On Any Sunday
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia County
Final bike prep and race day…
First let me say that these last few weeks have once again reminded me why I love the motorcycle community and racing folks so much. The camaraderie is just amazing, the support and enthusiasm from family, friends and sponsors is heart warming. My wife, my brother, and my in-laws, friends (Don, Randy & Brian) my new Adventure Rider friends (Paul, Lonnie, Luke, Al, Sherry) and others have been awesome to say the least.
So Friday morning started in on the home stretch of bike preparation. The list included new front and rear brakes, cleaning, greasing and double check of bearings and spokes (we had replaced the 3 broken spokes in the rear wheel at Brian’s shop Thursday night while he was mounting the tires), greasing the swing arm, new air filters, tidying up the wiring, remounting the flux capacitor (the rectifier, just seeing if you are paying attention), new clutch & brake lever assemblies, new kill switch, synthetic oil, clutch linkage service and adjustment (pulled countershaft side cover for that) and a few other small items. As it would turn out, I never did change the oil to synthetic as time simply ran out, but I had already changed the oil once and it would just have to be good enough.
By noon the brake shoes ordered from Bike Bandit had not arrived even though ordered on Monday via 2nd day air, so my brother Chuck jumped in his truck and went and bought a back-up set Brian at Wide Open motorsports had ordered in for us. We never did get the rear shoes, so we just cleaned up the old ones and put them back in. Assembled the front and rear wheels to the bike, paid a lot of attention to small details, and when completed everything was moving free and easy and felt good. Started in on the rest of my final list and was very nearly done about 4 PM when I miss-wired the kill switch to the hot side of the coils (doh!!) and toasted the ignition wiring. I know better, but was getting tired and started making mistakes. So took a deep breath and tore the harness apart and re-did the minimum necessary to get it running and then bundled it back together. It was now after 5 PM and our friends for BBQ were due in an hour, so I just took a few laps around the barn and loaded it up. Well prepared as always (not!).
We had a fun evening; many people came to the BBQ/Campfire and enjoyed food, beverage and lots of good story telling. Paul (Oregon Coast) and Lonnie arrived about 7:30, then the bench racing began! While we were looking over the bikes, at my request Lonnie lettered my front fender with “Barn Fresh”. We then gathered around the campfire for some tall tales, my brother Chuck told many stories loosely based on truth and Randy Hess (my former flat track mechanic) threw in some good stories as well. We called it a night about 11 PM, and decided we would leave for the track by 6:45.
Bright and early we were up and on our way. We arrived at the track, set up our pits and then walked the track. I think Paul and I were both surprised to see a fair amount of the regular modern jumps being included in the vintage course. This was not going to be a cake walk!
Practice was uneventful and both bikes felt good. We signed up and Paul finally convinced me we should be in the Inter-Am class, it is a class for bikes that don’t quite fit anywhere else and as it turned out he was right, we both signed up as Intermediate in Inter-Am and even though this was Paul’s first motocross ever was a good fit for both the bikes and our skill levels.
In our motos, we were mixed in with Vintage Expert, Vintage Intermediate, Inter-Am Expert and Inter-Am Intermediate, a good fast group. In the first moto I had a great start and after the first few turns settled into 3rd overall, 1st in class, with Paul not far behind. I was passed by Don Matthews (54V, an excellent rider) and made the mistake of trying to race him and nearly took us both out on one of the jumps, so I settled down and let him go. Then the choke lever got bumped on and I lost another position to Kawasaki 125 rider, got the choke back off and continued on finishing in 5th overall, 1st in class. Paul ended up 2nd in class, about 7th overall. Whichever of us finished ahead of the other in the second moto would win the class.
The second moto was about three hours after the first moto so we were well rested and ready (or so I thought) and once again I got a great start, but the other riders were not caught napping and when things settled in was running about 5th overall with Paul around 7th. On the second lap, the kick start lever flopped open and started banging my right leg, causing me to take my hand off the throttle and the riders who had been nipping my heel got by, including Paul. Damn! So I gathered myself and charged after him, but by now my legs were going away and I was making mistakes. I also had a great view of Paul doing his thing and he is fast and aggressive. Going into the last lap I came off the back straight jump nose down and landed very hard, smacking my helmet into the handlebar cross bar and the family jewels into the fuel tank! Wow, did that hurt! So at that point I realized I had just better settle down and keep it on the wheels and finish. Paul finished in 5th overall, 1st in class and I was a few positions back, second in class. By virtue of the second moto carrying more value, Paul should be the winner (final results not in as of this writing) with his 2-1 finish and my 1-2 finish.
No matter the final order, we had an amazingly good time and were surrounded by family and friends for the time of our lives. Even though we were hot tired and dirty, before we left the track we were already making plans for the next race. Stay tuned!
where are those darn brakes????
rear wheel after replacing broken spokes, tightening sprocket and greasing bearings
hooray, front brake shoes at last!
burnt wiring, my patience was wearing a little thin at this point....
campfire and BBQ with friends and family (early)
Lonnie & Paul arrive
old man and old bikes
Sherry, Paul, Rick, Al and Lonnie
Family and friends
with grandson Brock
Great-nephew Orrin (he loves motorcycles!)
start of first moto
start of second moto (Paul is at far right)
Paul jumping onto back straight, this is where I did the face and nutt job...
Paul over the table top jump ~ nice air!
T98 in flight