This past Sunday was the 1st D16 harescrambles race here in Wisconsin. It was a doozy… Pete Laubmeier said “This is the way REAL harescrambles used to be.” I do not know about that, but he was right that after about 35 log crossings, I was definitely cussing Pete and Bob Kau. (I suspect that this is what I deserve for calling Bob a crusty old guy with a beer in his hand.)
Scott and I arrived early as we normally do. We parked up the van, registered, then headed out for a course walk. All we could do was gush about the course. A bunch of fresh trail, what looked like good dirt, but – a ton of logs down and buried in the grass. Hidden, lying in wait and just ready to grab your front wheel and slam you to the ground, where you will lie there wondering what in the hell just happened to me?
The course was about 8 miles around. It had some great dirt in the trees, used a couple of old cranberry bogs which were totally beach sand, then had about 4 miles of virgin trail in the sort of open woods that were part of where a tornado had a few years prior ripped through the woods. Lots of logs down at a pile of toothpicks crazy angles. It must have been a hell of a tornado. Pete and Bob had chopped their way through a bunch of the trees that were down, but left a bunch strategically as well. A LOT of bunch.
I am on a new plan for this year. Even though I am 51 years old, I have decided that I am going to try for this year to race with the kids. I signed up for the Open A class, which pretty much commits me for the season. I am generally more than twice the age of the rest of the field. It will be fun. I probably will not win much, but I hopefully will get faster and faster and closer to the front during the course of the season.
The course was crazy tough. I did not expect it was going to be that tough. The log crossings were pretty rough. On top of that, there were more than 3 really bad muddy spots on the course. It was pretty dry most places, but I of course managed to get completely stuck in the mud on 3 occasions.
How does that happen? Stuck in the mud at a dust race.
So I consider myself pretty experienced at this harescrambles racing thing. I learned a long time ago that you do not get into a rut. Shit happens though. You make mistakes as a rider. I can understand getting stuck once, there is bad luck, but stuck 3 times is just stupid. I am not talking just a bit stuck also. I am talking stuck above the back tire depth. Stuck so that you have to put the motorcycle up on its back wheel, then push it over sideways – just to get it out of the rut. 3times!!!
So, this was not my best effort. I have ridden better than that. It only get’s better from here.
I can hear Pete yelling at me already! “Get your skirt out of the chain and learn to ride, you pussy”.