It’s been awhile since my last post. So let me take you back in time a bit.
Since completing the previous 24 hour Mini Moto race in August I caugt the little bike bug.
The TTR125 has gone through some motor mods, suspension upgrades and new tires. With the help of a friend of mine I slapped in a high comp weisco piston, BBR cam, and YZ85 front end (lowered 4″)
Flash forward a few months and I was jones’n for some more endurance racing.
I came across the UMRA racing organization down south in California, and just they happened to have a 5 hour endurance race at Grange, a track that “You must ride”
In steps Aaron:
We’ve been riding together out at the kart track in Stockton for a few months now. Our bromance is at an all time high. So, we signed up 6 days before the race, as per ghetto touring rules state: Everything must be last minute and janky. I adjusted the valves the night before and applied heat shielding to the bottom of the tank, cause race bike, bike prep complete.
We began our journey Saturday morning, both nursing mild hangovers (also, normal)
Stopped for gas somewhere along I-5 headed south from the Bay Area to LA:
When we decided to grab some grub, it was about the grubbing time hour. With only fast food around, we made the glorious decision to eat at Del Taco. Potato and Steak, get in my belly. Aaron munched on Fish Tacos, they didn’t include limes, the horror!!
The drive down south wasn’t too brutal. Good moto conversation and people watching for hours. No road trip is boring with SisterCousin.
Upon arriving in Apple Valley we needed to make one last stop to grab needed race items. Such as, but not limited to: Chips n Guac, dinner, breakfast, beer(lots of beer) some snacks etc. To Super Target! Away!! Well, Aaron got lost in said Super Target… I thought he died.
We finally arrived at the track around 6pm or so. Set up camp pretty quickly as it was getting dark rather fast. Also cold, very cold. Like, not prepared for the cold, cold. Aaron Eats went to work in the kitchen, delicious burgers and fries with all the sauces. This was the icing on the cake. No one else ate this good at the races, that’s for sure.
I drank my 5 Miller High Life’s, cause I’m fuck’n classy as fuck (and Super Target had no good beers worth buying) and went to bed. Aaron, I later learned, drank his 5 beers and a lot of Scotch, and went to bed.
This is when things started to get interesting. In my haste of setting up camp, and total ill-preparedness, I didn’t stake down my tent. Well, in the middle of the freezing cold night, the wind started whipping. You can only guess what happened next… The rain fly ripped half way off the tent, so I climbed out, re-attached and tried to go back to sleep. Which I did for a few minutes. Then the tent counted down and prepared for lift-off… I was the only thing left on the ground.
So with my genius intellect, I crawled out of the tent and took off the rain fly. With less resistance, the air should just blow through the tent and I can finally get to sleep! (It was then 4am) Well, it sure did whip through the tent, and it was colder than a dogs dick in a Wisconsin winter. But I got 2 hours of sleep before the 2-strokes started up at 6:30am.
When I fell asleep, there were only 10 or so racers present at Grange, after crawling out of the tent I awoke to this. A completely packed grid with a metric fuck ton of people, all ready to race mini’s! Glorious.
Soon there after, I wandered over to the grill area where Aaron was making coffee! Woo! I needed that so badly. He muttered something like “Get your mug. something something or antother coffee” So I picked up the mug, opened it up (thinking there was water in it from the night before) and poured it out on the ground. My eyes widened in horror, I just poured out COFFEE!?! It looked like Aaron was about to cry. I fucked up, major fuck up. Somehow, he forgave me and made me a new cup. I deserved castration. Aaron Eats then quickly got to work, still a but tipsy from the night before, but none the less made the best breakfast burritos I’ve ever had.
Compared to my previous mini race, this was a whole new world. Anything from stock NSR’s to fully race prepped CRF150R’s pushing 25HP. 65 2 strokes, 125 4 strokes, just to name a few. Which made for a totally awesome, and super intense racing experience. You couldn’t slack or day dream, had to keep it pinned the entire length of your stint, cause otherwise you was gonna get smashed. Did I mention that there were 30 bikes on the track at all times?! I had reached Valhalla.
Some pictures of Aaron rip’n around (white handguards)
Much to our surprise, our “modded” TTR was the least modded out of any other 125 4stroke present. There were three other TTR’s on the grid, all with either 12″ or 17″ wheels, which makes a massive difference compared to our stock steel wheeled 19/16 setup, as rotational weight is key with these mini’s. So we made it our mission to late brake and totally just fuck everyone’s corner entry. Yes, we are horrible people, no we don’t care about your feelings. It was totally awesome.
During the race the winds picked up to roughly 40mph (per Google weather) and it rained off and on a bit for the last 2 hours or so. Aaron had one little crash, and I had two crashes on my last stint. One being a really wicked high-side which rocked my dome.
It went something like this:
“Ohh man this is gettin’ hella greazy!”
*Insert TTR going to full lock and SisterCousin holding the throttle wide open*
“Ohhhhhhh I got this! I’m a flatrack pro!”
*Picture of sky and clouds*
*Back of head smashing into the ground*
“Uhhhhhhggggggggggggg gahhhhhhhh, what have I done!”
A few mins later I was back at it, in the moistness
Other than those few crashes, we had zero mishaps or mechanicals! Tons of “Oh shit, oh fuck!” moments, but that’s mini racing! If you ain’t sliding, you ain’t racing!!
We ended up finishing 4th, out of 4 in our class, which sounds horrible. But when you compare our lap results to that of our fellow TTR brethren who where on racing slicks (and rain slicks in the rain) and 12″ tires, being 3 laps down from third place is good enough for us. Actually, it is better than good enough, I’m pretty stoked. But since we didn’t podium we had to eat at Del Taco one more time. If we had podiumed, we would have eaten at Harris Ranch for a victory meal.
But this story does not end there, oh no! We still had to drive home 6+ hours after racing all day, with essentially no sleep. Which, usually is not a problem. But after driving for an hour and a half or so, some white stuff came whizzing down. Then all of the sudden it was a white out, snow covered ground, ice, zero traction. None of those things are good in a 2WD loaded down small pickup with two tired guys.
So we made the tough decision to get dinner and think about or options for the night. So off to defeat dinner we went, Del Taco round 2! We soon decided to get the last hotel room in town (somewhere up in the mountains) as Highway 58 had just closed due to a metric fuck ton of accidents and whiteout conditions. Which turned out to be a good choice, surely.
We awoke to this:
But a good portion of 58 was still closed and Cal Trans was clearing snow/cars still… So we made the great decision to drive a tiny mountain road with no guard rail to skeet skirt around the closed section of freeway. Hey, fuck off, at least it was daylight! It was “interesting” we crawled down the mountain.
Once out of the snow, it was smooth sailing home. I-5, was boring, but we chatted about late braking and slamming the door in peoples faces for hours. I am sure we are well loved by the UMRA folks now. “That gawd damn TTR fucks from NorCal, no respect!”
But it soon became that hour of hunger again. We saw a sign for Del Taco. We looked at each other, nodded, and submitted to the gut punishment one last time.