Monday, August 15, 2011
Day 5, the exact same as day 4. The tests were still in very good shape for all of the traffic they have had. In test 1 of the day I was having a flawless run catching up with riders who had started before me and setting my best time in the test. As I near the finish I had caught another rider and was trying to get around him, we dropped back into a sand section with a sand hill to climb back out. I take an outside line to make a clean pass, I hit a kicker going into the hill, swopping out I lost all momentum for the hill. I tried to make the hill and the back end of the bike just gets buried in the sand, costing me a minute and a half to get it out. Test 2 went as good as it has gone for me. Having trouble with the deep sand whoops and not having the confidence I need for that big of whoops. In my transfer to the half way point of the day, I noticed my 350excf was starting to have a bad bog in the top end. I made it to the gas stop, checked a few things and found nothing wrong. Started out to our emergency gas. At this time the bike is hardly even running. I am starting to think of what it could be, I am thinking the fuel injector is clogged and I don't have anymore with me. I pull into the emergency gas and the USA crew looks at me with a worried look and said it doesn't sound good !!!! We drain the gas hoping I got bad gas. Fill it with new and we still have the same problem. An Australian woman comes over and tells us we need a new fuel filter. And that they have changed several on their fuel injected KTMs. The pit crew scramble to find one! Luckily a KTM support truck was there and a mechanic came over and showed me where it went. We get it changed and the bike fires up and runs awesome!!! I leave the stop 26 minutes late but do not have a time check for a while. I ride like a man possessed, get to my special test and set my fastest time through it and arriving to the time check 7 minutes late. From there I have the sand test which I also set my fastest time through and them back to the main pits and impound for the end of Day 5. After today I finished 28th in the C2 and am in 49th overall in all the club riders.
Day 4, with the rain we have had this week they had to take out the first and last test of day 4 and 5. The ski slope test, it had become a water park as a lot of us were starting to call it. So days 4 and 5 we only were going to have 2 tests but we would do 2 laps to make up 4 tests each day. One of the tests was the best test of the week. It was out by the Finland-Russian boarder and where the WINTER WAR was fought between them. It was full of bunkers and man made rock barricades. This test held up the best and i had my best results for the day in. The other test was a sand quarry to explain it the easiest. It become very whooped out and the sandy hills became soft and hard to control through. I crashed every time through this test. I finished today in 8th in the C2 class and 41st overall in club riders.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Today, Day 3 was supposed to be our easy relaxing day. Not so much!!! It was cold and rained 80% of the day. All of the transfer sections were very fast and with it raining it was like riding in sleet. Our new test section we were saying would be so awesome ended up being very slick and rutted up. Bike were buried to the seat. The had to throw out our first test of the day at a ski slope because one of the hills was just a line of bikes waiting at the bottom for riders who didn't make it to come back down. Today I felt a lot better on the bike railing through the tests, the bad thing is being a little on the edge caused me to have a tip over in all 4 tests today. Just small little mistakes need to I improve on for day four. I pulled into a gas and go before our last test of the day and I decided to lube my chain. Good thing because I had bent my rear sprocket some time during the day. The gas crew was on top of it and was able to have me a new rear sprocket at the pits for me at the end of the day. I pull into my final time check before my work period, I start to get the bike cleaned off and bolts lose for my work. I get checked in, started with my rear sprocket than the back tire, I had 5 mins left after that and decided to tackle the front tire. I am hurrying to try and get it all done and still checked into impound on time. I get it done and head in, pulling into impound 22 seconds into my minute. Few!! The day is done, new tires for tomorrow and ready to go. After today I am in 12th in C2 and 46overall in all CLUB riders..
Day 2 starts out with more RAIN! We are riding the same track as day 1, transfers and tests. Luckily they re routed us around the worst transfers but there was still plenty of difficult trail left to go. All of murders went very smooth still a little hesitant with myself and the bike. I have never seen sand whoops so big in my life!!! It is hard for me to get my suspension set to work good in the slow gnarly and the fast sand whoops. It's just gas, point and hold on!!! They put us on times schedule B which gave everyone more time at all the checks. I pull into the pits for my 15min work period, I surprised myself being able to change my front and rear tires and bike put in impound with 3 mins to spare. What a day, tomorrow is our shortest day of the week so looking forward to a little break. After day 3 I am 18th in the C2 and 56th overall of all the club teams.
Friday, August 5, 2011
So finally last night I slept very good. Slept in till 9:30!!! I had a quick breakfast and than down to the USA pits for a last time check over the bike before technical inspection and impound. As TEAM USA we all went and registered together, got our numbers and transponder tags issued to us. Some quick paperwork and than off to tech. The first part of tech was sound test, and what do you know my FMF exhaust came in at 114.5 and it's supposed to be 113. They tell me it's too loud you don't pass! Which I wasn't the only one on the team. It seamed like all of the four strokes with aftermarket exhaust were too loud. The second time after some modification it's louder!!!! I am starting to worry now. Than thankfully Cory buttrick had the same bike and exhaust, had a smaller insert I could switch out and than passed now problem. As of right now there are four US bikes that are still too loud. Tech is only open until 3:00 tomorrow so everyone is going to help and and get all 28 USA bike into impound before it closes tomorrow.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Another long day. Starting out with more oatmeal at 5:30 and than back out to start walking special tests. We had planned on walking two of them but a bad map and a lack of street signs it took us two hours to find the first one. The test was a combination of some gnarly rocky wood sections to an awesome gnarly (southwick) motocross track. It would be better if we got a little bit if rain before Monday, some of the tests will be dusty if not. I think for days 1&2 we are riding 195miles each day. I am not sure exactly what days 3-5 will be. But the special tests are very short and there is a lot of transfer sections on either gravel or paved roads.
Tomorrow I am hoping to get in some more test walking in the morning, and then in the evening we have our team sign up, technical inspection, and impound. Once all that is done we are done with bikes till the race starts on Monday. I am very excited for the race to start. All of this time before to think about it is just dragging on.