The Road to KROC
A PM? I was surprised as I rarely get PMs on Advrider. Did I forget to take down an illegal Pine Barrens pic? Was it some hottie from ADVdating? No, it was from Pvangel letting me know about an upcoming ride, The Holeshot Radio Ride Day at Rocky Hill; awesome!! But it was on Monday. There s no WAY I can go. I started to type my apologies when I stopped myself. You have KROC next weekend and can sure use another day on the bike. But I took Wednesday off to ride too. Mmmm. If there’s one thng I learned from Unadilla it’s that I needed to riide more tracks. Sleep on it I thought. I did and Saturday day morning I moved stuff around, rode at 10th MX and loaded the bike in the Paint Van Sunday night for an early ride Monday morning to Rocky Hill CT.
It was a stunning day with bright sunshine in the 70s. Cleo and I got there a bit early while we waited for the gates to open at 11am. The tracks looked amazing. There was at least 3, an MX track, a Supercross track and a pee wee track. Everything looked impeccably groomed. Right on time, the gates opened up and we drove into the pit area.
One guy asked me if Benjamin Moore gave me rider assistance as he looked at the paint van. No, I laughed; "Especially If they ever saw me race."
Before I even had a chance to unload, Pvangel (Phil) came over and introduced himself and invited me to park next to him and his crew. It was the first time I was meeting him in the flesh. Phil, a very friendly fellow who hails from the Mlford Rders Club, a motocross club in CT that has some very talented riders. I was impressed at how well some club members dd at the Unadilla amateur nationals when I was there in August.
Phil brought 2 Yamahas, a late model YZ-125 and a 2013 YZ250F both wearing the number 3. Even though my RM-Z250 was power washed and cleaned yesterday, it looked dingy compared to the 2 shiny blue and white bikes. Layton had a mint vintage Kx 125 and Tom brought a spotless Vintage CR125. These guys are bonafide connoisseurs of the motocross bikes of yesteryear.
I got geared up and walked around a bit. There was a guy selling 3 or 4 different kinds of Sunoco race gas. It was a great deal at $10 a gallon and the refillable can was awesome, but I didn't have an extra $50 for gas, especially since it took $100 to fill up the van and I had a full 5gal jug of high-test for the bike in the back. But the guy was super friendly and couldn't care if I bought anything or not.
At 11:45 everybody gravitated toward the main tent as the raffle got underway. I was feeling optimistic as there are usually a lot of items to be raffled off at these kind of events. Sure enough, I was the 3rd number they called, ("YES!" )but there were only 6 or 7 prizes given away. I was really lucky!
I had my forks sent out to FTi to be re-valved for my weight and ability last winter. Despite LOSING 20lbs, they came back a bit too soft. I had them about three clicks from all-the-way tight when my left fork seal started to leak. To make a long story shorter, now the right one leaks too, they are all-the-way tight and they bottom way too often on flat jumps and mistakes. So the motogods sent me ths!
Think It'll pay for shipping? Hey 50 bucks is 50 bucks! :clap
BRAAAAP! BRAAAAAP! RNG-A-DING DING! The sound of motocross filled the air. 12pm came quickly as everybody got ready to hit the track. The crowd was a mix of all abilities and I was definitely on the lower end of the spectrum. As I was getting my neck brace on Phil came riding up and told me to wait a bit before heading out as the track had just been tilled and was a little messy. But I just jumped right in for a parade lap.
The surface of the track was covered with fresh fist-sized hard dirt clods that magically broke down into traction everywhere in just a few laps as lines were laid down. It is a mile-ish track with many doubles, tables (some I did) and triples (none I did), all fun with no, do or die jumps. One challenging (for me) double had routes around it right and left so I knew it must be fun, I took it on the second lap. I perfectly cased it bouncng 10 feet in the air as I ended up just off the track barely keeping it on two wheels. Yeah, I wouldn't take that one again.
Shortly into my second (4 lap) moto I ran into a chunky guy on a CRF250R that was as slow as me! Oh joy, that's what it's about! It was on! I was a giant pain in his ass for about three laps; his head swiveling like mad trying to figure out where I was as the RM-Z stayed a bike length or so behind him. He would block every move I would make until finally I made a pass on him in the whoops. He must have been enraged as he came careening past me barely in control a few turns later. We fought it out for another lap or so before I pulled off with arm pump. God that was great! And I suddenly remembered why I love this sport so much
Between motos I struck up a conversation with a real nice guy called "Taco", the gentleman in the wheelchair. They call him Taco because his last name is Bell. We talked all things moto and it turns out it was a damn car that took out his road bike. He's been down for a year so far. I'm not sure who the young lady is.
“You must know AJ, he’s a pro” said Taco. “What’s his last name?” I asked. “Catanzaro” Holy crap! “Hey AJ, You got a fan” shouted Taco. “Who the dog?” joked AJ referring to Cleo as he came over and shook my hand. AJ Catanzaro would talk moto with me for so long that I was the one who had to break the conversation. I was very impressed at his maturity and professionalism. Even when he was whipping over my head on a triple that I was doubling.
Spy was letting people demo goggles. While I was talking to the rep about the demo program, Cleo ran under his pop-up and peed on the grass at his feet. "Don't worry" he said as I apologized, "I peed there earlier" :rofl
Here Tom and Phil relax between motos. Phil is on the right; don't let his looks fool you, he's fast! In fact he roosted me more times on that YZ-125 than I've ever been roosted by one person in a single day. I would cringe when I would see that white JT racing gear pass me in clould of blue smoke. Tom got me few times too. It turns out Phil and I knew and did business with some of the same people.
I was shocked when I looked at my phone and saw it was nearly 4pm. Time had flew by. After a final moto, Cleo and I sad our goodbyes and packed up. We made good time getting home but I was too tired to clean the bike and would save it for tomorrow (Tuesday) Thank you Phil for a perfect day of Motocross!
To Be Continued.........