Monday, November 19

D36 Wilseyville Hare Scramble Race Report

AMA District 36 Wilseyville Hare Scramble

Round 17 of 17 - 2007 - Final Round

I've always said...if I could only do one race a year, it would be this one. Schaad Ranch, just outside Jackson, CA (gold country), is a private plot of land that only sees Off Road bikes one time a year and makes for a perfect race venue. At 3500 feet the terrain is a mix of big oak tree, scrub brush and Pine tree, add a few long creeks and several loose rock hill-climbs and you get a very hard 12 mile track. Because of the awesome conditions it use to be on the National Hare Scramble schedule but for the past 8 years its only been local round.

Sunday at noon was the start for the premier race of the weekend. The AA, A open, A VET and B open classes. I lined up on the 3rd row, the A-VET line and at the sound of the gun got a great jump... after the first 2 turns I was headed out to the hills in a solid 4th position. The dust was not too bad, but just enough where it was tough to trust the trails... you had to be very safe about rocks and ruts because many of the trails do not exist this before the race weekend. It was a rather large class...30 people on the A-VET line and the lap times were in the 33 to 35 min time frames. The course was long and packed full of single track so passing was not that easy, but the the loose hills and long creeks is where most positions were lost and gained.

My 4th place jump, turned to about 10th after 2 long creeks then a missed turn and arm pump turned to a 14th spot after the 45 min - 1st lap. 2.5 hours later, 1 short pit for a fresh set of Utopia Goggles and blistered hands, I ended up crossing at 17th place (out of 30) and achieved the goal of racing FAST and not falling ever - which makes for a much nicer Monday AM.

I finished 63rd out of 165 and came to the realization that...being fast is only fun if you have the upper body strength to hang on. New goal - get stronger! Nothing worse than wanting to go faster but no way to hold the bike upright!!! The "A" line is still a mental thing for me and I'm hoping a good winter of training and riding will close the gap in speed and comfort level!

Kelly, my wife, raced this weekend as well on Saturday afternoon. For both of us, it was the first time racing with the LEATT NECK BRACE and after all said and done...we both loved it and did not notice it at all while riding! One more layer of safety is a good thing!!!

She ended up with a fairly decent start maybe top 5 out of the 15 women in her class. She battled with the lead pack for the entire race and after 2 full 25 min laps before the white flag she secure a 5th place spot.

This is her favorite track also as the trails are very narrow, fast and slick...and there is no MX section at all, which means she gets to race what she practices for... TRAILS.

Chris Bridgman made it out as well for the C vet race late Sunday Afternoon. After his first HS race 2 weeks ago and having broke a foot peg midway through that, he wanted another fair shot at this group!

He nailed the start with a clean jump and was top 7 or 8 into the first set of turns... After 2 - 25min laps he was running 2nd in his class out of 43 racers. The next lap he came through with a bent up hand-guard and was running in 6th. (we need to score him some Cycra's) When the checkered flag fell, Chris rode to an awesome 4th place finish in the C vet class and 56th out of 200 people overall in the C Sportsman race. This earns him about 6 advancement points towards the 30 needed for the B class "bump" and by the sounds of it... he'll be ready for the new 2008 series.

Thanks to all the sponsors that help made this happen for 2007 and I look forward to more success in the 2008 series:
  • DH Cycles (Modesto KTM dealer)
  • Durban Racing
  • IMS Racing
  • FMF
  • Renthal
  • Red-Bull
  • Utopia Optics
  • Cycra
  • N-Style
  • No-Toil
  • Cruz Tools
  • Sierra Utility Sales
  • Garvey
  • and My lovely wife, KELLY!!!