Monday, June 20, 2005


Well, it wasn't a yard sale, but I wadded the XR at thunderhill on Saturday.

Yard sale is when the bike goes tumbling, and bits fall off leaving a path that looks like someone has all their stuff out in the front yard? Get it?

Wadded is when it tumbles end over end, and crunches up the front & back.

I have Pirelli Tires, they sponsor Matthew, so I thought I would run them as well. My tires are 3 race weekends old, but they felt good in the first practice, I thought I'd change gearing, do 2 laps in 2nd practice, then get new tires. The Pirelli team is very slow and unreliable at the track, I wanted to make sure I got my practice in. This is the first factor of the crash.

In the first session, the bike was running strong, everything felt great. I came in, put on a smaller rear sprocket, looking for more top speed.

Hought, 2nd round, 2 laps, put on the GPS, see what top speed I get, come off, get tires. At the gate, just before you go out, I spoke to my pal Jay Kinenbarger, who said he was on new tires, and needed to go slow to warm them up.

I passed him, turn 5, the Cyclone, is an uphill climb, with a sharp left to right switch over the top of the hill, then downhill to a fast right hander.

Up the hill, everything is great. Crest the hill, transition to the tight turn, going down hill, on the gas, I realize I am turning, but the front end is still a little in the air. When the tire touches the ground, it does not grip, it lets go, the front end washes out in a classic lowside, I am sliding down the track with the bike. Then the tires grip, and stands everything up!

Pitching me over in front of the bike, from my back to on my front. Face first, sliding, then off the track, into the dirt, and I feel something repeatedly smacking me in the back of the head. I turn, and it IS the bike, cartwheeling behind me, chasing me as I slide, smacking me around.

We finally stop, the bike is on top of me. I manage to turn it off. I cannot drag myself out from under it, so I lift the bike. this is hard when you are sideways, twisted, and covered with dirt.

I get out from under the bike, pick it up, check myself. Nothing is broken, everything is bruised. I am sore, and my helmet is full of dirt.

The bike is sitting wierd. I look, and find I have broken the rear shock. The shock rod has come out of the shock, then jammed in the spring. the tail of the bike is hyper extended.

The exhaust pipe is bent almost 90 degrees inward, and stuffed full of dirt. There is grass and dirt in everything.

The corner workers help me by pointing where I should push it to. I push it all the way back to the pits, undress, assess the damage. Shock is gone, muffler is gone, GPS is shattered, front end is twisted, tires are poop, right radiator is bent, but holding water.

I want to put it in the truck and go home. Greg Creech wants to race on Sunday. He really wants to beat me. He has an XR650R at his house. I drive 4 hours to Redwood City to get his bike. Load his bike and his wife in my Sprinter, drive 4 hours back to the track.

At the track, I remove the tires from my bike, and take the wheels to the Pirelli vendor, who PROMISES me they will have them mounted before they leave. Then I start on the bikes. Pull Greg's shock, Phil from Aftershocks switches springs, but it is still set up for a 350 lb man. Exhaust pipe, and I am closer. I cannot straighten the front till I get the tires back.

I take a shower, I have some dinner. Phil has been BBQing at the track, he had meat & fish, lots of yummies, and his daughters were there. Charming gals, I tell ya. Hanging around the aftershocks pits is great. I can take no more, I sleep in the back of the truck.

The Pirelli guys are tired, and will not do it. Even though they promised. They finally get my tires mounted Sunday morning at 9am. $325. I missed tech, I missed practice. I talk the tech inspectors into tech approving my bike late, so I can race.

Back to the pits, and try to straighten the front. Something is wrong, it feels ba. Maybe due to the shock, I dunno. Rachel says the front is straight. She's been riding with her dad since she was a kid, I take her advice, and concentrate on everything else.

Before each race there is a hot lap. I take the bike on a hot lap to scrub the tires and see how it feels. You know how it feels? Like CRAP! Crap on a stick. this bike is not rideable.

I go back to the pits, and spend the rest of the day napping. There is nothing else to do.

My race. I am on the POLE position! Spot #1. I have NEVER EVER been on pole position. and I am about to lose the same race.

Green flag, everybody leaves. I almost crash in turn one. whenever I try to turn, the bike starts a mad oscillation. The bars try to shake out of my grip, I cannot go fast. I cannot ride a bike that will not turn. I watch everyone ride away from me. I am so sad.

halfway through the race the starter holds up a crossed green and white flag, to show it is halfway. I start crying Why don't they throw the white flag, meaning last lap. I want to quit. I did not drive 8 hours and work my butt off to quit.

I finish in 5th place. dead ass last. it sucks. I am so sad.

I get back to the pits, and have to swap all the stuff back onto greg's bike. He will take his bike home, he has room. I swap, I do the mechanical work in about an hour. His bike is rebuilt, My crippled bike is in the sprinter.

I MUST find some parts soon. I already ordered the shock, I will wait to replace my GPS. I need a muffler and radiator. this was esspensive. i am sore

GPS (Garmin 60CS) + $420
Shock + $720
Muffler + $500
Right Radiator + $325

Yay! You are soo cool! Most of us mortals would have given up and crawled home. You finished the race. You are a genius.

Oh, yeah, and you shoulda got a DRZ400.
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