I did my first cross-country race this weekend out here in Texas. It was part of the TCCRA (Texas Cross-Country Association) series. I entered the over 35 amateurs. It was a 10-mile loop with 4 laps. I practiced it Saturday and did 1 lap. It was very hilly with 4 major hill climbs. I only had trouble with one hill on practice but there were guys out there clearing a better line. I spoke with some seasoned vets after my practice and there was allot of concern with the hills being to steep and rocky. I timed myself at practice and one guy said that it was a good time for my first race and questioned my entry as an amateur. I was happy about that. I stated that it was my first race and I’d be lucky to be able to do 40 miles. Sure enough, the hills were a major problem. 2 strokes were having a hard time getting to the top. On every hill I hit there were 2 to 5 riders down or bottle necked behind a fallen rider. At one hill there were 4 guys trying to get there bikes up and out of the way. In the meantime there were 20 riders at the bottom waiting and yelling for them to get out of the way. There is something to say about the WR426. I had no problems tearing these hills up. I even took harder lines to pass people or get around fallen riders. I just thumped up these hills like it was nothing. Other guy’s feet where all over the place as were their bikes. I sat tight with my feet on the pegs and flew up in second and then dropped it to first as my speed decreased. I felt like a Pro. Since it was my first race, I just wanted to finish safely. (After all, 2 guys were taken out on stretchers). When I completed my 3rd lap they checker flagged me. I guess they did not want to have the race go that long. Other class still needed to get out there. The bottle necking was terrible on all the hills. I was very patient and just waited till it was safe. After the race, other racers were frustrated. They said it was the hardest race TCCRA has ever put on. I left after the race so I don’t have my times yet. They will post them online later in this week. I wonder how many people didn’t complete the 4 laps. I have a new respect for off road racers. It’s not that easy. After the race when I got off my bike I started to get cramps in my triceps and adductors. I was getting Calais’s (sp?) on my hands. The next day everything was sore except my chest and biceps. My upper back, triceps, and forearms where hit the worst. I decided to name my bike Goat. Cuz, It climbed like one. One issue with the bike is that it started dripping oil out of the left side. That crank case screw started coming unscrewed. Lucky I noticed it and was able to get it tight enough by hand. I think I remember someone posting that it should be checked before every ride. I’ll be checking it from know on. ------------------ 01 WR426 Uncorked.