Ok, so Saturday didn’t have such a great start. At least we would be racing INDOORS! That’s a first. Went over to registration, then later brought the bike and support stuff (stand, tools, cooler, chairs). Have you ever wondered how these events are put on? Well, special dirt is brought in and laid out on the floor of an arena. Then it’s worked by small heavy equipment into flat tracks interlaced with jumps, whoops, table tops. Due to the compact nature of the floor, the tracks loop back and forth.
It’s not so bad, but your “pit” can be anywhere on the ground floor, as long as you can find a roughly 10′ x 10′ or larger space. We managed to tuck ourselves in against a concrete pillar and portable staging. WOW, we were now right in front of the bike race entrance. Talk about not having to go far. We even had a speaker there too! Not that we’d hear it with all the other noise. One thing that you can’t do, is fuel or start your machine inside this area. There’s no ventilation to handle that much exhaust or fuel fumes or worse….fuel fire. So this is done outside. WOW #2, we didn’t have to push the bike that far to get that done either!
Brian and Elijah have this “thing”. Most of the time, Elijah want’s Dad to help, and no one else. So, other than handing Brian tools, my time is spent watching schedules, watching kids to make sure they are around when their staging time is near, and trying to take photographs.
Did I mention that this was the first time inside an arena? Well, I decided that I should test my camera. Good thing! This one has no setting to adjust for the arena lights that just happen to be tungsten, so everything was green. Worse, the maximum “film” speed was 1600 and I didn’t bring my external flash. This meant that the racers would be blurry because there wasn’t enough “light” for the camera to properly “see” my subjects. I asked another photographer (one of those guys using the longggg lens setups) and he said he was using a “film” speed of 4000. OOPs, that puts this camera out of the class. And my other two were in for repairs/maintenance. Back to “old style” shooting. Both eyes open and try to track my subjects. It sort of worked. I got a few photos.
Elijah racing. Well, he was convinced that he couldn’t be his friend Stormy, but figured he could beat some of the others. Yep, took him a couple of races, but he moved from qualifying 8th to finishing 7th. Not bad, since the others in front of him were older. He still pushed them!
We watched the main event, then the little guys were up. Elijah managed to come up 5th this time! In front of a sell out crowd. Now he’s THRILLED! So Dad entered him in Sunday’s races. There he moved took 5th again, after having the bike slide out from under him in a corner and having to earn that spot back. The next race, he took advantage of another riders problems and easily moved into 3rd! Because he finished so well, he was invited to the next race, the finale, in Las Vegas. Too short of notice for school and budget, but NEXT YEAR!!
The rest of the day was the 5 hour drive home, with another side wind and construction delays. The kids didn’t want to, but they went to sleep and were sound asleep when we got to Kim’s. Unloaded everything, and I headed to Reno.
The motorhome averaged 8mpg overall. Could be better, could be worse. But it was FUN!!