the Gorman qualifier is a two day "ISDE" style event. that means at the end of day one, they lock up the bikes so that you can't work on them during the night. the next day, you have to do a "cold start". that means you roll your bike to the starting line at your time and then when given the "go", you have to start your bike and make it to a predetermined point within 1 minute, you get disqualified.
you can also just enter each day as a separate one day event, which is what I did due to scheduling constraints. at 23;00 saturday night, I drove down to Gorman (6+hrs). I stopped somewhere along the road to take a nap and made it there around 7:00am in time for the gas truck to leave with the gas can to the gas stop. registered for the race, and then off to the technical inspection, which for a single day was just the sound check. the book they were using that lists the RPM to make the dB measurement for each bike only went back about 10 years, so they, just "grandfathered" my bike and I got a paint dot indicating that I passed the technical. I think the two day participants also got paint dots on various parts of the bike that you are not allowed to replaced during the race.
I was starting row 84. the first loop starts and ends at the pit area and covered about 30 miles or so of a variety of trails and sand washes. the sand was hard to get used to. not sure what the problem was, in retrospect, I think the tire pressure was off and the front tire I was using were pretty worn. there were two styles of sections. the transfer, which was "timed" but every one arrived early and were allowed to wait until their respective row. the transfer section were on shared trails and roads and you were supposed to go the posted speed limits as well as the "average", which noone did. the other style of section was called a "special" and you went as fast as possible and the shortest amount of time got the highest score. the specials were on closed trails.
the second loop, which also started near the pit and ended by the pit was longer and had a gas stop. it also had one transfer on real road, where CHP was actually clocking people. if you got a speeding ticket, you were disqualified. the second loop had some of the same trails, more sandy sections and more technical hill climbs and canyons, dry creek beds and gnarly single track. one transfer section was through this rocky creekbed and designed to wear you out for the last couple of specials. it was very hard, and even though it wasn't very hot (80s) there several people stopped suffering for heat exhaustion. past the dry creekbed and speed trap, into the los padres national forest. the first loop and part of the second loop so far had been on state OHV land.
the start of the los padres part had a nice single track leading up the side of a canyon, until we came to a stopping point. apparently, someone crashed and the trail was closed while they stabilized and did a helicopter extraction. I waited for about 2hrs, at which point I technically hour'ed out and it was getting late, still having to drive back to sacramento. so some of us decided to turn back and ride back to the pit. I ended up waiting for the fuel truck. it turns out that they opened the trail shortly after we left and continued the race for the rest of the riders, meaning that the fuel truck came back after all the riders went through the fuel stop. I would have been able to finish, had I known.
lesson learned. sometimes they stop and continue the race for some of the riders. I'm not sure how the scoring would have gone, but since they didn't take the transfer sections as serious, it doubt anyone hour'ed out and every one was just scored on their special section time. good to know for the next time I do this time of event.
bike and rider survived this race and managed to get home around midnight, very tired/exhausted. let's see, 12 hrs of driving, 3 hrs of sleep, and 4-5hrs of racing, in about 25hrs...
the about 6.5 hrs of sleep before getting up in the morning, taking the kid to daycare and then work... where of course some people noticed that I was dragging and limping around (looks like someone has a case of the "mondays") and asked me what I did. apparently, people don't have crazy hoobies like mine where I work. in fact, I don't think anyone races bikes, motorcross or enduro. there are people who ride, but not race. I'm sure there people that race bicycles and the occasional benefit 10k or something. in any case, got a chance to recover at work that week...
I considering approaching the owner/president to see if the company will sponsor me. lol