Tuesday, April 29, 2008


The Sierra Chapter National was held April 26-27, 2008 at The Oatfield in Turlock, California. This was my second time out there, only the track was changed considerably for this event. Last year I competed as a Beginner in the 45+ age group and this year I competed in the Novice Class in the 45+ age group. Lots of differences!

The dirt out at The Oatfield is some of the best in Northern California, and it is alot of fun to race on. The track has about 11 turns over the entire length with about a 30 bike gate. The track gets all torn up with the ruts, braking bumps and accelleration bumps all get huge but they are pliable and forever changing from race to race. The jumps are mostly double/triple combinations with a couple of areas that were double/double combos. It has a huge step up jump right in the middle and it looks like the matterhorn! There is a whoop section that starts big and gets tighter as you get to the end of it. The nicest banked curves you can imagine for railing the rim make up the last few turns on the course before the finish line.

The weekend weather was hot with just a breeze to cool things off only a bit. The races mostly went off without a hitch and mostly everyone came away no worse for the ware. I know of a few guys (including myself) that came home with more than a fair share of bruises. No major disasters or injuries though really.

The motos went along pretty quickly; I was in the Moto #9 on Saturday and Moto #1 on Sunday. My first moto I got a pretty good start, was about #3 to the top of the hill but fell back before turn #1 and then further back after that. About lap #3 I tried to clear the jump after turn #10 which is the double/double combo right alongside the starting line area. This was a major problem area and I should have rolled it but I didnt. I came up just a bit short, cased out on the landing and the rebound of the bike basically bucked me right off the bike and it went the other direction. Luckily I landed on my side and hip instead of my head and I rolled off to the side of the track as fast as I could. There were a bunch of people there right away to help me out. Another guy got my bike up and even kept it running by just pulling in the clutch before lifting it up instead of killing it. So I said "Keep it running, I'll ride!!!" everyone around me was saying "You sure?"... I guess my 'get-off' looked worse than it felt at the time. My head was ok so it seemed good to go.

Anyway I got back on the bike and finished out my moto, but it wasnt long before my hip and leg were letting me know that there was gonna be more to this story to be told later.... and needless to say that I wasnt going to be making my Moto #2 on Saturday.

So it became relax time and photographer time and IBUPROFEN TIME!!! Whats funny about hanging out with a bunch of old timers is that everybody has some kind of 'prescription pain killer' to offer up when needed. I was offerred everything from 800mg Aspirin to vicodin to darvocet!...

Scott was in Moto #11 and he was running in the "Over 100cc Beginner Class". That is anthing from 100cc to 450cc in that class, so he was really outclassed again. And of course there were many riders that weren't even beginners. It's too bad they dont make up some better classes for the real beginner kids to ride with us because it just discourages them from continuing to 'race'.

There were 12 motos for the days events on Saturday including the support classes, we had a great dinner catered in afterwards and a HUGE raffle all put together by the hard-working people of the Sierra Chapter Board and so many sponsors and shops and just plain folk that wanted to be a part of this gathering. It was a great evening of fun and bench racing among friends. I didn't win a thing at the raffle, but Scott got a bunch of plastics for his 125.


The morning practices got underway about 8:30 am and racing soon thereafter. We would have 15 motos this day due to some extra large gates form the first day. But I was in Moto #1 and ready to have a go at a fresh track and feeling not too bad after my prior crash-out. The hip was feeling ok and I was walking just fine again. I felt ready and able to take on the day. On the start I came within inches of getting the 'holeshot' into corner #1, it was between me and another guy both going into the turn together; he was up high on the outside of the berm and I came in low on the inside. I had to slow quite a bit to make the tight inside turn, he carried his speed and kept on going. I dropped into second and then back to about fourth or fifth with everyone coming around right behind him.

I held my position once I fell back to about 7 or 8th and then ran about 5 of the 7 laps we were doing. I got tired out and lost more places. On the last lap I was battleing with another guy and we kept exchanging positions, (for what position I had no idea at this point) but we were racing and having a great time. Coming into the last high banked berm turn he went to the high side and I went to the low side trying to cut under him for the position and I could've brake checked him right out and kept going, but... this was for fun! and so we drag raced to finish line from there and he got me by a half a front wheel... for 12th position (we found out later)

We congratulataed each other at the end as if we were running for the AMA Championship in Las Vegas!... In our minds, it was just like ole times!

Scott was in the next to last moto again. He had one little mishap but pulled it together and kept it going. He enjoys just being out there and being able to ride any chance he gets I think mostly.

My Final Moto was again a great start off the line, I got into turn #1 in about third position and tried hard to stay with the leaders, but the track had already gone away and there were huge ruts, multiple lines, braking bumps everywhere and it was just fatiguing me really quickly, Oh did I mention it was like 85 degress out too? I was sweating like a pig heading for the bacon shop, and dropping backwards faster then a rockstar on the Country Top 40.

OVERALL: Great Event, Great People, Great Fun. PRICELESS!

I finished: 17 / DNS / 13 / 15 for a 17th overall.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2008 OTHG Race 11

Well I missed the Hollister Race Event #10 held on April 5, 2008, so I’m keeping up to my odd number race standard… Only thing is I missed a DOUBLE-POINTS event! Oh well it was for another good cause. I was in Dallas learning to coach our up and coming young (and old) off-road riders to operate dirtbikes safely. Also got to see the Dallas SX Event !

Ok… Event #11 on April 13, 2008 was at Argyll Race Park in Dixon, CA. This track has been changed since the last time we ran it. The track was prepped well, it had some of the original fun parts like the whoop section that you can just sit back and hop across the tops, the grandstand jump and a couple more new doubles. It was about 85 degrees out but with no wind thankfully and we ran 7 laps this time instead of the normal 5. The track rutted out quickly and they hardened into form in most all the turns, but overall it held together throughout the course of the entire race day.

It’s not that this track is very hard and it is not as fast as it was when we first ran it in the beginning of the year, but in my first moto I got out of the gate good, I was on the outside and then turning in I had to hit the brakes and that sent me too the far outside and everyone came inside of me. I ended up about 6 or 7th out. I had a hard time keeping my front wheel in the ruts and getting the bike turned around. I don’t think I was trying hard enough to get down into the turn and making a go at it. That slowed me down a lot. By about the fourth or fifth lap I was way back in the field only finding stragglers that had fallen in front of me once in a while… then the 38+ Novice guys caught up with me and started passing me. I was waiting for the white flag at this point. I was tired.

Moto 2 was much better, I got a good start and was maybe 5th out of the gate, about the fifth turn I connected up with someone’s back tire and it sent me flailing off line but I held it together and didn’t crash out. I dropped back a few more spots and then held my ground until about the third lap and then started losing more spots to the guys behind me. I was attacking the turns much harder, laying the bike into the ruts and keeping on the throttle and rolling thru them under power instead of coasting. This felt much better and way more control. The jumps were feeling really good, some of the braking bumps were hardened up into concrete by this time from the heat but it was still fun. I got passed by the 1,2,3 place 38+ Novice guys right before the finish line and ended up taking the checker flag with them. I was lapped again. Oh well.

There was a great turnout of OTHG, Sierra Old Timers and The Vintage Clubs. The weather was great! (for boating) and the event/track support by Mike Sexton and his crew at Argyll Park was top notch. Thanks Mike!

I ran the 45+ Novice class and these were my stats:

Moto 1: Finished in 5th Place out of 9 riders
Moto 2: Finished in 9th Place out of 9 riders
Overall: 6th Place Finish for the Day out of 9 riders


Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008 OTHG Race 9

So it appears that I am running the "ODD RACE SCHEDULE" due to the fact that I missed the Club Moto Race Event #8 held on March 15, 2008. Sorry I missed it, the event was very well represented by OTHG in support of CMA. The weather held out and it was a real good event overall from what I have heard.

Event #9 by CMA on March 29, 2008 was again at the LaGrange SVRA track in LaGrange California. This track is really a lot of fun but it is most definitely a workout. The track was prepped really well and it held together throughout the course of the entire race day.

There were a few changes made to the track again, the major change that everyone seemed to like was the removal of the huge step-up jump in the back area that only the Pro’s even bothered to attempt at the last event, (I tried once and almost didn’t make my second moto after casing it into the face). The turn leading to the back stretch along the fenceline was raised with about 6-8 ft of dirt, so that made the jump coming into the turn more level instead of jumping downhill into a hard right hander. Also, the turn did not deteriorate as bad as last time so you could get some traction and some speed together to make the jumps to come. They made a short step-up jump into a double-double setup that if hit properly you could really make up some good time in the air to the other side of the hilltop. Then you go into the downhill leading to the last couple of turns before the Start/Finish line. This was a nice change. I will need more practice on it before gaining my flight time…

It seems like they cut down the height of the whoop section a little bit (not much) because I know I was taking it a bit faster this time then before. But it was still an arm burner!

I did the morning practices, so I had about 3 practices for 20 minutes each and then the Gang practice and then 2 motos. I was pretty much spent! There was a lot of dirt being thrown around from my perspective, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re bringing up the rear! Maybe I’ll try less practice next time and more racing?

There was a good turnout of OTHG folks but not nearly as many as the first event about a month ago.

45+ Novice Class Results
Moto 1: Finished in 7th Place out of 9 riders
Moto 2: Finished in 7th Place out of 9 riders
Overall: 6th Place Finish for the Day out of 9 riders

Not very good numbers, but it was a good time and that’s what I went out there for.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

2008 OTHG Race 7

The Race #6 event by SDMX was cancelled at Riverfront due to track flooding... This next event on our tour was Race #7 at LA GRANGE by CMA on March 1st, 2008. This has always been the track that separates the men from the boys, but on this day I was delivered back to my boyhood. The track has been re-worked and someone thought that extending this already long track was a good idea... well my stamina was nowhere near capable of taking on an extra 1/4 to 1/2 mile of track. In addition to the extra length, they had ripped it extra deep and the ruts and braking bumps that developed over the course of the day were brutal in their dispense on the riders. I for one was thoroughly trashed after both my motos and the second motos had even been shortened by one lap. It was tiring to say the least.

Added to the fray of long laps times and very technical turns that were added, mother nature appeared in the form of healthy wind gusts and blew most of the track into a dustbowl at times. Some of the jumps were running perpendicular to the cross winds which made for some rather uneasy air time. I was in mid-air at one point and felt the bottom of my bike twisting out from underneath me and had no idea what was going on. Eventually I figured out it was the wind taking me off course. I started jumping alot less.

The OTHG turnout for the day was overwhelming, many of the gates were pretty full with the 38+ Novice class having a full 30 riders taking off from the gate at once. I was gated right behind them so it was a quite a site to see all those guys taking off into oblivian.... behind a screen of dirt and dust, then waiting to see who came out on the other side. Awesome racing guys!

My 45+ Novice group had 11 riders at the gate and the 50+ Novice was in the 2nd gate right behind us with another 11 riders. My first moto I got out in about next to last place but made up some positions at the top of the hill. I stayed in position through about the 3rd lap and then did a flat-land on the step up jump and jambed my back. I started falling back at that point. I just couldn't concentrate and keep my focus on what I was doing to keep a racing line. I fell back to 7th position and that's where I finished.

My second moto, I was just going to make one lap and take off just to get points for the event. I was pretty beat-up, my back was really hurting and I just figured I couldn't possibly finish a another complete moto. I got a good start and flew up the hill in about 6th place, then I passed another couple guys in the first turn again and I was in about 4th place right behind the leaders. I thought "cool!!!, focus focus focus!!!"... I didnt even think about taking the exit when the first chance came up I just kept on going. I really didn't even think of my back I was getting focused on the guy ahead of me. Everytime that exit came up I just couldn't make myself take that turn.

"Hello, Im Paul... Im an MX addict!.... " Ok so this is what Im thinking to myself after I get off the track after my second moto heading towards my truck, my back aching and dreaming of the 800 mg ibuprofin tablets inside it. This sport is a total rush!, and I am addicted to it, over pain, over debt, over... well.... over almost anything.

45+Novice Results:
Moto 1: Finished 7 out of 10 riders
Moto 2: Finsihed 7 out of 10 riders
Overall: 6th Place of 10 Positions

La Grange.... I'll be back, hopefully in much better condition to take on your new expectations.

I took some pretty good images of the all the riders out there. We also had the honor of having the vintage riders running with us. Many beautiful 'old' bikes still running well.

Photos located here: LA GRANGE 1 PHOTO ALBUM

Monday, February 11, 2008

2008 OTHG Race 5

Round #5 for the OTHG Season was put on by SDMX ESTREET Winter Series at Carnegie SVRA Park near Tracy, California. The #4 Event at Hollister was cancelled due to rains.

Scott Davis and his crew did an awesome job at Carnegie on this weekend (as usual) The track was "EPIC".... it put even his own tracks to shame, the layout was great, jumps were phenominal!, and the turns were so fast, it was incredible. The soils were a bit different than usual. Scott added something to it, it wasnt the typical hard pack of late, that we all know and HATE....
The starting gate went into a chute that was maybe 5 bikes wide handlebar-to-handlebar and it made for alot of holeshot hell!!!! and then into a hard right hander. This led you right into the first jump of a twin camel back double.... if anyone was crazy enough to double this.... (about 120 ft., I measured) it would've been awesome!.... but, I didnt see one person even try it.

After that it was a hard left off the base of the hillside which made for a real fast turn and then a straight away jump into a quick left hander, almost a 120 degree turn. This led to a short table that led you into a very fast section that led you all the way to the first uphill turnaround. It was pretty slippery up there untill about midday. Then downhill into a perfectly lipped small jump that with all the downhill speed sent you flying into the air so effortlessly, you could jump all the way into the next turn..... (and end up in trouble) a hard right turn, up 2 gears into 4th for me and uphill again at full throttle and pounding that hillside. Across the top of the hill and then slam the bank and head downhill again and into a higly banked whip around turn that sets you up for a short, fast double jump. This leads you into a really fun 180 degree right hander that you could run the rim and continue with really good speed on the outside and be able to keep ahead of others going low into the apex trying to gain a position on the inside.

This led into a rut field and a left hander that was pretty soft but lots of fun to just lay the bike down and dig in with a blip of the throttle over another short jump. Then into the front grandstand straights with two big tabletops, the second one being right in front of start/finish and then heading off into the remaining couple of very fast front turns going to the back of the course.

Lap times for the 45+ Pros were at about 1:37, I ran about 1:50 to 1:54 range. It was a nice long course with lots of turns and very fast. I ran Race #5 with the entire Novice class of ages. We had two gates with the 38+ and 45+ starting together in the second gate with about 25 riders total.

45+ Novice Class ResultsMoto 1: 8 guys I ended up 6th place.
Moto 2: 8 guys I ended up in 4th place.
Overall: 5th Place Overall for the day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

2008 OTHG Race 3

This event on January 21, 2008 was with SDMX EStreetMX Winter Series put on by Scott Davis and his crew out at Riverfront Park in Marysville. The day started out very cold and with a slight wind blowing. The track was in good shape mostly with only a few places that were just a little sloppy mud-wise. For just having rained for 5 days straight this track was in awesome shape actually.

There were a total of 25 or so motos and the track actually held up very well over the course of the entire day. Scott was in Moto #7 running his first race with the 125cc Beginner Class. I was in Moto #10 running my first race with the OTHG 45+ Novice class. Scott had a mixed group with 125's, 250's and women also. He rode a safe race and ended up last in the class, but he finished. The kid that won the 125 race lapped the entire field at least once and almost twice in his second moto. (Hardly a Beginner, but definately a beginner 'sandbagger') Scott had alot of fun overall.

My Moto was gated with the 30+ and 38+ Novices in Gate #1 and my group of 45+ and 50+ Novices were in Gate #2. Which some of these guys I had ran with in the 45+ Beginner class last year, so it was just like old times again.

The first race I got onto the track in about 6th position and lost ground quickly around some of the sloppy turns. I finished 2nd in class. My only other 45+ class competitor ended up getting bumped into the Intermediate class because he smoked almost everyone in the whole group.

My second race, I was in a three way bike run for the holeshot into the first turn and I made it around the first turn and went a bit wide and ended up third onto the straight, WHAT A RUSH!!!!!... thats what its all about! I kept my place until we got to the back mucky area and I started slipping and sliding around and lost a position almost every single lap in the same areas. I was making great jumps over the tables and jumping the little doubles really well. I was running pretty confidently all around. I think I finished about 5th or 6th overall for the group but I finished first in class... I was the only one left in the class!....
No trophy this time but it wasnt earned. Maybe some more people will show up next time otherwise I will have to move into the younger classes.... ;)

We had a great time, great people, a great track. I just got to get some more muddin' time under by belt for those sloppy turns.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

2008 Race Season Starts

Well a new year has started and things will hopefully be safe and fun for the 2008 race season. I just began racing again in 2007 which started off for me with a broken wrist (non-mx related) and then I had a knee injury right after the first race of the season. I competed in one National this year at The Oatfield during the "mudfest race" and had a blast. Wish I coulda ran a few more Nationals.

I didn't compete in any races during the summer months so it was a restart again from ground zero for me once the weather cooled a bit in September and I got back on the bike again. I ran my last season race at Argyl Park on September 30th and placed well enough to finish the season with a 5th Overall in the 45+ Beginner Class. I only competed in 8 of 29 possible points races.

Soon after that I broke a finger while playing around with Scott's new YZ125 at Club Moto, trying to show the kid a 'few tricks'. That left me out of riding again for awhile until just recently.

Looks like the 2008 race schedule for Sierra OTHG has been setup pretty well this year with 9 races before the Sierra National in April. Should be lots of fun and lots of good competition now that I have moved up to the 45+ Novice Class.

I am going to try and make more of the summer series races this year, attend more of the Nationals and work my way into that coveted "Top 25" for the season ending awards. I know its not much of a payoff to strive for but it's all fun and it's all with good people and just about having a good time.

If I can finish in the top 5 of the 45+ Novice Class (and not break anything trying) I will be extremely happy with myself.

E Street Ride Day for OTHG

Scott Davis honored the OTHG Chapters with a "Rider Appreciation Day" for all of the support that the Chapters provide to his race series during the past season. He provided a beautifully prepared course and a Bar-B-Que for all the riders that would show up and we had a full list of participants. Thank You Scott and Crew and OTHG certainly does appreciate your support of us also.

Here's just a few photos for the ride day event: