Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jacobs First Moto Practice

Well this could be a long story but I will try and summarize it.
Jacob has been ripping around the fields on our property as well as my inlaws propoerty for about a week now without training wheels on his PW50. I was actually suprised at how well he took to it, getting the pegs down to the ground as he put his foot out around the corners. But that is on grass and as we went to Baja MX on Wednesday afternoon he learned that a good tire is essential on mud.
Here is how the day went.
Gets out of school at 3:00, packed up and went to Baja.
Get there by 5:30 with Hannah in tow and packed with plenty of treats.
5:45 - Jacob is pretty excited, he heads to the track (via porta potty of course)
5:52, on the track and headed out. Without waiting for me he heads out, not a problem since the track has no real jumps per say and it has little to no elevation changes. Pretty much like home but dirt and some turns.
5:53, hits his first muddy turn and lays the bike down. Not hurt but startled, a kid on another older kid rides by and stops to help him up (moto kids are a great group). I see him and run out and of course he is crying because he is scared.
6:50 - After several talks, telling him we can go home not pushing him. Fruit snacks, crackers, drink boxes, more talks, a little more crying a little more snacks, explaining to me that the track is to slippery, me telling him to ride slower, more crying, a little more crackers...........long story short he did not want to leave but did not want to ride. So we sat until almost 7:00 and he decided to brave it one more time.
After a cautious lap, a near breakdown again he completes a lap.
Tears are gone, smile all the way and he was off and running. Sun came out and dried the track so it was not muddy anymore, he even braved the "big" hill (see video) and had the time of his life.
Gave him a hug and told him I was proud and of course Hannah was cheering on the side, spilling the crackers all over the back of the Saturn.......

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Training Wheels are off.

So after my successful weekend (read previous post) I had taken off Jacobs training wheels at the track so that we could use his bike as a pit bike to get around. Jacob was convinced that his bike was bigger than the other kids PW50's, this is due to the fact that they look smaller when you are 50' away watching them on the track and also since his training wheels make the suspension taller it seems bigger to him.
Well, after watching his friends ride and talking to them he decided that he did not want to wait till he was 6 to ride without them. I told him it was totally up to him and he could keep them on as long as he wanted but he insisted and we gave it a shot.
No matter what I did myself, nothing compares to watching you kid do something for the first time. I think it's time I retire.

My moto Quest for Greatness

Last weekend was the Loretta Lynn Qualifier for District 14. If you don't know what the Loretta Lynn event is look it up.
So anyway, I decide by some great wisdom (and not calling my older brother for advice) to enter the qualifier in the 30+ B/C class, which is full of riders who used to be really awesome and now have gone down to just plain awesome by my standards. Basically I was getting ready to have my ass handed to me.
How would I decide to get ready for such an event you ask? Train, eat right, hit the gym or possibly do some warm up sessions on the bike weeks prior to the event? No that would be silly. Better to just show up and race that way I am nice and fresh and I can recover on Monday.
I head up there, for business of course with the 2XL / Nitro Circus / Slednecks trailer in tow loaded with merchandise to support Brian Keselowski and the #26 NASCAR Nationwide team and I've got my pit crew Jacob Bean right at my side ready for a weekend of racing and selling some goods. Thanks to Patrick at Baja for the hospitality all weekend. He is a first class dude.
Friday practice went alright. There had been terrible rain up to this point so the track, which is pretty much all sand on some crazy up and downhill terrain, was pretty loamy at best. 12” deep lines covered the track and it was slick as hell. Perfect training grounds for me I guess. I kept the bike running hard for my practice session hanging it out for all 4 laps of my session. Felt pretty good and I was optimistic looking into my qualifier on Sunday. I had Saturday to rest up so I got this in the bag.
Saturday was great, windy and had to clean out the trailer several times but all is good and thanks to Shelby and Michelle who came out and kept the goods moving all day. Jacob was having the time of his life at the track, pretty much having free range to go where he wanted with his moto hero Tucker Vest and his gang or mini moto riders.
He was not happy to go home on Saturday night but after 3 days of being at the track he needed rest for school.

“On any Sunday”

I came, I saw, I realized that I am not a top contender for 30+ B/C Loretta National Champion.
Ok, so I knew that from the beginning but who can blame me for trying right? I mean everyone knows that snocross is my game right?
I went out for the first moto and had a bad holeshot but I was on a RMZ250F and everyone else was on 450’s including Jonathan Blain who I sponsor for Skullcandy. So he had better beat me or he’s cut from the team. Actually he was the only one who lapped me so he is in the clear. Dude is a machine for sure.
So on the first lap of my first moto I come across the finish line and head to the front doubles, nothing big, maybe 30’ or so and I hammer the gas and say to myself “oh ya, I got this” totally underestimating my speed and as soon as I left the ground I realized I don’t got this……… No problem right, I’ll just suck up the landing which I did but the bike kicked sideways due to my weight difference between me and Chris Vest who’s bike I was on (and yes due to lack of bike control) and when I came down again I went right over the bars and straight to my head.
Thanks Kali for the nice helmet, saved me from a concussion and a lecture when I got home.
I got up, looked over and saw Chris at the fence shaking his head in despair wondering if he was going to have to carry me off the track. BUT NO I say, I got up kept the bike going and finished the moto in 14th out of 15 riders.
Second moto, bike stalled before the first gate drop, got it started for the drop with the 50+ guys so now I am in dead last but I am not giving up. I need to finish I tell myself. I hung on, posing along the way for some action shots
(thanks Corey from Lockjaw Racing!) and I ended up finishing 12th this time. So I actually improved, or actually I think the other guys pulled off so I held on longer than them. Slackers!
All in all it was a good weekend, in my eyes I won because I did what everyone said I could not do and all those on the couch can say what they want.
Thanks to my good bro Chris for the bike and help when for the first time in my life for racing I was actually nervous. He kept it real for me and told me to have fun.

Which I definitely did.