Trail Rider Magazine

Trail Rider Magazine July, 2014 - Digital

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first time and holds the #12 HS plate. They all also partici- pate in select J Day Off Road events and run the GNCC event held in Unadilla, New York. With support from their families and sponsors, the plan was that this year would be a learning year and a time to see how well these three young New Englanders would stack up against the rest of the nation. The ISDE is run under FIM rules and this would be a time to learn about the format and nuances of ISDE racing. One aspect of the qualifiers is a technical inspection of the bike, marking of critical parts (ie motor case, hubs, swing arm, etc.) and impounding of bikes during all non-race time over the 2 day period. Racers have 10 minutes each morning imme- diately before the start of the race to work on their bikes and 15 minutes immediately after the race for mainte- nance and repair. Maintenance in these brief time win- dows includes changing air filters, brake pads, and tires. Ben, John and Josh showed everyone their speed and were great representatives of New England racing. Here are some of the highlights and happenings from their perspective. Ben Kelley: Rolling into the location of the race Friday morning I was amazed to see vast fields and rolling hills as far as the eye can see, along with a 3 mile, fresh cut grass track. After setting up camp and finishing some last minute bike work, it was time to sign up and impound the bike for the night. I was very excited to ride my first enduro, especially on trails with little to no rocks, which is hard to come by in New England. Day one started off as any other race day would. I began to get ready, going through my pre-race rit- uals. Soon after getting ready was a brief riders meeting, giving the riders a rundown on how the day would unfold. Sitting on my bike waiting for my minute I was a little nerv- ous, not knowing what to expect, but once I was off racing around the grass track in the first special test my nerves faded. The second special test was very interesting as I was ripped off my bike when a vine caught my neck. I quickly rebounded from the crash and finished off the test. Throughout the rest of the day I found myself laying on the ground a lot more than I should have been. After a long first day and a huge learning experience I was surprised to see how well I had done. I finished off the day 2nd in E2 and 4th overall. Looking forward to the next day I was hoping to finish off strong and keep the mistakes to a minimum.Day two started off the same as day one. I felt a lot more comfortable pushing the limits as the trails were burnt in from the previous day. Only one crash and about 120 miles later I had finished. I got off my bike tired and sore, but happy with my performance. At the end of day two the results stayed the same and I finished off the weekend 2nd in E2, 4th overall in LOI, and 5th overall for the race. John Kelley: I have always wanted to do a six days since I watched my dads old videos of the race. Doing this quali- fier I knew would be the first step to completing the goal racing in an ISDE. When we pulled into the field on Friday I was excited to get the morning going. When we arrived to our spot in the field we wheeled out the machines and quickly set up our camp for the weekend. After looking bikes over Ben, Josh and I, accompanied with our fathers, began the walk of the three mile grass track flowing up and down the hay fields of Ohio. When we finished the walk we went back to our trailer and noticed that more racers where arriving. After ripping around on my bike for few moments, I determined it would be ready for sign up and impound.The next day we all arrived rested and ready to go. We got our gear on and walked down to wait to be told to push our bikes out of impound. Then I waited for my number to flip to start my bike to get to the first test. I rode the first test and was excited for the day. Eight hours and seven tests later I noticed how fast and rock free the trails were and how much fun I was having. I fin- ished my day by using fifteen minutes to check my bike for the next day. After the check I put my bike into impound. Day two I got to the start feeling ready to race. I learned that the same track was going to be used and was excited because the track would be more worn in and easier to follow. The day started off the same and I was able to stay smooth and minimize my mistakes from yesterday. The trails were just as fun and my bike and pit crew worked July 2014 37 John Kelley

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