Smith, Kinkelaar, Steunkel
lead the way at Fox Valley Off Road.
MSR, Answer, Pro Taper, FVOR Series Rnd. 1
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.