Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Motoring at Melvern

Round #11 of the Forward Motion Series was this past weekend.  It has been a long season, but I have truly enjoyed going to all the rounds, spending time with my family, riding new trails,  meeting new people and developing friendships.
The Melvern course is very fun, flows very well and is great for beginners.  One of the top reasons I like this course is it has an Endurocross course at the end that allows us to get some air time and also allows easy passing.  Hitting some of those jumps sure did bring back some fond memories.   We got rain on Saturday which made the course a little slick in the morning, but after a few laps the course was in awesome shape and you could really rail the corners - see below.
Jason Schupp got his new KX450 last week and joined in the fun at Melvern.  It is amazing how many of my friends (past and present) have raced or ridden dirt bikes.  Some never left and continued to ride while others are just now getting back into this great sport.
After we signed up we were all ready to get out and do a practice lap. If you are interested in how the course was, check out our recon lap.  I took an easy lap for the most part checking out any possible passing lines. It's truly a very fun course for beginners.

After our warmup lap we made fun of Jason for stalling, discussed the course and got ready to race.  The series has been going well so far.  If I won today I could wrap up the series title. Christopher is in a heated battle with Tom Younguist, Jeff Buckingham, Tony Toman and Steve Stickney. All have had good and bad days and the final rounds will decide the championship.  
Christopher and Jason lined up for the start of the Trailrider class.  35 riders in the class today.  Christopher said he had some great starting technique that he learned from some others in his class.  Hopefully it would work out for him.
I lined up with a straight shot at the first turn and used my patented starting technique.  Result was another clean holeshot. 
Christopher used his technique that some other rider taught him. Result was a terrible start near the back of the field.  I wonder who he needs to start listening to and getting his advice from?
I cruised out front and was able to run my own pace until I caught up with some 700 and 600 riders.  This little section above gave me fits all day long along with a few riders.  Most fellow riders allowed a quick pass, but there were a few that fought you like it was the Motocross of Nations and if they allowed me to pass their country would lose.  One guy actually stopped in a tight corner and leaned into me so I could not pass. Crap like that makes me want to walk away from racing all together. 
I feel the majority of the crashes happen when trying to overtake another rider.  That is sometimes hard and dangerous when on a trail.  It does not have to be dangerous however if riders would just listen to the race day instructions which state "move over when getting a 'gentle' hint from someone out of your class"  On the second lap I came up on a fallen rider who ended up needed medical attention.  When I see that stuff  it really makes me think hard about racing and end up really slowing down and riding totally within myself.  Now if only I could get by riders without them trying to take me down. 
I sure as heck do not want to end up having to wear a neck brace like Carl in the above picture.   I  hope Carl is just wearing a brace for protection and not because he is riding injured.
Christoper spent the day trying to work his way up through the pack.  He takes his time and only passes when it is safe which is a good thing.
Jason spent the day stalling and having to restart his big bore KX.  I had personal experience with this as I came up on Jason twice today and both times he was stalled.  With time I know Jason will be rolling along fine and doing great!
The Endurocross section was fun for me today.  The logs were not really that big and I now have the technique down.
The big tires are always tricky.  Again it is all about technique and respecting them.  Hit them too hard and off balance and you will pay big time.
The tires and whoops were the only sections of the Endurocross course that Christopher had down.  He has improved greatly from the first time he hit them over in Big Springs.  Each lap he would get better and move up in the field.
Like I mentioned above, the course was very fun.  Some cool features like riding through this old barn.
Christopher put his head down and really charged the last lap.  Actually setting the fastest lap of the day once he got a clear track in front of him.  A 21:41 lap which is just about my pace for the day.  Now if we could just get him to listen to his old man and get his starts down.

I was able to get a good start and ride out front all day.   In the end I got 1st on the day and it looks like I should be able to win the series championship with that this win.
When the checkered flag flew Christopher had worked his way up to 6th place. Jason took a 24th place.    Christopher is still in that heated battle in the Trailrider class.  Regardless of the outcome, I think he has had fun this year.  Hopefully he will remember all the experiences and learn from them.

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