On the way to Crawfordsville – 10/24/08

So this is the big one. Probably the best race of the GNCC circus all year. It is the one that started us on this adventure. I have never been able to finish this race. I fell and broke my front brake line in the first 1/3 of the first lap 2 years ago, and then had knee surgery a few weeks before this one last year. But, it was after coming down to do this race 2 years ago that started the wheels turning in my head. It was the experience of the whole circus 2 years ago that germinated in my little brain. It was seeing the whole pits, seeing the excitement of the demo’s, camping, dealing with jetting and being part of the whole thing that did it. Damn. It all led up to the fateful day that I said to Scott, while driving to a local race “We should do the GNCC circuit”. That one statement led to all of this craziness.

That one statement created the

– multiple bikes

– travel

– finding places to leave the van and trailer

– buying the trailer in the first place

– Florida, Georgia, the Carolina’s, NY, Tennessee, et al…

– ATV awe

It has been a great adventure.  But, there is still the grand daddy of it all to go.

We are going down on Friday to do the whole thing up right. We are going to the demo to ride a quad, we are going to eat at the concession stand, we are going to watch the quad race, we are going to watch the UTV face. We are going to get a complete fill of the whole GNCC thing today, tomorrow and Sunday.

We have a guest with us on this trip. That is my wife Liz.

You can tell she is super excited to be in the van all the way to Indiana.

Right now Liz is asleep in the back. She is not missing much. We are in Illinois. The road in Illinois goes straight. I don’t mean that it goes a little bit straight, it goes STRAIGHT. I think that it is about the most boring state ever to drive across.

Candi says it is 3 more hours until we reach the race site. It is 2pm Indiana time. So, we should be there before dark. With any luck, we will not get stuck in the field trying to find a parking spot. It is not raining now, but it did rain pretty good. We have never been to Crawfordsville without getting stuck in the field.

Fast forward to our arrival in Crawfordsville. We have not arrived this early to a GNCC race yet. 5 in the evening on Friday. On the way down, Mat and Carley texted to say they were going to arrive in the middle of the night, but have had enough of camping and have decided to stay at a hotel in Crawfordsville.

We paid our way in, figured out where the course went and then headed towards the perimeter so that we could set up a pit along the course. We spent a long time trying to plot our way through the field so as to not get stuck. We were doing pretty well for about 80% or our way into the field. Then, after stopping on a high spot, and targeting our run in, I made the fatal error of making my turn to slow to back the trailer in. There we were for the 5th time in our GNCC life, stuck in the middle of the field. Ugh. What a non macho set up we have. A 2 wheel drive van that, although it gets 24 mpg pulling the trailer at 75, it cannot make it across the field with the slightest bit of mud. I love the van, but we always feel a bit silly having to ask someone with a big pick up if they can pull us out of the flat field.

In the end, we got the absolute primo spot. Along the course, just after the start finish.

I have a plan.

I have not been able to get in a 5th lap at a GNCC yet. I start on row 15. That means I am 15 minutes behind the leaders already when I cross the finish line. My first 2 lap times are usually pretty consistent. My 4th lap is usually pretty slow. That is a combination of my fitness end, the course deteriorating and being passed by a lot of people during the 4th lap. At Ohio, I was only about 1-2minutes away from being able to finally get a 5th lap.

So, I have a plan.

I am going to race the +40A class on Sunday. They start 5 minutes earlier than I do. Although I am not fast enough to race with the A class, starting with them may allow me to get past the start finish line before the first place rider catches me and stops my race.

I know my bike will do 4 laps without stopping for gas. We are pitted just after the finish, so if I can get through the finish I will stop at the beginning of my 5th lap to get gas.

I have a plan.

Dinner looks a little bit more presentable when we have a guest with us!

Back with more tomorrow.

Joe

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