ISDE 2013 - Sardegna, Italy

Discussion in 'Racing' started by mknight, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    Can't wait !
    #21
  2. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Harrisville, Utah
    September 23, 2013

    First full day here in preparation for the ISDE next week. Most of the U.S. Team members arrived today so we pretty much just bummed around trying to acclimate ourselves to the surroundings and go see some of the countryside. We managed to find a few of the special tests and walk a bit of them.

    The Hotel is hopping now with U.S.Team members. I think every "restaurant" in Italy is a Pizzeria. We finally found a place that was not a Pizzeria, nor a Bar that only served drinks. It was an "American" restaurant Italy style...that served Hamburgers and Sushi (is that really an American combo?). It was funny to see the pictures on the wall and their perspective of Americans. They cranked the AC/DC after we sat down. Josh said he felt like he was in weightlifting class in high school with the AC/DC going.

    It's going to be a long week. Josh already wants to ride and we haven't even uncrated bikes yet. That should hopefully be tomorrow.

    View of the pool last night from the balcony on our hotel room.
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    The "paddock" (pits area) is an actual dock in the sea with big ferry boats like this all around it. There were a lot of factory rigs there like this KTM one, just getting setup.
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    These are what the street signs will look like to get to all the special tests and time checks.
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    The American team is staying in the DoubleTree. This picture was taken from the paddock area so we are really close. It's a nice hotel compared to most of the others in the area.
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    Typical view from along the coastline. The course for days 1-3 runs north from the town of Olbia and goes right near the water many times.
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    This is for all the ladies out there....you want an Italian Stallion, here you go (We stopped by one of the local public beaches for just a few minutes).
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    After driving around for a while, we found our first special test course. This is a temporary sign marking the start of the test. They will have electronic gates installed when the event actually starts.
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    Josh walking the test we found. It's a really dry hilly area where they've come in with a tractor and clear cut the brush. It's dry and going to be incredibly dusty.
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    More special test.
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    Josh walking the test...that's the Mediterranean Sea to the east.
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    A better view of what the terrain of the test looks like. There is short stubble of all the brush they've cut out. There is nothing very technical about the test.....it looks fast and flowy.
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    They were just getting all the ribbon tied on the lathe for this test. You can tell by some of the Swedish riders walking the test with their shirts off, that it is pretty warm. Hydration is going to be a lot more important this year than in Germany due to the dust and heat.
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    More special test walking.
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    Driving around, we found some of the sections where the course diverts on trail. This is what the terrain looked like. I sure hope they get a lot of offroad riding. So far we've seen a lot of marking on the streets.
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    A view from the actual trail course....not a bad view.

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    We found another public beach and stopped for a few minutes. The Mediterranean is very blue and the beaches are shallow and could wade out in them a long ways.
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    Josh enjoying the view....looking east into the Mediterranean. The mainland of Italy is out there somewhere.
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    We saw this getting off the airport in Olbia Italy yesterday. It's a cool thing when you see dirtbikes in the airport
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    Our dinner last night at one of the bazillion Pizzeria's in town. It was good, but I can already tell we're going to struggle to find much other than Pizza.....and soda with no ice.....again
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    A great view tonight while we were driving around looking for another special test.

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    #22
  3. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

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    September 24, 2013

    We originally thought today was going to be spent at the paddock unloading the U.S. Crate and setting up the pits and beginning bike prep. The container was not available, so we went to Plan B and found 3 other special tests and spent most of the day walking them.

    Pretty much all of the U.S. Team is here now. It was fun to see familiar faces, and meet some new people from all over the country.

    We first found what is known as the "KTM Test". This test will be ridden 6 times (over 3,000 riders). It is going to be brutal and full of rocks. Check out the pictures for more details.
    We then found found the Indoona Test (Special Test 3 on Days 1 and 2). It's a very traditional grass track...very flat.

    The third test was the Metzeler Test. Also known as Monte Pino (Pine Mountain). This one is at the most elevation and is deep in the trees and couldn't be any more different than the other tests. It is tight, somewhat technical, and a lot of singletrack.

    Check out all the pictures for more details.

    It's very warm here....in the 80's and all the tests are going to be dry and dusty, but there is a constant small sea breeze. I was pleasantly surprised to find the diversity in the tests so far. I was initially nervous when the first two we saw were very similar.

    There are still 5 more terrain tests to find as well as the final moto.
    Tomorrow we are meeting at the paddock to unload the U.S. container and finally get our hands on the bikes. Should be exciting.

    Shawn and Jeff O'Leary from Texas. These two brothers are racing together on one of the club teams. Super nice guys and we enjoyed walking one of the tests with them.
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    This is the KTM test. I originally was going to call this the cow turd test as evidenced by the picture. However, as soon as the test transitioned up the hills, those cow turds all turned into large granite boulders.
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    The KTM test is right near the ocean. There is a really nice public beach within walking distance. Here, Josh an the O'Leary brothers from Texas check out the terrain.
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    An ISDE special test with an ocean view. This test is wide and fast, but has a zillion hidden granite rocks everywhere.
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    Ryan Kudla walking the KTM test....rocks everywhere.
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    Ryan Kudla walking part of the KTM test. There are some really fast and very off-camber corners on this test. Did I mention the rocks? They are everywhere.
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    More rocks in the KTM test. This is what it looks like everywhere. Sharp and jagged granite rocks sticking up.
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    Jeff O'Leary and Josh Knight walking the KTM test with the city of Olbia Italy in the background.
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    My Dad has been enjoying going around to the tests with us. He reads a book while Josh and I check out the terrain. This is taken at the "Indoona" grass track test.
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    The "Indoona" test is a very traditional European styled grass track. It is set in a large field that has had the grass mowed down. In some places it is going to be super slick because it has layers of straw like grass.
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    There are a few marshy areas thrown in for good measure. Josh looked at this and acknowledged it could get bad, but his perspective on bad mud sections is very relative after riding in Germany last year.
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    A few of the Indoona grass track. Very flat, no rocks, and pretty fast sweeping corners.
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    Same test, but just thought this tree was cool.
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    Josh in his element....he loves turn tracks.
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    Me checking out the grass track. This is just to prove that I am really here.
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    Another view of the same test. At this point, we were much further inland. The terrain changed a lot. There was a lot more vegetation. This island is one huge granite rock.
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    Our third and final test for the day was the Monte Pino (Pine Mountain) test. Also known as the Metzeler Test. This test is high on the mountain. We stopped to take a picture at this overlook just before the test, overlooking the city of Olbia.
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    Day 1 and 2 course marker. Riders follow the same color for Days 1 and 2.
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    It was a great view up on top. The paddock and our hotel are right in the center of this picture.
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    We found the Metzeler Test. It's right on the side of this mountain and at first, these long lanes give the impression that it is going to be pretty open. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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    It transitions into the trees. I took this picture because this was a really off-camber turn but the picture doesn't do it justice.
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    Off-camber turns became the theme for this test. This test did not have a ton of rocks. The soil is a decomposed granite. That is what Idaho City soil is like, but the problem is that this has absolutely no moisture in it at all. This was a serious off-camber turn that will be like riding on marbles. It also is a lot of virgin trail so it has the potential to rut up really bad.
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    Very different from all the other tests. This test is a lot of singletrack and very tight in the trees. They didn't even have lathe on most of the test. The ribbon is just tied to the trees.
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    A small waterfall/technical section in the test.
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    More tight stuff. You can see the ruts already from just a few test riders riding the course.
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    Pictures don't do this downhill justice. Josh is holding on to a tree because it was too steep to walk down on the slippery soil. There is a tight right hander off-camber turn at the bottom.
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    More tight and semi-technical section on this Metzeler test. It was great to see the diversity in the terrain tests. It's a shame there is no moisture. This test could really be awesome with some moisture in the soil.
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    This shows the 10 different tests, their names, and GPS coordinates, and the sheet on the right shows all the countries participating, the number of riders, and the day they will go through technical inspection and inpound. Check out the number of Italian riders....181!!
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    #23
  4. kenny61

    kenny61 Doesn't kick in bed

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    :clap
    #24
  5. Southest US Thumper

    Southest US Thumper Extreme n00b

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    Glad to see you guys made it intact!:clap

    Really looking forward to your coverage again this year Mike.

    FYI: Mark D aka ADVrider Markvfr from Canada is there again this year, keep an eye out for him in the pits, er sorry, Paddock, Parc Ferme....

    I'm guessing Josh will Shine in the dry conditions!

    What I'd give for an authentic Italia Pizza right now, but please not a weeks worth!

    Go Josh!!!!
    #25
  6. YOGOI

    YOGOI Prick

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    Too Cool.
    Thanks for share'n!!!!!!
    #26
  7. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    Seems Jeff Fredette cut his hand on a cutoff wheel just before leaving and needed stitches .. seems like he will do fine from his FB posts.

    Go USA !
    #27
  8. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    September 25, 2013

    First thing this morning, everyone was able to get over to the paddock and begin unloading the U.S. Container. With everyone jumping in, we made quick work of it….putting up the U.S. Canopies, unloading the crates, and organizing things enough so that everyone could get to their bikes and begin work.

    The majority of the day was spent prepping bikes. Tomorrow will be much the same and we then plan to spend the afternoon walking some more special tests.
    The first team meeting was conducted tonight and all team members introduced. Impound is this Friday afternoon, and then Photoshoots and opening ceremonies/parade on Saturday.

    All hands on deck unloading the container.
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    Main U.S. Canopy going up.
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    Pits starting to take shape.
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    Josh Knight and Ryan Kudla assembling tire changers.
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    The mechanics were put to work assembling new tool stands.
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    It was great seeing this crate roll out of the container and know that it made it to the other side of the world.
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    The Factory KTM bikes look awesome as always. Here is Mike Brown’s 500. He is riding in the E3 class this year. Caselli and Mullins bikes are behind his. This is before the mechanics had really got to them, right after they uncrated them.
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    Josh’s bike and all our “stuff”.
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    Wishing he could ride right now.
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    Ryan Kudla assembling his ISDE special edition KTM 300. He had lots of goodies to install.
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    The legend, Jeff Fredette calm, cool, and collected as always as he preps his KX450 for his 33rd ISDE!
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    Zach Osborne’s mechanic his Amsoil Geico Honda. I think Zach is going to do great on these tests and be a real asset for the American team.
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    More eye candy.
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    The U.S. Pits were busy all day with all the bike prep.
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    Rachel Gutish doing homework in the pits while her dad preps her bike. It was great to see another young rider trying to juggle priorities of being a high school student and athlete at the same time.
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    Josh and Grandpa relaxing at the Metzeler tire rig ready to cough up all our dough for a week’s worth of tires and bib mousses. Thanks to all those who have helped with donations and fund raising. This is where every little bit helps!!
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    The Metzeler tire moped. If you’ve ever been to a Six Days, you’ll recognize this familiar site.
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    It might as well be Christmas.
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    More prep and craziness in the pits today.
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    Thanks you ADS Motorsports, Sage Riders, and Ogden Cycle Association (many other sponsors to acknowledge later). It sounds cliché, but we seriously could not be here without you.
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    Thank you Epic Moto, Tugger Lift Straps, and Joe at TurnTech Batteries. Josh’s Tugger is installed and hopefully will not need to be used, and the Turn Tech Battery was connected this morning, and after 2 months of sitting in a crate, it fired the bike right up.
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    It felt good just to get the bike started. Josh was itching to just get on it.
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    View down pit row from the U.S. pits.
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    KTM and Husaberg support tents.
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    #28
  9. ICERIDER

    ICERIDER Adventure Rider

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    Wishing you a good ride in ISDE 2013 Josh!
    #29
  10. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS 1200 GS Rider

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    +1

    Go get 'em!!!
    #30
  11. johnno950

    johnno950 Long timer

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    Terrific thread,thanks for the photos/info etc!,looks like you got a great group of family and friends supporting you,going to be following this
    #31
  12. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Balkan Boy,

    I wrote up an "ISDE 101" during last year's report. It's buried in the thread from last year (http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=800782)

    but I've copied it again below and should hopefully help answer some of the questions about the ISDE.

    ISDE 101

    Most people following this thread have some knowledge of the ISDE, but we’ve got a lot of friends and family, or people who are avid motorcyclists and interested in this story, but don’t know much about the ISDE. Therefore, I wanted to provide sort of an “ISDE for Dummies” summary for those who may want a little more context of what is really involved. Here are some highlights:

    • The ISDE is the longest running off-road motorcycling event in the world. It is considered the pinnacle of off-road enduro racing. This year in Germany will be the 87th running of the ISDE.

    • ISDE stands for International Six Days Enduro. This is an International motorcycling event and is just like the Olympics. Multiple countries (30-40) are represented and at the end of the event, racers are awarded medals (Gold/Silver/Bronze) for their finish. There are usually over 450+ racers.

    • Racers race for six straight days and in Germany they will average between 150-180 miles per day (some days even longer).

    • Just finishing the ISDE (often referred to as “Six Days”), is a huge accomplishment. It is truly an endurance event and is a test for both the rider and the bike to finish 6 grueling days without one or the other failing.

    • One of the very unique things is that once the event starts, only the rider can perform any maintenance on his/her bike. If anybody (even a spectator with good intentions) provides any type of outside assistance, the racer will be disqualified. Nobody else can even touch the bike. There are some very minor exceptions that include a pit crew being able to fill gas, and other liquids such as antifreeze, oil, or brake fluid. However, they can only pour those liquids. For example, a mechanic can pour in brake fluid, but they can’t assist in bleeding the brakes. They can pour in oil, but they can’t remove the filler cap or remove the drain plug. Those functions must be performed by the rider.

    • The rider has a 15 minute work period at the end of each day of racing to perform maintenance on the bike. During this time, they change tires, oil, brake pads, air filters, etc. They have to impound their bike in a secure area each night before those 15 minutes expire. If they exceed those 15 minutes they incur a penalty against their overall score.

    • Bikes remain locked and inaccessible to rider and pit crew until 10 minutes before the riders scheduled depart time each morning. The rider can perform any last minute bike maintenance during those 10 minutes but they cannot start their bike. The bike can’t be started until the rider’s start time arrives.

    • The ISDE is a time trials event which means that although they are out there racing against everyone else, they are really racing the clock. They leave at a specific time each day. They have a prescribed amount of time to arrive at their next location (called a “Time Check”). If they arrive early, they wait until their arrival time is up, and then they go through the Time Check. If they arrive late, then they are penalized (60 points for every minute they are late). If the rider leaves and arrives to each time check on time, then their score is essentially “zero” (which is what you want). It takes a great deal of skill to ride the necessary pace between the checkpoints and avoid arriving late. It’s not a trail ride. For the average rider, the pace between checks would be equivalent to their full race pace.

    • Between the time check points are what is known as “Special Tests”. This is the real magic of the ISDE. These are sections of the course that are in different type of terrain. They could be a grass track on the side of a hill, a natural terrain motocross track, a sandy beach, or a slippery and root-infested trail through the trees.

    • The objective of the Special Test is to ride as fast as possible from the Start to the Finish, just like a sprint. The rider receives a score for the amount of time it takes them to complete the special test. The score is represented as a number (i.e. 360) which is indicative of the total number of seconds it takes them to complete the test (a score of 360 would be 6 minutes). The lower the score the better (lower score equals faster time).

    The rider usually competes in about 6-8 special tests each day. Their cumulative special test scores, combined with any other penalty points (for arriving late to a time check), result in an overall score for the day.
    The goal of the racer is to “zero their checks” (arrive to each on time), and ride as fast as possible in the special tests and receive the lowest score for the day.

    • One of the best analogies is to think of running a marathon every day for 6 straight days, but in the middle of that marathon, being stopped 6-8 times, and required to run a 400-800 yard sprint, and then resume running your marathon.

    • If a rider arrives late to a time check, they incur a penalty (points added to their score) for every minute they are late. A rider cannot makeup time, so their time schedule resets. For example, if a rider was to be at Time Check 2 at 10:10 a.m. and they arrived at 10:20 they are 10 minutes late. If they were then originally scheduled to be at Time Check 3 at 11:40 a.m., they would need to adjust their schedule forward and plan to arrive at Time Check 3 at 11:50 a.m.

    • The combined cumulative total of “minutes late” cannot exceed 60 minutes. If they do, the rider is out of competition. This is known as “hour’ing out”.

    • The main division of riders is broken up by displacement (engine size). Classes are:
    o 100cc-125cc 2 stroke or 175cc-250cc 4 stroke (also known as E1 or C1)
    o 175cc-250cc 2 stroke or 290cc-450cc 4stroke (also known as E2 or C2)
    o 290cc-500cc 2 stroke or 475cc-650cc 4 stroke (also known as E3 or C3)
    o There is also a Senior Team (any size machine) and Women’s Team (any size machine)

    • Bigger motor doesn’t necessarily equate to better rider or faster rider. Last year’s overall winner was in the E1 class. The Trophy Team has the world’s fastest riders represented in all the classes.

    • The U.S. team has 31 riders this year. All 31 riders are official U.S. Team Members. There are 6 of those riders that make up the World Trophy Team. There are 4 of the riders that are part of the Junior Trophy Team (riders under the age of 23). There are 3 women that make up the Women’s Trophy Team. The rest of the riders are organized in groups of 3 and are part of what is known as the club teams representing the U.S. All riders compete for both individual and team honors.

    • Qualifying to be a member of the U.S. ISDE team requires riders to participate in at least one regional qualifier (there are usually only 2, sometimes 3 qualifiers each year) and finish in the top 2 of their respective class.

    • There are many unique requirements for both bike and rider equipment. Special tires, exhaust sound restrictions, functional lights, etc., are all part of an ISDE bike. Some parts of the bike are marked with special paint during initial inspection before the event starts and these parts (i.e. engine cases, wheel hubs), cannot be swapped out during the event. This contributes to the unique preparation and strategy of an event like this where both rider and bike must last for 6 straight days in some of the world’s toughest terrain.

    • Because the ISDE is an International event, the expenses involved in getting bike and rider to the event are considerable. The greatest majority of the cost of the event is the sole responsibility of the rider and/or their individual sponsors. Despite the considerable expense, competing in the ISDE is a “labor of love” for many, and a fulfillment of a life-long dream.
    #32
  13. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    Harrisville, Utah
    September 26, 2013

    Today was primarily another bike prep day. It’s amazing how much time you can spend tinkering on bikes and fretting over all the little stuff, despite weeks of preparation on the bike prior to coming to Italy.

    There is always a lot of nervous energy and guys were anxious to get on their bikes and shake out some of the nerves and bugs by getting on the test track. After just a few laps on the test track, many of the guys (and girls) looked as though they had just completed a dusty National Hare n’ Hound. Their gear, goggles, and bikes were completely covered in silty dust.

    Many teams were required to impound by today, so upon leaving the paddock area tonight, about half of the impound was full of bikes. The U.S. Team is scheduled to go through administrative check-in and inspection late tomorrow afternoon after which all the bikes will be impounded, not to be touched again until Monday morning.

    I’ve also decided to add one “cultural observation of the day” to my reports. After all, we are in a different country and some of the funny little cultural differences and nuances are part of what makes this event such an experience.

    Just as we experienced in Germany last year, Europeans pretty much don’t believe in ice in their drinks. We are in a very modern hotel (Hilton) for the city we are staying and there are a few ice machines, but aside from that and McDonalds, you don’t have a drink over ice. Bread is hard and dry, and most eating establishments shut down in late afternoon until sometime between 7:00-8:00 at night where they reopen. Don’t ask us how we know  Also, cars over here are tiny tiny. SMART cars, Fiats, etc., are everywhere, and the cars here in Italy make the cars last year in Germany look huge.

    Mopeds are everywhere, and this is one the Finnish team brought for hauling gear around the pits. It reminds me of the one Nacho Libre rides.
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    Thanks to USWE for providing drink systems and fanny packs to the U.S. team this year. Josh received one of these drink systems last year and they are seriously the best, the way they don’t bounce around. Check out offroadchampions.com for purchasing in the United States.
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    Brian Storrie from Texas is riding on the Senior Team this year. Here is doing final prep. Check out the nice sponsor “logos” on his tires. Supporters from home bought tires for each day of the Six Days.
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    This is one of the test riders in the Special Test we walked today.
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    The one test we walked today. This is very close to town….right next to a bowling alley and some retail stores. Nothing really exciting about this test…..pretty much a vacant lot with not a lot of rocks and nothing particularly technical.
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    Josh walking this test. It is known as the “Basa Test” (sorry for all the pics of Josh walking tests, but he’s pretty much the only one I’m with when walking tests, so that’s what you get).
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    Ryan Kudla’s KTM 300 after all the goodies and graphics were installed. Lots of beautiful bikes in the pits.
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    Zach Osborne and his mechanic doing some prep on his Geico Honda 250F.
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    Junior Trophy Team member Jesse Groemm prepping some tires.
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    Kurt Caselli’s bike ready for action.
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    Mark Hyde doing some prep on Taylor Robert’s Kawasaki. Everyone helps out regardless of what bike you’re riding.
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    I’m really excited to see how Zach Osborne does in this format of racing and with these conditions.
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    Jimmy Jarrett was prepping his bike all day next to us. Somebody asked him who his mechanic was this year, and he said, “me”.
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    Team Australia, right across the pits from the U.S. Team.
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    Jeff Fredette selling T-shirts and prepping his bike….getting ready for ISDE number 33. Amazing.
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    Mike Brown’s factory KTM.
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    Zach Osborne’s Honda. I’d love to see him line up at the Anaheim supercross in a few months on this bike with headlight, taillight, kickstand, and skidplate.
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    This is what the KTM ISDE Special Edition bikes (rental bikes) look like. This is Alex Dorsey’s bike (from Northern California) after he’d been to the test track.
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    Scott Bright’s son (from Colorado). Scott will be riding on the Senior Team with Jeff Fredette and Brian Storrie.
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    Ryan Sipes “factory” RockStar Suzuki bike. He was over in the corner with the rest of us prepping his own bike. Great to see a professional MX’er prepping his own bike like the rest of the humble club riders. I think his bike is the only Suzuki I’ve seen in the entire pits.
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    Jimmy Jarrett’s Kawasaki after he was finished prepping. Jimmy is riding on the Wellard Club Team with Nick Fahringer and Ryan Sipes. Talk about a stacked club team……with a factory Husaberg rider, a professional MX’er, and Jimmy Jarrett….former GNCC champion and Trophy Team member.
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    #33
  14. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    So many beautiful bikes....
    #34
  15. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

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    371
    Location:
    Harrisville, Utah
    September 27, 2013

    Getting through final Admin, Tech Inspection, and Impound today feels like a major milestone for us and everyone else. Three days worth of tweaking, building, installing, fretting, adjusting, and re-adjusting, and then double-checking things came to an end, as everyone from the U.S. Team got through the process.

    The only downside is that now everyone has to wait two full days before being able to ride.
    We did some minor final bike prep this morning and then went to find at least one more special test. We’re now focusing on the Special Tests for Day 4 and 5 which are all located south of the city of Olbia. We found one test known as the “Padra” test. It is located in the hills at a motocross track. We walked most of the test, but today was especially hot and we were dripping with sweat by the time we were finished.

    We opted to come back to town and find some lunch and then prepare for the team photoshoot and then the admin/impound process.

    Here’s my cultural observation for the day on this area of Italy. It is regarding the food and restaurants. There are bars and cafes everywhere, along with Pizzerias on every corner. At all of the cafes, people sit around and drink coffee and wine and smoke, but none of those places serve food (meals) and everyone just sits around in the middle of the day having a drink and watching the traffic go by. Much to my surprise, finding good food has been a struggle. At the suggestion of fellow U.S. teammate Ian Blythe who lived in Italy for a year while contesting the World Enduro Circuit, he suggested we find a Chinese place. We did just that and we ended up having the best meal of our entire trip. It was a tiny hole in the wall, in the basement of an old building. Me…my oldest son, and my father….eating delicious Chinese food in Italy, while the Tour de France was on TV, with Lady Gaga blaring in the radio…oh the irony. (Our second best meal of the trip was yesterday eating a Kebab from an Indian vendor just down the street from the Chinese restaurant). Josh did get adventurous tonight and tried seafood Spaghetti. Not his favorite, but at least he can say he tried it.

    Lots of photos from today with some narrative to help you all visualize what we’re experiencing. I know you’re all probably tired of pictures of bikes and special tests with nobody riding…..but we’re equally as anxious to get on to the real reason we’re here, so hold tight for a few more days and there will be more to report.

    Here’s a picture of all the course markings that riders follow. I need to get a good picture of a city street showing these signs because it can be incredibly confusing at times if riders are not absolutely paying attention. Days 1 and 2, riders ride the same course and follow the same colors and arrows. Day 3 is unique, and Days 4 and 5 are common. Course is way easier to follow in the off-road sections, than on the pavement and in the city.
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    KTM Freeride bikes are all over in the pits (none of the new 2-strokes though).
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    This is a bulletin board with a list of every single rider participating in this year’s ISDE. 6 whole pages are Italian riders.
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    When we found our first special test today, these guys were doing some final prep. They were excited for me to take their photo. They were proud of their work and were ready to show it off to the world.
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    This test starts on a motocross track. Here is the Italian themed colored starting gate.
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    It goes downhill from the starting gate….literally and figuratively. I don’t think this track has seen a tractor in ages. The soil is decomposed granite with small pea sized gravel or solid rock. It is set on a hill so the cool part about it is that it has a lot of natural elevation change and a great setting.
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    See what I mean about the soil….it was hard to walk up and down the big hills and it was roasting hot.
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    The MX track is right adjacent to a couple of little village type farms. If you blow this corner, you’ll end up in this guys back yard.
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    Special test ribbon, cactus, and a small farmer’s vineyard…..this is Italy.
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    After a while the test exits the track and then criss crosses all over a big hillside in the trees. Off-camber is the name of the game for this test. Just about every corner is off-camber.
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    There are a few rocky sections on this test, but it isn’t bad compared to some of the others we’ve seen.
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    It doesn’t take much imagination here to imagine yourself in Mexico. For those riders who rode Morelia Mexico ISDE in 2010, this is very similar. This little house is right on the hillside by this test. This year is VERY different from Germany.
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    Another view from the test. On the left is a twisty, steep Italian road that traverses the mountains behind it. To the right in the picture are the hills of the MX track that start the test.
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    I mentioned off-camber, but due to the dry conditions and lots of weeds and leaves, the corners are going to be very slippery. This entire downhill left-handed corner was covered in about 2-3 inches of leaves.
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    I had to take a picture of this because I think this will literally be the only water crossing in any test that the riders will find (it’s all we’ve seen in the 6 of 10 tests we’ve walked). Kurt Caselli was joking about this yesterday because he said before he got to this point, the course workers were so excited and warning him of the water crossing in the test. It turns out, this is what they were warning him about.
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    More off-camber corners.
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    The finish of this test literally goes right through this farmer’s “field”. His goats and dogs are that close to the special test. All in all, the test is really one of the better ones we’ve seen and should be fun for the riders.
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    After leaving the special test, we stopped by another test near the test/practice track. I took this picture of a corner in the practice track to show what the conditions will look like after 3,000 riders have been through it. There is a special test literally right across the road from this that we’ve referred to as the “airport test” (right next to the airport). It’s flat, in the weeds…..nothing real exciting.
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    This is an old abandoned airport next to the practice track. I expect the real special test which is in this same area, will look much the same.
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    I mentioned that Italian cars are tiny. They’ve always been tiny based on the vintage of this little car.
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    Thanks to all our sponsors. Notice the little license plate. That is a miniature copy I had made of the plate off my KTM 950. All the riders have to have a license plate on their bike. The European ones are huge and won’t last a day in these conditions. Everyone put them on to get through tech inspection but they will be replaced with small ones after that point.
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    Team Manager, Antti Kallonen from KTM on the phone keeping things organized. He is doing a great job.
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    After all of that, it was time for the team photoshoot. The following are lots of shots from that photoshoot. I was able to slide in between the guys that know what they’re really doing for some shots.
    Andrew Delong…Junior Trophy Team.
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    Jesse Groemm, Junior Trophy Team.
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    Kailub Russell and Grant Baylor and the rest of the Junior Trophy Team.
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    Kurt Caselli, Trophy Team
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    Mike Brown, Trophy Team.
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    Josh and the rest of the crew waiting for their turn for photos.
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    Charlie Mullins, Trophy Team.
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    Zach Osborne, Trophy Team.
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    Taylor Robert, Trophy Team.
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    Jeff Fredette. I love to see that he is still enjoying being here, taking photos and enjoying the moment.
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    Rachel Gutish, Womens Trophy Team.
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    Mandi Mastin, Womens Trophy Team
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    Brooke Hodges, Womens Trophy Team
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    Jimmy Jarret, Wellard Club Team
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    Nick Fahringer, Wellard Club Team
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    Ryan Sipes, Wellard Club Team
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    We were standing on a flat dock right next to the pits, so when it was time to take the full team group shot, I wasn’t able to get high enough for the shot. This will have to do.
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    Part of the group shot. Josh in the back, along with teammate Keith Curtis, with Mike Brown, Kurt Caselli, and Thad Duvall in the front.
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    Scott Bright, Jeff Fredette, and Brian Storrie, Senior Club Team.
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    Josh Knight, “Tony Agonis” Club Team. (I wasn’t able to get pictures of all the club riders…sorry).
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    The entire U.S. Team, hanging out after the photos for the administrative check-in process.
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    This is the “Tony Agonis Club Team”, Fred Hoess (New Jersey), Keith Curtis (Montana), and Josh Knight (Utah). It’s an honor for Josh to ride with a legend like Fred Hoess. This is Fred’s 24th ISDE, and I think that accomplishment sometimes gets overshadowed by Jeff Fredette’s 33. Fred had some great stories of past ISDE’s while standing in line waiting.
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    Josh and Fred going through check in. This process is the same half way across the world, as it is at home……stand in line, signs lots of papers, hand over money, and do what the ladies tell you to do.
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    I admit, I’m proud of this photo. Today was my birthday. Here I am with my father and son, halfway across the world, hanging out at the 88th running of the legendary Six Days Enduro. Sometimes you just have to soak it all in. Just over a month ago I was sitting in a hospital room with my Dad, wondering if he was going to live to see another day….5 weeks later, here we are. Happy Birthday to me.
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    Trophy Team bikes.
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    Taylor Robert’s KX450.
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    Thad Duvall’s Honda,.
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    Zach Osborne’s Honda 250F
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    Mark Kariya in his element, taking great photos as always.
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    It’s getting real! Josh putting on his numbers.
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    Yep, this is real.
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    Everyone waiting their turn for tech inspection.
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    Scooters are everywhere in Italy! They’re also everywhere in the pits. Here’s another scooter of the day picture. This little one was able to be collapsed, with the bars and seat folding in and it could practically fit in a suitcase.
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    For the sound test, they rev the bike up to the rev limiter. When we heard Zach Osborne’s bike we thought there was no way it would pass. It passed. That made me feel better about Josh’s bike (the new KTM 250F’s rev out another 1,000 rpm higher than last year).
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    Waiting in line.
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    Mark Kariya helping Zach, by pointing out that he needed to check the three paint marks just inscribed by the tech inspection to make sure they had written down the correct numbers.
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    Justin Sode, club rider. He is riding a Beta 2-stroke.
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    I was happy to see Josh get the pass signal on the sound test.
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    Unfortunately, Jimmy Jarret had to try 3 times to get through the sound test.
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    Jeff O’Leary, with a smile on his face, ready to impound his bike.
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    Ryan Kudla from California, going through the final step before impound.
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    The tech workers install a dab of paint on the frame, hubs, engine cases, and exhaust to note the key bike components that cannot be swapped out.
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    A lot of hard work by Josh and others to finally get to this point….impounding his bike at the Six Days in Italy.
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    Bike impound….a beautiful sight.
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    I saw these 3 old (I’m guessing 80’s era) TM motorcycles. I’m sure they’re an Italian Club Team. Their graphics said “Club 80 cc”. They look like full size motorcycles, but may only be 80cc?
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    Ryan Sipes going back to sound test for a 2nd try. I like this guy….laid back and smiling.
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    Fred Hoess going through sound test.
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    #35
  16. Southest US Thumper

    Southest US Thumper Extreme n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,167
    Location:
    As Far South and West as you can get in the USA
    Magnifico Mike!!! Awesome shots and commentary, thanks so much for taking the time to do it all again. The three generations shot is definitely a keeper!

    If nothing else you guys can relax and watch the MXDN on Sunday, the "Other" Team USA is pretty well stacked.

    Happy belated Birthday!
    #36
  17. keffus

    keffus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    17
    awesome pictures.!! thanks so much for taking the time to post pics and updates. I will be following daily, and wish josh and all the U.S. riders the best of luck.
    #37
  18. jdiaz

    jdiaz .

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    32,348
    Location:
    Flyover State
    Thanks for the pics and description. i've been to that part of Sardegna some years ago, and in fact everywhere we went on the island was killer special test terrain. :D

    Best of luck to your son this week!!
    #38
  19. El Cucuy

    El Cucuy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    D37
    Killer report (again)--thanks for posting and happy birthday!
    #39
  20. El Cucuy

    El Cucuy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    D37
    ...and :eek1 at the Willard "Club" Team :rofl
    #40