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As I write this, it’s Thursday morning following Gopher Dunes National weekend and I am still sore. Even though I did ride on Wednesday it wasn’t the easiest especially standing up. I have gotten a massage, got treated from my trainer, did yoga, spun easily on the trainer and have booked an appointment with the chiropractor for tomorrow morning. I heard a couple people say it wasn’t that bad and I’m sorry, but they are full of shit. Either that or they don’t know how to ride sand properly and didn’t try hard. I have never been this sore after a national without having crashed my brains out. I believe it was the roughest MX race I’ve ever done.
So, now to put into perspective: the GNCC racing is the first round in Florida and was equally, if not rougher and you go for 3 hours straight at that. After first practice at the dunes, I actually was shaking my head from how tough it was to even get around the track with the sand being so deep and mixed with a section they had left from the previous year.
After a decent start in moto1 I climbed up to second place 4 laps in and tried to sprint up to Colt but I didn’t have my suspension stiff enough so I was getting jarred every time I needed to over jump something or hit the big G-outs which completely wore me out. For moto 2 we had adjusted the suspension accordingly and it was a bit of a gamble since like I said last week I don’t really like to dick around with my bike once I get a comfortable setting. So Stu told me to hit some bumps hard on the hot lap to see if it was better or worse and it was night and day better. I knew it was going to be a long tough moto because I felt my legs burning with the simple task of just packing my gate before the start. It’s mentally taxing too, I told Kibby not to even think about putting anything negative on the pit board no matter how I was riding, stuff like “come on” or “He’s coming” or “push harder or let’s go.” I didn’t want to see any of that and I kindly asked for positive encouragement only. He’s like well what do you want me to write, and I said: “I don’t know flowers and butterflies.” After a bit better start I had to make a quick couple passes to get up to 3rd and was trying to pace Alessi and Epstein. Once I saw that Epstein pointed to his bike in the mechanic’s area I sprinted to quickly get around and then took a lap to recover before trying to reel in Alessi. I saw the gap starting to close and knew I was pulling on Goerke who was in third. I heard my bike make a detonating sound that I was familiar with as it has happened to me at another race last season when my bike was overheating and pushing all the coolant out. It was starting to get harder to hit the jumps and lugging the bike was making it worse. The worst part was that I was watching Alessi looking back in a lot of corners with his feet off the pegs so I knew he was cooked but I couldn’t pick up the pace and conserve my bike at the same time. So I was just making sure I was keeping momentum in the corners to get the air flowing into the bike.
On the last lap going through the mechanic’s area, Kibby had flowers and butterflies written on the pit board and it made me smile in my helmet knowing the most grueling moto of the season was finished. We had pantyhose over the rad louvers but the were still completely packed with sand which was why the bike was overheating. We also had to run the big Enduro tanks just to make sure there was no chance of running out of fuel. I think they block a little bit of airflow too but we should have the regular tanks back on for the rest of the season. We all actually would have made the full motos with the big tank as we still had quite a bit of fuel left over after the motos but there been no sense in risking it.
One of my good friends that I train with a lot on the bicycle at home owns a couple Tim Hortons and after Kamloops in our group chat, with a couple other friends including Adam Turner, I had mentioned that I ate Tim Horton’s breakfast and jokingly said it was the reason I got on the podium. After the race at Gopher, when I checked my phone, Dan (owner of Tims) had texted the group that I had probably enjoyed a #5 again for breakfast, which was funny because I actually did. This could be a coincidence but the two overall podiums I’ve gotten this year I didn’t eat breakfast at the track because of the long drive from where we stayed but I had Sausage egg on English muffin, hash brown, small black coffee, and vanilla dip doughnut from Timmies; can’t make that shit up. That’s all I got for this week so until next time, hit that drive through!