2012 Day In The Dirt with MX Vacations Journal
I'm turning 51 on 11/24 and I wanted to do something special......So I called MX Vacations and booked a ADITD adventure for $895! This includes a 2012 CRF250F, full pit, mechanic and lunch for three days as well as admission, practice fees and a take-home front number plate.....:evil
Pit Girl said she'd hang with me and keep me out of trouble as long as we stayed an extra day in Southern CA and I did my best to keep away from the Emergency Room :D "No Camping!" is her motto...... so we booked a few days at the Ontario Embassy Suites in San Bernadino a few minutes from the track. They had an excellent Day In The Dirt rate!
Very COOL! more info please...
As luck would have it, there are several good off-road events that fall on or around the Thanksgiving Day weekend which is also usually my birthday weekend...The NJ Pine Barrens 300....A fun 2 day event, close to home and doable on almost any dual-sport bike with a good registration and license plate, The LA2B2Vegas run...I was laughed at by two bike rental companies when trying to procure a worthy steed for the challenging 2 day desert crossing last year. And the Day In The Dirt race/party which gets lots of press from RacerX and all the good dirtbike and Motocross mags.
Searching the internet with credit card in hand is dangerous. It didn't take too many queries before I came up with MX Vacations and their Day In The Dirt package. John picked up the phone and spoke with me at length about what he called "His family's favorite weekend". Hosted by the film industry, there will be tons of celebrities both movie and Moto. "The Woodstock of MX" He would include everything but the race fees. Bike (cleaned and prepped before each day of racing/riding), pit, food, gas, practice fees and even picked up a pass for Pit Girl. Sold.
A few more clicks and the hotel, airfare and rental car were added for a mere 120,000 Amex points!
This is Pit Girl and me back in July at Walden Playboys which was supposed to be my first race. Unfortunately, I tweaked both ankles casing a huge uphill double on practice day and was unable to compete.
<TABLE class=dg-post-preview cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt1>Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!.....It's about a quarter to 9 in the morning and I'm organizing my gear for the upcoming adventure. I hear the dryer tumbling in the background; the antibacterial dryer sheets hopefully removing the smell from my stinky motocross socks:evil
Cleo is not happy...She starts crying as soon as she sees the suitcase
I signed up for this race months ago and had all intentions of training (not very) hard and getting in lots of seat time. After all I'm a slow, old guy who's lucky to ride once a week. Rainy cold October weather here in the northeast made it even harder to get out there and ride. Hurricane Sandy was the icing on the cake. My home track; ClubMX in Ronkonkoma was in one of the hardest hit areas in NY. Thankfully the track itself was not obliterated, but many of the club members who live in the surrounding areas were and still are without power as of this writing.
After 2 weeks of long gas lines due to the storm, I finally got out to the track last Sunday and found it packed with riders! I didn't expect it to be empty, but at it was 2pm and a chilly 50 degrees out, I expected to be able to park. I finally got out there and busted out laps until arm pump set in and the shadows got too dangerous as dusk approached. That was the last bit of seat time I will get before practice tomorrow at Glen Helen.
Well I got to finish packing, but here's a nice slow track preview of the Day In The Dirt track Layout
So my gear's all packed up...I got that that nice new chest protector ID sticker so they know how to contact the next of kin:lol3
I'll Check in when I get there :evil
Can't wait to hear about it, I'm jealous!!!
Maybe I can get a pass to your secret MX facility:evil I'll flag for a year!
This hotel is really first class! I usually like the Embassy suites but this one is the best I've seen and well laid out. Outlets everywhere. The only thing is the alarm clock is off an hour and you can't change it:huh
All right i have to get Pit Girl moving! Off to the track......
Well we got up to a beautiful morning in San Bernardino:D
We got started a little later than we hoped for but who cares? What a nice day! unfortunately we got some bad directions and wandered a bit...then got caught at a train crossing for at least 10 minutes....
Then we finally stumbled upon the mighty Glen Helen Raceway...
Honestly just looking at those hills scared the shit out of me:huh
We ran into the first problem right at the gate. They didn't have our name on the will call list. So I had to call John. I left a message on his cell and he quickly called back. Apparently he didn't cover the weekend passes. He was pretty clear about "Covering everything but the race fees" during our first conversation; but things have changed somehow. John said he'd "Compensate us some other way" but we would have to pay ($70 for both Pit Girl and I):huh
We drove in the gate and entered a motocross wonderland!
It didn't take us long to find MX Vacations trailer. We also got very lucky and parked our rent-a-car right across from John.
MX Vacations operation seems to be John, his son, nephew (?) and a big burly guy named "Tiny" who oversees the mechanic duties. His trailer is pretty spartan; it has a couch, tools and ample space to stash your stuff. This is where I ran into problem number 2 although I didn't realize it yet. There was an electrical issue with one of the 450s another guest had rented. Because his race was early, he got my 250 ( I hadn't arrived yet) so I got bumped "The Spare" 250.
So I was to ride the #20 until all the bike problems are sorted out. Who cares? "It has a carburetor and won't start easy if you stall it" Tiny mentions to me. Great. It doesn't start easy but it finally does.
The track layout was WAY different than I had thought! Because of the GP format, they apparently merged the two motocross tracks and added some funky features:
1. A sand wash section that ran under a low canopy of trees with softball sized rocks strewn through it
2. An asphalt section that ran about 100 yds
3. A Tunnel (drain pipe)
Lap times were running 7 minutes plus....mine was longer.
I rode over to the staging area with john and killed the motor. They were letting us go about 50 bikes at a time. We sat there for what seemed like forever, but finally we got the word to start up. All the bikes fired up around me but I just kicked and kicked. Shit. :huh
John offered to give it a try and we finally got the #20 running just as we got the signal to go. Everybody dropped the hammer and in roar of roost and thunder we were off.
I understand that this particular CR250F and the RM-Z250 I ride at home are two different beasts. I was counting on that. But something was not right. The throttle response was unpredictable. Here was the first massive uphill.....The throttle cutting on and off....But I make it.......I barely make the 2nd one only to stall at the very top after getting hit from behind by another rider.."Sorry" she says as she roosts me and launches herself over the face of the famous down-hill. After a few minutes of kicking I realize John left the choke on:eek1 Ok, honest mistake. I kick it for a few more minutes before I realize I can just jump start it down the cliff...Doh!
You are at the holy grail of mx (except Unadilla and Southwick but still WAY cool) I dream of those hills (well not those hills but..) can't wait to hear about it!
They have a Great track layout !!! today BUT I wish it was a bit longer.
I just got back from day one of racing...What a day:D
First, I wanted to finish my practice ride drama from yesterday......After throwing my bike over that downhill, I was able to bump start it in second and the CR250F ran fine.....until it didn't.......I remember just passing the start when I noticed I had no front brake...At all. So I had to finish a complete (7min) lap at Glen Helen GP with no front brake:rofl I don't know how I kept it on 2 wheels on some of those downhill cliffs without a front brake but somehow I did!
I pulled into the pit and to Tiny's surprise, my front caliper had come loose!:eek1 and was hanging! How that thing didn't swing into the front spokes and send me over the bars is amazing in itself...Despite, it's best efforts to kill me (twice) I managed to walk away from the 250 unscathed.
John was speechless and told me the part for the 450 was just delivered so I would have the 250 Chris was using and...This was getting confusing. Everybody gave me kudos for bringing the bike back in one piece and after hanging around for awhile we went back to the hotel exhausted.
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