Monday, October 30, 2006

Marysville Riverfront Park

I had the opportunity to go out and visit the Marysville Track on Sunday with my kids. It was a great day out there and not too many people for the size of tracks and areas for parking. There are parking areas under a grove of trees with shade to cover whatever you like and full facilities for those that need that kind of thing.

My daughter found her way right to the 80cc track where she finds comfort just jumping and running and I went with my son to what I call the "BACK-40" track which is for anyone to go out and play on mostly, it's a nice warm up track for bigger bikes too. He's on a 200 so he can't hang around on the little bike tracks, people get annoyed with that and he's not experienced enough be out on the big track. So we went over there, I needed to get a warm up also. I attacked this track like it was second nature to me, mostly because it was curvy and had allot of flats with burmed turns that made it pretty easy to get around. It wasn't muddy or wet so there was decent traction. There's a wide open flat track section leading to the back straightaway along the river that was a blast with the big 450. More about that later...

I decided to go check out the main track, (after all that's what I was there for yes?) so I head out onto the main stretch and took the first jump (tabletop) landed short, almost biffed it and figured I better just take it a little easy and figure this track out before I end up in over my head. So I made it through 1 lap trying to stay out of peoples way while still trying to just get a feel for the different turns and lots of tabletop jumps. These I needed to time my throttle and get it up and over them to make it right. About my fourth lap I was feeling pretty goooooood about it and started running it a little harder and faster. The front straight had 3 tabletops in a row and I landed all 3 perfect on the landing side both wheels grounding at the same time, it felt good. The last jump though I landed and my throttle hand slid off the grip and that was a little scary. I took a break after that.

I went back over to the Back-40 track to check on the kids and found myself in a group of guys running laps around there pretty good. I passed most of them and went to the lead with another kid (maybe 18-20) on a Suzuki 250(?) 2 stroker, and we went into that long flat track turn section onto the main straight and I went inside for the pass. We went into that turn at maybe 20-25 mph, came out and I hit the throttle, front wheel coming up and I started sliding outwards.... I knew he was right there next to me and I wanted to give him room to race so I set the front back down to steer away from him, but by that time I was doing maybe 40 mph now and running into some washboard ruts. That immediately set my front end into a speed wobble that I would not be able to recover from and in that instant the bike went sideways, high-sided and tossed me like a rag doll right over the front (wish I had some video of that). I felt like I was sliding into home plate on my stomach!.... Oh yea! But that's just racing... actually just fooling around. If I had been racing I wouldn't have probably given him that 'room to race' and I would have made it through OK and in front.

Anyway it was just allot of fun, I didn't really feel any pain in my leg until we started loading up to leave and I noticed my thigh was pretty swollen. That's probably what hit the handlebar on the way over it. It still smarts today a bit.

In a different altercation... (that didn't include me) there was a life flight extrication from the park also that day. Seems a guy was racing, possibly over his limit or was run off the track (different stories) and left the track at one of the high burm turns and landed in a gully next to the track. He was unconscious for quite awhile and I dont know if he regained consciouness before leaving the site. They cut all his gear off him and strapped him in for the ride to the hospital somewhere. We can only hope he is alright and will be telling us stories soon.