Monthly Archives: August 2013

OMG – Hodag’s everywhere! WIXC racing also.

I am in Rhinelander Wi.  There are Hodag’s everywhere here.  They are on the street, in parking lots, in the woods, at the school…  Everywhere.

Yep.  Rhinelander is Hodag country.

Yep. Rhinelander is Hodag country.

When you come to Rhinelander, you have to be ready for everything.  There are Hodags in the woods, they tell us. At any moment, they could drop down from a tree and rip your liver out.  It is a little bit like Drop Bears.  (Dig through this, and you will see what I mean.)

The first Hodag was apparently sighted in 1895.  They have been rampaging through neighborhoods and school populations, for example.  Sometimes, they will rip your heart out Jim, right there in London.

Rhinelander is really up in the northwoods.  It has alot of lakes and trees and well, lakes and trees.  Don’t go looking for a Starbucks.  But, it is pretty cool in a northwoods kinda way.  Even the name just says it all.

This is a statue of the biggest Hodag ever found inside city limits.

This is a statue of the biggest Hodag ever found inside city limits.  Sometimes late a night, when the ghost-busters are out, the get down and play Frisbee.

You really have to watch out while in your car.  That is when the little ones will run right out in front of you.  They are really cute (in a mini man-eater kinda way).

Rhinelander WIXC double header. – Day 1.

I was kinda nervous getting here for the 1st event.

– I have only done one other race since the beginning of July, and that one did not go well at all.  I was really slow that day.  Out of sorts.  Just could not ride my bike. (Although Pete Emme rode a great race that day)

– I was not sure about the suspension on my bike, as it had just been reworked, and I was really apprehensive about it.

– I only was able to get 3 hours of sleep the night before, so I was not the sharpest tack in the drawer.

– I have office hands after 6 weeks of not doing anything other than working, traveling and riding my road bike.

Plus, I was really worried about Hodags in the woods.

Plus, I was really worried about Hodags in the woods.

All for naught though, I holeshoted and stayed out front all day.  whew!  Good to have that monkey off my back.  Now we can get down to the next day and see if I can ride like that again.  “Office hands”.

We ride again!  Thank god.

We ride again! Thank god.

Apparently, you can see these things all over the place here.  This one was first seen in 1895.

Apparently, you can see these things all over the place here. This one was first seen in 1896.

I’ve seen a Hodag in the wild, btw.  It startled me on a bike ride one time.  (I was on the ride, not the Hodag – silly).  Check the photo in this entry.

Day2 was a debate between staying at Rhinelander and doing that race again, or going to Stone Lake to do the D16 race.  A check of the math and a 1pm start (if it actually started on time – they seldom do) equals a 9 or 10pm arrival back home.  Both of us decided that was not exactly what we wanted to do.  So stay at Rhinelander and do that same race again was the docket.

I did not get the perfect start, but went to the front before the halfway point in the lap.  My goal on the day was to get into the top 10.  So, I put my head down and concentrated on carrying good speed at all times.  Rounding out turns and getting back on the gas as soon as I could.

In the end, I was 2 minutes faster than the day before and 5th place overall.  A good day.

Fresh trail!

Fresh trail!

Racing and a burrito.  Duh.

Racing and a burrito. Duh.

 

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Chris Bach has raced 28 times this year! – mmmhh, me – not as much!

I saw this post on my friend Chris Bach’s facebook page

Screen Shot 2013-08-10 at 4.40.51 PM
Wow.  Don’t I wish.  My season has not been so bad, but it pales in comparison to that.  If I could race and ride like a pro, I do not have any misconceptions that I could be a pro.  I am old, I do not have the eye hand or eye foot coordination, I am old, and I just was not wired that way.  People who are really fast, are just wired differently.  They see the trail and the woods differently.  They see lines that I do not see.  When I think I need to be off the gas, they are gassing it even harder.  I have seen pro’s in an enduro ride like they are indestructible.  The pro’s in a GNCC ride like they are Pro Motocrossers.
I do not think that I could be that.  In fact, I know I could not.  But, I do know that if I could race 28 times by the summer break of the season, and ride a day or 2 in between each of those, I would be way better than the slow pud that I am.
I think it is time for a retrospective of my season so far.
This thing is the bomb!

This thing is the bomb!

1.  New bike.  I LOVE my KTM 250XC-F.  I do not intend to have any other motorcycle, maybe ever.  It is that good.
Imagine how tired Chris Bach probably looks.  I hope alot worse than I do there, but probably not.

Imagine how tired Chris Bach probably looks. I hope alot worse than I do there, but probably not.

2.  I have done 6 WIXC races, 4 District 16 races, 1 GNCC.  Total of 11 races.  Not the end of the world, but I wish it would have been more.  I have actually had alot of good results.  seven 1st place finishes, three 2nd place finishes, and a 5th at the GNCC race.  But, I am not leading any of those series as I have missed too many races.  I can finish 2nd in the District 16 series, but probably only 3rd or 4th in the WIXC series.  That is ok, but I would like to be able to focus and adjust my schedule enough to actually win one of them overall.
That is my calendar of races left this year.

That is my calendar of races left this year.

Oh well.  I do love racing my motorcycle regardless.  I will be doing that more this year, but as you can see, I will not get up over 20 races. Close, but not there.
Chris will probably be up over 40 races when the season is over.  Holy cow.
See you at the races.
Joe