I purchased my first dirt bike back in January, a 1986 Honda XR250R. It’s a tank of a machine. We took a road trip to Colorado the first week of June, and I rode this bike all over the alpine loop. There’s a few videos already up on the YouTube channel from that trip, with more to follow. Check ’em out! Anyway, after returning home I was looking for opportunities to ride trails on this old XR. With the prompting from a coworker, I found out about a local cross country racing circuit, LACC, and decided to enter my first race, ever.
I figured that since I had just recently ridden the tough terrain in Colorado, that I’d be fine. I couldn’t have been more wrong. At the start of the race, I took off for the hole shot and I’m happy to say I wasn’t last, but shortly after clearing the field and entering the woods my front end nearly washed out and I stalled the bike. It took about 3-4 kicks to get going again, and in the mean time 4 of the 5 people I beat on the hole shot passed me up. It really didn’t matter though, because I soon after crashed for the first time. It took me about 4 minutes to get the bike started again. That’s a TON of time in a race. I continued on my way to have my handle bars caved to the side by clipping a tree. With this crash, it took me 45 minutes to restart the bike. To put this into perspective, this was a 90 minute race, and I lost half my time on this one crash. I finally got it going again and crashed a third time, to end my race. Neither I, nor the bike wanted to go anymore.
The clean up crew caught up to me after the checkered flag flew and towed my bike to a flat area where I was able to bump start it and ride in shame back to my trailer. All in all I rode for about 6 minutes and covered a little more than the first mile of the 8 mile loop. Featured below is my “race” video. You’ll see the 6 minutes of riding with crashes, followed by a montage of me trying to kick start the bike, then followed by lots of the riders that passed me by.
For a first race, I really didn’t know what to expect. I certainly expected to do better than I did, but couldn’t really come away angry or upset. I was laughing at myself actually. I met some wonderfully nice folks, and encountered the nicest people, all asking me if I was OK as they passed me by in the woods…
If you ever have the chance… Go race!