Monthly Archives: October 2009

Cleaned my bike after Crawfordsville – OMG

Took at least an hour to clean my bike. There was at least 40 lbs of mud on the bike. It was everywhere. The plastic, chain, sprockets, brake pads all went straight to the trash.

 

Love that Crawfordsville race and course, but man is it hard on equipment.

 

Out.

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Crawfordsville – the aftermath

I needed to post up some pictures of the aftermath of Crawfordsville.  We got home late last night, so the bike just went into the garage and I piled into bed.  Today after work, I got after trying to get started cleaning it all up.

 

 

That was an almost new feeling motorcycle before this.  It had new plastic, and new graphics.  I wanted it to look good, and more than one person remarked that our bikes looked really good.  They did.

Ugh.

 

Joe

Another season done – Crawfordsville is complete.

What do you get when you combine 1000 motorcycles, soft dirt a bunch of river crossings and huge hills?  You get the Crawfordsville Ironman GNCC – that’s what you get.  This years addition was the hardest ever.  I think it was at least 10 times harder than last year.  The mud, the ruts, the hills, the waist deep river crossings, the ruts, the whoops, the power sapping soft dirt… Ugh.

Crawfordsville was the normal chaos of cars and trucks and ATV’s stuck in the muddy field.  I am also always amazed at the fact that we see confederate flags this far north.  They are on the back of trucks, they are on peoples hats, there are flags flying… Wow.

We parked in the XC2 pits.  We kind of know our way around the place and just inserted ourselves in there.  We pulled in and wedged ourselves between Chuck Woodford and our friend Mat Herrington.  A primo spot, it was cool.

The morning race had over 500 motorcycles.  Unbelievable.  This was probably the most well attended race I have ever seen.  I don’t know what the recession has to do with it.

see of motorcycles.

see of motorcycles.

HPIM3765

this one should have been with the mud gallery.  that is how your tires look trying to get in and out.

this one should have been with the mud gallery. that is how your tires look trying to get in and out.

When the first guys go through, it is not so bad.  Later during our race this will be a sea of mud and bikes stuck everywhere.

When the first guys go through, it is not so bad. Later during our race this will be a sea of mud and bikes stuck everywhere.

I got a pretty good start, probably 5th off the line and into the woods.  There were 15 guys on my line.  Dang, that RMZ is a great bike.  I also am really amazed at how well the 4stroke works now, compared to my previous 4stroke experience.  It is fast, it handles well it just does everything well.  Except, it is loud.  I don’t really like that part about it.

The first lap there was the usual impassable spot that had to be rerouted.  We were caught under this bridge culvert and with bikes stuck everywhere and overheating.  There was a super muddy creek we had to ride down, under the culvert, down the creek and then in theory make a 90 degree right turn up a 100 foot hill from the river.  There were at least 30 bikes there stuck when I arrived.  No one was making it up the hill.  We finally got through when they rerouted us away from a huge hill that people just could not make it up, but it was at least 5 minutes of just sitting there.

Also, somewhere along the first lap, I picked up a ribbon in my front brake.  For the whole race, my front brake had to be pumped to make the brake work.  The first pull it would go all the way to the bar, the second halfway and then finally on the 3rd pull it would work.  It was a bit distracting as the hills are so big there, there is just no way to ride without a front brake.  Hmmm…  must have heated up the fluid somehow and boiled it all out or…  I don’t know.

Because we start 15 minutes after the pro’s, and we had spent so much time sitting there in the creek, the pro’s caught us all before the end of the first lap.  ugh…  No 5 laps today.

Some of the race, I ran in 5th place.  But, then on the last lap, I got impossibly stuck and was multiple minutes slow.  Crossed a creek and then chose the wrong rut.  The rut I was in was deeper than the top of the seat of the bike.  There was an old guy there with an ATV, and after arguing with him for multiple minutes, he finally pulled out a strap and helped me pull the bike out of the rut.  I don’t know what he was there for, if he was not going to pull people out of the ruts.  I stood there for all those minutes, while multiple multiple people went by me.  Unfortunately, I dropped back to 7th there.  Not a bad finish, considering.

Of course it would not be a GNCC race, if we did not get the van stuck in the field trying to get out.  For what feels like the hundredth time, we had to have a tractor pull us out to get going.  We have been stuck in Scott’s van in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana (more than once), New York, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee…  Wow.  I wonder how many other states we can get it stuck in?

yep, stuck again!

yep, stuck again!

And yes.  we had to be towed out.

And yes. we had to be towed out.

The results.

The results.

Yes my bike looks horrible.

Yes my bike looks horrible.

Out

Joe

Morning race at Crawfordsville GNCC

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At Suzuki Mark’s place

On our way down to Crawfordsville, we needed to stop off at Suzuki Mark’s.  Thats what we call him anyway.

Mark and I standing in front of the trailer INSIDE his shop!

Mark and I standing in front of the trailer INSIDE his shop!

His real name is Mark Junge.  Mark and his wife Nancy run Vesrah Suzuki racing.  Mark is 8 time national endurance racing champion.  8 times!  Holy crap.  That is some skill  But on top of that, he and Nancy are just really good people.  They are super to be around.  I always love going to their shop.

A few Youtube videos for you from Mark’s racing.

Pit stop

Facebook page

Looking into Mark's shop.  That is the semi pulled into the shop and those are STACKS of race tires! Yow!

Looking into Mark's shop. That is the semi pulled into the shop and those are STACKS of race tires! Yow!

The shop is huge!  It is big enough that the full semi for the race team just pulls right into the shop.  Stacked on one end of the shop are at least 20 stacks of race tires in stacks shoulder high.  Stuffed into corners all over the shop are various race bikes.  Mark runs a full compliment of GSXR1000’s and a team of GSXR600’s.  There are what appears to me to be about 25 motorcycles in various states of race prep around the shop.

A few of the many many bikes around the shop.  They are all for sale at the end of the season, btw.

A few of the many many bikes around the shop. They are all for sale at the end of the season, btw.

Nancy showed me some of the archive bikes that Mark has around the shop.  He is trying to rebuild race bikes from all of the 9 seasons of championship racing.  Wow.

We wound our way back to the bowels of the shop, where Mark had stacks and stacks of race gas.  He gave us a bunch of the stinky stuff and we were just giddy to get it.  Something about having “race gas” makes it all seem that much more real.  That much more serious and sort of famous some how.  “I have race gas in my tank”, I had better go fast!

As much as we are moto freaks, Mark is a bicycle freak.

You can't really see it up there, but on the loft above the dyno room, there are at least 20 bicycles.

You can't really see it up there, but on the loft above the dyno room, there are at least 20 bicycles.

What is it with motorcycle guys loving bicycles?  I think it is really cool.

So, we got going from there and Candi told us that we had about 4 hours drive from there to get to Crawfordsville.  We had to make it through Chicago (The city of 24/7 traffic) and then through Gary Indiana (you know how nice that is) and then south in Indiana.  Indiana is actually a pretty nice place.  A lot like Illinois, ony better I think.

We had dinner in West Lafayette, the home of Purdue University.  It seems like a pretty good town.

After an uneventful drive, we are here in Crawfordsville.  We are in the lap of luxury is what it feels like.  We are in the Ramada Limited.  Doesn’t feel anything like our full season of GNCC.  During that season we were right in the thick of things.  We camped in the camper at the race site of each race.  We were there for all of the Quad race saturdays.  We walked the track on Saturday.  We worked on motorcycles.  We made lunch at the campsite.  We went to talk to Shane at Suzuki.  We found Jason Weigand and others.  We got signed up on Saturday.  We were regulars.  Now we are just 2 guys in a hotel room, doing a motorcycle race the next day.

I miss the full GNCC thing.  We will at least get a little bit of it tomorrow.

I will post up from the race site and twitter etc…  Wish us luck.

Joe

Crawfordsville, here we come!

The 303 rides again!

Now that is tight.  Thanks a ton AJ for the graphics upgrade just for this race.  It has rained a bunch there, but it rained overnight on Thursday.  Last year it rained all night on Friday and the race was fantastic.  I am counting on it being similar.  Either way, time to shred.

3+ hours at dyracuse.

Absolutely perfect dirt today! Rode with Mat Herrington. Damn he is fast.  We did 3+ hours.  We did the first hour together, and my pace.  Then switched and of course I cannot keep up with Mat. We strung up the loop from the race 2 weeks ago. But, it was really good and I had good form. Too bad that I did not ride this well at the race there.

Stopped at 2 hours and splashed gas, ate 2 gu packs and then headed out for another hour.  In that hour, I really rode well.  Mat did lap me near the end of that 3rd hour, but he was not going that much faster than me then.  I suppose we were both on auto pilot at that point.

Mark did a superb rebuild on my motor, and OMG! Wow is it super.  It has tons of power now, and is really smooth. Temperature was 40 at the start, probably 50 at the finish.  I have only raised the needle one clip.  Otherwise the jetting is stock.  It was pretty perfect.

I cannot wait for Crawfordsville now!  7 days to go!

Woohoo!

Countdown to Crawfordsville Ironman GNCC race!

Only 9 days till the best race of the year! I cannot wait!

Super Cool DH video!

Damn!  I so want to be there.

http://www.pinkbike.com/video/50631/

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Getting ready!

The big one is just a couple of weeks away!  As you can see, I am returning to my number from last year. Doing a bunch of bike prep today.

Getting spruced up plastic and decals ready for the GNCC race!

Getting spruced up plastic and decals ready for the GNCC race!

Yipee!!!!

Yipee!!!!

You will definately want to check out this video.  Thanks Ryan Moss from Midwest Enduro’s.

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Cool DH race!

I am thinking that you will totally want to check this out.

I am so doing that!

I Fell Down, alot

Sunday was the last WIXC race of the year.  The race was held at the fantastic course at Rhinelander.  This is the same course that was used earlier in the year for the National Harescrambles race there at Sugar Camp.

The difference here was that the WIXC course ran the loop backwards.  I think that the loop actually works better backwards than it does the normal way.  The loop is long.  About an 18-20 minute loop is super fun.

It had rained during the previous day, and during the night.  It was raining as I went to sign up (what was I thinking?).  It was raining at the start of the race and it was still raining at the end of the race.  The sand the mud, the slime.  Ugh…  I said I was never doing a mud race like this again.  Last year at Unadilla was the mudder of mudders, and I said I was never going to do that again.  But, I did.

I got a good start, probably 3rd into the woods and then out of the woods into the grass track.  Unfortunately, I slid into the 3rd turn on the grass track and stalled my motor.  Stalling allowed everyone to go past me.  Unfortunately I stalled my bike 2 more times on that same lap and struggled to get myself up to speed.

I got passed Rob in the 2nd lap, when he went down.  Unfortunately my last glimpse of Jim was on the grass track that 2nd lap, when I saw him leaving the grass track just as I was entering it.  Later that 2nd lap, I fell for my first time.

I came across a root section that was just complete spaghetti roots.  The roots were super slippery and they just grabbed my front wheel and sent me sideways.  That was the first time.  That happened a few more times.  I also had a couple of tip overs in the sand.  Jeeze, what a day.

I rode ok, but I had a hard time keeping it upright.

I have always had a hard time in the super muddy conditions.  This was no different.

Good on you to Jim.  He had a super race.

Oh well.  On to the GNCC race.  The scene of the crime, so to speak.

Before every movement, there is a moment.

Out.

Joe