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Scenes from the GNCC Series

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I just returned from Gilmer, TX and my first GNCC race. It was pretty cool with just about as many riders as there were fans. The course was extremely rough and all natural similar to old syle motocross but the track was 11 miles long. There were some crazy climbs amid boulder fields with single track thrown in as well. The teams take it serious as MX with plenty of big rigs. It was nice to be able to hike around the course and get right next to track.

The KTM pits

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Randy Hawkins does the TV interview

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The dirt was just about perfect

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Boulder climb was steeper than it looks in the pictures.

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The winner Juha Salminen takes the high line into the rocks.

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Close up of his bike

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These are a few of my digital pictures. I also took some color shots with a film camera that I don't have back yet. I will post more if there are some good ones.

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Where can I find a stand like the one holding that KTM way up in the air?

Thanks for the great pics.

Zazoos

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Hey, that boulder field looks pretty do-able to me. Yep, I could do that, no prob!

Unless there's a lot of stalled carnage on the way up, blocking my preferred lines, forcing me off course, and bouncing me into the trees... :)

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Looked like a great day with good weather

Is this you :):)

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The picture has a story behind it although it is not me in the picture but it is my bike. The rider is an old motocross buddy of mine from Kansas City, Brad Jones. He still actively races hare scrambles and he sometimes is an official sweeper at the end of the race looking for riders left on the track, lost parts and other missing items.

Until about 2 weeks ago we had not talked to each other in almost 20 years. I had scanned some of my negatives of local races from the '70's and I tracked Brad down to see if he wanted any of them. Brad now works for American Airlines and mentioned the GNCC race so we decided to go together to watch the race. The plan was for Brad to fly in for the day on his airline pass and we would do the whirlwind trip to Gilmer, TX.

Gilmer is a couple of hours drive east of Dallas and the weather leading up to this past weekend was not looking good with lots of rain mainly in Gilmer as well as some in Dallas. We had decided if by Sunday the weather was not good in Gilmer we would just ride my bike somewhere together in the Dallas area. Brad was itching to ride and missing out on it due to the winter weather in KC.

I had never considered taking my bike to the GNCC race although it was being held at a state offroad area known as Barnwell Mountain. By Saturday evening it looked like the weather was turning for the better so we focused on attending the race. Brad really wanted to ride some too so he suggested we take the bike with us. I really wanted to see the race and take pictures and I was little worried about having the bike there and unattended. You just never know what could happen or if we could even ride it. Brad had been to some GNCC races and he assured me it was more like going to a local hare scrambles race and not like some of the crazy large crowds you see at a National motocross. I reluctantly agreed to take the bike.

Sunday morning at 8AM I picked him up at DFW airport hauling my 250X in the trailer behind me. We got some funny stares from the airport crowd seeing this dirt bike rig at a busy airport. We talked all the way to Gilmer and were there by 10:30. Brad was right, the crowd was not bad and was mainly all true dirt bike people. Brad brought all of his gear including his "sweeper vest". We walked around to get the lay of the land it really did feel like a bigger local hare scrambles but with the factory rigs included. Here is a picture I took of Brad with one of the friendliest riders I have ever met Rodney Smith. Even with a broken leg he went in the trailer himself to get posters to sign for just Brad and I.

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Brad knew some Team Green riders from Missouri who came down to race. So we spent some time walking the pits and talking with Brads racer buds. The Pros were starting at 1:15 and by 12:30 Brad suggested we unload the bike. He wanted to check the area out and we decided to meet back up at the first turn right before the race started.

Here is the Pro start

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I then moved around and took pictures while Brad explored on my bike.

I met up with him about two hours into the race and he was telling me he had been out on the course helping riders. Course officials thinking he was a real GNCC sweeper had instructed him to get out there. I was shocked when he told me. He is a very good rider so I knew he was not doing anything over his head. He then took me on the bike to the far back side of the course to some places he had found. We went right past the course marshals and I took pictures in places only the riders were seeing. More than once a racer pulled off in front of Brad and asked him to remove his empty camelback or some other broken item. Brad was doing his volunteer duty.

Keep in mind it was taking 30 minutes or so to complete a lap so there were many lulls in the action. Several places during those lulls when we knew the Pros were nowhere near, Brad would ride my bike in a little section on the course and I took pictures. It sounds crazy telling it but Brad is probably an A class rider and there were plenty of them out on the course mixed in with the Pros.

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its kinda weird, all i see is two strokes in those pictures. I thought four strokes were the ultimate trail bike because of the torque involved. I would think it would be pretty hard climbin those rock hills on a two stroke.

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its kinda weird, all i see is two strokes in those pictures. I thought four strokes were the ultimate trail bike because of the torque involved. I would think it would be pretty hard climbin those rock hills on a two stroke.

Two things I've noticed about 4s: Sure is hard to beat a bunch of 2s off a dead engine start (i.e. GNCC) and 2s start a whole lot easier when you stall or crash....and in a 2 or 3 hr race you will stall or crash. Okay, I guess some won't but most of us mortals do.

Ever watch the guys at Supercross try to light a 4 after they crash??? Usually doesn't go too good. Windham is about the only successful guy I've seen (light it quick)

A 4 would probably be a little easier to coax up that hill. But, I'm sure there were other sections that favored a 2.

Just my observations.

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its kinda weird, all i see is two strokes in those pictures. I thought four strokes were the ultimate trail bike because of the torque involved. I would think it would be pretty hard climbin those rock hills on a two stroke.

Nah, 2 strokes dominate in the woods as far as GNCC goes. Maybe for the average joe smoe who wants to thump around in the trails 4 strokes are better. But if you want to go fast in a GNCC, 250 2 stroke is the way to go.

And 2 stroke with the right pipe, flywheel, and jetting can really make it easier to ride in the woods. Its lighter so you get fatiguied less, and go over obsticles easier.(Those are two major things for woods racing)

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i guess until the four strokes become as light as the twos we will never have a complete over take of four strokes. :) I would imagine though, the clutch work would be crazy in those woods on a two stroke!

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nie pictures. i live right down the street from rodney smith here in antioch,california. he has a huge motorhome. i always see him crusin around in his factory suzuki box van .

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Hey, that boulder field looks pretty do-able to me. Yep, I could do that, no prob!

Unless there's a lot of stalled carnage on the way up, blocking my preferred lines, forcing me off course, and bouncing me into the trees... :)

The Yamaha rider in the 5th pic is getting ready to kiss that tree.

The crowd was helping riders up when they needed it and jumped out of the way when the bikes went out of control in this section.

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Scott Summers is about the only 4 stroke rider I can think of, but he could make that XR600 fly, haven't seen him race the 450 yet though. Hard to beat the instant on power of a 250 2-stroke and they are usually going so fast they don't notice the lack of torque on them anyway. Read an interview somewhere the top guys liked the 2 stroke because of the very limited passing room on the trail and you needed to go real fast really quick to get around the slower riders. I was considering going to sparta this year, think I may have to now. Do the pro's and the novices ride at the same time or just on the same day? I was thinking about doing the novice race but would hate to end up as a berm filler for the fast guys. :) :)

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Geez Chief, ya span a couple generations with your pics. I thought your old stuff was great, your new stuff is top notch also. That 111 KTM sure does look sweet!

What digi cam are you using?

Thanks for sharing! :)

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its kinda weird, all i see is two strokes in those pictures. I thought four strokes were the ultimate trail bike because of the torque involved. I would think it would be pretty hard climbin those rock hills on a two stroke.

You my son, have been brainwashed by the propaganda of magazine advertising.

I might consider a 4 banger for track use, but no way for a 4 hour enduro or 2 hour or so GNCC.

I am not even sure my 300 has a clutch??

:)

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You my son, have been brainwashed by the propaganda of magazine advertising.

I might consider a 4 banger for track use, but no way for a 4 hour enduro or 2 hour or so GNCC.

I am not even sure my 300 has a clutch??

:)

There were 4 strokes there as well, just more 250 2 strokes in the Pro's. Mike Lafferty finished third on this KTM and he was in the lead for awhile. That Salminen dude is way fast although I am not sure what size motor he was running! :)

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The 250F Kawasaki

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Scott Summers 450F

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Suzuki 450F

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Scott Summers is about the only 4 stroke rider I can think of, but he could make that XR600 fly, haven't seen him race the 450 yet though. Hard to beat the instant on power of a 250 2-stroke and they are usually going so fast they don't notice the lack of torque on them anyway. Read an interview somewhere the top guys liked the 2 stroke because of the very limited passing room on the trail and you needed to go real fast really quick to get around the slower riders. I was considering going to sparta this year, think I may have to now. Do the pro's and the novices ride at the same time or just on the same day? I was thinking about doing the novice race but would hate to end up as a berm filler for the fast guys. :) :)

There was a 2 hour race in the morning for the amateurs. Their course was slightly different as they made the course a little easier by eliminating a few of the boulder field climbs after the first lap. I heard there were some huge bottlenecks so the organizers had to do something.

The 3 hour main event starting line held a ton of riders but they launched in waves of 1 minute intervals by class. There is a dead engine start so the 31 Pros left first and a minute later the A riders, then B and then C. They also had age group classes as well. By an hour into the race everyone was spread out and mixed together. I am sure the Pros lapped some of the lower class riders but it was kind of hard to tell over the 11 mile course. The Pros had red backgrounds on their plates so you could at least pick them out. Theses two shots show 90% of the field getting ready for the start.

The Pros are to the right side with each class lined up behind them.

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Each class would move up to the starting line and then everyone would kill their engine for the start. A wave of a green flag and everyone in that class was off and racing.

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