Unadilla – The legend that is

The muddiest, wettest, nastiest thing I have ever done. Some way to start this entry, eh? Scott and I are driving along after the race, and my forearms are completely cramping, just trying to type this.

So, let me back up a bit. The morning was foggy, but the sun broke through early and it was glorious out. The kids got a great race course that the dirt was like Velcro. The morning race also got Velcro dirt, but it started to rain at the end of the race. It was sprinkling, and we assumed that a little bit of rain would make the course good. It would have.

By the time we got to our start line, it was pouring down rain at the start. A GNCC race never starts on time – Never. This one was not any different. We sat on the line for about 30 minutes, in the rain. The rain came down like cats and dogs. When the gun went off for my wave to take off, I was completely soaked, through and through.

3hours, starting out soggy.

My bike did not start. It did not start on the second kick either. Nor did it start on the 3rd kick. The flagger gave me a big push, and I kicked 2 more times while rolling and it finally started on the 5th kick. By now, the whole wave was gone. I was dead last in my wave getting out of the start area. 30 riders ahead of me. I had my work cut out for me.

Exactly one mile into the race, we hit the big mud hole. That was a misnomer though, as in fact the whole 10 mile loop was 1 big mud hole and 1 big long rut. Ruts going up the hill, ruts crossing side hill, ruts going down hill, ruts on the Unadilla MX track, ruts everywhere. But, already in that first mud hole, 1 mile into the race my clutch was acting up. I had to turn the clutch barrel out 4 turns to get my clutch to work.

About 1.5 miles into the race, we were supposed to cross a creek bed. The creek bed was steep and muddy. No one was making it up, and by the time our wave got there, the whole race was backed up. People were standing around. Bikes were stuck everywhere. There was no way through the creek. Slowly we got across or found our own way around, one rider at a time. Just as I was getting out of that mess, I saw that they rerouted the pros past that mess. I was only 1.5miles into the race, and I was already a lap down to the pros. They rerouted that section, and we did not have to hit that again – or I might still be out there.

The first lap passed. There were lots of ruts, a lots of logs to cross and lots of rocks everywhere. I did not fall on that lap though. I passed through the start finish at the end of the 1st lap in 25th place – ugh.

The second lap, my goggles were gone so I stopped at our pits and got some new goggles. They lasted about ½ a lap, and I was forced to ride the rest of the race without goggles. My eyes are oozing goop and will be oozing mud all day tomorrow.

At the end of the 2nd lap, I was in 17th place. Making progress, but not much. It was raining even harder.

On the next lap, I did not see where I was when I passed through the start finish. It was still raining – hard.

There were spots on the course that water was running down the hill in the ruts were riding in. I mean gushing water.

How does a motorcycle run through that? I don’t know. In the end, I finished and finished in 13th place. Not bad for where I was at the start. Not quite the top 10 that I was hoping for, but given that I absolutely hate mud races and I struggle with conditions like that – I am ok with it.

Here are some photos to give you a feel for what it was like.

Hanks race never stopped. I think it was a multi day race. He got up this morning and started ripping around again – non stop.

The morning race had 450 riders. Ours had nearly 400. Yow.

That is Carley heading out after pitting in the morning race. As you can see, they had good conditions there.

The dead carcass after the race!

Scary!

Ugh. That was on my head.

My gear was so bad after the race, that I just threw my jersey, my pants, my undershirt and my gloves into the dumpster. Hopefully my boots and helmet are salvageable. I hate to even think about my bike. I suspect it will need chain, sprockets, brake pads, tires, grips, graphics, plastic, clutch – everything. The Saturday before St. Clairsville will be busy.

I am super proud of Scott. He was 2nd in the +30A class. Second to 5 time GNCC champion, Scott Summers. That is the same as winning in my book.

Next stop, St. Clairesville Ohio.

I cannot wait.

Over and out.

Joe

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One response to “Unadilla – The legend that is

  1. Oh boy, I have had those days too.
    Good job getting out there.
    I’ll be happy to train in the rain with you.
    Good job!

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