Monthly Archives: June 2009

That new bike smell!

So you get a new bike.  It is all shinny.  All crisp feeling.

The fasteners do not have marks on them yet.  There is no duct tape holding on a graphic yet.  There are no zipties holding panels together yet.  There are no dents in the rims.  There are no boot rub marks on the cases or frame yet.  The teeth on the footpegs are not worn.  It is a fantastic time in a dirt bikes life, and in a dirt bikers life.

You get to change the oil without having to scrape dirt off the drainplug first.  The air box is so shinny inside.  You get to torque all the bolts for the first time, marking them painstakingly with a sharpie to show that they have been done.  You get to lube up all the bearings without having to clean gunk off them first.

After you are done prepping it for the first time, but before you have really ridden it yet, you go out to the garage just to stare at it and admire it.  You start it just for the heck of it.  You invite your friends over to see it.  Your wife comes out to look at it and says “looks just like the other one.”  (But she doesn’t really count in this, and who asked her anyway?)

Then the first ride day comes and your almost sad about tarnishing that new bike smell.  Almost.

You take it out and absolutely thrash it.

The Victim!

The Victim!

Scott and I took shinny new 2009 Suzuki RMZ 250F’s to Dyracuse and rode the crap out of them.

The dirt was perfect, the trails were completely empty.

2hours on a new bike.  No steering damper on the bike yet, so it was hard to stay on the trail in the 2nd hour.  But damn a new bike is fun.

I think that my riding has adapted to a Suzuki.  I get a new Suzuki, and within a few laps on it, I am completely comfortable.  I don’t really think I want to switch brands ever, as I think I would have to learn to ride all over again.

I love my RM250 2 strokes, but I have to admit that this new bike seemed really good right away.  I am excited, because if it this good right away, it could be REALLY good after I live with it for a while.

The aftermath!  It was so shinny before!

The aftermath! It was so shinny before!

Out.

Joe

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Horribly Hilly Hundreds

I have written a few times about glaciers and the effect they have had on the terrain we live in here in Wisconsin.  There is a part of our area of the upper midwest though, that the glaciers avoided.  I do not really understand that, but apparantly the glaciers were selective about the parts of the upper midwest that they scraped flat.  They avoided an area that is called the “Driftless Area”.  I found this definition of that area:

– The Driftless Area includes 15,425,920 acres,which is 24,103 square miles, covering all or part of 57 counties in southeast Minnesota, southwest Wisconsin, northeast Iowa and a small portion of northwest Illinois in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. This unique area was by-passed by the last continental glacier resulting in a steep, rugged landscape.

Yep.  There is it.

Yep. There is it.

It is almost as if there was some sort of spell on the area or something.  The glaciers just went all around it.  They bypassed the area and then just kept going.  Dropping rocks and scraping them off.

Just as it says above, it is steep and it is rugged.  In fact, the 124mile ride has an elevation gain over the ride of 10,500 feet!  The longest climb is 910 feet high, so the 10,000 feet comes at you in small short and steep doses.

Link to the rides website!

Link to the rides website!

It was about 90 degrees yesterday for the ride, and it was super humid.  It was pretty tough.

Joe

WIXC race at Silver Cliff!

You may recall that I tried to tell the story of Glaciers one other time. I think in reality, I have discovered a devious Canadian plot. You see, the glaciers did their thing a few years ago. They picked up some rocks, and slowly over time brought them south. I mean it took a while. It isn’t like they loaded up the car and brought the rocks south. The glaciers took their damn time at it.

So, now we all go to Pearson and say, “oh, how cute. Look at what the glaciers did!” But, in the mean time the Canadians have been loading up their trains and sending all the Canadian rocks to Silver Cliff. I figured it out. I was sitting at a train crossing watching a Canadian Pacific train go by. Then it dawned on me, that the Canadians are sending their rocks to the Harescrambles location of the race that I did today. All the Canadian rocks are there. I mean they are THERE. Stuck in the ground, covered in slime and just waiting to flat your tires, ding your rims and break your ribs.

Silver Cliff WIXC race story!

The WIXC race is generally a 2 race weekend. But, because of the State soccer tournament, I could not make the Saturday race. I knew I would be at a disadvantage, because everyone else was there the day before and would know the course. But, I loaded up early and headed out.

Since I got there very early, I was able to head out and look at the course.  I thought I should do that, as everyone else was getting up and making breakfast and just moving around.  Remember, they had the opportunity to see the course the day before, so did not need to see it today.

It had rained the night before, so I soon learned that what we were going to see in the race was slippery mud and even slipperier rocks.  Ugh…  It was going to be a day of slow and steady was going to win the day.

This is pretty much what all of the course looked like.  Mud, rocks and roots!

This is pretty much what all of the course looked like. Mud, rocks and roots!

In addition to rocks and roots, there was also mud and wet trees and branches.  Yum.

In addition to rocks and roots, there was also mud and wet trees and branches. Yum.

The start went straight up a big sandy and rocky hill, one line wide, only about 50 yards from the start line.  There was an alternate line around the hill, that I contemplated instead of dealing with the hill.  I watched someone select that alternate line in a wave ahead of mine, but he inspite of a good start and charging up that line, he was still only 2nd into the woods.

My wave went off, and I kicked, but no forward motion.  Damn, I did not get it lit.  It started on the 2nd try, but I was now last going into the woods.  I had some weird numbing of my hands and a bit of arm pump right away.  I struggled to get past a couple of people in the first lap.  I did finally settle down and start to work on riding smooth, though the course was so rough and rocky that it was hard to settle down.

By the 3rd or so lap, I did catch Jim who was leading as he was getting up from a fall.  I passed him right away, but he passed me right back.  I was completely comfortable with the pace, so I decided to sit on him for a while to see how he was riding.  We were just 45 or so minutes into the race so I had plenty of time to see it unfold.  I sat on Jim for 2 or so laps and he was just bouncing off of things right and left.  Finally he struggled out of the line on a big hill, and I motored past.  Once past, I put my head down and went hard.

I had one bobble along the way, and aparantley Jim got sight of me as I was off my bike trying to get up a big hill.  But, I never saw him after I went past him.  I rode pretty well.  Slow and steady was the order of the day.  The rocks reward smooth standing riding style.  I managed to have a few minutes on Jim at the finish and won my class.  I was also 8th overall on the day.

My RM 250 worked perfectly for that.  My Factory Connection soft tuned suspension was magic.

Early Start!

The new WIXC races start at 11am. That is fantastic, as you can race and still be home for dinner. But, when you are trying to get to the race in the morning, it is a bit daunting. Google maps said it was a 5 hour drive to the race. So, I jumped in the truck at 5am, intending to get to the race by 9am.  Candi, who knows me and my driving habits better, knew it was only really going to take 4 hours to get there.  Unfortunately, she chose to keep that from me until we were already inroute to the race.  Sometimes, I think she has a mind of her own.  I’m just sayin!

It was kind of cool to be out driving already at 4am.  No one is out, and when you go through a town it is completely quiet except the birds.  Neat.  It is also kind of gross though.  The amount of HUGE bugs that were splattering on the windshield was pretty bad.  Large splats of bug.  Yuck.

On the way home, it rained big on me.  Unfortunately, it was not enough rain to clean off the mud on the bike.  I did see a really cool Volkswagen bus on the road.  Dang they are cool.

Cool old VW with bikes on the back.  Always like seeing those.

Cool old VW with bikes on the back. Always like seeing those.

State Soccer tournament

I know this is a blog about our motorcycle racing efforts, but I have to head in a different direction for just one post.  I am the proud parent of a high school kid that had a great experience this past week.

The Lake Mills girls varsity soccer team made it to the final 4 teams in the state. They are the first Lake Mills soccer team ever to make it to what is referred to as “State”.

The girls played kick ass soccer this past weekend, but unfortunately they lost. Their semi final game was played against the top ranked undefeated team in the state. (Lake Mills was not ranked in the top 10 before the tournament began.)

In spite of the rankings, at 55 of 80 minutes, Lake Mills was up 3 to 1. They really owned the game at that point. At 70 minutes they were 3 to 2, a call went against them in the box and they gave a PK to the other team. The call was really questionable, against the goalie as she was diving for the ball. She got called that she took a defender out. That is pretty unheard of, as the goalie is normally given really high leeway as she is diving for the ball. That PK tied up the score, but more importantly it completely shifted the momentum. Hanna told me afterward that they went from winning, to not, in their minds. They let another one sink at 76 minutes and the game was done.  They threw everything they had at the other team in the last 3 minutes, and had 2 shots blocked by the other goalie.

4-3 after 80 minutes of play.  They played like one of the top 4 teams in the state.

They came within 10 minutes from being in the state championship game. No Lake Mills team of any ball sport has ever made it to the final 4. They received a police and fire department escort out of town to drive to the game. They drove in 4 vans all decorated with Lake Mills.  I did not know there were so many fans from Lake Mills to fill a stadium. All the fans had yellow tshirts with Lake Mills Girls Soccer, and “Let’s kick some grass!” on the back (there pregame chant), and the stadium was a sea of hundreds of yellow shirts. All the boys from the Senior/Junior class were there bare chested with Lake Mills painted on their torsos. People had their faces painted. They had cow bells, and horns and noise makers of all types.  They were singing, they were chanting. It was really cool, and the girls definitely were inspired.

It looked like the state final. The team that beat them (St. Mary’s Central) was the top ranked team in the tournament, and it was their 5th time to the state tournament. We watched the other semi final game, and it was not nearly the intensity of the Lake Mills game. I cannot imagine that the final will be a better game than that

They were tough and all played way up.

Proud Dad!

Out.

Hixton Photo’s

Brian Terry took these photo’s during the Hixton race on May 31.

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Eric Muth’s RM250

Eric found our website this past winter.  He has become a Suzuki fan as a result and has just built up his own RM 250 and is pretty psyched.

Scott and I are both super psyched that someone else out there has discovered how good a Suzuki RM250 is. We are happy that we could help out Eric in some way as he was building his bike.  If you have any questions that Scott or Joe can answer about your RM250 and using it as a woods bike, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Joe – joe@vesrahsuzukioffroad.com

Scott- scott@vesrahsuzukioffroad.com

Here is a photo of Eric’s bike.

Eric Muth's RM 250

Eric Muth's RM 250

See you in the woods somewhere.

Joe

Brave Soldier!

I have discovered some great stuff, called Brave Soldier Friction Zone. Scott found it before me, but I am an absolute fan.  You goop it on your hands in the spots that would blister up normally, and then stuff your mitts into the glove – all gooped up.

The potion is magic! I used to finish a race with completely raw hands. Busted open blisters on top of busted open blisters. I sometimes would finish a ride with my hands so bad that it was difficult to drive the car home after the race or ride. I have a history of being able to go through a pair of grips in one race, I still do. I am hard on my hands.

I can still go through a pair of grips or a pair of gloves in one race. But, the Brave Soldier stuff saves my hands. I finish the race with my hands in perfect shape.

It makes a huge difference. Try it.

Brave Soldier Website

You can buy it through Amazon.com, if you cannot find it locally.