2017 At Fernley IOTMX
I have a friend I’ve known since we were in our thirties, which means decades. The vast majority of the times we’ve seen each other have been connected with riding or racing dirt bikes. I’m sure a lot of you have friends like this.
We’ve raced each other throughout these decades in either cross country races or moto cross, he always faster than me in moto cross. We’ve obviously changed over these years most of it physically (Well maybe a lot physically) not so much mentally in that we still have a passion for riding dirt bikes.
One of the features that seemed to have never changed with him is his hair. I’ve always remembered it being grey, long and for the most part unruly looking, that primarily due to helmet head. I’m sure he could point out any number of perceived short comings on my part.
He’s always been a good rider especially moto cross, not a dam good rider but a good rider. There are always dam good riders you race against and over the years they seem to always stay dam good riders especially against you.
Well he reached the end of one decade and just started a new one. For those of us who have continued to race throughout the decades find ourselves looking forward to the next decade so we can hopefully be the fast new guy for a year then slowly and inexpertly descend into an also ran. There are those exception of course, you know the dam good riders.
This weekend in Fernley, NV was the International Old Timers Moto Cross race round number two of eight this year to be held all over in the western states. This marked the return to racing for my long time friend who has used a boat load of excuses these past few years and was literally running out of believable ones.
His bike was pimped out, he sported new riding gear he’d been training, and he was ready (Sort of). He was in a new class and as we know being in a new decade, a new class and a being good rider meant he was going to kick some ass.
I have another friend who is also a good rider in a new decade a new class and has a brand new bike; this was his second race in his new class but the first on his new bike and he is always arrogant enough to think he’s going to kick some ass. It didn’t work out so well in round one in Arizona, but this was his home state and his local track.
So how it work out for these two? Well first of all before we find out I have to insert myself into this equation, I’m also a good rider I’ve been in my current decade for five years now and as a result I start on the second gate drop while they start on the first gate drop. The second gate drop always varies in time after the first gate drop because if anyone failed to make it through the first half dozen turns, they don’t want a pack of wild out of control old dirt bike racers running over some poor schmuck from the first gate. So as a result the gap the first gate has varies from start to start.
My entire focus is to see if I can catch any of the riders from the first gate, the more I can catch the better my race is. I have quite a few friends who are on the first gate so if I can catch and pass any of them it makes my day. Obviously it doesn’t work out every time.
This weekend was no different except my unruly haired friend was returning and was hoping the new decade and the new class thinking would work in his favor.
The track in Fernley is 100% sand and while the track was tame jump wise it gets sand track rough. The Nevada Old Timers club which I’m told consists of seven or eight members did an outstanding job of track preparation and running the race program. The weather for the weekend was ok, could have been windier than it was but thankfully it wasn’t. They had a good turnout and I would say this weekend the sixty and seventy year old riders were out in great numbers. Usually the Fifty classes are the largest.
Ok so how did I and my friends do? The friend with the new bike won all four motos over the two days of racing. There’ll be no living with his increased arrogance. My unruly haired friend had a rude awakening and to compound his new realization, yours truly caught and passed him in the first moto on Sunday. I will have to ad he was part of the hold up for the second gate drop when a rider fell in front of him in the first turn and he became stuck in the fallen rider’s bike. That meant he was at the back of pack and made it easier to catch him. However at the end of the second moto on Sunday I was literally thirty feet behind him at the checkered flag. Of course he tells me that catching him was one thing passing him would have been another thing. I don’t think that made his weekend but it certainly made mine.
It doesn’t get any better than to spend a weekend with good friends doing the things we all love.