Well, it's been a while since my last report. I didn't make it up to a few of the races in northern Florida, just too far for me and too busy at work.
I did get to go up to Highland Park in Georgia the weekend of May 6,7,8 with friends. The rest of the guys rented bikes but I took my bike up. It was a great opportunity to get some real seat time in much different conditions.
This past weekend was the last FTR race of the season, held at Dirty Foot riding park in Bowling Green, Fl.
The rainy season seems to have started in south/central Florida, and there were some showers during the week leading up to the race. In fact, as I was driving up the night before I could see the black sky to my north as I got near the area. I was hoping for a cloudy day on Saturday to keep the temps and dust down, and boy did I get my wish.
This would be my last race in the beginner class (My plan to race in the age group class on Sunday was not to be as I had to go to a wedding in Ft. Lauderdale). I wanted to finish strong.
My practice lap was pretty uneventful. I took it easy and just tried to get a feel for the course without using too much energy.
As race time approached, the sky started to darken and as I rode up to the start line the monsoon started. The start was delayed an hour because of lightning.
It stopped raining for a while and the race began with my bike starting on the first kick, but me stalling somehow as I tried to get going. Another kick and I was off, but half of my line got out in front of me. I set my mind on catching and passing them.
I was racing really well, everything felt good and I began to make my way around some slower riders. This course was very fast, with plenty of places to pass if you were patient. The rain had soaked in and the traction was good and there was no dust at all.
The last part of the course was a wide packed sand motocross track without the jumps. It was a little tricky to get through as it was getting a lot of deep ruts. I managed to stay upright my first lap, and came through in fourth.
During the second lap I got to do some great racing with another rider. I passed him on a corner in a tight section, then he passed me as we entered a bumpy field. I got him again, then he passed me, and it went on like that for a while until I finally got in front and put some space between us.
I was also making my way around some of the slower riders from classes in front of me, so it was very exciting waiting for the right time and place to get by.
Sometime during the second lap it started to rain very heavily. Very quickly the course started to change. It started getting slick and muddy, and the many palmetto stumps and roots were getting even more treacherous. As I entered the flat track at the end of the lap, the sand was soft and deep like quicksand. Some of the ruts were two feet deep. I was trying to catch someone in front of me and I went down in one of the last corners.
I popped up quickly, kept the bike running and got going again. Coming through the chicane at the end of lap 2 I was still in fourth.
The entire third lap was in a torrential south Florida downpour. I threw my goggles off somewhere as I couldn't see through them and it was getting very dark in the woods. Lightning started to flash not far away as I battled my way around. I was passing people but not really too sure if they were fellow beginners or what my place was. About halfway through I passed someone and then didn't see another rider in front of me at all. I thought I was in first and was telling myself to not make any mistakes and I would have the win. (I would later find out that the first beginner was quite a ways ahead).
At the end of what would be the last lap (they shortened the race due to the lightning), was the dreaded deep sand flat track. One section had a left turn through a narrow gate that had become a deep mud hole. I nearly got stuck in the only available rut that had gotten very deep and soft. I felt the bike losing momentum and saw the mud flying over my head so I quickly jumped off the bike and without my weight made it out to firmer ground where I jumped back on without stopping. (I was pretty proud of myself for that move). I could now hear another bike behind me and I twisted the throttle and tried to get through the last section without getting passed.
Sure enough, I fixated on a deep rut in the same corner I went down on earlier, and went down again in a deep puddle. My heart sank as I saw the rider in my class go by as I picked up my bike and took off.
I finished in third, just missing getting second. It was my best finish, and by far my best ride to date. I even got a plaque!! I can't wait for next season. Those super senior c class riders better watch out!!
Place # Name AMA # Brand City, State Point Adv Laps Elapsed
Promo 80 Krzysztof Hila Honda Cape Coral, FL 50 0 3 0:55:57
2 730 Mike Wilsey Honda Loxahatchee, FL 47 0 3 0:59:36
3 101 John Baltzell KTM Key West, FL 45 0 3 0:59:41
4 6 Scott White Yamaha Lakeland, FL 43 0 3 1:00:04
5 55 Matthew Ketchum Suzuki , FL 41 0 3 1:00:31
6 61 Jorge A Rios Kawasaki Orlando, FL 40 0 3 1:02:06
7 21 Jimmy Connours Honda Sarasota, FL 39 0 3 1:03:48
8 68 Stan Blahacek Yamaha Sarasota, FL 38 0 3 1:05:56
9 912 Timothy Whiteman Yamaha Vero Beach, FL 37 0 3 1:06:35
10 997 Joel Labash Honda Daytona Beach, FL 36 0 2 0:40:18
11 69 Jaroslan Komprda Honda , FL 35 0 2 0:44:59
12 22 Austin Crumm Kawasaki Royal Palm Beach, FL 34 0 2 0:46:38
13 32 Jeremy Wilson Yamaha , FL 33 0 2 0:50:35
14 26 Hannah Sacco Honda Clearwater, FL 32 0 2 0:52:43
15 913 Katrina Klucinec Yamaha Vero Beach, FL 31 0 2 0:58:36
DNF 811 Antonio Coma Honda Cape Coral, FL 0 0 0 0:00:00
Thanks for reading, see ya next season!!