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Old 11-27-2012, 06:01 PM   #1
CarbonJames
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TXORR THE RAVINE RACE REPORT

The day after Thanksgiving started at 6:00 am for me, loaded up the hauler with bikes and race gear for the weekend, headed to Columbus for the new race property termed “The Ravine” b/c of the ravines that we would later run through and cross, ups and downs, sideways, and upside down when we messed up. It was a great property. Friday started out around 9 am with some open riding on the course that we would race all weekend long. Several people were there Friday morning when we arrived, we unloaded, geared up and waited for a couple other friends to show up that wanted to ride. I looked at it as an extra day of practice, truly it didn’t turn out to be much of a “practice” for me anyway. It was a short, technical and difficult course, we made a lap of the long course, had a few errors, stalled bikes and some tip overs, no big deal, head back to the trailer to take a break then head back out for a few laps on the short course.

Saturday morning, the short course race is up to go, my G/F Olivia is determined to get another win under her belt, they leave the line and minutes later, around T1 comes a couple on an ATV hollering for me, letting me know that Olivia is down, I got quite scared for her, I knew she was going to be pushing for the win. She attempted to make a pass on 1st place, went wide and then down, with the handle bar punching her in the side of her knee, she heard something pop, her race is over, her knee is swollen and bruised.

As I try to tend to her, I still need to get myself ready for my race which is up in less than 1 hour. She’s a real tough cookie, I get her in the trailer relaxing in a seat with a drink and some snacks, I proceed to get myself ready for the race, I moved up to Open B and I’m going to do my best to win this one. I already had a few laps from Friday, my Saturday morning practice, I felt like , I wasn’t feeling the bike, the course or anything else, I couldn’t hit the turns right, I was washing the front end everywhere and hitting the tree crossings wrong, I just could find a rhythm in practice so I was worried about how the race would end up.

As we line up for Saturday’s 1 hour race, Dean and I are neck and neck, talking for the last week to each other, he’s more experienced, and he’s quite fast plus, he’s on his 2T this weekend too, not that old heavy relic XR so I am just a tad bit worried if I could actually outrun him in this race.

The flag drops and I get the hole shot luckily, the guys next to me didn’t get there engines started as quickly as I did, I immediately pin it, trying not to wheelie to T1, I knew they were on my tail so I put my head down, eyes up and rode as fast as I could (in between the miles of trees). The Ravine offered a great mix of terrain, everything from hard pack flat areas, tight woods as usual, a little sand, a few rocks here and there, 2 rock and sand filled creek runs, running through the ravine was fun, ups, downs, tree crossings, off cambered up hill trail with tree obstacles (the course was mostly single track with very little room for passing in the woods), a few hay fields with large round bails of hay to navigate through while flying at WOT.

At the end of my 3rd lap with only minutes to go in the race (60 minute time limit so I had time for one more lap) I ask scoring how much of lead I had at that point b/c I never heard anyone behind me after the first few turns on the opening lap, I was told that I had a 3 minute lead (SWEEEET) I continued on with my 4th and final lap, upon completion of my last lap, I get to the checkered, wore out, tired, hot and soaking wet from the sweat, I get scanned into scoring and head straight to my pit area. There were a few guys there waiting in the pits, some had finished racing, and some had just shown up for the days open practice to get ready for tomorrows race. I am told that I had at the end of my 4th lap a 5 minute lead over 2nd place (WOW, I’m excited to hear that). Little did I know, 2nd place going into the woods on the first lap had fallen over, causing everyone else behind him to pile up, not having a place to get around, they had to suffer waiting for him to get picked up and going again, all the while, I’m putting time and distance between me and them.

Saturday night after the races, the practice and the b/s’ing, we all head over to Christine’s neighborhood bar for some drinks and waited on some of the best homemade stew around, the cast iron stew pot had to be at least 20 gallons, and it was absolutely full of goodness. $5.00 for a bowl of hot stew on a nice brisk cool evening, you just can’t beat it. We (race participants) had to have eaten half the pot ourselves. We stayed up kinda late, drinking, b/s’ing more out at the trailer, I built a small fire for some warmth which didn’t last too long but it was good times hanging out nonetheless.

Come Sunday morning, more racers have shown up for some kicking action, GREAT!!
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:02 PM   #2
CarbonJames
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We all set out for practice, again, I’m just not feeling it, and hope that something again changes by the time the flag drops. I’m signed up for Open B 2 hour, I don’t remember how many are in that class, there were 3 Open A riders and 1 Pro ahead of us, they will start 1 minute before us. My goal for the days race is to lap somebody in Open B 2 Hour and hopefully get the win again. The first line gets the flag, the Pro guy waits a few seconds and then takes off in a very stylish fashion, front wheel in the air from the starting line to T1, sets it down and then he’s history as far as the rest of us are concerned. We get the 15 second sign, my heart rate raises a few BPM’s, the flag drops and we’re off, again, I barely did it but, I did get the holeshot only to tuck the front end going into T2 which is a gnarly deep sand berm, I get passed by who knows the number of riders, I quickly get up and hauling again only to pass up 1 rider, and catch Dean, I’m right on his real wheel (literally on his rear wheel) he eats it in the last turn before the woods entry, I’m so close to him that I didn’t have any time to react, with nowhere to go but over him, I let off the gas not wanting to injure him or myself, next thing I know, I’m on my back, my bike laid rest atop of his, I ask him if he’s ok and he says yes while giving me the nod, he can’t go anywhere until my bike is moved so I quickly get my bike up and I’m gone.

I know those two crashes set me back what had to be up to 2 minutes time but, I don’t actually think it was that long as the row behind us which starts 1 minute after us never caught or passed me to my knowledge. Adrenaline is flowing strong for me at this time, I’m determined to win, or at least do my best to lap someone in the Open B class. I’m flying through the woods, finding my groove, knowing what lies ahead of me, I need to race a smart race, pick the areas where I need to take my time, take it easy and back off the gas b/c if I fall again, it’s only going to cost me valuable time and placing in the end. As I concentrate on my breathing, my techniques and my slim memories of the course, I have a pretty flawless race from this point on.

On Saturday my lap times were in the 16 minute range (Our race course distance was somewhere in the 5 mile range) I never gave thought to my lap times, today or yesterday, I just concentrated on going fast, smooth and consistent. We had a few log crossings to deal with, these are not my strong areas at all but with practice, I’m getting it down pretty good, I have a technique to crossing that works well, we also have about a 3’ hill to cross over, I rolled it in practice but I decided in order to make up time, I need to be jumping this thing (another weak area for me), we’re (an A rider, and another B rider that I have caught up to) in a short hay field leading up to the hill, I’m flat out in top gear reaching around 70 MPH, I’m carrying as much speed as I can, braking late but not too much, trying to outrun the 2 bikes ahead of me, I want to fly over this hill, land and then make a hard right turn and set up for another hard left turn that leads us into a long hay field run, as we clear the hill, the B rider and myself take each side of the A rider in passing, we’re wide open, in a desperate drag race to the woods entry, (you’re not making it into the woods ahead of me I’m thinking) I’m approaching 80 MPH in this section, I can’t outrun him, his KX250F is fast, faster than my 200 BUT, I know I can outbreak him and so I did, it was like being in a Moto GP race, one guy breaks and the other stays on the gas for 1 more second, flying past the breaking rider (it was a cool feeling) I did end up in the woods first.

Now I have a really fast B rider on my tail, pushing me to make a mistake, hollering for me to move over, he wants in front, I want to be in front but, in this single track section, he has no choice to run my pace. I get hung up for a couple seconds at the tree crossing (3 big logs running perpendicular to our race line) in turn, it hangs him up too but, as I make my way through, I leave him behind, knowing he’s faster than me pushed me to ride harder and faster. (Wait a minute, I’m a 2 hour rider, is he too, or is he a 1 hour rider? If he’s a 1 hour rider, it doesn’t matter to me, I never slowed down though) I never see or hear him again.. I made quite a few passes on the other riders, passing all of the B riders, and then eventually passing the 2 A riders in front of me, never catching the Pro which I never expected to do, I rode hard and fast to the finish, I did make probably an unnecessary pit stop at the end of my 5th lap but, I didn’t run out of gas and I did get to put on some clean, dry goggles.


After the race, I was beat, tired and soaked in sweat, covered in dirt, sand and who knows what else I head to the trailer, talking about the race, what happened to everyone, how everyone did, you know, the usual post race b/s’ing. Once the scoring and times were all settled, I ended up with 7 laps completed, with 2 of those laps being in the 14.?? Minute range, WOW, I went almost 2 full minutes faster today than yesterday.

It was a great weekend of racing, 2 races, 2 race wins and 1 great big time with my racing family

A little video of my pit stop, thanks to Lostner for being my crew

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:05 PM   #3
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Congrats AGAIN james....your smokin. and it sounds fun.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolhaven View Post
Congrats AGAIN james....your smokin. and it sounds fun.
And duh...hows Olivia doing?..... she`ll wonder no longer why bikers are allways saying they have bad knees!....its the first thing that gets hurt..hope shes okay though.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:34 PM   #5
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Fast Fast Fast!!!!! Your doing Great!!!

Nice to read the stories... hope to get out again soon...

Hope Olivia is doing ok.....
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:09 PM   #6
CarbonJames
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Olivia is doing good, her knee is bruised up good but she's walking just fine. A couple weeks and she'll be clear to ride again.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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is she the author of this fine piece of literary work????

can't be you
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