Bandwidth is horrible tonight. I can't get any pictures uploaded, but I've got a ton of great ones.
Here's a recap of my observations from today, but I can't post any pictures at this time, and I admit I'm exhausted
September 27, 2012
I commented yesterday that it was becoming more apparent how much of a challenge it is to just finish the Six Days. Today reinforced that principle even more. Unfortunately there was some more attrition among the team as bikes and bodies wore down. We woke to rain this morning and I wasn’t sure anyone wanted to get out of bed, but it turned out to be a beautiful day.
Charlie Mullins ended the day with an injured shoulder and down about 42 minutes. Kurt Caselli high-sided in a test right in front of me (as I was taking pictures) and I was convinced he had broken his hand or wrist or something by the way he was favoring his right arm, but apparently he finished the day just fine.
The women had some tough luck due to the super gnarly conditions. Rachel Gutish hour’d out again today, but I have to hand it to her, she is one tough cookie and an incredible rider. Mandi Mastin toughed through the day and was close to hour’ing out, but I think she made it. I don’t know where Sarah Whitmore finished.
The Junior Trophy Team is doing awesome and currently in third. Thad Duvall is turning a lot of heads and despite being on the Junior Trophy team, is beating most of the Trophy team and dabbling in the top ten on some tests. Jesse Groemm has proven to be a very capable replacement for Stew Baylor's spot.
Among the Club riders, Nick Hamill had trouble with his Husky 250F at the end of yesterday. This morning during the work period, they swapped all fuel components (pump, sensor, etc.), but it did not start and run properly after the 15 minutes. His bike is parked and his Six Days is over. I feel horrible for him but he was upbeat tonight when talking to him and grateful for the experience.
Scott Bright from Colorado crashed somewhere in a transfer section and broke ribs, collapsed lung, and I think some vertebrae. He’s in the hospital overnight, but should be OK.
Ron Schmelzle was DNF’d at the end of day yesterday after being directed down the paddock wrong and riding backwards. With the assistance from Gunny, they were able to get him riding again and he rode like a man possessed today putting down some great test scores among the club riders.
All the riders were absolutely spent after today. Talking to Billy Burns tonight at the riders meeting, he said the past two days were the toughest two days he’s ever ridden in the 4 ISDE’s he has ridden. Destry Abbott made similar comments about how you know it’s tough when the east coast GNCC riders like Charlie Mullins talk about how tough it was. Josh said it was just insane uphills and downhills that went on forever. He said they were way tougher than anything he has ever ridden at home.
Ironically, Josh had his best two days when they were the gnarliest. He had a couple of decent test scores today and is remaining consistent, moving up to 39th C1 rider. He was totally exhausted at the end of the day, but had another huge smile on his face. I’ve tried to encourage him to take in the moment. Never again, will he be 17 years old, racing his dirt-bike across the countryside of Eastern Germany in amazing conditions, and among some of the toughest riding anywhere in the world.