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Old 06-10-2009, 04:08 PM   #1
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A First Hand Account of What Happened at the Flat Rock Race in the 2009 NCHSA Series

I raced another hare scramble this past Sunday. It was my 2nd race like this, the first one I wrote up here, about a year ago:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=319916

While the first race was all about doing something completely new to me, I went into this one knowing more of what to expect. In some ways I was not surprised, but in others, this was a totally new and different experience. The race venue received 8 to 10 inches of rain in the few days prior and that made it very muddy and slick in a number of key places. This would make the course very tough and turn an otherwise simply difficult race into one of the harder events run by the NCHSA in recent years, at least according to NCHSA old timers.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Backing up a bit ...

Trying to not go into the race completely cold and unprepared, I did several purpose specific practices during the week prior to the race. The Saturday a week before I did a simulated race duration practice of 1.5 hours at our 1 mile loop that I've posted video of before in the "hot lap" video. Speed wasn't necessarily my goal, just moderate to fast pace, but mainly getting some seat time, trying to sharpen up my skill set a bit before the race, and check my endurance to make sure I could go the distance. Running 1.5 hours at a moderate to fast pace with no stops or breaks is not easy. You would be surprised how often you stop to take breathers when trail riding with your buddies. Obviously, that will ruin you in a race, it's full on, no stops, no breaks, 1.5 hours straight and will wear you out if you are not ready for it. So I did the race time, moderate to fast pace, simulated hare scramble track. And at about 45 minutes into the 1.5 hours I was starting to fade, and make mistakes so I slowed it down a notch or two. But then with only 15 minutes left to go, I took a pretty good digger as my front wheel washed out in a loose turn and I banged my head pretty good off the ground. I got up and finished my 1.5 hours, though, just a little slower than before. That night I had a pretty good headache from the fall and felt the effects even the next day, too, so after that I decided to retire my nice Arai helmet. I hated to do it, but I think it served its purpose. The foam has probably been compressed and spent. Luckily, I have a decent Bell Moto 8 to fall back on. Anyway, that was practice #1.

So later in the week, I did another 1.5 hours on the following Wednesday after work. Again, just trying to get more seat time to sharpen up my riding, trying to prepare as best I could. I remember from the hare scramble I did last year, it was tough and I knew this one would be too, so I was thinking whatever preparation I could do beforehand couldn't hurt. I did much better this practice ride, endurance was a lot better, and I didn't fade as much as with the first one the Saturday prior and I stayed pretty sharp the whole time. I think one of my fastest laps was toward the end. I compared my lap times from the prior practice session, and I completed several more laps in the same amount of time and I felt better doing it. So that was a definite improvement.

On Friday my new MT16 rear tire arrived and I spooned that on. This would turn out to be pretty important, little did I know at the time. The hare scramble message board was full of reports of lots and lots of hard rain, predictions of a sloppy mud race. So I was glad when the tire was delivered Friday instead of Monday as it was originally scheduled. I also put my radiator fan on. I usually don't use it because it tends to drain the battery, but I figured if it's going to be slick, there are going to be bottle necks and tough sections meaning little air flow so I decided to go ahead and put it on. This would also turn out to be an important decision. More on that later.

So I went out again on Saturday, the day before the race, but this time I just did a little grass track work, practiced hitting and staying in rutted turns, and did a few of the regular laps in the forward direction, and then reversed it a hand full of times as well for something different. I was mainly just trying to stay sharp, but not tax my endurance the day before the race.

More to come ... next - Race Day
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nobrakes screwed with this post 06-10-2009 at 07:25 PM
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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Which one of the bad sections are you talking about?

On Sunday, race day, I loaded the truck with all my gear and the cooler I packed the night before, picked up my buddy Josh at 7:30 am and we drove the 3 hours to the race start. It looked like it was pretty well attended, we wanted to get there in time to check out the track and watch the Pro race start which starts at 12:15 and maybe walk the track some to at least see the first few turns after the start. Our race is the afternoon race and it doesn't start until 3:15 so we had some time to check things out.

It was hot, and while the sun was out, the ground was still damp from the massive rains during the few days prior, and it was steamy and humid. Rumblings from around the pits were that the track was going to be tough. Very tough. With all the rain, it washed a lot of the soil off the hill climbs leaving lots of exposed roots and rocks, and the gullies were now full of water and mud. I was getting a little nervous, but not too bad. Nothing like the first race where I didn't know what to expect at all. I knew what to expect this time, so the element of the unknown was not there like before. This was just pre-race jitters, and anticipation. My main concerns about the race itself were the slick hill climbs and the start, I didn't want to get tangled up and go down in the first 1/2 mile. So my strategy for this race was to pace myself, try to relax, try to control arm-pump, and above all, do not go down. Last time I went down several times and it just kills your energy and flow, shoots your heart rate up, and after that you just feel spent, and it ruins your mental outlook for some time afterwards even when you do get going again. I didn't want that to happen so keeping it upright was a primary goal towards a decent effort and finish.

Before the pro race began we walked about a half mile or so of the five mile track to check it out. Right away off the start there was a pretty gnarly hill climb, followed by a downhill, sharp left turn, then another up-hill, a cut over, across a small stream to the right, then up hill again paralleling the stream, then another stream crossing back to the left (same stream), then through a snotty muddy section, a tight 180 uphill switchback that looked real tough, and it kept going. That's where we stopped walking, we'd seen the initial portion of the track and while it looked hard, especially with all the rain they got, I felt better at least knowing what that much of it looked like rather than not knowing and seeing it all for the first time on lap one.

We made our way back to the starting line and watched the pros start and that was pretty exciting. Those guys were hauling fast. The rows were started at 1 minute intervals, with a heads up at 30 seconds to go, then another at 10 seconds to go. At that point the flag dropped anywhere after that 10 second shout out which was the "GO" signal. Dead engine start.

The sun was out and it was hot, wet, and steamy as the pro race got underway. Row after row was counted down until they were all racing off into the distance and the last of the exhaust notes could be heard fading into the woods.

Immediately after the pro's left the start area, folks running the afternoon race were already bringing their bikes up to the starting lines to claim their position in their start row. This was about 3 hours before our race time. Josh and I both decided to go ahead and do that, too. it looked like the best start location was the far inside to the first turn, so thats where we placed our bikes. Our class started in row 4, Josh got the inside, and I next to him. Meanwhile we went back to the truck and relaxed a bit, drank some water, ate a light lunch and basically chilled until it was time to gear up.

Meanwhile we could see many of the pros pulling out, and coming back to the pits completely covered in mud, head to toe. Apparently one of the worst mud bogs developed back in there and the bottom fell out as they broke through to an underground spring as the laps progressed. Pro, "AA", and "A" riders were stuck left and right, going over the bars, bikes buried up to the seat, and it was carnage. Oh crap.

The good news was that there was a rumor that they were going to route around this worst section for the afternoon race. I asked one of the race officials if they were going to route around the bad section, and he looked at me and asked "Which one of the bad sections are you talking about?" Apparently there was more than just the one. Ok, I'm starting to get a little concerned at this point.



More to come ...
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:20 PM   #3
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The Starting Line

After gearing up and heading to the start it was about 3pm. Our race was supposed to start at 3:15. We would wait there for probably another 45 minutes while they worked on the track and tried to fix up some of the worst sections. Some of the track officials there said it was brutal, slick, rocky, lots of roots, and people were down all over the track. Many pulled out early. And these were pros. If the pros had that much trouble, what could we expect from the amateur classes that I was in?

Back to the start area. There were now 20 bikes in our row for the start. The afternoon race looked packed, looked like a lot more bikes than in the Pro race just prior. And the track would now be rutted and chewed up something fierce compared to what it looked like when we walked it a few hours ago.

I started the helmet camera, and had a buddy verify it was running, and then had him stow the remote operated switch into the pack. I really wanted to get some footage of this and had been looking forward to using it in a race since I got it over a year ago. Unfortunately, and I had no way of knowing this before hand, but as the wireless remote switch was being stowed in my pack by a friend, the off button got pressed accidentally and it stopped the recording only seconds after we verified it was recording. I am so bummed about this that I can hardly describe it, knowing how hard I would work to complete this race, and the stuff I went through, up, and over, and how long I had waited to get footage like this, and I may never get an opportunity like this again. It's just depressing when I think about it. I just need to try and not think about that - it hurts too much.

Anyway ... riders meeting is going on and the guy with the bull horn is talking about how difficult the track is. This is going to be a tough one. He says the pro race has dug through and exposed several underground springs that they didn't realize were there, and there are now several very muddy sections and he gives some tips on how to get through them. He mentions the tough hill climbs, too, they are tore up pretty good with deep holes and roots and rocks. Look for alternate lines because there are sure to be bottlenecks. That's the bad news. The good news is that a large part of the track is actually pretty decent with good traction. But where there are the bad spots, they are really bad.

Rider's meeting done, I'm not feeling any better about the course conditions. At this point, they start calling out the rows at 1 minute intervals. My friend Josh is to my immediate left and he's on the inside with no one next to him. A fellow I just met at the start is on the line to my immediate right, and next to him another guy we just met and talked to briefly before while waiting at the start. We all agreed to be extra careful at the start, no one of wanted to go out like that. We wished each other luck as the row in front of us started and faded off into the woods. About then, the 10 second shout out sounded off and the green flag dropped, so I simultaneously jammed the e-start and kicked the kick starter and headed for the first turn.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:25 PM   #4
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Don't Think, Just GO!

I rounded the first turn to the left into the downhill straight to the 2nd turn, a sharp right hander, and I think I was in maybe 6th. I was three abreast bar to bar with two other riders down the straight, but I held my line on the left and they backed down as we approached the right hand corner, and I got the spot. Next we started into the real woods and up the first gnarly climb. It was pretty tore up and I was immediately behind a guy on a 2-stroke Honda, I was very close behind him as we were still pretty jammed up from the start. And then he stalled it near the top of this first climb, but I have nowhere to go because I was channeled in a pretty deep rut and he was right in front. Dangit! Go man! He kicked about 5 times and it started and he went about 10 feet and stalled again. Seriously? Come on, dude! He did this about 3 more times, meanwhile, our whole class went zipping by in an alternate line to the right. Unfortunately I was stuck in that rut right behind him and had an overpowering feeling that I wanted to be somewhere else, and right now! He eventually crested near the top and was still stalling that bike so I did what I had to do to get around which may have involved some front to rear wheel contact. And with that, I was finally able to clear him on the uphill side to the left.

Well there went my decent start. I was sure I was in dead last now in our class, except for the guy that kept stalling. Nothing to do at this point but to stick with the game plan of pacing myself at a modest pace and stay up, stay up, stay up. Throwing it away by pushing too hard and going down now would not help my cause. So I tried to stay calm and follow my plan. Down the first downhill and back up the next which was pretty tore up and across the first stream crossing where I got all kinds of squirrelly and almost lost it, but managed to stay upright and hammered the throttle up the greasy slimy hill that immediately followed and paralleled the stream where it crossed again about 50 yards above to the left. Momentum is king on these muddy climbs. So far so good at that point, but then into a slimy muddy section that I remembered from walking the track. There were two lines through it and the downhill side had a big blow out just before a sharp slick rock and it looked like that would be a great place to get a wheel stuck, so I remembered to take the high line, but it looked like thick mud soup. Still, I went with my prior plan I made while scoping the track a few hours before and took the high line anyway and surprisingly it had a solid bottom so that worked out well. I took that same line every lap that followed as it continued to work for me.

Meanwhile, after getting this far through some pretty slick and roughed up sections, I was starting to notice that my bike is really hooking up well and chewing this stuff up with little drama. I'm getting some really good traction in this greasy soupy mess and soaking up the largest of the holes and roots. This seemed strange considering the conditions but it was working pretty great. They say they harder you ride these bikes the better they work, and maybe that is what was happening. Even though I've owned this bike for over 2 years, I was beginning to find a whole new-found appreciation for what it can do.

Onward and forward to the tight uphill 180. From checking it out earlier I thought this would be one of the harder sections that I could see. There were two alternate lines cutting to the inside, but they looked rougher and steeper with dug out roots and slick rocks all the way up, with a slick ledge at the beginning just to make things even more interesting. I remembered from walking the track to only take those alternates as a last resort because they looked tough. But the easier main line was bottle necked with riders mid turn, making it impassable at the moment, so I took the first of the more difficult off-camber alternate lines. I was doubtful this was going to work. Someone was even standing there pointing - don't go that way! - apparently someone had been stuck on it prior to my arrival but had just cleared with the help of some bystanders. But I didn't want to wait in the bottleneck, I had already lost enough time behind Honda 2-stroke guy. So I made a quick decision and chose a cranny at the base of a rock to place my front tire so it wouldn't slide out as I compressed the rear suspension for traction to build moment and then let the rear float over that first initial ledge into the uphill alternate 180 uphill line. I was committed at that point and once clear of the initial ledge, I laid on the throttle and worked my way up and around the rutted rooted rocky blown out switch back, rear wheel digging in and finding traction where there was little to be found. Near the top I kept on the throttle as I crested the edge and was back onto the main line trail again. I can't believe I just made that. I even heard someone along the side yell "he made it!" I would never have tried something like that while just out trail riding, but under race pressure with few options, I was forced to take it and I nailed it perfectly. And in doing so, I routed around that nasty main line section that was currently claiming at least 5 other riders stacked up and still stuck. That felt great! I think this is one way that racing can make you a better rider, by teaching you to think fast and showing that you can actually manage some pretty hard sections that you might not even try otherwise.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:39 PM   #5
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Pounding heart, foggy goggles, rubbery arms - are we there yet?

This kind of thing continues on up one side of the mountain in several locations with similar conditions until we crest, and begin to head back down the other side through a maze of tight single track, 180 switch backs with drop-offs that had a different rider claimed on nearly every lap as I went by. Also waiting for us on the other side was a pretty bad mud bog section that was still navigable for now, followed by more tight single track, and finished out with a neat little hill climb near the parking area where there were a lot of spectators cheering on family and friends. Then finally down a wide path toward the timing tent, into a short section of woods that dropped you out into the corralled finish line path, taped on either side, and guided you into the timing tent to be beeped by the barcode timer system. About 5 miles total.

The laps clicked off like this, each time my heart rate climbing to new heights in each of those muddy and gnarly rooted rocky climbs. And by the third lap I was wasted. I didn't realize it, but my buddy Josh had already pulled out by then, he bailed mid-way through the 2nd lap because his bike boiled over and lost a good bit of coolant. I heard my radiator fan running much of the race, especially those tight uphill sections back in the hot steamy wet muddy woods, so I know the last minute decision to put my fan probably changed the outcome of the race for me, otherwise I could have suffered the same fate.

One of the complicating factors at around mid-race was my goggles kept fogging up, even in the faster sections, it was so hot and steamy and I couldn't see where I was going especially in the parts of the trail when the sun was starting to glare in my eyes, I could hardly see anything. So I stopped at one point and tried to rip the nose guard off my goggles because it was interfering with my helmet as I was trying to pull the goggles forward away from my face to allow some more air flow in behind. I wrestled with it for a few seconds but it was not coming off, so I gave up and managed as best I could to reseat my goggles within my helmet yet tried to leave a little gap to allow a little more air flow behind them to keep the fog down. That worked somewhat and I could see a little better.

It's now midway through the third lap and I'm so tired and my arms feel like I just did 200 push ups. I stop briefly to check the ride timer on my odo to see how much race time has elapsed to see if this crazy train was hopefully nearing the station and this mayhem would finally be over. But I forgot to reset the timer at the start so the number on the clock is meaningless to me. So I put my head down and keep going. As I near the finish gate, I see an official waving the white flag ... no! Not another lap! As the timing beeps the barcode on my helmet as I pass through the tent, I ask him if he is sure this isn't the last lap? He said, sorry buddy, you gotta do another one. Seriously? He says, you're doing great, you can do it. And with those encouraging words, I set off for another lap through this mayhem.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:47 PM   #6
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The Last Lap

So off I go on the last lap. This is the most physically wasted I've been in a long time, maybe ever. This is one HARD course. And it's hot, and steamy and I depleted my camel bak the lap before so I had no more drink left. There are bikes down at every hill. Every mud hole. Bikes on the sides of the trail, bikes in the middle of the trail. Bikes standing vertically by themselves in ruts with owners nowhere in sight. But again, I somehow make it up and around and through all that stuff, even though I'm getting sideways and out of shape at times, I manage to keep it on two wheels even as tired as I was. If I dropped my bike at this point, I would be done for sure, I don't think I'd have the strength to pick up my bike, let alone do it on the side of one of those slick slimy hills where it's hard to even stand, let alone trying to wrestle my 450 up out of the mud and slick greasy clay at the same time with no footing, especially if it was turned and pointing in the wrong direction. How could I possibly manage that as exhausted as I am? So I tell myself again and again to keep it on two wheels. Be smooth, and commit. Don't hesitate and you'll get through this, you've been doing it all day long now, what's one more lap?

There was one really muddy section that was pretty bad the whole race, but got especially soupy toward the end and that was when I came the closest to going down here on the last lap. I had my line picked out beforehand because I knew it worked for me from prior laps. But there's a turn going in and I couldn't see what was around the corner until it was too late. Another rider was stuck in my line mid way through and there was nothing I could do but stop or hit him, so I pulled up short and said "Dude!". He just looked at me exasperated, completely spent, and said, "sorry man" as he rested his forearms on his bars, hunched over, head down, covered in mud head to toe, no goggles, staring in the quagmire with a distant look, and not even trying to get unstuck. I could see the fight was gone from his eyes and he had given up.

I'm not sure what to do at this point, I was beat too, but not yet ready to give up. Getting out of the sloppy rut didn't look promising especially from a dead stop but I had been doing what I thought was the impossible all day long so I mustered what strength I could and planned my escape. I looked left and there was an opening, but it opened into what was a big bowl full of thick soupy muck that had two other riders already captured, so that didn't look good. But I thought maybe if I could get sideways out of this rut, I could go high around them to the left, it was my only chance to free myself. So I took a deep breath and wheelied my front wheel out of the rut about a foot to the left. With my front wheel out, and my rear wheel still in, I was now cross rutted and eased on the throttle trying to find traction and letting the rear wheel spin, bringing my bike up to the inside left of the rider stuck in front of me. When my rear wheel gained enough ground to contact the rear wheel of his bike in front, that forced it to exit the deep rut and I kept on the gas to keep moving. That's how I cleared the original rut, and somehow remained on two wheels but I was now crossing diagonally through two more, my original plan didn't work exactly as planned and I slid partially into the quagmire, rear wheel sliding around trying to maintain balance as it went left, went right, whoa right foot off the peg, I slid around trying to put a foot down but there's no bottom to this soup. I just kept on the throttle knowing that if I let up it would be all over and I eventually cleared the worst of it by some miracle and was heading out. I probably covered the poor guys stuck and now behind me. But then I found myself on a very slick and large flat rock surface just beyond the mud bowl which itself was covered with the same slick mud soup and my bike spun nearly around almost doing a 180 and headed back in, but somehow I managed to spin it back and get righted, and going back in the right direction. That was close and took nearly all remaining energy reserves I had left. I was totally spent at this point, but I kept going.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:50 PM   #7
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Bringing it Home!

Finally, I worked my way around the remainder of the track and as I was coming down the final straight toward the finish for the last time today, I hear the familiar "whoop whoop" behind me as a faster rider in another class wants by. I had been yielding to faster riders all day long, and this on the last lap, not 100 yards from the finish, I was not going to yield again. You will stay behind me this time, Mr. WhoEverYouAre. I'm bringing this baby home.

And that is how I crossed the finish line into the timing tent, with barely enough strength to hang on to the end, but still hanging on. I was very pleased to see the checkered flag. Josh was waiting for me at the finish, and it was at that point that I learned that he was forced to pull out or risk wrecking his engine. I was totally beat and just wanted to get back to the truck were we had an EZ-up for shade and some cold water in the cooler. I think I drank down a least a quart of water while I sat in the camp chair trying to still catch my breath. What a course! That was HARD!
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:52 PM   #8
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I would like to thank ...

After the race, I said to myself, this is it, no more of these things as I bathed with about 30 wet ones trying to get the my arms, face, neck, and even back. I downed cold icy water like it was going out of style and it was fantastic. I felt like my heart was going to pound right out of my chest on several occasions on each and every lap. Far better riders than I were down on those hills or were stuck in the mud and muck like prehistoric mastodon in primeval tar. But I made it to the end.

I attribute my modest success to several things, first the pre-race practices. I think that helped to sharpen up my skills which carried me through those harder sections when my rear wheel was stepping out and slipping and sliding left and right. Doing those practicing laps and a drills probably helped me as much as anything to sharpen up, and give me the edge I needed to keep it upright when otherwise I may have gone down. Looking back, I think there were sections that you come upon during a race that I wouldn't even think about doing if it was just a casual trail ride. But in a race, you don't have time to think about it, or don't have any other options, you just have to think fast to choose a line, and commit. I surprised myself more than a few times by getting through some of the tougher sections that I wouldn't have thought I could. But during the race, it almost seemed easy. It was hard in terms of physical exertion, but I didn't seem to have hardly any trouble, skill wise, with the worst of those rooty rutty slick clay mud hills. And I did it mostly by not thinking about it, just pull the trigger and go. If I stopped to think about it, I probably would have psyched myself out, or entered those sections too timidly and spun out, killing drive. But there's no time for that during the race, so it forces you to ride largely on instinct. And maintaining momentum was king on those rocky, root infested, rutty climbs.

Second was the fresh rear rear tire, that thing hooked up like magic. I got lucky with that one. I had already spooned on my old MT16 rear tire Friday morning because it was still the best tire I had available even though it was about half-way worn and the edges were all rounded off. I didn't think my new tire would be here in time because shipper tracking said it wouldn't arrive until Monday - one day too late. But it thankfully made it on Friday afternoon, so I had nice fresh rubber with good sharp edges. I took the old one off, and replaced with new. That was a huge help, it did great.

Third was the Rekluse clutch. That piece of kit is a total dream. That has to be the ultimate cheater weapon for events like this. But it's not cheater, it's perfectly legal and a lot of the racers used them. It was awesome. I know it was a huge help. I'll take it.

Fourth was my suspension. My Christmas present to myself this year was to have my suspension done by a local pro that really knows his stuff. I was able to dial in a pretty soft front with the "terrain tamer" configuration that Bruce from Bruce's Suspension does, but still maintain incredible bottoming resistance and an ultra smooth stroke. It was able to soak up the worst that course had to offer and still be able to maintain control by keeping rubber on the ground. I think it was a big part of my success in being able to make those rough climbs, especially the places where there were huge two and three foot deep holes dug out below those slick arm sized roots where people would get stuck and then just sit there and spin, spinning out a tire deep hole immediately before a thick root to kill momentum. Those are perfect bike traps carved into steep uphills. I was able to blow right over those soaking up the initial hard hit from the root with the front and carry momentum across so my rear wheel floated over and I never got stuck on a single one of them.

Lastly, I think putting the fan on last minute the day before the race was the final piece of the puzzle and likely changed the race outcome for me. This kept my coolant temp down and likely kept it from boiling over and ending my race.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:54 PM   #9
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Top 10 Finish

In the end, I managed a 10th place finish in my class of 20, and 79th out of 162 overall. But just the fact that I finished that race feels good when so many didn't. And at 43 y/o and only my 2nd race, my first for this year, and in a field largely of guys half my age, I'll take a mid-pack finish in the carnage that was that race.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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Why ask why?

So after the race I was so tired and so spent after so much exertion, I was thinking never again, this is crazy. But now I'm already thinking about the next one. Strange how that works, that such suffering and exertion could draw you back in so quickly afterwards. How soon we forget the pain. What is it that makes us want to put ourselves through this? Certainly not the money or glory, because there is none at this level. Yet there are all those hundreds of people lined up willingly on the start, knowing it was going to be brutal. They've done this before so they know how hard it's going to be. Yet they come out anyway and enjoy it! Why not do something easier, like play golf instead? It's expensive, it's dangerous, and it's HARD! Yet me and 262 of my close friends were out there in the hot summer steamy heat for a mud bath of physical punishment. Why? I don't have an answer, but I must conclude that our minds do not work the same way as the rest of the population.


The End.
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nobrakes screwed with this post 06-10-2009 at 07:02 PM
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:18 PM   #11
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Me, before:




My bike is on the right:




My start row, Heavy C:




The Pro's lining up:













After:














That's what a dirt bike should like like.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:46 PM   #12
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Man, you said a lot...I will have to come back and read more than the first line
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:46 AM   #13
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Great writeup, I got tired and worn out along with you with your good descriptions of the effort this race took.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:38 AM   #14
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Nice!
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:45 PM   #15
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Here's a pic that a local photog took, definitely early in the first lap because my bike is still clean. I looked through his other photos and it doesn't look like he made it back to any of the rougher sections. Bummer.

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