Monthly Archives: June 2010

That wasn’t a GNCC race, but I felt as shredded as if it were

OMG, that was hard!

The Suzuki compound at the race

Still cannot get over how pro the van looks.

The Hixton D16 Harescrambles was this past weekend.  Hixton is a storied race location for Scott and I.  We have been racing there since we both got into this sport.  I have always had good results there, never outside of the top 3 in whatever class I was riding that year.  So, there was a lot of anticipation building up to the race.

Unfortunately, the weather had different ideas.  The Hixton MX track and grounds were blessed with more than 6 inches of rain in the week leading up to the race weekend.  On the night before the race, they experienced another 1.5 inches of rain.  The ground was completely saturated.  There really wasn’t any big mud holes, but the whole place rutted up and became rutted, rooty and rocky.  It beat the crap out of you.  There were ruts to get stuck in, ruts to pull you down on a sidehill etc…

Our friend Matt Herrington laid out the course.  Matt has been racing on the national level this past 2 years, but has come back to our area for a bunch more races lately.  He is currently leading the D16 AA class overall.  He, my teammate Scott and JD Friebel are having epic races these days.  Matt did a fantastic job laying out an old school tough harescrambles race.  I absolutely loved it.  I do not think that I have been on a tougher and more fun at the same time HS course in a long time.  It had fast sections, slow and tight, big uphills, downhills etc…

There was a decent sized crowd there and about 10 people on the +40 line at the start.  We made a quick turn onto the MX track at the start, and John got the holeshot into the first turn.  I was about 4th.  I pushed my way immediately to John’s back wheel, and he and I blitzed the MX track on the first lap.  As we were leaving the track, he slid out and I boosted past him for 1st going into the woods.  That was not really what I intended, as I had not had a chance to look at the course.

The first lap was tough, with a whole group of guys breathing down my exhaust pipe, and a really tough to follow course.  We made it around the first lap with a bit of drama and course finding, but by the time we came around for the 2nd lap, the course was much easier to follow.  I put my head down and checked out.

On about the 6th lap, I got stuck in one of the developing ruts, and had to get off the bike and push it off onto it’s side to get it out of the rut.  While I was doing all of that, John got by me.  Even though my Rekluse clutch kept the RMZ running through my shenanigans, I had a hard time getting back up to speed.  Eventually I did, and started to put down good laps again.

It was a hot and muddy combined day, a day for Sahara Moose gear.  I was glad I had it.

During the last lap, I began to see John in front of me – so I pushed up to him.  He could hear me coming, and although he admitted later that he was completely fragged at that point, he made himself really wide and I just could not get by him.  We pushed and shoved and fought back and forth, but I could not get him.  There was one last hill on the last part of the lap that had multiple lines and I found a good one.  I poured it on to the top and almost got past him, but I would have had to tbone him to go into the lead.  Not what us old guy racers need to be doing to each other.

We finished out the lap right on top of each other.  This time he held me off, but we are virtually the exact same pace these days.  This is really fun.

My teammate Scott had a similar ride.  An epic battle with JD, and ended up finishing just behind him.

Overall, the Vesrah Suzuki team made a good showing and had a great time.

out,

Joe

Check out the gallery of photos below.  They are courtesy of Dave Hollub at http://www.spiderwebmxpics.com

I am totally sporting the old retro Vesrah Suzuki Offroad bell moto 8 on this day.

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Friday Video post

I have just a small stash today. This was meant to go up on Friday, but it did not make it.  Nonetheless, enjoy.

Here is what the Trek race department does.

Here is another one that shows just how bad it was at the Ohio GNCC.

This is a pretty good Whistler video.  It isn’t  a professional thing, but it does a pretty good job of showing what my week in Whistler next week will look like.  (I am not sure that it is the best Whistler video ever, but the guys that made it think so.)

Hope that makes your “Friday” better.

off to the races.

Joe

The Van has logos!

This past Wed, Scott and I went up to Dyracuse to ride.  It has been raining a ton here, and we knew the dirt would be fantastic!

It was!

Holy cow.  There was plenty of water sitting around, but man when that place has moist dirt it can be just phenomenal.  It is completely hero stuff.  Scott rode his new 450, with the special tune on the electronic box from our friend Shane Nalley at the Suzuki Offroad team.  I admit that the motor was fun.  But, the bike is just BIG feeling.  I think that I am not strong enough to muscle that thing around for 2 hours.

I know that when I am on my RMZ250, I feel like a hero.  I can whip it around, the power never scares me and although it does get loaded up with mud and weighs too much – it is a lot less than a 450 is when it is loaded up with mud.

Anyway, we got the van logo’ed.  And does it look sweet.  AJ at Victory Circle Graphix did it for us.  He matched our bikes and put all our sponsors on it, our website URL – damn does it look cool.  I feel almost factory.  We do have to keep the road shenanigans down because of the logos after all.

Here it is.  Enjoy.  I am sure there are more pictures over at Scott’s blog by now.  You will see us on the road somewhere.

Out,

Joe

The definitive post on my Ohio #GNCC

That ranked as the hardest and least fun that I have ever had on a motorcycle.

We knew it was going to be hard, yesterday when we watched the quad race.  It was muddy when we first got here, then it rained big while we were watching the quad race.  It rained during the night.  It rained a “gates of hell” cats and dogs kind of rain thunderstorm lightning kind of deal for over an hour before the what should have been the morning race start.  There was water standing everywhere.  There was a complete river across the motocross track.

The view out of the van window in the morning, while it rained cats and dogs at the track

The morning race almost didn’t happen.  We went to a riders meeting, where they discussed running the morning and the afternoon race together at 1pm.  They decided against that, as that would have just been too much in the way for the pro’s.  They ran the morning race for 1 hour at 11:30.  They ran our race at 1:40 for 2 hours.

That is the ground in front of our pits. Saturated.

The start area was on the MX track, and was an almost impossible hill to get up to get to the first turn.  In the morning race, there were riders that never made it to the 1st turn.  I should have put my bike back in the van at that point and gone home.

First turn on the MX track

It was crazy just getting off the MX track in our race.  When we left the MX track, there was a grassy sidehill to get to the woods.  I turned completely around backwards in that grassy sidehill.  That was the first of many times that would happen to me.  The open areas of the course were just as hard as the woods.  They were so sloppy and slippery, that you would just spin out with no advanced warning.  I tried them slow, I tried them fast, I tried clearing the tires out by going a bit fast, then slow – nada.  Nothing worked.  You just had to be prepared to be on the ground at any time.

I know I was on the ground at least 10 times in that 1st lap.  I was stuck in ruts more times than I can remember.  Sometimes you could get out on your own, other times you needed help from a spectator.  The woods were one big long super slippery rut.  My legs are toasted from paddling through the ruts.  Your legs are just outriggers.

Every rut in the woods was full of water and clay as hard as cement.  I think that Ohio is just one big pile of clay.  It sticks to everything and becomes hard.  I cannot wait to clean my bike!  It is going to be epic.

–       all the plastic is trashed.

–       The decals are all torn and coming off.

–       The brake pads are shot.

–       The tires are almost torn off.

–       The chain and sprockets are completely trashed.

–       The bearings on the wheels and the suspension linkages will be toasted.

–       The grips are worn through

This will have been an expensive endeavor.  2 hours of racing will equal 8+ hours of cleaning and working on the bike.

There is a motorccle under there somewhere

Uck...the cleanup

In spite of everything above, I was having maybe my best GNCC race.  Ya, go figure eh?  Normal GNCC laps will take me between 25 and 35 minutes, depending on the course and conditions.  (The pros are usually about 20-25 minutes).  My first lap was 1+ hour.  The fist lap for the pro’s were 29 minutes.  Cory Buttricks last lap (race winner) was nearly 50 minutes.  The whole course got really really bad as the race went on.  In spite of that, I was in 3rd at the end of the 1st lap – unfortunately I did not finish a 2nd lap.  I could not.  I am completely chuffed.

I do not think I will come back to Ohio to do another race. GNCC regulars hate the place.  I understand it is always raining there, and the whole state seems to be made of clay.  Ohio is just one big pile of clay.

Mat. Saying what we are thinking.

So this was not a fun GNCC race.  But, I was still racing my motorcycle.  That is a better day than not racing a motorcycle.  Now for the long drive home and then tomorrow starting the cleanup.

OMG.

Yep

Hard to imagine that it was that bad, but it was.

Out.

Joe

John Penton #GNCC

That ranks as the hardest and least fun I have ever had on a motorcycle slop clay mud for the entire lap. At least 5 hills on the lap that almost no one could get up. Water and super sticky mud running down the ruts. I fell at least 10 times before I was 2 miles in. I was stuck more times than I can remember. Normal GNCC laps take me 30-40 minutes. The 1st lap took 1+ hour and I was in 3rd place at the end of the lap. I didn’t finish a 2nd lap. OMG

GNCC day before

It has been a while since I did a GNCC race, other than Crawfordsville.  Last year, that was the only one that I did.  Weird.  In 2008, GNCC is all that Scott and I did.  We did all the GNCC races, and not many local races.  Last year, the opposite – we did mostly local races and just the Ironman in Crawordsville.  This year, I am trying to do a few GNCC races, a few National Enduro’s and as many of the local races as I can.

So, Mat Herrington (414 Racing) and I loaded up his van and headed to Ohio for the John Penton GNCC race. Mat has been having a fantastic season.  He is on a roll of finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd at local Harescrambles in the AA class.  So, it is time for me to shoot for my best GNCC result and for Mat to take his early season form and try it against the GNCC crew.

Mat has a Ford panel van, much like Scott’s.  But, it has a couple of things that Scott’s does not.

Scott’s

–        Diesel

–        arm rests on the seats

–        Sirrius/XM radio

–        history

Mat’s

–        Cruise Control

–         really comfortable back seat that you can lay flat on to take a nap

Me, luxuriating on "the couch" in the van.

It’s amazing how much difference something like Cruise Control can make.  I really had forgotten how much of a difference it makes to drive with Cruise control.  It is so much more relaxed.

We did not leave until 9pm on Friday, with the intention of driving all night.  It was a LONG night.  Mat drove until 1:15am, then I drove till 4:30am.  Mat slept while I drove, but I still had not slept at all until when Mat got back behind the wheel at 4:30.  I slept then till really when we arrived at the track.  Felt good, and I can tell you that the couch does sleep well.

Found a radio station in Indianapolis that really rocks.  Rock 95 (although it showed up at 94.7).

We arrived at the track at about 8am, in time to see the morning quad race.  The morning race had nearly perfect conditions.  Just after the morning race, all hell broke loose.  We started into a pattern that rained just about every hour for the rest of the day.  The afternoon race was an absolute mud pit.

This is what everyone looked like in the afternoon race

Now we are in the hotel, and looking to get to sleep very soon here.  Tomorrow is going to be an absolute mudbath.  My bike, my gear and everything else I expect to be ruined.

Here is a video from the last super mudbath GNCC at the John Penton.  This is my day tomorrow.

That is it for me.  Another post will come after the race.

Joe

GNCC races rule

I am off to do the GNCC race this weekend.  It is in Ohio, and I have not done this one.  Here are a few video’s to get you in the mood.

This is not a video from the John Penton GNCC.  But, it is a great video and shows you just what I think of when I think of a GNCC race.

This one is from Florida.  Not my favorite GNCC, but super hard due to the pace, the early season aspect and the sand whoops.

This one gives you an idea of what it is like at the later waves.

I hope we do not have to deal with how much mud there could be.  Ugh…  But, it is GNCC race.

TENNNN SECCONNNNNDDSSS!

Out

Joe