Well I got one more chance to race the XT500 before I put it away for the season. I hadn't realized that the Oct. 10 race was a night race until I got a couple calls during the week asking if I was coming down. I loaded the bike and took my chances that it might be slow enough at work that I could leave a tad early. It was, I did.
But I missed practice and the heat race for Senior "B", in fact I was just barely able to suit up and get the bike fired in time to catch the Vintage heat race. I must have been pretty amped up, 'cause I rolled over the line a little early and got sent back to the penalty line. No big deal though, 'cause there were a couple restarts and I was able to get into a better position for them. Once we got a good race going I was in 3rd place behind Bucky on his TT500, and Mark Methe leading the way on his Husky. That's the way we finished. When we pulled off the track I pitted next to Bucky. He got his helmet off and asked me who the hell kept on bumping him in the turns. I had to sheepishly admit it was me, the turns were so greasy I kept sliding up into him, quite by accident. He took it well once I explained myself, others might not have gotten off so easy.
So the Senior "B" feature race comes up and since I missed the heat race I had to start on the 2nd line. I got a decent start though, and soon enough I was in 3rd place and gaining on the leaders. I actually caught them coming off the back straight into 3, and realized I was going in a little too hot. I should have run out a little deeper into the turn, instead I tried cutting inside of 'em, hit one of the marker cones and did a slow motion low side loop into the turn. Damn. I got up and finished the race but I don't know what my position was.
As I'm pulling off the track I realize that once again, I have no brake. It felt a little funny during the feature but I figured I'd adjust it for the next race. What I found though, was that this time the lock pin holding the rod to the pedal pivot was missing. The rod was just dangling off the swing arm. The Vintage race was coming up in two races so I didn't have time to do anything but remove the arm and race Vintage with no brakes. By this time the track had tacked up a bit, I knew I could ride around in the cushion without taking anybody out.
In the Vintage feature race I didn't have a great start which meant I had to let everybody settle in before I could really attack. I came out of turn 2 in 4th place behind a Moto Guzzi, Bucky and Mark. It took me a few laps to ride around the Guzzi and then I just relaxed and enjoyed sliding around in 3rd till the checkers. I'll take it.
Loaded, battle weary, I still love this bike.
It was great catching up with some of the crew from previous years racing, all asking about Scott and how's he doing. And of course Pete and Connie are the best.