By: Kevin Sleeth
I've always wanted to race an International race and this was my chance. There were racers from Japan, Belgium, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Mongolia (Yes, I said MONGOLIA!), Spain and a few more. Not to mention racers from quite a few other states from here in the good Ol' US of A. The race was to be held in New York at Long Island MX, just a little south of the Hamptons on Long Island.
Our Team (31 riders from So Cal Police /Fire departments) had the Rockwell SX rig lined up to take the bikes to New York, but things being what they are, a last minute scramble had us looking for a rig just a couple of weeks before the trip. One of our riders, Kevin Arlotti and his dad stepped it up huge, rented a rig and drove it back East, arriving the day before practice. They even had to sit outside of New York for a day as Hurricane Irene passed through.
The logo helped them get out of at least one jam.
Bikes and all the gear.
The highlight of the adventure in getting to New York city was a stop just a few hours outside of Buffalo in El Mira at Braun's Pour House. Ed happens to be good friends with Erv Braun (The voice of SX/Erv Braun Entertainment) and Erv had just opened a Rib Smokehouse with his son the week prior. We got a personal tour from Irv and had by far the best ribs I have ever had. Had a few cold PBR's from tap as well.
Got to the track for practice and it looked pretty good for a small sand lot track with rocks. Irene left it alone and it wasn't under water.
Unloading in the pits. Everything made it in perfect shape!
N-Style hooked us up with some cool graphics.
Team FirePoliceMX.com looked good and we showed them how we do it West Coast style.
The night before the races we invaded a local pizzeria. They had a smok'n deal: $14.95 for a glass of red wine, salad, bread, pasta dish of your choice, cheese cake or Cannoli and a cup of coffee. Sweet! The price left $$$ for more wine. Lot's more wine... The food was all homemade and second only to this little Italian restaurant I dined at in London.
Ooops... Overcooked the turn and blew off the track in my go for broke style. Dropped two positions before I could get back on the track and gave the medal away. The good news was that my teammate was ahead of me and ended up getting the gold due to the local guy wadding up. Team So Cal was vindicated in our race!
The Belgians. They work for the Belgian "Secret Police" as well as train the Iraqi police in Iraq. Didn't look scary, but I wouldn't mess with these guys.
Right after everyone's last moto the party began! The Canadian's were first to bring the beer.
The Belgians loved Sam Adams and said for "American" Beer it was all right. Belgians know their beer, so I would take that as a compliment. This is Ben Benhaddou - we traded jerseys and now I have a place to stay in Belgium. I am already planning my trip.
A couple of Canucks. Good guys. Both got medals. The Canadian's were fast too.
When the hats came out, the party really started to take off.
What can I say... Japanese are the style masters no matter where you go.
This picture was taken after that first moto and Jakob never stopped smiling. He came up to me after the races and gave me his fireman's uniform shirt. I gave him a couple of sets of goggles with tear offs in exchange, which I all but had to force on him as he refused to take them. I now have a place to stay in Denmark too. You can bet I will be hanging with Jakob.
You can see it on his face. A moto win transcends all languages. Somewhere in Mongolia there is a motocross track. Who would have thought it...
Special thanks to the following who supported our team - JYG Concrete Construction, Rockwell Watches, FMF Racing, AXO, Renthal, N-Style, Jet boots, EKS goggles, Cirque Du Soleil, Thorogood Boots, Pole Position, Monster, South Coast Fire Equipment, BDC Backhoe and Crazy Otto’s Diner.
And especially JT Racing for hooking me up with all the gear.