If you’re looking for a full day of fun, getting to a WORCS event may be just the ticket. I went out to the Glen Helen round a couple Sundays ago and had a blast. It started early since I was racing in the first race – a 60 minute single moto over a course that incorporated the Glen Helen National and REM Tracks, the Trophy Truck course, and some off-road sections down a few sand washes.
I was really there to photograph the pro race, but hey, wouldn’t you sneak in a ride too if you could? I mean, in the interest of scouting out good photo spots?
I took my Long Haul YZ125 (they have a 125 class, though I raced Sportsman C) and a gas can and was ready to go. I didn’t have a pit crew, so dropped off my gas can at the pit and lined up.
I’m not just plugging this product when I tell you I love my handlebar-mounted DRC Lap timer. I use it when I ride moto to check my lap times, and knew it would be perfect for letting me know when I should pit for gas for my bike’s stock tank. After one loop I discovered the lap times were around ten minutes (I won’t tell you which side of ten minutes I was on), so the plan was to come in after four laps and fill up.
In my rookie WORCS race, I let the fun I was having get the best of me, and realized I was heading out onto lap five without having made that pit stop. Luckily I got all the way around, and as soon as I pulled in, a friendly pit guy for another team helped me gas up the bike (thanks guy with the funny hat!), and I was off for my white flag lap.
After the race I’d gotten a full ride in, loaded up, and went out to watch the two-hour pro race. From racer to spectator in one day. Watching the pros was great, and though a lot of the track wasn’t in sight, I saw most of the national track, including the Endurocross section that only the pros raced through. I was surprised how much trouble these top racers were having on the final obstacle, a three-step of tractor tires. It didn’t look too tough, but obviously was as these talented racers were struggling. Check the photos I took and you’ll see what I mean.
The day was done around 3:00, and I headed home feeling like I had two track days in one – a ride and watching an event. There’s only one WORCS race left on the calendar this year (Mesquite, Nevada, October 23-25), so here are some tips for your first timers if you want to hit that one, or decide to try one next year.
Be Prepared: There is no practice the day of your race (practice is on Friday). Show up with your bike dialed in and your gear and goggles ready to go.
Don’t Sweat The Obstacles: The pros have different sections to challenge them. The track they put the C riders on was not technically difficult. Very fun, but nothing to fear (except the high speeds at the Glen Helen round)
Your Friends Have Gas: Bring buddies to pit for you, but if they don’t want to wake up that early, everyone I met was friendly and helpful, so you will likely find someone to help. If you have a tank big enough to race for a little over sixty minutes, you’re fine.
Laptimes Don’t Compare: The pros run a longer and more challenging course. That being said, my laptimes were close to the pro lap times. Maybe I’m ready to move up to B class?…
Passing Zone: With six classes on the track, each taking off separately, it was fun to always have someone ahead to chase down. And it was easy to ignore the cherry pickers that were passing me.
Bring A Drill: …or duct tape to attach the transponder (you can rent one for the day) to your front fender. The hot set up is to drill two holes and bolt it on, but tape will work.
It’s All About Timing: If you don’t have an oversized tank and a trustworthy pit crew member with a watch, get some timing device on your bike – a sports watch around the crossbar will work.
You’re Racing Everyone: After your race they post laptimes adjusted for each wave so you can see your overall position relative to everyone on the track. Cool!
Brag All Week: They post all the results and laptimes on the website, which is really cool to look over. Believe me, if I’d done better I’d be e-mailing the link to everyone I know (and have it here in this blog, too).
If you want to race in Nevada in October, or are thinking about hitting a round next year, check out the WORCS website and start your planning now.