|09-26-2013, 05:49 AM||#31|
Joined: Jul 2010
Terrific thread,thanks for the photos/info etc!,looks like you got a great group of family and friends supporting you,going to be following this
|09-26-2013, 10:17 AM||#32|
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Harrisville, Utah
I wrote up an "ISDE 101" during last year's report. It's buried in the thread from last year (http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=800782)
but I've copied it again below and should hopefully help answer some of the questions about the ISDE.
Most people following this thread have some knowledge of the ISDE, but we’ve got a lot of friends and family, or people who are avid motorcyclists and interested in this story, but don’t know much about the ISDE. Therefore, I wanted to provide sort of an “ISDE for Dummies” summary for those who may want a little more context of what is really involved. Here are some highlights:
• The ISDE is the longest running off-road motorcycling event in the world. It is considered the pinnacle of off-road enduro racing. This year in Germany will be the 87th running of the ISDE.
• ISDE stands for International Six Days Enduro. This is an International motorcycling event and is just like the Olympics. Multiple countries (30-40) are represented and at the end of the event, racers are awarded medals (Gold/Silver/Bronze) for their finish. There are usually over 450+ racers.
• Racers race for six straight days and in Germany they will average between 150-180 miles per day (some days even longer).
• Just finishing the ISDE (often referred to as “Six Days”), is a huge accomplishment. It is truly an endurance event and is a test for both the rider and the bike to finish 6 grueling days without one or the other failing.
• One of the very unique things is that once the event starts, only the rider can perform any maintenance on his/her bike. If anybody (even a spectator with good intentions) provides any type of outside assistance, the racer will be disqualified. Nobody else can even touch the bike. There are some very minor exceptions that include a pit crew being able to fill gas, and other liquids such as antifreeze, oil, or brake fluid. However, they can only pour those liquids. For example, a mechanic can pour in brake fluid, but they can’t assist in bleeding the brakes. They can pour in oil, but they can’t remove the filler cap or remove the drain plug. Those functions must be performed by the rider.
• The rider has a 15 minute work period at the end of each day of racing to perform maintenance on the bike. During this time, they change tires, oil, brake pads, air filters, etc. They have to impound their bike in a secure area each night before those 15 minutes expire. If they exceed those 15 minutes they incur a penalty against their overall score.
• Bikes remain locked and inaccessible to rider and pit crew until 10 minutes before the riders scheduled depart time each morning. The rider can perform any last minute bike maintenance during those 10 minutes but they cannot start their bike. The bike can’t be started until the rider’s start time arrives.
• The ISDE is a time trials event which means that although they are out there racing against everyone else, they are really racing the clock. They leave at a specific time each day. They have a prescribed amount of time to arrive at their next location (called a “Time Check”). If they arrive early, they wait until their arrival time is up, and then they go through the Time Check. If they arrive late, then they are penalized (60 points for every minute they are late). If the rider leaves and arrives to each time check on time, then their score is essentially “zero” (which is what you want). It takes a great deal of skill to ride the necessary pace between the checkpoints and avoid arriving late. It’s not a trail ride. For the average rider, the pace between checks would be equivalent to their full race pace.
• Between the time check points are what is known as “Special Tests”. This is the real magic of the ISDE. These are sections of the course that are in different type of terrain. They could be a grass track on the side of a hill, a natural terrain motocross track, a sandy beach, or a slippery and root-infested trail through the trees.
• The objective of the Special Test is to ride as fast as possible from the Start to the Finish, just like a sprint. The rider receives a score for the amount of time it takes them to complete the special test. The score is represented as a number (i.e. 360) which is indicative of the total number of seconds it takes them to complete the test (a score of 360 would be 6 minutes). The lower the score the better (lower score equals faster time).
The rider usually competes in about 6-8 special tests each day. Their cumulative special test scores, combined with any other penalty points (for arriving late to a time check), result in an overall score for the day.
The goal of the racer is to “zero their checks” (arrive to each on time), and ride as fast as possible in the special tests and receive the lowest score for the day.
• One of the best analogies is to think of running a marathon every day for 6 straight days, but in the middle of that marathon, being stopped 6-8 times, and required to run a 400-800 yard sprint, and then resume running your marathon.
• If a rider arrives late to a time check, they incur a penalty (points added to their score) for every minute they are late. A rider cannot makeup time, so their time schedule resets. For example, if a rider was to be at Time Check 2 at 10:10 a.m. and they arrived at 10:20 they are 10 minutes late. If they were then originally scheduled to be at Time Check 3 at 11:40 a.m., they would need to adjust their schedule forward and plan to arrive at Time Check 3 at 11:50 a.m.
• The combined cumulative total of “minutes late” cannot exceed 60 minutes. If they do, the rider is out of competition. This is known as “hour’ing out”.
• The main division of riders is broken up by displacement (engine size). Classes are:
o 100cc-125cc 2 stroke or 175cc-250cc 4 stroke (also known as E1 or C1)
o 175cc-250cc 2 stroke or 290cc-450cc 4stroke (also known as E2 or C2)
o 290cc-500cc 2 stroke or 475cc-650cc 4 stroke (also known as E3 or C3)
o There is also a Senior Team (any size machine) and Women’s Team (any size machine)
• Bigger motor doesn’t necessarily equate to better rider or faster rider. Last year’s overall winner was in the E1 class. The Trophy Team has the world’s fastest riders represented in all the classes.
• The U.S. team has 31 riders this year. All 31 riders are official U.S. Team Members. There are 6 of those riders that make up the World Trophy Team. There are 4 of the riders that are part of the Junior Trophy Team (riders under the age of 23). There are 3 women that make up the Women’s Trophy Team. The rest of the riders are organized in groups of 3 and are part of what is known as the club teams representing the U.S. All riders compete for both individual and team honors.
• Qualifying to be a member of the U.S. ISDE team requires riders to participate in at least one regional qualifier (there are usually only 2, sometimes 3 qualifiers each year) and finish in the top 2 of their respective class.
• There are many unique requirements for both bike and rider equipment. Special tires, exhaust sound restrictions, functional lights, etc., are all part of an ISDE bike. Some parts of the bike are marked with special paint during initial inspection before the event starts and these parts (i.e. engine cases, wheel hubs), cannot be swapped out during the event. This contributes to the unique preparation and strategy of an event like this where both rider and bike must last for 6 straight days in some of the world’s toughest terrain.
• Because the ISDE is an International event, the expenses involved in getting bike and rider to the event are considerable. The greatest majority of the cost of the event is the sole responsibility of the rider and/or their individual sponsors. Despite the considerable expense, competing in the ISDE is a “labor of love” for many, and a fulfillment of a life-long dream.
|09-26-2013, 01:14 PM||#33|
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Harrisville, Utah
September 26, 2013
Today was primarily another bike prep day. It’s amazing how much time you can spend tinkering on bikes and fretting over all the little stuff, despite weeks of preparation on the bike prior to coming to Italy.
There is always a lot of nervous energy and guys were anxious to get on their bikes and shake out some of the nerves and bugs by getting on the test track. After just a few laps on the test track, many of the guys (and girls) looked as though they had just completed a dusty National Hare n’ Hound. Their gear, goggles, and bikes were completely covered in silty dust.
Many teams were required to impound by today, so upon leaving the paddock area tonight, about half of the impound was full of bikes. The U.S. Team is scheduled to go through administrative check-in and inspection late tomorrow afternoon after which all the bikes will be impounded, not to be touched again until Monday morning.
I’ve also decided to add one “cultural observation of the day” to my reports. After all, we are in a different country and some of the funny little cultural differences and nuances are part of what makes this event such an experience.
Just as we experienced in Germany last year, Europeans pretty much don’t believe in ice in their drinks. We are in a very modern hotel (Hilton) for the city we are staying and there are a few ice machines, but aside from that and McDonalds, you don’t have a drink over ice. Bread is hard and dry, and most eating establishments shut down in late afternoon until sometime between 7:00-8:00 at night where they reopen. Don’t ask us how we know Also, cars over here are tiny tiny. SMART cars, Fiats, etc., are everywhere, and the cars here in Italy make the cars last year in Germany look huge.
Mopeds are everywhere, and this is one the Finnish team brought for hauling gear around the pits. It reminds me of the one Nacho Libre rides.
Thanks to USWE for providing drink systems and fanny packs to the U.S. team this year. Josh received one of these drink systems last year and they are seriously the best, the way they don’t bounce around. Check out offroadchampions.com for purchasing in the United States.
Brian Storrie from Texas is riding on the Senior Team this year. Here is doing final prep. Check out the nice sponsor “logos” on his tires. Supporters from home bought tires for each day of the Six Days.
This is one of the test riders in the Special Test we walked today.
The one test we walked today. This is very close to town….right next to a bowling alley and some retail stores. Nothing really exciting about this test…..pretty much a vacant lot with not a lot of rocks and nothing particularly technical.
Josh walking this test. It is known as the “Basa Test” (sorry for all the pics of Josh walking tests, but he’s pretty much the only one I’m with when walking tests, so that’s what you get).
Ryan Kudla’s KTM 300 after all the goodies and graphics were installed. Lots of beautiful bikes in the pits.
Zach Osborne and his mechanic doing some prep on his Geico Honda 250F.
Junior Trophy Team member Jesse Groemm prepping some tires.
Kurt Caselli’s bike ready for action.
Mark Hyde doing some prep on Taylor Robert’s Kawasaki. Everyone helps out regardless of what bike you’re riding.
I’m really excited to see how Zach Osborne does in this format of racing and with these conditions.
Jimmy Jarrett was prepping his bike all day next to us. Somebody asked him who his mechanic was this year, and he said, “me”.
Team Australia, right across the pits from the U.S. Team.
Jeff Fredette selling T-shirts and prepping his bike….getting ready for ISDE number 33. Amazing.
Mike Brown’s factory KTM.
Zach Osborne’s Honda. I’d love to see him line up at the Anaheim supercross in a few months on this bike with headlight, taillight, kickstand, and skidplate.
This is what the KTM ISDE Special Edition bikes (rental bikes) look like. This is Alex Dorsey’s bike (from Northern California) after he’d been to the test track.
Scott Bright’s son (from Colorado). Scott will be riding on the Senior Team with Jeff Fredette and Brian Storrie.
Ryan Sipes “factory” RockStar Suzuki bike. He was over in the corner with the rest of us prepping his own bike. Great to see a professional MX’er prepping his own bike like the rest of the humble club riders. I think his bike is the only Suzuki I’ve seen in the entire pits.
Jimmy Jarrett’s Kawasaki after he was finished prepping. Jimmy is riding on the Wellard Club Team with Nick Fahringer and Ryan Sipes. Talk about a stacked club team……with a factory Husaberg rider, a professional MX’er, and Jimmy Jarrett….former GNCC champion and Trophy Team member.
|09-27-2013, 03:13 PM||#35|
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Harrisville, Utah
September 27, 2013
Getting through final Admin, Tech Inspection, and Impound today feels like a major milestone for us and everyone else. Three days worth of tweaking, building, installing, fretting, adjusting, and re-adjusting, and then double-checking things came to an end, as everyone from the U.S. Team got through the process.
The only downside is that now everyone has to wait two full days before being able to ride.
We did some minor final bike prep this morning and then went to find at least one more special test. We’re now focusing on the Special Tests for Day 4 and 5 which are all located south of the city of Olbia. We found one test known as the “Padra” test. It is located in the hills at a motocross track. We walked most of the test, but today was especially hot and we were dripping with sweat by the time we were finished.
We opted to come back to town and find some lunch and then prepare for the team photoshoot and then the admin/impound process.
Here’s my cultural observation for the day on this area of Italy. It is regarding the food and restaurants. There are bars and cafes everywhere, along with Pizzerias on every corner. At all of the cafes, people sit around and drink coffee and wine and smoke, but none of those places serve food (meals) and everyone just sits around in the middle of the day having a drink and watching the traffic go by. Much to my surprise, finding good food has been a struggle. At the suggestion of fellow U.S. teammate Ian Blythe who lived in Italy for a year while contesting the World Enduro Circuit, he suggested we find a Chinese place. We did just that and we ended up having the best meal of our entire trip. It was a tiny hole in the wall, in the basement of an old building. Me…my oldest son, and my father….eating delicious Chinese food in Italy, while the Tour de France was on TV, with Lady Gaga blaring in the radio…oh the irony. (Our second best meal of the trip was yesterday eating a Kebab from an Indian vendor just down the street from the Chinese restaurant). Josh did get adventurous tonight and tried seafood Spaghetti. Not his favorite, but at least he can say he tried it.
Lots of photos from today with some narrative to help you all visualize what we’re experiencing. I know you’re all probably tired of pictures of bikes and special tests with nobody riding…..but we’re equally as anxious to get on to the real reason we’re here, so hold tight for a few more days and there will be more to report.
Here’s a picture of all the course markings that riders follow. I need to get a good picture of a city street showing these signs because it can be incredibly confusing at times if riders are not absolutely paying attention. Days 1 and 2, riders ride the same course and follow the same colors and arrows. Day 3 is unique, and Days 4 and 5 are common. Course is way easier to follow in the off-road sections, than on the pavement and in the city.
KTM Freeride bikes are all over in the pits (none of the new 2-strokes though).
This is a bulletin board with a list of every single rider participating in this year’s ISDE. 6 whole pages are Italian riders.
When we found our first special test today, these guys were doing some final prep. They were excited for me to take their photo. They were proud of their work and were ready to show it off to the world.
This test starts on a motocross track. Here is the Italian themed colored starting gate.
It goes downhill from the starting gate….literally and figuratively. I don’t think this track has seen a tractor in ages. The soil is decomposed granite with small pea sized gravel or solid rock. It is set on a hill so the cool part about it is that it has a lot of natural elevation change and a great setting.
See what I mean about the soil….it was hard to walk up and down the big hills and it was roasting hot.
The MX track is right adjacent to a couple of little village type farms. If you blow this corner, you’ll end up in this guys back yard.
Special test ribbon, cactus, and a small farmer’s vineyard…..this is Italy.
After a while the test exits the track and then criss crosses all over a big hillside in the trees. Off-camber is the name of the game for this test. Just about every corner is off-camber.
There are a few rocky sections on this test, but it isn’t bad compared to some of the others we’ve seen.
It doesn’t take much imagination here to imagine yourself in Mexico. For those riders who rode Morelia Mexico ISDE in 2010, this is very similar. This little house is right on the hillside by this test. This year is VERY different from Germany.
Another view from the test. On the left is a twisty, steep Italian road that traverses the mountains behind it. To the right in the picture are the hills of the MX track that start the test.
I mentioned off-camber, but due to the dry conditions and lots of weeds and leaves, the corners are going to be very slippery. This entire downhill left-handed corner was covered in about 2-3 inches of leaves.
I had to take a picture of this because I think this will literally be the only water crossing in any test that the riders will find (it’s all we’ve seen in the 6 of 10 tests we’ve walked). Kurt Caselli was joking about this yesterday because he said before he got to this point, the course workers were so excited and warning him of the water crossing in the test. It turns out, this is what they were warning him about.
More off-camber corners.
The finish of this test literally goes right through this farmer’s “field”. His goats and dogs are that close to the special test. All in all, the test is really one of the better ones we’ve seen and should be fun for the riders.
After leaving the special test, we stopped by another test near the test/practice track. I took this picture of a corner in the practice track to show what the conditions will look like after 3,000 riders have been through it. There is a special test literally right across the road from this that we’ve referred to as the “airport test” (right next to the airport). It’s flat, in the weeds…..nothing real exciting.
This is an old abandoned airport next to the practice track. I expect the real special test which is in this same area, will look much the same.
I mentioned that Italian cars are tiny. They’ve always been tiny based on the vintage of this little car.
Thanks to all our sponsors. Notice the little license plate. That is a miniature copy I had made of the plate off my KTM 950. All the riders have to have a license plate on their bike. The European ones are huge and won’t last a day in these conditions. Everyone put them on to get through tech inspection but they will be replaced with small ones after that point.
Team Manager, Antti Kallonen from KTM on the phone keeping things organized. He is doing a great job.
After all of that, it was time for the team photoshoot. The following are lots of shots from that photoshoot. I was able to slide in between the guys that know what they’re really doing for some shots.
Andrew Delong…Junior Trophy Team.
Jesse Groemm, Junior Trophy Team.
Kailub Russell and Grant Baylor and the rest of the Junior Trophy Team.
Kurt Caselli, Trophy Team
Mike Brown, Trophy Team.
Josh and the rest of the crew waiting for their turn for photos.
Charlie Mullins, Trophy Team.
Zach Osborne, Trophy Team.
Taylor Robert, Trophy Team.
Jeff Fredette. I love to see that he is still enjoying being here, taking photos and enjoying the moment.
Rachel Gutish, Womens Trophy Team.
Mandi Mastin, Womens Trophy Team
Brooke Hodges, Womens Trophy Team
Jimmy Jarret, Wellard Club Team
Nick Fahringer, Wellard Club Team
Ryan Sipes, Wellard Club Team
We were standing on a flat dock right next to the pits, so when it was time to take the full team group shot, I wasn’t able to get high enough for the shot. This will have to do.
Part of the group shot. Josh in the back, along with teammate Keith Curtis, with Mike Brown, Kurt Caselli, and Thad Duvall in the front.
Scott Bright, Jeff Fredette, and Brian Storrie, Senior Club Team.
Josh Knight, “Tony Agonis” Club Team. (I wasn’t able to get pictures of all the club riders…sorry).
The entire U.S. Team, hanging out after the photos for the administrative check-in process.
This is the “Tony Agonis Club Team”, Fred Hoess (New Jersey), Keith Curtis (Montana), and Josh Knight (Utah). It’s an honor for Josh to ride with a legend like Fred Hoess. This is Fred’s 24th ISDE, and I think that accomplishment sometimes gets overshadowed by Jeff Fredette’s 33. Fred had some great stories of past ISDE’s while standing in line waiting.
Josh and Fred going through check in. This process is the same half way across the world, as it is at home……stand in line, signs lots of papers, hand over money, and do what the ladies tell you to do.
I admit, I’m proud of this photo. Today was my birthday. Here I am with my father and son, halfway across the world, hanging out at the 88th running of the legendary Six Days Enduro. Sometimes you just have to soak it all in. Just over a month ago I was sitting in a hospital room with my Dad, wondering if he was going to live to see another day….5 weeks later, here we are. Happy Birthday to me.
Trophy Team bikes.
Taylor Robert’s KX450.
Thad Duvall’s Honda,.
Zach Osborne’s Honda 250F
Mark Kariya in his element, taking great photos as always.
It’s getting real! Josh putting on his numbers.
Yep, this is real.
Everyone waiting their turn for tech inspection.
Scooters are everywhere in Italy! They’re also everywhere in the pits. Here’s another scooter of the day picture. This little one was able to be collapsed, with the bars and seat folding in and it could practically fit in a suitcase.
For the sound test, they rev the bike up to the rev limiter. When we heard Zach Osborne’s bike we thought there was no way it would pass. It passed. That made me feel better about Josh’s bike (the new KTM 250F’s rev out another 1,000 rpm higher than last year).
Waiting in line.
Mark Kariya helping Zach, by pointing out that he needed to check the three paint marks just inscribed by the tech inspection to make sure they had written down the correct numbers.
Justin Sode, club rider. He is riding a Beta 2-stroke.
I was happy to see Josh get the pass signal on the sound test.
Unfortunately, Jimmy Jarret had to try 3 times to get through the sound test.
Jeff O’Leary, with a smile on his face, ready to impound his bike.
Ryan Kudla from California, going through the final step before impound.
The tech workers install a dab of paint on the frame, hubs, engine cases, and exhaust to note the key bike components that cannot be swapped out.
A lot of hard work by Josh and others to finally get to this point….impounding his bike at the Six Days in Italy.
Bike impound….a beautiful sight.
I saw these 3 old (I’m guessing 80’s era) TM motorcycles. I’m sure they’re an Italian Club Team. Their graphics said “Club 80 cc”. They look like full size motorcycles, but may only be 80cc?
Ryan Sipes going back to sound test for a 2nd try. I like this guy….laid back and smiling.
Fred Hoess going through sound test.
|09-27-2013, 05:42 PM||#36|
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: As Far South and West as you can get in the USA
Magnifico Mike!!! Awesome shots and commentary, thanks so much for taking the time to do it all again. The three generations shot is definitely a keeper!
If nothing else you guys can relax and watch the MXDN on Sunday, the "Other" Team USA is pretty well stacked.
Happy belated Birthday!
It's the Most F5orite Time of the Year!!!
|09-27-2013, 07:56 PM||#37|
Joined: May 2012
awesome pictures.!! thanks so much for taking the time to post pics and updates. I will be following daily, and wish josh and all the U.S. riders the best of luck.
|09-27-2013, 08:27 PM||#38|
Joined: Feb 2002
Location: Flyover State
Thanks for the pics and description. i've been to that part of Sardegna some years ago, and in fact everywhere we went on the island was killer special test terrain.
Best of luck to your son this week!!
|09-29-2013, 12:16 AM||#41|
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Harrisville, Utah
September 28, 2013
With the bikes all in impound until Monday morning, there is not much to do now but focus on walking the remaining special tests and trying to soak up the experience of being here at the ISDE.
Our day was open until this evening when we had the parade through the city center, ending at the paddock with the introduction of all the teams.
Check out the following photos for some insight into what we saw today.
We started our day driving south from town about a half hour. This got us into some more rural areas and climbed quite a bit in elevation. Before we knew it, the terrain started to change and we were seeing pine trees and large forests. It was not what I was expecting to see based on our experience thus far in Sardegna. It was beautiful.
We knew we were getting close to the special tests and Josh started salivating at the prospect of having a special test weave in and out of the pines. When we got to the test, this is what we found.
With all of the beautiful forests around, the test ran right on a barren south-facing hillside. Pine trees all around, but the test avoided them all. It was still a beautiful view, and with a little imagination we could be home in the Wasatch Mountain range of Utah.
A few rocks.
After winding around on the hillside, the test dropped into a small valley and then ran along what is basically a dirt road that has been recently bladed by a dozer. It was kind of weird because it went way up this valley, did a 180, and then came right back on the road. It was actually quite void of rocks, and is going to be a really fast test. Josh was looking at it and felt right at home, being more of a West Coast rider. I think this test will suit Kurt Caselli really well.
On our way out of the test, we saw where the transfer trail came into the test. This is some of the first single track we’ve seen. Josh was more excited to see this than the test.
We were then on to our second test of the day. In the process of doing so, we had to move over on a real narrow dirt road to get out of the way of a van. We managed to get the rental car high-centered. Then in the process of spinning the tires to get out, we got a nail in the tire and got a flat. Some nice guys in a van helped pull us out, but we had to change a flat. Trying to get the bad mojo out of the way early.
Then on to the test. The U.S. guys have nick named this one the “Glen Helen” test. It looks a lot like Glen Helen Raceway in Southern California, set on the side of the hill. It actually uses portions of a MX Track and then winds up and down the hillside. Imagine the crappiest MX track you’ve ever ridden with cement like dirt, water ruts on all the jump faces and landings, and blown out berms…..then imagine a grass track being ribboned off that criss-crosses the hillside…..and you’ve got the picture. But not before you throw in a big rocky corner like this.
Water ruts….check, overgrown weeds….check, concrete dirt…..check, yeah, I got this double.
Back in the pits, this guy from the “Rabaconda” Tire changer booth has had the biggest crowd around him every day. Yesterday we bought one of his tire changers which is about 95% the same as the style Josh has been using (which is very different from anyone else on the U.S. team). Josh practiced a few very minor changes to his technique and doing a rear tire on and off the rim in about 2 minutes flat is the norm and takes minimal effort. The U.S. team has been using these totally old-school changers for years, that are mounted to big sections of plywood. The technique works, can be fast, but exerts a lot of unnecessary energy. As we were walking by we saw a big crowd, and then realized it was because the entire U.S. Trophy Team was over there watching and practicing on these changers. The Finnish/European influence of U.S. Team Manager Antti Kallonen is permeating the team, little by little, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see several of these guys using these tire changers by the end of the week.
Kurt Caselli giving it a try.
Tonight it was on to the parade in the city center, that marched everyone over to the paddock for introduction of all the teams.
The French Trophy team, last year’s dominant winners.
The Women’s Trophy team, last year’s dominant winners.
We picked up my wife Jennie this afternoon at the airport. So happy to have her here for the race week.
The Bright family from Colorado. U.S. fans and supporters.
The Australian’s know how to have fun, before, during, and after the parade.
A view behind us while walking in the parade of teams. It was like deja-vu. This is exactly what it was like in Mexico in 2010…quite different from last year.
Josh handing out American Flags to all the people lining the sides of the road.
Josh is happy to have mom here as well.
U.S. Team marching in the parade.
Did I mention that the Australian’s like to have fun.
Members of the U.S. Trophy and Junior Trophy team.
Jennie, Josh, and Grandpa.
This Italian motorcycle policewoman was trying to do her job, but she was getting as many photos taken with her, as the riders were in the parade. Here, U.S. Support Team member Paul gets a photo op.
The French team….yeah, they kicked everyone’s tail last year.
Italian cultural observation of the day. Italian guys think it’s cool to flip up their collars on their polo shirts. They’re everywhere like this. It’s become kind of a running joke between me and Josh.
This Italian guy was having some fun at the parade.
Oh yeah….and the Australians like to have fun too.
More U.S. fans.
U.S. team assembling on the stage and being introduced.
Just when we thought that flipping your collar was an Italian thing, these guys showed up from Poland. Stop the insanity!
Remember the photo of the 80cc TM’s? I think I figured it out tonight.
This kid was loving it.
Keith Curtis is Josh’s teammate. He’s a professional snowmobiler and rides for Polaris (how he got here to the Six Days is a different story and kind of funny). He was handing out some Polaris hats to some of the kids. I’ll bet they have absolutely no idea what Polaris is, but it didn’t matter, this was as good as getting an autographed basketball from LeBron James to this kid.
Little cars….KTM stuff, and a new KTM 1190 Adventure. Lots of cool stuff everywhere. This is at our hotel.
|09-29-2013, 02:25 PM||#43|
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Harrisville, Utah
|09-29-2013, 02:26 PM||#44|
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Harrisville, Utah
September 29, 2013
Like manna from heaven, the clouds opened up tonight and dumped rain on the parched soil of Sardegna, Italy. Whether or not it is enough to suppress the dust and make for ideal course conditions remains to be seen.
Today was the final day of anticipation before the real reason we all came here, starts at 8:00 tomorrow morning.
This was our only real “down” day, so we took advantage of it by participating in a few simple activities while we are half way across the world from home. We found a small local congregation of our church and attended services. We then went spent a little time at one of the local public beaches which is right adjacent to the “KTM” test, and just tried to relax and prepare for tomorrow morning.
A team meeting was held tonight and final instructions and information was communicated to everyone. Team pre-riders are no longer allowed at the ISDE, so there is one rider who rides the days course and provides information back to the team jury delegates at a meeting each night. The “intel” we received on the course was, “It’s not hard….it’s not easy, and the tests will be dusty.” Pretty profound information. Ironically, about the time we sat down for dinner tonight, some real dark clouds were brewing in the mountains to the west and they let loose long enough that it should at least make a dent in the dust for a little while tomorrow.
At this point, all the preparation, worrying, walking tests, and analyzing have been done. It is up to the riders now to go out and make bikes and bodies survive 6 days of Enduro.
U.S. Trophy Team riders Thad Duvall and Zach Osborne are the first to go out at 8:01 tomorrow morning. Josh is the 5th U.S. Club Team rider to go out at 9:44.
Other than a quick walk along the beach early this week, we’ve not had a chance to enjoy some of the beautiful public beaches. We took about an hour today to just hang out and try to enjoy our last and only down day. This beach is within walking distance of the KTM special test.
Beautiful views of the Mediterannean
Another cultural observation of this area of Italy….they love American cartoon characters. This big ferry ship is painted with Looney Tunes characters. We’ve seen Pizzeria’s named after “The Simpsons”. We ate at a “Gelataria” (ice cream shop) last night named after Peter Pan. It’s kind of a funny fascination they have with American pop culture.
This is what the mountains to the northwest of us looked like tonight just as we were heading to dinner. The “Monte Pino” special test is right in these mountains. With any luck, the riders will enjoy an hour or two of great conditions tomorrow. With a lot of luck, the rain will keep up. It’s still raining at this time.
It was great to visit a local congregation of our church for a while today.
With the paddock (which is a boat dock/port) right in the middle of town, the riders have to come in and out every day. There are roundabouts and turns everywhere in this city and if a rider is not careful, they can get really lost and turned around which could cost them time. Doing well in the Six Days requires not only a very fast off-road rider, but a rider who can mentally stay alert to all of the confusing signs. There are three different colors for different days and multiple types of signs (arrows, dots, etc., and various combinations of those that mean different things). There are better examples around the city, but if you know what you’re looking for, there are multiple ISDE markers in this picture along with many regular city traffic signs.
Being an International motorcycling event has really brought out motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere. We’ve seen every kind of motorcycle imaginable and they’re parked in masses all around the city.
I previously mentioned that cars in Italy are tiny. Well, so are their parking spots. When we walked by, a woman was parking her car in this spot. I had to take a picture to illustrate what I mean when I say small, and what they consider an appropriate parking spot.
Here is the U.S. Team Rider list and their start times for tomorrow morning. Let’s do this.
This map is hanging in the hotel conference room indicating where all the team riders are located across the country.
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