This last weekend I took an opportunity to ride a different series than my usual Offroad Ontario series. World Enduro Canada, the people behind the national off road series which starts next weekend in Vernon, BC, paired up with the Lee family, owners of the famous Walton Raceway, and put on a fabulous 2 moto style cross country. It was Round 4 of the Wiesner Insurance Ontario Cross Country series, presented by Apex Cycle. It was offered in their new format, with two 1 hour motos.
The track was dusty, but otherwise pretty nice. Not overly technical, but with enough obstacles to make things interesting.
The gate start went off without a hitch and I was happy not to have to worry about my less than awesome dead engine starts (Hello -45 second start in Mansfield, I still remember you!). I went into the first corner and the dust... It was like a wall!
I soldiered on, never the less, hitting the logs with not much skill but lots of enthusiasm, same goes with the tires. I was doing great until I got back out on the motocross track.
Walton is an amazing track, I want to say that right here and now, but the step off... I wonder what the logic was sending beginner off road riders off the step off without warning? I might have been the most profane person who crashed, but I wasn’t the only person who ate it coming off the unexpected drop off.
I had never rode a track with a drop off, and when I crested I wasn’t quite sure what it was until my front tire hit nothing and I started going forward. Apparently, it wasn’t big enough to do a front flip off, but I tried! I ended up underneath my little 125 thinking for a second how glad I am that the bike weighs just over 200 lbs. I got the bike off me, swore like a sailor and expressed some emotions, but got back on the bike and finished my moto.
I did another five laps and when my hour was done I pulled off. My hands and wrists were about as sore as they usually are, but it was my leg that was giving me the most problem. I had two big bruises, one up on my thigh that was Charlie horsing me every time I shifted from a standing to a seated position, and forget crouching! The second is on my knee, pretty much the whole way around on the top, and where my knee pads had dug in and rubbed the skin raw during my crash the sweat was burning. It was quite unpleasant.
I made the decision not to go out for my second moto; my leg was really concerning me and I’m not one to risk making a bad situation worse for the sake of a position.
In times like this I like to think of the upsides. Did I have fun? Yes. Did I do some things I didn’t think I could do? Eventually, yes (including that step off!). Did it make me a better rider? Maybe. Am I sore this morning? Very, but nothing that time can’t heal.
I have to extend a huge thank you to Mission Cycle/KTM’s Kevin Cockayne for bringing me and my bike to the race, to his dad for helping out in the pits, for Trevor, Sean, Stephen and Virginia for organizing a great event (and doing some awesome time keeping too!) and the Lees for letting us use their facility. Injuries and all, I had an amazing time. As always, the biggest thank you goes out to B; this was the first time I raced without him and it was a little weird.
I’d also like to thank Alex Franklin for helping me get my bike back up when I was face first in the dirt. You tried to warn me, I just didn’t get the message!