This doesn't sound hideous until you remember that you have to be in your gear for the riders meeting, which is 45 minutes from the band of hotels in town. Add in time to get coffee and unload the bike and we're talking a 2:30am wakeup call just to ride practice. Ouch! Fortunately, only getting three hours of sleep is more like taking a good nap than getting a bad night's worth of shut-eye, so it's not too difficult to adapt. But by the end of the week, most everyone is over the schedule. For the first day's practice session (taking place in the course's lower, 80% asphalt section), I rolled up to the line feeling pretty out of place. Compared to the leather-clad flat track riders in my class, I looked like I had just popped out of the woods nearby and was looking for the next trailhead. Oh, I'd ordered some Dunlop dual-purpose-type tires well in advance, but Mr. Murphy of Murphy's law fame had ensured that they didn't show up. Clad with full-on knobbies I made the best of the day, finding a few good lines and throwing down an okay qualifying time in the process. Still, I didn't have much for the road racers in my class. Day two's practice went much better, as I spent the entirety of the session snoring away listlessly while everyone else froze their tails off. I figured that sleeping in would do me more good than learning the course, so I simply unplugged the alarm and went back to sleep. Needless to say, I felt pretty good that day! Rested and hungry, I bucked up and made the trek up the mountain for the next morning's practice. Along with my buddies at Faulkner/ Livingston Racing (who had organized the trip), Race Tech's Paul Thede and the ever-so-talented Alexander Smith, the morning was a hoot and the practice was a blast. A nice rain had coated the upper section of the course with perfect (for a knobby) traction, and I was able to set some solid times whilst trying not to get roosted by the quads. Race day finally came, and after more than a few red flags for some of the cars, the motorcycle divisions finally took off. I was in the third or so class, and was happy to pull a holeshot as we disappeared from sight of the starting line. However, the knee-draggers in my class blew passed me after that and I was left to keep her on two wheels until the dirt section.