If you look up in a dictionary what the definition of rocks is, it shows a picture of the woods in Pearson. Specifically, the area near the quarry is littered with rocks. There are so many rocks, that there sometimes is just a bit of dirt between the rocks. Rocks, rocks rocks. I am talking lots of rocks. I cannot believe how many rocks there are.
I used to think the definition of Rocky was Snowshoe WV. Now I know what the real definition of rocky is. Pearson, Wi. Rocks everywhere.
I drove up today in Scotts van. That felt right. I mean, I was in the van, pulling the trailer, listening to music, heading to a race at a distance. But, unfortunately Scott was not there. Feels weird. Scott and I have been racing together for so long, that it just doesn’t really feel right without him there also. We have a routine. We are an old married couple. We know who is responsible for what. We know who is going to set up the tents, we know who is going to unload the bikes. We trust that when the other one loads the bikes it will be done right. So, to go to a race without him, but being in the van is a bit odd.
Remember that last year we drove the trusty Ford Econoline all around the country to races. Florida to North Carolina to New York state, to Ohio, to Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee… The van can tell many many stories of races and being stuck in a field somewhere. There is no vehicle that can be stuck like the van can.
Through all of that Candi the stripper navigation unit was with us. She is right there on the dashboard barking out commands. She was with me on the drive north.
The Pearson D16 HS race is an epic event. The loop is more than 15 miles around. Brian Terry, D16 HS rep, billed it to us all as about a 30 minute lap. Because of all the rocks that I mentioned earlier, it turned out to be 45 minutes plus for the 1st place AA riders. Most people in later waves were struggling to be under 1 hour. It was really really technical and really really rocky.
Did I mention it was rocky?
So, the start area was just a short little stretch with a 180 degree turn and a short stretch back to the woods and in. That was it, and then the abuse started. John Buechner took the holeshot. He starts really well. I muscled my way to 2nd before we hit the woods. I followed John, and we had a good pace going. John rides tight technical stuff really well. We had our heads down, and we put a gap into everyone else pretty quickly.
But, then about 15 minutes into the lap, I ricochet of a tree and into another tree. I had my bell rung and ended up on the ground. But, more importantly, my bike was upside down on a rock and the banjo bolt that holds the hose onto the master cylinder was bent down and was letting fluid out underneath it. I jumped up, started my bike and took off. As I went into the first turn after that and grabbed the front brake the line split and I spugged out all of the fluid. That was it, my race was over. No front brake.
Now, I would rather ride a bike that doesn’t even have a rear brake lever than to ride even for one race without a front brake. I believe that I rely on the front brake for about 80% of my braking. So, I went from 80% to zero front brake. It was tough for me just to ride. With how technical things were there at Pearson, I was effectively just trail riding for the rest of the day.
I faded back from fighting for the lead. That wasn’t going to happen. I ended up 5th, which wasn’t too bad for no front brake, I am happy with that.
Tomorrow, we are doing an Enduro on many of the same trails. It should be fun. 4+ hours of riding is always a good thing.
I will let you know how that goes tomorrow.