The General – ugh.

So, today was the General. I will go right to the end, for those of you that normally cannot handle a book without reading the ending. I have never understood that. I mean, if you are going to read a book, why spoil it and look to the end. I have a friend that reads magazines that way. He finds a review of a product he is interested in, and reads the summary of the review, then goes back and reads the whole story. I do not get it. Why read it that way?

Anyway, I had one of my very rare (at least prior to this year) DNF’s. (did not finish). I got stuck in a few huge mudholes ( I am talking mud up to the top of the back wheel), and destroyed the clutch in the bike. So, the clutch gave out and I was forced to stop. I am super bummed. I cannot believe how stupid that was, after all it was my fault for choosing poor lines.

The race unfolded pretty well for me. I did not get a perfect start, in fact it took 2 kicks to make the bike fire. But I still got to the first turn in the middle of the pack. By the time the first couple of turns passed I had sliced my way through the pack into the top 10. I felt good. The bike ran perfect, and I was on fire. I eventually got into a freight train with about 4 other guys and we were blasting the trail.

So, this was a woods race. No more of the non stop whoops that we saw in Florida. My kind of trail. I felt good at the pace we were going, but wanted to go faster. I began to work different lines through mud holes and around turns etc…, trying to get clear of the group that I was riding in. I made it past 2 guys on Yamahas, and was working on the KTM guy. But he was good. He rode wide lines and did not have a lot of weaknesses. I did feel that I was faster in the technical stuff and that he was holding me back. I began to look for alternate lines around him as well. But, I could not get passed him.

Finally, in desperation, I wheelied accross a mudhole, hoping to blast right through. I ended up getting sucked up by the mud hole, all the way down to the top of the rear wheel. I could not get it out on my own. Finally a spectator gave me a hand, and after 10 minutes of wrestling with it, we finally got it out of the mud and started. As I rode off, I realized how much that takes it out of you to have to deal with that. I was only 1 lap into the race, but I was toasted.

I got back into the game and finished the first lap. At the first big mudhole of the second lap, I got stuck again. This one was a little bit easier to get out of the mud, but it was still really stuck. I had to get help from a spectator again, as my energy level was now pretty low. But, in the end I got going again. Of course by now, I am probably almost a lap down from the leaders in my group. I thought, “well I can finish and salvage something out of this.”

But alas, that was not to be. I got stuck once more and this time the clutch gave up. It was completely gone. I had to get a 4 wheeler to pull me out of the mud. When I got it started, it would not run in gear. The clutch did absolutely nothing. My race was done, and I had only finished 1 lap. Wow.

This should have been my race. I was comfortable at the pace the lead group was going. I loved the dirt and the terrain. I just made one bad line decision, and then another and it was over. Now the clutch on the bike is gone, and I will need to rebuild it before the next race.

I am really proud of my teammate. Scott had a great race and finished 3rd in his class. He is 2nd overall in points in his class.

So, that is racing. On to Steele Creek in North Carolina in 3 weeks.

Forgot to mention just how fast Charlie Mullins, Nathan Kanney and David Knight are. They are badass.

Joe

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