Another noob goes racing

Discussion in 'Racing' started by CramerTV, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. CramerTV

    CramerTV Still eating dust

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    I moved out here a few years back, bought a dual sport last May and recently learned about all the desert racing here in SoCal. I'm a little guy on a big bike so I suspect I'll have some interesting experiences. If I turn into a racing junkie like some people seem to do I'll likely buy a more race oriented bike - if the other half gets something she wants too. :deal

    I'm heading up to Teagle Wash for Jackrabbits Hare and Hound this weekend. All I'm hoping for is no injuries to bike or body and a finish. If I'm better than last place that's icing on the cake.

    I'm hoping I'll turn in some top 10 finishes this year - how many 40+ beginners can there be? :D

    Any advice?

    [Running Edit]
    Tips
    Download and fill out the competition form ahead of time and bring it to the race. Most of the info should be the same - just the name of the race should change.

    2011 Races
    Jan 9 - Jackrabbits H&H - finished - placed 5th out of 8
    Jan 23 - Desert National H&H - finished - placed 2nd out of 6 (3 DNFs)
    Feb 13 - 4 Aces National H&H - finished - placed 4th out of 6 (1 DNF)
    Feb 27 - Checkers H&H - finished (Whew!) - placed 4th out of 4 (No DNFs)

    2012 Races
    Jan 22 - Desert National H&H - Finished! - placed 1st out of 1 :)
    Feb 26 - Checkers H&H - finished - placed 1st out of 2 - sort of. The other guy was a pie plate. (No DNFs)
    #1
  2. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
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    "A man's got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry
    #2
  3. CramerTV

    CramerTV Still eating dust

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    One needs a place to put your number and the headlight I put on my bike doesn't leave much room for the numbers. So...

    [​IMG]

    A couple of bungee cords and a 10" drum head might work. :D We'll see...

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. airborndad

    airborndad Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Montclair Ca.
    Best of Luck to you

    1st MOST important thing
    DO NOT GET YOURSELF HURT


    2nd MOST important thing
    HAVE FUN


    3rd MOST important thing
    FINISH

    4th MOST important thing
    Let us know how you did
    #4
  5. CramerTV

    CramerTV Still eating dust

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Thanks!

    Yeah. It takes me a lot longer to heal these days. I still have a little pain in my ribs from my spill on the LAB2V.

    Will do. I was thinking about joining you all for the ride tomorrow morning (I love the ride from the 138 over to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear) and then heading up to China Lake afterward but decided I had a few more things to do in the morning. I hope to catch up with you all next time.

    Enjoy your ride tomorrow!
    #5
  6. airborndad

    airborndad Long timer

    Joined:
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    (I love the ride from the 138 over to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear) ME TOO

    Big Bear to China lake seems like it would be a good ride
    ___________________________________________________________
    I will have to try to get in a ride with you before the Kings of the West REMIX
    Congrats on making it onto the " IN " list
    ___________________________________________________
    Just wait til you see what you got yourself into :rofl
    #6
  7. CramerTV

    CramerTV Still eating dust

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    200
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Definitely! I'm looking forward to meeting all the KOTW guys and gal. It sounds like a fun loving group.

    Thanks! I was really psyched when NMBMN gave me the good news. I'm still excited. I only learned about the first one the weekend before it went off and wanted to do it so bad but I didn't have any of the gear I needed for an extended ride. I followed TrailTrick's SPOT online - it was an awesome distraction while at work. I don't think I got much done that week. :)

    Now all we have to do is wait the 4, 5 or 6 months until the next one doesn't happen. ;)

    P.S. Read your father and son ride report a few months back. Nice. I can't wait to go riding with my son. It will be a few years though - he's not yet 2.
    #7
  8. CramerTV

    CramerTV Still eating dust

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    May 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Wow. Today was the most fun I've had on two wheels since nearly hitting 100mph on a dry lake bed the first time (Oct. 2010). I accomplished two of my goals - to not get hurt and finish. I did, however have a mechanical issue. My rear fender broke off and the fenderbag with the toolbag inside got caught and locked up the rear tire. I lost about 7 minutes and my license plate. :D

    So I'll be ordering the plastic tail section along with the euro tail-light and blinkers - and a new license plate. Hopefully I'll be back in business for next weekend.

    I bought a new GoPro and was able to record the whole beginners loop so I hope to be able to post a video sometime soon.

    We'll see if I can swing another weekend race out of my wife for next weekend - there's an enduro in Johnson Valley. I've never done one before so it should be interesting.
    #8
  9. Jurgen

    Jurgen Trolljegeren Super Moderator

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    Moved at request of OP.
    #9
  10. MotoMike

    MotoMike Washed Up Desert Racer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,090
    Location:
    The Black Palm Springs
    Welcome to the dez! Conditions were absolutely perfect yesterday. That was a perfect race race for a first timer.
    #10
  11. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
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    10,961
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, Ca
    other n00bs are curious how the new n00b did...


    :ear
    #11
  12. CramerTV

    CramerTV Still eating dust

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Thanks for the welcome! I was very happy to not have to deal with the dust. My hat is off to the Jackrabbits for putting on a great race!

    I am SORE today. I might not go to next weekend's Enduro after all and just wait for the next Hare and Hound on the 23rd.
    #12
  13. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    I could hardly get out of bed after my first race - how did you DO?!
    #13
  14. CramerTV

    CramerTV Still eating dust

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    200
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Sorry about that. I don't know - I thought the results were to be posted in the next day or so. Is there another way to know how I did?
    #14
  15. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    you can ask right when you finish. it usually takes a week or so to get the proper results

    how did it feel? have any crashes?

    jeez, its like pullin hens' teeth over here!

    :lol3

    report, already!
    #15
  16. MotoMike

    MotoMike Washed Up Desert Racer

    Joined:
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    5,090
    Location:
    The Black Palm Springs
    Be advised, the race on the 23rd is a National Hare and Hound, that first loop won't be all warm and fuzzy like JackRabbits. It will be somewhat more challenging :evil
    #16
  17. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    i had planned on doing that one.... but my foot is STILL giving me some actual trouble.

    :cry

    going to wait till the foot feels strong
    #17
  18. CramerTV

    CramerTV Still eating dust

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    I was actually planning to skip that one since I figured there would be more intense competition but after this experience I think I'll be alright. It will also get me time to work out these sore muscles and spend a weekend with the family.

    I drove up Saturday evening and spent the night in Ridgecrest. I wasn't exactly sure where to go the next morning but I figured I'd find it somehow. While having breakfast 'Tom' asked if that was my 690 outside. I said yes and after talking a while he let me know how to get to the race. It was going to be his son's first race too although I'm probably about 30 years older than his son. It sounds like Tom is an old hat at this. He said he's run Baja and a myriad of other races.

    I walked out sporting most of my riding gear and it was downright cold. I'm grew up on the East coast and don't mind the cold too much (although that is the reason I moved to Cali) but Sunday morning my thermometer read 29, I felt cold and the seat on my bike as well as the windows of the van were covered in frost.

    While driving out I was trying to form a strategy based on my two primary goals - don't get hurt and finish. I told myself I would just ride it like a trail ride and learn from the experience - that it wasn't really a race and I would just make sure to stay well within my boundaries and not crash like I did on the LAB2V and knock myself out again. The problem is I am one of those kinds of people who love to feel the rush.

    The first group of trailers I came across were clearly part of the Checkers motorcycle club. Man, those folks have some NICE rigs. They must give out great big RVs when you join their club because they were all seemed to have one. If so, I'm IN! :wink:

    I kept driving my minivan up the dirt road wondering if I was giving the loose dirt in the middle of the road a haircut with my low clearance and finally came upon the main site. Trailers everywhere, motorcycles and quads riding up and down the road - it was awesome.

    I found a place to park and went in search of the sign up tables where I was to meet with Dan to get my 2011 competition license (40+ Senior Division) and numbers (0350). After that I got in the much longer event signup line. The guy behind me (I don't remember his name) had gotten up at 3AM, left at 4AM and driven up from San Diego to ride in his first race. He just turned 50 and so was in the magnum category riding a KTM450EXC. There were a lot more dual sport bikes out there than I expected.

    I unloaded my bike, got the numbers, desert sticker and checkpoint card affixed to the bike and went to look for the red number start so I could do a couple of bomb runs before the race.

    I found someone who said the start was across Trona road and I headed in that direction, missed the turn off and went a couple of miles up a very long and straight road. It was a good warm up for me and the bike and it also was my first time back on the dirt since my LAB2V crash. I don't remember what happened on that crash since I lost those memories during my 10 minute blackout. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong and worried that it might happen again. I turned around, found the missed turn off and made it to the starting line just as the sweep riders were leaving to check the bomb run. My missed turn off prevented me from making any test runs.

    Fortunately I was on the second row so I got to see the starting line procedure once before having to do it myself - it was a simple dead engine start.

    After the first row took off I found a good spot next to a bush and near a line and waited. I was still of the mind that I was going to let folks go ahead of me and just follow them for a nice trail ride. At the same time though I was sure my bike would start quickly with my lightning fast thumb so why not get a quick start if I could? While those two thoughts were battling it out deep down I knew which side was going to win - and is one reason I stopped driving sports cars - sometimes I just can't seem to contain myself.

    So the banner dropped and sure enough my big thumper came to life in an instant and I got a great holeshot - of course my riding skills allowed just about everyone to pass me up before the bomb so all I did was hold people up I suppose.

    I had never really been roosted before while trail riding with my buddies. Wow. What an eye opener. You can hear the stuff hitting my GoPro - it's pretty cool.

    There was no dust at all - pure traction. Blue sky, wispy clouds, the roar of 4 strokes and the zing of the two strokes. What a blast!

    I settled down a bit and started getting comfortable again - just ride I said to myself while getting passed every so often. I remembered I needed to follow the ribbon instead of following the riders or trails so I started keeping an eye out as I was going.

    After 5 miles or so I started feeling pretty comfy and one with my bike again. I had been following a couple of guys and content with that but realized I could probably ride a little faster so it took a while but I finally made my first pass. It felt pretty cool until I realized that now I was in their crosshairs and need to put some distance between me and them or they would pass me right back.

    So there I was feeling great to have made a pass and at the same time scared of losing that position.

    I came upon my first checkpoint and was following the guy in front of me. I started to pull in behind him to wait to be checked off when I noticed other people waving me up. Whoops. I went around the other guy, got marked and remembered not to roost the checkpoint folks.

    For the next 15 or 20 miles I was feeling on top of the world as I was able to catch and pass a few more people while not being passed myself. I was picking up spots at the checkpoints - I sure don't know why or how but I seemed to get at least one pass each time. As I was riding I was hollering and woohoo'ing - what an experience and I was having such fun - combined of course with feeling the adrenaline make my right wrist twist a little more than it should. It also might have been that I wasn't going that much faster but instead just not falling off my pace as much as others may have been. I really don't know.

    Going through one whoop section I felt my tool bag hit me in the fanny and then a crunching noise and then it hit me again and another noise - then the rear wheel locked up, the engine stopped and I skidded to a stop. I got off the bike and saw that my entire rear fender had come off and the toolbag had gotten lodged between the front of the subframe and the tire. I tried to back it up but it wouldn't move. I dragged it off to the side a little while folks were riding by. One guy stopped to make sure I was ok. I finally realized I needed to pull the clutch in while pulling the bike backwards and it came right out. I put the toolbag and a small piece of the fender in my Ogio pilot's vest (great piece of gear by the way) and started out again. My goggles were completely covered - not fogged up but actual small droplets of water. I rode up the hill slowly and the goggles finally cleared. I moved off to the side to check out the bike off the trail.

    Everything looked ok but the wires from the taillight had a quarter inch left bare so I pulled out my leatherman and cut them a little so there wasn't any bare wire. After that I started out again feeling a little down to have lost time (after reviewing the video I lost about 7 minutes and 35 people passed me.)

    I rode a little slower at first but sped up a bit and actually passed a few more folks before making it to the finish. I got my last pass by simply staying on course while the guy in front of me that I just couldn't get around missed a turn and ended up coming in just a few seconds after I did.

    It felt great to have finished, not gotten hurt and had so much fun. Wow.

    Before the race I was afraid that 32 miles wasn't going to be enough but after riding at (my) race pace I was pretty well spent and so I was happy with my decision to sign up as a beginner and only do one loop.

    I was anxious to get home to my family so I loaded up, changed clothes and drove home. While on the way home I realized when I picked up my tool bag and the small piece of fender that was left my license plate was not there. I'll have to make a trip to the DMV this week.

    I can't wait to do it again!!!
    #18
  19. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
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    4,362
    Location:
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    Congrats !!!:clap Now your hooked:deal

    Can't wait to see the video footage if you can.
    #19
  20. MotoMike

    MotoMike Washed Up Desert Racer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,090
    Location:
    The Black Palm Springs
    Put a post on the D37 board about the missing plate. sweep will have picked it up if they saw it.

    You were smart to sign up as a beginner. You can always move up, but if you sign up in a higher class and find out it's too much, you can't go back. Besides, al you have to do is win 3 races and they will move you up to Novice. Then you can experience all the 2nd loop joyfulness!
    #20