of the year, eighth overall, at the previous round. Although everything appears to be going well on the racing front, the last few weeks have been a huge mental test for not just myself but everyone I see every day at home.


Saturday April 29th, 2017 we lost one of my uncles to brain cancer. As hard as it has been, racing my dirt bike has definitely helped me cope with all the sorrow.

On this drive to Utah, I would be going alone. With both my parents and my girlfriend working, I had no choice but to make the trip to this Hare & Hound by myself. Friday morning I made the early trek up to Jericho and quickly got unloaded to go ride with my best friend, Jacob Argubright. I instantly noticed the terrain was going to be tough on my Honda CRF450X. Big cedar trees with peaky whoops and tight corners, exactly what I wanted to see. (Laughs) After walking the Sahara Desert (bomb run), I went and had dinner at Casa Argubright. I can’t thank them enough for helping me and making sure I was a good to go.

Sunday came fairly quickly. With the Hare & Hound not starting until 12, sleeping-in felt nice, and it was easier to get prepared for the day’s racing. After getting all my pit stuff to Keith Smith, I headed to the start. As I prepared myself for the start, I couldn’t help but notice the trash talking going on from the local Utah racers about us out-of-state guys. It’s quite funny because some of these guys were talking mad crap, but that all changed when the banner went up because they all finally shut up. As the banner dropped, once again I was left stranded trying to start my bike (again). I instantly knew, today was going to be a long day.

HareI followed Bradon Bland for a second until he crashed, then I proceeded to go full madman through these sand rollers. I can’t tell or describe to you what we were going through, but imagine a rhythm section that has no rhythm with gnarly sand and mad tree stumps everywhere. I probably passed about 15 riders in this section just pounding the sand. We all trickled down into some massive trees where I instantly noticed a Suzuki rider going balls to wall through this sand, as I was coming off a hill at my side view I see this kid literally lawn dart straight to the ground. As I turned around, here came Ryan Smith, Justin Morgan and a few other racers, we all stopped for this guy, who now was having a seizure. At that moment, Nick Tolman got off his bike and helped, while everyone took off, I was left stranded behind a bunch of guys I just passed.

Racing through the dust, this kid on a Yamaha who was riding way over his head passed me and then passed Ryan. Now, this is the second time I’ve seen this guy. He pins it for about 15 minutes and then proceeds to hold everyone up. I trickled down in his dust for about 10 miles until he was all over the place, making mistakes like crazy. It bothers me because he’s looking back and grabbing his clutch and throttling, roosting me. After passing him, I buckled down, catching up to Ryan again until the end of the first loop where he made a mistake and it allowed me by him.

During the second loop I made some quick passes on a few racers and put my head down to catch back up. The terrain in this particular Hare & Hound was really starting to frustrate me a bit. Riding through cedar trees, tree roots, and tight single track was truly tough for me, not because I can’t ride it but because my bike was just super heavy and doesn’t really have the steering quickness for sharp turns and trees!


Ryan Smith and I literally played cat and mouse the whole day. He would tail me in the tight stuff, and then I would gain in the transfer sections of the race. My bike was working amazingly well across the open fields, but I struggled when trying to turn the beast. As we made our way out on the last loop, Ryan and I were on a mission. We made two more passes before Ryan put the late-race charge on me. We were coming down a gnarly rocky ravine, and I stayed on the marked trail not noticing the epic smooth trail to my right. Ryan picked it up and made a smooth pass on me. I tailed Ryan for about 15 more minutes before I couldn’t fight the X any more. It was really eating me up in the trees, so I tried not to make any more mistakes before the finish and bring her home in one piece.

I finished with my worst National Hare & Hound finish of the year, 10th overall. Still, it is another top-10 finish, and I’m sticking to my goal, but my expectations for myself and also my sponsors, is eating at me a bit. Doing this whole thing on my own has been tough. I train when I can, and ride if I get the chance, but if I want to be in the top five I need to be more consistent with what I do during the week. But that’s where it’s hard. I have to keep the program alive! I have to keep focused and work hard to be able to go to these far-away races and keep my race bike going! I will keep doing what I have to do to keep racing, and I plan on setting my sights on the future.

Next up is the Baja 500, which I am looking forward to get a little redemption after the San Felipe 250!

Until next time…
Nic Garvin