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Old 08-28-2013, 12:13 PM   #16
Pantah
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Good thread. Last weekend my youngest son did his first dirt race called J Day. Two 30 minute motos. I think there is a motocross section too. He rides a KTM 200. His experience was missing the first moto due to a mechanical. He was hoping to use it to learn the track and understand what kind of pace he needed. Then actually race the second moto.

He went out for the second moto and got a surprising start. Of course he didn't know how fast to go so he waited to get passed and followed until the guy would get away. Then he would slow down again and wait for the next guy and grab a tow from him. And so on. He said the tows were everything. He is anxious to try it again.

J Day has a pretty popular series up here in New England. The laps are shorter than a hare scramble and the races are shorter too. So it is sort of a cross between HS and MX. In any event, it seems a good place for trail riders to learn to race a little bit.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:12 PM   #17
gun 4 hire OP
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Pantah, there are so many cool things about racing... One that surprised me the most is what a mental game it is. Using other riders to learn from by following them is huge... As long as you don't ride too far past your skills .... I also find that I may loaf along by myself out there but when another racer is near I get a whole new push.


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Old 11-04-2013, 06:20 AM   #18
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A First Hare Scramble Blow by Blow

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
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http://tat09.blogspot.com/

gun 4 hire screwed with this post 11-05-2013 at 06:20 AM
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:23 AM   #19
gregneedham
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Total admiration. Keep it up and keep it fun.

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Old 11-04-2013, 06:28 AM   #20
gun 4 hire OP
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A First Hare Scramble Blow by Blow

..... Also never let the usual excuses like travel or bad weather keep me from my gym training (upper body/core) and my sprinting on the mountain bike for general fitness. If it wasn't for the upcoming race season is prolly be 8 lbs heavier and have way less of a muscle/fat ratio.
I've lost fat but put on muscle so total weight is only down 5-9 lbs.

This season I will see how the changes in fitness and training have paid off.

I hope to give a good report after race one this weekend.

Steve P
SSR 90c


All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
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08 KTM 300xcwe {hare scramble bike}
97 Honda xr600r {Plated}
07 Buell xb12x
87 Honda Rebel 450 {soon to be ratted}
http://tat09.blogspot.com/

gun 4 hire screwed with this post 12-03-2013 at 06:28 AM
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:51 AM   #21
gun 4 hire OP
FTR SSR #90b
 
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Oddometer: 128
A First Hare Scramble Blow by Blow

Nice thing about riding and camping... U can spend all nite tweaking stuff if you have a light and tools and nobody to talk to. I had a blast readjusting all the controls and changing the bar setup to be better for riding while standing which I am getting much better at.

Also just put on fastway pegs with a 3/4" drop.





All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
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08 KTM 300xcwe {hare scramble bike}
97 Honda xr600r {Plated}
07 Buell xb12x
87 Honda Rebel 450 {soon to be ratted}
http://tat09.blogspot.com/

gun 4 hire screwed with this post 11-05-2013 at 05:25 AM
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:58 PM   #22
DolphinJohn
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Good luck, Steve. I hope you come in 2nd place this weekend!!


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Old 11-09-2013, 08:59 AM   #23
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:48 AM   #24
gun 4 hire OP
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A First Hare Scramble Blow by Blow

Here's the results:

I trained harder all Summer and made more sacrifices than ever before in my life in order to start this season as strong as possible. Not huge changes... But little ones like going to the gym even when I was traveling a few times, cutting down on certain beverages like wine, drinking more agua, eating smaller meals and having a banana every day. Then I added Spin class a month ago. Spinning is not something u do for enjoyment. You do it because it gets you pushed. The bike had a new topend, and I tweaked every setting I could. New chain and sprockets, tires about 50%.

I was really chomping at the bit to find out what the payoff was gonna be after all the changes.

Got to the race super early to get all sorted out. I was rusty at racing. Since I got there Friday nite and didnt race til Sunday am, I got to relax and do alot of tweaking and talking to the veterans ... Little tips here and there. I felt super confident.. But still a bit nervous.
Best advice I got I read online on a thread about Scrambles. Start hard, then back off and remember its a long race... Make your moves when u need to. It's not a 2 hr sprint....

I did a little of the practice lap at 8:30 am.... enough to tell me that the adjustment I made to my bars was too extreme... Causing wrist pain I never had b4.
So I rolled them back a bit, then some more. Presto. Comfort standing and sitting.

Here goes: Race day 11/10/13

We had 25 bikes lined up in Super Senior. That's alot. I def didn't want to get a bad start.

Bike started first kick and I was mid-pack or better into first turn..... Followed some fellas going wide and to my horror i saw we all f'd up as I tried to get back to the track but couldnt and got tangled in the Red plastic tape they had up to guide us thru the first few twists and turns around some pipes. The tape got caught under my visor my as I tried to go under it and back into the pack. As the red tape stretched and pulled my head back... I was looking straight at the sky for what seemed like a while, in that instant I remember seeing double greens that we missed meaning I HAD to circle back now and go thru anyway .... The tape held, I fell off the bike in a really shitty spot ...tons of spectators saw me f'up royally. I got the bike up and back thru the greens within seconds.... Dead last. 25th place. I was embarrassed and pissed for about a half second...then a new feeling came over me.... And released something I didn't know I had.... Rage, the Kraken, aggressive race attitude.... No time for dwelling.... I took off after the pack like a donkey that had been kicked .... REALLY HARD. I passed about 5 guys in the first 1/2 mile.... Then some more.... I was just able to crank and I felt great charging hard.....but safe. I caught up to my buddy 10c in the first Mile .... I got to hollering and yellin as I passed him, as we always do.... Then in the fun I lost it over the top of a weird sandy hill and went down... He passed me right back hootin and hollering..... He didnt know what had happened to me in the start and how it lit me up something fierce.

I went into this first race just wanting to finish mid pack or better and 3 laps without a bad crash.

Because of the crash on the first turn....I had no limits.... I wanted to Race Hard dammit !

I passed back by John after he missed a double green in the woods.... Then I dumped again and he passed me AGAIN. My fitness helped and the crashes did little to stop my flow. I caught back up fast once again, this time I passed him on a tiny section of open field with a ton of hard edge bumps and slippery grass. I was standing, throttle nailed, the right gear, wheelied over all the potholes then up a sandy hill into tight woods...Power on... I went on the the next guy. I never saw my buddy again. was riding hard and doing things that surprised even me. Performance was holding longer than ever.... But will it end... Will I bonk ? When ? I checked in with myself... My left hand was going numb already but everything else was more solid than ever. No time to shake out my hand... Or drink from the camelback really... It was just too tight and rough ...later I found tiny spots to drink and shake my hand out.... But really tiny spots.

There were Lots of new challenges on this course... For me. Lots and lots of off camber in the sandy woods as well as on hard grassy knolls that wound back and fourth across this hill at midpoint. Then there were these ridiculous bowls that had almost a straight vertical entry.... And definitely a vertical exit.... I took the easy way first two laps.... But I got passed by a guy or two in my class each time I took one of the 4 or 5 easy/hard splits. I made a Mental note... Go for it in lap 3 and start taking the hard stuff.

By end of first lap I had passed 15 guys and was in 10th.
Second lap 8th

I was still hungry, still going pretty strong... I rested when I could, charged when I found a guy in my class....I kept reeling in guys one by one.. Passing alot of guys in the other classes .... getting passed back when I had a hiccup.... At the third lap most of the guys who passed me were "A" riders lapping us. To me this was a good sign. The fast riders helped me charge a little harder each time too...
After a pretty smooth lap 3 that had me banging thru some fast flat corners with a few guys in my class I realized I was still good, and could still race hard without losing control.... Last 1/2 mile I found another class mate. I wasn't sure how much track was left but I was determined not to rush/fall and lose him.... I didn't know if anyone was behind me close either ... And there were... Two of my line.... Seconds behind me... It's good I didn't know it.... We were on the real slippery stuff... Hard pack, long grass matted down, bumps hiding everywhere.... I gave it a go and squeezed as much out of my tires as possible.... Near the point of slipping.... Go too far with this stuff under you and you spin out fast and hard.... With a few hundred yards to go I got him... Even rubbed a bit on the last two of the corners.... I finished 5th !

At the end the fella i passed rode up close to me after the chicane....
I turned to apologize for being so aggressive... He said "oh no, that was a blast man !"

Right on. That's Racing.

First race of new season. First Trophy in the sport. Feeling good about those workouts.

Now I have to keep it up.



Back to work.
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08 KTM 300xcwe {hare scramble bike}
97 Honda xr600r {Plated}
07 Buell xb12x
87 Honda Rebel 450 {soon to be ratted}
http://tat09.blogspot.com/

gun 4 hire screwed with this post 11-11-2013 at 07:04 AM
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:10 PM   #25
ktmdreamer
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Awesome congrats on the first of many....
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:15 PM   #26
steveWFL
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nice thread
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:20 PM   #27
GalacticGS
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Well done!!!
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:31 AM   #28
Tbone
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Rubbin's racing..great job Steve !!
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:09 AM   #29
EOD3MC
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Great Job, Inspiring
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:29 AM   #30
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awesome job and good write up.
the red mist is a powerful drug!
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