Monthly Archives: May 2013

Summer is Here!!!!

So it has been a while and I have not done much posting.  That is because it is summer and we are racing!!!  It is the end of May, we have finally gotten to summer and we are definitely racing.  As a result, this is all about racing.

Adams County

Last weekend was the annual race at Bob Kau’s place in Adams County.  It might be the best piece of property in the state.  Great trees, sand ground so that it does well with rain.  I have to do that race.  Bob is the nicest grumpy guy in the world.  Seriously, when you meet him you think he is a grouch.  Turns out he is just loud and the nicest guy you have ever met.

Unfortunately, the field was pretty small there – just 4 riders on my line.  Yuck.  I soft pedaled it off the line and was last on purpose into the first turn.  I just wanted to see how fast the other guys were and was hoping that I would have to chase.  I passed to 2nd early in the lap, and sat on the leader.  He was doing really well, but for some reason he did not want me behind him.  He pulled over and allowed me to lead jumping onto my wheel.  That was kinda fun, but eventually we got separated.

I decided to see how far I could get up into the A class.  Not that far, but it was fun to chase.  I ended up 1st place.

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This is what my side looked like after smacking myself the weekend before. Made it pretty tough to get through the next race. Trust me, it actually felt even worse than it looked.

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That is Dave Peters sticking it to the morning race. Sandbagger, he totally should be racing with me in the afternoon.

Rhinelander – WIXC, Day 1.

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Have I mentioned that I really like my trailer?

Summer really is better than spring or fall.  And of course a burrito is way way better than Pizza.  Either of them are better in the summer though.  Ah, summer.  So glad it is here.

Consider this for your imagination.  It is summer (there it is again) and our heroes are here in Rhinelander for a WIXC race.  There is no frost on the ground.  I know that surprises you.  It does me as well.

God I love these races.  (Not sure why god would care about that, but I noted it for him anyway.)

The race started pretty well, I was about mid-pack but moved up towards the front quickly.  About halfway through the first lap, I found myself in 3rd and pushing the guys in front.  One of them left the door open and I squirted through. The other one went wide in a turn, so I cut through to the inside.  It almost worked, but we ended up trying to occupy the same spot in the turn.  I did not want to knock anyone down, so I let off.  We touched, but just barely.  Unfortunately for the Honda guy, he gassed it really hard trying to stay ahead of me on the straightaway – blowing right through the next turn.  Oh well, easy into the lead.

Bang, I put my head down and never saw anyone after that.  Course was good, dirt was good, small amount of dust good black dirt in the woods.  Yowza.

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Scott and I checking out the woods before the morning race.

We will see how tomorrow goes.  Hopefully as well as today.

Day 2.

I figured out how to start!  As you know, the new 2013 KTM 250XCF that Nicholas at Fun Mart outfitted me with is the bomb.  It is so so much better than my old bike, I cannot explain why really – but wow!  The only problem is that it does not have a kickstarter and for a dead engine start that can be a challenge.

Chris Bach had told me that you start in neutral and snick it to 2nd right away and off you go.  I was getting reasonable starts, but pulling 2nd sometimes in that chaos was just not getting it done.  I was ending up midpack all the time at the start.  Then, I would have to work my way through the field and sometimes that is just tough for me to do.

But, instead of snicking into 2nd, I tried smashing it into 1st this time.  BANG – holeshot.  1st gives you such a jump that you then can snag 2nd/3rd right away and you are off.  Now the button is a bonus.  SCHWING!!!

I holeshoted and checked out immediately.  Never looked back.  Turned out that Rob broke a chain shortly into the race (he has done that before – hmmm), so we really did not get to race straight up again.  I miss that.  But, I went ahead and won anyway.

Love that Rhinelander course.  It is 6+ miles long and has a little bit of everything.  Rocky tough, reasonably tight trees (although I disagree with Rick – you do not need handguards), some fast sections, great dirt, mud, dust, easy jumps on the MX track.  Love it.

Ok.   a could of weeks of good racing.  Unfortunately, I am out for a couple of weeks of busy work.  But, I will be back racing in a few weeks.

cheers.

If only Honeystinger made drink mix!

If only Honeystinger made drink mix!

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

That's Rick's wife Paula, manning the timing tent.  She is a saint.  Stands there and gets roosted by all of us and smiles through it all.  On top of that, she puts up with Rick full time.

That’s Rick’s wife Paula, manning the timing tent. She is a saint. Stands there and gets roosted by all of us and smiles through it all. On top of that, she puts up with Rick full time.

 

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Crash – Redux

It doesn't look like nearly as much as it did.  But, my whole side was swollen and now turned purple.

It doesn’t look like nearly as much as it did. But, my whole side was swollen and now turned purple.

As you may recall, I crashed pretty hard on Saturday.  A stupid crash really, that did not need to happen.  But it did, and that is racing.  If you are going to sign up to race, then you should be prepared to crash occasionally.  I am ok with it.

Here is a little video from the crash that someone took and gave to me.

I did race the next day on Sunday.  I was not so good, but I got through it.  I ended up 2nd, but never really had anything for Rob who won.  Must have been boring for him.

I still look like I was going fast.  Don't let that fool you though.  I was just getting around the course on Sunday.

I still look like I was going fast. Don’t let that fool you though. I was just getting around the course on Sunday.

The course at Mounatin was dynamite.  Thanks a ton Rick and WIXC and MotoXsplat.

The course at Mounatin was dynamite. Thanks a ton Rick and WIXC and MotoXsplat.

Out till the next weekend.

Joe

Crash

Just before the start.  Looks good, feeling good.

Just before the start. Looks good, feeling good.

The start straight was only about 30 meters long and into a right hand 180 degree turn.  I lined up on the 2nd to the right side, taking the straightest line to the inside of the turn.  Pete Emme was to my right on a 350 also with just a button.

You may recall that having only a button start has been my only reservation with the new bike.  So far, it is not really failing me.  I am figuring it out and starting in neutral then jamming the bike into 2nd as soon as I feel that it is running.  It is not as fast as someone that can get a 2stroke fired up on the kicker really fast, but in the amateur classes I think it is fast enough to not be last to the first turn.

Rick has a small movement of his elbow just before he raises the flag.  I noticed that on the starts before my wave.  There were 15 bikes on my line (one of the best things about the WIXC is that in the +40 class there is a real race).

Ricks elbow moved and I hit the button.  My bike started right up (Thank you Jason and Full Spectrum battery), I jammed for 2nd and launched toward the 1st turn.  Have you ever watched one of those SX starts that goes bad in slow motion and noticed someone comes across another riders front wheel, they bounce off each other and then someone ends up launching sideways and being tossed about like a ragdoll?  Someone came all the way from the left side of the start grid and went all the way right.  Because I was set up to be 2nd into the turn, my front wheel was the only one taken out.

There I was, in front of a pile of bikes hard on the gas towards the 1st turn, being flung over the bars and bouncing off my bike an other people’s bikes.  It hurt.  Magically, I was not run over by another bike.  I stood up and could not believe what had just happened.  There was dirt jammed into my helmet and both controls on the bike.

My new Nytro handguards were broken off, my bars were twisted and knocked down.  Other than that, the bike was fine.  But, my side just below my Leatt suit I had taken a hard hit.  I could tell that it was already swelling up into a huge bruise, and damn did it hurt.

Feeling kinda aggressive.  Chasing later in the race.

Feeling kinda aggressive. Chasing later in the race.

Red mist was already forming in my head then.  I hoped on the bike, not sure if I could ride or not, red mist in my eyes and shot ahead of the C class that was just starting.  I was a minute behind my wave, they were already leaving the moto track.  I rolled along softly for a few seconds as I took a mental inventory of myself and my scoot, then went completely into pursuit mode.  I caught the back markers of my wave right away in the woods, and made it my crusade to catch at least one rider per lap – not too hard at the beginning of the race, but got alot harder as it went on.

In the end I made my way up to 2nd, and within just 10 seconds of the lead.  I rode possessed and chased through the whole race.  Rick cheered me as did everyone else who knew how my race went.  It felt good.

By the time I got back to the trailer, my whole body was hardening up.  Any movement that required engaging my core muscles was nearly impossible due to the huge swelling and bruise on my side just above my hip.  Walking around the trailer was hard, getting my boots off, getting in the truck were all near impossibilities.

Notice anything missing?

Notice anything missing?  Just one handguard, felt like I was trying to stay away from anything on the left side.

I spent alot of time in the evening with ice on my side.  Sleeping was tough.  My whole body is still really beat up feeling.  But, race #2 for the weekend is today.  we will see how that goes.  If I am not too much of a Nancy and can ride, there is no mercy today.

Joe