I decided to travel south to the TORCS race this weekend and man I am glad I did! I arrived early Sunday morning to one of the coolest pieces of property that I have ever seen. This is the kind of place I dream about racing on; Perfect woods with the loamiest, wet sand a racer dreams about. I made two laps in practice on my KTM 250 xc and was loving the way that the bike felt. There was only a slight chance of rain in the forecast and as we headed to the starting line I was prepared to pin it for two hours in the heat.
Cheyenne Harmon got the holeshot, I was in a close second followed by Martin Howell and Josh Young as we entered the woods. I followed close behind Cheyenne, waiting for an opportunity to make a pass in the sandy woods. He was riding well but halfway through the lap he took a wide line and I was able to sneak under him and take over the lead. As we made our way into the scoring shoot I was up a few seconds on Cheyenne and Martin Howell was still chasing in third. When we entered the woods I pushed the pace more and could feel a little bit of a gap forming between myself and second place.
Halfway through the lap I had built up a comfortable lead and was soon greeted with a nice little rain shower from mother nature. The rain felt great and even through I had to remove my goggles I was having a great time on the course! The rain shower soon turned into a downpour and thunder and lighting could be seen and heard throughout the woods. As I entered the “pit” section of the course (imagine an extreme test at a WEC) I opted to take the slower and safer alternate around the large wall step up. My thoughts were that the step up would be very slick and with the lead that I had there was no use in throwing it away. I gave up close to thirty seconds taking the alternate and slowed up to see if Martin and Cheyenne made the pro only line. They both did and I knew that if needed, I would be able to make it the next lap. Well, the downpour turned into a monsoon and the woods quickly turned from sandy ruts to sandy rivers.
I was still having a blast but I knew that parts of the course would not be rideable by the fourth lap. Nearing the end of the lap, I could tell that my rear pads were down to the metal backing and that due to the lightning the race would most likely be shortened. I entered the “pit” section again, which was a tenth of a mile from the finish line and was amazed at how much water had settled into the course. I’m pretty sure that my seat was under water at times but my KTM got me to the finish line. I took the alternate again and crossed the finish line in first place!
My focus was then on Cheyenne and Martin because those two riders were battling for second place! They were both in the pit and Martin opted to gamble and take the gnarly pro only section and Cheyenne went the slower but safer alternate route. Martin told me he made the first ascent cleanly but when he dropped into the second climb he was instantly submerged in muddy water. Unable to see, he just had to pin it and ghost ride his bike out of the pit. The bike made it but he didn’t. Knowing that Cheyenne was upright and moving forward in the alternate, Martin sprinted out of the bottom and barely made it out on foot to his Yamaha. He got it started and moving just seconds before Cheyenne came by. Martin crossed the line in second with Cheyenne just a few seconds back, the gamble paid off!
Big thanks to the owners of the Triple E Ranch and the TORCS crew for putting on a great race! The track was awesome and I wish the weather would have allowed us to race for two hours!
Thanks to Moose Racing, KTM, Enduro Engineering, SMS Racing, FMF, Dunlop, KTM Hard Equipment, Kriega, Parts Unlimited, Ride PG, Clockwork, CTI2, Renthal, Motorex, GPR, Cycle-Klean and Emily for cheering me on in the rain.
Thanks for reading
My breakfast this morning was something a little different than I usually do. I purchased some real maple syrup at Kroger yesterday and planned on getting up a little bit earlier so that I could make myself a good meal before heading off to class.
The ingredients used are listed below:
100% Maple Syrup (a little more pricey but much better for you and much tastier!)
1 Whole wheat frozen waffle
1 slice Canadian Bacon
Extra sharp cheddar cheese
I cooked the Canadian Bacon first while the waffle was in the oven and then quickly cracked the eggs into the skillet. I let them sit sunny side up until things firmed up to my liking. Presto, breakfast! I placed the Canadian bacon on the waffle, topped with grated cheese, syrup and finally the eggs. This was very quick and very tasty!
Here is an article to check out while you’re having breakfast!
Many of you know that if I am not out riding my KTM somewhere you can find me on my mountain bike. Last year I joined the UNT Cycling club in hopes of finding some riding partners and students that shared a same interest as me. Fast forward to the fall 2010 semester and the UNT Cycling club is the fastest growing club on campus. This past weekend we journeyed to South Texas for the Camp Eagle Classic. Emily and Daniel Duryea were going to be competing in the collegiate classes and I would be racing the Cat 1 19-29 TMBRA class. We loaded up the Sprinter Van Friday afternoon and started south with about every other person in the metroplex, traffic was nuts! Our dinner stop was in Stephenville, Tx at the Hard Eight Bar-B-Que joint. After feasting on an assortment of brisket, turkey, chicken poppers, potatoes, cole slaw, and beans we all climbed into the van to continue the trek south. Daniel kept things entertaining the entire way, telling us stories of getting blasted in the eye with a bottle rocket and taking a golf ball to the thigh a few years back. We arrived at Camp Eagle late Friday night and quickly setup camp and went to sleep.
Saturday morning arrived and the weather and views were amazing. I was expecting high temperatures and was very pleased when I had to put on a sweatshirt to keep the goosebumps away. The camp rested on a beautiful piece of property with large rolling hills, some cliffs, and a large crystal clear spring fed river that divided the property. We made our way to registration to get our numbers and find out when all of the events would take place. Daniel signed up for the collegiate omnium which consisted of three events; A super D, an uphill time trial, and the XC race that would be held on Saturday. Wanting to get her money’s worth, Emily decided that she would make her first mountain bike race weekend also consist of three events. I was focused on doing well in Saturday’s Cat 1 19-29 race so I decided to save my legs and just cheer on the UNT competitors Saturday.
We all three walked our bikes up to the start of the super D which was basically a toned down downhill course. We didn’t wake up early enough to pre-ride so Daniel and Emily would have to use their trail reading skills and bomb the course blind. I started down early to find a spot to film and was surprised at how fast the course was. I loved it but was nervous for Emily as most of the trails that I take her to are flat! Daniel finished 5th in his race and Emily took 1st! I couldn’t believe how good both of them did. I was especially proud of Emily because the course was very technical and she didn’t have any problems!
The next event for them was an uphill time trial and Daniel took 2nd and Emily once again took 1st place. After the time trial we all put on our swimsuits and walked down to the water slides. There were people everywhere that were enjoying the great weather and the facilities at Camp Eagle. After the water slides, Daniel and I were the first ones to start blobbing. I jumped on first but was instantly deflected into the water! The staff let some air out so that we would stick to the blob rather than bounce right off. It was a great time and we even managed to talk Emily into getting on the end of the blob so that we could launch her into the river.
After we had changed it was time for the spaghetti dinner! The Camp staff cooked some great food and I made sure to eat enough to fuel my body for the race the following morning.
Sunday morning arrived and Emily’s race was first. It was her final event of the weekend and she once again took first in the women’s collegiate B race, giving her the overall victory on the weekend.
I started next, my race would be twenty-four miles long made up of two laps. The course was extremely technical, if you are from Texas and have raced the Concho enduro, that’s basically the type of trail that we were racing on. I had a good start and settled into second place just behind the leader. I wanted to start out easy and then increase my speed as the race went on. I followed for the first three or so miles and the leader waved me by as we made our way into the Cat 1/2 section. These trails were “A” only style and very challenging. I managed to get through clean and put some time between myself and second place. At the feed area half way through the first lap I picked up so water from Emily and tried to open up even more of a gap as we began to get on some faster trail. I finished the first lap with about a minute cushion and I then tried to turn it up as we began to get back into the hard section. I had to get off my bike a couple times due to lapped traffic but I managed to increase the gap as we descended into the feed zone. I knew that as long as I didn’t make any mistakes I would be able to take the win. I crossed the finish line a little over three minutes in front of second place! I felt great, my legs were strong, and I didn’t cramp! It was a great race. Daniel also took first in the Collegiate men’s B race, it was a sweep for UNT cycling and the Denton area!
How was everyone’s Labor Day weekend, any adventures or stories?
Thanks for reading!