Friday, July 5, 2013

A Race in the Park

What to do on July 4th?  With this great weather we have been having lately doing something outside was a must.  A float trip sounded good to me, but Christopher still has a phobia from a near death experience several years ago.   With Masons Midsummer Meltdown  Sunday we opted to leave the bikes at home and  load up the motorcycles and head to the city of Drexel for a Race in the Park.  
The City of Drexel really gets behind this event with a full on festival - watermelon eating contest, inflatable house for kids, slides, art contest, fireworks and yes even a full on Hare Scrambles Motorcycle race right in the center of town.
Course included creeks, rocky single track, fields, gravel roads, golf courses, endurocross course and even a jump over a creek with flames and all.
Best of all they had beautiful starter girls in cow boy boots.  First class event all the way.  I just love those starter girls....
Today Christopher and I would be pulling double duty.  They needed volunteers so we signed up to patrol one race and take down the course after the event was over.
Today's race went old school with a running start to your bike.  Who remembers those old GP, Desert and Hare Scrambles races when you ran to your bikes? I sure do and today brought back some good vintage memories.
I was one of the quickest to run and mount my bike.  I had her started and was off with a near picture perfect start  (perfect would have been to not have your kick stand still down).

Second to the first turn which was a rather tricky little section with very loose rocks that caused many riders fits during the start.
Christopher got a terrible start today and was stuck behind this big pileup outside the top 30.
Riders had to actually turn around and then try to find a way around.  Christopher is learning the hard way on how to position himself at a start.  Some things you just can not teach kids and they have to learn themselves.
While the race is going on the festival continued all day long and into the night.  Drexel only has 264 families and I think everyone was out today.
My race was short lived.  While running up front and going through one of creek crossings that was full of old concrete culverts that been broken up (Why broken you ask?  Maybe to fill a ditch or water way I do not know.  Not the funnest stuff to ride over) I hit something really hard and got a flat front tire.
I returned to our pit and was hopping somehow Carolynn had recruited us a professional pit crew like they have at the GNCC events.  I found nothing but a locked trailer so it was left to me to try and fix my bike and get back out there.

Christopher's day continued to go badly with a crash that damaged his bike and even broke off the bite valve of his hydration system.
They start them young in motorcycle racing.  These kids usually so the same loop as the adults and start in the last wave.  It is great to see them out racing, and it's even better is to see other racers stop in the middle of their event to help them out.

After the hour mark Christopher started riding much better and he stopped crashing which allowed him to start moving up.  By the end of the 2 hour race he moved up to 14th place.  Not his best day for sure but at least he had his fastest lap on his 6th lap and showed that he did not give up.
I for one did give up.  After a hour in the pit trying to find a tube and then fixing my flat I called it a day and started getting ready to sweep the course, patrol and take down the arrows and course markings.
I never thought I would see more arrows put up on a course than what we had last year at Wyco's Revenge.  Well after taking down the course today we gathered up a full bin of arrows and tape.  I never noticed that many arrows out on the 8 mile course today, but I guess when you are going by so fast you just do not see them.

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