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: Vegas to Reno  ( 917 )
Brian MacKenzie - VP
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« : August 21, 2011, 09:14:14 pm »

Hi all,
Back home today (Sunday) after Vegas to Reno. I rode with Donny Starks and Jason Piper, all from the Bishop area. Donny and I started the series as open expert and quickly found out were pro-riders with no sponsors end up. So we switched classes to over 30 expert (Donny is 32, Jason 41) with permission from Best in the Desert. Anyway, with only 3 teams in the championship hunt we needed to beat team 506 and last years #1, 501.

Friday morning we left Vegas at 0330 am and drove to Beatey NV for the start. Had some grip trouble in Vegas but had it worked out by tech time. I started the race, first pro off at 0545. All pro?s 1 min apart, exp and ami 30 seconds apart. We drew the #1 slot for our class, so I took off, hell bent for leather. I immediately found my self in some of the worst dust I have ever seen. You know, the thick, dense, unmoving cloud which hides all the rocks and even the road/trail. I was able to make the turn north before the sun came up, but it didn?t seam to help much. I was riding by brail, just trying not to crash. Everyone else who started behind must have had the same idea, no one passed me. Made it to pit one and gave the thumbs up to the crew and took off for pit 2 where Piper would take the bars.

At some point between pit 1 and pit 3 Donny?s 2001 XR650R dumped the steering dampener. Not sure if was me or Piper, but Piper said he was riding some bad stuff and he kept turning up the dampener to no effect. The GPR stopped at 6 and at pit 3 Donny looked at it and said 6? Really?  That?s when we found out the arm on the bottom of the dampener had broken completely off and took the inner stem with it!

I was getting on the bike again at 4 and the plan was to change it out with a Scotts at 5. During the last part of 4 I was passed by team 535. When we pulled into 5 they went right to their pit, our crew hung out with our spare Scotts. I gave the big head shake for no and split! About a mile later, while tapped in 5th in a big sand wash I realized I was going way to fast to make the hair-pin left/right. I slammed on the brakes and braced for the impact. Up and over the wash edge, flying W, rear end swap, 2 inches of seat up my butt, and whala?..facing in the right direction back in the wash with the bike still running!  Whooohoooo hammer down!

About 5-7 miles later, you know who  535, pulls me on a dirt road with a CRF450X, with 15-45 gearing. I think the whole team only weighed 98 lbs anyway. I had to let him have road, the 650 had no more left with my girth on it. We approached a large camel back along the pole line we were on, both of us tapped!  Just outside of his dust I see it, some rear brake and whap! He swaps over the hill and vanishes! Holy crap! I slow some, crest the hill and there he is running back to his bike. I nailed it! What ever the bike had I twisted, ducked and leaned till we got off that road and back to something with some rocks and turns.

I came into the next pit with a couple of minutes and handed it off again to Piper. Other that a few missed corners, all went well with him and he handed back to Donny.

I was back on the bike for the last time and was going to Gabbs NV. The 650 with no dampener was a hand full. Both of my hands were blistered and sore, body aching and the heat 100+ relentless. The section before Gabbs was crap! All rocky sand wash, the 650 with a bald back tire and a front not much better. Every time I would turn the front end would skip out and then catch at the last second. The rear felt like a jet ski, grab a hand full and wait for the rear tire to spin up! Pulled into Gabbs and it was cool. The whole town was out and they wanted everyone at race speed right through the streets! The 650 was hot then, 100+ pinned to the throttle stop! Oh ya!

Handed the bike off to Piper and jumped in the truck. Hudy was driving and we were supposed to make it to last pit for Donny, but he beat us by over 15 min. Found out after the race, he went off a small cliff, was stuck in the bottom and ended up pushing the 650 out the last 20 feet or so. Anyway we all came back feeling good and had a great time. Hudy n Jason can post their take on it when they get some time.

When was all said and done, 2nd over 30 exp, 14 or seconds behind 535.

Thanks Hudy and Jason for the great pits and a great weekend!



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Brian MacKenzie - VP
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« #1 : August 21, 2011, 09:15:44 pm »

Oh ya, we beat the Checker Team!!!!!!

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Rick Hudachek
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« #2 : August 23, 2011, 06:07:51 am »

Pitting for BITD is actually kinda fun.  It was a LONG day, but the ride those guys put on kept all of us really pumped.  What Sandy didnt say is they finished 12th OVERALL!!!! They finished ahead of some pro teams, and on adjusted time blew alot of them out of the water.  Not too bad for a couple of outta shpe guys from podunk Bishop!!! We did see a few of D37 out there, but I do believe the Viewfinders were 1st!!!  And we were flying colors to rub it in abit more!!!!!

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« #3 : August 23, 2011, 03:50:48 pm »

Outstanding Job Boys.
CB

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« #4 : August 23, 2011, 09:00:30 pm »

Sounds like a lot of fun. Great job!

Chris Cory
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Brian Matthews
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« #5 : August 29, 2011, 06:46:41 pm »

Wow!!!  Amazing story.  Good on all of you!
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« #6 : August 29, 2011, 09:10:07 pm »

Awesome!Sounds like a great ride!Maybe next time Cyn and i could help pit too.
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