Josh to Germany - ISDE 2012

Discussion in 'Racing' started by mknight, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

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    September 17, 2012

    After an incredibly long flight, the entire family made it to Germany yesterday. It’s a great feeling to finally be here. We’ve kind of been walking around in a fog, but today was better and we’re acclimating.
    Germany is beautiful! The weather is perfect right now, and I know Josh and all the riders wish they could be racing right now. I don’t know if this great weather will hold out for two weeks.

    I do a fair amount of travel for work, so flying is nothing new, but the Airbus we were on (Lufthansa) was the biggest airplane I’ve ever seen. It was a double decker the entire length of the plane.

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    We forced ourselves to stay up for over 30 hours to try and acclimate to the time zone. By the time we got our rental car, the kids were zombies. Not only that, but everyone was irritable and grumpy. It was like a scene out of National Lampoons European Vacation, as we tried to cram all our luggage into our van.
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    My son Kobee fell asleep anywhere he could on the way from the airport to the hotel.
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    After a little nap and some food, everyone was feeling better. We took a drive out to the Sachsenring race track that will serve as the main paddock (pits) for the entire event. Being Sunday, there wasn’t much of anything going on. It still looks like a pretty awesome facility though. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we meet with the rest of the team and begin unloading the crate.
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    Today was our only “free” day, but since we were right on the rebound of a long day of travel, nobody wanted to spend the day driving long distances. We opted to go check out some of the special tests. With the help of the GPS, we easily found all 3 that will be used during Days 1 and 2 of racing. I seriously don’t know how we would ever navigate over here and find these locations without the GPS.

    The first Special Test was up on a hill overlooking a little Germany Village to the south. It was/is a farmer’s corn field on a big knoll. It had hundreds and hundreds of lathe pounded in, but no ribbon strung yet.
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    We were the only ones there, and we tried to imagine what this will look like once all the ribbon is strung. The dirt has moisture in it but there is a lot of leftover corn stubble and stalks, so it looks like it could be really slippery at first, but should then rut up really nice.
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    Mom was happy to see that there were no real dangerous obstacles on this test :clap Once a mother, always a mother. I have to say thank you to this wonderful woman for being so supportive of her kids and letting them live out their dreams.
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    This was the road leading to the test. This is open for two-way traffic.
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    We then drove to Test 2. This test is in a really deep forested area. It’s the kind of forest that is so thick that without the harvested trees, you could barely walk through it. This reminded me a lot of the Idaho City Grass Track. The ground is so soft and full of roots and tree stumps.
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    Little brother Benji checking out the test, dreaming of someday riding it himself.
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    Driving around to the tests was pretty cool because in the process we drove through lots of little towns and backroads and just tried to enjoy observing and soaking up the German culture. As mentioned, it’s beautiful. The homes are modest, and kept up well. The cities and streets are clean. Older men and women ride around on bikes everywhere, and the cars and roads are tiny. It’s fun experiencing a different culture and in two days our kids have already started to understand how incredibly spoiled we are in America.

    Time for some lunch. As we sat here under an outdoor umbrella enjoying our Czech style sandwiches, I commented that I felt like we were in France….oh wait, we’re in Germany, close enough for us Americans.
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    Time to find one more test. This would be Special Test 3 that will be run on Days 1 and 2 (all tests will be run twice each day, for a total of 6 tests on Day 1 and 2).

    This third test has a mixture of everything. After driving up a little cobblestone road on top of a hill, it opens up to this.
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    When I thought of Germany, and the ISDE, and an ISDE style grass track, this is pretty much how I had it pictured.
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    Stunning views of beautiful countryside with an 8km (over 5 miles) grass track that is set all across the side of a grassy field, that weaves in and out of a deep forested section, and even incorporates the total of a local MX track.
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    I know I’m weird, but just seeing lathe and ribbon in that quantity in an awesome setting, just gets the heart rate pumping. Josh was ready to ride, right then and now.
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    The transitions into the deep woods had a few crazy drop offs. Some of the big trees as you enter were marked with mattresses.
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    This was on the other side (standard disclaimer…..way steeper than it looks), and now Mom was nervous.
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    Benji found this perch overlooking the grass track.
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    Our rental van had 10km on it when we got it. The rental guy said to us when we picked it up, “das a beeg van!”. When we got to it, we just laughed. He doesn’t know “beeg van” (although we know it does 175k (110 mph) on the autobahn. We drive a 15 passenger Chevy Express back home nicknamed the “Moto Bus”, that doubles as a moto hauler race van, and people mover….... now das a beeg van.
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    It was great seeing the three tests. We’ll drive to the others on other days and spend more time walking and studying them.

    Most of the rest of the US team arrived in the hotel tonight. The kids enjoyed meeting some of the other racers and a little friendly game of ping pong in the courtyard area to pass the time.

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    It’s been a great day. Looking forward to tomorrow.
  2. enduro0125

    enduro0125 Sticks and Stones™..

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    Nice report.
    Thank You.
  3. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    Awesome, keep us posted!
  4. Irish1

    Irish1 Been here awhile

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    What a great adventure and what a great family. Fun to see kids being kids and cavorting around and being pleased by old-fashioned things like a viewing tower. You and your gorgeous wife have done a great job. :clap Good luck Josh!!
  5. kenny61

    kenny61 Crazy Idiot

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  6. Nitro

    Nitro Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the pics .
    We only fly out tommorrow and will be there on Thursday (not much time to walk specails )

    But keep sending pics from the special they great
  7. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    Thanks for the updates and pics!! Hope all the best for Josh.
  8. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS 1200 GS Rider

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    You have us excited too!

    Best of luck to Josh (and all of the other racers)!!!

    :lurk
  9. Future ten

    Future ten Been here awhile

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    What an awesome thread, go josh, Dad, Mom and siblings. It truly is a family effort. Way to go dad !
    Donation made for the cause ! Can't think of a better one.
  10. frog

    frog Long timer

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    Go get em. :D
  11. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

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    Thank you for the donation and encouragement. It truly helps. Today I emptied my wallet in the Metzeler rig for tires and mousses. As I did so, thought of the generous donations of so many people that are helping to make this possible.

    Another update and photos are coming from today.
  12. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

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    September 18, 2012 (Tuesday)

    The majority of all U.S. Team members arrived last night. The hotel is full and buzzing with activity. Today the plan was for everyone to meet at the paddock to unload the U.S. container and get the pit area set up and begin working on bikes.

    Everyone arrived about 10:00. The main pits (paddock or “parc ferme”) is at the Sachsenring race facility which is about 15-20 minutes from the hotel. This is a Moto GP (superbike) track but they also do some race car driving.

    Immediately after we arrived we could hear the roaring of engines. It appeared to be a practice day on the track. It was awesome to watch a variety of different cars, mostly Porsches, Mercedes, BMW, and Subaru rally cars racing around the track.

    Even the Trophy Team members were excited to see the cars.
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    The cars were racing directly behind the fence across the pit area. The corners were all watered and the cars were drifting. It was a real-life XBOX game for my boys to watch.
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    Unloading the container is a big job. This thing was packed to the ceiling and it was a great team effort from everyone.
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    One of the most impressive things was watching everyone jump in and help. Kurt Caselli was in the container the entire time doing a lot of the “heavy lifting”, as well as Mike Brown and others.

    It was a relief when we saw Josh’s crate come out of container. It’s not as if I thought it would be lost in the Atlantic, but there’s just something reassuring to finally see it in Germany.
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    All the crates were placed so the riders could get to them and get started on their bikes.
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    But first, the U.S. Team Canopy needed to be assembled. Not a bad job with a lot of people to help.
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    I was proud seeing the U.S. colors raised.
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    It was then time to dig into the crates and start working on bikes.
    Everything made it fine. Thanks for the awesome crate Derek Nelson!
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    This was the Polish team that is setup next to us. They had an easy drive across the border and the luxury of trucking in all their stuff.
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    We then wandered down to the Metzeler rig to purchase tires and bib mousses. Tires anyone?
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    The guy told us there were almost 1,500 tires in the truck alone and there was another slightly smaller one parked next to it totally full as well.
    And some serious cash in bib mousses.
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    I walked out of there with my wallet quite a bit lighter, and enough tires and bib mousses that it required my entire family to carry them all back to the pits.
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    Kaytee got the privilege of riding in the backseat with the tires on the way back to the hotel. She loved it. It was better than sitting by her brothers.
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    Reid Brown and his wife (from Oregon), gave up their first-born child and a wad of cash for a week’s worth of tires and bibs, and Reid was laughing about it.
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    So many sponsors to thank! We installed the custom embroidered rear Tugger on Josh’s bike. Thanks to everyone who purchased Tuggers and to Burt and Troy from Highline Recreation for their generous support.
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    Several guys are renting bikes here in from either KTM or Husaberg (and one Gas Gas 250F with a Yamaha 250F motor in it). There is some serious eye candy. Check out this gorgeous 300 Germany Six Days edition. I was geeking out over these bikes.
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    This is Michael Jolly’s Husaberg rental. He is on the same club team as Josh and Nick Hamill from California.
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    Destry Abbott uncrating his bike.
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    Destry is great, and came and found Josh today and talked to him for a few minutes. Russell Bobbitt came and chatted with Josh and my other boys for a few minutes as well. One of the greatest experiences from Mexico was that Josh learned that all the racers are “just guys” like everyone else. They’re not untouchables, and they just love to ride dirt-bikes as he does.

    Yes, there are a lot of orange bikes here. That is Mike Brown’s factory KTM in the front with no graphics. I’m sure it will be prettied up a bit. The bikes were all lined up and chained up for the night before leaving the pits.
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    But there are a lot of other awesome bikes as well. Destry and Taylor Robert’s factory Kawasakis (along with Jeff Fredettes bike).
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    The first U.S. Team meeting was held tonight at the hotel. Logistics, schedules, protocol, volunteer positions, and team introductions were conducted.

    Tomorrow the plan is to finish some bike prep and then go locate and walk some more special tests.

    Today was sunny and almost hot. It’s now past midnight, and it’s dumping rain outside. Weather could be a huge factor in this event.
    Thanks for all the encouragement to share some insight for the team from our perspective. It takes a lot of time to organize and share the photos/story, but time permitting, I enjoy it and know that is a way for so many of you to share in the experience vicariously.
  13. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

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  14. Bicycle Phil

    Bicycle Phil Been here awhile

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    Thanks for taking the time to post up :clap

    The time elapse of the unload and tent set-up is cool!!
  15. pilo

    pilo Rhymes with below

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    This is awesome. I love the Sachsenring and rode my Africa Twin there to watch the MotoGP in 2007 when we were living in Germany. I can picture exactly where you guys are setting up.

    Enjoy the Bratwurst and enjoy the moment. You guys seem to be doing well at that.

    -Phil
  16. Southest US Thumper

    Southest US Thumper Extreme n00b

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    Looking Good Team USA!!! Really appreciate you taking the time to stay up late in the night to post updates!!! :clap

    GO JOSH!!!
  17. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

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    September 19, 2012 (Wednesday)

    Today was spent almost exclusively on final bike prep so there is not quite as much “exciting” news to report. Josh and I and my youngest son Benji drove to the parc ferme and spent most all day prepping the bike. Despite doing a great deal of work at home, somehow we burned most of the day prepping and installing tires (and doing some dry run tire change practices), along with oil, gas, suspension clickers, fiddling with this, fiddling with that.

    Everyone else was doing pretty much the same thing. A few US riders had rented Gas Gas bikes and they didn’t get them until late this afternoon.

    The U.S. pits look great this year. The main U.S. tent has some nice new tool holders similar to the Factory KTM/Husaberg style ones, along with new AMA or Factory eco-rugs. We are in a good location pretty much right at the end of pit row and about 15 seconds from the impound area.

    Due to real estate issues, Josh and I were kind of working in the “North 40” today, but it was good to have some space and just focus on getting our work done.
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    Thad Duvall showed up today.
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    Relaxing Metzeler recliner.
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    Mike Brown and Kurt Caselli’s bikes. They were looking pretty plain yesterday, but look sweeeeet today.
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    The Gas Gas bikes that finally showed up.

    Gas Gas 300
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    And Gas Gas 250F (with Yamaha 250F motor)
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    Nick Canny and John Maier from Connecticutt will be riding the Gas Gas. They’re great looking bikes.
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    Pits looking good.
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    Yesterday was car practice day on the track….today was practice day for bikes. Day 6 of the Six Days will be a part super moto with the dirt bikes racing on this track.
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    Even tire changers can look pretty.
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    Jeff Fredette….the legend. Another great example of what a class act Jeff is……tonight was a riders meeting for ISDE Rookies. There are about 42% of the total U.S. team that are first-timers. Jeff, having completed 31 ISDE’s, was present at the meeting, hardly a first-timer, lending his insight into how to have a successful 6-Days.
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    Some more Six Days edition KTM goodness. (This is a 125 EXC….sweet little bike).
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    Billy Burns great looking Husaberg.
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    Jordan Brandt’s very cool and modern looking YZ250.
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    Sarah Whitmore’s KTM 200. Great to see a really fast moto-head here giving it a try on the Women’s Trophy Team. She’ll be a great asset.
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    Nick Hamill’s Husky 250F. Nick and Josh are riding on the same club team.
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    We hope to have a little more intel and pictures of some of the other special tests tomorrow. Word on the street is that the tests and transfer sections of Day 3 and 4 are going to be gnarly.
  18. kenny61

    kenny61 Crazy Idiot

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    Anyone know if it will be on tv? or live web feed? linky?
  19. ICERIDER

    ICERIDER Adventure Rider

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    +1

    Ha! been there before!

    There's not much I can say except please keep your report coming. It's as close to being at the Six Days as it gets for us around the world. We love your family story and we all want to see Josh safely park his bike up after the final Special next Saturday. 'Job Done'.

    In the meantime.....Have fun.
  20. RichBeBe

    RichBeBe All Hail Seitan!!!

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    Great job of really showing us what it is like. A few local guys are there racing on the Junior team and it is great to see some behind the scenes.