Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Warrensburg Hare Scrambles - A Dusty Doubleheader.

The promoters of the Forward Motion Hare Scrambles Series experimented with a doubleheader.  Well, sort of a doubleheader - two races on the same weekend not same day.  From experience I know holding two events over a weekend is a lot of hard work.  A huge Thank You goes out to everyone who makes it happen: Dan, the signup ladies, scorers, sweepers, the folks who set up the course, the concession dude who kept us fed and the landowner who opened up his gates and let us play for the weekend.
Overall the event had a great turnout with several hundred riders and spectators on hand for the weekend. I enjoyed spending the weekend riding and racing with my son, but I was done after riding over a 100 miles and breathing in dust for 3 hours each day. 

Christopher got off to a good start on Saturday, but a first turn pileup that he had to stop for allowed over half the field to go by him.

 Dust was a huge issue this weekend. Poor Christopher spent the entire day eating dust and trying to recover from that first turn crash. 

Lately I have had a problem with my glasses getting all covered in sweat.  This has caused me to really suffer out there with very poor vision.  Rich Anderson suggested an old trick that he used to use.  Something about panty liners absorbing the sweat.  I tried em, but it did not work.  Same issue as before sweat and smudge marks all over my glasses which really impaired my vision.  It was really bad today and actually made me nauseous from all the turns and up/downs.  I have the same thing happen to me when I close my eyes on a roller coaster. 

At the last race there was a new winner in the Senior 45+ class - Mike Trent out of Columbia, MO. Mike, who comes from the crazy racing world of Outlaw Sprint Cars, has only been racing motorcycles for about 5 years, but once a racer, always a racer.  Those racing skills get passed on to any sport you do, plus those guys who race the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Dirt Series are not afraid of speed nor backing it into a corner at high speed. 

Today I had my hands full with Mike as we battled for 7 laps. He left me in every open field section but I would catch him in the woods.  My Stone Works Suspension was working great.  I flowed really well today.   I lead for the majority of the race and most of the laps but not the one that counted :-)
I tried every trick in the book to put distance on Mike.  I was ducking trees, railing the berms and really attacking the creek sections.  The creek section on the 6th lap put an end to our little battle.  I was leading and we came up on a lapped rider. This rider crashed in this deep rut in a corner of the creek I went to go around and so did Mike.  Mike's front end washed and he ended up crashing into me which caused me to fall into the down rider.  It must have been comical looking for a few minutes as we all tried to get back up.  I could do nothing because I stuck in the middle with a 250 pound bike on top of me and a 200+ lb rider standing on top of me.   Rich called this type of pass "Pick up and Go Pass" - fist rider to get back up on his bike makes the pass.
Check out that front wheel.  Yep, it is off the ground from Christopher actually finally grabbing a handful of throttle.  Christopher was fast in the woods, but had issues in the open field sections which were really dusty.

Second on the day for me and Christopher battled his way back up to 7th.   Both of us were tired but looking forward at a chance to redeem ourselves on Sunday.

Today Christopher was going to try a new starting technique that Doug Stone told me about.  He had a "full gate" of riders so a good start today was going to be important.

I did not want anything to do with the dust today so I put everything into the start.  My reaction times were great and I lead everyone into the woods by a large margin. 

Doug's new starting technique (which I will keep a secret) worked well for Christopher.  A top 3 start was his goal and he got it.
Did I say it was dusty?  Carolynn took this photo of some foliage and roots. 
In the woods I was really on the gas.  In the corners and open fields I took it easy and safe.  The ground was very slick.  I wanted to stay upright today for sure.  I injured my wrist a little yesterday and did not want to aggregate it any more.

Junior turnout was good today.  This little guy was flying in the woods.  With the small bikes the little kids can really motor in the woods.  Hare Scrambles and Motocross are great family sports and it is good to see so many families out racing together.
This was a very cool section. I could ride in terrain like this all day long. 

My friend Randy Wade took home 4th place on both days of racing.  Randy has recently started a serious training program which includes mountain biking.  Look for his results to improve with his fitness.
The creek sections were fun.  I would take a muddy race over a dusty race any day.

This was my favorite section of the 6 mile course.  I was having fun in this rut every lap.

On the gas again.  Kid is learning fast and is adapting to the sport of Hare Scrambles.  Christopher is still a much better mountain biker, but his motor skills are improving.  Today he got up and ran in 2nd for awhile but got passed on the fast section of the course which were kind of dangerous.  He did the smart thing and rode at his level.  A small crash caused him to drop a few spots and he could never regain them.
A big "W" for me today and Christopher moved up one spot to take home a 6th place on the day. 

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