Old man winter finally laid down and I was able to start riding again this week. It was just in time, because I caught myself falling into another lull with the wet, cold, grayness bearing down. Damn, it feels good to ride. There just isn't anything like being on the bike and feeling that next-day soreness. As I type, my thumb blister looks like someone put a cigarette out on it and the back of my knees look like they have a 4th degree sunburn. I picked up a riding partner last Fall. Channon is a 16-year-old B rider that is trying to make it to Loretta Lynn's for the first time. It's cool to ride with someone that young and think back to when you were that age.
But, he isn't like most of the 16-year-old racers you'll see this week in Texas or at most of the Amateur Nationals. He shows up to ride in an old S-10 pick up and a 2006 YZ250 that has seen better days. When I was 16, I had a full-blown Team Green ride with free bikes, parts, and tires. I'm sponsored by little brother now and have a new truck and a brand new 450, so I feel kind of guilty when he pulls up wearing a big smile in his crude setup.
We set out and did our warm-up laps, then we did a couple motos. I usually let him go and catch up and pass, and until the last moto yesterday, I always did pass him. Before that last moto, we came back to the truck for water and gas and I saw him shaking his head at his bike. His rear-brake bolt had stripped out, which didn't really matter because his brake pads looked like office paper. I told him, "Just try to roll the corners better," which you know is almost impossible with no rear brake. We set out and started charging, and like normal I caught him in about two laps and started looking to pass. But, to my chagrin, he was killing me in the rutted corners! He was going in easy and flowing around them with more momentum than I could handle. I'm stubborn and probably have too much pride, so I ate dirt for eight laps and almost crashed my brains out trying to get around him. Then, my 33 years caught me and I simply had to pull off before I puked on my gas tank. He rode about 10 more laps while I tried to catch my breath. I watched him rolling the corners and smiled.
He pulled in and told me thanks for having him out to ride, then loaded up his ratty bike. As he was pulling out, he stopped and rolled his window down and held up a Mountain Dew bottle laughing. He said, "Dang it, this is all I've drank all day. That ain't no good!"
Man, motocross is cool.
Back to the top, the boys are trekking north to Canada to continue the quest for the ultimate trophy. Let's take a look.
First up, I like to see two recent Loretta Lynn's graduates making that system continue to look strong. Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett have been the two biggest revelations in the East Coast Supercross series. Those two guys are hungry and I think Wilson will be a threat again this weekend. He doesn't have anything for Pourcel, but #1/377 has been squeaky clean so far. Very rarely does someone make it all the way through unscathed, and #108 will be there if he does. Then we have Baggett. Man, what a hard charger! I liked seeing him pull away from Metcalfe last weekend. Just wait until you see Blake outdoors. If he has enough steam in his machine, he'll be up there.
What'll Barcia do this weekend? Will he bring the heat he had at Atlanta with him? It won't take long to notice if he does!
Canada is famous for Ketchup Chips and beer-swilling Hockey fans, but this event is famous for being soft and rutted out. The "Glacier Till" soil they use is unlike anything the boys see all season and it throws a lot of guys for a curve. Ryan Villopoto is a house of fire right now and he'll be tough to beat from here until Vegas. What do you do if you're in Dungey's shoes? He can't lie back and points race because Chad Reed will be coming back, and soon so will Stewart. He's in a tough spot, because he can't lie back. He has to charge like he did in the first five rounds and pick up a couple more wins if he is going to win the title.
There have already been two distinct chapters in this year's supercross season: The first chapter ended with Josh Grant, Reed, and Stewart falling out. The second chapter began with the four-horsemen pack of Hill, RV, RD5, and Millsaps. That didn't last long, and now it's time to turn pages on what should be the final chapter. Reed is back now, and he's fast enough to win. Stewart will be back soon, and he'll likely win out when he does. Remember 2005?
It's going to continue to be intense, as it has been thus far. Top to bottom. It's time to lock it up tight. Brass knuckles and flashlights, baby!
In closing, I want to send all my best to all of the amateur families racing in Texas and in the upcoming Area Qualifiers. My heart is with you guys!