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First Race Back!

Posted by Q75 admin on Friday Feb 28, 2014 Under 2014, News, Other Racing

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EWDRA_14Spring80It has been over a year since I’ve raced. Being completely overwhelmed at work, getting married, then finding out we’re expecting a baby, and still being completely overwhelmed at work made it nearly impossible to race last year. Combine that with some circumstances outside my control and it made for a tough 2013! I spent a lot of time mountain biking with my wife when I could, but it just isn’t the same! So, needless to say, I felt so much better on Sunday finally being able to get to pound out some laps on some rough terrain at the Eastern Washington Dirt Riders’ Spring Hare Scramble.

I am very grateful to my longtime sponsors and a few new ones that have offered support this year! It made getting back into racing much easier for me. This winter I took my motor to Arlan Lehrman of LED Performance for a tune-up. Arlan was my longtime motor guy when I was racing WORCS. He does an incredible job on everything from vintage motorcycles to ATVs. He has been building motors since the early days of ATV racing and if you spend just a few minutes talking to him you’ll know more than you ever wanted to about the intricacies, art and science of getting power out of a motor! He’s part of the reason I never had a DNF the entire time I raced WORCS (from 2003-2008). When I got the motor back I was confident in it and upon firing it up and riding it around the yard a little I was not disappointed. I use Wiseco pistons, HMF exhaust, Sunstar sprockets, K&N Filters and a Rekluse EXP Core manual clutch to get the power out as well. I have always had great results with this products and Rekluse has some new MX clutches coming out this year that will amaze you.

EWDRA_14Spring25While the motor was getting a refresh I cleaned up and put together my bikes. Teixeira Tech plus Fox Shox is an amazing combination. Add in a Precision steering stabilizer and their Shock and Vibe clamps and all whoops, ruts, bumps and jumps will fear you. While I was not in my best racing shape on Sunday, my bike certainly was and a lot of that is due to the excellent handling of these components in rough terrain! I have used this combination for many years and it never ceases to amaze me. Just a great set up to have.

The Spring Hare Scramble is typically a 4 lap race of about 10-11 miles per lap.  The Eastern Washington/Oregon desert is very sandy and the track gets whooped out. The quads race in the afternoon after all the bikes have spent the morning on it, so even though the track had been groomed a bit, it was still 11 miles of whoops for the most part. This year’s course including the motocross track, which is a new twist – one my off road bike is not set up for! The race started at the far end of a long straight. It’s a dead-engine start and riders must run from about 40 feet behind their quad, start it, and take off down the  straight. I used to be pretty good at this when I raced it all the time! I practiced a few times before leaving the house – jumping over the rear fenders, landing on the kicker, and starting the bike. But, it didn’t go according to plan.

EWDRA_14Spring4Temperatures were in the low 40s with wind making it feel much colder. The Pros and Experts lined up on the same line and then we waited for the start. I thought I should maybe start the bike again while waiting and I definitely should have! The horn sounded, we all took off running and I jumped, hit the kicker, and then had to kick a few more times. The motor had gotten a little chilly while we waited. The electric start guys and some of the kicker guys were pretty much to the gate by the time I got going – 3rd to last off the line. I went full force down the straight, into the first turn and off to the MX track.

Since I am not familiar with this track and my bike is not set up at all for MX, I played it safe and rolled everything. My friend Josh Fain who was behind me made a pass over a double and I entered the off road section just behind him. While we were a bit chilly standing around for the start, it didn’t take much to warm up! I wear Klim gear for this very reason. It is very easy to regulate and adjust your temperature in their gear so you don’t overheat and you don’t get too cold. Their new helmets are amazing (just look at the photos!) and will help keep you cool. Their gear is super durable also. I have put several sets of mine through the ringer of abuse and it still looks great, functions great, and doesn’t have any rips or tears or loose parts.

EWDRA_14Spring167My off road quad does not have nerf bars. I donT care to run them in the desert, so passing would have to be a cautious affair. I definitely did not want to get tangled with someone.  I had a lot of passing to do! I cautiously worked my way passed rider after rider and by lap two I thought I was sitting in a pretty good position. I had my eyes on the guy in front of me in a few places during the race, but only got close enough to breath a little bit of his dust.

As the race wore on and the track got more rough, I finally started to get a bit more comfortable.  I had not spent very much time on the quad and initially  wasn’t feeling quite at home yet. Without seat time, it can be a little awkward to get comfortable at first. I wasn’t worried about my fitness since I work out regularly and I have help from Ryno Power to keep me going longer, but seat time is irreplaceable! I was a little worried about blisters, but then again I run certain equipment for a reason! Spider grips. They saved my hands for sure since I didn’t have much time to build up my “riding hands.” Not a blister on either hand. By lap 3 I was firmly in 3rd position, and feeling really good on the bike. In the sandy conditions I chose to run a Maxxis Razr2 in the rear with a little of the lug shaved off with iRazr fronts. The Razr2’s are an excellent off road tire and the iRazr fronts work great in the sandy conditions. This is a tried and true combo for me and I have relied on Maxxis tires without fail for most of my racing career. Another great asset to offroad racing is a Quadtech desert seat. They make great seats for all types of riding, but if you spend a lot of long, rough hours on a bike like I have in Mexico, your butt with thank you for having one of their seats – they are durable and plush. When you have confidence in your equipment it is much easier to go fast.

EWDRA_14Spring120I finished out the race in 3rd and I can’t complain at all about that result considering I haven’t raced in over a year, I haven’t been riding except for twice and playing in the snow once before this race, and I didn’t get a great start. Having faith in my equipment after years of testing made a big difference for me and again I can’t thank those people enough for their support. There are many more sponsors that have given me support – some new, some not – and I couldn’t fit them all in here. Basically, I run product that I know I can rely on. Product I know works for me. I don’t run product just because I get a good discount and I won’t tell you to run a product unless I have good experience with it. The companies that support me have great products, please check them out, give them a try, and if you want my opinion or suggestions, just ask. I have raced Hondas, Suzukis, and Kawasakis, and I have even been seen on a Yamaha once or twice.

Biggest thank yous to my sponsors:

Maxxis, Klim, Fox, Teixeira Tech, Rekluse, Led Performance, Precision Racing Products, Wiseco Piston, Trail Tech, HMF, Fullbore Innovations, 100% Goggles, UPP, CBR, Ryno Power, IMS, Pro Armor, Vanilla Gorilla Racing, Spider Grips, Maxima, Asterisk, Quad Tech, K&N Filters, Shorai Power, Sunstar, Spider Graphix, Galfer, Powermadd, Quad75.Com, Waterwell Developing & Surveys, & PitTraffic.com

 

 

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