Maybe 5-10 miles into the race I happened to glance down and notice my gas cap got knocked loose. It got jammed in a halfway closed / halfway open position. Judging by my soaked pants and wet seat / gas tank, it leaked more than a bit. Wrangled the cap back on and crossed my fingers. Guess I should have done better prep work on my gas cap.
Jesse, Grande, mike, Jeff, and Travis all headed out to spectate right after the start, we probably saw each other about 5 times. The spectating was really good they said.
This was the first place I saw them. Right after what I think was Spooners.
Pretty much settled into a groove, and rode near the same group of people. Kept crossing paths with these guys. That trials bike was looking really nice...
Only one girl entered, Louise Forsley. Pretty awesome.
Never thought I would see a rock as comfy looking as the one Jeff was napping on.
Here is the winner of the expert class, Steven Deines. Ran into him at a gas station on the way out of town and chatted for a bit. Seemed like a real nice guy.
Bike pretty much ran great the whole time, the main problem was that the fork top caps kept working themselves loose. When I lowered the rear of the bike, I slid the forks up to match. Guessing since the upper triple clamp was not clamping near the top caps "squeezing them" that allowed it to loosen.
Tons of really fun sand washes, not everything was totally rock infested.
Best part of the course was going up Jackhammer. Got passed by these two guys:
Was really impressive watching them go by. They kept momentum over everything. Couldn't have asked for a better place to spectate.
Started getting really worried about gas not too far after J.H. Switched to reserve and every person kept saying the fuel stop was about 6 miles out. Every time I asked it was only 6 more miles to go. After that happened a few times I went into ultra-economy mode, coasting down stuff with the motor off and bogging everywhere.
Was super beat at this point, had been pretty good about not pushing it too hard and taking breaks to eat / drink but I started feeling a bit puke-y and had a good headache. Decided to take an on-the-bike-power-nap to regroup. Started feeling better so I pushed to make it to the gas stop. After all, it was only 6 miles away right?
Wrong. Finally ran out of gas at the bottom of Chocolate Thunder. Laid the bike on its side, tried the choke, kick, kick, kick, nothing. Kick, kick, kick, nothing. She was bone dry. Awhile later, I got saved by the help of two people. The first were my friends on the trials bike, who couldn't give me gas, but did have an empty bottle. The second was a guy on a YZ250 with a big o'l desert tank. I still owe them both beers! Got a half gallon of gas and was back in action. Only 6 more miles they say...
Turns out Jesse, Jeff, Mike, and everyone else were right around the conner the whole time. Hah.
Finally made it to the gas stop. It was not exactly Nascar fast, but a needed break.
Added some gas / water to the bike.
Ate a quick lunch.
Then started digging through the trash to find a bottle to hold extra gas in.
Found a nice Gatorade bottle an topped her off.
Last thing was to smear some chamois butter on my paws to fight the blisters off. This totally saved my hands.
The helicopter had constantly been buzzing about during the whole race, but it decided to follow me for a few miles on the single track outside of the gas stop. That was pretty neat. Fortunately he got one of my crashes on camera, so hopefully someone saw it!
A little while later I came across a guy on a broken down Beta. Think it was Peter Weiss? He needed a master link, and luckily I had one in stock. He was back up and running. Gotta love good karma on your side.
The rest of the race was much faster than the first half. Still some technical climbs, but mostly whoops and sand. My GPS had died but luckily the course was not too misleading. The last tricky section was coming down a canyon that dumped you onto the lake bed. Not sure what it was called but that was for sure the most technical part of the course.
Came through the finish line at 7hr:41min:42sec. Was really happy to finish, and better yet wound up in 10th for my class. Stoked. Even with all the crashes I didn't manage to break any of our parts so I was even more pumped on that.
Hung out at the finish line / jumbo-tron for a bit, then went looking for everyone back at camp. Guess they were still out on the course waiting for me. They eventually found me by going to the IRC tent and tracking me to the back of Jesses trailer where I was taking a nap.
I grabbed a shower while everyone packed up, then we started the 10 hr drive back to Chico for our 8am Monday classes.
Cant thank everyone enough for helping, Jeff, Mike, Jesse, Trav, Dad, couldn't have done it without you all!
Looking forward to next year! Hope to see more of you out there. This is an awesome race, and there is nothing else like it.