Smith, Kinkelaar, Steunkel  lead the way at Fox Valley Off Road.

MSR, Answer, Pro Taper, FVOR Series  Rnd. 1

by Joe Lanute Photos by Mandy Lanute

May 7th, 2006 

It was a perfect day for racing as over 200 riders showed up to tackle the usually a shorter, but challenging course.  Mid 70’s and perfect weather just shouldn’t happen on Hare Scramble race days, you know, where is the challenge? The course had some easy sections, then of course rock creek, the now infamous ravine with one line in and one line out., anything else is dicey at best.  Then we have the hat. 

Hats. Major League Baseball players wear hats. NFL had Tom Landry, “The Man in the Hat”.  Hockey has a Hat Trick. NASCAR fans all wear a hat and most every one in Wedron has a Cat or Deere hat.

On Sunday in Wedron, there was one hat that had everybody’s attention.

The Quads were lined up at eleven minutes past 9 AM when that hat dropped signaling the start of the first group into the three -mile long woods loop.

Daniel Burkitt gettin sideways after the log, see photo page for sequence prior to this photo!

John McCarrens, taking the log at the barrels.

Thanks to a unique course set-up the quads were sent off and then the 50’s were launched moments later with the same drop of a hat.

Two different starts sending numerous classes into two challenging and technical races.

While the little bikes were winding through their track, the quads were sent on a journey through the best Fox Valley had to offer, tight trails, slippery up hills, a pass over the Super Cross Track and not one but two logs.

The finish line log always offers the riders a way around if they are willing to give back several seconds, but not so with a simple little twelve inch fallen tree at the bottom of a sweeping down hill, set on just enough of an angle, that if the quad did not hit it straight on, it became a cursed teeter-totter. You know teeter-totters don’t work well with only one participant.

 Thumpers received the hat treatment on the West course, while 65 beginners tackled the center. 80’s, 65 seniors and Woman took to the East.

Big sister being ignored by little brother! She can pick it up!

Couple KTM's choosing the same line at the wrong time.

Three races at once takes a dedicated crew some one must drop many hats.

While the Thumpers were spared the finish line log they had to endure tough up and down hills, tight turns and the before mentioned twelve inch downed tree.

19 riders ( yep 19!) invaded the Thumper class,  which is lately sprinkled with “part time” racers, MX “A” racers that is. They show up for an hour of fun in the timber and before it’s over usually have a pretty good race on their hands.  Caleb Russell, John Conely, and Jeremy Petoskie, battled for most of the race, but Caleb pulled a lead and the “getting older” Conley settled for second.

Tassels and an OOOOgah horn don't help alot on the "log" we just wonder what happened to the (pink) rabitt ears.

Hayden Schmidt got "dog" duty after a mishap on his KTM, he will be up and running soon in the 50cc class.

The 65 beginners had several changes for second place, Cole Evans, Billy Anderson, and Kurt Harper ran strong from hat to finish followed by Jimmy Lanute and Hall’s Cycle’s Jared Hall. Jacob Damron took 6th. Kelly Chrisman entered her first scramble and her first encounter with the hat. Kelley took her eye off of the hat and the hat won, we know she will be back and she will be carrying a grudge, look out Jimmy !

The finish line log took its toll on a few of the young riders willing to gamble. Many made it over, some in a textbook maneuver, some by dragging the bike over and some by dumb luck, but always a crowd pleaser and a place to get some great action shots. For some reason today the “sally” trail got a good work out, must be to early in the season for log crossin.

A and AA start, Steve Steunkel 88, Rick Kinklear 26, Jeremy Smith 18, Mike Armstrong 100, Luke Kaszyinski 147, Bryn Hillman 134, Derek Toberman 144, and Jesse Keith.

Jeremy Smith, we are not sure if he is the “fast one”, but he was the fastest on this day, of course Rick Kinkelaar kept him honest all afternoon. Steve Stuenkel just a little bit back stayed in ear shot waiting for a mistake that never came.

Rick Kinkelaar

Carl Bruch

Some consider the big bikes the main event, while the quads were given the best Fox Valley had, the big bikes received the full treatment. Super Cross track, three logs, off chamber up hills, tight turns, Rock Creek and for at least one rider we know an unexpected head over heels trip into a ravine.

The pace was quick in the first two laps but as the riders wore in ruts coming out of rock Creek and up the hills, it quickly became a test of conditioning, muscling big two strokes and heavy thumpers through the four mile loop. 

Nothing like a "cushion" of wood chips to break a fall.

Shhhhh is anyone looking? LOL oh yea, she is standing behind the tree snapping your photo,

At the end of the day while waiting for the results and plaques, you could hear the colorful conversations of the riders comparing hardships and feats. The mood was up beat and positive. During the various interviews, every one enjoyed the day, complemented the course lay outs and expressed an eagerness to return for round two.

Nobody had anything nice to say about the hat.