The Sand Box International Old timers MX round 3
The race was held at the sand track in Fernley NV this past weekend; Friday’s practice was a little windy, a little cold with a little blowing sand. By the time I got out there the track was pretty beat up. The track layout there is always pretty simple and all the jumps were very safe. (Except when) This year’s track was a little tighter than year’s past; they took out a couple of long straights and made turns out of them. The thing about sand tracks is they get rough so they don’t need to be tricky just surviving can be difficult enough. Like I said the jumps were all safe except all the faces of them became cupped and rutted which meant they could either kick the back end up or sideways. I wasn’t real comfortable and my confidence wasn’t great, so I started making excuses about things, you know just in case it didn’t go well on the weekend.
Saturday morning was sunny and warm. After a short riders meeting the racing started. I don’t know how many riders the club had but the turnout looked to be pretty decent. Saturday is always a long day because most of the riders have three motos. (I’m glad I’ve reached the status of not having to ride the third moto, I know how rough the tracks get for that third moto) My race was the second race of the day and after my first gate drop of the weekend we raced around and around and around, pretty soon I and everyone else in the race started thinking where is that white flag. You sort of have a timer in your head and have kind of a sense of when you should see a white flag. Well we didn’t and onetime I went by the flagger and scores and raised one hand in the air in a gesture of, hey where’s the white flag. Finally it came out, after the race I rode back to the flagger and asked how long was that race to which the scorer replied 15 minutes. It was actually 21 minutes. Turns out they were brand new at this particular task and were confused as to when they were to actually start timing the race. They soon figured it out and all was well after that. But they definitely kicked our ass in the first moto. I don’t believe the ambulance moved all day, and the racing ended in time for the 4:30PM dinner bell. I thought the meal ticket was a little pricy. I didn’t pre enter but the meal was excellent and actually worth the price.
Sunday was a little cooler and the wind was blowing just enough to make it annoying. The wind did help keep the oversized Fernley mosquitoes away for the most part. I did notice a few walking wounded wondering around the pits Sunday morning so a few riders had bit the dust on Saturday. Sunday’s racing was short sweet and to the point. In the second moto on Sunday I was catching a friend of mine on the last lap, he had to go off the side of a jump to avoid a rider who had drifted over into his path. He went down the side of the track and entered just at the beginning of a left hand bowl turn; he came across in front of me and almost took out my front wheel. Now Duane is a friend of mine but I started yelling at him, but I wasn’t cussing at him (Kind of weird) I remember yelling things like Duane you can’t do that, you can’t do that. I’m sure had that been someone else I would have been flinging all kinds cuss words at them. It was strange, in the middle of all this I realized I wasn’t cussing at him, very strange. But all dow
n the long straight I became determined to pass him, so a few corners later I got on the inside of him in a slow berm turn and slammed into him knocking him out of the berm, almost taking us both down. That’s totally out of character for me, I don’t do things like that but I guess I was mad enough and determined enough to do that. After we got back to the pits we talked about it. All was well, he said he knew it was me he cut off in the corner because he recognized my voice yelling at him but not cussing.
When I came off the track at the end of the last race on Sunday there was short heavy set gentlemen pointing his finger at me motioning me to come forward to him? My first thought was oh shit someone saw the move I put on Duane and wanted to chew me out for it. But he turned out to be a reporter from some local newspaper wanting to do an interview, he asked me are you 83 and I said no I’m just 76. He said oh, I’m looking for the 83 year old rider. I said he has number 83 on his bike, he says thanks and I rode off.
I want to take a few lines here , well maybe more than a few and talk about something that I’ve noticed this year and it’s a bit disturbing to me and that’s riders riding out of class. I’ve been able to make the first three events this year and have seen a lot of it. I thought it was particularly bad in Arizona. I’ve had people tell me they’ve overheard some of these riders who are actually bragging about how they are kicking ass. It seems to me it’s mostly riders who are signing up and riding in the Novice classes who clearly don’t belong there. I don’t know if it’s the riders local clubs cutting them some slack or what. My guess is it’s because they belong to say an organization like the OTHG and ride in a higher level in that organization. Then come to these events and somehow are able to sign up in a lower level class. I see a lot of riders with yellow backgrounds with black numbers or even white backgrounds with black numbers with green Novice tape or yellow Intermediate tape all around their numbers. That indicates to me that they are riding at something other than a novice or intermediate level wherever they come from.
Most of the riders in those classes, especially in the Novice classes don’t complain to anyone about it so most of the cheaters get away with it. The clubs need to adhere to the rules which mean club reps need to be watching motos and recommending those who need to be advanced. I don’t know if when these riders initially join to race the clubs are letting them sign up in say the Novice class when the rules state a new rider will automatically be signed up in at least the Intermediate class. I think any rider who shows up on the line with the wrong color background and numbers with some tape around the edges should be double checked and scrutinized. The Old Timers certainly encourage riders from other organizations to ride their events by letting them run their numbers and background colors and providing colored tape to indicate a different class other than what their bikes have on them. And at the first three events I’ve seen a lot of bikes with the wrong colors with tape on the starting lines.
That’s my rant and my two cents worth.
Overall it was a good weekend for most everyone I think. I won’t be going to the Montana race so my next Old Timer race will be at Prairie City June 9th and 10th.