September 21, 2012 (Friday)
Today was the last day to work on the bikes before impounding them for good until the racing starts Monday morning. It’s amazing how you can think you are totally ready, and then go fiddle around on the bike for half a day.
Everyone was doing last minute stuff to their bikes. There is a small practice MX track that several riders rode to (about 8km away). Others just took their bikes out on the city streets for a run through the gears. Josh did this just to make sure everything was OK.
He (and everyone) are just super anxious to ride.
The Trophy, Junior Trophy, and Womens Trophy teams had a photo shoot.
They will do a more formal one tomorrow in all their gear, along with the rest of the U.S. Team riders.
Here’s an aerial view of the Sachsenring circuit to give you an idea of perspective.
Russell Bobbitt’s bike.
Jeff Fredette’s bike.
Josh’s bike ready to roll.
The entire family has been helping.
That Duvall’s bike ready.
Charlie Mullin’s bike. Notice the markings on the tire for rotor and sprocket side. All the little details to remind a rider of the simple things when they’re working on their bike.
The first step was to go through administrative inspection this afternoon. This involved all the paperwork, and if you thought signing up for your local race was bad, that’s nothing. There are all sorts of details with this process, including insurance, licensing, FIM license, registration, Anti-Doping policy, confirmation of payment, transponders, drivers license, etc. The entire team walked down to the offices together. It was cool to see all the riders together. The U.S. team is one of the biggest teams so they were quite the presence walking through the pits all together.
Me and Josh
The teamwork starts already. Josh and Reid Brown “got it each others back”.
Josh and Reid have become good friends.
The ISDE will be in Italy next year. They have a display to help promote it for 2013.
After Admin, it was back to the pits for one final bike check, application of numbers, and ISDE license.
Thank you to the Hamilton’s and the Gerritt Hamilton Memorial fund. Josh is proud to represent them at this year’s ISDE.
Putting numbers on the bike started to make this all feel more real. (Check out the little “dinger” bell on the handlebars. Mirror and horn are required to make it through tech inspection. I had brought a cheap one from Walmart but they had these in a little dollar store next to the hotel and it fit better.
Once again, rather than send everyone individually, the entire team went to the tech inspection, sound test, and impound together.
I believe the sound test is a bit different than year’s past (maybe the same as last year). They hold the sound meter a certain distance behind (about 3-4 feet) and then rev the bike to full rpm and take several tests. Here Taylor Robert gets checked. He failed the first time, and had to come back as did a few of the other Trophy guys but they all got it sorted out quickly.
Josh and Jeff Fredette waiting in line for sound test.
Josh made it through fine, and then went to the next stage of inspection where they checked everything on the bike and put paint marks and stickers on those key parts that can’t be replaced during the 6 days.
Then it was time for impound. If you’ve never seen a bike impound at the ISDE, it was quite the site to behold.
And he makes it, number 579.
At that point, it all started to sink in even a little bit more. Back at the pits, the USWE folks were there (thank you USWE and offroadchampions.com) providing the team members with their choice of their awesome hydration systems. This is hands-free style that Kurt Caselli uses (or they have traditional non hands-free tubes) and they are a sponsor and provider to the entire team this year.
Tonight at the Rider’s meeting, they had all the riders sign a Team USA Arai helmet to send back to Japan for Mr. Arai. They also had a big Team USA ISDE banner that all the riders signed, that they will be auctioning with any money earned going back to the team.
The bikes are all impounded. The focus for the next two days will be walking tests and mentally and physically preparing for the 6 days. Let’s go!