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2013 Mexican 1000

Race Day 2 - Monday April 29, 2013


It's a new dawn
Its' a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Ok, so the first day wasn't so good. But I'm racing again, and looking forward to a great day. Due to my problems on the first day, I'm starting dead last among the motorcycles for today's racing.

This is where we ended up staying in the Bay of LA (for the few hours of sleep that we managed to fit in)...

We actually had a room - but only three beds so Joel slept on his cot. For some other teams, some of their crew simply slept on the porch. Due to getting in so late, there was little time for prep work on the bike. I think we changed the air filter, checked tire pressure, and we filled some plastic bottles to carry additional gas - I'm definitely going to need it for today!

Here we are getting ready...

Then it's off to go racing. Starting last is no fun - lots of dust, and made even worse by riding directly into the sun for much of the first several miles. I'd catch up to riders, but then have to play it cool to determine when it was safe to pass (in other words, when it got just a little less dusty). I didn't want to make a mistake by blasting through when I couldn't see a thing. The first 20 miles or so were not difficult technically, but the dust was really bad. And the roads were really rocky - small rocks for the most part, but it makes the bike just chatter going over them. And then there's lots and lots of rocks hiding just below the surface that you don't see - you just feel them and you get suddenly jolted by the unseen hazard. I just kept passing people one or two at a time.

This first special is about 134 miles long. About a third of the way through, there's a nasty little uphill - just really loose and rocky. About half way up, there's a guy sitting on the edge of the cliff, and his bike is about 20 feet down the side - not good. I stop and offer to help. We flag down a few others, and then several of us slowly climb down this extremely steep cliff down to the bike. It's 1, 2, 3 lift and push. The bike moves 6 inches up the side of the cliff. 1, 2, 3 lift and push - another 6 inches. We just kept doing this until we got that bike back to the trail. Talk about tiring you out - wow!

So I probably wasted about a 1/2 hour getting gear off, helping to get the bike back to the course, putting gear back on, etc. Then it's racing again. At least now the riders are more spread out, and I'm still passing people one at a time.

Here I am riding through the dust...

Speed picked up a bit when the dust cleared...

I hit the Mag 7 pits about 1/2 way through the special, and bum some more gas from them. But I run out again before the end of the special and have to stop and I pour two of the plastic bottle of gas I'm carrying into the bike. Then I run out again, and stop and pour the last two bottles of gas I'm carrying into the bike; and finally make it to the end of the stage where Cory and Kevin are waiting.

I fill up the bike and the spare bottles with gas. Then I head out on the liaison section to San Ignacio. I have to make it to San Ignacio by a minimum time, and then begin racing on the next special before the maximum liaison time. Unfortunately, the next special is 174 miles long; and even with the bottles I'm carrying I probably can't make it to the Mag 7 pits in San Juanico.

The first 30 miles outside of San Ignacio heading west to the coast are paved, so the plan is for me to get there and then wait for Cory and Kevin to catch up to me there, and top me off with fuel before I continue racing on the course and they doubleback to the highway to meet me at the finish of the second stage (and where Joel is waiting). I make it to San Ignacio in plenty of time, and then wait until the very last minute (to avoid penalties) before checking in and starting to race the special - hoping for Cory/Kevin to catch up to me. They haven't caught up before I have to start racing, so off I go - racing to the end of the pavement. Then I stop and wait...

While I'm waiting, one local stops by and offers me some gas, but he doesn't have enough for me to make it to San Juanico so I thank him but tell him I have to wait for my support truck. Then some other locals pass by, and offer me some water to drink which I accept.

After about 1/2 hour of waiting, Cory and Kevin show up in the support truck and I get topped off with gas. While I was waiting, the first of the 4-wheel vehicles have started to pass by so I'll need to be really careful again.

Off I go! This is some really high speed roads along the salt flats. Very fast, not too tricky. I keep my head on a swivel to note if there's any cars or trucks catching me (and only a few do), and we both show respect for the other and all of the cars that pass me did so carefully. This wasn't the case with some others.

Along the coast, we get into some deep sand washes and just a little bit of silt. Then it's a lot of coastal roads into San Juanico. I hit the Mag 7 pit, and again explain my situation and they fill me right up with gas (which is a big relief as I can now make it to the finish).

We pass through La Purisma (which is a cool little oasis town), and then it's on to what's known as the East Road. It's not super technical, but it's really rocky and at the end of the day it's really tiring. Probably fine at dual sport speeds, it just wears you out at race speeds; and there's lots of hidden rocks, washouts, vados (concrete gullies), and assorted other "gotchas" to be really careful of.

About 8 to 10 miles from the finish of the section, I come up to an injured rider (#208, Jimmy Stocker). There's two buggies and another motorcyclist stopped and providing assistance. I'm not sure of the exact story, but apparently Jimmy hit a concrete vado and crashed. One of the buggies was following just behind him, and either hit Jimmy as he was crashing or just after crashing. Jimmy was prone across the trail, and they knew he had a broken leg. I offered to use my sat phone, but they had already called for assistance. I told then I would ride on and let whatever help was coming know how far they needed to go. Almost to the finish, I saw a Suburban coming backwards on the course and told them how far they needed to go, and that as far as I knew the downed rider had a broken leg. I found out later, that sadly Jimmy passed away before help could arrive due to internal bleeding. Godspeed Jimmy!

I made it to the end of the special. Bummed a drink and a little fuel from another support crew and then made it out to the highway where my support was waiting. Then I was off to finish the liaison stage into Loreto.

For the first special (134 miles) of Day 2, I officially finished in 3 hours 35 minutes. However, if I take off the time that I helped the rider with the bike that fell down the cliff, my time would have been about 3 hours and 5 minutes - somewhere around 18th overall and 4th in class.

For the second special (174 miles), I officially finished in 4 hours 6 minutes. But if I take off the time that I waited to get topped off with gas at the end of the pavement, my time would have been about 3 hours 31 minutes - somewhere around 15th overall and 3rd in class.


I arrived in Loreto in late afternoon (I forget the exact time). Got to the liaison finish, turned in my time card, and found the hotel for the night - El Tiburon Casitas...

Cory and Kevin arrived about an hour later, and Joel was about another hour behind.

We decided to change the race bike suspension over from the original race bike to the current race bike. We would need to adjust the suspension for the much lighter weight of the backup bike, but it would still be a much better ride at race speed than what the backup bike currently had. We (actually Kevin, Cory, and Joel) also mounted new tires, changed oil and filter, put in a new air filter, installed new batteries in the GPS and Spot, and checked all nuts/bolts/fittings.

The support crew was doing a fantastic job!

The manager of the hotel fixed fish and shrimp tacos, with all the fixings, and we had a pretty good feast. This is a great place to stay in Loreto (just about 2 blocks from the Malecon).

After the bike was prepped, we discussed pit strategy for the next day and then it was time for bed. Another racing day is just hours away...


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