|North Bryson 2001|
Do I need to say mud? Or can I just say "the usual"? Some how or another, it has managed to rain prior to every race this season, & while that wouldn't normaly be all that bad, the rains that have come, have been pretty drastic rains. Get stuck on the way in, & get stuck during the race, & get stuck on the way out kinda rains. Bring in the bulldozer kinda rains. Such is the description of the race at North Bryson. And of course there were the injuries, lots of 'em. Some minor. Some not so minor.
About a week before this event I went up to Bryson to check out the course, & with the exception of a single fifteen foot wide two foot deep creek crossing, it seemed like it would be a great time. I thought I might even race this one myself. It would be my first race of the year, as I've spent the first two on "mud-hole duty". Hell, I thought I might even win...OK well not win, but I would at least race. My scooter was all prepped. I had seen the track. I was feelin' good enough. But then it happened again, rain. And lots of it. Monkeybutt, who had spent Friday night there at the track, said it rained for hours on end during the night, & that he and the wife sat up & scanned the darkness for twisters. Great.
As a track supervisor, the first thing I do when I get there on Saturday, is make a lap of the track to familiarize myself with any potential problem areas. So, I unloaded the fourwheeler, loaded up the long knife, ribbon, pruning shears, & so on & headed out for a lap. I met another track super, Dave Allen, on the way to the start area & we took off to see what we could see. Sure it was wet. Very wet. But we race in what we're given right? Right. Dave got his Polaris stuck in the mud within a mile of the start. I got mine stuck a mile later. The fifteen foot wide, two foot deep creek crossing would have easily supported a small battleship. We tried to route around it, but we quickly found that even that was a mess within a minute or two of practice riders roostin through. So we decided to cut the whole section out. And as I had a little miscalculation on my track 'cutting outedness' during the noon race at Pittsburg, I figured I should measure the amount of track that Dave & I were considering before we made our move. So I ask Dave to go to the point that we were planning to rejoin the track after the cut, & I'd ride, & measure the distance of the cut on my fourwheeler. That lasted about forty five seconds before I was stuck again. On a fourwheeler no less! We finally figured it was only a hundred yards or so, made the appropriate markings & took off to the next section...which needed re-routing, as did the next, and the next. We eventually came to the conclusion that if we cut out the impassable areas, that we'd have a track about eight yards long. So after several hours we both headed in, hoping that natural drainage, & the blazing sun would dry it up enough for the following day's event. Oh wait a minute, the sun wasn't blazing at all, it was forty degrees outside, & about to get dark. Well, I've already missed two races, & I wasn't about to mess up my beautiful scooter in this mess, so the YZM didn't even come off the trailer...again. Plus, my fans need me.
To make a long story less long, the race went on as planned, & well you know...it was a mess but most of us survived.