Monday, March 26, 2007

Exploded Yamaha!!!

So My bike decided to let me down on my last race day at Hollister hills. With a big backfire and little pressure n the kickstarter this piece of the engine case decided to exit the place it was suppose to be at to make my bike operate properly.

Here is the area of the case where the piece is missing. Right behind the kickstarter shaft. It is part of the Right Case Engine half.

Here is another view of the case where the shaft would have met with the outer shaft housing. The housing has a 'cup' in it to hold the shaft end.
More on this later...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Protect Our Riding Areas

These are the local riding areas in Northern California, as you can see theres a mix of Public and Private riding areas. We are very lucky to have so many choices to ride around this area. There have been measures taken at some of the local SVRA and OHV parks to limit our riding access. Two places that are closed right now are Foresthill SVRA and Mammoth Bar SVRA. Both of these areas are closed due to trail destruction and their are no monies at this time to repair and maintain the riding trails according to the National Forest Service which manges these sites.

A Senate Bill (SB742) has also surfaced that is going to possibly mandate that all RED STICKER bikes not be allowed onto PUBLIC PROPERTY after January 1, 2008. This includes 2-strokes and 4-stroke bikes. It is also redirecting funding of the GREEN STICKER program to other areas that are not part of the original OHV plan. We need your help to fight this battle against taking away our right to ride on PUBLIC TAXPAYER OWNED property.

Please write to your State Assembly person and Senator and let them know (respectively) how you feel and how how this affects your family. Thank You.

If you need more information on how to go about doing all this (locating your Senator and Assembly person and letter writing) you can find this at the NCMX Land Use/Legislative section.

Thank for your help, Keep California Riding Trails, Parks, Tracks OPEN!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CMA Round #2 Hollister

March 10th was the CMA Spring Series Round #2 at the Hollister Gran Prix Course in Hollister, CA. I hadnt been racing at Hollister for about 30 years...

This event was actually promoted by UMA and they were a bit under the gun in organizing this event in most peoples opinion it seems. We arrived for the first practices of the day and the track appeared to be pretty well prepped, groomed and watered. But it was apparent by about the third group of bikes out there that the hard pack had not been ripped correctly and it was simply turning into a concrete pad with some dirt layed across the top of it. This makes for some very slippery racing conditions. It was very dusty and although they tried to make some of it work, there were areas that they just ignored.

The track itself is a good design with many elevation changes, high banked sweeper turns, some very easy tabletops and even some off-camber turns that will surprise you if you aren't careful. The track is very fast and the slick turns made for some good 'flat-tracking' moments but most MX riders aren't looking for that. The hillside turnarounds rutted out just a bit but not real well and the lines were deceiving.

The OTHG moto's were setup with all Beginner Classes running together which included all 30+, 38+ and 45+ year olds at the starting gate together. The 30+ and 45+ would start in Gate 1 and the 38+ would start in Gate 2 about a half track behind us. So my first moto was alot of fun, I got out of the starting gate and went very wide, I came around the outside of the main group of bikes on the power when alot of them had to slow way down to make the turn. I went into Turn #1 making up all but about 5 places. There were I think 14 guys at the start gate. I battled it out for places in that first lap and remember rubbing wheels with a Kawasaki 2-smoker in front of me and thought I was going down at one point but saved it into one of the tables. I passed him finally and kept on going for the ones in front of me. They must have been some younger guys cause they were movin'!!! I settled into I think 3rd place overall and thats where I finished out the race. Found out later that it was 1st Place in my 45+ Class !!!!! so that was really good for me. So all those guys in front of me were 30+ and they finished 1st and 2nd overall and in Class.

By the time Moto #2 came around, the tractor was out there and ripped the turns up where it was hard packed and re-watered the whole track. This made it so much better then the first round. The turns werent as slippery and you could really get on the throttle even with the big 450's.... without sliding completely sideways thru the turns.

I started from the same position at the gate and did the same exact thing as I did in the first moto and ended up about the same in 5th place coming out of Turn #1. This time I kept up with the group and kept the battle going on the entire time during the race. There were 2 other bikes and myself hooked up in a wheel to wheel race. I went past the first guy and then gave up the position again to him, and then getting it back again right at the start/finish line on lap #3 and then went after the guy in front of him. I caught him entering turn #1 of the final lap and went inside of him down low and then we were going through the tabletops side by side into about Turn #3 where I went around on the outside of the turn and passed him for good at that point and ran to the finish line. This was some great racing and the guys ran clean and gave room to race and thats what its all about. I gave them both a big thumbs up as we left the track. Our finishes were good for 4th, 5th and 6th Overall against the other guys. I got 2nd in class for this race. I never saw the guy in first.... So we did pretty good.

So I ended the event with a FIRST PLACE Overall in the 45+ Beginner Class for the first time since starting to race again. COOL!!! I know that its just the beginner class but we all gotta start someplace...

Hollister is a beautiful setting for racing and the track can be very competitve. It requires some good care and no matter what the conditions are, its good to be out there racing and enjoying this awesome sport. Its good to be back there after all these years.

E Street Final Round

March 4 was the Final Round of the WINTER SERIES at E Street MX. This is the day after my 2nd Place Win down at LaGrange and about 200 miles of driving roundabout. The whole family went out to this one, both Scott and I were gonna be racing this day. Myself in the 45+ Beginner OTHG and Scott in the 85cc Beginner class.

It was a beautiful day out and there was a pretty decent turnout, but nothing quite as close to what was at LaGrange. Maybe people were tired, who knows. They missed a great event.

I finished 4th place in both my motos on this day and got 4th overall so it wasn't as grand as my day before winnings, but the racing was just as fun. The track was nicely setup in its mostly original configuration, it was pretty fast and technical and I didnt crash, so that makes for an awesome day overall.

Scott had a pretty decent day too, I think he went down one time in his second moto, but he finished up before the last bike got off the track, so thats better then what he did at Carnegie.

As this was the final round of the E Street Winter Series, the final points standings placed me in 8th Place overall of 22 Riders for 4 events. I rode in 3 of the 4 events and had a great time.

Thanks to E Street MX, Scott and Lyndsey Davis and all the crew out there for making it a great series. Also thanks goes out to Roseville Yamaha for supporitng the series too.

CMA Round #1 LaGrange

March 3 we were out at the LaGrange SVRA track in LaGrange, CA located down near Modesto. This was Round #1 of the 10th Annual Pacific Coast Pro-Am Spring Series put on by CMA and the Bay Chapter OTHG. First time for me at this track and it was very well setup. I was competing now as a Beginner in the 45+ Class and the turnout for this weekend was phenominal. These are setup with practice in the mornings and then racing in the afternoon, so you dont get much time to figure out the track before the moto's start.

Practice was pretty good, but the track was a bit hard to remember with all the turns and technical portions to try and master all in the course of about 2 hours. After my first practice I really didnt know if this was gonna be a good idea or not. But I overcame by inhibitions and headed out again and again.

When Moto 1 started I was ready as I would ever be and just figured on doing my best. There were 22 guys out there at the starting gate and the track was gonna be fun. I think there was about 12 guys just in my class and I got a bad start off the gate. That was short lived because on the uphill to the first turn I made up alot of ground and ended back up in about 5th place overall.

I worked my way into 4th and then found a racer that I was pretty much equal to as we went around the track at least twice wheel to wheel and I couldn't find a clean passing area to get by. A faster rider came by us both on the downhill jump and wiped out in the bottom turn causing the 3rd place rider in front of me to go off course also. I inherited 3rd place at that point and finished in that position. I was scored in 1st place because the front two riders were actually moved up into other classes. So Whooo Hoooo, A 'technical' first place, but I will take it.

My second moto of the day was about the same, My start was a come from behind to the top of the hill and made up all but the front 4 spots and then it was just a workout to try and run the front guys down. I kept up with 3rd place and finally passed him and then tried to save some energy for second place but it wasnt to be. He was still about 20 yards ahead of me at the finish line and I couldnt make it up. So that was an honest 3rd place finish giving me a Second Place Overall for the day!!!! My First Podium as an Old Guy!....

I am so glad I stayed and put my fears behind me because I had a great time out there. We have another event out there at the end of March again. Im looking forward to it!