May 6 2018
NORA’s Monkey Butt Hybrid ISDE: Rocks, Rocks, and more Rocks!
The race was held in the Millican OHV area managed by USFS in Central Oregon. The place is famous for high speed, gentle terrain, and rocks of every kind.
The race was a qualifier-style race with a start time set up for riders in sets of three, check points, and special tests. But after that, it more resembled an open desert race where some folks poked along and others ripped through the course like there was no tomorrow.
I had an early start time that put me in front of many open and 30 experts so I maintained a strategy of keeping the bike moving at a high rate of speed while not wasting energy. If anyone was going to pass me, it’s because the were hauling the mail and would most likely be a faster rider than me, so I wouldn’t be held up in a special test.
As it turns out, I was not passed by anyone all race.
The leg from the start to the first test was 17 miles so the racers got well spread out and dust, which was plentiful, was not an issue.
Immediately into the first test there were whoops in turns and whether straight or curved, the course was rocky – gnarly rocky. Not fun. It was clear to me the race would be decided by those with their suspension set up for these conditions. I quickly backed out my fork compression adjusters and found my happy place a half turn from by starting point.
Everything went well for me in the tests and the transfer sections. The Goldentyres held well and the suspension kept them on the ground. No bucking, no kicking side to side, no bottom-out clanking in the front. I had bumped the C/S sprocket up 1 tooth and the rear down a tooth so I really had that freeway speed most of the time. Bike was just ripping. No looking back!
Then I got to the last special test and the volunteer reco
Apr 22 2018
Timber Mountain Hare Scrambles 2018
The start was on a gravel road. I still haven’t been able to get my e-start to work so I had to kick the bike to life. Still, I got second off the line as was that way into the single track. I dogged the guy in front of me (Joe McCormick) for about 7 miles when he let me by. Now I was the rabbit and had two guys dogging me. The MRA set up some great trail choices favoring the savvy local and the always alert racer. I didn’t react quickly enough to a quick trail switch and the two guys behind me went by as I wrestled my bike back onto the course.
I caught up to #2 (Joe) and the three of us sat behind an e-bike who wouldn’t yield – yeah, it’s racing.
The race went about that way until all 3 of us got by and we pushed on. The course had a mixture of tight twisty single track and some more open 2-track as well as some ‘on the main jet’ gravel road. Right after a transition from a 2-track uphill to a burner ridge road, I came face to face with #1 and Joe going the wrong way. They thought they missed a turn. #1 (Norman Pawlowski) had to bail into a cut bank to miss me (dead center of the track and braking hard). Joe whipped a donut and the two of us sped off like there was no tomorrow. It was fender time again only now Joe won’t yield – yeah, it’s racing. Norman catches us but can’t make the pass on me – you know why? – yeeha, it’s racing!
Joe and I leave Norman behind and moto on. There was this one piece of off-camber, side hill where Joe didn’t bobble but I did. That was it, I made up about half of the distance I lost but he crossed the finish line 14 seconds before me. The race was almost 34 miles and the three of us battled each other nearly every turn the whole time. Norman came in about 3 minutes back.
Another best of the best when it comes to off-road adrenaline rushes. Only thing bette
Mar 31 2018
I had my first race in several years at Eddieville Motorsports Park near Centerville, WA. My clutch developed some problems that hindered my start so I had to work my way through my class during the 2 hour GNCC-style race. I was 7th to the first turn out of 8 in my class.
I caught number 6 soon enough but took half of the almost 10 mile course to get by and then it was on to #5. Once I caught him, he wicked it up and the dicing began. In the sections of the grass track his 450 would just out-pull me and he'd create a gap. In the rocks however, I would catch up but all I could do was ride his fender as he wasn't getting over, and passing was nearly impossible due to the narrow and sketchy nature of that section of the course. It took an entire lap but I finally made it by him as we climbed a hill and I just pinned it to the top and into a turn. To his credit, the racer whooped for me when I got by. And then, it was open course for me. I ended in 5th just 58 seconds behind 4th. I wonder if I had a better start if I would have been able to get back those 58 seconds. We'll never know. I do know that I was charging the whole race and had a couple more laps left in me when they waved the checkered flag.
Big thanks to FMF for providing great exhaust components, to Gaerne for helping me with the S10s that rock the rocks, DeCalWorks for shooting me correct numbers and backgrounds after I got the wrong colors, MoTool for making the answer to setting your sag by yourself, EVS for protecting all my soft parts! And to Pivot Works for making my joints move like they should. As for how smooth the ride was, between my Race Tech components and Flexxbars, it was like riding on carpet.
I don't have a tire contract but I ran Goldentyre and was totally impressed.
Next race is April 22 in Jacksonville, OR. By then I should h