Musings of an Endurocross first timer.

About a month and a half ago (maybe 2) I was reminded that I would be going down to MotoGP in Indianapolis. It just so happened that I stumbled upon the website  I saw that I could register, so I figured…what the heck, let’s do it.  What could possibly be the worst that could happen?  I competed in Trials and won competitions.  I rip while riding off-road.  What could possibly be different or more difficult about this?

I would like to admit here before anything else that I made one fatal error before doing this event.  I changed bikes about 2 weeks before the race.  Not only was I switching brands, but I switched from a 300cc 2-stroke Woods bike to a 250cc 4-Stroke MX bike.  HUGE difference in the 2.  Like switching from riding on a bed of pillows (300) to ride on well…rocks or something really hard.

This was not all bad however.  I kicked out some great riding at Rocky Glen the weekend before Endurocross and gained a confidence on the bike that I didn’t think I’d get.  I felt I can push faster through turns, be on the gas sooner, be off the gas later.  I can push jumps and rough terrain at least 5-10x harder than before.  I just feel downright comfortable on the bike (no..not while sitting, that seat is a freaking 2×4).  It is as I’ve said…Magical.  Downside I’ve felt so far had been the front tire.  Right now wishing I coulda swapped it before the race, but what could I do?

So back to the race at hand.  It was about a week before the event, and I had really no idea what was going on.  I was getting the feeling that this race was a bit of a publicity thing.  I had no idea when anything was, where I needed to be, or any of the information that seemed essential.  I managed to get ahold of Beth (iirc) who was running registration and all that, and got the vitals.  Noted to myself….be there before 7pm Thursday for registration (and forget that Indiana is 1 hour ahead of Illinois).

I arrive with plenty of time to spare, get my riders packet, and am greeted with the following:

I take a walk around the track via the stadium, and think about how it shouldn’t be “too bad”.  My thoughts go like this:

Logs, I’ve ridden over those…that’ll be easy.

Rocks, I’ve ridden over all that asphalt rubble….those should be easy.

Whoops, I like riding those, off camber, but should be able to stay on the gas throughout.

Concrete Pipes, Those should be…fun, about a bikes length of gaps.  Keep the front tire up?

Fire Wood Pile,  WTF?  Stay on the gas?  uhhhh yeah we’ll see how first practice goes.  haha

Logs V2, Hit the corners?  Jump through?

Tires, HA! I practiced these.  Cake walk, Aim for the gaps and slip through.  Easy.

Rocks V2, Oh this should get interesting….Find lines during track walk.  Stay on the gas, and keep your feet UP!!!

Sand, Shouldn’t be too bad..assuming it’s not too loamy.  Keep on the gas.

Tires V2, OK, I’ve ridden over ones like this before.  Easy.  Stay on gas and let’r rip.

Simple.  Right……?

Failure admittance #2.  Thinking that I was properly prepared.  I was not (still not?).

I quickly found during practice #1 that A. I needed food.  B. I had been training in an entirely wrong way.  I quickly realized that I had been prepping myself for racing for almost 2 hours straight.  This race was gonna be less than 10 minutes and I needed to be able to go 110% for that entire time.  No letting up, no breaks, no nothing.  Just a full on onslaught of bike bucking, body jarring, intense riding.

My practices seemed to progressively get better, and better.  Despite a bit of a doozy of a crash, I got back up and was rolling at the same or even faster pace.  I was gaining confidence in me, the track, the bike, everything.  I was feeling positive.  I was ready for the main event.  This is where I realized things would be….interesting.  haha

I realized as I pulled up to the line for the main event, that it had been hours since I last rode.  My body was not fully “awake”, and I could just feel that I did not have the same intensity that I had during practice and the heat race.  I went into the race with the wrong mindset.  I thought “let’s just make it through”.  Anyone who competes will tell you this is not good.  I won’t lament too far on the wrong as I’ve already changed that thought process.  On top of that, I most definitely realized that it had been over 10 years since I had done a gate start.  Luckily that was the easiest part of the race.

I made an early mistake of taking a risky line that proved to not pay.  I went down in the first lap.  I proceeded to sap all of my energy in a matter of moments, causing me to get sloppy in short order.  I went down a couple more times, but did my best to keep my head up and push until the end.  I managed an 11 out of 11.  Last Place.  Depressing to say the least.

Despite my feelings of defeat and loss, I knew one thing.  I wanted more.  I know I can be faster.  The desire to win is about 100 times higher than it was before.  Now if only they would have more of these events locally, we’d be set.  I would go and do another one of these in a heart beat.  No questions asked, I would be there pushing myself…..and that’s where I’m now.

I am pushing myself to be like the Six Million Dollar Man….Light, Faster, Stronger.  I’ve also picked up a new motto for my riding.  RLAW – TLAS.  I’ll keep it at that.  It’ll help keep me pushing.  See you all at the next race!


PS. If yall’d like to see the race.  Check it out.

And a big thanks to my Sponsors:

Economy Cycle

Three R Plastics