New for this week, we have changed the settings on our web-voting program. You can vote all you want for your favorite essay, but only one vote per day will actually register on the voting software. Voting will continue from now until noon this Friday. This weeks winner will be posted to Racerhead later Friday, where the entire web-world will find out who gets my $25 from tonite’s karaoke—and be entered in the final essay throwdown.
This week’s elements were: peanut butter, Vohland brothers, air hockey, old Van Halen, traction, trickery, CR250, navicular, holeshot, and osmosis.
Again, I’d like to thank Racer X, Pro-Action, Ogio, igotfumoney.com, Moto Tees, and Cernic’s for their swag donations.
I was at Amoeba Records in Hollywood the day after
Anaheim 1, standing in line behind two guys wearing
One Industries jackets and hats. I recognized one of
the guys as a local privateer who made big noise the
night before by not only qualifying for his very first
supercross lites main, but also by getting the
holeshot and leading for a lap. I leaned a little
closer to pick up on what they were talking about, and
wasn’t completely surprised that the subject was
“There, the white skirt. Oh man..”
“Oh, she’s definitely a Letty”
“Letty plus one”
“Letty plus five”
“Dude, that’s 5 times hotter than Letty. That’s
impossible. No one could survive that”
“Yeah, but I’d like to give it a try. And what a
great way to go: death by extreme hotness… ’AIN’T
TALKIN’ ‘BOUT LOVE! My love is rotten to the core…’
I’m feelin’ that old Van Halen”
“Yeah, they play good tunes here”
“Dude, were those tires great or what?”
“Dude I’m tellin’ ya, it was like….oh man. Pure
“Just say ‘traction’”
“Nevermind… you know that guy that came over after we
got back from the Bridgestone truck?
“Yeah, who was that?”
“He was one of the Vohland brothers. The one that
raced for the FMF Honda team.”
“What did he want?”
“I have no idea.”
“You talked with him for ten minutes!”
“Yeah but I really wasn’t listening. I hate when
people try to talk to me when I’m working on a bike.”
“You want them to communicate with you through
“Shut up. Hey, I really appreciate you sharing your
holeshot money with me like this. That was sick the
way dude beside you took out Villopoto and Izzi.”
“I still can’t believe I slipped past that madness.
‘Madness? This is Spartaaaa!!’”
“What happened to dude anyway? He was on the mule a
“Broken navicular, whatever that is”
“Your mom’s retarded”
[Thus commenced a very tired round of “your mom”
jokes, which I refuse to repeat here. You’re welcome.]
“Shut up. I tell you what, you make the main next
week, we’ll be able to afford a little sardine in our
peanut butter sandwiches.”
“Heh. You know what I really want?”
“To race one supercross on a CR250 two-stroke. Once in
my life. In the 250F class.”
“I know what I want: I want a Pro Circuit motor for
your 250F. Maybe then you’ll get a legitimate
“You know what else I want?
“An air hockey table for the transporter. So when you
start talking trash, I can kick your…”
“Next customer in line!” yelled the girl with the
My dad had always been a huge motocross fan. Me and my brother are named after the Vohland brothers, Tyson and Talon. My mom wanted to name us Humphrey and Matteo. My dad said there was no way his sons would have girly names.
Fast forward 16 years. My brother, Talon, lives with my dad in Southern California, and I live with my mom in Northern Minnesota. My brother has a clapped-out Suzuki 250, and he and my dad live on a 300-acre motocross ranch with 2 motocross tracks and 3 supercross tracks, plus a whole staff to maintain them. My Mom and I live in a development with a half an acre of land.
I was hanging out in my friends' basement, eating peanut butter sandwiches and alternating between our science homework on osmosis and amoebas, and air hockey. We were talking about an amazing holeshot he had pulled the previous weekend at our local track, while listening to some old Van Halen CD his dad had laying around.
Later that afternoon I ended up at the local dealership, checking out the new CR250s. I wanted one so bad. Just when I was about to leave Ryan, the salesman who I knew really well, asked me why I didn't just buy the bike, because I was in 'visiting' it everyday. I told him my monetary situation, and he told me that the shop was accepting applications for sponsorships. I tore out of there and went home to write up my resume. I had it back to Ryan before closing time.
The next day Ryan called me to tell me I got the sponsorship. As I was running out the door, I stubbed my toe and broke my navicular bone! I couldn't believe it. I was about to get a break, and I break my toe! I ran back inside, taped it up, and hurried down to the dealership. They set me up with a brand-new CR250, with awesome tires that had great traction. And of course the whole deal couldn't go without Ryan's trickery. He gave me a gearbag full of pink women's Answer gear. I pointed out to him that I wasn't Tarah Gieger, he laughed, and handed me the real gearbag.
The next day, which was Saturday, I headed out to the track with my buddy Jason to practice. I blasted around that track like a pro. I was so stoked for the race the next day, I could hardly sleep.
As I was sitting on the line, getting ready to race, I thought about what it would be like if I was in Talon's shoes, and he was in mine. But I shook that thought out of my head, because I had never been happier. My mom was sitting trackside, grinning ear to ear with pride, which made me happier than ever.
-Kalie Van Vickle
"Don't put you peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the table!"
It seems one of the Vohland brothers (Tyson or Tallon, I can never
tell them apart) was trying to play air hockey. Between that then
the old Van Halen lyrics written on his navicular, he was up to some
sort of trickery.
All of a sudden, the amoeba yelled "Hey, dude! You can't learn that
And I woke up without figuring out holeshot traction on a CR250.
A POEM: TIME TO GIVE UP
ALL I HAVE IS THIS OLD CR250
IF I COULD WIN IT WOULD BE NIFTY
CAN I GET A HOLESHOT FROM THIS OLD TIRE
IF I CAN GET TRACTION IT WILL SET MY MOTO ON FIRE
I AM ONLY THE BEST AT AIR HOCKEY
I AM REALLY TALL NOT LIKE A THOROUGHBRED JOCKEY
I WASNT BORN WITH TALENT LIKE THE VOHLAND BROTHERS
I JUST RODE MY BIKE GROWING UP TO AGRAVATE MOTHERS
MAYBE I SHOULD GAIN STRENGTH EATING PEANUT BUTTER
BUT I NO IF I GET FAT MY WIFE WILL MOAN AND MUTTER
I ALWAYS LISTEN TO OLD VAN HALEN AT THE STARTING LINE
MY NAVICULAR BONE IS HURT BUT I THINK IT WILL BE FINE
I KEEP RACERX UNDER MY HELMENT FOR OSMOSIS
I THINK THE INSIDE GATE IS THE CLOSES
I AM GONNA LEAVE GATE AND GO BACK TO THE PITS
I HAVE NO TRICKERY AND LAST NIGHTS PIZZA HAS GIVE ME THE SH*T$
I AM JUST GONNA GIVE UP RACING CAUSE I AM ONLY GOOD AT SELLEN CARS
I AM NEVER GONNA BE ANY GOOD NO MATTER HOW MUCH I PRAY TO THE STARS
NOT MORE RACIN FOR ME
SOME THINGS JUST ARENT MENT TO BE
The gate dropped on the last G.P. of the season and The Vohland brothers hooked some major traction, went into the first turn on their CR 250's as close as peanut butter and jelly. However they reverted to their trickery and took each other out, breaking Tyson's jaw. Using the holeshot money, they bought an air hockey table.
Tyson, with jaw wired, sought revenge and sent a puck flying at Tallon. Tallon tried to duck, but slipped on a spilled protien shake that was to be consumed by osmosis by Tyson, resulting with a broken navicular bone. With the season over, they just sat around listening to old Van Halen albums, waiting to heal up.
Richard Brinkley, et al.
Where am I…What year is it?
As the riders make there way up to the starting line, i focus directly to the rider aboard the Yellow #100 motorcycle with the words Yamaha written on the sides of its seat. From a distance i can see streaks of lightening blaring from this riders helmet, as he rocks quickly back and forth on that yellow and black bike. Looking further in the distance to the right of the yellow clad rider, i notice a green colored motorcycle with the initials KX inscribed on the side of its seat, or is it a saddle? Because i can barely make out the wording on the back of this riders pants but it references the word “Cowboy”. What kind of an amoeba would stitch the word “Cowboy” to the back of their pants? I didn’t see any horses in the pits, so this isn’t know rodeo! The rider aboard the Yamaha is now gesturing to the rider on the green KX, one can only imagine what kind of trickery awaits amongst these two. Oh boy this is going to be good! The engines are revving now, who’s going to grab that must needed holeshot. The gate drops the riders race to the 1st turn, looks like a rider aboard a red bike with the initials CR250 printed on its side makes it to the first turn just ahead of the rest. Just as they all exit the 1st turn the #100 rider slams the KX mounted rider, the KX mounted rider now slams back the Yamaha rider. This is starting to resemble an Air Hockey match. As i await the riders to return for the second lap, i look to the right of me. I do a quick double - take, standing along side the fence it looks to be the Vohland brothers? Hmm, i definitely must be dreaming, why are they here? What year is this? Oh well, it looks like Tyson is listening to some type of rock music. The music from his earphones is so loud that i can make out that he is listening to that old Van Halen song “Jump”. Now to my left i see non other than the famous Jo Jo Keller. This is crazy! Where am I? As the riders make there way around for the second lap, Jo Jo leaning over the fence drops his peanut butter sandwich as he cheers on the #100 rider. As the race proceeds the Yamaha rider is absorbing every line of the KX rider almost like osmosis. But the bar banging continues, in an instant the KX rider goes down. The Yamaha rider uses the KX rider as traction while exiting the berm. The KX rider grabs his wrist. As the medical crew assists the fallen rider, indications are that he may have broken his navicular. Final lap, and the #100 Yamaha rider cross’s the finish line like a Hurricane! What a race!
They might not have the speed or style of riders like Ryan Villopoto, Broc Hepler, or even the Vohland brothers, but amateur motocross riders all across the country provide some of the most intense and exciting racing action on any given weekend. From the moment the gate drops riders are banging bars in their fight for the holeshot and taking more hits than an air hockey puck in the process.
Racing in all kinds of weather and track conditions, sometimes riders can barely even be seen through the clouds of dust their bikes kick up on a dry track. Slick tracks provide them with little traction and heavy rain causes mud to stick to their tires like peanut butter, making it almost impossible to keep their bikes upright. No matter what the conditions are though, amateur motocrossers still soldier on week in and week out in their quest to make it to the top of the sport.
Some of them cannot even afford new or modified bikes. Still, they show up at the racetrack every Sunday morning driving pickup trucks with an old stock CR 250 tied down in the back just because they love the thrill of competing.
They might not be able to explain osmosis, describe an amoeba, or name an old Van Halen song, but most motocrossers know all about broken bones and concussions. They can talk at length about all the trials and tribulations that come with breaking their clavicle, navicular, femur, or any other number of bones. Even the best of riders have their fair share of wrecks, but they rarely let the threat of injury slow them down.
Everyone wants to be the best. To get there, they resort to all kinds of trickery and head games to keep their opponents guessing. More often than not, their opponents on the track are also their best friends back in the pits. Though it is every rider for themselves when a victory is on the line, they all come together to offer support and assistance when a fellow rider is in need.
The motocross community is one giant dysfunctional family. Everyone does not always get along with each other and there are plenty of disagreements. No matter what happens though everyone is always united in the end by their love of the sport.
This is a long belated thankyou, from Jeff to Steve Matthes.
Well, motocross has some nice guys in the sport. Pastrana, Hepler, Dungey, the Vohland brothers, Ronnie Renner, and so many more, but lets not forget about Steve Matthes. Sure he is from Canada, but so what. Just cause he likes ice hockey over air hockey and rocks out to Rush and Old Van Halen, it doesn't mean hes a bad guy. My buddy Jeff tells me quite the opposite actually. Jeff used to work for Yamaha. He was outside pushing around a V-Star when he claims that he slipped on the mud left by the motocross guy washing bikes. What really happened is that Jeff over calculated his own strength. He had been riding dirtbikes a lot, and his CR250 is a feather compared to the stout cruiser. His weak muscles and lose of traction caused the bike to try to lay down. Jeff was hanging on with all of his might trying to save this from a crash. Just as his fingertips started to slowly realease their grip.......................Steve Matthes opened the door and casually walked outside with his lunch. He dropped his peanut butter sandwich and leaped to the rescue. Steve save the day. He lifted the bike up with just 1 finger. Jeff started to cry because it was such a glorious day. Beems of light shown behind Steve as he truimphantly held the V-Star.
It was one of those beautiful moments when you knew that something great had happened.(Much like Carmichaels holeshots at the MXdN). Jeff thanked Steve for his heroism, and to finish his efforts, Steve showed Jeff the trickery of the "Straddle and Toe Push" technique for moving over weight motorcycles.
The boss overheard the story as it passed throughout the office. He called Jeff in one day to ask him about it. Jeff tried to explain his theory about the bike and the asphalt and osmosis, but Mr. Yamaha USA didn't believe him. If Steve was so great, why did they keep finding Canadian Bacon in Tim Ferrys gas tank? They fired Jeff that day. Jeff was devasted, but now we work together so its better and I think he will be glad to know that I thanked his friend Steve for him.
"Man, I hate cleaning air filters".. I thought as I headed out to the garage. "At least this time I don't have to mess with solvents... I'm going to try some new trickery... that No-Toil stuff I read about in Racer X magazine". I had found that applying it was just as easy as the bel ray oil I had always used... now I was going to find out just how easy (or hard) this stuff was going to be to clean off my filter. And this would be the acid test... there was so much crud on it, it looked like it had quarter inch of peanut butter spread all over it! Nothing like a two and a half hour hare scramble in an area that hadn't seen rain in 2 months. "Man, what a dustbowl that was".. thinking back. I had barely grabbed the holeshot that day, as I just got enough traction to enable me to edge out the guy on the CR250 next to me.
OK, gotta hear some tunes before getting started... so I flipped the radio on, and heard an old Van Halen tune... yeah, that figures... Van Halen just had a gig in Philly, so all the stations are playing there stuff again. At least this station wasn't playing one of their top hits, that you hear over and over again. It was a song I hadn't heard in a long while. Heck, I think the last time I heard it, the Vohland brothers were the new up and comers on the MX scene.
I found my cleaning bucket and filled it with hot water and some oxy clean. I dropped the filter in, and started the arduous task of cleaning it. Working the suds into the foam, I could feel the pain from my old navicular bone injury in my wrist. Jeez, I thought... nothing like your least favorite chore causing you even more pain! Once I finished washing the filter out, I started to use my tried and true rinse technique of reverse osmosis. Spraying the inside of the filter with the garden hose, I worked out any remaining microparticles from the filter. I squeezed the water out, and then thought of a way to dry the filter. The last time I had used the wifes hair dryer, I left it in the garage, and forgot to tell her about it. Not wanting to upset her again like that, I thought of another way to dry the filter. Hmmmm.. I thought. "What if lay it on the air hockey table for a while...
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