Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ridgecrest Motor Speedway July 31

Have been to Ridgecrest several times as AMA District 37 has desert races south east of this fair grounds and earlier in the year I raced desert twice close by but then there was snow on the ground. Ridgecrest is east of the Sierras and is close to the China Lake Naval Test Facility. I am not sure how hot is was this afternoon but on the way there you pass by a turn off for Death Valley.

The official name for the fixture is Desert Empire Fairgrounds and the track bore no resemblance to any descriptions other riders that had ridden there had given me. With the heat ample water had been applied to the track surface and I thought the Speedway Midgets (cars) would blow off the top before we rode. (wrong) The first event was a Super Pole race where you got a half a lap approach to the start and did one flying lap for time and the fastest rider took home the money.
With the slick surface and a new track for several including myself a few slid out and some tried riding through the hay bales.

The last six Friday nights I have ridden at IMS but tonight's Ridgecrest races had been planned much earlier in the year before IMS program existed. So tonight IMS was for first division only (except kids) and the other division riders could ride Ridgecrest and add their scores to their IMS season points. I have driven farther to race so I will not grouse about the traveling (341.8 round trip) and in Southern California any Friday afternoon on the freeway the traffic is not to be believed. On the trip up there a fifteen wait on Highway 395 halted travel as it was being paved just past Red Mountain and on the way back later the toll road in Orange County was closed for more paving.

There was a last-man-out race for both divisions and to be political correct it should have been called a last-man-or-woman race as Michelle Ferman #223 was ready to take on everybody when the tapes went up. I won the first one lapper and hung in to the final two lapper where I disappointed my coach (Boss Woman Holt) by trying to pass on the outside where the dirt was heavier.

Steve Evans works very hard to put these races together and he is going to have another race next Saturday Night at Victorville, which makes next week a three night experience for speedway in Southern California. On my drive back I spent time listening to those crazy music stations you pick up in the high desert and tried to rationalize spending more time on the slow-ways next week by riding three nights.

There were a bunch of pee-wees and a power-puff riders using conventional little dirt bikes racing tonight. Which brings up the question why isn't my grandson out there with his momma. My grandson has never been on a motorcycle but his mother has.

The fairground has good lighting but it is really high up and you can see the track without any problems but my Nikon just can't get enough light for a good exposure, I really need a better flash attachment.

According to the weather reports on the Internet the temps at Ridgecrest have been running between 108 and 110 degrees during the day. I thought I would only survive by sitting on a block of ice there but there isn't any humidity and I didn't get to the track until after six when there was some wind to help cool the place off. The program was full of track time and was a lot of fun. There wasn't much time to sit around between races and the track surface was constantly changing and the fans in the stands were not sitting on their hands.

The ride back home was much quicker as there wasn't any traffic and the races were done before ten o'clock. I had thought about duck tapeing my trophy on my bike's handlebars and riding up and down the sidewalks in a Marlo Brando fashion but since my black leather jacket was no where to be seen and the closest sidewalk was next to a Wal Mart I just loaded up the bike and headed south.

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