Update & Recap:
About to go into my 3rd season racing FTR Hare Scrambles. Yep, I'm still at it. Still in the C class (Super Senior). Starting to near the top of the class now, especially since some of the best in class have been moved up to B.
Haven't ever scored a trophy, best finish has been 6th so far.
The first season I got 6 or so races in with my Yamaha 250f. The first season was about survival only. I hit a tree head on in my very first race, shook me up good but I kept on going....never ride again without a leatt brace.
Second season started off with a bang after practicing in summer and trying to keep fit.
First race I was having so much fun actually RACING for the first time....no more just surviving or finishing like the first year. I was realizing finally what it was really like to bang bars for position...and not let up due to fear of crashing or lack of skills.... I was having too much fun actually and learned a good lesson....I was having such a blast that I didn't want to stop even after a guy crashed me out at beginning of lap two, causing my radiator to steam..... I was having so much fun I kept riding wanting to finish the lap. I knew it was losing antifreeze...I smelled it...saw the steam... but since I really wanted to get scored for the lap cause I thought i was doing so well and wanted it written on the scoresheet...I kept going full bore. The motor didnt like my decision to try to go 8 miles without coolant. It stopped running 1 mile before the end of the lap. That 3/4 lap cost me alot of time, money and big big frustration
It was 3 months, 3 mechanics and $1200 to get it running again... By then I missed so many races. In January my overheat issues were finally solved, about 4 different things happened to the motor which made it complex to diagnose. Once it ran again it was like new. In the mean time I found a 08 KTM 300 xcwe with a recluse and a bunch of other goodies. Now the Yammie is a spare bike.
The kicker about the bike repair, was that 3 mechanics couldn't get the bike to start. All of them checked fuel air timing & compression over and over but none could make it fire.
Finally I found an awesome mechanic in Miami who found the problem in about an hour... It was the ignition amplifier. Spark was present, but it was not enough to make it fire. Found out this is a common problem which Yamaha's that have gotten hot. In respect to all the other mechanics who worked on it.. There were multiple issues which made it tough to nail down. The only good thing about the whole experience is that I got to know my motor a heck of alot better.
Here's a pic from the first race back on the YZ250f. Bike ran sweet and I finished In the top third of the class.
Even though the bike was finally fixed... it was such a frustating experience that a out a month before I started to look for what I would replace it with should it never run again. My research led me to look for a KTM 2 stroke. At that same race I found a Ktm xcw 300 for sale and picked it up from a fellow FTR racer.
The 300 motor is such an animal and more importantly...the bike is purpose built for enduro vs motocross like the Yz250f. This was something I didn't even understand the significance of until this point.
After a race and alot of dialing in with the help of some great fellas on the FTR circuit... The KTM helped me shave MINUTES off my laps. After a really shaky first race, I spent a few days readjusting the suspention and ended up finishing the season strong ( for me).
This sport is the only thing that pushes me to get into the best shape I can. I'm not questing to be a top athlete, But I've never worked so hard for something and made this many sacrifices. But racing is in my blood and I've wanted to race since I was very young. I'm 47 and started riding dirtbikes at 44. Better late than never.
Now its 7 days till the first race of the '13/14 season. Bike has a new top end and I just got back from Croom motorcycle area where I got reacquainted with the bike. I haven't ridden it since July and boy was it a handful to ride. Wheelies and sliding all over the place. Whiskey throttled across some sand whoops and almost lost it. Scary.
It took a couple hrs riding and then a good break for lunch and to think to get it adjusted and under control again. Croom motorcycle area north of Tampa is a great place to dial in a bike. All kinds of terrain from tightest woods to open sand pits to crazy limestone pits with lots of sheer climbs and trials type challenges.
Taking spin class now to boost endurance and leg strength. Lost some weight due to diet changes and keeping fitness up all summer@
All who wander sure as heck ain't lost