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Old 10-20-2009, 10:26 AM   #1
THE DEAN OF LEAN
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2009 CMRA thanks and recap

Allow me a minute to reflect on my first year of racing and thank those who have helped me progress each and every weekend I got on a bike.

Feb 2009
OHR, cold and rainy if my memory serves me right. I just had the bike put together. (Thanks to Patrick @ Motorcycles Unlimited) Of course I accomplished two races that weekend, kept it on two wheels. I was intimidated by this track. For those that have not ridden it, your in for a rdue awakening when you do. The track was originally set up for go-karts. It is very narrow. The track surface reminds me of the graveyards back in New Orleans. It has a gloom to it. But they say if you can go fast here you can go fast anywhere.
March 2009
ECR in the rain, no wait it was a Tsunami that weekend. I managed to catch a ride with Tony, Jeff, and Alonzo. We arrived on Friday hoping to get some practice in. Well the rain was so bad that you could barely see. Alonzo and Tony went out and crashed. I said no way, no way Jose if youíre Spanish speaking. Linz fired up his Katoom and offered to show me some lines. The track is hard to learn, lots of elevation changes and blind corners. The second race was diffulcult. With the pressure of one more race before I lose my yellow shirt, the slick surface, and the water running across the track, I became really nervous this race. I seen 3 guys crash in front of me and go off in the mud. The last two laps of that race were crazy. There was a bike in the mud in every corner almost. I did not ride with Young Gunz this weekend because I was still a prov nov, but they missed a podium due to a crash and running out of fuel.
April 2009
This would be my first race with Young Gunz and no yellow shirt. WOW! What an experiment. I actually think this was best for me to start. It would be my first time out on the track with the experts what a better way to do it than throw me to the wolves. (Thanks Moe) We did ok this race. I probably held the team up more than anything, but it was a great learning experience and I left here gaining some serious seat time and confidence.
May 2009
Hallett is one of the more superior tracks I have ridden so far. Once again 15 minutes of practice an hour before race time was all I had to learn the track. It took me awhile to learn the track come race time and then the fun started. That was until I missed a shift going into the bus stop, hit a false neutral and ended up in the mud slipping and sliding trying to pick the bike up and cursing at the corner worker to get over here and help me. (Sorry mister corner worker) No damage I just hit some thick mud and laid it over at about 10 MPH. I still had fun and we missed a podium thanks to me. We were also missing one teammate this race
July 2009
MSR-C was probably my best race of the season on board out 2006 M4 Susuki. We were short two teammates for this round so we invited Damon Harvey to race with us. It was Damon's first time on big bikes in a few years. The team decided I was best to start this race. I was all for it. Did not get a great start off the line, but managed to put together a few consistent laps and kept us in the top 11 my first stint. Damon threw down the fastest laps and kept us fighting for a podium. This race we should have stood on a podium. Moe had been fighting injuries all year and could not ride to his full capabilities. Damon was able to pick up the slack but two red flags did not allow us to gain the time necessary to capture the third spot on the podium. Once again luck did not play into our favor.
After Cresson I did a track day at TWS (Texas World Speedway)-crashed in a freak accident and broke two bones-my left collarbone and my right hand. It was the pain and discomfort of both sides of my body and life was miserable for a while.
August 2009
The team missed this round completely costing us a season ending 3rd place.
September 2009
We were back at Cresson going the opposite direction. I raced against the doctorís orders. The track going this way was completely different. It was like learning a new track. Not to mention I was still fighting off injuries. The only thing I can really say about this race is it sucked. I should have listened to the doctor this day.
Early September 2009
My injuries and insult to injuries (boss doesnít like me racing) began to get in my head. I hooked up with 2 great guys in Brandt and Jimmy. We headed for Oak Hill. I still did not have the confidence or mojo back. Suspension needed to be dialed in and I was clueless. The faster I got the more dials and knobs that needed to be turned.
September 2009
I was back at Oak Hill for the race weekend. I wanted the of suspension Jim Camborra to help with my suspension. I was not able to make it happen on Saturday so I decided not to race on Sunday. But I did get him on Sunday.
October 2009
This would be our first race back at full strength since our last race here in April 2009. We got a good start and at one point were third in class. Again the lady of luck was against us. There were 3 teams in our class who ran out of fuel. We were ready to make up some time and laps at this point. Only problem was another red flag came out. (It seemed like every time something bad happened to one of our competitorís there was a red flag to save them) Then our own bad luck came into play as our Steering Damper began leaking oil and quit working, causing massive headshakes for Brandon. One time coming onto the front straight the headshake made his hand come off the bars and he hit the kill switch. It took him a minute to figure that one out as he cruised down the front straight trying to figure it out. (Alonzo said that happened to him one time so we were not worried when Brandon got it figured out and kept racing) We ended up changing our steering damper out with the one on Brandonís sprint bike. We lost time and laps and finished 5th in class. We ended the season 4th in cass even after missing one complete round.
I also was amped up about sprinting on Sunday. I decided no excuses. Even though I could have used some like my quick shifter not working causing the bike to backshift on the front straight and once coming out of two causing the rear end to step out, or the fact that I was too broke to afford new tires so I was racing on old tires, or the fact that I was starting from the back. Nope, I used them all up throughout the season. Jim Camborra turned a few more knobs in practice and I felt good. My races were good. I was able to mix it up with some guys, make some passes, and stick my wheel where it didnít belong. After my first race somehow I thought I had to have a top 15 finish. Nope! 22nd.  My times were within 1.5 seconds of each other and right around where I struggled to get them to the day before on our faster Endurance bike. My best finish of the day was 14th. I could have got top ten in that race with a better start. My start from row 18 was not the best and compound that with the guy in front stalling and getting bumped I began pushing too hard and my tires started going away. But it was a successful day for me and my first race for 2010.
I walked away feeling good. I pushed hard, rode hard, and got better that day. Yet, I left wanting more for the first time. I want to get back to the track and improve. I want to work on one corner at a time. I want to learn my reference points better, get better at passing and definitely better at my starts.
Now my thanks

Motorcycles Unlimited for helping put the bike together and all the great service and advice you guy offered to a slow prov nov who didnít know anything.
Sunnyís Motorsports for always being there to help me trace and troubleshoot problems and the awesome prices you gave to a slow prov nov. All the advice and stories that helped me put down some respectable times and help me to raise my expectations for next year.
LSTD and Ridesmart thanks for spending your time and money to put together a schedule that allows us racers time to practice and get better while providing us with instruction on how to safely and smartly get around the track better.
South Central Race Center, John and B-Stone thanks for the help and support throughout the year. Maybe next year we can have better luck and more success.
Tony Ta thanks for allowing me to ride with you to a couple races and all the advice and help you have given along the way.
Alonzo Contreras thanks for all the advice and answers you provided to my questions all year. Thanks for the advice on Sunday that helped me to gain time and confidence through that section.
Linz Leard for all the help, advice, emails, phone calls, pictures, stories, and talks along the way. Many donít know how our friendship came about and evolved, but I would like to take a minute to share that with everyone. I posted up I needed a ride to my first ever track day. Racerboy 97 pmíd me and said he would bring me up there. He told me about the track, about the race to the race, tire pressures, suspension, gave me a visual of TWS (Texas World Speedway), told me I would be intimidated by it and that I did not want to be a trackie. Racing was where it was at. And well he was right. Linz has a very mechanical way of explaining things. He was the one who offered some time on a Saturday to come help me safety wire my bike, helped me at MSR-H when I had a dynojet ignition module failure, and always responded to my stupid questions. Told me how to improve my times, gave me a pound on the grid and wished me good luck, and so many more things. He is the reason I only did 3 track days before I became a racer. He is the reason I am so broke, oh wait this is supposed to be a thank you piece. (Thanks Linz I could not have done it without you)

Of course I have to thank to whom I say a special prayer before I get on the bike! Thanks !

My STRONGARM family! Thanks for all the help and support and 2010 is our year!

Anyone I forgot I thank you also! When you go to thanking people you always forget a couple people. Sorry, but Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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i actually read everything.....and no problem dean. it's been a great year, especially with good friends like you around. i'm sure i'll be seeing you throughout the off season.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:20 AM   #3
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You did great Dean,I'm happy for ya
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
Dr. Gonzo
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It's been a long haul, Dean...give'em next year!!!
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:10 PM   #5
Racer997
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Thanks for the kind words, Dean. I'm glad I could enable you and help feed your addiction. You had a heck of a 2009, one with many of the ups and downs that a racing season can throw you. I know you've learned the lessons well and will come back in 2010 and give 'em ! See ya there, my friend!
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:24 PM   #6
Candie
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Good job Dean! I found some pics of you from Sunday! I didn't realize that was you until I started editing them.... kinda like the same thing for Sat.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:02 AM   #7
THE DEAN OF LEAN
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Thanks everyone! You have all offered kind words, harsh criticism and made me a better rider. Thanks again for all the support. Next Year I do have plans to give them .

Thanks Candie! Is there a link I can click to checkout those pics?
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:12 PM   #8
Candie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEAN LADEN View Post
Thanks everyone! You have all offered kind words, harsh criticism and made me a better rider. Thanks again for all the support. Next Year I do have plans to give them .

Thanks Candie! Is there a link I can click to checkout those pics?
Sorry I missed this! Here is the link to the pics I took Sat and Sun!


http://s71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...t%2017%202009/

http://s71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...t%2018%202009/
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:54 AM   #9
THE DEAN OF LEAN
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Thanks Candie! How did the GP thing work for you?
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:13 AM   #10
Candie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEAN LADEN View Post
Thanks Candie! How did the GP thing work for you?
Great! Wish I would have doneit months ago. Thanks for asking.
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