It has been way too long since I’ve wrote on my 10-4 blog. Since last year sometime. I guess I was just a little worn down from organizing a whole new racing series, organizing 3 races and helping with pretty much every island race. Plus, trying to update this site and the PNWMA website. It was a lot to take in, along with racing Pro, it pretty much takes up every minute of my non working hours. I’m not complaining though. Trail racing is what I love, it’s what I do, and I personally think there is no better sport around. Period! I’ve played many sports competitively and none even come close to the feelings I get when I race a dirt bike.
Here we go, I’m going to start off with the last race I attended, The Rock Hound, the first round of the 2012 OHSS.
I headed over mid day on Friday on the dreaded ferry. Living on the island is amazing, but man those ferries are a killer! I don’t mind, I am now a seasoned veteran at taking ferries, I enjoy them now, just relax and think about the race upcoming and get in the zone.
I stayed in the Fraser Valley for the rest of the day. Saw my awesome Grandma who is unfortunately in the hospital right now. I left there with some inspiration and was on my up to Salmon Arm. A 5 hour drive from Vancouver, not so bad when you’re cruisin’ in the KTM Maytona! Lol. I headed right to the Mt. Ida where the race is held. I talked briefly with a few racers, got the scoop on the loop, then headed out for a lap to see what I was in for. The Loop had a bit of everything. Some faster flowing trail, Some 2nd gear shale rock off camber trail, a few big hill climbs, some up and down roller coaster style trails that were the perfect tightness for my liking. Then a huge down hill down a burn slash on the side of the mountain. The Loop seemed to take me about 45 minutes with a few stops to check some alternate lines out. Overall, I was impressed and excited for Sunday.
I stayed at a friends house right in Salmon Arm. Quite tired from the drive and getting up at 5:30, I was out like cheap light bulb at 9:30. One thing I love about the OHSS is the A riders don’t start until 1. I set my alarm for 9, and even slept passed that. So do the math, a 12 hour sleep is just about uncalled of before a race. I was loving life! I headed to the race site just after a late Breakfast. The B riders had already raced. I saw a lot of happy faces ( maybe some tired ones) and it looked to be a pretty big turn out for the race. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I think they had over 160.
Let’s get to the race why don’t we!!!
The A riders lined up at the bottom of starting line hill. 8 pro riders had made it out this day, Prochnau, Kody Bykerk, Bernie Bykerk, Bucknell, Hett, Wallis, Dyck, and myself.
We started with a dead engine hands on your helmet start. The arm dropped and everyone was off, well not quite. Kody and I sat there for a few seconds trying to fire our bikes. He jumped just in front of me. I was dead last. We headed up the hill, then back down. I looked ahead and saw Bobby was already in front of the pack. This was not the way I wanted to start the race. Especially if I wanted any chance of sticking with Prochnau. Kody, with some overexcitement, slightly crashed before heading into the bush, so I squeezed by. I knew he would be back though, this was his back yard. “He’ll be on the gas”, I thought to myself. I then took a fast line and blasted by Dyck. Shortly after I came up on Mike Wallis’ rear wheel. I could see Hett , Bucknell and the older Bykerk (Bernie) just ahead of him. We all cruised along for a good 10 minutes without any passing. More because the trail was tight and was too hard to make a solid pass. Finally, I sneaked by Wallis and shortly after Bernie had pulled over for a sec to fix something, or maybe get some feeling back in his hands. Damn arm pump! Bucknell and Hett were both Riding well and we were all clipping along a decent pace. Prochnau was already long gone (like usual) so it was a race for 2nd now! About half way through the loop Kody had caught up to us and used an interesting line to pass me, then got by Hett and Bucknell Before the end of the first lap. I was slightly struggling with some arm pump and couldn’t quite push to my full capability. But, that’s usually the case for all racers for the first while of a race.
The four of us all came storming down the mountain side slash to the main check only seconds apart. I finally had an opportunity to pass Hett and I made use of it. We headed off onto our 2nd loop with him right on my knobby. I started to feel good and wanted to make a charge. After another 15 minutes I reeled in Bucknell. He seemed like he might be having some issues, he pulled over for a sec and flew on by. I could hear a thundering KTM four stroke somewhere close in the distance. Bykerk was close. I really started to get into a groove and caught him half way through the 2nd loop. It seemed like he had this course pretty dialled, then I remembered he said he had been riding here since he was 9. No finding that creative line to make a pass, he knows them all! He stayed infront of me for the rest of the lap. He was flying on the fast stuff and I just couldn’t cut it. We came into the end of the 2nd lap, he gassed up before the check and I had my gas just after. I had passed him just before he was finished filling up. But, he flew by me again while I pulled over to fill up as well. He now had a 20 second lead over me. Prochnau had blistering pace on the first lap and was 6 minutes out infront by this time. I pretty much caught Kody again at the same spot as the previous lap. He had made a bobble and easily made my way by. He stayed on me for the next 5-10 minutes until we hit a fast two track section. I thought I was going mach 10 but then the kid Flies by me before hitting the next trail head. Gotta give it to the kid, He has some Kahunas and a lot of talent.
We were back into some dense treed trails. I had picked up on all the good lines and all of his sneaky lines too! He seemed to be stauling his bike here and there. About the 4th time he did this I had enough time to make a pass. Now, I was determined to push hard as I could and check out from him. I was definitely in the zone and with my fitness being better then it ever has been, I was feeling good. I came in after the 3rd lap 30 seconds ahead of Kody. The 4th lap I just kept pushing hard and riding smooth. I knew I wasn’t going to catch Bobby, but anytime you finish 2nd behind Canada’s fastest off road trail racer, it still feels good.
I finished the race happy, and actually not too beat up. I was pleased with the race and how it went as well as the conditions. Perfect day for racing, and from what I heard, the conditions don’t get any better then that at Mt Ida.
I stepped onto the box in 2nd place. Prochnau first, and Bykerk an impressive 3rd.
After the awards presentation I B-lined it to the highway and back to Vancouver. I could’ve made it to the last ferry at 10:45, but opted to stay in Maple Ridge. I took the early riser 6:30 ferry home and was again back on the Rock!
I was thrilled with the Rock Hound and now the whole Okanagan hare Scramble Series!
Very excited for the rest of the series and the upcoming races , The Dirty Dragon and The Braapin bear.
This weekend I’ll be heading to the Cat Scratch Fever in Squamish. Pretty pumped for this one! I will have a 10-4 race report following this race as well.
I would like thank my sponsors: KTM, Spunkys, Ride Industries, Goldentyre, Scorpion Racing, Alternative Groove
Thanks for reading. Until the next blog, May out!