Wednesday, May 15, 2013

desert racing

a couple weeks ago we took the littles and went camping and dirt bike racing in the desert across the state. 
First Ty went out and did a couple laps on the Poker Run.  And then there was some practice time on a little kids track in the middle of the camping area.
It was pretty nerve-wracking when swarms of teenagers would come through like locusts and take laps on the track, passing my guy on all sides.  Mark would get a little distracted really wanting to pass them.  And then they would stop to be cool and talk on the edge of the track… so Mark would stop in the middle of the track next to them and sit and listen and stare at them.  I finally had to tell him to stop because he was going to get run over.
After the practice and some pointers from dad it was time to go line up for the race.
Some pre race adjustments… and off they go!…
Away from the mother hens… far, far away…
They went around a bend and down a hill and we could not see them again for a very long time.  We would move around the track to different spots and wait until he came past, then move on to another bend in the track.
The first time we spotted him coming back around, he was trying to pass another little guy…
There are checkpoints where they have to get their cards punched to make sure there is no course cutting.  It was hard for the little ones to remember to stop, despite the men in orange frantically waving them down.
Mark did alright!  He should have; we explained it plenty of times and had him watch the older kids.
And then this sobering view…
How scary is that?!  My little man speeding off into the desert all by his lonesome!  He said he was not scared at all.  And there are plenty of “spotters” out on the track, riding and watching for little ones that need help.  The course is marked by the red ribbons you could see in the photo of Mark leaving the start.
There was much waiting.  Much visiting.  Much holding of small, tired people…
I was the photographer so Ty was the small people holder.  That is our friends’ baby.  Such a trooper he was.  Hanging out for so long while we all waited and watched for Mark.
If we didn’t see him for a while we would get nervous (obviously) but he would always show up.
Before we knew it, it was over!
My man got 23rd out of 47 little riders.  Top half.  Not bad for a first timer. 
Super proud of his first race t-shirt…
I think crossing the finish line and being handed that t-shirt was the highlight of his life!
The camping situation… also very exciting, in a much less appealing way…
That was one of the better moments our tent had.  As in before it completely flattened to about 3 feet tall.  It was physically unable to withstand the severe winds.  It seemed a cold sleepless night with our tent whipping our faces was all we had to look forward to so we headed to my parents’ place that night and brought our friends with us.  We had a nice time relaxing the following day with all the comforts of home.
A few landscape shots heading from the desert (on the Columbia River) to my parents’ place (in the mountains)…
When we got home, Ty gave Mark one of his old trophies, of which Mark is very proud. 
His first dirt bike race, complete with a (hubby’s brilliant idea) hand-me-down-trophy.  What a fun milestone.  I think he will remember this one forever.

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