My Luck

More than luck got me through the first harescramble of the FTR season this weekend in Pinetta, Florida – just south of the FL/GA state line in Madison County. I hit the road Saturday morning and arrived four hours later to a grassy field in the middle of nowhere, found myself a parking spot and set off to see who was there. I figured I’d be all alone and was fine with that, but once I found my lifelong friend Jonny Simpkins, it felt like home and I belonged again, even after all these years…The FTR President stopped by to welcome me back and wanted to know how my dad was; someone else asked, “Are we going to see anymore of What’s Hot, What’s Not?” and I laughed in memory of the good ol’ days – that was the article I used to write – it’d been a hit.

I spotted the orange KTM stand across the way on vendor’s row. Smiling, I waltzed right up to find Kirt Lynch from Atlantic Moto Sports. See, with a little help from my friend J-RO, Kirt had agreed to let me borrow a bike for the race – a KTM 200 in fact – and boy, was I excited! I hadn’t thrown my leg over a dirt bike in months – TEN months! It was hard to remember the last time I even raced a dirt bike, but an elephant never forgets…

A few FTR newbies couldn’t believe that I’d signed up in the Women A class, and I couldn’t believe that I picked #1 for my race number. I sure had a lot of things to remember for my big comeback: spandex, Vaseline, camelback, socks, goggles, gloves…oh, snap…I’d forgotten my underware gloves. I’ll just use duct tape, I thought about my hands, until I heard about the pack of under liner gloves from Home Depot – four bucks for twenty pairs – and I scored a set! I was stoked! No worries! Around the campfire the night before, I chugged water and ate pasta; I was in great shape.

Sunday morning, I scurried about getting ready for practice and waited for J-RO to sign up. This time, she’d entered in the B200 “big dog” class because she wanted to ride the full two hours. (The morning race was only an hour and a half.) We went out for practice together and got the feel for the 12-mile loop. It was long, dusty, whooped out and rooted in typical Florida style! By the time we made it back, it was almost time for my race. I slammed a banana and drank some Focus Vitamin Water, found a spot for my bike on the line and did a few stretches. My stomach flopped full of butterflies and I tried to relax, but I was already sweating. The Women A class joined Senior B and Vet B on the fifth row and I practiced running through the start procedure; I really wanted the holeshot. Well, me being rusty and all, I didn’t get it – in fact, I missed the kick starter completely when my leg came down over the seat – I’d whiffed it completely! D’oh!


The first corner…



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