Monday, May 27, 2013

Big Springs Race Report

The Forward Motion Hare Scrambles series continued this Memorial Day Weekend.  On tap was a full 3 days of off-road riding/racing.  Saturday was an open practice and Christopher and I took advantage at the chance to ride trails and get in some more "seat time" for him.  He is still learning to ride his bike and build up the endurance and strength required to "wrestle " a 250 pound beast around for over 2 hours.  One thing we changed on his bike to make this easier for him was to have Doug Stone work on his suspension. After one lap on Saturday we returned to the trailer and the first thing Christopher said was "I Love My Suspension".   He must have because on the second lap we went out and worked on a few sections and I was impressed that he was able to keep up with me when I pushed the pace. We rode for a couple of hours and also hit the MX track that is at Big Springs to get ready for the Best of Kansas race (HS, MX and TT) on Monday.

 Race morning arrived and I was feeling really nervous.  Today's event was having everyone race at once with no split classes.  This would mean about 175 riders out on the course at one time.  I knew it was going to be dusty and I was very concerned about the limited visibility. Luckily Big Springs is an easier course with limited rocks and roots to hit while riding in the dust. 
One of the skills we practiced on Saturday were starts.  Christopher improved with each practice and I was hopeful he would remember everything and his motor skills would become second nature today.  I used to be called  "Mr Holeshot" back in Florida.  I always have had very quick reactions with excellent eye hand coordination. 
Only problem on Sunday was the promoter started the race with a shot gun.  This caused me to get off the line a little slower than I wanted.
I entered the corner outside the top 10, but one other skill I have always had was the ability to find a line and negotiate a hectic start. I got on the gas quickly and maneuvered into second exiting the first turn.  On the next straight before the woods I kept the throttle on a little longer than Terry Fleming (#1017) and shot into the lead going into the timber.
Below you can see Christopher needs a little more work with his throttle control and reactions.  We will keep at it and maybe with some motivation he will start doing some "Moto Training" with me to improve these required skills.
Luckily he did have the reactions to avoid a crash at the start and worked his way up into the top 5 by laps end.
The pictures do not show it, but the trails were very, very dusty.  I had clear sailing for about 3 minutes and started to check out.  I got a nice lead but soon caught up to the back markers in the class that started ahead of us. It was very hard to see, yet alone pass on parts of the course.  A lot of the passing was on open sections and on the Endurocross course after the scoring area. 
I am getting much better at these Endurocross courses.  I remember the first time I visited Big Springs I bitched about the section, but now with more riding time and a much better bike I feel more at home.  Key is to attack the obstacles like the tires below - see below.
Christopher handled the section well.  His first lap was good and was inside the top 5 working his way through the field and dust.
After the first 2 laps the field started to get strung out some.  By the third lap it became very easy to pass riders as fatigue started to set in.  Hare Scramble last between 2 to 3 hours long.  If you are in shape you can really make up ground late in a race.
Christopher looking good on his second lap.  Standing up and in control of his bike.
My 3rd and 4th laps were the best.  At times I was flying.  That was until I got caught behind riders and their dust.  My condition is good on the bike right now.  Not super fast, but I can ride steady for hours at the same pace.
 Problem is if you are not in shape you start to look like the below picture. Check out those elbows below :-)

Christopher got in 4 laps on the day.  He got very tired after the hour mark and by the time 2 hours rolled by he was beat.  Fell back to 13th place on the day.
My main goal this season in the Hare Scrambles series to be strong for the entire 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Good news is I have been able to achieve that at the last two rounds.
 I was fortunate on the day and was able to secure another win.  It is always a good feeling to see "Class Leader" when you roll through the scoring area.
Big Springs = Big Smiles
 Big dusty bodies

And Big Trophies

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