Monthly Archives: March 2009

Damn weather gods!

Wisconsin can be a wacked place.

It is March 29, and we woke up today to 6 inches of snow on the ground. March 29! They held a golf tournament here 2 weeks ago, for crying out loud. It is bad enough that it snows like this at stupid times, but to have it be that way on the morning of what was supposed to be the first race of the year for me, really sucks.

This is what it looked like out the window when I got up!  March 29!

This is what it looked like out the window when I got up! March 29!

I know that I am supposed to stop talking about the weather. After all, grousing about it doesn’t do anything.  In fact, it doesn’t even make me feel any better.  I am having a hard time just “dealing with it”. Someone is out to get me, or at least that is the way that I feel some times.  That feeling is what makes me want to “Damn the weather gods!”

I guess I actually have it pretty good. I have bikes, I have a riding area.  I am pretty fit, and I am ready to go.  Maybe this weekends race was just not to be.  Sure wanted to kick my bike over on a starting line though.

Oh well.  On to some other rants.

Can someone tell me what the hell is up with James Stewart? He is by far the fastest man on the planet. I don’t think that even Ricky Carmichal could keep up with him on his best days. Yet, Chad Reed has a good chance of beating him for the overall in the AMA SX series. Chad is fast, and a classy rider. But, come on, this is James Stewart we are talking about. Chad Reed?

But, I guess the races have been fun to watch.

What about that GNCC series, eh? We have had so many years with a guest superstar, that we had all forgotten what GNCC racing is really like. The races are tough, and there really is not guarantee from one race to the next.  There really are only a couple of people that can dominate the racing the way that Juha and David Knight did, and they are not here this year. Jeez it has been exciting. 3 winners in 3 races. I am still waiting for Paul Whibley to solidify things at the top, but for now it is damn exciting. I fear that Paul will put it together sometime soon, and we will go back to runaway wins by one rider again.  I am disappointed that my man Nathan Kanney has not put it together yet.  It is a long season, and we will see what happens next.

Next weekend is the opening weekend of our biggest riding area.  I suspect that we will be fighting our way through the snow.  But, I will not be missing that for anything.  Dyracuse riding area.

Our for now.

Joe

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2009 graphics!

So I have to post up.  Today, I got one of my bikes completely ready to go.  The season is here, and we needed to get our act in gear.  AJ, from Victory Graphix sent us our new graphics for the year, and man does it look boss!

Wow.

My bike with the small tank!

My bike with the small tank!

Detail of the rear fender with sponsor logos.

Detail of the rear fender with sponsor logos.

hpim1977

coming at you!

coming at you!

I don't even want to go and get it dirty!

I don't even want to go and get it dirty!

I am going to go down to Illinois and race it on Sunday, in the snow and sandy mud.  Seems a shame to shred it like that, but that is what it is for.

Show time.

Joe

Photo’s from St. Joe Riding weekend

Here are some photos that I found from our weekend at St. Joe, back in February.

hpim1965

hpim1966

hpim1967

hpim1970

Looks like fun, eh?

Looks like fun, eh?

First race is almost here!

Damn, we were so close. Over the weekend, it was 60+ degrees. It was dry. Dirt in the woods was perfect. Scott got out and mapped out our practice loop at our local riding spot. It looked like the MTB trails would be opening up this weekend. Things were shaping up perfectly. Then, all hell broke loose on Sunday night.

It started raining on Sunday night, and it has not stopped in 2 days. It is raining cats and dogs out there. All the fields are completely bloated and flooded. The woods are a complete quagmire.

And it gets worse. It is cold, and it is supposed to snow yet this week and weekend. It is going to be an absolute mud bath this weekend.

But, it is March 29 this weekend and I will be racing. It is almost exactly 30 days later start than last year, but it is here and Damn am I ready for it.

I just love the chaos of the first lap.

Out,
Joe

In like a lion, out like a lamb

That is what the local papers are saying about this past winter.  Today being the first day of spring and all.  I guess that we had a kick butt snow season in December, and then winter gave up.  It was still damn cold all winter though.  It is still cold and wintry feeling today.

In fact, as I sit here writing this on March 20, it is just 38 degrees outside.  Of course, that is not stopping the boys across the street from playing basketball in shorts and Tshirts.  Youth.

Spring is a time for youth though.  I saw some green grass poking up through a soaked farmers field today on the way home.  The sun is out a bunch more.  I rode home on my bicycle from my cycling class the other night at 7pm.  No lights, no darkness, just pedaling home like it was always like that.  How quickly we forget.

Forgetting winter is what I want to do right now.  10 days from now is the first local race for the year.  The MXC series, put on by the same group that puts on the OMA races, is up and going down in Illinois.  They are generally not super hard races.  They are just 1.5 hours, half of a GNCC race.  You can usually do them on an MX bike with a small tank even.  But, they are put on by Bill Gusse.  Bill likes to put logs and tough uphills in any race that he puts on.  He loves tight trees and he abhors GNCC races with the wide fast trails.  Even though I love GNCC races, I have got to love Bill.  He is unique.

Scott cannot make the race next weekend.  He was out of the country all week, and needs to get caught up at home.  I will be heading down with a couple of other friends, Joe Bauer and John Buechner.  Two enduro fiends from the local group.  They will probably destroy me in the tight woods.  I will be ready by the time the real local season comes along, but right now my tight woods skills are pretty  rusty.  It will be fun to kick the bike over in a start line though.  God I love the chaos of the first lap of a race.

My bikes are all ready for the season.  Still waiting for some new graphics for the year, and that is why the photo’s are not updated.  They will be soon.  Along with our graphics, Pirelli tires are the last things to arrive.  Everything else is ready – Factory Connection prepped suspension, Cycra plastic and hand guards, Magura clutches all rebuilt and dialed in, GPR steering dampers rebuilt and ready to go, G2 throttle tubes mounted and lubed, Vortex drive parts all fresh and ready, Moose gear ready for the season, new Bell helmets all fresh shinny and not stinky etc…  Wow it is a pretty sight.

The word from Suzuki is that there will be new RMZ250’s showing up for Scott and I.  Since Suzuki is done with the 2 stroke, I guess that this is our last year on 2 strokes.  I will spend the year on the RM250 still (the best bike ever made), and spend the season in development on the 250F.  Hopefully by next year I will be comfortable and ready to give up my 2 stroke.  We will see.   But that effort is going to provide a lot of blog fodder.

See you soon at a race.

Good luck Mat, at this weekends GNCC in North Carolina.  It is a hard one.

Out

Joe

Video from St. Joe

Scott put up this vide from St. Joe.  2nd day, just a short idea of what the trails are like there.

Joe

2 days later

2 days later

Here I am in Holland.  Staying at a little hotel in Amersfort called Logies de Taboksplant.  Neat little place inside the old walled in part of the city.  I guess it was a fort at one point.  Some of the town is still that old.  This is where our company headquarters office is here in Europe.

Hard to believe that just 2 days ago, I was ripping my RM250 at the St. Joe trails.  I wish I was back there already.  My bike is great, my new Moose gear is great, I am ready for the season.

My friend Mat Herrington and Ben Grosse made it through the first GNCC race.  Mat did well for his first time in the XC2 class tough class.  Charlie Mullins won, and looks to be tough this year.  But, Paul Whibley was second and Nathan Kanney was 3rd.  Lookout.

Have to go, but will write more about my thoughts on our season and my fitness and my bike later.

Out
JV3