Monthly Archives: January 2010

After the Sumter National Enduro

This is a short entry after the race. I will try to do a bigger entry later with the computer instead of the phone.

Sumter South Carolina is mostly sand. It rained huge on the Friday and Saturday before the race. I figured, “great, typical, I travel to do a race and of course it is muddy. But, it cleared up overnight and sucked the moisture right out of the ground. We were left with mostly super moist sand. It was epic.

The morning was completely clear, but it was cold It was 23 overnight. It was about 30 at our start and about 44 in the afternoon.

There are timed sections in the new Enduro format and transfer sections that are not timed. In the end, your times from the timed sections are added together to give you your overall time. You start 1 minute apart, 5 people at a time. Unlike a GNCC, the course is all singletrack and it is TIGHT.

There were 6 timed sections. The A’s and pro’s did all 6 sections, the B’s did 5 of the sections, the C’s did 4 of the sections.

Section1 was pretty nice. I think it was 9 miles long.

Section 2 was much harder. It was tighter and had 3 or 4 really bad mud holes. I saw 2 bikes buried up to the seats and the rider was no where in sight. They were tough mud holes that almost everyone got stuck in.

Section 3 was a bitch. It was crazy effing hard. It was sooo tight. The trees were really really close. There were soooo many trees that the gap between them was narrower than my handlebars. I have completely lost count. I hated this section more than I can tell.

Section 4 was the queen section. It was 21 miles long and flowed really well. It only had a couple of tight sections. But, because 500 riders were ahead of us it was 21 miles of sand whoops. It was relentless.

Section 5 was pretty good. It had some tight tree sections, but because the C riders were not on the course any more, the trail was not nearly as whooped out. Much better.

Of course all the pro’s said section 6 was the best because it was much smoother.

I got to meet Patrick Koether from Rekluse. It was good to meet him there. He was the rock star showing up and riding one of the Husaberg bikes. Good on you Patrick.

Since I am getting over this chest and sinus cold I blew out a ton of snot from my head during the race. Yuck. Breathing was tough also. I am sure that didn’t really help my pace.

My bike was really really good in the fast stuff, but kind of tough in the tight stuff. I would need to set my bike up for more seated riding if I was doing more of these. My bar height seems wrong, my lever placement seems wrong, my rear brake lever is way way to high. It is so high that I cannot get at my brake lever without lifting my foot off the peg. Eventually my leg cramps that way and I cannot ride.

That is it for now. More later.

JV.

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Getting started

35 minutes to our start time it’s 28 degrees. Woohoo. #Sumter #National Enduro. (via @joev3)

The weather forecast for Sumter this weekend

So I think it will all work out. It is raining cats and dogs there now, but it looks like high 30’s or 40 and sun – no rain for race day.

http://www.weather.com/weather/wxdetail/USSC0333?dayNum=2&&from=weekend

The trail will be sweet.

And so it begins

Yep. It is January. Heading to SC to do the national enduro. Oh yeah.

Damn it is cold out.

Karen, the painted australian hussy GPS unit on the dash says we have 787 miles to go. Be there in no time.

Illinois kinda sucks to drive through. Look a squirrel. Flat forever.

(Brian just said “huge midget” in the same sentence.)

Wow it is really hot in here.

The truck is much nicer to drive a long drive in than the van. Not that the van is bad, but I’m just sayin.

I already messed with Brian’s GPS and changed the voice to a woman with an Australian accent. I’m not stupid.

(50 is the new 49 – John from the back seat)

I also made the playlist we are listening to now, so Scott would hate it. It’s sweet.

Pretty fly.

Passed a girl in a crappy Chevy Cavalier. Brian says “hmm, that was cute.”. I said, “that was a girl in a Cavalier”. Brian said, “that just means she has low standards”. (Brianism #3)

Joe

Season is coming in just 87 days

This weekend I get started.  But, the first race locally is still 87 days away.  In the mean time, here is what I wish I was doing.

[Vimeo 8975260]

Cannot wait.

Joe

Space Filler

This post has nothing to do specifically with Motorcycles.  It doesn’t really have much to do with Bicycles.  I call it space filler.  Space filler is exactly what this time of the year feels like – in regards to Motorcycles or Bicycles.  January/February is just sort of that time of the year when we wait for the season to be on 2 wheels.

This post is also just filling the time between late December, when it feels ok for my posts to not be about Motorcycles or Bicycles.  The National Enduro in South Carolina is just 8 days away.  I cannot wait.

Last week in Europe

I was in Zurich last week for 3 days of meetings.  They were good as far as meetings go.  Meetings get your job done, but even when they are about bicycles they don’t really make you go faster on a bicycle or a motorcycle.  I know that surprises you, as it does me as well.  The meetings involved lots of sitting in a room all day, lots of eating too much food and lots of beer in the evenings.  Again, none of that is bad in itself, I just fail to see how that will help me go faster on a 2 wheeler.  I’m just sayin.

But, the better part of that trip was over the weekend.  I went to the UK to visit Matt and Chris.  Friends who live there and most importantly they live near a great MTB area in Woburn Sands.  A huge forest area reputedly with about 60km of singletrack.  I cannot attest to there being 60, but I do know there is a lot.  On Saturday, we rode in the cold and rain and of course mud.  It is the UK afterall.  They had had a ton of snow in the weeks that led up to my visit.  But, recently it had been warm enough to melt all the snow.  Then of course it rained nonstop the day and night before I arrived.  Even though it stopped raining as we went out for a ride, the ground was absolutely saturated.  We got good and muddy after riding for 2plus hours in the forest.  I did not care.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

On Sunday, we had arranged to ride with a few others.  But that did not really happen, so we went out just the 3 of us again.  Over night it had cleared up and magically the trails had also almost completely dried up.  I have never seen a set of trails go from a quagmire to nearly perfect tacky dirt overnight.  Wow.

We rode for 3 hours and saw an amazing number of mountain bikers out on the trails.

Before I did damage to this rig on Saturday!

The crew after riding on Saturday.

The extent of the mud after day 2 ride. Amazingly dry!

On the day 2 ride, we also spent some time at the dirt jumps there.  There must have been 50 people riding the jump area.  I could not believe how good the area was.  It consisted of a ravine flowing down with multiple lines going all ways.  Many many jumps, tables, drops, sweet berm turns, gap jumps everything.  Wow.  If I lived there, I do not think I would do much else.  I wished I had a big bike and a full face helmet.

The lower third of the jump park. The only decent shot I got. But, wow!

Marquette with Hanna

Hanna and I are in Marquette Mi. now.  Yesterday we spent the day touring the school, meeting with some professors meeting with admissions etc…  This is a fabulous place it feels a lot like living in the mountains.  There is a ski hill right outside of town, there area a bunch of sweet mountain bike trails, the ski area runs the lifts on the weekends in the summer for a great little DH area, there are cross country trails ski trails right in town, there is a dog sled race that goes right through town in February.  The town is filled with great coffee shops, decent sandwich places etc…  There is a city wide internet service.  Sweet place.  If it was me choosing a place to go to school in the midwest, this would be very near the top pick.  Duh.

This afternoon we are going out on the alpine hill.  Do a little bit of skiing, get a great burrito this evening at the Border Grill.  The Border Grill is probably Hanna’s favorite mexi place.  Good stuff.

Some Motorcycle Stuff

Tomorrow night I have both Pheonix SX race and Anaheim 2 to  watch on Tivo.  Don’t tell me the results, as I have successfully avoided knowing any of that up to this point.  It is going to be an extravaganza of SX watching on Tivo.  I cannot wait.  I know that Liz will be excited to see that happen.

Out for now.  Next posts will probably be while we are making our way through the National Enduro in 8 days.  I am going to try to do a helmet cam video from the race (with my Vio Sport camera – also from  Marquette).  I will post pictures up etc…

Joe

No moto riding

My job and life is out of control.

I am looking at at least 3 weeks of no riding in the middle of the season!  Holy Crap!
– I am just finishing a week in Taiwan.
– home this weekend, but hanna’s last dance recital is this weekend.  (That is for sure worth not riding for.)
– Italy next week and weekend. (this is not the end of the world, as it is a riding/work trip and Liz is going with me)
– out to California for the Tour of California and a big dealer intro the following week and weekend. (Taking Ali with me, so this will be fun as well)

But, even though the trips that I have to take are not bad trips, there is a ton of working to do in between there and the combination is keeping me off the moto for 3 solid weeks.

Wow. I don’t think I have ever had 3 consecutive weeks of no riding in the middle of the season. That sucks, considering the complete local riding season is only about 28 weeks long.

This is not going to do great things for my speed. I am managing to get plenty of fitness work in during that time, but nothing keeps you race fit like riding.

New bike coming.
Mark tells me that I should have another 250F showing up in the next weeks. It is another 2009, not a 2010. I am actually ok with that. Yes it would be nice to be on a fuel injected bike, but I am used to the current bike and have all the stuff I need to outfit a race bike.

The cool part about this, is that the current race bike becomes my practice and back up bike in a couple of weeks and the new bike will see just race hours.  That will allow that bike to be my back up bike for next year and hopefully Suzuki will have more fuel injected bikes available then which will become my race bike for next year.

Scott is opting to try a RMZ450 as his back up bike this year.  That is good, because at least we will learn about programing the fuel injection from that bike and plastic, larger tank etc… are now shared between the 450 and the 250, so we can start to collect that for both of us for next season.  But, I am glad it is him on that 450 and not me.  I LOVE my 250 and just do not feel I need anything bigger.

Either way, we will be psyched to be on Suzuki’s and love giving out all of our info so others can see the way on Suzuki’s as well.

out.

Joe

Riding at Waterman

Scott and I rode at Waterman Indoor MX track last weekend.  It is not the greatest riding, and I am not the greatest MX rider.  But, it is January and we rode our motorcycles.  Good on that, eh?

It was really cold in the building.  Probably around 40 degrees.  40 is not that bad, considering.  But, it is cold to spend all day in.  We rode for about 2.5 hours in 17 minute increments.

This is a video from early in the day.  I got better, but this is the video I can show.

There was one good table top jump for me that I could nail the first landing.  I never got up the nerve to really fling it and go for the 3rd landing.  There was a series of 2 table tops that I could eventually jump from the top of one table top to the top of the next.  There was also a really fun fairly peaky whoop section that I felt fast in.  Oh well.

Out for now.

Joe