An area near Lake Okeechobee is the location for this race's report. The terrain is flat as you might imagine with some sand, mud( I'll get to that part later
) palm trees and open fields thrown in. The Palm Beach Track and Trail club is the hosts for this event as all the proceeds go the the Florida Trail Riders org. PBT&T club was one of the first off-road clubs to call Florida home in the early sixties. They disappeared for many years but now local riders are trying to get it started again and hosting this event was their re-introduction to the FTR family. Course was 7 miles on Sat and 11 on Sunday.
Our Junior girls racer is currently on the sideline due to her grades. Missing 2 races has been hard for her but Haley has been re-motivated to do the work necessary to get back on the track. She did volunteer to work with the pee-wee races and had a great time and made some new friends.
My race started off well. I was 4th out of 24 going into the first set of corners.
We wound back and forth across an open field for 3/4's of a mile before we dove into the woods. I managed to pass Dave Davis (48C) just before the tight stuff so now I'm up to third. I simply can't run the pace of the top couple of guys as Robert Downs (172C) goes by and I settle into 4th place at the end of the first lap. I came up on a straggler early in the 2nd lap and I made the mistake of taking too long to pass him. This let Dave (48C) close back up on me. I can hear him, but I'm not making a mistake in the tight brush.
I know it's hard to pass in this stuff, and the roosting of my 300 help keep him at bay when the course would open back up. There were a few mud holes scattered through out the course. If you were smart and skirted the edges you could make your way around, albeit slowly. For some reason, I'm not sure why exactly, as we came up on one in particular I saw a set of tracks through the middle and went for it. A course worker saw my attempt and gave me the universal "twisting of the throttle to the stops" motion and I reacted with a fist full and dropped into the blackness..
and this where I come to a screeching halt. The throttle stayed pinned but the fact I had now buried the bike up to the foot pegs brought about a feeling of fear and anger at myself. I knew better than this, but here I am
I hopped of the bike and tried to push the bike forward while gassing it but nothing was moving...I was stuck. I attempted to pull the back end of the bike up but it wouldn't come up. Here is where my mud hole guardian's jump in. I managed to plead "I'm in 4th place guys can you please help" as one guy helped me get the back end up and onto firmer mud. I then tried to start the bike but every time I kicked down my foot would slip off the kick starter as my left leg is also buried . Several stabs later I was humbled to ask if one of them could get their longer legs over the top and get it stared. I managed to stagger off finally with the wheels rolling but out of energy. If I've learned one thing racing is you have to recover on the fly. I knew every second i was sitting still, I was losing ground and guys behind me were gaining it. I spent the reat of the lap trying to get my energy back as i rolled through the chicane in 6th. I had lost 2 positions while mired in the mud, but it could have been waaaay worse without that help.
I wasn't too excited about the 3rd lap...I'm exhausted. I guess the cold I had early in the week wasn't helping any either. As I passed by the infamous mud hole again I shouted to the worker's "I learned my lesson the last time" as they laughed and I took the smarter way around.
Towards the end of the lap 20c (Charles Nix) came by me and i had nothing for him. I rolled through the scoring chicane for 7th place. I wasn't too happy with that, but it could have been way worse. I'm really excited about the next race as I know if I can cut down on the big mistakes I'll be back in the battle for wood !!!
Video of first lap from Master A riders perspective. (Tim Missimer)
Place # Name AMA # Brand City, State Point Adv Laps Elapsed
1 21C Jorge Colon 105354 KTM Orlando, FL 50 10 3 1:34:56
2 631C Robert Branagh Honda Palm Bay, FL 47 5 3 1:36:00
3 18C Vernon Hackett 223505 KTM Port St Lucie, FL 45 4 3 1:36:30
4 172C Robert Downs Kawasaki Sebastian, FL 43 3 3 1:36:52
5 48C David Davis 854296 KTM Lake City, FL 41 2 3 1:37:09
6 20C Charles Nix KTM Inverness, FL 40 0 3 1:38:37
7 117C Troy Stainbrook KTM Odessa, FL 39 0 3 1:39:17
8 196C Mark Zaremskas 505078 KTM Eustis, FL 38 0 3 1:39:34
9 677C Oris (Don) Combee Yamaha Ft Meade, FL 37 0 3 1:39:59
10 38C Mark Boris KTM Lake City, FL 36 0 3 1:40:22
11 325C Frank Gamperl Yamaha Deerfield Beach, FL 35 0 3 1:40:35
12 15C Kevin Vaughan KTM North Port, FL 34 0 3 1:40:57
13 7C Adam Schmitt KTM Naples, FL 33 0 3 1:41:49
14 919C Randy Bolen 987702 Kawasaki San Mateo, FL 32 0 3 1:44:18
15 715C Brett Chase 743982 Honda Melbourne, FL 31 0 3 1:45:45
16 921C Brad Risser 944743 Suzuki N Palm Beach, FL 30 0 3 1:47:02
17 42C Brenton Teixeira KTM Key West, FL 29 0 3 1:54:39
18 251C Mike Warm 206868 Kawasaki Sarasota, FL 28 0 3 1:56:28
19 369C Dan Thaler KTM Deerfield Beach, FL 27 0 3 1:57:27
20 25C Harold Fletcher Yamaha Ft Lauderdale, FL 26 0 3 1:59:24
21 1C Ouri Kahn Yamaha Weston, FL 25 0 2 1:13:37
22 234C Erik Hjortaas KTM , FL 8 0 1 0:34:43
23 704C David Sommers Honda St Petersberg, FL 8 0 1 0:42:58