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First Hare Scramble, rider(RACER) needs KUDO'S

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This is a post from a bud I carried to his frist Hare Scramble last weekend. He finished a VERY tight and rutted 7.6mile course. Please read his post and offer praise, encouragement and any suggestions you can think of. (I'm not using his name b/c I didn't tell him I was going to post this)



Okay, I was told it was a tradition to write up your first race. I was not sure if this was the truth or not - Having been the new guy at jobs looking for "shelf stretchers" and bogus stuff like that. I decided, He11, if it is not tradition maybe this will start one.

Learned many lessons Sunday, the hard way.

Ivor, Va. was the place. 28 yrs old, not in bad shape, just started riding again a couple months ago after not touching a bike in 13 years.

I got a phone call from one of my "thumpertalk.com" buddies who asked if I would like to tag-a-long to the Reddy Hole race the next day. I have been wanting to race and test my skills. So why not. Got up at 4:00 A.M. and drove from Raleigh meeting him on the way.

The first tip, that would resinate later, escaped his lips "Have you trimmed your bars yet?" Why would I cut my brand new bars I thought. "You'll see," was the reply. Next was "Have you been hydrating?" Hmmm, I drank 2 glasses of water this morning before I left- more than usual - that'll do, I thought. The final clue, which I did not pick up on it's grave relevance until later, was "do you have a camelbak?" Well no, But I will have my bro-in-law sitting on the side of the course with a bottle of Gatoraid as I do my laps- again no problem.

Wrong. My first mistake was assuming that I would make it around the trail to even see my Gatoraid. The first time my big wide bars tried to squeeze through the tight pine trees I was down. And the new Yamaha WR250F just did not feel like starting for 40 minutes (odometer reads 1/2 mile).

My first clue to my bikes ilk was at the start where I was the last guy off the line - not for safety - not for the May "kick-a-thon charity" but just to start the beast. Happy to get it going I was off with my heart pounding and almost out of breath from excitement. Thinking hey this is cool - but just take it easy.

So 45 minutes into the race in the beginner 250C class I am wiped out with no water and no energy from aerobically kicking the #$%^ brand @@$##%$#@ new (*^@#%*@ bike. With 5 minutes of actual forward motion and knowing the trial was only going to get worse - the days outlook was grim - but I was still hoping for the rest of the ride to be smooth.

The bike finally starts, I feel relieved and stop waving riders on and telling them I am okay. I get a little energy back and start against the trail again. I went about 100 yards, went wide on a sharp turn and - well - kicked for another 20 minutes. Waved a bunch a riders by. I had now seen some riders go by 3 times.

Very, Very thirsty now. A paste was forming around my parched lips with no help from the constant 2-stroke exhaust looming on the trail. My mind wondered, and I thought of praying - but this is just a race, no need for that - I am not hurt. Okay maybe just a small prayer.

Just then an older gentleman walks through the trail behind my stalled bike and asks if I am okay. I say fine, however, I am dying of thirst. He just happened to carry an extra bottle of water with him, just for this occasion. Whoever you are, if you read this, thank you. bike starts...

Road for about 10 minutes and stalled agian. Kicked, cussed, panted, prayed, prayed again, for 25 minutes. THinking to myself that I will never push this bike out of these woods. I guessed that I had missed my chance at this point to do more than one lap (90 minutes into the race and less than 1/2 way around the first lap). But, by GOD, I will do one lap.

The bike started and I was on my way. Doing well for a good 2 miles. I forgot some more sage advice that was given to me on the internet. "if you are not sure how to tackle something, like a creek crossing or mud hole, then stop and watch someone else do it first." Forgetting this, I ended up with my bike almost verticle with the front wheel level with my head (trying to climb a small hill) in a mud hole with some surprisingly strong suction from the mud around my rear wheel. The nice camera man helped out, but not before taking the photo-op. :) All this happened in spitting distance from a good sturdy wood bridge next to the mud hole.

Note to self: Always take the bridge instead of the deep mud. 5 minutes of kicking.

Now, I make my way to the creek crossing. THis time I stopped and watched. WOW, no one was making it through. Wait, on the far right they are. Cool, so I navigate to the far right passing and get accross the first small muddy creek there is a guy standing aside saying "stay on the throttle." I tried to cross but stalled with my front on the bank and back in the mud. The guy followed his first comment afterwards by saying " I told you to get on it!"

another lesson learned there. 10 more minutes of kicking.

It is now after 2 pm and I am just coming up on the bro-in-law with the Gatoraid. I stopped, not concerned with my time, I guzzled the large bottle in haste. He said, sorry I missed you the first couple laps. I laughed and told him a brief recount "you didn't miss me, this IS my first lap". Then I finished the race. Rolled up to the tent and they threw a checkered flag in front of my tire.

Next time I will slow down a little sooner, I think I scared the folkes a bit. Sorry~

So - all together, my first impression of racing in a hare scramble sucked. But I have learned so much in just that 2 hours that I have to beleive that it can be a lot more fun with some mods to the bike for starting better. I have allready purchased a new camelbak and cut the bars. I am ready for the next race! I realized that it cannot get much worse, barring an injury - SO I have good hopes for the next one.

I WILL BE BACK - All you 250C's, watch out, I am coming. see you at land shark!


'98 YZ400F

'01 YZ250F

'98 CBR600F3

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Whoever you are, you’ve got a lot of sand, running something like that with so little (recent) experience.

At the same time, what were you thinking? Surely you spent some quality moments alone with yourself pondering exactly that before it was over. I know what that is like.

I wish I had riding buddies like you. You da man.

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