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.