Hi everybody! It's been a while since we've dabbled in the blog stuff because May and June have been very busy. After seeing Dr. Raymond Boniface my Orthopedic Surgeon (he races BMW cars too!) he gave me the okay to go out and do some things so I decided since I put all this work in my XR 100 why not race it. So with a grand total of one-half hours of seat time I ventured to Circleville Raceway Park on US 23 just south of Columbus. There I joined a couple dozen racers from the Ohio Mini Road Racing League for my first race. At 61 I know I was the oldest guy there but at about 260 I also know I was the heaviest and with the Rotator Cuff still torn I know I had my work cut out if I just wanted to navigate the twisty course without being embarrassed or coming off the bike. I traveled with Ken Sampson who is no stranger to the hardships of putting two wheels where it sometimes doesn't want to go completing the Lake Erie loop in sub 18 hours on a Honda Mb5 and also completing the 4 corners of the USA and to Alaska and back so with Ken as a team mate all things are a GO!
If you Click Here you'll be able to see a couple pictures which show the race team set up, my blazing a path down the straight away, me at the mad start and of course the celebratory Captain Morgan at the finish with Ken Sampson.
Friday night we ran smack dab into the worst storm I've been in , in a long time. Winds gusting to 80 mph, trees and telephone poles down everywhere. No electricity, no cable in my room ugh! So, Ken and I headed out to dinner walking down the street to a small Mexican bar/Restaurant and they just happened to have Margareta's frozen on tap. Well one of those along with a steak Fajita filled me up and we wobbled our way back to the room and with the air on sleep comfortable… So comfortable that I was an hour late getting to the track :(
We got everything unloaded and set up..we looked professional but could we race the same way..stay tuned! I want to mention what a great group of people the racers and staff of the Ohio Mini Road Racing League are. I no sooner got out of the truck and Kent Klawon greeted me. Soon after I met Matt and Conrad and a bunch of other racers.
This is how the day went for my first race. Drivers meeting where I filled out a Tech sheet and had my bike teched to make sure it complied with the safety rules. After tech they called stock XR 100 and stock YSR 50 practice. I went out and did about 6 laps just enough to know that I don't know how to do this well and it will be trial by fire so to speak. After practice they started calling the races. I was the third group to go out but had to corner marshal in the second race. I could see this would be a problem trying to get my gear on, bike warmed up etc so Ken Sampson filled in for me as a Corner Marshall allowing me to relax and get geared up at my pace.
My First Race…I gridded in the last row and stalled the bike at the start. Needless to say since the bikes were supposed to be even I never really had a chance to make up any ground and managed to keep out of everyone's way. The bike was stuttering on top end and my free play on the throttle was way loose. I finished dead last and was lapped by the leaders..maybe more than once I dunno…:(
During the time between races Ken and I moved the needle in the carb up so we'd get more gas and that made a big difference on how the bike ran. It was a lot easier to drive and my lap times went from 1:15 to 1:04a huge difference and I gave it all I had. These were 10 lap races which for me meant about 10 minutes in duration. In 93 degree heat, completely geared up I must tell you half way through the race I was getting heat sickness. When the race finished I was glad and peeled the gear off as quickly as I could. My shoulders hurt from pushing on the bars (countersteering remember we talked about this?) and I felt dehydrated. I pounded a quart of Gatorade which made my electrolytes levels better . A Subway sandwich and a bottle of water got my energy reserves back .
As I loaded up the trailer a smile came across my face and I felt like the skinny kid circa 1969 who strapped on a helmet donned some leathers and went to a track to learn how to race a motorcycle. Funny how some things never change!
Hang in There..Larry