2013 Mexican 1000
Race Day 2 - Monday April 29, 2013
It's a new dawn
Its' a new day
It's a new life
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
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...
Race Day 1 Race Day
2 Race Day
3 Race Day 4