2021 VCHSS Series - KDX in the Orange Sea

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Re: 2021 VCHSS Series - KDX in the Orange Sea

Post by KDXGarage »

Reason #1 to move to B class: sleep later

Reasons #2 - #15 ...blah, blah, blah
Thank you for participating on kdxrider.net. :bravo:
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Re: 2021 VCHSS Series - KDX in the Orange Sea

Post by MoonStomper »

KDXGARAGE nails it!
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Just trying not to get lapped again by my son!
'03 KDX 200 - @%@ '18 Trek Slash 8

BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA USA
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Re: 2021 VCHSS Series - KDX in the Orange Sea

Post by MoonStomper »

2021 VCHSS Race #13 Lake Sugar Tree FINAL…
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Sitting at home this weekend waiting on the big snowpocalypse about to wipe western Virginia off the map, I finally found time to write up the last race of my season. Might have come sooner had I not broken my arm trail riding the following weekend.

Lake Sugar Tree was the VCHSS Finale. I had entered 12 of 13 events (skipped racing the Rattlesnake mud fest this year) and had escaped with no DNFs! Not bad for a 52 year old dad on a 19 year old machine. Especially considering I was driving my truck on average 11k miles per month back and forth across the country hauling campers. On that note… let me know if you ever need a bike shipped or something similar! I’ve hauled a KTM touring bike to Minneapolis and a Zodiak boat (in a crate) from Wisconsin. I’m pretty cheap if I can work out picking up your package where I’m delivering or even delivering a camper in your neck of the woods. So if you want that barn find E model you bid on in Sacramento, but live in NC, I’m your guy. My territory is the lower 48.

Back to the race…
LST is a pretty well known motocross track in Axton, Virginia. The weekend after we raced Travis Pastrana was there for some related event. I wish it was closer. They have a first rate facility, a training school, a huge Moto track around a lake, and a smaller, tighter track more like Supercross. Then there is a Grand Prix course too and miles of single track through the woods. Lots of parking and nice bathrooms. Felt like the big time!

I’d never ridden on a motocross track before and our race toured us over the whole course. It was pretty dang wild riding up the faces of some of those big jumps the first time not knowing what was waiting or not waiting on the backside. It would definitely pay to get there the day before and learn this track, probably worth a couple minutes per lap. I didn’t get to do this and just felt it out as I went. My suspension handled everything well, even with me over jumping a few times into the back sides of some smaller doubles! I really enjoyed the big table tops, they were more forgiving and less intimidating. Ol’ girl flies really nice and I hit them pretty good landing on the downslopes most of the time. I didn’t attempt to clear the doubles although it was very tempting as I learned the track. This year I plan to get coached up and learn proper technique.

Sitting in fourth place in points I wanted to protect my position with a solid finish. 5th-7th were right behind me and 3rd was just out of reach unless I could score a win and he finished worse than about 12th. Even then I think he could drop one and probably still hold onto third. So I just needed to go out and ride good and just stay smooth, not hit the ground, not die on the front side of a triple, not get stuck in a mud hole, not eat crap in the first cloud of dust. I knew my ol’ trusty KDX was not going to be the weak link, she’s been ripping lately and was ready to rock.

The start grid had our line pointed downhill into an uphill with a sharp right-hander back down the hill into a sharp left-hander, then right again with some bumps and humps sprinkled in there before charging off into the woods. The downhill, dead engine start was a real disadvantage for me, but I got focused from my middle spot in the line. I should have gone to either the inside or outside.
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When the flag dropped my Fredette kicker fired the motor and I got off clean, probably second off the line. The dry ground was hard and dusty and our field of about fifteen all aimed for the inside of the corner. Something had to give.

I hit third then fourth and slipped some clutch and gave her throttle, we blasted up the hill and I adjusted my line just wide of the corner for a late apex. This worked out as a surge of fast guys on the inside crowded into the corner and jammed up, I laid her over and stayed on the gas. Think I was fourth on the hole shot with a clear run at the inside 180 left hander coming up. Tight inside I was up to 3rd and then charging through the dust I backed off a bit going blind over the bumps into right hander on the edge of the wood line and some weeds. A guy on my inside jumped past me and overshot the turn and I laid her over downshifting and late apexed almost into the trees. The KDX was breathing fire and we charged off towards the woods holding third and launched over some good sized humps. The crowd was really letting us hear it.

Once into the single track I settled in and tried to ride a smooth first lap eyeballing all the lines and looking for traps. A few guys got by me and I was probably 7th entering the motocross course. I charged through it taking wide lines, staying smooth and figuring out where the table tops were and how to roll the doubles and triples. Back into the woods I finally got into my groove.

At the end of the lap was a Grand Prix section where I could really blow her out up a long hill (rutted on the inside) with a dogleg left back into the woods and then out into a mild whoops section to blast with a right hander at the end. Out of the sharp corner a shallow uphill ditch jump into a corner that was super fun. This turned right again and opened up into some more Grand Prix dusty flat swooping turns with short straights leading into a long uphill underneath a power line and finally tucking into a left hand single track between two small trees about 300 yards from the finish line. I was 7th on the board riding conservatively after this first lap. The course felt fast and I opened it up on my second circuit.

Smooth and steady I was a little more aggressive on the motorcross track and figured out the tables pretty good, over rode the doubles a bit, but not terribly.
I caught a guy in my class and we swapped positions some, I grabbed a handful over one of the singles landing to flat and got by him before going into the woods. Before the Grand Prix section there was a small, shallow creek crossing that went up a soft steep bank and through deep, wet sand that I hit geared too low (1st?) which I paid for by not getting momentum for a short steep rocky climb strewn with onlookers and hecklers immediately after. Spinning and clutching into 2nd late I finally made it, but lost a few seconds and got passed. I made a mental note to be in third across the creek next time.

Rolling into the Grand Prix section I was really able to open her up and make some passes going through the whoops which were really fun. It was kind of dusty coming up through the turns after and pretty loose. Rolling through timing and scoring and into my third lap I saw I was still in 7th and was given the white flag.

Last lap, I felt like the guys in front of me must be way ahead, but had enough energy to pick up my pace and at least protect my position. Into the motocross course I really let her rip on the tables and overcooked a few of the doubles nosing into the lower front sides of a few, but my suspension took the hits and it wasn’t horrible, but I knew was pressing too much and making dumb mistakes. On one jump, I supermanned the landing and somehow didn’t go down, saving it and looked around to make sure no one saw it!

I reeled myself back in after that and refocused on being smooth and staying upright. This time when I got back to the creek crossing with the deep sandy bank I hit it in third, but got jammed up by a rider stalling in front of me on the opposite side. Losing my momentum, I had an even worse go at the heckler hill and almost dropped the bike before getting passed by two riders who shot by me. I recognized both were in my class and one in particular was the KTM 300 guy I finished behind at the previous event. That was a pass for points and position, I needed to get back by him! Clutching the bike and snicking 2nd, I pulled slowly up the face and over the top, then dropped the hammer. I quickly got on his tail.

Going through the spaghetti tracks in the woods he took good lines and I showed him my fender several times as I applied pressure. He was choosing smart lines and making himself wide. I knew I was going to have to work pretty hard to get around him. Several times I got close but couldn’t get a clean shot. When we came out of the woods into the first Grand Prix climb I took the inside and opened her up. He had a good run and I had chosen a dry rutted line, I closed in but couldn’t get to him as we rounded the corner. I late apexed swinging wide behind him and worked my clutch and closed quickly but couldn’t get to the narrow opening back into the woods. I sat right on his tail and planned my final assault. It would have to be the whoops.

We caught several riders on this narrow and winding section of single track and I stayed right on his fender making passes as one bike. He was doing a great job not making mistakes knowing I was right there. When we blasted out of the woods into the last Grand Prix sector I missed a shift and he got a gap. I’d have to make it up in the whoops and try to pass at the end going into the corner. He took the inside line with 30’ on me, I slid back off the seat and gave her.
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Rocking the whoops full tilt I skipped the tops and and went into the corner dead even as I railed the berm to the right. He crossed over to the inside again and I aimed at the outside berm charging hard, blowing out the backside of th loose and dusty track into the weeds. Not giving up I laid her over and found traction as I worked the clutch and held her wide, this launched me right past him as I crossed to the outside berm again and railed it! Here was my chance! I could hear his 300 growl behind me as I snicked up through the gears throttle wide. Ahead I spotted that other rider under the power line and closed fast.

I wanted to get him between myself and that 300 before we got into the single track only a few hundred yards from the finish line. He approached the narrow entry between two trees staying wide as I yelled my intention to pass on the inside. Slipping into the hole he cut down on me late like he hadn’t heard and didn’t see me. His fender cut my seat behind my right leg and he went down.

I stayed on the gas and and danced on the pegs through the rock strewn spaghetti track taking the most direct lines I could. Fifty yards from the end I saw another rider in my class on another orange bike and took an inside line sneaking past him just before we both entered the tape.

Rolling into the scoring tent I looked up for my placing… 99T… 4th !!!

I eased through the tape into the cool down area and pulled off. The first guy rolled up and congratulated me on my pass, then asked where we finished, he didn’t see the result flash up as he passed through the tent.

Then the guy that took himself out as I passed him into the woods, rolled up complaining about my pass. We talked about it and I told him I had yelled my intention as I was charging in from twenty feet back, and he had actually run into me. I told him I was sorry he’d crashed, but didn’t see how it was my fault. He conceded and we shook hands. Then finally the 300 rider eased in and came over to say hi. He said he’d tried to hold me off, but that when I blasted by him I’d dusted him so completely that he had to check up as he couldn’t see.

He invited me back to the truck for a beer. Heck, I probably owe him the beer. When he passed me on the hill it got me laser focused and helped me catch and pass for three positions I would never have caught by myself.

I secured my season position in the points and had earned it.
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My son Henry had already wrapped up his 2nd place in 200C points, so he decided to slide up into the Main Event racing 200B, where he will compete next year. Aggressive as usual on the start, he was almost taken out getting the hole shot, but stayed upright and was as high as 3rd before finishing 6th. Here he is with the two-time VCHSS Grand Champion, Dustin Klotter after the race. Dustin is probably the neatest guy on the circuit, he remembers your name and is out there at the morning event cheering on the riders. A super positive individual, he has a very bright future ahead. Next year he’s going after some GNCCs and motocross events. If you ever see him introduce yourself, he’ll make you glad that you did.
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Last edited by MoonStomper on 11:20 am Jan 16 2022, edited 2 times in total.
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Just trying not to get lapped again by my son!
'03 KDX 200 - @%@ '18 Trek Slash 8

BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA USA
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Re: 2021 VCHSS Series - KDX in the Orange Sea

Post by KDXGarage »

NICE!! Congratulations on your 2021 success. I hope you heal up and give it a go this year. Thanks as always for the excellent write ups!
Thank you for participating on kdxrider.net. :bravo:
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Re: 2021 VCHSS Series - KDX in the Orange Sea

Post by SS109 »

Man, your race recaps are the best! Congrats on a hard fought and well earned finish! :supz: I can't wait to hear about your first B season.
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