Sunday, March 22, 2009

Motocross Track

Last Friday afternoon after surfing, hanging out at the Infinity Surf board shop where the dog's best buddies works the trustworthy but slow VW was headed up the clogged 5 when the phone rang. Not having hands free anything I quickly answered and said , "On the freeway, call you back". The weekend was almost here and plans had not been firmed up because the promise of rain in the forecast.
There was a desert race close to Ridgecrest but racing in the cold and wet didn't sound like fun, the boat needed more work as usual but Sunday might bring rain. Then when I returned the call after parking the van and found that Buck (Blair) wanted to go riding Saturday but not speedway or desert but motocross. So after considering that it had been several years since I had tried to break any old bones or crack ribs I agreed to me his crew at the track in Riverside. My motocross riding probably started about the same time the sport started here in the USA after seeing the Europeans ride at Saddleback Park. Then my first race was at a converted flat track in Huntington Beach and many, many others since. The first thing I noticed that was wrong was my flip flops didn't work well in the mud. The operators are constantly watering the dirt to keep the dust down and I stepped from my Nissan into the mud and my flip flops stuck.

Buck had given me directions earlier on where to find him at the park and with myself there was just three trucks sitting by ourselves until another truck pulled up with a fellow and a novice woman rider. After she unloaded and suited up she asked what track she should start out on. Of course Buck led her to the mini-track after I thought we were going to the Vet track and I was following everybody else as the place was new to me. Once on the small track made for fifties and a 6 year old I felt quite at home except my motorcycle couldn't get out of a fast idle and Buck's KTM overheated from going too slow.

We then moved over to a larger and faster track and it all sorted to come back to me, the sounding of ribs breaking, the missed landing, the motorcycle flying through the air without me, me flying without the motorcycle, the inside of an ambulance, oh, well none of that happened. My Yamaha stalled in one corner after I did a berm shot with out fanning the clutch then after a while I could clear most of the jumps on the track, well my version of clearing is not crashing, and I started to have fun and pass other riders. Buck being his usually showoff self would blow by me but after the morning was over he had crashed and hurt himself again while I continued to ride more while they loaded up. Sort of the turtle and hare saga. When I arrived home unloaded, hosed off the mud from my bike I searched the Internet to see when the next Old timers MX race was only to find out that although they still race they don't not very often or very close. Probably by the time the next race comes up that is close enough I will be interested in doing something else, in fact Frank (the owner of Surfworks) just started racing stand up paddling surfboards in the ocean and his last race almost killed him (heart attack) but he has an extra board and it must be safer that my last kayak surfing experience without a skirt.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Furry Crusader

Trying to catch up on boat chores with sanding, varnishing and the never ending cleaning had some rewards last Saturday as after taking a work break I went sailing in a southerly wind and after several tacks to clear the breakwater the boat headed south. Running parallel to the breakwater outside towards Long Beach I met a large whale going in the opposite direction. By the time I reached my camera bag in the cabin the giant bruiser never reappeared. He/she came really close, close of to get me excited.

Yesterday the sun came out and the surf was up, so me and the mutt headed to her promise land. First surfing for me and later hunting for the dog. Well she loves it there because of the rabbits and squirrels hanging out there. If you are sensitive skip the rest. Her aim in life, besides sleeping and eating, is chasing rodents in hopes of making the world a better place. Sometimes she catches them and it isn't very nice to watch. She knows the park well and where her prey is usually sitting and sunning.

Yesterday I saw a squirrel on the fence next to the tables but she didn't see it and the squirrel remained still not moving to attract the dog. Finally after almost running nose to nose the squirrel ducked under the fence but didn't head for the open grass. So for several minutes the dog would go to the other side of the fence and the squirrel would duck back under neath safe on the other side resulting in a stalemate. All this time the squirrel continued to squeak out a warning to his friends while the crusader sniffed and clawed on the fence. She might still be there but I had to leave but she will be back again if the sun is out and the surf is up.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Visting Wooly's Land

Back in January we went to June Mountain for the mutant's birthday and I rented skis for a couple of days. So with the help of E-bay and Craig's list a pair of boots and skis became part of my projects. The mounting were moved to accept the larger boot and I managed that without drilling any holes through the ski bottoms.

The Head boots came for a USC grad student that bought the boots in Germany but they were way too large and had never been fitted so with a few tries with the oven and gloves my custom fit was obtained. Then it was off to Mountain High after a major dumping to check my new to me hardware. At the ticket window I asked for a senior discount and the young lady told me that they don't have any senior discount tickets but at seventy you ski free.

I said I wasn't there yet and her manager came to the window and gave me a free pass. At Mountain High you can ski free on your birthday but my birthday this year is on Sunday and there is no way I would go there on a Sunday. So the next week I tried the senior discount scam and the young lady explained I wasn't old enough but I could ski free on my birthday. I told her my birthday was the next Sunday (it being Tuesday) so they made it my birthday earlier. Next step Mammoth Mountain.

Well nothing is free in Mammoth but I do get a nice discount on lift tickets and was able to stay at the Mammoth Mountain Inn using their ski stimulus plan. For those who have not purchased lift tickets recently; a single day ticket is $84.00 and rooms are $200 to $400 a night for a couple plus local taxes not to mentioned dining. For all this money you get to sit on a chair riding up the mountain at 10 degrees with the wind blowing snow in your face.

Then if the wind and snowing stops the zillion folks that don't know how to form a que in line show up. This is off set by a run down the backside of the upper gondola that was untracked after two feet of new snow and being the first to arrive at Chair 14.

My son will not forget that and what 6 degrees is. The only low point of the trip was that The Chart House doesn't really know how to heat prime rib but they do mix a good drink.