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Old 02-10-2014, 01:08 PM   #46
1976mike
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: N. Alabama
Oddometer: 14
Great read man. Thank you.

Keep up the good racing, it is addicting I hear. Saturday is going to be my first race of the season here in Alabama and nervous as hell. I have set similar goals. Finish the race and don't get hurt.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:58 PM   #47
gun 4 hire OP
FTR SSR #90b
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Key West
Oddometer: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1976mike View Post
Great read man. Thank you.

Keep up the good racing, it is addicting I hear. Saturday is going to be my first race of the season here in Alabama and nervous as hell. I have set similar goals. Finish the race and don't get hurt.


I'm glad u found this post. I put it here for guys like you that are thinking
of doing this for the first time. My story is not unusual... So Your experience may be very similar if you get into it. Similar meaning goddamn fun !
Totally worth it.
__________________
08 KTM 300xcwe {hare scramble bike}
97 Honda xr600r {Plated}
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:03 PM   #48
gun 4 hire OP
FTR SSR #90b
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Key West
Oddometer: 128
A First Hare Scramble Blow by Blow

Next race was in Dade City Fl on March 23. This was to be the last race of the season and it was my goal to finish strong and get to the top of the podium.....





Short story:

I got a decent start.
The bike ran perfect
My fitness was tops
I ate and slept right
I was 100% focused
I took chances when I had too
I trusted the bike more.
I was a little more relaxed
My hand never got too debilitating.
The " Class leader" sign motivated the crap outta me.


The Long Story if u care:

I think I'm solidly in a new place. I found out in the first race of this season that I could ride way better than I thought .... But that happened by "accident" because I was motivated by falling in front of everyone near the start after following 5 guys off course and got tangled up in red ribbon that stuck on my helmet and threw me down. I was so embarrassed I got up and ran like a donkey kicked in the ass hard and went through 20 guys to nab 5th. If I had more time I MAY have almost won that race.

I was not able to muster that same feeling or performance again until this last race.

Thru the season i think it was mostly due to the numb left hand slowing me down. Mentally it drained me. It scared me to go fast while feeling only a pinky on my left hand.

I ran pretty strong this season, but that first race was my best performance until now.

Here's why I think I did my best yet:

I really pushed hard on the workouts last week... Especially the spin class. I had enough rest between workouts and race too.

I ate right, had a HUGE amount of Pasta and chicken thanks to The crew I camped with. Also Lots of fruit and nuts and water and protein too right b4 race.

The fun run ( a fundraising run the night before). being a full 9 miles really helped relax me alot come race time. Theres No pressure in fun run so I had a blast out there with the intimidating looking jumps and crazy mud traps... Racing my classmate John thru all of it almost at race speed was a riot. I made only one mistake in not judging the slippery field correctly. Lesson learned.

Morning of the race I was unusually nervous. I really really wanted to get a good start. I switched to neutral instead of 2nd gear this time. Bike started first kick. I fumbled a little getting in gear... I got out of the field like 10th.



By the time we got into woods I was 3rd, then I battled hard, swapped paint and passed those guys for 1st place within the first mile. It seemed like everyone charged super hard for the first mile then started letting off already ? ..I remember thinking like "cummon guys lets race !" But they dropped behind quick.

To me everything felt good, strong, I could go fast anywhere. I could throttle over seven whoops in a row and did much better nailing that wicked fun throttle out of the numerous beautiful long berms, leaning forward, front wheel holding perfect... Man that feels awesome!
(Remember I'm a noob)

New to me was that I was 100% focused on the race the whole time. Usually my mind drifts and I'll screw up a bit. I caught myself this time and scolded my thoughts and said to myself... " you are running first man !!! Do not Let Up ! This is it ! DO IT !!!

First lap I came thru and saw
"Ssr 90c .... class leader !!!!!'"

Instead of making it harder knowing I had to hold the lead I think it motivated me more... I wanted to keep seeing that damn message every lap ... It's the coolest thing to see.

The whole race I saw another ssr class mate only once for a brief moment.. A newer guy # 67 was behind me someplace going into lap 2... He was 16 seconds behind me according to the score sheet.... I didnt know his history so i assumed he was fast ....That one sighting was enough to keep me running like a rabbit being chased by a wolf. Somethjng happened to # 67 and he disappeared. Whew.

I also thought John was going to get me anytime I slipped a bit in the woods. He is very capable of lurking and striking just like me. However, I only went down a few times and only for a few seconds.

I think my whole race went pretty smooth and consistent. I did not slow down for anything. The bike could go thru and over course that really surprised me... Instead of wrecking me The speed helped stability when smashing into a slippery tree root buried in mud etc. The suspension really felt great going faster. The only thing I slowed down a lot for was to find which rut to go thru in the worst mud bogs and in the big ruts before some big jumps.



I raced by myself for most of it. Whenever I passed a senior or veteran It helped me distance from whoever was behind. When a better rider passed me I stayed with them, pushing even harder again for a few hundred yards.

In lap 3 my friend Troy "a father and daughter go racing" who was working the race gave me a signal that I had a nice gap, So after chicane going into Lap 4, I slowed down a bit, thinking that I shouldn't push too hard and risk too much... I thought If I ran 3 laps in the lead I must be Waaaay ahead. So now I took time to fully shake my hand out so I was strong and ready to defend if I needed to really ride hard again.

Thank god I didn't slow too much... Glenn Peroni, a new fast guy in SSR was 33 seconds behind at the end. He said he was watching me for a long time and was waiting for me to go out of control... He thought i was riding too fast for my skills...But he said that after a few bobbles I started riding real smooth and fast instead.... I never even saw him until the finish. I don't know where it was that he was so close that he could watch me.

At the end of the race I still had plenty energy thanks to the fitness. I was in a different state for awhile, zoned out from the 100% focus I guess. Never felt that before.

It's going to be hard to go back to work... I really want to do that again.









Update: now two more races have been added to the schedule in May.

Gotta get back to work....



All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
__________________
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/

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Old 04-16-2014, 05:20 AM   #49
Tbone
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You've come along way from that guy doing a fun run on the XR600 Steve! So happy for you bud as there is no better feeling...period.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:22 PM   #50
gun 4 hire OP
FTR SSR #90b
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Key West
Oddometer: 128
Thanks TBone,,, your mentor ship is appreciated by myself and im sure many others.


All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
__________________
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/
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:41 AM   #51
ktmdreamer
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Inspirational thanks, great writing skills, I couldn't even look up from my iPad
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:21 PM   #52
gun 4 hire OP
FTR SSR #90b
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Key West
Oddometer: 128
A First Hare Scramble Blow by Blow

And so this Hare Scramble Season, my third in FTR... Was to end on a good note at the Gatorback mx park race on May 25th in Alachua Fl.

My goals for this race was to get enough advancement points to get promoted to the B class for the start of next season...and to complete my 8th race of the season which is the minimum # of events needed to qualify for season championship points.

While It would be nice to score another first place, it wasn't the main goal.

I had been told the Gatorback property was going to be like none other I had experienced in FTR. It had lots of elevation changes with steep up and downhills all around the backside...

...Plus it had a huge MX track and a section of "Supercross" too. It was kinda intimidating hearing this as I don't really have much Mx type experience. I saw a few pics of past races that showed what kind of HuGE air you can get on the MX portion .... The guys in the pics were pros of course and one can go any speed they want or just roll all the jumps so I decided what the heck. All my classmates had to run the same track so difficult or not we were all in the same boat.

A week before the race I headed to a place called LCross in Okeechobee Fl to practice on their MX track. Some racing buddies were there that weekend and I got some great advice and support.

The day of the race it was sweltering in the mid to upper 90's. For the past couple weeks I had been upping my endurance training on the spin bikes so I wasn't too worried.

The race started at 10:40 am too.. So not the hottest part of the day.

I'll have to say that standing on the line at this race waiting for our start I had a really nice unexpected experience. Alot of guys showed up in our class, we had one of the biggest lines and many came over to congratulate me on my recent 1st place finish, strong season and to wish me the best in this race etc....I'll just say that I was really moved by it.

It was another amazing first for me. I never got that feeling of respect for performance in a sport in my life. It's moments like that that make every damn bit of hard work worth it.

It makes every mile and hour of travel, every meal choice, every sacrifice to keep up the exersize schedule worth it. A whole 3 years of training and trying can be reckoned in an instant in moments like this.

But I still had a race to do and anything could happen.... Suddenly I remembered my goal to get thru this race as finish strong !

We took off and I got a one kick start.
I was 6th going into the first turn and had passed the whole field by the time we finished the MX section and started to head into the narrow woods.



Up in the air In both of these shots ....






Catching air and the lead off one of the famous Gatorback MX hills

I was stoked to be leading already and especially to pass guys in the MX section as that's not my strength.

I knew the track layout a bit because I did the practice lap at 8:30am. I was a bit nervous after practice tho because even at the slower pace of practice my left hand started to go numb. It's my biggest weakness at this point.

I soldiered on thru lap one and was able to keep ahead of the pack to lead the whole lap. I knew someone was close behind as I caught glimpses here and there... I had an 11 second lead at the Chicane according to the scoresheet I saw afterward.

I kept the slim lead into the first woods section in lap two... My hand was definitely feeling numb and my focus drifted and WHAM I hit a hidden tree branch hard with my head and shoulder while trying to cut a tight right turn on the deeply sandy track. It knocked me down and it took a few moments to get the bike up and clear my head. Two guys passed me from my class.



The rest of lap two I spent trying to regain my speed and form. The heat was pretty tiring and the crash knocked my bite valve clear off making it really hard to drink water. I fell a couple more times and went off course twice after blowing turns. Lap two sucked big. I lost 1.5 minutes off my average pace. It was alot to make up.

I passed thru the chicane in 3rd place going into lap 3. I figured hey, one more lap to go... Let me concentrate on staying in 3rd and reaching my advancement point goal.



(we are so lucky to have folks taking and posting pics like this one above of each race....I can see that in almost every pic my form is bad and elbows are not correct...I never feel like I'm in such bad form while racing, but the pics prove it!)

I only needed 3 points to get my promotion into B class and 3rd place brings with it 6 points.

I kept a good pace in lap # 3 and was just 14 seconds slower than my first lap.

As I neared the end of the lap I was relieved to be done with this heat and was really happy I was still in third...still made my goal by far.

However... As I ended lap three I saw the two guys in front of me get sent out for another lap.... I have to say that I was really disappointed I had to do it all again ! All those rocky uphills and slippery downhills, all those jumps !

But as soon as I made it thru the chicane and into Lap 4, I realized I wasn't that far behind 2nd place / my buddy 10c. I was happy for him tho... I could tell he was running smooth and strong. I was rooting for him as much as
I wanted to pass him too. He had a lot of tough luck with crashes and mechanicals this year.... He really deserved a good finish in this last race.

Lap 4 my hand was still bothering me with its fits of numbness but I was able to keep a decent pace. I was slowly catching 10c and 2nd place at a pace of about 30 seconds per lap in lap 3&4.



In the end I couldn't catch him for the pass and ended in the 3rd place but it was plenty enough to score my way out of C class and into B.

I also learned that I was able to get enough points to finish 6th overall for the season which gets me another nice plaque for the trophy wall at the banquet in August.


Now it's time to figure a way to up my fitness and riding skills to run in the B class come Sept. Back to the drawing board. Don't think I'll be seeing any more trophies for awhile !

.... To be continued
__________________
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/

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