Well it's the week after and here is my story:
With my first race under my belt on the 125cc, I thought a move up was needed. After all more power is never a bad thing...right?
So proceeded to buy a KTM 300cc bike. this would also cause me to move up a class. 200cc and up is the biggest class of my race (30 people or so today)
This time we were racing again in central Florida. It was 38 degrees or so in the morning with the wind blowing, so perfect weather to race in. The track is different than my first race in a few ways, Once again there were no elavation changes (no suprise there...this is Florida), but there were not a lot of straights or open places to pass. Tons of cut off palmetto bushes...and mud. Now the mud I'm talking about isn't necessarily deep. The issue with it is it is black and sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippery. More on that later.
So I manage to get there at the last second and barely make the practice lap. Ended going out with some of the real young kids which was fine. Just wanted to get warmed up and check out the course. I have to tell you all those young kids really impress me. They have wheels that seem like they are 1/2 the size of mine, but that doesn't deter them from riding 100 %. At this point I don't want to pass them, so I basically cruise along noting anything odd I see along the way and look for area that I can exploit later.
My wife has currently figured out how to pack the new puppy along on trips like this..
not sure about how I feel about this set-up, but I can legally put a leash on her verses an actual child...
back to the racing. I had some time before my race, so went and watched some of the younger riders..
I really like the theme of family and America at these events...
KTM has a definite presence at the race
and after my pre-ride lunch..
we had our riders meeting..this is the South, remember...
so race time comes...now I was late getting to my row, so the prefered places that would shoot you to the outside of the corner were taken. I was on the far right of the row, leading to a tight right hand corner
now at the start of the race, I end up with 5 more bikes on my right. My fear is that we are all going towards a tightening right hand corner. I figure I'll just deal with that once I get there, so I work on getting the bike on the compression stroke and start to get my race face on.
I jump on, give it a kick and I'll be damn if it doesn't fire. I shoot off towards the pole/corner and nobody for 4 riders on either side of me is in view....crap, now what do I do
. Slow down, merge into the top 10, and we head off into the woods.
at this point it's follow the leader..few bottlenecks but for the most part I'm trying to forcing myself to relax. I get passed by a few, pass a few, but basically holding my own. Energy is up, so my technique is better than usual. Those damn palmetto roots are but bumps in the road at this point..
I pass 2 guys in one corner. One guy stuck/stalled in a corner and the guy behind is stuck..braaaap and around i go..won't see them again..wrong
then we hit the first mud hole..
now what make this interesting is that I've never ridden in mud. Dry sugar sand, yes, but no mud. The mud I'm talking about is black and sliiippppeerrryyy ! I get my weight out back and try to figure out how much gas to use and off I go.
I wander left and right, but I'm still okay..
well that wasn't too hard.
2 miles later...wo..woooooooooo...wooooooooooooooooo..."slam"...I'm down in the mud. Just too tentative trying to pick a line and speed. Front slides out and I'm down hard on my right side. The moist sensation of mud is recognized as I get up laughing and shaking my head. The guys who witnessed this were at first concerned.."Are you okay ?"
I think I scared them more with my laughing...
My general outlook on this whole experience of racing is it's FUN
. Never take the race or myself too serious.
and by go the 2 guys I just passed earlier..I'm not going to do well at this rate...
So I manage to survive lap one. I forget to look at my time but it really doesn't matter until the end of lap 2. I pass a few of the vintage bikes, but now I'm getting fatigued. The palmetto roots are jerking the bars right and left, and I'm starting to get pissed. Technique is a wonderful thing, until you don't have the energy to use it. It let's you ride longer before you get tired. I try to stand more, but my arms are shot. At this point feel like I'm on a glorified trail ride.
and i'm mad at myself...go faster you big pussy...
I enter one of the muddy area and I shout "woo" to some guys watching..
"wham" I'm down again. The guy asks" what's you say ?"
my response " I said I got this shit figured out"..
I enter the mud again, after the second fall, i'm running the edges and cautious
maybe too cautious as I look over and someone in my class goes by..
sand....mud...roots...lap 2 is over...57 minutes. I've got 33 minutes to make one more so I yell "tell my mom I love her" to the score keepers as I set off on lap 3.
Then a funny thing happens..I start to get in the groove. My arms are still shot, but I'm picking better lines and maximizing what energy I have left. When I ride on the weekends, i am usually riding my best right before I leave, so this kinda makes sense. I am behind one guy on a 4 stroke that stalls it and he feverishly starts kicking it. I yell "take your time, I'm not passsing you"...
I'm getting lapped now, but it's fun watching the kids fly by and stuff it into the bushes 2 corner's later.
I know these corner's. we're close to the finish..."woooooooop"
1 hour and 25 miutes...at least I made 3 laps..
I survived another race...not as tired as the first one, but my arms are shot. It's hard to stand over bumps with nothing to balance you with..lots of work to do here...
Scores still aren't up yet online, but i finished 16th out of 30th. It looked like I was a few minutes from the top 10. The most fustrating thing about sitting here writing this report is thinking about all the time I left on the course. A few seconds here and there would have made all the difference. Oh well...next time.
which is this weekend
..Gatorback outside Gainsville. You run the motorcross track then into the limestone pits...
here is a video from last year.
The kid filming it is the one who went from beginner to A class in 10 races...he got 3rd yesterday in his first "A" race...17 years old and so much talent...
I'll post the final results and any video that gets put up later...