July 18, 1999
Kahoka, Missouri
4th of 9 in Open B
One word sums up this race...HOT!!  I had been to this race a few
years back when it was very cold and slippery, so I was looking
forward to better conditions.  Unfortunately it was very dry and dusty
this time.  I had stayed up a little later than I should have the night
before, so I didn't have the energy I needed.  This was a National race
that draws the pro riders, and the promoters make them longer than
the usual 2 hours (was 2.5, shortened from 3 because of the heat).  
The entry fee was a ridiculous $40, plus a $10 gate fee.  I wasn't
expecting this and didn't have enough money in my wallet, so I
started cleaning out the change cup in my truck for every spare coin,
looking under the seats, hoping to find a forgotten stash of cash.  No
luck--I ended up about a buck short.  I loaded up my pockets with the
coins and jingled to the signup area, hoping they would have mercy
on me and still let me race.  I started dumping my assortment of coins
and currency on the signup table and the nice lady collecting money
looked at me funny and said "We do take checks."

A complimentary t-shirt helped ease the pain of the $50 cost of
racing.  The course was well suited to my riding style, with a lot of
tight woods.  They had a nice motocross track that we came onto a
couple of times each lap.  Each loop was 10 miles long, and after the
second loop I was dead tired.  The fourth lap was pure torture.  The
heat took its toll on all of the riders.  I came across one guy passed
out on the trail, being helped by some EMT's.  One of the few things
keeping me going was a sporty young girl hanging out at one of the
checkpoints.  As the race went on and the temperature increased,
she wore less and less each time I came around.  Talk about
inspiration!

After the race mercifully ended, I felt horrible and just laid on the
ground for about an hour.  I tried to walk to the signup area and see
where I finished, but 20 yards into the 200-yard trip, I felt like I was
going to puke so I went back to the truck and cranked up the air
conditioning.  After another hour of sleep in the cool confines of the
truck, I was able to try again. I stumbled to the signup area and they
had just presented the overall trophy, won by national rider Doug
Blackwell.  The Missouri hare scrambles point leader (Steve Leivan)
got 2nd, followed by one of the Garrahan brothers who later
competed in the International Six Days Enduro in Portugal.  I ended
up in 4th place in my class, which was my best finish in the Missouri
series and one of the better finishes for the year.  I accepted my
trophy in a daze.  It was very large and now sits on display on my
dining room table.  When compared to all riders, I finished well within
the top half.  A successful day, but the ride home was very long.

August 8, 1999
Roselawn, Indiana
5th of 19 in C Class
All of the riding I'd been doing this year finally started to pay off at this
enduro.  I was on the bike for over 4 hours and didn't start getting
tired until just a few miles from the end.  And I rode about as good as
I could have.  Conditions were perfect, and I got off to a decent start.  
In the first section there was one annoying guy who absolutely
refused to get out of the way and let me pass, for about 10 minutes.  
He was either an inexperienced racer without knowledge of trail
etiquette, or just a real a**hole.  The very last part of the race ran
through the same section, and once again I caught up with the same
guy and he still wouldn't move over.  No other major hang-ups except
a series of log crossings that held up everyone.  Typical Roselawn
sand with lots of whoops.  The first and last sections were much drier
than the previous two times I had done the race.  During my first ride
here in 1996, I got stuck in the deepest rut I had ever seen.  It literally
swallowed my bike.  This time, the swamp had somehow been
drained.

I did a decent job with the timekeeping, and I was finally starting to
understand it better.  I was one minute early to a check, which I
shouldn't ever do, but I nailed the emergency "tiebreaker" check.  The
object is to get there at 30 seconds into your minute.  At most checks,
there's basically a one-minute window for you to reach the
checkpoint.  If you're scheduled to arrive at 10:17 a.m., you can get
there one second before 10:18 and not get penalized.  Of course, you
never know where these checkpoints are going to be.  So the
emergency checks serve as tiebreakers in case you finish with the
same score as someone else.  They time you down to the second,
and your goal is to arrive exactly in the "center" of your minute, which
is what I did.  I'll probably never do that again, so it felt good.

One other "highlight" of the race was the folks from the local nudist
colony who lets the race run through their property.  They were out
watching the race in their normal attire.  Unfortunately, the kind of
people you hope will be at nudist camps are almost never there, and
this day was no exception.  One word best describes the scene of the
15 or 20 naked spectators: Saggy.  I rode faster just to keep from
having to look at them any longer than I had to.

I finished in 5th place and received my first ever enduro trophy.  
Another good day of racing.

August 22, 1999
Lebanon, Missouri
5th of 8 in Open B
Another hot, extremely dusty Missouri race.  The guy at the gate said
they hadn't had rain for about 7 weeks.  I had spent the prior two
days at the Ozarks with friends, so I wasn't exactly rested and got a
late start in the morning.  I didn't have time to pre-ride the course but
figured that the way I ride it probably wouldn't matter anyway.  Also, I
forgot my jersey and could only find a black long-sleeved t-shirt at
Walmart, so that made me hotter while sitting on the line waiting for
the race to start.

We started off in an open field and it was so dusty that I had to stay
back about 50 feet from the rider in front of me.  Needless to say I
couldn't see much, and that can be a bad thing.  About ¼ mile into
the course I hit some nasty ruts and crashed.  The guy behind me
couldn't see I was down and ran over my rear fender.  Of course, I
didn't actually see him run over it, just heard the thump and crackle.  
It had already been cracked before, and by the end of the race was
only being held on by the fender brace.  This was the rockiest place I
have ever ridden.  There was a long rocky creek bed to ride through
and a lot of flat, sharp-edged rocks.  They had some long straight
sections that were balls-out fast.  After the first crash I got around two
guys but couldn't make up any more places.  The guy at the scoring
gate kept telling me I was in 5th place and that I needed to hurry, but
that's where I finished.  Near the end of the last lap I took a hard
crash in third gear after hitting one of those "no-see-em" rocks.  I
decided then and there that if I was going to be riding in Missouri, I
needed to get a steering damper.  With it, I probably wouldn't have
crashed.  No injuries, fortunately, but it definitely rang my bell.  I was
glad to see the race end.  The rocks took their toll on my pipe, which
had another major dent just above the pipe guard.

Damage Report:  Major dent in pipe; rear fender bit the dust.
Kahoka, Missouri
Roselawn, Indiana
Lebanon, Missouri