I thought it would be fun to keep a journal of what a "true" privateer has to go thru during the week prior to a Supercross Event, as well as during the BIG show. Well, to start, being a privateer takes hard work and dedication. Not to say that being a Factory rider doesn't, but the difference is that you are paying to race instead of being paid to race. What is a privateer? It basically means that you are "on your own". Sure we have sponsors, family, and friends that help us, and without their help it would be nearly impossible. Not to mention that we have to pay for almost everything out of our own pocket. In my case, all the money I get from racing goes right back into racing. Privateer riders like myself ride because we love the sport so much and hope one day to get into that Factory truck. I am going to take you on a journey thru the first 6 rounds so you can see into the life of a privateer racer.Friday Janurary 2 2004:I left my house around 7:00 am in Hesperia, Ca. for Fridays practice. During my 65-mile journey to the stadium one of my brand new black rims with a brand new Braking rotor on it decided to exit my vehicle around 80mph! The feeling you get in your stomach when you see a five hundred dollar wheel flying out of the back of your truck is the same as you get on a roller coaster! I pulled the truck over only to find that my brand new black rim was now ruined. Great! I get to Anaheim around 9:30 and waited in a line to park in the privateer pits. The pits looks like Friday evening traffic on the 91 freeway! I sit in line and watch the factory riders walk by, pulling their wheelie gear bags to luxury semis where their bikes have been prepped and I am sure lunch is waiting. I finally get to the front near the gate and the AMA worker says to me "Hey wait for these 6 box vans and motorhomes and then you can go in" Note to self: Buy a funmover so I can get into the pits quicker? I get in the pits only to find practice has been cancelled due to misting, which southern California calls STORM WATCH 2004! Whatever. I use this time to get my tires mounted by the great guys at DUNLOP. They mounted up 739's on both ends for my race tomorrow. I also go by the VP racing fuels truck to get myself the AMA legal Pro 2 racing gas, which I jetted my KTM 125SX. Now I'm ready for Saturday, right? Wrong. I go back to my fine pit area next to the dumpster only to find out that there is a little lake forming around my motorcycle from the STORM WATCH! The rain was not that heavy but there was a little valley in the pits that I managed to park in. I finally get done and head home. I get a good 7 hours of off-and-on sleep. Pre-racing makes it hard to sleep.Race Day! Saturday arrives and I get into the pits a little easier today, then I head to sign up. My mechanic Greg Loup walks my bike thru tech. I head down to the track for the pre practice track walk. The Track was still a little wet from yesterday. I scope out some lines that I need to try during my first practice sessions. I watch Factory practice in the stands to see what the guys that get paid to ride do before I go out. Finally I get to go out for my practice. I ride good and my lap times are consistent with the other privateer riders so I am fairly pleased. Greg lubes the chain, checks the bolts, and goes over my bike to make sure everything is up to par. The second practice goes much better for me. I jump everything within 2 laps, my arms don't pump up at all, and I feel good going into the day qualifier. I draw the 4th qualifier and line up next to the doghouse. I get a good jump out of the gate and round the 1st corner in 4th. I pass one guy through the whoops and I am in 3rd. On the second lap, I miss a shift over the 2nd triple and go back to 5th just like that. I finish the race in 6th, just barely getting into the nighttime program. I was happy with my ride, but I knew where I could be better. 7:30 pm is here and I am in Heat#1. I get a very bad gate pick (all the way inside). The gate drops, I go to shift to 3rd gear, and I hit a false neutral. My fault! I am in dead last and riding like a goon. I case every single jump that I could possibly case. I finish 18th.For the LCQ I start in the same area. The gate drops and I am 6th rounding the first corner only to have my rear end wash out a little, causing me to back off. When I do, 6 guys get around me. I pass 2 guys right away, but I then get pushed out wide in the next corner. I finish 12th and I don't make it to the main event. I help clean up at the ACERBIS truck that Tallon Vohland kindly lets me pit out of, load up my bike, and get home around 2:00 am. I will practice during the week and also test for KTM because that is my real job. Then I will go to the next round and vow to do better. See you next time.