I headed up to Odessa Washington on Friday night with the Jubal Brown, Acerbis rider support from Ketchum, Idaho. Saturday morning we signed up for the Ironman poker run. I started out with Jubal – I got a pair of Jacks; Jubal beat me, first time ever, at something that had to do with riding; supposedly got a “better” hand. Along the trail of the poker run, we acquired several other riders to our group. The Poker Run was fun – at the check points they even had hot dogs and beer.
I got my bike prepped for the next day. The weather had been raining off and on – When we pulled into the pit area early on race day, it was very wet.
The rider’s meeting was scheduled at 8:30 – this wasn’t your ordinary riders meeting. We had 1350 racers, on bikes, listening to the announcements. Then the entire group was paraded out to the start line, but half of the racers were trying to race out to the start line.
In my start line, there were 960 fellow competitors in a long line as far as my panoramic vision could see – LOL. I had to squint to see the end of it. The 2nd wave of racers only did 1-50 mile lap. We did 2 laps. Lucky for me it had stopped raining and was only windy!
The start was a Leman’s style start with the blast from a huge cannon – The cannon was a surprise when it went off 2 minutes before the start time! I had to quit talking and sprint really fast to my bike! I had been practicing my Lone Ranger/Zoro mounting. I mounted from the rear, pushed the start button and roared off.
At the end of the bomb I was about 6th. I realized that everyone was riding the middle of the course, pounding whoops and hitting ruts. I knew that smoother was faster, so I picked the smoother lines and cow trails and I was able to make my way into the lead before the first check. I led for a half lap. Then Canadian Bobby Prochnau passed me. Bobby and I rode together passing back and forth opening up a sizable lead over 3rd place. We came in to get gas together. It was difficult to find my mom because there was 1000’s of people lined up along pit row (which was over 3/8 of a mile along). But she stepped out just in time. It was a gas and a go pit – Thanks mother.
I left the pit first and was back in the lead. Bobby caught up. We played tag back and forth until we got to a technical, rutted section near a stream. There was a huge bottleneck with probably 40 bikes and riders. Bobby went up on the side of the hill with his 2 stroke. He got wire stuck in his wheel. Meanwhile I politely asked riders if I could squeeze by them so I could get through the mess. But Bobby got unstuck and got going again. He was more aggressive getting through the lapped riders than I was. So then I was trying to catch up to Bobby I accidentally t-boned a lapped rider. I made sure he was okay, backed off the top of his bike and left. After that I was setting myself up to pass the lapped riders in passable spots – other places were single track and almost impossible to pass. I got stuck behind lapped riders and I lost time on Bobby.
Bobby Prochnau, Canada, was 1st overall and I was 2nd. I had a blast and the Stumpjumpers did an awesome job putting the race on! My JCR Honda 450 X was the bees knees! I’m glad I put my Dunlop MX31s on.
Jubal finished 19th overall and was 12th in the Open A class. This was his first time at the Desert 100 and a career best finish for him.