The first race of the year brings us to the town of Lake City, Fl. The site of the race was a combined MX track and planted pines/woods. The race course was roughly 6 miles for the Sat. race and 8 for Sunday.
Sat was dry and somewhat dusty.I went and rode the practice lap with Haley so I could see how she was doing and also talk about any unique areas when we got back to camp. The 2 boys shown here are brother's and this was their first race together in the 65C class. They finished 1st and 2nd, so seems nothing pushes you harder than racing a sibling..
A few hours after practice and it's time for the start. There were 3 other girls in Haley's class, plus the 20 or so boys that line up in her row. Before you know it..."10 seconds"....."Beeeeeeeeep"...
Haley hops on the bike, starts it in one kick and nails the throttle. Only one problem, she wasn't in gear..
so after a sudden stab 1st she was off. heading into the first corner she was last, so little bit of work to do. I'll have her add to this report when she gets home tonight.
Let's just say we had a talk about being a little more aggressive in the beginning and not to stop completely when letting people by...keep those wheels rolling!
Which the next day meant it was my turn. I awoke to a wet parking lot and cloudy skies. Seems it had rained overnight and made the course much nicer. I debated riding the practice lap, as having ridden it with Haley and with my wife during the "Fun run" the night before I figured I had more to lose than gain energy wise. I got talked into riding just a few miles and then bailing. As I was out there I started making a few mistakes, breaking a sweat, and basically wishing I hadn't bothered. I shook those negative thoughts aside and got ready for the race...
"10 seconds"...handle bars turned to the side...kick starter opened up and ready...1st gear engaged...Haley holding my bike not realizing she's about to be roosted head to toe with wet sand
That deafening silence those last few seconds before the horn sounds are like nothing I've ever experienced. The excitement, fear, and the pressure of knowing my performance over the next 2 hours lays squarely on my shoulders are all fighting for an audience in my head... "Beeeeeeeeeeeeeep" ..it a split second it all disappears.
I throw my leg over the bike while kicking down at the same time, dump the clutch and I'm off. Hey, where is everyone else at? as I'm going to be one of the first few to the first corner.. I tip toe through the first small section of MX course and head off into the woods.(I'm 117C)
Gotta be cool...relax..just follow the train the first few miles in the woods and wait for others to make mistakes. Actually it was 4 miles of woods to start off so not a lot of passing chances. I saw some people lose patience and try some questionable routes that hung them up and cost time. Right before we dump out to the first small open section I struggle to pass a VetC rider. Come one man, pick a line so I can use the other. Pop out in to the open and it's wet sand. I bog the motor down in a puddled sandy corner but my 300 pulls from doooown low to hold anyone off. We're looping around a pond and a rider from my class is coming in hot to occupy the same spot that I am. He hits a puddle splash's me with water/mud, then slightly makes contact with me. I kinda thought it was neat as neither one of really got to out of shape and I yelled "hey buddy!" more out of fun than anger
, but he's in my class so bye goes one position.
Back into the woods and I've got full on arm pump. Really something I need to work on if I'm going to go any faster..I've gotta relax my grip! Try a line and get sorta wedged between 2 trees and stall it. 5 guys go by before i can pull back in line. They all had to be in my class, but can't worry about that now. Soon enough and we're dumped out on the MX track and I'm taking the inside slower lines as I know my technique is horrible. I'm rolling the jumps as that's all I need to do is wad it up in front of everybody. Head into the woods, back out and through the scoring chicane. I'm feeling okay at this point, and head back into the woods. Somewhere in the next mile or so I came up on a Master C rider, but he was actually running a pace that was perfect for me, one that I could do without risking too much energy. I passed him a few times, only to make a mistake and give it back, so I settled in for the next lap and let him pull me along. He was taking good lines, and if I screwed up I could hustle to make it back to him. I get passed by 48C on the MX track, he's just too fast, but he pulls over after the scoring chicane and I hope that means he's out of gas.
So through scoring and head off for the last lap. I'm getting tired, but in the woods it's harder to get passed so it evens out. Took an outside line to let a faster rider through and 818C from my class slides through. He's just too much faster at the this point so I don't try and keep his pace. I make it to the scoring chicane finally and my race is over. I'm tired now...really tired. I get a chance to congratulate the first place finisher and BS with my fellow Senior C competitors.
Wait for the results and..hey, I'm not in the bottom 3rd for a change ! My best finish yet, and i rode the best I could that day (No wrecks, just lots of awkward moments
). Hopefully this weekend I can build upon what I've learned and keep having fun
Place # Name AMA # Brand City, State Point Adv Laps Elapsed
1 757C Jorge Castillo KTM Hialeah, FL 50 10 3 1:39:49
2 21C Jorge Colon 1053545 KTM Orlando, FL 47 5 3 1:40:38
3 34C Ryan Turner KTM Casselberry, FL 45 4 3 1:43:47
4 828C Mike Hunter 744142 Honda Middleburg, FL 43 3 3 1:44:10
5 31C Tom Miller 696207 KTM North Port, FL 41 2 3 1:46:28
6 818C Irvin Kelly 942897 Honda Kissimmee, FL 40 0 3 1:47:05
7 15C Kevin Vaughan KTM North Port, FL 39 0 3 1:47:10
8 117C Troy Stainbrook KTM Odessa, FL 38 0 3
9 48C David Davis 854296 KTM Lake City, FL 37 0 3 1:48:53
10 38C Mark Boris KTM Lake City, FL 36 0 3 1:49:32
11 26C Robert Ryan 941623 Yamaha Lake Mary, FL 35 0 3 1:49:33
12 6C Don Brandl Suzuki Orlando, FL 34 0 2 1:14:39
13 919C Randy Bolen 987702 Honda San Mateo, FL 33 0 2 1:19:45
14 40C Chris Tolken 1064511 KTM New Port Richey, FL 32 0 2 1:21:27
15 469C Patrick Morrison KTM Deltona, FL 31 0 2 1:22:32