Monday, May 31, 2010

NEMM 2010

Sunday was the season opener for New England Mini Moto at the Graniteville Kart track. It's only an hour away, so I can sleep in and still get there with time to spare. Anyway, it was a good time as usual. Light turnout but the XR100 class is always pretty full.

This year there's a 45+ class, so I'm racing that as well as the XR100 class. I took the lead in the 45+ heat race from the start and won pretty easily. In the feature I had a slow start and had to file into 2nd place for a lap, but I was able to move up into first pretty quickly. I was able to gap the other riders until the last lap, going into the ramp turn I missed a shift and caught neutral right before the jump. I was able to recover and didn't lose my position, but it wasn't my finest performance.

Unfortunately the XR100 class didn't go well for me. I had an OK heat race, starting from the back I was able to finish well enough to get on the second row for the feature. I had a decent start in the feature and was holding down 4th after passing a guy on the first lap. But the guy I passed was Chris, riding a Chinese built Pitster minibike on steroids 'n crack (the bike, not Chris), and he was right on top of me and I knew I was holding him up, which is OK by me, it's why we race, but if I made any mistakes he'd blow right by me. Well, I screwed up the uphill left turn, I felt the front end going away and I couldn't recover it, so I low sided, and Chris had nowhere to go but over me. I felt bad at first, 'cause I saw him go over the bars, but then I felt worse 'cause his bike landed on top of me and he had to pick it up off of me as I lay sprawled under both of our bikes. We got ourselves collected and going again, but my rear brake lever was bent under the engine case, so I had no rear brake, so I pulled off.

So it goes, but I had a good time racing with good folks on a postcard day in Vermont!

The pit scene

The bold new look for 2010!

"The Devil is in the details"...

Here's the start of the Premier Class heat race. My batteries died, but you'll get the first lap in...

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Good old number 12. This baby has been raced and ridden by a long list of people. Always as number 12. It's going to get a number change this year, to #39. So here it is one last time, that is until Scott takes it back and returns it to good old number 12.

The blue hand guards are coming off, as well as some of the old stickers. It should look better by Sunday. Racin' at Rocky Ridge...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Catra Hare Scramble

I finished my first Hare Scramble yesterday. It may be my last Hare Scramble, I'll have to see how motivated I am to do another one in the future.

The format for this race was interesting. They start groups of similar or compatible skill levels together. I entered in the Super (50+) Senior "C" (skill level) Class, there were a handful of other Super Seniors but only one other guy at my supposed skill level, the others were A or B riders. They filled out our line with a few Women's Class riders and some Veteran (40+?) Class, for a total of around 16 riders in my row. There were another 7 or 8 rows behind us. The starts are dead engine, so the starter gives us a 10 second warning, drops the flag, we start the bikes and go. Then the next row gets a 10 second warning, etc...

We were racing a 6 mile loop through the woods, 5 laps. How hard can it be?

Somewhere late in my first lap I smashed into a tree at a pretty good pace. My right hand came off the bar and smashed into the tree or my bark-buster (who knows). I hurt my thumb but I didn't really want to look down at it. After a couple more laps I came across another bike and rider curled on the ground, so I stopped to see if he was OK. I took my hand off the bar to give him the universal "Thumbs up?" sign, but realized I couldn't straighten my thumb...it just looked like I was shaking my fist at him, so that's when I figured my thumb was busted. I picked up his bike for him, turned out he'd landed hard on his tank and "nutted" himself. But as soon as I picked up his bike he got on it and disappeared down the trail. Young kid.

Anyway, somewhere along the way I got lapped, so I didn't complete five laps, only 4. But it turned out I wasn't alone, plenty of riders didn't complete even 4 laps, so I finished 64th out of 108 starters. Pretty poor performance, but at least I wasn't last. By the time I crossed the finish line, my right hand was pretty sore. I would've gladly gotten off the bike right there, but I managed to ride it through the woods back to the truck. The race lasted about 2 hours and 19 minutes for me, and I doubt I could have gone much farther or longer.

I felt much better after I re-hydrated and ate a little bit, so I went back to try to capture some vids...

This is the second row of A class riders getting their start.

A couple more rows starting...

And here they are shortly after the start, ripping through a couple of the faster sections.

Here's the downhill entry to the boggy section I mentioned in the previous post. These guys didn't spend much time pondering "technique", they just blasted through it.

This is a log jump they set up right after the scoring tower that you pass through every lap. It's close to the pits and is easy access for spectators. The 3rd guy through doubled it, but I didn't see anyone else try that.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Teaser from today's race

This is a multi line downhill section that sends you through some boggy lowland, then back up to dry land. It was a tough section for me, but these riders don't seem to be having a hard time. Actually, I only got stuck one time out of the four times through it. Spectators and pit crew were scattered amongst the trees, shouting encouragement.

This is some of the Experts (flying) through the section.

I'm too wiped to do a race report tonight. More details forthcoming...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thursday Night Ride, Richmond

The Green Mountain Riders club hosted the first semi official "TNR" this past Thursday, with a decent turnout of Montshire members. Unfortunately, it rained a couple hours before the ride so we couldn't use most of the newer trails, just the sand loop, which is about a mile, and still lots of fun.
I rode for about an hour or so, but then I noticed that my bike wasn't turning very well. I finally decided to stop and see what was going on, and discovered that my front tire was absolutely flat. That put an end to the riding, so I decided to take some pics and vids...

Ray Atwood, in the blue jacket, was doing sound checks for us, to see how loud the bikes are and to ensure that we comply with noise regulations. We do.

This is a bunch of riders just getting onto the track. 3 short straights connected by 180 deg. berms, then an S turn that sets you up for a 90 deg left up the hill, under the powerline tower.

This is a view from the top of the sand/moto track. You'll see riders on the lower section negotiating the 3 short straights, the riders on the upper section have come out of the woods and will disappear down into a woods loop below.

Another view of the top.

This is what it looks like if I turn around. The riders come up out of the lower woods loop and head along the top of the hill, back into the upper woods.

Jason climbing the hill out of the lower woods section.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ducati wins an AMA Mile!

I don't normally lift photos from other blogs, but this morning I read with great pleasure on the Sideburn blog that Joe Kopp won the Yavapai Downs Mile Race, in Arizona. I'm quite sure this is a first for Ducati, and it's been a long time since anything other than an XR750 has won on a mile.
Huge props to Llyod Bros and Joe Kopp, and I hope this is the start of many more victories for them.
Everybody knows I love the XR750, but I'd really like to see some other brands winning the big track races, and eventually some other factory involvement besides H.D.
Anyway, here's the shot from sideburn.

Visit sideburn from my linkage list for more cool shots and info.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Richmond Work and Ride

Thursday was another work and ride day at the Richmond track. If I haven't mentioned it before, this track and trail system is now being maintained and managed by the Green Mountain Riders Club. The club seeks to build up their membership, with this facility being the primary riding area. There are close to 5 miles of trail opened so far, most of it is accesable with a tracked skidder, which will aid in grooming the trails.
The sand moto section that I've posted video of has been reconfigured and we're currently running it "backwards". and it flows quite nicely now. We tried out a small disc harrow on it as well as a chain drag and the result was very satisfactory. This will enable us to groom the track a little more often since we can pull it behind a quad.

This is Justin pulling the disc harrow.

This is me on the same section of track.

Post ride Magic Hat with Neil, Seamus.

Photos courtesy of Tom Butland.