The Beauty of a True Mud Race

Well, with all the mud races we have experienced this first half of the FTR Harescramble season, 5 if you want to count the thunderstorm that rolled in late at Maxville, I figured I’d write what these mud races mean to me.

In a normal 15 race season we might see two or three mud races which usually makes them pretty fun as they add some challenge to the fairly simple tracks we are provided. To me the mud separates the men from the boys. Those of you who get your money back after practice or do one lap and pull off, yeah you’re the boys. Mudders are what off-road racing is all about, dealing with the elements and the changing track conditions.

Charles Mann finds himself a deep rut at the OSDR race

Charles Mann finds himself a deep rut at the OSDR race PC: Lacey Nordle

Mud races are very exciting because as we all know mud is the great equalizer. I myself have always ridden good in the mud and have had some of my most memorable races in the mud. Heck! I got my first win in almost four years two weeks ago at Samsula! Although I have had great success in the mud it has also bitten me in the ass a few times. It is definitely a love hate relationship, especially when your bike is stuck in a mud rut four feet deep for three laps, that is when I hate it. When I’m pinned sliding from side to side trying to make it through a 100 foot long mud bog and finally make it through, man I love that feeling.

Eric Berard's brakes took a hit this past weekend

Eric Berard’s brakes took a hit this past weekend PC: Eric Berard

Although mud races are good fun they sure do tear up our equipment. You can almost be guaranteed to be buying new brake pads, new chain, new sprockets, and some new clean gear after a good mudder. This can add up to be quite expensive and when you have three mudders in a row it really begins to add up. Your machine is also at risk to water damage and some bent up parts after you lose the front wheel in some slick muck or standing water.

Unfortunately the tough as nails dirt bike riders we once were seem to be taken over by some manicure getting wusses. Okay maybe not that far but it seems like every time we get a little rain here in the “sunshine state” people are quick to jump the gun on canceling an event or some keyboard warriors bitching and moaning about the track conditions being a little soupy. I mean come on guys! We are off road dirt bike racers not MLS soccer players who won’t play a game if the opposing team has the wrong colored socks on. Back in my day (around 1997) when my dad was a quad rider and I was just a young parking lot ripper on my JR 50 they used to put on races that were outright gnarly! I remember seeing riders out there with at least 100lbs of mud, eyes black and swollen from all the dirt, and some beat up bikes and no complaints. That is what FTR was about and unfortunately we are turning in the wrong direction. FTR tries too hard to cater to everyone, hence the 100+ classes or whatever we got, thus making the tracks too easy and simple because one Master C rider can’t make it over a log. Luckily for you readers this is about mudders and I won’t make you read my rants on that subject.

Luke Parsons doesn't mind a little water PC: Lacey Nordle

Luke Parsons doesn’t mind a little water PC: Lacey Nordle

Mudders are great for the spectators as well. This past Sunday was the first time I spectated a Sunday PM race since I graduated from the Junior ranks in 08. I’ll tell you what I had a great time watching the best riders in the state get all squirrely in the muck. I couldn’t imagine what someone who doesn’t race thought about all the carnage! It shows off a little glimpse of what we off-road racers used to be, badass SOB’s who didn’t care about getting a little muddy.

All in all mud races are the wild card of the off-road racing world and are fun for everyone. Although they wreck your machine and make you take an extra hour or so to clean up the equipment they are truly a great thing for everyone, except maybe the landowner but he’s got a fat 10 grand in his pocket so his complaints are irrelevant (just kidding, we appreciate each landowner very much, without you guys FTR wouldn’t exist). With a couple of sandy races on the way we might get that break from the mudders that everyone is hoping for. If not, oh well we can make the best of it and go out there and challenge ourselves and get back to the roots of the badass MoFo’s before us.

BRAAAPP!!

Thanks for reading,

Kurt Lucas

 

Race Report: Maxville Hare Scramble

Round 1 is officially in the books as the FTR Hare Scramble season kicked off just outside of Jacksonville two weeks ago. This was the first time in a couple seasons that FTR was able to get a race off in August and man was it hot! Temperatures were in the triple digits and  were up to 115 degrees with the heat index! Luckily for the majority of the weekend there was at least a little breeze so it could have been much worse. The track received mixed reviews and I personally was a little disappointed with it. Last years course was one of the better courses of the series and this year it just lacked the flow it had in 2013. Now, I am in no way bashing the club but when you box-blade over the same track it doesn’t make it a new trail. Sure it was smooth at the beginning but over a couple laps time those old bumps and whoops come back from underneath the fresh layer. I understand that box-blading a track is no easy task and that the club may or may not of had any land to work with so to put the blame on a bunch of hard-working volunteers is just not right. Overall, I give this track a 5 which easily could have been a 7 if they had some rain prior to the event, again not the clubs fault.

Speaking of rain, the Sunday 1pm race was cut short due to rain and lightning. I was out there when it started coming down and it reminded me a lot of the “Dade City Twister” two seasons ago. Now the wind never got that bad but it sure did feel good to being hot and sweaty in the 100 degree heat to being cooled off by some cold rain. I was surprised the track went to mush so quickly as it was fairly dry at the beginning. The A riders were able to get in three solid laps while everyone else was able to get in two. With the distance and weather being so hot I was surprised to see the amount of riders that showed up, the Sunday 1pm race had 103 riders which was more than most of the races last season.

Lets take a look at some results worth mentioning.

Peewee

The Peewee A class was relatively big with six riders. Raymond Coburn took home the win with Dawson Baker and Camren Mason rounded out the top three. The Peewee B victory went to Gunner Williams with Trace Kopka, Jack Sessions,Mika Lonsdale, and Caden Johnston filling up the top five. Who would of thought that the Peewee C class would be the smallest out of the peewee classes? With only three riders Marco Mayorga would take the win with Ryder Willis just edging out Navaeh Grzech for second. As for the PW Quads Dylan Terango would take the Super PW Quad A victory followed by a close battle for second between Ryan Cain and Cole Tucker. Sebastian Salgado took home the win in Super PW Quad B with yet another close race happening behind him for second between Patrick Rank and Dylan Doyle with Rank edging out Doyle by just one second. The Quad PW A class victory would go to Mika Lonsdale, who actually placed fourth in Peewee B about an hour before, followed by Austin Bartlett, Talon Hunter, and Adam Rumisek. Lastly, Maddix Cody would win the Quad PW B class followed by Callie Kessler and Avery Collins

12:15 Mini (39 Riders)

– With Jesse Ansley moving up to the Junior Class the door was left wide open for the Mini A class championship. Jack Chambers, the new title favorite, was able to take home the first win of the year by almost five minutes! Jonathan Fitzgerald finished second overall and Bobby Munro finished third overall from the Mini B class.

– Heart break for Julia Cone as she was leading the entire Mini B race and was well on her way to her first Mini B victory when there was a little miscommunication in the pits as to how big her lead was. A more relaxed pit stop by Julia allowed for a hard charging Bobby Munro to close the gap and make the pass, Bobby was moving as he had the second fastest fourth lap out of everybody and ended up finishing third overall.

– Logan Stewart was the top C rider finishing up seventh overall.

– The top 65 rider was Dennis Riggs from the 65 B class, he finished 15th overall.

– The top girl rider was Julia Cone. Julia finished up fifth overall!

– I have to give huge props to Lexi Cone who finished her first race on the big track! She completed two laps and finished 32nd overall!

2:00 Evo/Junior (74 Riders)

– Jesse Ansley would take his winning ways up to the Junior class, he finished three minutes ahead of second overall and almost four minutes ahead of second place in Junior A. Clay Lyons would claim second overall coming from the Pre-modern line and Jordan Leftwich would finish just behind Lyons for third overall.

-Former AA rider Daniel Ingraham was holding down the overall lead up until lap three when he pulled off.

– The top B rider would go to Junior B’s Jake Alsup, Jake finished over five minutes ahead of a three rider battle for third consisting of Beau Smith, Anthony DePietto, and Jack Langford. Jake would also finish fifth overall.

– The local boy Cameron Beebe had an excellent ride finishing up sixth overall from the C class!

– Jerry Curtis was the fastest man on an Evo bike as he finished 9th overall.

– The top girl rider was Emma Chambers aboard her KTM 105. Emma would finish 19th overall.

– I just want to add that Evo B rider Walt DePietto made his comeback race in Maxville. Walt told me before the race that this was a make or break race for him as he was toying with the idea of retiring. Although Walt finished 2 out of 2 and 46th overall he had this to say after his race “I cant quit, I’m addicted even though I suck I just love it.”

Quads (77 Riders)

Unfortunately with the rain coming down i didn’t get to really watch the quads so I will just go off of results here.

– Cody Ellison grabbed yet another overall and he is starting to become the Garret Edmisten of the quads. With some support and a more reliable quad Cody could very well be mixing it up in the Xc2 ranks in the GNCC series. Quad A riders Domingo Fuentes and Jacob Catterton would finish up second and third overall.

– Quad Super Senior rider Brian Green had an excellent ride finishing up sixth overall! Pretty good for a guy who is quite a bit older than the riders who finished around him.

– Your new FTR referee Dan Aitken finished up eighth overall from the Quad Vet line and Kenneth Brening would finish up right behind Dan from the Quad Senior line.

– Kayla Vawter was the top Women’s rider, she finished up 29th overall.

Sunday AM (176 Riders)

– Scott Palmieri was the Sun AM overall winner, this was Scott’s first race back in over a year! Eric Berard and Craig Wilder rounded out the top three overall.

– Robin Frey made his comeback to racing and no better way to do it than to absolutely crush the new Silver Master A class (55+) and finish up fourth overall!

– Deborah Broderick was the top women’s rider as she finished up 27th overall! It wasn’t easy however, Ashlee Applewhite put up a strong fight finishing less than a minute behind.

– Gates Pelletier would win the Class of 66  but what is even more impressive is that Gates finished in the top 1/4 of the field with a 43rd overall! Way to go Gates!

– The top B rider was Darin Golden finishing up 18th overall. Chad Holman and Brandon Sharff were the next two B riders finishing 24th and 25th overall.

– The top C rider was Vet C rider Bryan Riley in 42nd overall. he was closely followed by Daniel Wallace(44th)  and Robin Fiore(45th).

Sunday PM (103 Riders)

Well Garrett Edmisten’s hopes for another undefeated season ended quickly on Sunday. Matt Boni was able to dethrone the eight time AA champ for a race. I can’t remember the last time Garrett lost to an FTR regular but I know it has been quite awhile. I talked to Garrett after the race and all he told me was how much he hates to lose. Now GE217 was aboard his KX 250 so that is an excuse for people to make on to why he lost, but here is why you can’t buy into that. Garrett finished eighth place at the Mud Muckers GNCC on that thing and it wasn’t even running good. Matt was pumped on his win and he shared a few words with me after the race, “I’m pumped to not only get a KOW win but to also beat Garrett… he is an extremely good rider and has been racing the woods his whole life.” Matt also stated “He is a bad dude and I’ve learned a lot by following him last year, it’s a long series and hopefully we can both make each other work hard to get wins.”

– Travis Hullfish and Palmer Lynch both made their returns to racing this weekend and finished up third and fourth overall respectively.

– Top amateur was former AA rider Clay Lyons. Clay Lyons was racing the new 30+ class which consisted of five fast dudes. Expect this class to be one of the faster ones this year. Clay finished up fifth overall.

– Dylan Rash, Marty Hickey Jr. and Ben Parsons were next in line for top amateur.

– Landon Lynn made his A class debut and just missed out on the A 250 win by 30 seconds.

– Bryce Koster was the top B rider, he finished 21st overall. Behind him were two B Open rider Fernando Davila and Clark Myers, they finished 25th and 26th overall.

– Two girls raced the PM race, Lacey Nordle (B 250) and Alyssa Meisczcenski (C 200). Lacey finished up 10th in B 250 and 54th overall while Alyssa won her class and finished 58th overall.

– Charles Mann was the top C rider finishing up in 50th overall. He was followed by Ferando Ferrerya(56 OA) and Daniel Perez(57 OA).

That’s all I have for this week, I hope to see everyone at Gatorback. Feel free to email me at floridadirtbike@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

A Battle Between Buddies: Junior B at the Maxville HS.

This past saturday at round one of the 2014-2015 FTR Harescramble series Jake Alsup took home the Junior B win by over five minutes. The real battle was happening behind him as Beau Smith, Anthony Depietto, and Jack Langford battled for the number two spot. Beau, Anthony, and Jack are not only competitors but good buddies off the track. The three are all a part of the Palm Beach Track and Trail Riders club and Beau and Jack even attend the same school. While battling with your buddies is fun, it also turns out to be very competitive. Nobody likes to lose but losing to your friend makes it even worse. Jack held second place until the last lap when he admitted to hitting a wall and suffering from a leg cramp. Anthony was right behind Jack until about midway when he started to fade, Beau was the benefactor in all this as he held his pace and was able to take home second place. Let’s hear from the riders.

Beau Smith, Junior B 2nd Place 

Photo Courtesy of FTR Race Pics/Tyler Miller

Photo by FTR Race Pics/Tyler Miller

FLDB: How’d your weekend go Beau?

BS: Pretty good overall practice went really good, I was still braking in my motor so I was taking it really easy checking out lines and stuff. When the time came to go to the line it was extremely hot, hottest race I’ve ever raced in. On the start I missed my kicker so I was really far back in the pack for about a lap then most of the people in my class dropped like flies. This race really tested your physical ability and endurance and the work that I put in finally paid off when I got a second place. I was pretty happy with my finish but i know i could have rode a little better, but that’s all in my head.

FLDB: For awhile it was Jack, Anthony, and then yourself running 2-3-4. You guys were all pushing each other, how was that riding with your friends?

BS: It’s always fun having that competition with your friends, it makes the race even more fun. I am super excited to race them in the upcoming season. 

FLDB: You guys all looked good but then the heat really set in. Anthony told me that he was exhausted and Jack start dot cramp up. You kept going strong and ended up in second place. You must have done your work over summer. 

BS: Yeah I’ve been doing a lot of road cycling and watching what I eat. I am starting to get more serious about racing.

FLDB: That is good to hear and it seems like it paid off. You mentioned the heat being a huge factor. The hottest it got on Saturday was 117 degrees with the heat index. When you get into the triple digits it starts to become very dangerous for the riders. Do you think FTR should look into starting the season a month or two later to avoid the heat?

BS: I think it would be more enjoyable for the guys who are out there to just ride and have fun. In a way it’s fun for me because it tests who’s been training and who’s been lazy. A lot of people think they can sit on the couch all week and expect to come out and run for almost two hours but that is not the case. In the heat you can tell who wants it more.

FLDB: That is very true. Who would you like to thank?

BS: I’d like to thank my parents for everything they do for me. Without them none of this would be possible and I would be nowhere without them. I have to give a big shootout to the Rash family, they have taught me a lot about motocross and help me out in any way possible. Palmetto Motorsports, Smith Optics, MSR. Stoked Entertainment, and Floridadirtbike.net thank you as well. 

FLDB: Thank you for your time and good luck to you for the rest of the season. 

BS: Thank you.

Anthony DePietto, 3rd Place Junior B   

Photo by FTR Race Pics/Tyler Miller

Photo by FTR Race Pics/Tyler Miller

FLDB: How did your race go Anthony?

AD: I did a lot better than I originally thought. The heat was a real problem after the first lap for me, after that I just tried to keep it on two wheels and finish. I ended up third, a lot better than i thought I thought I was going to do. Now I know what I need to work on and put in some hard training for the next rounds. 

FLDB: For a while it was Jack, yourself, and Beau running 2-3-4. How was it being up front with your buds?

AD: It was definitely fun! After a couple laps we began to space out from each other and it became a race against myself.

FLDB: I bet that keeps you pushing when you see your friend trying to get around you.

AD: For sure, nobody wants to get beat by their friend.

FLDB: I noticed you weren’t running some type of hydration system, what was the deal with that?

AD: I normally don’t run a camelback, I haven’t in a while. It definitely cost me this race, I regret not wearing one. I’m definitely going to use it at the warmer races now.

FLDB: So you have a top 3 under your belt now. What is the goal for the rest of the year?

AD: My goal is to stay healthy and keep getting solid finishes all year. I haven’t had a nice consistent season in a long time. 

FLDB: Well Anthony who would you like to thank?

AD: Obviously I want to thank my mom and dad for everything they do for me to race another year. I also want to thank Beau and Jack for the competition, I couldn’t ask for better competitors. 

FLDB: Thank you for your time!

Jack Langford, 8th Place Junior B  

Photo by FTR Race Pics/Tyler Miller

Photo by FTR Race Pics/Tyler Miller

FLDB: How was your weekend Jack?

JL: My weekend was good, my race was not so good however. I overheated and was unable to finish my last two laps.

FLDB: You were riding great, you started to get a little gap on Anthony and Beau and you looked strong. That heat was insane however, you pulled off with a leg cramp correct?

JL: Yeah my cramps were really bad and they would not go away. I wasn’t fit enough for the heat to be honest but it was a good thing because now I know I have the speed to be up front I just need to do some more cardio to better my stamina so this doesn’t happen again. 

FLDB: How was it riding with Anthony and Beau?

JL: It’s always fun to battle with them because we are all good riders and we ride together all the time.

FLDB: I have to ask this one question. The rider who won Junior B, Jake, he put a solid gap on you guys. Now last year you all seemed to beat him pretty regularly but he seemed super fast and smooth. Why do you think he did so good.

JL: He must have put in his work over summer, you can’t just get that fast overnight. 

FLDB: Definitely, who would you like to thank Jack?

JL: I would like to thank my parents for always having my bike ready, driving me to the races and just giving me the opportunity to race. I have to thank FTR as well for all the hard work they do in order for us to have the opportunity to race. 

FLDB: Thank you for your time.

 

 

Track Review: Miami MX Park

miami mx

http://www.miamimxpark.com

Kurt Lucas Skill Level – Intermediate

Located just a few miles west of the Florida Turnpike in Hialeah, FL Miami MX Park lies in the heart of South Florida. The track was built at an old campground thus providing the track with a unique layout. Lap times range from a 1:00-1:30 for the average rider as the track is very fast. The course is filled with small to medium size doubles as well as table tops which makes the course very beginner friendly. The course has some good size triples for the more advanced riders as well. The dirt is very hard packed which makes for slippery corners and jumps with some kickers. However, the track crew does an awesome job keeping some moisture in the corners which allows for some wicked ruts to form. There is also a peewee track on the property for the little ones as well as a

The wet dirt allows for some sweet ruts to form.

The wet dirt allows for some sweet ruts to form.

concrete building which allows spectators to see the entire track. – Kurt Lucas

Brandon Cunningham Skill Level – Intermediate

 

Miami MX Park is one of the few tracks in South Florida, if you count Okeechobee as “South Florida.” The track flows quite nicely with the help of many diverse sections including doubles, triples, table tops, and whoop sections. However the typical South Florida weather is very influential as rain could make this track very slippery. That doesn’t stop many people from all over to ride and even race at Miami MX Park. - Brandon Cunningham

Johnny Marinos Skill Level – Advanced

I personally love Miami MX, I like tracks that are tight and flow nice which is exactly what Miami is. It is also safe for all different types of riders which is great. Some people don’t like it for various reasons, such as the dust getting pretty bad but that’s part of the sport in my opinion. Also, the track owner and people around the track are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, great

Miami MX has a very unique track layout.

Miami MX has a very unique track layout.

place. - Johnny Marinos

OVERALL TRACK RATING – 7.33

KL – 7

BC – 7

JM – 8

OA = 22/3 = 7.33