Gadgets on Fathers Day, Smith and Kinkler battle til the end.


Fox Valley Off Road   June 18, 2006       Wedron Il.
by Joe Lanute



Technology:  Greek tekhnologiā, systematic treatment of an art or craft : tekhnē, skill + -logiā, -logy.  a. The application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives.


Take a moment to look at your Enduro / Woods motorcycle.

Think about all the technology that is packed into that machine.

Progressive suspension, titanium handlebars, steering stabilizers.

Perhaps an aluminum frame or an electric start. Water-cooled motor, hydraulic brakes and clutch. Multiple overhead valves, or high performance reeds. All this technology has occurred and progressed over the last twenty or so years. All motorcycle manufactures build their bikes to be pushed to the limits of the rider. In fact it could be argued that all modern dirt bikes are capable of the same amazing performance, the only variable is the human controlling it. Truth be told, if it were not for the human variable, these machines could fly through the woods and over rocks and logs at unthinkable speeds.


But, we do have the human variable, and that, is the core of racing.


Now, think of how a Hare Scramble race is scored.


Some pencils, a few pads of paper, a fender sheet, plastic covered name sheets, and a few clocks.

And, some humans.

Twenty First Century Technology arrives this day at Fox Valley Off Road.


An electronic scoring system from Race Timer Software. John Bouma's creation that has been working well on the east coast & internationally.


Wardy  gave a the riders a briefing of the new system at the riders meeting, (another good reason to attend rider meetings) He promised in future races he will expand the system to include the quads.  A simple little cigar sized transponder was given to each rider in the “big bike” classes, each rider attached it to his or hers chest protector or front number plate with the help of a couple of zip ties or a few strips of duct tape. Before the race, simply walk past the checkpoint with your transponder and look up at the marquee, you will see your race number and class, this verifies that you are ‘on line’ and ready to compete.  During the race as each contestant passes the checkpoint, his transponder records his lap time, class rank and minutes behind the leader. The rider can actually look at the marquee as he comes through the checkpoint and get his real time race status. Place, Class, Name, Riding number, and minutes behind all can be seen at a glance. At the end of competition, the computer gave a complete list of riders, rank, and lap times, broken down by class. Final scoring was done and complete in a few moments.

And, no human variables.


As for the humans, almost two hundred of them showed up on Father’s day to participate in this high tech Sunday drive through the woods.

The Perfect Storm, the skies were overcast and the temperature was excellent for this June morning, little sprinkles of rain, and a signature hat drop the races were on. 

John Brush from Quad A grabbed the hole shot into the woods, with a host of B and C  4-Wheel racers in tow. Kevin Johnson "unstalled" his machine and worked back into the fray taking a third in Quad A. Jan Pavelonis edge out Johnson by little more then a minute.

Jared Hall on his Hall's Husky battled for the win in the 50cc class with Ty Kinklear taking second and Blake Ryan third. 


The Thumper class (20 strong) was once again introduced to the rock creek bed among other hazards as heartless humans abused and mistreated their suspensions for an hour. Caleb Russell  came away with a win. John Conley from Fox Valley Cycles takes second, with Jeremy Petoskey third. Will Tracy 4th and Brett Wilkinson rounded out the top 5.   Rumor has it that Mr Russell will have to wait a lap to start from now on, since lapping up to 6th place, means he doesn't need a full "hour" to race.  Thumpers will invade Megacross on the June 24th race to try thier hand at Sx nite racing. Don't forget baskets, stuff animals, rabbit ears, and ooogaaa horns are optional but desired. Tassels virtually a race necessity.


Jordin Eustace received her first win at FVOR  in the Woman’s class, while BenJamin Schmidt came out first in 85cc class with Skler Harkless and Keagan Schmidt taking second and third respectfully. David Brackrey 4th and Tony Spizzirri rounded out the top 5.


The humans on the ‘big bikes’ blasted the full course for an hour and a half, the Fox Valley crew threw it all at them, tight woods, rocky creek, assorted up-hills and a host of ill placed logs. Perhaps the most treacherous part of the course was the main checkpoint, after flying over the spectator log (or a lonely trip down the “Sally Trail”) the humans had to come into a hair-pin turn and stop for a fender mark, more then a few did not get their feet off the pegs in time and the scorers did their share of marking fenders while the riders squirmed out from under their high tech machines. Next they had to go from a stop through a short maze of trees with some low (but very stout) branches, and then they were rewarded with a view of the new marquee and their race status.


AA’s Jeremy Smith, the overall winner, held off Rick Kinkelaar by a margin of 12 seconds. Jeremy led early in the race, actually had a sizeable lead. Rick methodically worked on his laps and kept up the charge, until Jeremy made that proverbial mistake. Hitting a tree at speed will take the wind out of anyone's sail.  Dropping to second after the crash was a realization that Jeremy would not tolerate. Pushing through the pain, he blasted back to the front and won the overall along with the AA class win. Excellent effort on both these riders part.


Jessie Keith and Carl Bruch ran neck and neck in 86-Open A with Carl hanging on for the win. Jesse stayed close to Carl most all of the race, second to the last lap he passes for the lead, gains which were quickly wiped out when a misque and a fall lets Carl sieze the moment and take the win.......another 1.5 hour long great battle.


201-Open C was the largest class of the day with John Siekmann getting top honors.


We had six competitors in +50, Rich Mertes brought  the seniors home, but I just have to give an honorable mention to Bob Mitchell, for a human, he truly is one of my heroes. There is nothing high tech about him!  Si Keith takes a 4th, and clean bike award.


Check out the race results, what is next live wire? Streaming live video?  who knows!  Next Hare Scrambles at Fox Valley Off Road is July 30th.


Results to follow