Maintaining control of the outcome, Kevin Yoder joins us for Episode 115


Knowing your limits sounds like good advice, but Kevin Yoder tests them anyway!  Episode 115 has Kevin and Rich talking about the early days of rockcrawling and KOH, life lessons in football and rugby, and everything in between.  Join us on your favorite podcast app.

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Conversations with Big Rich on your favorite Podcast Player


4:30 – My problem with rugby is I kept getting concussions because I couldn’t unlearn the football out of it.

12:30 – I learned to camp out in a tent

20:16 – the railroad has such versatility

28:09 – after that, it seemed like the rolls started, it just opened the floodgate

36:15 – I don’t go cheap on safety stuff now

44:11 – I’ve done an off-road competition every year since 98

58:09 – you put on a helmet, you’re driving as hard as you can

1:05:11 – The key is to know your limits

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


[00:01:20.110] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Kevin Yoder. If you’ve been around the ultra four racing or the early days of rock crawling, Kevin is a name that you’ll recognize. Kevin was at my first event that I put on at CalRocs, Put Up or Shut Up Shootout in Lake Amador in 2001. He was also first time competitor driver at our first VORRA Four X Four Buggy race in Prairie City. This was back in probably 2002, 2003, and he’s got quite the extensive time in competition and he’s from Northern California. And I want to say, Kevin, thank you for coming on board and talking to with us and sharing your history.

[00:02:05.050] – Kevin Yoder

Thank you, Rich. Good to join you.

[00:02:06.980] – Big Rich Klein

Excellent. So let’s jump in with both feet. And where were you born and raised?

[00:02:14.290] – Kevin Yoder

I was born, actually in Sacramento, California. Basically spent my entire life in Northern California, San, I moved to Reno and went to school up there, worked and played off road up there for a couple of years, and then I ended up coming back to California in 95. I lived in Loomis where I grew up and then moved up the Hill about 19 years ago up to Grass between Grass Valley and Auburn. So this is where I’ve had my residence last 19 years.

[00:02:49.020] – Big Rich Klein

Okay. And what age did you move to Reno?

[00:02:54.830] – Kevin Yoder

I think it would have been.

[00:02:58.890] – Big Rich Klein


[00:02:59.530] – Kevin Yoder

I was there for just a couple of years. Yeah, 22. 23 is right in there.

[00:03:05.700] – Big Rich Klein

All right. So then that means that you spend a lot of your time in the Loomis area, Sacramento, is that where you said you grew up?

[00:03:12.170] – Kevin Yoder

Yeah. Spent majority of my time in Loomis. So growing up as a kid, that’s pretty rural.

[00:03:19.960] – Big Rich Klein

Or it was back then.

[00:03:21.690] – Kevin Yoder

It was back then. Lommis has changed so much. It was one of those places that was the other side of the tracks that you probably wouldn’t brag about being from and how the place has grown so far out of control. I had to move up the Hill because I couldn’t afford to live there. It’s a beautiful place. My parents still live down there. I do like Loomis. We wanted a little bit more property so we moved up the Hill to where it was a little more affordable.

[00:03:47.670] – Big Rich Klein

So did you grow up near the schools that you went to or did you have to bus in or what was that?

[00:03:55.470] – Kevin Yoder

The grammar school days. I ride the bikes. We rode the bike to school every day and then went for the Loomis’grammar school and then on to Del Oro High School. To where? Freshman, sophomore year. I walked a lot to school through the back woods or through the back pastures, getting there. And then obviously once we could drive, I drove really close and it was a great community. Lots of fun around there.

[00:04:23.670] – Big Rich Klein

Well, Del Oro, if I remember right, had some pretty good football teams back in the day. Did you play sports in high school?

[00:04:30.830] – Kevin Yoder

Yes. Del Oro was a powerhouse in football. My class was 89. So we were kind of on the front end when they made their huge run and were dominant for so many years. So yeah, we won the Championship and also ran track and wrestled. So I had a pretty successful sports career at Del Oro. I went to play football after Del Oro. I went to play ball at Butte College and ended up not finishing it out because I started playing rugby and never looked at football again.

[00:05:05.970] – Big Rich Klein

Oh really? Why was that? Was it just because of its more movement or what was the I think.

[00:05:14.230] – Kevin Yoder

The rugby has the appeal because it was more camaraderie than when in high school. Football is the best thing ever, man. You have your friends and your group of guys in. There are 50 people on the team where you know everybody, when you get to a very competitive JC and there’s 125 people going for however they’re going to keep and the competition, it wasn’t the same feeling. And there are some other things that just took place that I wasn’t. It just was a different environment. And then I rolled my ankle so I got sidelined and then while I was a sore ankle, I was watching rugby and like, oh, this is cool. And then like I said, I went out on the field hobbling while on a break from football and never came back to football. Interesting. Okay. And rugby was something that I liked because it’s nonstop action versus football has a burst of a bunch of plays. My problem with rugby is I still kept getting concussions because I couldn’t unlearn the football out of it. In rugby you don’t go for the big hit, but it’s just a different game. But rugby was such a good experience because there’s very few things where you can compete against somebody for whatever the duration as hard as you can go, ready to throw blows at any time.

[00:06:45.010] – Kevin Yoder

And then the minute the whistle blows, it’s over and everybody gets along. That was just such a departure from what football was, especially at a College level where everybody thinks they’re going to go to the pros and all that. So it’s just the camaraderie is unbeatable and we got to do a lot of good things and we go down to the seven tournaments down in Palo Alto, down there at Stanford, which is a prestigious rugby team and everything, and the rugby teams would put you up the host teams. And so it’s a great community and a lot of fun. And then the physical competitiveness is pretty intense too. But like I say, once the whistle blows and it’s over, drinking beer with the guys just beat up against yeah.  READ MORE


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