Fortunately the trip down from Northern CA to Glen Helen was mostly a North to South trip and I had a tail wind most of the way, the wind was bad. With a total vehicle length of 38 feet when I went West to East I was a sail in the wind.
I arrived Friday morning and the wind was still blowing from the North with big time gusts, which meant lot’s of blowing dust. Riding practice was sketchy you didn’t dare get off the ground. I did once and it blew me sideways and I automatically put my foot down and promptly tweaked my ankle and knee. They changed the configuration of the track a little bit and added some more sand sections, which were challenging. Overall I liked the track layout and I think most everyone else did as well.
Saturday morning was a different story; the winds were calm the day sunny and the racing was good. I was able to extent my personal win streak to 24 motos. (A sham less plug on my part) But not without problems my trusty Husky started giving me grief again. It started stalling again (Read part 3 on my Husky) I thought I had finally found the cure, evidently not. The idle was turned up a bit I thought but that turned out to be a lot and that began to mess with the TPS setting and the bike felt like it had an air leak. In this configuration it started pushing me into corners and scaring the shit out of me. I lowered the idle and that cured that but it still stalled a couple of times, back to the drawing board, again.
After the races a lot of people filed into the large hall for bench racing, tacos, raffles and the suppercross races.
Sunday morning was a little overcast and a slight breeze, perfect for racing. There are always dozens and dozens of stories that happen at any race and this one was no different.
Mike a friend of mine bought a 2018.5 KTM 450 Factory Replica (Formerly known as a Dungey Replica) moved up in age class and promptly got his ass kicked by another rider who had recently done the same. To be fair the two of them were way ahead of the third place rider. But had I not reminded him he would have once again forgotten to turn in his transponder. The last time he did this he earned the famous Eric McKenna “Fish Award” which he still has by the way from the last time he forgot. Another friend had his first race in th
irty four months and was so wound up the whole weekend it was hard to be around him. It’s kind of disgusting to be around someone who has that much energy.
Another friend Kerry showed up with leaky air forks on his KTM made trips to LA to see if he could get them fixed all to no avail, but was saved by Craig who just happened to have a spare bike with him that had a set of the trick KTM Cone Valve forks which he loaned to Kerry and saved his weekend. Kerry and I seldom find ourselves on the same gate anymore since we are in different classes, but we did this weekend. In the second moto on Saturday and because he tipped over he found himself behind me. I was leading my class and behind the guy leading Kerry’s class. Kerry was desperate to get around me and go after the leader. (Kerry was also trying to keep his own winning streak alive) As he tells it, he just knew I would roll over and wilt under his pressure. Numerous times he was so close to me (And his bike was so quiet) I didn’t see him or hear him I finally made a little bobble a couple of turns from the checkered flag and he got by. He finished 2nd and that was the end of his winning streak. (I wonder if he realizes I had something to do with that. If he reads this maybe I won’t be able to park next to him next weekend.)
Well as they say all good things must come to an end and for me my 24 moto win streak came to an end. I ruled the day on Saturday but bad starts a couple of stalls and difficulty getting around some riders did me in. And on top of that my competitor got the hole shot for our gate both motos on Sunday and rode well deserving the wins.
I also had one crash in the second moto on Sunday which further hampered my progress, a crash of my own doing. (Which most are?) My friend Art and I were on the same gate but in different classes. He suffered with bad starts all weekend so we found ourselves together in both motos on Sunday trying to get around a rider who got better starts then we did but was so squirrely he scared both of us when we were trying to pass him. In the second moto after we both got around him I decided to bonzi past Art on one of the famous Glen Helen down hills. I got by him but had a little too much front brake for the 90 degree right hand turn at the bottom, Art said he was thinking he’s not going to make and I didn’t have to think about anything and hit the ground and my head pretty hard. In that second I thought Art would say something to me as he went by but he said he was too busy trying to avoid running over me. That rung my bell and took me a couple of laps get my senses back.
All in all it was a great weekend for most everyone. It’s a short week because this weekend is the 3rd race of the season at Fernley, NV.