Monthly Archives: December 2008

Back in the saddle again!

Back In The Saddle Again

Back In The Saddle Again

Scott and I went down to Waterman indoor MX track on Friday to ride. Waterman is a really safe little indoor MX track. Not very fast, with only small little jumps. No impossible doubles, and one tough SX style whoops section. It is not my real cup of tea, but it is December with feet of snow on the ground and we are riding. Cannot really complain.

After a year of GNCC racing, it did not feel too bad. As I said, it is pretty slow. But, GNCC racing is pretty fast and has taught me not to be afraid of speed or even medium jumping. Scott and I both talked on our way home about how the jumps seemed more manageable than they did in past trips here.

Getting ready to ride!

Getting ready to ride!

Waterman is a little bit on the dark side and the air can get pretty bad, but as I noted – it is hard for guys from way up north to argue with riding in December with feet of snow on the ground.

The whoop section took it’s toll on me. There really is no way to get through them other than to hit them hard and try to stay up on top. They are too tight to double through them and if you go to slow you do the “bucking horse” thing – not good. The crowds were not too big, so we got a bunch of riding. At about the 2 hour riding point, my arms/shoulders/back gave up the ghost and turned to rubber. (amazing how your fitness goes away when you are not riding)

preview of my HS bike for 2009 season

preview of my HS bike for 2009 season

I did a bunch of geeky calculations about my fuel usage during the ride session at Waterman. You see, I have a goal of racing my HS bike in 2 hour events with a small tank. I think I can. I definitely am faster with the small tank, at least in my head I am. Based on Friday’s ride I am calculating that I can go just over 2 hours with the small tank at race pace outdoors. I will be spending a bunch of time this spring experimenting.

I have found a few articles talking about punching out a stock tank with a heat gun and a few PSI from a bicycle pump. If I can get a quarter to half a gallon more from the stock tank I am pretty sure I will not have a problem.

So, it was almost 2 months since my last ride. I think it will be another 2 months till we are able to ride next. Lot’s of bike work and gear work to be done before then.

Stay tuned.

Joe

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Merry Christmas!!

This is how Santa comes to our house!

This is how Santa comes to our house!

Merry Christmas everyone!  It is only 2 months till we are all able to start riding again.  In the mean time, there is just training and spending time in the garage cleaning and organizing and rebuilding.

Scott and I are heading down to Waterman to ride tomorrow.  That will be fun, but it is never a substitute for riding outdoors.

But, just 66 days till we can ride outside!

See you soon!

See you soon!

Joe

All uphill from here!

Ok. Here it is. December 21. The shortest day of the year. The Winter Solstice. And, man from where I am sitting it is still a long steep uphill.

Here in the Upper Midwest, it is the absolute depths of winter. Today the actual outside temperature was a balmy comfy -3 degrees. That alone will make most people tremble. When you walk out into that kind of temperature, your nose hairs freeze and your exposed skin feels it immediately. But, as if that was not enough we had gusting 30-40 mile per hour winds. That put the windchill at minus 35. That is downright rude.

To top things off, we had 12 inches of snow fall 2 days ago, and then 4 more inches of snow last night. The plows have been by the house multiple times, but the wind keeps blowing all the snow right back over the road.

But, I am trying to be optimistic. It is the shortest day of daylight of the year, afterall. That means tomorrow will be light just a little bit longer, and the day after that a little bit longer again. If you multiply that out, it means we are on our way back to April 1. April is when you can count on starting to be outside riding your bicycle and even more importantly riding your motorcycle. The ground will be wet and muddy at that point, but we will be riding.

Even before that though, we will be riding.

  • Scott and I are going to Waterman indoor MX track on Dec 26.
  • We will be going up to the Sandbox to ride in January.
  • We will be going down to St. Joe Missouri to ride at the end of February.
  • Then, with any luck we will be racing on March 8 in Bill Gusse’s MXC races in Illinois.

So, it is coming, not quickly – but it will get here. 69 days till our first real outdoor riding time, 77 days till the first practice race, 88 days till the first AMA upper midwest enduro and 99 days till the first Harescrambles race. When it is all written out like that, it does not seem like it is that far off. But, it is.

There is still a ton of work to be done before then.

  • My Harescrambles bike is getting near done. The suspension will be back this week. The motor will be finished being rebuilt in the next couple of weeks. The chasis has been stripped cleaned and all bearing surfaces prepped and properly lubricated etc…
  • My Enduro bike is another matter. I have not even started on that yet. It needs all of the above and more. That bike was my GNCC race bike the past year. It had a hard year, so it is being relegated to back up bike/enduro bike status. It is getting a Baja Designs light kit and Factory Connection will do up the suspension super soft for me.

My gear from Moose will be here after the first of the year. There is a huge stack of Pirelli tires just arriving now. Many more things will still need to be stacked up to make our season complete. Although we are not traveling so much to race this season, I have many more races planned for this year than this past year.

But until then, there is still much more winter to endure. Some skiing here and there, but mostly just counting the days till winter is over.

Ugh… Winter.

Out

Joe

New WIXC series


I am super excited about the new WIXC series we have here for next year.

Rick Anschutz, former D16 AMA Harescrambles rep, has changed his role to race promoter. Rick did a fantastic job as the AMA rep here in the District for a long time. He helped organize races, he kept all of us honest by being the hardnosed rule enforcer, he and his wife Paula and his daughter spent considerable time money and effort for every racing day of each year and he always pushed for more races every year. We all have him to thank for the positive state of racing here in Wisconsin now.

I wrote a post earlier that as I go back and read it now, did not sound like I was very supportive of the new WIXC series. On the contrary, I am really confident that everything will work out for Rick. I am hopeful that my schedule works out so that I can do the majority of the WIXC races this season. I WILL be doing a bunch of the WIXC races to show my support for Rick, acknowledging his efforts in the past and his series for the future!

Rick – sorry that I did not sound supportive of your future series. I know that you were the driving force behind all of our racing here for the past years, and I know if anyone can make another series work here in Wisconsin – you can. I, along with everyone else in the state, really thank you.

You might have read in earlier posts that we have a ton of racing opportunities here in Wisconsin next year. Rick Anschutz will bring his considerable experience to the new WIXC series, Brian Terry (all around good guy) has taken over the AMA district and looks to have a bunch of races on the calendar, there is an AMA Eastern Harescrambles race here (also promoted and organized by Rick Anschutz), there are a couple of National Enduro’s nearby, Ryan Moss’s great MidwestEnduros.com website keeps us informed of a lot of opportunities for Enduro racing, of course there are OMA races and MXC races put on by Bill Gusse and then maybe a couple of GNCC races are not too far away.

Joe

results of blowing my motor

If you have been following along this summer, you might remember me blowing up my motor in the National Harescramble race in Rhinelander this summer.  I thought maybe I had forgotten to put oil in the motor.  Turns out that I had a bearing go bad.  Looks like there was oil in the motor, but a bearing just exploded.  Could of been my fault.

Mark has put a bunch of effort into tearing the motor down for me.  Here is what he found.

The main bearing looks pretty bad.  New crank and bearing is necessary!  Ugh!

The main bearing looks pretty bad. New crank and bearing is necessary! Ugh!

The bearing was fused to the crank.  Balls had ejected and metal parts were ever.

Look at the damage to the case!  Yow!

Look at the damage to the case! Yow!

This motor is going into my harescrambles bike.  It will have new cases, a new crank arm, new bearings everywhere on the crank, new rod bearings, new piston and rings, new clutch basket, etc…  Effectively, it is an all new motor.  So, my frame is not new – but it is in perfect shape.  The suspension is off at Factory Connection this week.  The wheel bearings are all new.  The Magura clutch is being rebuilt at Magura.  The GPR steering damper is going back to be rebuilt this week.

Although the bike only has about 40 hours on it, it is really really going to be fresh.

I picked up a small stock size tank on ebay.  I found a bunch of posts on the topic of trying to expand a stock tank to get a little bit more capacity.  I found stories of people getting about 1/2 gallon more fuel in the tank after working on it with a bit of air pressure and a heat gun.  If I can get that, I will be able to make a 2 hour race on the small tank.  That will be my local Harescrambles set up.

Once it is all rebuilt and finished, I will put pictures up on site.  I cannot wait.

The winter is long here in Wisconsin, but there is plenty of work to be done on gear and motorcycles before the season rolls around.  March will be here sooner than we think.

Joe

Snow Day

Today was a snow day! The storm of the century was supposed to be coming. When I got up at 5am to go to my fitness class, it was pounding down snow. I checked the local school district website, and it was closed for the day.

Sweet! A snow day! I remember when I was a kid, that was about the coolest thing that could ever happen.

I made the decision right there and then that I was staying home from work today as well. I went to the basement, did an abbreviated core workout and then busted outside to shovel the driveway. Yip!

I came back inside, and answered my emails that had stacked up overnight and then made my calls that I needed to and then waited. I waited for my 17 year old daughter to get out of bed so that she and I could go outside and have a snowball fight.

Of course the storm of the century turned out to just be 5 or so inches of snow. And, I waited and waited for Hanna to get up and go outside with me. She finally got up near noon, and then bombed out of the house to hang with her friends. Ditched. I am just the old man, I guess.

So, I ended up canceling all my appointments for the day and then in the end just sitting here and working on my computer for the day. What the hell kind of snow day is that?

Joe