September 20, 2012 (Thursday)
With Josh’s bike ready and prepped yesterday, this was the only day for the rest of the trip that we didn’t have any big obligations. We decided to walk another test this morning, and then do one “touristy” type of activity while we were here.
Josh, Benji, and I went to the second test that will be used on Days 3 and 4. It is a test that has a pretty good variety. There is a traditional big grass track, combined with a small motocross section that is essentially built in a rock quarry, and then some rocky trails bordering the forest.
The finish of the test comes down this big hill.
Looking back the other way with the grass track in the background.
They only had one side of the ribbon up when we were there, but were working on it. This was traditional pasture type grass….could be slick if wet, but should otherwise rut up nicely. The soil seems to be a clay type, so it could also be pretty snotty if wet.
This picture is overexposed, but the MX section is in this flat valley. They’ve come in with a dozer and built up jumps and berms, but the soil is basically like reject from the rock quarry so it’s a lot of rock mixed with the soil.
The test has a few tricky off-camber grassy hills like this.
And then borders the forest down in a big gulley with lots of rocks.
And up a nice big hill.
This was on the side of a vendor shack there at the test. This one is for my friend Jon at LocalHeroMX.com back in Utah.
With the good weather and relaxed itinerary for the day, we decided to go check out the Buchenwald Memorial (concentration camp). My wife has read volumes on the holocaust and also lived in Germany for four years, and has always dreamed of bringing her kids back to try and give them some perspective and appreciation for this dark spot in history.
It was sobering to say the least, to visit such a facility that was very small in comparison to some of the other camps such as Auschwitz. Nonetheless, the sheer magnitude and scope of this camp was startling.
The crematorium was particularly powerful.
The sections outlined in black rock behind us are where the barracks stood. They were all pretty much destroyed by the bombs during the liberation but there are many foundations still standing.
I know this doesn’t have anything to do with motorcycles, but I feel it is important that if we are to come half way across the world, to understand the history and culture of the host country. That is part of the magic of the ISDE, similar to the Olympics, in that it is a melting pot of cultures.
Having my son participate in the ISDE and having the gift of my family here to support him is a dream. However, my perspective was reinforced today that in the grand scheme of things, racing motorcycles around the countryside is quite trivial, but also a wonderful privilege to be representing our country and the freedoms we enjoy.
Tomorrow morning is a team photo shoot, followed with administrative inspection (all the paperwork), and then bike inspection and impound. After that we’ll focus on spending the next 3 days walking the tests and preparing in other ways. I know Josh (and all the riders) are really ready to get this thing started, and it will only be amplified over the next few days after they can’t touch their bikes.