Honey Lake WORCS

angry jim

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Aug 4, 2000
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#1
For the 6th consecutive weekend, it was road trip time. After almost deciding not to go, Kelly and I loaded up late friday afternoon and headed out to Reno. We were lucky enough to get to stay at a friends house in Reno for the night. We woke up before the sun and enjoyed an awesome home cooked breakfast, and hit the road for 55 more miles to Honey Lake in northeastern California.

We arrived at the track about 7:30 am. My race was at 10:30, but we had never done one of these races and we wanted to have plenty of time, just in case. We unloaded the bikes and I wanted to start my bike and check everything before sighning up. Right away I new my bike was not cooperating. I didn't have time to go through my bike and check everything out after last weekend. The motor would not fire. I had a feeling that the carb vent hoses were plugged. Sure enough. I fired her up, but she died right away. After a few more tries, it was time to look at the carb. Sadly, dirt had entered the carb and was causing problems. I cleaned it out with carb cleaner and put everything back together. It instantly fired and sounded better. I rode around a little and decided it was good enough, even though it would bog a little down low and almost die when I chopped the throttle.

Sighn up was a breeze. The WORCS people were helpful and well informed and nice. The easiest sign up ever!

On my way back to the truck, I ran into Kelly Yancy. I had raced in a race with her the previous weekend, so we talked about that and bikes etc. She was very nice and she can really ride a motorcycle! She finished 3rd in the pro-womens class.

After checking out a little bit of the track, it was time to line em up. I entered the 30+ intermediate class and I knew I'd be giving up some horsepower. The track is AWESOME. The dirt is a deep sand based dirt that holds water well. They did a great job watering most of the 3+ mile lap. The start was live engine, but you had to be off the right hand side of the bike with both feet on the ground. The starter waves the green flag and you go. I started in the 4th of 5 rows, behind all the pros and experts. I jumped on the bike and gunned it up the LONG uphill lefthander. I got beat to the first hard right hander by EVERY bike in my class :o . I had no idea how the track was laid out and I struggled the whole first lap, passing only 1 guy. The track is built into the side of a mountain. It has small jumps and drop offs and HUGE hills. After doing about 1/3 of the track, they spit you out into a steep, rocky downhill creek bed. Very technical. A good place to mess up your whole day! After that, it was through about a mile of rocky trail through sage brush and then back onto the track and up a big sandy hill with a switchback in it near the top. At the top, you're now 400ft higher, overlooking a huge dry lakebed, Honey Lake! What goes up must come down! And all at once I might add. 4th gear, pick a rut and slow down a little before hitting a camelback jump 1/4 of the way down. Then, it's on the brakes HARD in a desperate attempt to make the ensuing right hander. You continue on the track, slightly downhill through a series of S's, across a narrow wash and then back onto the start straightaway. One lap, nowhere to rest.

My bike was still not quite right on the first lap, but quickly cleaned up and became it's old self. I began to pass a few bikes here and there and was having a blast. I would loose ground on the hills, but make it up everywhere else. I pulled away slowly from the bikes I had passed and then recognized a rider in my class ahead of me. I caught right up to him, but he saw me and picked up his pace considerably. The next 2 laps was maybe the most fun I've ever had in a race. I could not get by, even though I had shown him my front wheel several times. Finally, I drove in deep into a corner and railed the outside and made the pass just before the rocky creekbed. I had no idea what place I was in, but I knew I was passing a lot of people. I didn't see anyone in front, and I made the mistake of putting it on cruise control. In the meantime, TY Davis and some of the other fast guys were coming around to lap me. I'll be darned if I'm going to get in the way of a guy making his living, so I pulled over to let some fast guys by and the guy I had spent all that time getting by snuck right on through and I didn't even realize it. Then after jumping back in the mix, I spot him ahead of me by 2 bikes. WTF! I hammered it and caught him with about 1/2 a lap to go. I only had a short section of MX track to make my move. I had 1 opening where I could have made a rude pass, but I know the guy and I wouldn't stuff someone at the level I race at. He crossed the line a bike length ahead of me. After the race he actually apologized for passing me like that. I told him I would have done the exact same thing and probably laughed at him to boot! I felt stupid, but it was so fun anyway that it still doesn't bother me to bad.

As it turned out, that incident cost me 2nd place, but I would have been happy with a top 5 since it was a motocrossers advantage. Ty Davis lapped me twice in the one hour race and won the 30+ pro class with ease. My friend Kelly had a race almost identical to mine and came away with 3rd in the 4 stroke class on the big 520. Our race times were within a minute of one another.

These races are very well run. Everything went off as scheduled and the track prep was very good. It's a great place to get some pointers from factory riders and mechanics. The prizes are great for even us ametuers, as I recieved over $100 worth of loot!

At the end of the day, we shot the breeze with some fellow D-36ers. Craig Wesner won the 250 PRO class :worship: over a very fast crowd. Patrick Garrahan came over and talked with us for about an hour about all kinds of stuff and had us laughing with many cool stories as he was off to Brazil with his bro for the ISDE monday morning. Another long trip, but with great times and memories for years to come. Priceless!
 

thumbs

Tony 'da Rat
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Oct 16, 2000
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#3
I was supposed to go up for that race (last race for the west) but it was just to far of a drive especially since i'm in something like 30th place (at best) in my class.

They definitely do put on a great event. Always very well organized and the nicest people working the races.

Great report Jim.

See ya in Reno.
 

zio

Mr. Atlas
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Jul 28, 2000
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#4
After consulting with angyjim about the start, I thought the best line was to the outside at turn 1. Turns out he said only do that if I got a bad start and had to go around the bottleneck. I got the holeshot on the mighty 520, but then screwed it all up by going to the outside. The result: dead last after the first corner. I then put on a charge and was up to 3rd or 4th by the next lap. The course was awesome, but started missing the old 300 2stroke in some sections. I was'nt feeling on my game at all, but did all right finishing 3rd and missing 2nd by only a couple of seconds. I will definetly be back to honey lake.

(LOGGED IN AS ZIO, BUT THIS IS KELLY REPORTING!)
 
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#5
Good report, Jim...sounds like a lot of fun. I'm always interested in reading race reports on the West Coast events because I'm from Illinois and never get an opportunity to do those races. Just curious, you mentioned getting pulled at Honey Lake on the faster sections and uphills...what are you riding? Thanks again for posting the report.
 

dirt bike dave

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May 3, 2000
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#6
Bob,

Jim rides an '03 kTm 200 exc.  I also look forward to his reports - hope to hear about last weeks Hare Scramble soon.

Below is a link to the Honey Lake home page with some pics and some info about the hills. 

http://www.honeylakemx.com/