Laboring on Labor Day
Rumor on the street is that we're riding up to Idyllwild on Monday. We'll leave from GFE in Redlands, so bring liquid, food, money, tubes, CO2 & legs.
Once Upon A Time...
I've got nothing good to say & no new photos to post (because I destroyed my digi-cam) so I'm going to re-live old glory days on the suicide machines.
This was shot in July of '03 near Knoxville, TN for the Honda Hoot program & media book. Photographer Kevin Wing shot it from the back of a rented minivan with Michael MonroE at the wheel. I'm on the left aboard a VFR, Ken Vreeke (the mastermind behind it all) is in the middle on an ST1300 & Ken Lee is to the right on a big VTX1800. If memory serves me correct, this is the day that we ran into bad weather so to kill time in between shoots, we bought a bunch of fire works & shot them off on some back country road. While KV, Mr. Lee & I were riding, MonroE, Wing & Matt Vreeke had a bottle rocket mishap in the minivan that burned the dash board, but I'm not supposed to be telling this story.
Yes, those really are my arms & no, there was no Photoshop work done to ad muscle. Before my bicycle racing days, I actually had an upper body. This was shot down around Parker, AZ some time in '99 by Kinney Jones. The funny thing is I didn't even want to go to this shoot because it was only a day-long thing & I had to drive all the way from San Diego. Kinney kept getting pissed during the shoot because certain people weren't following his directions. On the way home I ran out of gas in my van on I10 around midnight & had to walk about a mile to Chiraco Summit for gas. I think Jeff Hain, the then Editor of PWI, felt sorry for me after that so he put me on the cover.
Two of the only motorcycle-mounted scanned images I have are on Yamahas. This one was shot on the second loop of the '01 Wickenburg, AZ Nat'l Enduro by Bryan Nylander. It's a beautiful image, but there was nothing beautiful about the moment-in-time it was shot. The infamous waterfall section of Wickenburg was preceeded by the Shelf Trail, which was miles of a super-narrow rocky singletrack on the side of a cliff. One wrong move & it was an instant DNF. If you survived the Shelf Trail, the next obstacle was the waterfall section, which was always a crowd, photographer & ESPN2 favorite. Several big drop-offs, sometimes filled with water, led down to a sand wash that led back up, way up, to what was in my opinion the toughest part of the race; a series of rocky switchback ascents. In '00 I smashed the clutch cover on my CR250 in that section after watching Larry Roeseler launch his KLX300 from one switchback up to another. When LR is ghost riding his bike to get through a section, you know it's gnarly. The year this photo was shot, I was riding a WR250F, which was a good bike for Wickenburg. Ty Davis rode a YZ250F the same year & flamed it out because he didn't have the big radiators that the WR had. Even though there was not mud, rain or slippery roots at Wickenburg, I think it consisted of the toughest terrain out of any race I ever did. Climate aside, Wickenburg was long, rocky, dusty & in '01, it was my first race back after having my ACL replaced. And of course, I went out there with Rick Daniel.
Another Yamaha shot. Not the sharpest of photos, but I like it. Actually, this was a staged image for Dirt Rider that Mark Kariya took down in Mexico near Tecate. He & I were down there some time in the fall of '98 for a GPS Trail Ride. To make a very long story short, I ended up getting lost (damn GPS) on my own around dusk & had to put the WR400F I was riding on reserve. Finally, before I was totally empty & it was totally dark, a few people came looking for me & we made it back to the ranch we were staying at safely. I thought I was going to be spending the night with some Mexican coyotes & bandits. As it turns out, they were the least of my problems because the next morning as I was heading back to the border, I got stopped by a group of Mexican Federals, who picked through the contents of my van with the barrels of their M16's. Eventually they sent me north without taking any money or any of my pocessions. I've only been back to Mexico one time since then.
I guess I had more to say than I thought.