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Old 10-26-2012, 07:57 PM   #541
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Wow! Another great year, glad you went ahead and posted about it.
Thank you sir!

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Originally Posted by Southest US Thumper View Post
Not to go down the Tire Thread Road but... When do you run your Trials Tire? When you know it's going to be dry? Lot's of massive logs to clear? Or maybe when the knobby is at the Cleaners??? I run one pretty much all the time but noticed that you switched for a few of the races.

And No! I don't have any Oil questions!
Rotella is best!

I like trials tires a lot, I think they are great, and especially when there's a lot of roots and rocks, they just do a superb job in that stuff as long as you run low pressure. When I do use one, I use dual opposing rim locks, ultra heavy duty tubes, and run about 6 lbs of pressure for best effect. They require low pressure to work, they don't work right if you run the normal 12 lbs or so that you would put in a knobby. I don't think they really suffer in sand or regular soil much, but no real advantage there, either. And in mud and muck, they don't do so hot. I do have a spare set of wheels and I keep a trials tire mounted on the rear of my spare set, and put it on when I think it will do well. But if there's an MX track component to the race, or if I don't think it's going to be too rooty (haha wishful thinking in most cases) or rocky (probably only two venues so far meet that description) I will put on a regular knobby.

Not that it probably matters a whole lot, at my level of racing, probably just about anything will work, but at least in my mind, by doing that, I sleep better knowing I've given myself every advantage that I can control. But in the end, it probably doesn't really matter too much what I run, whether it's a rounded off old knobby, a fresh one, or a trials tire. I seem to ride about the same either case.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:53 PM   #542
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Did you race last weekend?
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:19 PM   #543
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Did you race last weekend?
Yes, I finished 6th out of 24. I'm still in a tight points race for 5th in my class for the series, with 6th place still right there close behind me. I did manage to finish in front of him, but only by 1 spot, so I only gained 1 point, so I only went from 5 points up to now 6. That's still not much and anything could happen in the last race of the season this weekend. But at least the gap didn't get tighter.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:32 AM   #544
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coming down to the last race Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:49 AM   #545
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Thanks! Unfortunately, I've come down with a nasty cough, cold, or crud. I can hardly take a deep breath without coughing up a lung. I can't imagine racing like this would be very effective. Hopefully it gets better by Sunday.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:11 AM   #546
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Thanks for the bump! I wouldn't have seen this thread otherwise, great read.

What happened to all the videos. :(
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:20 PM   #547
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I did some cleanup on my vimeo account a while back and got carried away. Oops. Hopefully I should have some new ones up sometime if I can find the time to get them edited down a little.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:18 PM   #548
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5th or 6th?
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:05 PM   #549
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5th.

Just barely, though. Only 2 points separating us at the end. Whew.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:54 AM   #550
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Congratulations NB!!!!
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:36 AM   #551
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Are you coming back to VCHSS in 13? 40 B?
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:17 AM   #552
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5th.

Just barely, though. Only 2 points separating us at the end. Whew.
Nicely done !!!
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:40 AM   #553
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VCHSS Round 14 - Cross Trails

Back to the race before last, Round 14, Cross Trails - I didn't really want to post up too much about it because I didn't want to jinx myself, so I'll fill this round in now. The promoter allowed a pre-ride this race, so I drove up Saturday morning to camp. This was also the weekend of the storm Sandy, so everyone was wondering how that would play out. As it turns out, Sandy missed the race venue in central VA, just cloudy skies, and some wind on Sunday, but Saturday was good. Instead of bringing the tent, I got some walls for my EZ-Up and threw down a piece of astroturf for a floor and made that my home away from home:




I really liked Saturday's practice, I like that idea a lot and always try to take advantage of it when it is offered. I think it makes the race a lot more safe since you've seen everything once before, and also it gives the promoter a dry run of the course and any issues can be resolved before the actual race. In this case, at least one slick bridge got covered with chain link fencing for traction which ended up biting a number of people during the practice lap and likely prevented a lot of accidents and potential injuries on race day.

There was also an MX section, and the pre-ride allowed us non-MX'ers a few laps to get comfortable on the jumps.

Going into this race I was really only worried about one thing, and that was finishing in front of Jim, my 5th place competition in the series. I was still 5th, but with only a 5 point cushion. So I really wanted to stay within a position of him, in front if possible, but if he did beat me, I at least didn't want anyone in between us to take more points away.

So we lined up next to each other, wished each other luck, fist bump, and all that and when the flag dropped I saw he got a really good start, meanwhile I got a very average mid-pack to back 3rd start. Dammit, I thought, there goes my points cushion, if not more.

But I kept on the gas, and made a few good passes during the first lap. The leaves were mostly off the trees so visibility through the woods was pretty good and that allowed me to look farther ahead when behind slower riders and find alternates around them quicker.

Each lap was 12.5 miles which is pretty long for our races, and that translated to about a 45 minute lap time for us, which meant we'd only get to run two laps. At any rate, by the end of the first lap, I was warmed up and loose and I was feeling really good, and actually felt the best I had all season. I was hitting every turn and rut perfectly, I felt like I was on rails and somehow couldn't do anything wrong. I was in the zone, and riding really well. Even so, I figured Jim had long since checked out with the good start he had. I later learned that he led the whole first lap and only just before scoring did he get passed and went through scoring in 2nd place. So that was a great lap for him.

Meanwhile it's lap 2 for me, and I'm assuming the worst about my finish position relative to Jim, but I keep on the gas and am riding good. I keep thinking to myself it's a long race and anything can happen. So late in lap 2, maybe 3/4 through, I spot him up ahead of me. I can't believe it. I thought he was long gone, but somehow I had managed to overcome the gap. It was like a gift. I end up closing the remaining gap between us very quickly and suddenly I'm on his rear tire. I let out a few hoots, and say, "Let's go, Jim, let's move it, pick it up!" Mainly to let him know it was me behind him, and not some random person from another class which might cause him to pull over, not that I would have minded that , but that needs to be his decision and not a result of any trickery on my part. And he didn't. So I ride behind for a little while, and taking advantage of the leaves off the trees, I spot what looks like a good line to go around to the right, and take it, hard on the gas with a little clutch for the surge, and then dive back in just in front of him and make the pass. I pull a bit of a gap and come upon my friend Landon in the row in front of us. A few hoots later and I'm past him and build another small gap.

Still feeling on top of the world, I can do no wrong, I'm hitting avery turn perfectly, railing everything, I exit the woods into a short field section that parallels the woods. There's a little dip in the field in a pretty fast section and somehow, I still don't know how, my front wheel washes out and everything is a blur around me. I distinctly remember barely missing some board or something on the way to the ground that might have been ugly had I hit it, but luck was with me and all I got was a bit disoriented as my bike went tumbling end over end. I jump up to my feet and do a quick check of myself, nothing hurting, so I must be Ok. I start to run to my bike, which is now facing the completely wrong direction and here comes Landon through between me and my bike, so I hold up and wave him by to let him know I'm Ok and he continues on. Then here comes Jim, my 5th place competition. I see him pause briefly in recognition of what just unfolded, and I wave him on, I'm ok.

Meanwhile I start picking up my bike, and way slower than I would like I manage to get it turned around in the right direction, bent subframe and all, and I finally going again. I can't help but thinking what a gift I had gotten by being able to catch Jim and pass him, and then to just throw it all away like that. Dammit. I as mad at myself, but push that aside, I had to focus, get my heart rate under control, and breathe.

I get back on and start again and I come upon Landon first this time, so Jim had already gotten around him. I worked my way by him for the 2nd time and before too long, I'm back on Jim's rear tire. My heart is racing about a hundred mph as I start looking for a way around again. On a down hill section that looked like a good idea at the time, I started to pass him on the left, but as I got up beside him of off the trail in the chop and it really seemed pretty sketchy, so I backed off and decided not to push it. If we finish up this way, that's still Ok, I'd still have a 4 point lead going into the final race. But if I could find a way around I would take it for sure.

So we get to the MX track and we are still wheel to wheel, and trying as hard as I can to keep my 350 4st within striking distance and him on his 300 2st. I'm hitting the jumps as fast and as hard as I can, thank god for the pre-ride we know that all the jumps are pretty tame and safe. We get to about the end of the MX portion and I'm still not around him, I know I have to make the pass here because once we enter the woods for last time and about 1/2 mile left, the passing opportunities will be non-existent. So at the last jump I hold my throttle wide open and gain just enough on him give me a slight edge on the straight leading up to the entrance to the woods, and I don't let off until I get a wheel on him and then hard on the brakes entering the trees, just enough to maintain control. And from there, I manage to stay in front until scoring about a half mile later where we finished 6th and 7th, only 4 seconds apart.

So that gave me a 6 point lead going into round 15 instead of 4 points, the last and final round of the series. Those 2 extra points turned out to be the deciding factor at the end of the next race.

Here's the only photo I can find of me in this race, I think this is the at the end of the MX section and just before we entered the woods, probably lap 1 since my subframe is still reasonably straight, lol:

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nobrakes screwed with this post 11-12-2012 at 12:32 PM
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:57 AM   #554
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Round 15 - Pipsico - Final Round

So the final round was not nearly as exciting as the round before. As I mentioned, I came down with a nasty cold, cough, crud, runny nose, sneezing, etc, etc, last Sunday, and missed 3 days of work leading into the race weekend. I felt awful. I could not even imagine racing like that, just about every breath I took was followed by a bout of coughing. I felt like crap.

I could not work out, or train, or do anything all week. By Saturday, I was still not feeling good at all, still had a lot of sinus congestion and was generally feeling weak and wondering if I'd even be able to race. But I figured I'd come too far in the season to give up now, so I started getting my gear together and ready to leave early Sunday morning for the 3+ hour drive up to the Pipsico race location.

The race was nothing at all exciting for me, I was just trying to survive. The start was the sketchyist of the season, though, we had a big row of 29 riders, and they rolled us up to the 1st row mark to start, and the start very quickly channeled us all down into 3 small gaps in to the woods followed by a long straight with an off camber left turn. There was a lot of carnage on our row at the start, and somehow I picked my way through it and was somewhere around mid-pack. I had no idea where Jim was. Turns out, he got mixed up in some of the carnage at the start and got off poorly. At any rate, I was just trying to survive. I eventually finished 13th out of 29. Even though Jim got a bad start, he worked his way back up to 9th, which was a great ride for him, but it was not enough to close the 6 point cushion I had from the prior race and I will end up with 5th place in the series, unless they find some error in the points calculations or something.

I should point out, that had I only had 4 points going into this race, Jim and I would have been tied for points at the end, and by the VCHSS tie breaking rules, Jim would have won the tie breaker. So that extra push to get in front of him at the last round ended up being the decider for me.

So that's how I ended out the season, the sparks and excitement from the last round were replaced by just trying to survive this last race intact while fighting off illness.

So I will hold onto to 5th place for the year. Not too bad, I'm happy with that. We have a lot of good riders in our class, but throughout the year, I was the beneficiary of some good luck, and some attrition, too, and had some back luck along the way as well. Jim deserves it just as much as I, we really finished in a virtual tie points wise, 2 points is nothing, and I bet each one of us could look back on the year and find races where if we'd just ridden a little harder here and there, or if luck had been our side a bit more in a few races, that it could have gone either way. In the end, it was a good year of riding and racing, no serious injuries, met some great new friends, and it was a pleasure to ride with the good sportsmanship and competitors that make up our class and the VCHSS series.
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nobrakes screwed with this post 11-12-2012 at 12:39 PM
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:05 PM   #555
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Are you coming back to VCHSS in 13? 40 B?
Not sure about '13. Maybe 2014? I seem to be an even year full-series racer. I might do some more dual sporting, and maybe do a few national enduros. I raced the Sandlapper national this spring in March a few weeks before the first VCHSS round, and that was A LOT of fun. I really like the enduro format, so I may try to do a few more of those, and then hit a few other races nearby here and there. I think I might hit up a few VXCS rounds as well, just to mix things up.

BTW, congrats on your good season, looks like you finished out very respectably!
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nobrakes screwed with this post 11-12-2012 at 08:33 PM
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