This weekend brought us to the metropolis of Ona,Fl and the Hungry Catfish HS. This is the same race where last year I broke my subframe 2 miles in, so I'm anxious to put that first lap behind me. Sat course is 7 miles and Sunday is 10.
Haley race was a short one as 2 miles in she banged bars with a competitor trying to pass and she went down hard (5th gear) She said she was laying there screaming for the person to "get off me" when she realized her bike was what had landed on her. EMT's were soon arrived (we are so blessed to have at least 3 on track at all times spread out with radio's (earbuds) so they can quickly respond) Seems she had injured her wrist so they splinted it up and sent her out on the back of a quad. A few x-rays later (3 fractured bones in her wrist) and she was back at the track to cheer me on the next day. She really is a tough one.
Update: she's sporting a pink cast for 3-4 weeks ...so no surgery
Sunday dawned with overcast skies, cooler weather, and the eternal optimism required to go out and battle with the back of the pack
Seems we had a large line today (16 riders) with some new faces I'd never seen. Set my bike up on the line right next to the points leader (Jorge Colon) so I can keep an eye on him..ha! I make a point of walking up and down my line to wish everyone good luck and take in the comradery that truly makes the next 2 hours fun.
"beeeeep"..I hustle up to the bike and throw my leg over making sure to keep my eye on the kick starter until it starts to head down. The electric start is too temperamental to trust on the start plus my bike always fires up in one kick in gear(2nd). The rekluse does it's job as I pin the throttle and shoot off to the first corner. I could have fought for 2nd, but putting Jorge(21B) behind me going into the woods was pressure I didn't really want.
The little voice in my head (he and I talk all race) is telling me to stay calm and just follow the guy in front of me. I'm starting to gain some confidence as I am running their pace and not killing myself. This works for about 4 miles until we dump into a peat bog. This stuff is like riding through damp mulch that's 18" thick. I for some reason throw my left leg out, the bike goes right and down I go. Here is a direct quote from the guy behind me:
"This was the first time I wish I had one of those Go Pro Cameras: I wish everyone could have seen Troy's get off on the first lap when we entered the peat/mud section. He was really moving when all of a sudden him and his bike had a disagreement on which direction they should go. I lost a few positions because I could not stop laughing."..good to know I can be entertaining..
. Nice job I'm thinking as I quickly pick up the bike and scoot off having gave up too many spots. I come through the first lap in 11th place...2nd lap-11th place...3rd lap-11th place....so I'm not gaining but I'm not giving up spots either.
On the 4th lap I get passed by friend of mine who's leading the SSB class that starts a row behind me. I fall in behind him and do all i can to keep him in sight...it's working. I'm relaxing as I pretend it's just another ride with Dave and I let him pull me along.We're hauling ass. I come through on the 4th lap still in 11th, but riding well. Soon I'm passing guys in my class who are starting to tire. I notice a friend of mine (Ryan Turner-34B) up ahead and I manage to pass him in 5th gear wide open on a long straight.I holler as I go by knowing passing him was like poking a hornets nest...it means trouble but it's too hard to resist
he passes me back 4 more corners later in the tight stuff and he's gone..but he knows I was there. Less than a mile to the end and I get passed..I'm just happy with how I've ridden today. Come through and i can't believe it....7th !!!
Seems some of the fast guys ran out of gas. It was a fast course and at 50 miles total the tortoise beat the hare for a change. I managed to beat my buddy Mark Z (196B) by 4 minutes, but most importantly, this is the race I needed concerning confidence. I can run with some of these guys and won't settle for anything less.
Place # Name AMA # Brand City, State Points Adv Laps Elapsed
1 37B Stephen Morris 528470 Yamaha Fairhaven, MA 50 10 5 1:52:00
2 21B Jorge Colon 1053545 KTM Orlando, FL 47 5 5 1:53:05
3 4B Daniel White 658438 Yamaha Clermont, FL 45 4 5 1:53:27
4 90B Shawn Norton 491616 Yamaha Okeechobee, FL 43 3 5 1:56:35
5 34B Ryan Turner KTM Casselberry, FL 41 2 5 1:57:59
6 38B Curt Epperson Yamaha Lakeland, FL 40 0 5 1:58:37
7 117B Troy Stainbrook KTM Odessa, FL 39 0 5 1:58:46
8 321B Sergio Santana Sr KTM Kissimmee, FL 38 0 4 1:30:10
9 222B Ronnie Hames KTM Daytona Beach, FL 37 0 4 1:30:45
10 17B Marcelo Dadone KTM Aventura, FL 36 0 4 1:31:40
11 11B Ian Joubert Honda Homosassa, FL 35 0 4 1:34:03
12 420B Mark Prenoveau 834253 Yamaha Orlando, FL 34 0 4 1:36:26
13 29B Jeff Chambers Kawasaki Punta Gorda, FL 33 0 4 1:36:44
14 196B Mark Zaremskas 505078 KTM Eustis, FL 32 0 4 1:38:02
15 43B Mace McMillan 617268 KTM Plant City, FL 31 0 4 1:47:31
16 122B Scott Shepard Honda Stuart, FL 18 0 3 1:25:20