Racer Spotlight: Jon Hinkle

So what say you?  You ride to ride and love every minute of it.   Its a freedom of self expression and no matter how you do it, its your own style and nobody criticizes you for it. Racing is no different and comes in all shapes and sizes.  Now as we enter into this Racer Spotlight lets reflect for a moment on what it means to be a racer at heart.  I have known Jon Hinkle for some time and his roots go back even further than mine.  Don’t let this big guy make you think he is “Just a Beginner Racer”.  Although he races that class, he enjoys every minute of it and gets around pretty damn quick.  While he is not about to let you have a race line, he is also not one to intentionally put you over the berm.  You EARN your line from him.  Always a clean racer and always looking to be a supportive figure in the sport.

Someone dial information? Here are all your answers.

1 – Age      42

2 – What class are you presently racing  Beg

3 – What is your current racing discipline (DH,4X,SD….)    DH, 4X

4 – Ok Jon, time for you to give some of your sponsors some love…..lets hear it-

Fullerton Bicycles, Atomlab, ODI, THE, Ride Above, Fist City MX, Gilden Chiropractic, and www.HinkDog411.com

Fontana DH is no match for "HinkDog"

5 – What were 2010′s achievements?

I raced the SRC Shimano Winter Series, mainly racing 4X. Around the 3rd race of the series, some teammates of mine at the time encouraged me to stay the weekend and race DH sometime. Since I didn’t have a bike, and didn’t want to spend a big chunk of money on a bike only to discover that my surgically repaired elbow and resulting nerve damage in that arm couldn’t handle the riding style. This is the same reason I can’t ride BMX anymore, 4-5 gates/laps and my arm is toast for about a week! Anyway, one of my teammates said he’d bring me a bike to try out, so I came back the next day to try some DH. Now, I had raced one DH race before, back in 2000 at Sea Otter, but I raced the hardtail class on my DS bike.

The arm seemed to handle it just fine, and I ended up getting a cheap DH bike from another teammate, so I started racing DH as well. I raced every 4X race except the Golden State series finals last year, and in a somewhat controversial decision, I ended up the class champion for Beg. Men 41+  for the year. This was my first year end championship ever in my bicycle racing “career”(I’ve been racing bikes since 1983, starting in BMX, then some dual slalom, then onto DH and 4X)

He can call it what he wants.....he EARNED this! 1st overall MTN-X CHAMP!

6 – Short term goals for the near future

My goals for this season, as they are for most seasons, is to get out and race some DH and 4X, representing my sponsors and getting the word out about how much fun can be had throwing yourself off a mountain on a perfectly good bicycle! To be completely honest, I just am enjoying myself. I am 42 years old…..I ain’t starting a Pro career in DH OR 4X. This is my hobby, my sport, my chosen form of relaxation and recreation. Some go to the desert, some to the river. Some gamble, some read (and yes, I CAN and DO read!), some go bowling or shooting pool, some go to baseball games. I like to race my bikes. I like to ride my bikes and push my limits….a bit.

7 – Long term goals for and focus for next season

In racing, see above. Outside of racing, I would like to find a steady job or opportunity to improve my financial standing. I want to spend more time with my son, who is 13 and is already as tall as my eyeballs!

Big man on campus, RULING Fontucky DH!

8 – Whats your present bike and setup

DH bike-

Big Boy DH Rig!

06 Trek Session 7, SR Durolux fork, DT Swiss hubs, Atomlab rims, spokes, Torque nipples, 2000 model Aircorp pedals and 09 Aircorp stem, Azonic World Force bars, ODI Grips, Hayes brakes, Schwalbe Muddy Mary tires, THE seat, RaceFace cranks, Saint derailleur, Shimano shifter, Fox shock.

4X bike-

4X Bike is dialed and ready for action!

Avent Felon frame, Fox fork, Atomlab Pimplite cranks and Suprelite rims, 2008-09 Aircorp pedals, spokes and Torque nipples, Shimano Deore XT shifter and derailleur, Shimano front hub, Bombshell rear hub,still experimenting with tires.

9 – So buddy do you have any favorite parts

I guess it would have to be my 2000 model Atomlab Aircorp pedals. I bought them from Mike back then AT Sea Otter, and they are still working fine 11 years later….otherwise it would be my 1990 model Peregrine Power Pedals….also still working just fine!

10 – Any special thanks you want to give

Wow….yeah. My Family, for humoring me and at least trying to understand this obsession I have with bicycles, Mike at Atomlab for helping me out for so many years with great parts, Mark at Rockgardn for hooking me up with some great gear (probably saved my leg at the last DH race when I tagged a rock with my shin!), Mike at Fullerton Bikes, Toby (formerly) at THE for that beer at the Awards ceremony, Burrito at Fist City MX, Bill Power at Ride Above, Dr. Gilden at Gilden Chiropractic, Glenn Hensle at Hensle Acupuncture in Long Beach, my friends behind the scenes who might get into trouble if I actually use their real names, my old teammates from Caltime, now Total Package Racing, my new teammates at Fullerton Bikes and of course, the great group of friends and co-conspirators at Gravity Pirates! Oh, and some dude who keeps crashing in front of me in 4X too….I think he runs a website that reviews bike parts or something…..Thanks Ian!

One great personality, if you cant have fun doing what you love then you dont love it....

Some DH action from HinkDog

And some 4X action

Sorry but just had to add this pic...old school Uni Blade fork and mad style, all while rocking the open face helmet and mouth guard, LOVE IT!

If you want to know more about Jon Hinkle visit his blog at www.hinkdog411.com.

Check out his sponsors too…








About WingNutt

Rider, Racer, Owner of MyBikeStand.com. A long history in racing and riding, from BMX and freestyle to Downhill, Dual Slalom, 4X and even some Road races spans nearly 25 years. Spent some time working in bike shops. I love to ride my bike.


  1. Amy Hargrove says:

    Great article, HinkDog!

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