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Old 05-15-2012, 04:27 PM   #256
wrk2surf
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since your thread came up...

where the real work was usually done...

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Old 05-15-2012, 10:01 PM   #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azcagiva View Post
Nice shots Al. I always seem to slow down when I see people beside the course.

-John
totally agree, anytime I saw groups of people or cameras I figured there was an obstacle nearby (and slowed down)!
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:03 PM   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrk2surf View Post
where the real work was usually done...

Some serious bench racing was being done!
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:38 PM   #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LC Garage View Post
totally agree, anytime I saw groups of people or cameras I figured there was an obstacle nearby (and slowed down)!
I had that same plan......but I was not able to follow that plan so good. Tunnel vision, head up my ass, or what ever you call it, I nearly paid dearly for my oversight. You can bet next time I see a crowd gathered, I will follow J.Campbells plan and head right for them!!
(sorry about the springs JG )
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:09 AM   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfdskipper View Post
I had that same plan......but I was not able to follow that plan so good. Tunnel vision, head up my ass, or what ever you call it, I nearly paid dearly for my oversight. You can bet next time I see a crowd gathered, I will follow J.Campbells plan and head right for them!!
(sorry about the springs JG )
Dear Readers, Some of you may or may not be aware that while racing Honzilla through Gonzaga Bay Bob hit the ramp with the throttle pinned.
Our only regret is that we didn't get to see it!
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:12 AM   #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Fast View Post
Dear Readers, Some of you may or may not be aware that while racing Honzilla through Gonzaga Bay Bob hit the ramp with the throttle pinned.
Our only regret is that we didn't get to see it!
Pics or it didn't happen.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:51 PM   #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kootenai Rider View Post
Pics or it didn't happen.

Well I guess our fucked up front fender & blown rear shocks are just a figment of our imagination!!
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:04 PM   #263
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A little more of the story.

I hand the bike off to mr fast, my dad, and head to borrego. We pass Malcom Smith on the side of the road. Turns out he was replacing the top end of the husky on the side of the road. We pulled over a few miles short of the start of the stage and fuel the bike and check the oil and a few other things. Allan got on the bike and headed for the start of his stage.

We stopped for gas at the first station outside of San Felipe and gassed up our anti Prius, the suburban. On to the end of Allans stage. We park, talk to Malcom for one or two minutes and next thing we know Allan shows up and with a brand new shiner to boot. While he was digging the sand out of his eye socket we were fixing the hand guards and checking for damage. We stopped for a few pics with Mr Smith and off to the next stage.

All the while I keep hearing Anders voice in my head telling me at the start," you have lots of time to make the transits...."

Pics I planned to post did not make the upload again, will shoot for tomorrow.

Allan your turn to type for awhile.

Here is a pic of his eye at the awards banquet with our trophy, only pic I could find on this computer of it.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:49 PM   #264
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its prominently displayed in my photo..
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:34 AM   #265
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Lots of time on the transits

First day, first transit to first stage. John Jr. takes off on Honzilla. I'm in the Blue Rhino (anti-Prius suburban) with Allan, Bob and Rick. We get lost sort of in Mexicali & get to the start of the first stage just as Jr. is leaving. We had planned on fueling him before his jaunt across the dry lake bed. The mist & fog lifts in my ancient addled brain & I remember my old car rally days. There's never enough time. I yell at the guys, "we've got to haul ass!" The temp gauge on the Rhino has been acting up the whole way on the trip & is now showing in the red. I holler at Bob to grab the laser temp gun, pop the hood & he checks the temp right on the radiator. 195 degrees. " The gauge is fucked! We gotta go!"
Back on the highway I crank the Rhino up to 85. You gotta realize what kind of suspension Jr. put into this wannabe Baja runner. Long travel springs with cheap shocks & big ass tires. On pavement this baby wallows like a 500 lb fat chick at Wally World on one of their electric carts. I'm driving and the rest of the guys are updating their wills. Later Bob said the only thing scarier than riding with Senior in the Rhino was driving it himself!
Even running at 85 we only beat Jr. by a couple of minutes at the end of the first stage. Jr. made a miracle run across that lake bed, Allan hauled ass through the sand loops & Bob made his jump at Gonzaga which he claims knocked some sense into him. Finished 3rd overall on the first day.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:24 PM   #266
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[QUOTEJr. made a miracle run across that lake bed, Allan hauled ass through the sand loops & Bob made his jump at Gonzaga which he claims knocked some sense into him. Finished 3rd overall on the first day.[/QUOTE]

You guys were really fast, I'm sure you opened some eyes up, even with the guys on the modern bikes!
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:22 AM   #267
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Kudos from a legend and a purple heart (of sorts)

I guess this is the part where I get to chime in. I don't have any fancy pics for this part of the narrative since we were going at a good clip and seemed to have gotten ahead of the photogs.

I really don't even want to think about the trip in the Blue Rhino out to my section. Sr was driving and let's just say I couldn't wait to get on the bike where I would feel immensely safer. I think Rick must have mentioned we were due for better gas mileage when we were " skidding on our roof" more than a few times.

After John's hot lap in Special stage 1 , John Sr got on the bike and rode it down to the start of my section at Laguna Diablo. I have run this section probably 4-5 times in the past year and still wasn't prepared for how it was this go around.

I made my way down to the time controller and rolled up just as I remembered I needed to reset the ICO odometer! DOH! The starter asked me if I was ready and I honestly answered "No" and he pulled me aside while I attempted to push the buttons in a manly manner. After fumbling with it for 30 seconds or so I got it reset and was ready to roll.

The starter lined me up and I noticed he slotted me in right ahead of Chris Vestal on his modern rally bike and right behind him was the Dakar Hummer. Oh shit !!!!! Here I am on a bike I have never ridden, unless you count around the parking lot of the hotel in Mexicali and a few blocks to tech inspection...... And now I have a trophy truck hunting me down on the course. I guess this is when the adventure really started.

So the starter counts me down and I take off with all the speed that little 350 twin can muster. I figured I needed to put as much distance as I could between my arse and that orange monster. I was hoping to hold him and Vestal off until at least halfway across the dry lake and was pretty successful. Gordon's Hummer didn't catch me for 11.9 miles and Vestal caught me right at the exit of the dry lake and I ended up passing him back when he missed a turn in the navigation.

On the dry lake I found that it was not nearly as smooth as usual, I was right on the race line and it was a foot deep motorcycle rut for many miles. I didn't have time to look for a smoother line and didn't want to venture too far since the lake looked really crusty. I stuck with it wallowing along on a bike of unknown characteristics learning more about the handling with each passing mile. I was buzzing right along in fifth gear pinned and kept thinking that there must be a smoother line just thirty feet to either side. But since the road book and the GPS were both telling me the same thing accurately I just soldiered on. When Gordon's Hummer did get by me at probably twice my speed of 76 miles per hour..... All I saw was a sliding orange flash and a cloud of dust. Soon after that pass I missed the one road book entry I wish I wouldn't have.

All I saw was a little G-out, ok well maybe it was a big G-out since it was in the road book. I hit it dead center and soon found out that I was a little light for the springs we had set up in the rear! The front took the hit like a trooper at 70+ mph but the rear tried to launch me to the moon. I was riding the front wheel on the very verge of going over the bars for at least thirty yards before it slammed back to earth and settled. You would think I would slow down after this but hey I survived it so I just kept on trucking. I did make a mental note to pay better attention to both the road book and the rear end.


I soon left the dry lake and was passed by Chris Vestal who gave me a thumbs up and sped off. I had her pinned but the top end on Honzilla is nowhere near the modern bikes. I kept in Vestal's dust as much as I could and soon found myself off the lake and riding in the deeper sand trails. I clicked down from fifth gear and was pleasantly surprised to find Honzilla handled the straights in fourth gear wrapped out and didn't push in the corners or wash out even in third gear. I carried as much speed as possible through the sandy turns since I knew the little 350 couldn't really lug like a big motor.

I was learning more about the handling with every turn and was pleasantly surprised when I saw Vestal get a little off course and was able to sneak by him. My grin turned to a frown soon enough though since I got a bit off course a few turns later. Luckily I have been through that area many times and recognized that all the trails run parallel only a few hundreds yards apart and with a little trail blazing was back on course and more importantly back on the odometer and road book. (kudos to Scott Whitney for a most excellent road book)

I didn't see anyone else until I came upon a group of people flagging me in to the one place I didn't want to go. I had heard we wouldn't be doing any sand whoops and was shocked to see a group of people flagging me in to the dump road area where I knew the whoops lurked. Playing it back in my mind I remember thinking I was getting punked by some spectators until I looked at the road book and saw the turn with the words "rough road"

Game on!

I also remembered someone said there wouldn't be any 4 foot high sand whoops, and there weren't.... They were three and a half feet high with rocks strewn throughout. Remarkably the SL handled them really well. The rear had a tendency to pogo a bit and it felt like I was always on the verge of a high side but I was able to keep it wrapped out in third or loafing in fourth and by carefully placing the front wheel I was making good time. Well, until I caught a flash out of my left side and saw a white truck pounding through the whoops next to me. I edged out of the dense dust and stayed on his forty five so I didn't have to slow down...... Until a red buggy I didn't see behind him pulled ahead of me and dusted me out so bad I couldn't see three feet ahead. I tried to ride it out but high sided into a whoop at about 45. The bike landed on me and I am pretty sure the foot peg impaled my ass cheek. It left a deep heart shaped purple bruise I can still feel today.

I kicked the bike off me and did a quick check before picking her up and giving her a hard kick back to life. The bike tracked straight and true and started with no trouble. I knew I was close to the last straight sand road and the finish and I just needed to get the bike handed off. I was very conscious of my left eye and the swelling I could already feel starting.

I got it to the finish of the stage in one hour and one minute which in hind sight was a pretty damn good time. I had aimed for < 1 hour and almost pulled it off.

And Malcolm Smith came over and clapped me on the shoulder and said I "did good" and that his bike was "still out there" behind me.

I felt bad about crashing but I did the most important thing in getting her to the next rider.And the bonus was the epic shiner and Baja story! A lot of guys said they were jealous of my eye......I told a few I could fix that for em.
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:51 AM   #268
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Great report HalfFast !
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:29 AM   #269
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HF, great story and write up!
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:29 AM   #270
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Thumb

You guys were really fast, I'm sure you opened some eyes up, even with the guys on the modern bikes! [/QUOTE]


Thanks Rick. Coming from you that means a lot!
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