Saturday, March 18, 2023

Brian Head Resort (Utah)

While in Nevada for a work trip (Conexpo in Las Vegas), I rented a car and drove Northeast to see what snow remained on the slopes of Brian Head Resort in southern Utah. What I found was superb! The resort had experienced some late-season snowfall amounting to over two feet of the soft stuff on top of an already solid base!

I arrived on Friday afternoon with enough daylight left in the "night ski" period to ride for several hours before the sun set. After a few runs to get acclimated with the resort, I drove into nearby Cedar City for ovenight lodging.

Early the next morning I was back in the resort's parking lot, waiting for the lifts to start spinning. By 9:30am I was on the way up the hill for a complete day in the snow.

The riding was great, with enough snow to allow me to take short detours into the trees. Although certain areas "flatten" too much to ride through, there were still plenty of areas to explore. All in all, I was delighted to find such good riding without having to drive an additional three hours to the more well-known Utah resorts such as Park City.

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Sunday, March 12, 2023

VCHSS Oak Ridge (Arrington, VA)

The first race of the VCHSS season was one to remember!

Although we had some warm days in "Early Spring" that was not the case on this mid-March morning. Temperatures in the 30's had snow falling on the crowd of competitors before the start.

Although the first lap had some traction to offer, by the 2nd 10-mile loop the red clay had developed a shiny, slick coating - inducing two-wheel slides and more washouts than I could dare to count.

My only "serious" wreck was during an attempt at passing. My handlebars entangled with the rider I was besting, and eventually my bike came to an abrupt halt when I slammed into a tree just outside the singletrack trail. Although a section of my plastics went flying, I was back on the course in a few seconds, with a smoother pass in mind once I reached the slower rider again.

With temperatures as low as they were, the battery on my HeroMAX didn't make it through the first lap. It was an eventful lap, though, since I was left kickstarting my YZ while the rest of my field left the start line, which provided the need to catch and pass several riders within the first 10 miles.

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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Carolina Motorsports Park (Kershaw, SC)

After catching the "supermoto bug" at SMEC's VIR race, I've been hoping to find some other tracks in the Southeast region. Naturally, it's a bit of a niche sport, so the venues are limited.

Two of the riders I met at the past event hailed from North Carolina, and they pointed me toward their home track - Carolina Motorsports Park.

An earlier attempt to ride their track was dashed when my output shaft stripped while attempting to change the sprocket. Since that snafu, I've been itching to get down to South Carolina to ride the track.

Since our pitbull Ruprecht has had to deal with the addition of a new boxer puppy to the household, I decided to give him a break from the little imp and take him with me on the road. At 3:30am we set our sights southward and were unpacking at the track by 10am.

Although I'd purchased tire warmers last year, I still hadn't used them, so I felt like a real pro wrapping them around the tires of my YZ.

The heated tires seemed to help, too. I got chatter in some corners, but not nearly as often as I'd experienced in the past. Each run I'd bring the bike back to the stand and toss the warmers back on, maintaining the warmth in the rubber throughout the day.

Each time out seemed a bit quicker than the last, and by the last round I was stepping out the rear of the bike ever so slightly.

Although the dirt wheels will be back on the YZ by next weekend, I may have to pencil in another trip to the CMP track in between the harescrambles.

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Saturday, February 25, 2023

Timberline (West Virginia)

A sunny day in the upper 70's isn't exactly what you want the day before a snowboarding trip, but that's what we got this season.

Rebecca & I broke up our drive to Timberline by heading to Winchester the Thursday before our weekend in Canaan Valley. That day, we worked remotely and even got out for a mountain bike ride at Shenandoah University's Cool Spring Campus.

The next morning we hit the road to finish our drive to Timberline. Around noon we were checking into our VRBO, a beautiful chalet just minutes from the chairlift.

The rest of our crew arrived that afternoon & night.

The next morning we rose to coffee, bacon & eggs before rolling over to the resort to find snow falling on the slopes.

Eventually, the snow subsided and we found ourselves in a thick cloud for the remainder of our day. No issue, though, as we were just happy to be on the slopes. On Sunday we returned to get the clear, sunny conditions we were hoping for.

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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Shenandoah University, Cool Spring Campus (Winchester, VA)

If you get a fluke 70degree day in February, you take it!

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Sunday, February 19, 2023

VCORR Oak Ridge (Arrington, VA)

To prepare for the start of the 2023 season of VCHSS harescramble races, I decided to attend one of the last stops of the winter VCORR series in order to "knock off the cobwebs."

This stop was at Oak Ridge, which will be the same venue for the first race of VCHSS (although it will be a different course).

I felt great at the start of the race, but about midway through my first lap I was getting a bit worn out from riding out of the saddle. I decided to have a seat, but the course was slippery, rooty, and rocky - conditions that were better suited to the "loose and fast" style of riding while standing on the pegs.

I did my best to mix time in the saddle with that of the "attack position," but it was clear that my arms were beginning to feel fatigued. Midway through my second lap I pulled to the side, primarily for a rest and secondarily to reinsert the goPro battery in order to reset my non-operational HeroMAX. With the camera rolling and a bit of rest in my forearms, I took off again, coaching myself to take it easy in order to last the rest of the race. Within a few minutes, though, I was having too much fun and slid out in a muddy corner littered with rocks.

The goPro smashed the handlebar and broke its chest mount, dangling from the auxiliary power cord as I picked myself up off the ground.

After that mishap, I stuffed the HeroMAX in my riding pants and leisurely completed the lap, tossing the camera where I could retrieve it near the race's start line. With these delays, I would only complete three laps in total, which was perfectly fine with me considering how worn out I felt. Somehow, that netted me a fifth place finish in the field of 13. I suppose I wasn't the only rider feeling out-of-shape after too many hours on the couch!

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Saturday, January 14, 2023

2023 Daytona Freeride (Daytona Beach, FL)

Now that I've moved onto a Yamaha Superjet (from an '88 Kawasaki 650sx), it seems that riding in the ocean has become slightly more manageable. In addition to the better watercraft, I think these events are starting to improve my skills and sense of balance in the unpredictable conditions of the ocean.

For this event, I was focusing on pacing myself in order to spend longer sessions in the water than in previous years. This strategy worked well, as I navigated the surf and sought out waves to jump here and there, rather than blasting directly into them like a madman!

As usual, I split my time between riding and filming - launching the drone into the air after each session in the surf.

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