April 2, 2000
Finger Lakes State Park
Columbia, Missouri
6th of 11 in Open B
Another repeat of Westphalia, with Matt finishing in 5th place and me
in 6th.  This time he beat me fair and square.  Columbia can be
terribly muddy this time of year, but today conditions were about as
good as they get.  I got off to another decent start but rode like a fool
for the first 5 minutes or so.  Matt passed me after I went down going
around a slow corner.  I caught up to him while he dug himself out of
a mud hole at a creek crossing, but then I got hung up there, too.  
We both got going again at the same time, but he lost me when I took
a slower line through a section.  The next two laps I could see him
ahead of me on the motocross track, but I never could catch him.  
When I tried, I kept crashing, once on the motocross track right in
front of the spectators.  I did get the balls to do the big double jump,
but I went over it with the bike almost vertical.  The landing was soft,
but it scared the hell out of me and I didn't try it again.  Plus, I
couldn't slow down in time and overshot the next curve, passing
dangerously close to a group of spectators.  Actually it was kind of
funny watching them try to decide if they needed to scramble
(fortunately they didn't need to).  On the last lap, the bite valve on my
Camelbak came off again, and just like at the White City enduro last
year, it started siphoning out the water and providing an unnecessary
nut cooler.  Matt finished about 3 minutes ahead of me, but they gave
out trophies through 6th place, so we both took home some hardware.

April 9, 2000
Roselawn, Indiana
6th of 22 in Open B
This event was the fifth consecutive Sunday I had raced, and my
body was starting to feel the effects.  All week my back had been sore
from a hard landing off a jump at Columbia, and my throttle hand had
some soreness.  Roselawn normally has only one enduro each year
in August, called the Summer Bummer.  But this year they added a
Spring race to the schedule, called "Brrr in the Bush."  Based on the
early morning temperatures and the narrow trails, this was a good
name for the race.  Last year I earned my first-ever enduro trophy
here, so in 2000 I decided to move myself up to the B class for
enduros.  The week before the race, I happened to see that one of
the club members heading up the race was an active participant in an
internet discussion group called dirtrider.net.  His name is Bill Steele,
and what really caught my eye was that he lives in Bourbonnais, my
old place of residence.  I exchanged e-mails with Bill and got some
route information before the race, and he hooked me up with another
Bourbonnais guy who was looking for someone to share a row with.  
Funny how all the time I spent in Momence and Bourbonnais, I never
came across any enduro riders, but now that I'm 4 hours away, I meet
two guys from that town who are into the sport.  The guy I rode with,
Ryan Baker, has a buddy who he usually rides with but couldn't go to
the race.  He said they know a few riding areas around Kankakee,
one with a 6-mile loop.  Geez, all those weekends I drove down to the
farm to ride my measly 3-mile trail...these guys drive a few miles
outside of town and ride on weeknights!

Anyway, Ryan raced the C class, and right away I could tell he would
probably be moving up soon.  He rides a Kawasaki KDX220, which
works great on the narrow Roselawn trails.  We started on row 32,
which was good because at least 100 riders had already cleared the
trails for us.  They ran us through the same 8.5-mile loop around the
Naked City airport (our setup area) and I lost 10 points in the section.  
As always, they gave us a nice long reset to gas up and head out on
the road.

The next 20 miles followed familiar trails to a checkpoint that began
the long 20-mile all-woods marathon.  I started following a fast guy
and kept up pretty well until I hit a tree and went down.  It was a small
tree, but it got stuck between the back wheel and the sidepanel, so I
had to spend some time dragging the bike away from the tree before
it could be uprighted again.  The rest of the section was fairly
uneventful, just a lot of narrow trails and some very loose "sugar"
sand.  There was one log, however, that stood out.  It was about 3
feet in diameter and they made us ride over it.  Ryan and I both
agreed that it was the largest log we'd ever had to cross.  They had
another long reset at about the halfway point, and it was there that I
noticed my odometer was not working.  Thanks to a bonehead
oversight, the cable was flopping loose against the wheel and
stretched itself out of the odometer drive.  I had forgotten to strap the
cable to the fork.  Turned out that it didn't really matter because the
major timekeeping sections were over with, and there were numerous
signs posted that listed the mileage.

The last loop was through the same section we started in and I
finished it with no problems.  My final score was 61, my best ever.  I
tied with another rider in my class, but beat him on tiebreakers and
got 6th place.  Not bad, considering the huge size of the class.  Ryan
did well in the C-class, despite bruising his foot, and finished in 3rd
place with a score of 74.  Not bad for a guy who's only been racing for
a couple years.  The season was going well, and but for a couple of
mechanical problems I might have won trophies in all 5 races to date.

April 30, 2000
Oakley, Illinois
10th of 16 in Big B
Great weather and dry conditions made for a large turnout,
considering this was an Illinois race.  The C class had over 30
entrants, and my B class was also big.  They started all of the B
classes in one row, so there must have been 25-30 guys all gunning
for the same corner.  The start was in an open field with a
quarter-mile of wide-open acceleration and then hard braking at a
90-degree left-hand turn into the woods.  I was mid-pack going into
the corner and never really got by anyone else during the whole
race.  This was one of those races that I never found my groove, or hit
that "zone" where everything feels fast and easy.  The trails were so
hard-packed that at times the rear wheel wanted to spin out even
when going straight.  The club has a small motocross course that we
went around, which then led back to the open field where we started.  
At the border of the motocross track and the field, there was a nice
little jump that I was hitting in 4th gear and sailing 30 or 40 feet
across the cultivated dirt before landing softly and then pulling hard
on the throttle.  Other interesting obstacles were a troublesome log
sitting high across the trail and a tremendously steep 40-foot downhill
with a hard right-hand turn at the bottom.  Anyone missing the turn
would have taken a cool swim in the Sangamon River.

At the halfway point the engine started to cut out, and eventually the
bike ran out of gas...again.  I filled up at the truck and probably lost 5
minutes.  A few weeks later I finally found the culprit-a hole in the fuel
line that wasn't very noticeable.  Back on the course, I finished up the
race uneventfully.  Had I not stopped for gas, I probably would have
placed high enough to bring home a trophy.
Columbia, Missouri
Roselawn, Indiana
Oakley, Illinois