10-17-2013, 10:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Grand Junction, CO
I wanted to wait until the thread slowed down before boring everyone with my excuses and pictures. So here we go…
Congratulations to everyone for making it home safely! I guess Scotty beating us with the Safety Stick during the rider's meeting sunk in. I know safety was (as always) a top 3 decision maker for me. I really enjoyed meeting everyone and I'm psyched to have made some new friends! It was amazing to me how little of the typical “tough-guy-snobbery” there was in the bivouac, most everyone was happy to talk to and meet whoever walked up to them. For me, this added a lot to fun factor.
Garret Mola and Larry Roeseler
Thanks Paul at Highwaydirtbikes.com for the amazing frame-mounted Nav Tower. The HDB system worked flawlessly and made for a great handling light rally bike! Thanks Paul!
Thanks also to my Colorado brothers Duke, Vestal, and Ned for help practicing, great prerace advice and helping me with a broken bike! I look forward to riding more with you guys. Thanks to Mike Johnson for all the good advice before the event for carrying me out of the bar after the event. Mike has ruled the 30 pro class in SCORE for the last few years and is racing Dakar this year. Thanks as well to Frog (Matt) for all the help getting to the finish on Day 2!
Finally thanks to Scotty for doing such a good job with "our" Rally! It was pretty impressive what he did in such a short period of time! I'll see you in the spring I hope.
My bike the weekend before leaving, thanks to some cam issues the motor had to come out.
Stopping in Silverton on my way to meet up with the crew in ABQ
Day 1 went pretty well for me. We started in the trees and riding away from the sun. I liked the terrain and my vision was great with the sun to my back. So, feeling comfortable, I settled in quickly. I wasn't worried about going fast, my whole plan was to avoid the frustration of getting lost for as long as possible while trying to learn how to use all the tools that are in the Roadbook. I started catching a few riders here and there and I felt like I was doing well with the Nav. I was looking for Frog, he had started a minute ahead of me so he was my indicator, if I ever see him I ‘m doing well. If not, no surprise, he is a solid rider. Toward the end of the special I caught Chilly White, but didn't get close enough to consider a pass before the end of the stage. I started the 2nd stage a minute behind Chilly and it was a good while before I started seeing his dust again. He was riding fast so I wasnt' to psyched on trying to get around but I also didn't was to sit in someone's dust all day long. I decided it would be better to try to get around him and get back to navigating. I finally got around Chilly and picked up the pace a bit to put some room between us. Very quickly I made a Nav error and Chilly's Nav was solid, allowing him get back out front. I repeated this same thing at least 2 more times, I would pass, spaz-out on the Nav, and make a mistake. Finally, around the coast somewhere he lost me for good. I was relieved. After leaving the coast I run into Ned, Mike Johnson, and Roessler. These guys are all experienced navigators and had started close to an hour ahead of me, so I was shocked to see them working a Roadbook problem. I go around in circles with some of the group for what seemed like an hour before I decide to break off by myself. By some stroke of luck (or masterfull Navigating, not sure which. LOL) I see the water pump I was looking for, I reset mileage and take off, relieved to be back on the roadbook. I make it into the bivouac with about an ounce of fuel in the tank, at one point I even had to lean the bike over on it’s side to fuel over to the pump.
I was happy with my ride but bummed to see a lot of the bikes I had passed earlier in the day already in bivouac. I was hopefull that the tricky nav had got got a few more of the riders, after seeing all the bikes in the biv I was just hoping I had netted a mid pack finish. At dinner that night, Frog walks up with the starting order on his phone, I had not seen or heard any of the results of the day so I was shocked to see I had ended the day in 4th!
Me, sweating bullets
Kudla, the keeper of time and avid woohoo-er
For me, keeping my focus on the roadbook was key to staying on track. Unfortunately, focus was one thing I didn't have on Day 2. I had struggled the night before with my bike’s hydraulic clutch, adding to that starting behind Grider and in front of Kevin Murphy had me doubting my abilities and it showed. Within the first 10 miles I was off the roadbook, already frustrated and making every rookie mistake in the book. Bad went to worse when the clutch found it's air bubble and didn’t want to work anymore. At the first gas stop I decided that instead of working on the clutch I'd be better off to get my head back in the race. It worked and I felt much better for the rest of the ride. At the second gas stop Frog helped me get the bike moving with a push start and we pretty much stayed together all the way to the finish. Thanks again Matt!
Then I got drunk. The end.
cross-country screwed with this post 10-17-2013 at 02:55 PM