2012 Day In The Dirt with MX Vacations Journal

Discussion in 'Racing' started by 5Chord, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    I'm turning 51 on 11/24 and I wanted to do something special......So I called MX Vacations and booked a ADITD adventure for $895! This includes a 2012 CRF250F, full pit, mechanic and lunch for three days as well as admission, practice fees and a take-home front number plate.....:evil
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  2. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    Pit Girl said she'd hang with me and keep me out of trouble as long as we stayed an extra day in Southern CA and I did my best to keep away from the Emergency Room :D "No Camping!" is her motto...... so we booked a few days at the Ontario Embassy Suites in San Bernadino a few minutes from the track. They had an excellent Day In The Dirt rate!
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  3. pvangel

    pvangel Team AARP

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    Very COOL! more info please...
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  4. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    As luck would have it, there are several good off-road events that fall on or around the Thanksgiving Day weekend which is also usually my birthday weekend...The NJ Pine Barrens 300....A fun 2 day event, close to home and doable on almost any dual-sport bike with a good registration and license plate, The LA2B2Vegas run...I was laughed at by two bike rental companies when trying to procure a worthy steed for the challenging 2 day desert crossing last year. And the Day In The Dirt race/party which gets lots of press from RacerX and all the good dirtbike and Motocross mags.

    Searching the internet with credit card in hand is dangerous. It didn't take too many queries before I came up with MX Vacations and their Day In The Dirt package. John picked up the phone and spoke with me at length about what he called "His family's favorite weekend". Hosted by the film industry, there will be tons of celebrities both movie and Moto. "The Woodstock of MX" He would include everything but the race fees. Bike (cleaned and prepped before each day of racing/riding), pit, food, gas, practice fees and even picked up a pass for Pit Girl. Sold.


    A few more clicks and the hotel, airfare and rental car were added for a mere 120,000 Amex points!

    This is Pit Girl and me back in July at Walden Playboys which was supposed to be my first race. Unfortunately, I tweaked both ankles casing a huge uphill double on practice day and was unable to compete.



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  5. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    <TABLE class=dg-post-preview cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt1>Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!.....It's about a quarter to 9 in the morning and I'm organizing my gear for the upcoming adventure. I hear the dryer tumbling in the background; the antibacterial dryer sheets hopefully removing the smell from my stinky motocross socks:evil

    Cleo is not happy...She starts crying as soon as she sees the suitcase
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    I signed up for this race months ago and had all intentions of training (not very) hard and getting in lots of seat time. After all I'm a slow, old guy who's lucky to ride once a week. Rainy cold October weather here in the northeast made it even harder to get out there and ride. Hurricane Sandy was the icing on the cake. My home track; ClubMX in Ronkonkoma was in one of the hardest hit areas in NY. Thankfully the track itself was not obliterated, but many of the club members who live in the surrounding areas were and still are without power as of this writing.

    After 2 weeks of long gas lines due to the storm, I finally got out to the track last Sunday and found it packed with riders! I didn't expect it to be empty, but at it was 2pm and a chilly 50 degrees out, I expected to be able to park. I finally got out there and busted out laps until arm pump set in and the shadows got too dangerous as dusk approached. That was the last bit of seat time I will get before practice tomorrow at Glen Helen.

    Well I got to finish packing, but here's a nice slow track preview of the Day In The Dirt track Layout



    http://www.racerxonline.com/2012/10/31/racer-x-films-day-in-the-dirt-track-preview


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  6. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    So my gear's all packed up...I got that that nice new chest protector ID sticker so they know how to contact the next of kin:lol3

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    I'll Check in when I get there :evil
    #6
  7. pvangel

    pvangel Team AARP

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    Can't wait to hear about it, I'm jealous!!!

    Have fun:clap:clap:clap
    #7
  8. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    Thanks man! I've been pretty jealous myself looking at your post http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671491 :D
    Maybe I can get a pass to your secret MX facility:evil I'll flag for a year!

    This hotel is really first class! I usually like the Embassy suites but this one is the best I've seen and well laid out. Outlets everywhere. The only thing is the alarm clock is off an hour and you can't change it:huh
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    All right i have to get Pit Girl moving! Off to the track......
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  9. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    Well we got up to a beautiful morning in San Bernardino:D
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    We got started a little later than we hoped for but who cares? What a nice day! unfortunately we got some bad directions and wandered a bit...then got caught at a train crossing for at least 10 minutes....
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    Then we finally stumbled upon the mighty Glen Helen Raceway...
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    Honestly just looking at those hills scared the shit out of me:huh

    We ran into the first problem right at the gate. They didn't have our name on the will call list. So I had to call John. I left a message on his cell and he quickly called back. Apparently he didn't cover the weekend passes. He was pretty clear about "Covering everything but the race fees" during our first conversation; but things have changed somehow. John said he'd "Compensate us some other way" but we would have to pay ($70 for both Pit Girl and I):huh

    We drove in the gate and entered a motocross wonderland!
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  10. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    It didn't take us long to find MX Vacations trailer. We also got very lucky and parked our rent-a-car right across from John.
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    MX Vacations operation seems to be John, his son, nephew (?) and a big burly guy named "Tiny" who oversees the mechanic duties. His trailer is pretty spartan; it has a couch, tools and ample space to stash your stuff. This is where I ran into problem number 2 although I didn't realize it yet. There was an electrical issue with one of the 450s another guest had rented. Because his race was early, he got my 250 ( I hadn't arrived yet) so I got bumped "The Spare" 250.

    So I was to ride the #20 until all the bike problems are sorted out. Who cares? "It has a carburetor and won't start easy if you stall it" Tiny mentions to me. Great. It doesn't start easy but it finally does.

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  11. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    The track layout was WAY different than I had thought! Because of the GP format, they apparently merged the two motocross tracks and added some funky features:
    1. A sand wash section that ran under a low canopy of trees with softball sized rocks strewn through it
    2. An asphalt section that ran about 100 yds
    3. A Tunnel (drain pipe)

    Lap times were running 7 minutes plus....mine was longer.

    I rode over to the staging area with john and killed the motor. They were letting us go about 50 bikes at a time. We sat there for what seemed like forever, but finally we got the word to start up. All the bikes fired up around me but I just kicked and kicked. Shit. :huh

    John offered to give it a try and we finally got the #20 running just as we got the signal to go. Everybody dropped the hammer and in roar of roost and thunder we were off.

    I understand that this particular CR250F and the RM-Z250 I ride at home are two different beasts. I was counting on that. But something was not right. The throttle response was unpredictable. Here was the first massive uphill.....The throttle cutting on and off....But I make it.......I barely make the 2nd one only to stall at the very top after getting hit from behind by another rider.."Sorry" she says as she roosts me and launches herself over the face of the famous down-hill. After a few minutes of kicking I realize John left the choke on:eek1 Ok, honest mistake. I kick it for a few more minutes before I realize I can just jump start it down the cliff...Doh!
    #11
  12. kenny61

    kenny61 Crazy Idiot

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    :lurk
    #12
  13. pvangel

    pvangel Team AARP

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    Updates please!
    You are at the holy grail of mx (except Unadilla and Southwick but still WAY cool) I dream of those hills (well not those hills but..) can't wait to hear about it!
    #13
  14. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

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    They have a Great track layout !!! today BUT I wish it was a bit longer.
    #14
  15. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    I just got back from day one of racing...What a day:D

    First, I wanted to finish my practice ride drama from yesterday......After throwing my bike over that downhill, I was able to bump start it in second and the CR250F ran fine.....until it didn't.......I remember just passing the start when I noticed I had no front brake...At all. So I had to finish a complete (7min) lap at Glen Helen GP with no front brake:rofl I don't know how I kept it on 2 wheels on some of those downhill cliffs without a front brake but somehow I did!

    I pulled into the pit and to Tiny's surprise, my front caliper had come loose!:eek1 and was hanging! How that thing didn't swing into the front spokes and send me over the bars is amazing in itself...Despite, it's best efforts to kill me (twice) I managed to walk away from the 250 unscathed.

    John was speechless and told me the part for the 450 was just delivered so I would have the 250 Chris was using and...This was getting confusing. Everybody gave me kudos for bringing the bike back in one piece and after hanging around for awhile we went back to the hotel exhausted.
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  16. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    Are you here??
    #16
  17. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

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    I was saturday I live 20 min away
    #17
  18. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    Happy birthday to me:evil Saturday started just before dawn and it was chilly! We grabbed a quick bite at the hotel and found it mobbed with both moto and softball families. There must be a tournament around.

    My race didn't start until 11am so we had plenty of time to walk around.
    Here's Jeremy McGrath's rig. He brought in all that sod!
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    The announcer was telling a sad story......A kid who just flew in from Hawaii to meet his dad here got his truck and all his gear stolen at a nearby hotel (the one John's cousin was staying at). Fortunately, his bike was already at the track but he needed size 8 boots and a small helmet.........I have both so I ran up to the announcer booth and told him if could have my boots back in time for my race he could borrow them and there seemed to be plenty of time.
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    It turned my helmet was way too big and he got a free helmet from a vendor and boots that fit better. He got 5th in his division. Oddly enough his dad showed up on Sunday looking if he could borrow the boots but I was on my to my own GP and wasn't able to lend him my pair:-(

    But Saturday's race was approaching and I was getting in the zone. I wasn't nervous as I had zero pressure to do anything but finish. But this was now a different bike with my number plates and transponder. I took it for a quick spin and loved it. This CR250F has FI and started on the first kick. My next MX bike will have to have FI.

    This is going to be my second race ever. It was supposed to be my first, (I booked this trip after getting hurt preparing for race at Walden Playboys) but I decided to race an Extreme MX event at Diamondback MX near Albany NY. I got third in my division! Out of 3 guys (Over 50 Vet) :rofl but I did get a trophy:evil

    It's a good thing I signed up for the Novice GP as it quickly sold out. At Diamondback I lined up with 2 other guys, today I was starting with 121 riders on the track (4 divisions). It was pretty sureal:huh The first turn was a huge Taladega
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    We were assigned lines dozens of riders across by division and we started off this way. The GP start was unlike anything I've seen or heard of. When it's your line's turn to start, all the riders start their bikes and put their clutch hands on the helmet......When the old guy in the floppy hat, boxer shorts, shirt and tie gives you the signal, you go! I guess the Rekluse guys were getting holeshots:evil
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    #18
  19. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    I was on the last line (of 8) and thankful. My plan was to let the young lions go, and then go as fast as I could before they lapped me. And that's pretty much the way it went.

    I took it easy on the start as this was my first lap on the bike and I really didn't know how it was going to react after yesterday's debacle. The 250 I had on Friday was geared completely different than this one. This one was used to race Supercross and had it's fifth gear taken out...So John took the rear sprocket down a few teeth to even up the gearing. What a surprise when I crested the first downhill and couldn't slow down.:huh..On Friday's 250 I was coasting down in 3rd gear and still had engine braking control....On this 250 with the smaller rear sprocket I was screaming down the hill. Shifting to second didn't help but the motor screamed louder so I kept in in 3rd and used more front brake. Other than that I liked the CR250F a lot! I would consider a red bike in the future. It felt and acted a bit lighter than my Suzuki, but my RM-z felt like it has more under the hood and maybe turns a little better, but honestly I had less than an hour on the bike so I can't really be a good judge.

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    After the first turn I was pleasantly surprised to find a handful of riders that were slower than me! I carefully picked off 2 or 3 of them on the first lap and reeled in my last victim on the second lap just as we were overtaken by a wave of fast riders. After that I just kept my line and let the fast guys do their thing. This was more of a trail ride to me than Motocross. One lap here is almost 4 times as long as the ones on my home track. The dirt was great, plenty of traction everywhere...A brand new pair of Mx51s didn't hurt:deal

    Sadly I would be scored a DNF due to a faulty transponder. We went down to the control booth and they confirmed it. They have people writing down the numbers in the tower during the race, but apparently nobody cross-referencing the info. They said they would look into it but I doubted it. It's not like I didn't pay $60 a race! (*11/28/2012 they did change my result and I finished 110 out of 121 in all 4 divisions)

    Chris had lots of drama with the supposedly fixed CR450F. He went down on his first lap in the sand section and was unable to restart his bike and had to walk it back to the pit.... About 2 miles! The electrical problem was not fixed. You can see him trying to start his bike about halfway through the first lap and me talking to him after the race in the video. Here it is in its entirety. This video is proof that I finished.

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  20. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    Looks like a blast! That guy you rented from sounds sketchy at best though.
    #20