Racing Pioche, NV at Pearson Ranch
Usually the starts are my best attribute in dirt bike racing. “Get a great start and steadily and methodically work my way to the back.” However, at the Person Ranch, the starts were horrible for a lot of us.
Not the start of the race. Starting the bikes. Between the cool temperature (39 degree at sunrise, honest!) and the elevation of over 5,000 feet, many bikes stubbornly refused to ignite. By the Unclassified race, I was already feeling a bit tired from kickstarting the bike!
The Unclassified is a practice lap or two. I only did one lap, as I spent a considerable amount of time dragging Mark’s bike out of a creek and helping him- what else- start it.
It was worth it, however, as I got to watch him crash. He plowed through the mud, hit a buried obstacle and the bike stopped, sending Mark over the bars and doing around a one and a half somersault on the ground. Watching it, I thought it was pretty funny until I realized it was Mark. Then it was hilarious.
My attitude came back to haunt me in the race as I got hung up in a barbed wire fence, slid out in the muck, blew the course and killed the engine twice. All on the first lap. The second and third laps were marked improvements, with only a glitch or two. Lap four however, I went through a deep section of slop. I kept it throttled and bulldogged through, my feet paddling through the slop, the tire sending a roostertail of black sludge skyward. What do you know, I made it! I accelerated over the grass and slid out a few feet later. Drat! Kick, kick, kick. *
Funny, after the practice laps, no one sounded particularly excited to race. But once we raced, everyone returned and reported a good time. Something about the racing that gets us fired up. And a bunch of friends, competing together and apart, enjoying good times together, make it an epic race.
The others’ results were a mixed bag. Kevin returned, disgusted because his bike died often and he struggled to light it up again. Aside form that, his riding was inspiring. Bob had a few glitches, but rode well. Mark, with his epic new riding gear, somehow managed to return still looking good. I don’t know how he did that. I looked like I lost a mud wrestling contest. Bobby-O suffered bike problems, as he let the kids ride it and they didn’t take care of it for him. Ouch. A DNF for Bob. Dylan rode like a champ.
Speaking of DNF, my nemesis, Bandit, suffered a DNF as his bike stuck fast in the muck. He’s usually the only other one stupid enough to race at our age. Bandit has one arm and races with a prosthetic on his right arm. I know, it give him an advantage as his arm doesn’t get tired, but no matter how much I complain about it, people just look at me like I’ve lost my mind or something. Anyway, we are in a hot contest for the season championship, as Bobby-O and Kevin are too.
And the Pearson Ranch was a welcome retreat from the blistering heat of Las Vegas. Not to mention the beautiful pine forests, rock outcrops and vistas to provide us with an epic view. Mark insisted I write ‘epic’ in the blog, so he gets three. The water was epic as well. Four.
* At this point, I broke my foot. Got up and finished the race. Won my class! (1st out of 1!)