Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ECHO BLOG, Echo Blog, echo blog...

I spent both days last weekend down at The Rideout families Echo Valley MX near Poole, KY. Echo Valley has been around just about as long as we've been in motocross which is going on ten years now, and over the years they have hosted several Loretta Lynn's area qualifiers. 2009 was the first year they haven't held races and they also lost their qualifier. In big time amateur racing, moto politics play into certain decisions, and unfortunately Echo was left holding the bag this year.

I hate the fact they haven't raced this year, but it has also brought the track to life as a damn good practice facility now. Somewhere along the lines, Echo Valley have dropped having quads practice and it has created a wonderful scenario for the bike enthusiast. The soil, when groomed like it normally is, ruts up very nicely and stays super rough the entire day. Very little prep has to be done during practice days, which in turn means less maintenance, fuel costs, and machine repairs.

Granted, it sucks for the quad guys, but you you can hardly blame a guy for a smart business decision.

Of course, this is just an opinion, and I'm not attempting to start the ol' quad vs. bike debate that has become so popular every other month at the forums. Just, that as a bike family it's great for us.

Anyway Saturday was especially nice and I hadn't realized the amount of rain they received in the Henderson area. I expected another good turn out and was met with just one other rider.

Jacob Durbin came down an introduced himself and spent quite a bit of time talking with us that day. He said he'd only been into motocross about three years, but rides quite well, especially for being so tall. I had to tell Kody who Mike "Too Tall" Bell was, so it was a moto history lesson as well that day!

Just the two of them riding gave me a chance to monkey around with taking shots in manual mode. I mean monkey, too. lot's of trial and error, but eventually I got some of the best pics I've taken in a long time. Granted, I'm no Buckley or Scavo yet, but I'm learning!

The Saturday pics can be seen here.

Sunday had the normal decent crowd and the track was in much better shape. It had dried out and Kenny had disked it up and was developing ruts quite quickly. I took well over 300 pictures on Sunday and most turned out pretty good.
The Sunday pics are located here.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Big Stripper Blog

Nah, Ol' Hamer hasn't gone off the deep end and ventured off to some "gentleman's clubs", The Big Stripper is the LA Dirtriders round of the Mid South Hare Scrambles Series held last weekend in Lynnville Indiana.

I arrived just after Noon on Saturday with intentions of helping out my friends. As it turned out, most everyone had their machines ready to rock, but I did get to help on a grip replacement early Sunday. Most of Saturday was just spent cruising around with Butch Bradley, visiting with friends and having a few "golden yummies"! Also got to hang with my old buddy Brian Belwood, from the old days of motocross. Brian always brings a certain flair to the camp outs!

Sunday's action started early for the little guys. First off were the Junior A and Junior B classes. Brandon Gourley took off like a scalded cat and never looked back. He opened up quite a lead, but backed off some towards the end to conserve fuel.

Junior B started shortly behind the Junior A's and they were off running wild as well. Matthew Bell was among the riders in the Jr. B class, but the pictures I got of Matt were blurry as crap! Honestly, I wasn't expecting to see the Bell's and he came up on me pretty quickly and I almost missed him. Brandon won the Junior A class, Matthew finished 3rd in Junior B.

Next up were the mini classes. Brett Gourley was aboard the KTM 65 and like bigger brother Brandon, was hauling butt in the woods. All three of the Gourley boys do a lot off their training in the woods, and it's no surprise they are as fast in the woods as they are on a motocross track.

Big bikes were next, and it looked like they had several hundred riders ready to tackle the Lynnville trails. Cory Buttrick, #12 and Jordan Ashburn, #927 pretty much ran away from everyone else in the AA Pro classes. Buttrick was the eventual winner, with Ashburn second.

Scott Goodman has some helmet cam footage of an entire lap of the course over on youtube. In the 4th installment, you can actually see the Ashburn and Buttrick passing Scott, who by the way is an excellent woods rider, and checking out in just a few seconds. Pretty amazing footage by Scott.

Former SIMX team motocrossers #561 Broc Sims and KTM mounted Tanner Byarly were running Heavy A and Lites A respectively. Sims always gets a good start, and the Lynnville round was no exception. Unfortunately Sims, encountered a flat early into the race and had to settle for a 10th place finish. Tanner also got an awesome start and rode hard the entire race, finishing 3rd in his class and 9th overall for the entire event.

Both Broc and Tanner are as fast on a motocross track as they are in the woods. It was good to see these guys doing well at the "Big Stripper".

Competing almost side by side in the Lites B class was Broc Gourly, #32 and #57 Zach Greenwell. These guys were charging hard right from the start and were with in eye site of each other, 'til Zach got a flat tire as well, and ended his day about the 2nd lap of the race. Broc, on the other hand continued charging all the way to the class victory and a 22nd overall finish for the event.

Justin Brockman was competing in his second hare scramble ever. He ran in the Iuka round, which I have heard nothing good about, and was looking forward to better conditions and luck in Lynnville. Well. he got the conditions, but unfortunately the "luck" thing just wasn't to be. Justin had gotten stopped at a bottleneck and a rider's bike fell into his damaging a radiator. He managed to make it back to the pits, but the Ol' Kawi conked out on him there!

Other notables... Mark Guy, forum regular won the Super Senior A class, Koltin Ellis finished 22nd in 250C, Oakland City's own, Tyler Richeson finished 24th in 250C. Clay Butts finished 17th in Junior B and Chris Gibson had a 4th place in the Open B class.

More "Big Stripper" pics can be found here

Monday, November 9, 2009

Awesome November

Well at least for moto! My dad busted up his femur the other day and is going to be laid up for a while, but for motocross November has been pretty sweet so far.

Got an email from James Bell yesterday. He and Matthew traveled down to Mill Creek for the Fall Pro/Am event. James said the competition was pretty stiff with 20-25 riders in the 85 Sr. class. Kind of sad, anymore when you go to events here locally and have maybe 5 riders in any of the mini classes. Anyway Matthew finished 6/8 on the day!

Bryce Weger was in action up at Crossroads MX this weekend as well. Bryce finished 3rd overall Saturday in 85 Jr. and 4th overall on Sunday in the same class.

Ben "B-Money" Butler was also up at crossroads terrorizing the 50 classes. Ben finished 1st in 50 Open and 1st in 50 Sr. Ben is also the Track Champion in both the 50 Open and 50 Sr. classes and is also the 2009 Stateline Series Class Champion in the 50 Sr. class. Way to go Ben!
My man Jack Campbell participated down at Steve Ezell's 800 MX National Vet Race. Now Ol' Jack's far from a vet rider, but he did take home top honors in the Unlimited Class and also had a 3rd in the 15-24 Open class. No, Jack's not back on Yamaha's either! It's the quickest pic of #263 I could find!

Justin Brockman reported in with a win over at D-Tracks Winter National. Justin had scores of 1/1/3/1 in the 2-day, four moto event for the overall.

I also spent some time down at backwoods Saturday. The weather was awesome and there very several riders ripping it up. Dylan Cox was putting in several heated laps. Kody Hamer, Nick Waller, Jordan Penner and T-Unit were out trying to shake off the cob webs from a pretty slack summer schedule. Trent has been injured, Kody was footballing while Jordan and Nick enjoyed the life of a "working" man all summer. Good to see all those guys back out riding!

Hope the weather stays on our side for a little while longer!

More Backwoods pics can be found at moto-x-foto.com, or www.robin1grafix.com/nov2009_bw!