Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
Sometimes you just need a couple days off…
It’s always with mixed emotions that we hit the end of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals. These are long summers with thousands of miles of traveling and too much time spent away from home. Of course, being on the road and covering this sport is pretty much all I think about, but sometimes you just need a couple days off.
Emily and I had planned to head to Budds Creek MX, just south of Washington, DC, Friday morning. In fact, we had our bags packed and sitting by the front door Thursday night. I always say that whenever and wherever Canadians are racing, I want to be there. However, this time we just needed to stay home and recharge the batteries.
As we climbed into bed that night, I tossed and turned at the thought of hopping into the #DMXVan yet again and pounding out the 11-hour drive from London, Ontario, to Budds Creek. I sat up and said, “I think I’m calling this one off.”
2017 Canadian MX2 #2 Dylan Wright was to race this one and this is not something I like to miss. As the years go by, I always like to be able to go to my archives and snag photos from important events like these. However, after this long summer, I finally had to do what most other people do…pay someone else to take and send photos, but it’s just not the same.
I’m a fan of this sport. Motocross Media is basically all made up of fans of this sport. I want to be at the events where important things happen. People always offer to shoot photos for DMX and I always ask, “That’s great, but can you write?” Unfortunately, the answer is almost always, “No, I just like taking photos.”
Now, that’s great and all, we need more quality photos, but if someone isn’t able to also write about what they saw, it’s not much use to us. If I can’t be there, I don’t want to just talk about what I see when I watch the coverage on TV or the highlights online. No, I want the behind-the-scenes stuff. The stuff that puts a personal mark on the events, not just what everyone sees with their own eyes. It’s just different to me.
So, we’ll have some great photos of Dylan Wright getting a very solid 13th overall at the second last round of 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, but I’m still kicking myself for not being there to capture the ‘around the pits’ stuff and the emotion that goes along with it.
Yes, I will love the perfectly-focused corner and jump shots, but it won’t change the fact that I wasn’t there personally to see it. And I hate that.
I guess I’m like that high school kid who feels like he or she is really missing out on something special if they don’t go to so and so’s party or something like that. Except, all you would miss back then was the same people acting like idiots and probably throwing up. Here, I may miss a very special moment in time when a Canadian does something exceptional and memorable.
I remember Toby Knowles saying this to me quite a few years ago that, as DMX grows, I wouldn’t always be able to the guy at all the races taking the photos and walking around talking to the riders and their families. I remember I told him, “But that’s the part of all this that I love!” He may be right one day, but not yet! I’m still going to attend as many races and events as I can to capture moments and memories…just not last weekend.
I want to be there to take the photos of our racers taking their helmets off back at the pits after a tough race at an event they’ve never done before. That’s not something a busy photographer will have time to do when they have so many other commitments on race days like they all do. That’s the stuff I remember and want to capture for the moto archives.
OK, so Dylan headed south to race Budds Creek and I wasn’t there. I have to move on. He did very well and took home a 13th place with 13-13 motos. Nice. Congratulations to Dylan for going for it, and to Derek Schuster and Colton Facciotti for going with him to support his efforts. It sounds like he’s also going to head to the final round at Ironman MX in Crawfordsville, IN this weekend and then maybe even the USGP in Florida September 3rd (or did I make that up?). Where’s the ‘thumbs up’ emoji on this Mac?!
And also, congratulations to Justin Bogle on getting his first-ever 450 win this past weekend.
Shelby Turner Wins Endurocross Round 1 | Las Vegas
Watch the 2017 AMA Super EnduroCross Championship Series season opener on Saturday, August 19, LIVE from Las Vegas, Nevada. Got other plans? You can catch all the action on demand after the event, as well. Last year, Colton Haaker earned his first EnduroCross title and, after winning the series two years in a row, Cody Webb had to settle for second. With Haaker and Webb back doing battle, plus a group of hungry challengers, all seven rounds are bound to be exciting
|1st||#1||HAAKER, Colton||Perris, CA||Husqvarna||14||00:49.022||–.—|
|2nd||#2||WEBB, Cody||Royal Oaks, CA||KTM||14||00:50.625||00:12.536|
|3rd||#84||HART, Trystan||Invermere, BC||Husqvarna||13||00:48.183||00:38.224|
|4th||#7||REDMOND, Kyle||Lake Hughes, CA||BETA||13||00:47.744||00:00.677|
|5th||#15||GERSTON, Max||Scottdale, AZ||BETA||13||00:50.333||00:12.587|
|6th||#14||TREMAINE, Ty||Gardnerville, NV||KTM||13||00:49.829||00:03.043|
|7th||#118||GRAFFUNDER, Cory||Redland, CA||KTM||13||00:54.185||00:11.581|
|8th||#120||ABBOTT, Cooper||Peoria, AZ||Yamaha||13||00:51.109||00:10.607|
|9th||#80||SEGURA VERDAGUER, Joan Pau||Spain,||GasGas||13||00:53.159||00:04.595|
|10th||#696||KEPPLE, Noah||Alpine, CA||KTM||13||00:51.751||00:05.854|
|11th||#200||RHOTEN, Eric||Montrose, CO||Yamaha||12||00:52.727||00:12.878|
|12th||#4||AARON, Geoff||Temecula, CA||GasGas||12||00:52.544||00:01.717|
|13th||#16||CULLINS, Ty||Riverside, CA||BETA||12||00:55.291||00:23.837|
|14th||#5||WENTZEL, Quinn||Canfield, OH||Husqvarna||11||01:02.106||00:43.358|
|15th||#926||WILTON, Spenser||Calgary, AB||Honda||10||01:06.914||00:58.794|
|Women – Overall Finish Positions|
2017 ENDUROCROSS SCHEDULE
- August 1
9 – Las Vegas, NV
- September 23 – Reno, NV
- September 30 – Denver, CO
- October 14 – Everett, WA
- October 28 – Phoenix, AZ
- November 4 – Boise, ID
- November 18 – Ontario, CA
Motopark Hucka Bucka Slam
|250 Intermediate – Overall Finish Positions|
|250 Junior – Overall Finish Positions|
|Super Mini – Overall Finish Positions|
|Ladies A – Overall Finish Positions|
Full results can be found: http://www.tracksideresults.com/motopark/class.asp?e=22&c=all
CMRC GNAC at Whispering Pines
|Intermediate MX-2 – Overall Finish Positions|
|Junior MX-2 – Overall Finish Positions|
|Ladies – Overall Finish Positions|
|Open Pro Am – Overall Finish Positions|
|Supermini – Overall Finish Positions|
Full results can be found: http://live.tracksideresults.com/mcqmx/class.asp?c=all&e=26
MXGP of Sweden
Next Race: MXGP of USA – September 3 WW Ranch, Jacksonville, Florida
2017 ISDE France – Team Canada
Team Canada is now in France getting ready for the 2017 ISDE.
FIM JUNIOR WORLD TROPHY
• Jamie Baskerville, Meaford, Ontario
• Ryder Heacock, Pontypool, Ontario
• Jarred Jonker, Brockville, Ontario
Manager – Derek Rockel
FIM WOMEN’S WORLD TROPHY
• Felicia Robichaud, Cornwall, Ontario
• Shelby Turner, Barons, Alberta
• Madi Watt, St. Paul, Alberta
Manager – Derek Rockel
FIM WORLD CUP FOR CLUB TEAMS
• Theo Lepley, Pierrefonds, Quebec
• Andrew Sawyer-Tremblay, St-Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec
• Patrick Tremblay, St-Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec
Manager – Joel Lepley
Team Club #2 – name will follow
• Nathan Bles, Bayfield, Ontario (Nathan missed the last couple MX Nationals with a concussion but he is ready for the ISDE)
• Philippe Chaine, Chesterville, Quebec
• Tyler Medaglia, Brookfield, Nova Scotia
Manager – Guy Robichaud
FIM ENDURO VINTAGE TROPHY
• Frederick Beaudoin, Mercier, Quebec
• Lucien Caggiano, Ormstown, Quebec
• Thierry Lacombe, Beloeil, Quebec
• Joel Lepley, Pierrefonds, Quebec
You can follow along with them the following ways:
Team Canada ISDE FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/TeamCanadaIsde/
Team Canada ISDE INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/canadian_isde/
The official website changes each year as the event moves around. Here is this year’s website: https://www.isde-france-2017.com/
Stop…Story Time or Don’t Call It a Comeback
I was talking with someone not too long ago about the Monday Morning Coffee column, and they actually told me they just skip over the results stuff and look for the silly story stuff. As shocked as I was, I was also flattered because it’s the story stuff that keeps me going. I’ve been a story teller since I was a little kid. In fact, my parents still have my ‘story books’ in their storage. I also remember, back in high school, my English teacher was looking through my story book and was upset that I’d ripped a page out and that she wasn’t able to read what I’d torn out. Her name was Mrs. Holt and I can still remember exactly what I’d removed from my book that day.
So, with that in mind, I figured I’d tell my most recent ’embarrassing moment’ story that happened just a few weeks ago here in my home town.
Like a lot of people who eventually stop racing competitive moto, I went to racing bicycles and then to triathlons for a bunch of years. It was great and I managed to make it pretty far in the sport. I was able to compete at the Triathlon World Championships in 1996 and the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in 1996 and 97. No, I didn’t set the world on fire, and even wore a muu muu dress for a portion of the run on the Big Island, but I was there and went for, and that’s what counts, right?
So, after not racing mountain bikes since probably back in the late 1990’s, I happened to be out at our local ski bump here in London and noticed they do weekly Thursday evening races at Boler Mountain. Hmm, I thought, that could be fun.
OK, so I’ve done hundreds of races like this over the years and so it’s kind of old hat, but just when you think that is when the wheels come off and it all goes sideways.
Emily and I were to make the 15-minute drive out to Byron for the event that was set to start at 6:30. The website said you could sign up until 6:15. No problem.
Em had a massage booked for 4:30 that would leave us plenty of time to get out there, so I wasn’t worried. I just went about my pre-race rituals and set everything up: bike was ready, my gear was packed, and the water and snacks were in the cooler at the front door waiting.
I figured we’d be ready to go at around 5:30 or so, leaving some time to get to the track to do a little warm up loop to be loose and ready for action. 5:30 hit and there was no sign of her. Uh oh. Not time to panic…yet. Stay loose.
5:45 hits and I started to sweat. It was one of those hot and sticky Southwestern Ontario days when the temperature sits around 32 degrees C late in the day, the breeze stops, and you struggle to get a full lung’s worth of air. But I wasn’t worried.
OK, at 6:00 I started to have my doubts. I went outside and waited in the driveway for Emily to get home. At 6:07 she pulled in the driveway apologizing for being so late. Do we bother going? Sure, what the heck.
We pull into the parking lot at 6:14, leaving one minute to sign in. We pulled right up to the edge, I hopped out and ran over to register. They didn’t care that I was so late, they took my money.
If you’ve ever done a running or cycling race, or basically any endurance-type race, you know (or have fond out the hard way) that a good warm up is key to a slid race. I know this and was pretty worried that after I’d run back to the van to change and then pedaled over to the mass start, that I was completely unready to do a 4-lap race up and down a mountain bike course. I’ve seen how this goes. Oh well, let’s see what happens…
I decided that since I wasn’t warm, I’d start near the back to allow myself time to ease into the race pace. Off we went…BANG!
After a short flat section, the trail turned toward the hill and up we went in a hairpin-style climb. No, we’re not in the Rockies but a climb is still a climb. Well, I was back with the ‘ham and eggers’ (as we used to call them) and was ‘that guy’ trying to work my way past on the first climb. I’m sure I pissed everyone off as I rubbed the back wheel of the bike ahead of me and then slammed to a stop in a hairpin and had to unclip my left shoe.
I apologized and did that panicked pedal where you’re going uphill while trying to clip your shoe into the pedal. The trail widened a little and I was able to get past this slow group I was trapped behind.
As I made it to the top of the climb, I realized I was now all alone! Where did everyone go?! There were about 60 people in this little race and I didn’t see a single one of them! Down I went, looking for the trail markers to follow. “Follow the black,” were my only instructions.
Hmm, was that black arrows on white or white arrows on the black background? This should be too tough, we’re not out in the wilderness here, just a local hill in the burbs.
As I worked my way around the hill, I came out in a section that hit another trail and almost got hit by a couple riders who yelled, “Found a short cut, did you?!” I asked, “Are you guys the leaders?” “No.” Hmm, where the heck was I?
Obviously, they knew where they were going so I jumped in behind them but let them get ahead because they already accused me of cheating. I wasn’t cheating, I was lost, there’s a difference!
I got to the top of the following climb, and they were gone! Where could they have gone??? Oh well, I kept going and apparently made a few bad choices. My lack of warm up meant that my legs and lungs weren’t doing what they were supposed to. I came around a corner, picked my trail and kept pushing.
Wait a second, this looks familiar, I thought. Crap, I was back on a section I’d just done! How did that happen? I saw a photographer on a trail across a wooded section and asked him where I was to go. He just said, “Follow the black!” I thought I was!
Off I went and got behind some other riders I’d cut across to find. Suddenly, they too were gone. How did I keep losing sight of people? What was going on? I got to another crest and saw some people zip-lining through the trees. I asked them if they’d seen any riders but they were going to fast and didn’t care about my problems.
And then there I was again at the same damn trail I’d been on twice already. I hadn’t even gone past the start/finish area. I was simply finding a way to do loop after loop in the trees without getting anywhere! That was it, I’d had just about enough.
I went a little farther and stopped at a trail marker. Would you believe I was on a trail called ‘Eternal Loop.’ I’m not even kidding! How perfect is that?! It was actually enough to put an awkward smile on my face. I’ve done enough silly things in my day to realize when a future story was unfolding right before my eyes, and this was yet another.
Sometimes it’s not the actual results in the record books that count. Nobody would care if I got 12th overall in the Elite class. Who cares about that? Not even me!
So, I kept going and managed to hit a section that I recognized and pedaled on. OK, good, I was in a new section and felt like I may be on the way out to complete my first of 4 laps. Wrong! In I went again!
I had completely lost interest in this ‘race’ and now just wanted to go home. My first mountain bike race in a very long time wasn’t going well, to say the very least, but I was still smiling.
I saw some more riders and jumped in behind them. We headed a different direction, so I was feeling confident I was on the was home.
Finally, I popped out of the woods and across one of the ski runs and actually knew where I was. As I neared the start/finish area, I saw Emily waiting with a concerned look on her face and rode up to her. She said she missed my first two laps and was unable to get a photo of me going by. I HAVEN’T GONE BY!
I told her my story and then slowly rode over to the score keepers’ table, gave them my number and said I was out.
I felt a little better when a father who was waiting for his kids to finish heard my story and told me he’d done almost the exact same thing the week before. The only thing that makes you feel better at a time like this is learning someone else had screwed up as badly as you. Misery loves company.
So, off I went with my tail between my legs. The race had been a disaster. I didn’t even ‘officially’ complete 1 of the 4 laps! But like I said, I wouldn’t even be telling this story if I’d ridden the right trail and finished 12th overall. Nobody would care about that, including me! At least this ridiculous story gave me something to talk and write about, and when you think about it, isn’t that all we’re really after?
I’ll be back, Boler Mountain…oh yes, I’ll be back…
Thanks for reading. We’re off to celebrate the grand opening of the new Canadian headquarters of KTM in Montreal this week. It should be a fun couple days of cycling, moto-ing, and eating. Could someone leave me a very well-marked trail of bread crumbs, please?
Have a great week, and we’ll see you at the MMRS/AMO Madoc National this weekend!