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Old 01-10-2011, 05:02 PM   #16
MotoMike
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Be advised, the race on the 23rd is a National Hare and Hound, that first loop won't be all warm and fuzzy like JackRabbits. It will be somewhat more challenging
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MotoMike View Post
Be advised, the race on the 23rd is a National Hare and Hound, that first loop won't be all warm and fuzzy like JackRabbits. It will be somewhat more challenging
i had planned on doing that one.... but my foot is STILL giving me some actual trouble.



going to wait till the foot feels strong
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:24 AM   #18
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Be advised, the race on the 23rd is a National Hare and Hound, that first loop won't be all warm and fuzzy like JackRabbits. It will be somewhat more challenging
I was actually planning to skip that one since I figured there would be more intense competition but after this experience I think I'll be alright. It will also get me time to work out these sore muscles and spend a weekend with the family.

I drove up Saturday evening and spent the night in Ridgecrest. I wasn't exactly sure where to go the next morning but I figured I'd find it somehow. While having breakfast 'Tom' asked if that was my 690 outside. I said yes and after talking a while he let me know how to get to the race. It was going to be his son's first race too although I'm probably about 30 years older than his son. It sounds like Tom is an old hat at this. He said he's run Baja and a myriad of other races.

I walked out sporting most of my riding gear and it was downright cold. I'm grew up on the East coast and don't mind the cold too much (although that is the reason I moved to Cali) but Sunday morning my thermometer read 29, I felt cold and the seat on my bike as well as the windows of the van were covered in frost.

While driving out I was trying to form a strategy based on my two primary goals - don't get hurt and finish. I told myself I would just ride it like a trail ride and learn from the experience - that it wasn't really a race and I would just make sure to stay well within my boundaries and not crash like I did on the LAB2V and knock myself out again. The problem is I am one of those kinds of people who love to feel the rush.

The first group of trailers I came across were clearly part of the Checkers motorcycle club. Man, those folks have some NICE rigs. They must give out great big RVs when you join their club because they were all seemed to have one. If so, I'm IN!

I kept driving my minivan up the dirt road wondering if I was giving the loose dirt in the middle of the road a haircut with my low clearance and finally came upon the main site. Trailers everywhere, motorcycles and quads riding up and down the road - it was awesome.

I found a place to park and went in search of the sign up tables where I was to meet with Dan to get my 2011 competition license (40+ Senior Division) and numbers (0350). After that I got in the much longer event signup line. The guy behind me (I don't remember his name) had gotten up at 3AM, left at 4AM and driven up from San Diego to ride in his first race. He just turned 50 and so was in the magnum category riding a KTM450EXC. There were a lot more dual sport bikes out there than I expected.

I unloaded my bike, got the numbers, desert sticker and checkpoint card affixed to the bike and went to look for the red number start so I could do a couple of bomb runs before the race.

I found someone who said the start was across Trona road and I headed in that direction, missed the turn off and went a couple of miles up a very long and straight road. It was a good warm up for me and the bike and it also was my first time back on the dirt since my LAB2V crash. I don't remember what happened on that crash since I lost those memories during my 10 minute blackout. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong and worried that it might happen again. I turned around, found the missed turn off and made it to the starting line just as the sweep riders were leaving to check the bomb run. My missed turn off prevented me from making any test runs.

Fortunately I was on the second row so I got to see the starting line procedure once before having to do it myself - it was a simple dead engine start.

After the first row took off I found a good spot next to a bush and near a line and waited. I was still of the mind that I was going to let folks go ahead of me and just follow them for a nice trail ride. At the same time though I was sure my bike would start quickly with my lightning fast thumb so why not get a quick start if I could? While those two thoughts were battling it out deep down I knew which side was going to win - and is one reason I stopped driving sports cars - sometimes I just can't seem to contain myself.

So the banner dropped and sure enough my big thumper came to life in an instant and I got a great holeshot - of course my riding skills allowed just about everyone to pass me up before the bomb so all I did was hold people up I suppose.

I had never really been roosted before while trail riding with my buddies. Wow. What an eye opener. You can hear the stuff hitting my GoPro - it's pretty cool.

There was no dust at all - pure traction. Blue sky, wispy clouds, the roar of 4 strokes and the zing of the two strokes. What a blast!

I settled down a bit and started getting comfortable again - just ride I said to myself while getting passed every so often. I remembered I needed to follow the ribbon instead of following the riders or trails so I started keeping an eye out as I was going.

After 5 miles or so I started feeling pretty comfy and one with my bike again. I had been following a couple of guys and content with that but realized I could probably ride a little faster so it took a while but I finally made my first pass. It felt pretty cool until I realized that now I was in their crosshairs and need to put some distance between me and them or they would pass me right back.

So there I was feeling great to have made a pass and at the same time scared of losing that position.

I came upon my first checkpoint and was following the guy in front of me. I started to pull in behind him to wait to be checked off when I noticed other people waving me up. Whoops. I went around the other guy, got marked and remembered not to roost the checkpoint folks.

For the next 15 or 20 miles I was feeling on top of the world as I was able to catch and pass a few more people while not being passed myself. I was picking up spots at the checkpoints - I sure don't know why or how but I seemed to get at least one pass each time. As I was riding I was hollering and woohoo'ing - what an experience and I was having such fun - combined of course with feeling the adrenaline make my right wrist twist a little more than it should. It also might have been that I wasn't going that much faster but instead just not falling off my pace as much as others may have been. I really don't know.

Going through one whoop section I felt my tool bag hit me in the fanny and then a crunching noise and then it hit me again and another noise - then the rear wheel locked up, the engine stopped and I skidded to a stop. I got off the bike and saw that my entire rear fender had come off and the toolbag had gotten lodged between the front of the subframe and the tire. I tried to back it up but it wouldn't move. I dragged it off to the side a little while folks were riding by. One guy stopped to make sure I was ok. I finally realized I needed to pull the clutch in while pulling the bike backwards and it came right out. I put the toolbag and a small piece of the fender in my Ogio pilot's vest (great piece of gear by the way) and started out again. My goggles were completely covered - not fogged up but actual small droplets of water. I rode up the hill slowly and the goggles finally cleared. I moved off to the side to check out the bike off the trail.

Everything looked ok but the wires from the taillight had a quarter inch left bare so I pulled out my leatherman and cut them a little so there wasn't any bare wire. After that I started out again feeling a little down to have lost time (after reviewing the video I lost about 7 minutes and 35 people passed me.)

I rode a little slower at first but sped up a bit and actually passed a few more folks before making it to the finish. I got my last pass by simply staying on course while the guy in front of me that I just couldn't get around missed a turn and ended up coming in just a few seconds after I did.

It felt great to have finished, not gotten hurt and had so much fun. Wow.

Before the race I was afraid that 32 miles wasn't going to be enough but after riding at (my) race pace I was pretty well spent and so I was happy with my decision to sign up as a beginner and only do one loop.

I was anxious to get home to my family so I loaded up, changed clothes and drove home. While on the way home I realized when I picked up my tool bag and the small piece of fender that was left my license plate was not there. I'll have to make a trip to the DMV this week.

I can't wait to do it again!!!
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:10 AM   #19
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Congrats !!! Now your hooked

Can't wait to see the video footage if you can.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:01 AM   #20
MotoMike
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Put a post on the D37 board about the missing plate. sweep will have picked it up if they saw it.

You were smart to sign up as a beginner. You can always move up, but if you sign up in a higher class and find out it's too much, you can't go back. Besides, al you have to do is win 3 races and they will move you up to Novice. Then you can experience all the 2nd loop joyfulness!
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:58 AM   #21
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Put a post on the D37 board about the missing plate. sweep will have picked it up if they saw it.
Thanks for the tip! I'll do that in a minute.

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Besides, al you have to do is win 3 races and they will move you up to Novice.
LOL. Good one. I would be astounded if I ever actually won one race let alone 3! I'm just happy to be out there jockeying for position - even if that position is last place. At least I'm racing!
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:39 AM   #22
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Another alternative is to have yourself bumped to novice, you can try a two loop race, and if it dosen't work out you can run red #'s, do one loop and get 70% points.

Let me caution you, be careful what you wish for. You would be wise to run a few races before diving into the deep end, and then I would suggest trying a Desert Scrambles where you run the same loop twice. Hare and Hounds can be downright discouraging (and hazardous to your health) if you are not ready for it.

BTW, I had an alright day on Sunday. 25th OA and 2nd Mag Expert. I was running 1st for the first few miles, but stopped for a downed rider and lost some time, then I hit a square edge wash and jammed the shit out of my thumb. It was fun trying to hang on for the next 60 or so miles, it's still pretty swollen.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:57 PM   #23
eatpasta
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BTW, I had an alright day on Sunday. 25th OA and 2nd Mag Expert. I was running 1st for the first few miles, but stopped for a downed rider and lost some time, then I hit a square edge wash and jammed the shit out of my thumb. It was fun trying to hang on for the next 60 or so miles, it's still pretty swollen.

yer freakin awesome, Mikey..... congrats on a second!



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After 5 miles or so I started feeling pretty comfy and one with my bike again. I had been following a couple of guys and content with that but realized I could probably ride a little faster so it took a while but I finally made my first pass.

damm you did way better than me. I had to stop the bike and suck wind for ten minutes after TWO miles.



I did get second on my very first start though...



stopping to breathe didnt help my position much...



anyways, glad you had fun!! Cant wait to meet ya out there in a couple weeks! there are a few more ADV guys that are just about to start racing as well....


OH and listen to Mike!!! He KNOWS what he is talking about. i haven't gotten to doing two loops yet....I might just be a huge pussy but the second loop is usually A LOT harder.

I think if i rode every week, i would be able to do it.... maybe I need to do that....
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MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:31 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MotoMike View Post
Another alternative is to have yourself bumped to novice, you can try a two loop race, and if it dosen't work out you can run red #'s, do one loop and get 70% points.
That sounds like a plan once I have a few more races and perhaps even a full year under my belt. I'm not so much worried about the points as I am having a full day of challenging and fun riding.

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Let me caution you, be careful what you wish for. You would be wise to run a few races before diving into the deep end, and then I would suggest trying a Desert Scrambles where you run the same loop twice. Hare and Hounds can be downright discouraging (and hazardous to your health) if you are not ready for it.
I've heard about those second loops - I think I'll need a lighter bike before trying that. My 300lb 690 is a drag to pick up more than once or twice a day. ;)



Quote:
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BTW, I had an alright day on Sunday. 25th OA and 2nd Mag Expert. I was running 1st for the first few miles, but stopped for a downed rider and lost some time, then I hit a square edge wash and jammed the shit out of my thumb. It was fun trying to hang on for the next 60 or so miles, it's still pretty swollen.
That's awesome. I hope I'm still out there racing once I'm eligible for the Mag class. Sorry about your thumb though.

I hope to get to meet you out there sometime. I'm going back and forth on this weekend's enduro. I need to do a little more suspension tuning but the desire to race may overcome my (or my lack of) good sense and I may turn up in Johnson Valley Sunday morning. I need to read up and learn how to not disqualify myself in an enduro.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:36 PM   #25
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I did get second on my very first start though...

stopping to breathe didnt help my position much...
Wouldn't that have been something if you had won your very first race?! Nice going! By the way, nice thread. I've read most of it - haven't watched the videos yet though.

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anyways, glad you had fun!! Cant wait to meet ya out there in a couple weeks! there are a few more ADV guys that are just about to start racing as well....

OH and listen to Mike!!! He KNOWS what he is talking about. i haven't gotten to doing two loops yet....I might just be a huge pussy but the second loop is usually A LOT harder.
Yeah - it was a blast! I am still psyched about it. I'm trying to get one of my riding buddies to come out for one of the races soon. He's never raced desert before either.

I am looking forward to meeting you as well. I'm suspect we'll line up on the same row sometime this year once your foot heals up.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:23 AM   #26
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Definitely look me up. Look for the pink and green flags, or ask someone where the Lost Coyotes are camped. And I don't use the motomike handle out there, so you're not going to find me that way.

As for the enduro, when you sign up request to be put on a row with someone that knows what they are doing, and then follow him. Do not pass the guy with the clock! You get DQed if you are 15 minutes early to a check, or an hour or more late ("houring out"). This year they are having a Family Enduro on Saturday before all the races, they are an opportunity to learn the ropes in a less stressful environment.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:33 AM   #27
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Definitely look me up. Look for the pink and green flags, or ask someone where the Lost Coyotes are camped. And I don't use the motomike handle out there, so you're not going to find me that way.

As for the enduro, when you sign up request to be put on a row with someone that knows what they are doing, and then follow him. Do not pass the guy with the clock! You get DQed if you are 15 minutes early to a check, or an hour or more late ("houring out"). This year they are having a Family Enduro on Saturday before all the races, they are an opportunity to learn the ropes in a less stressful environment.
I will look you up next time. I was thinking about doing the Saturday thing but my wife said she would like to go look at houses Saturday so I guess I'll go out Sunday a little clueless but hopeful for being able to finish without a DQ. ;)


Thanks for all the info - it's great having folks that look out for and help newbies! I hope I can do the same thing once I get more experience.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:05 AM   #28
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Mike is easy to find - he's the second loudest guy in the desert. He'll be standing next to the loudest guy in the desert that goes by the name of John.

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Old 01-12-2011, 10:06 AM   #29
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Wouldn't that have been something if you had won your very first race?! Nice going! By the way, nice thread. I've read most of it - haven't watched the videos yet though.



Yeah - it was a blast! I am still psyched about it. I'm trying to get one of my riding buddies to come out for one of the races soon. He's never raced desert before either.

I am looking forward to meeting you as well. I'm suspect we'll line up on the same row sometime this year once your foot heals up.
it was a national.... I wasnt winning ANYthing. I did come in 3rd in class but it was 320th Over All!!

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Quote:
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I was SO high, I could have hunted duck with a rake
Quote:
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MX stuff isn't my cup of tea, but falling down the side of a mountain is
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:23 PM   #30
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Subscribed.

Good luck, Noob! You're in for a good time!
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