It's been a year since this fire has been stoked. I just got back from the wood store, so I thought I would spark this fire back up...
I shared a brief version of this story in Chat today and James said I should share it here, so I thought about it and said what the heck. This story came back from my old memory bank after reviewing some posts in the East/West meet thread.
I'll set the stage; Years ago when I was racing desert, the clubs would run Dual European Scrambles since it was so hot out. A DES was 2 short courses laid out in the desert of 8 - 12 miles in length and you would only run them for an hour, so you would get may 3 to 4 laps in during your race. They would break them up so Beg/Nov would run on course A on Sat and AM/Exp would run course B on Sat with them getting switch on Sunday. They would also break out the classes. Seniors/Super Sen one race, than Vet, Women/125, 250 and the Open class (251 - Open) running last on the day around 2:30 or 3:30 in the afternoon. I was running in the 250 Exp class during this particular story.
OK, so we finished our races for Saturday and I could not remember what place I ended up on this particular day, but I do know it was hot. We were out in Lucerne Valley (for you local So Caliers) off of Camp Rock Rd so we would go back into town for dinner. To back up a tad, I would normally have my motorhome and trailer out at the races, but during the summer races and you did not need the pit support, I would just go out in my truck and camp out in the back. So we would just go into town at night for dinner instead of bring stuff out to cook or make dinner.
So my buddy and I head into town and hit a little bar there and belly up to the bar for some food and a cold one or two. While we are sitting there talking a kid (about 18, though you have to be 21 to be at the bar, I do not think this small town cared much as they we getting race business) plops down on the stool next to us and starts talking to us about his race. We have no idea who this kids was, but he was excited about his racing. He said he just started in the begging of the year and is racing in the 125cc beginner's class. He said he had a great race today and won his class. We were telling him, wow that is awesome and what a great job he did and to keep it up. He was telling us how to make the starts quicker and how to navigate through the course and ride through dust so you could pass people and make up ground. We sat there and listened to him and was totally engaged in his conversion. He was so proud that he was sharing his wisdom with us. After about an hour of listen him talk about his racing and advice on riding, he said he was getting ready to head back out to the camp and crash for the night. We asked him what his riding number was so we could look for him at the races the next day. He gave us his number and he asked what class we raced in and what are numbers were. I told him my number was 6x and that was it. He paused for a second and said "what is your number?" I said "6x". He stopped dead and said "6x! as in you are an Expert in the 250 class?" I laughed and said "yes" He about fell of his bar stool when I confirmed that. He started freaking out that he was rambling this whole time to someone who raced in the expert class and had no idea. He figured no one from the expert class let alone a top Ten rider would give him the time of day and let him tell them all about his racing and what not. I told him, we are all the same people just different riding levels that is all. Most all the desert guys will treat you the same no matter what class you are riding in. He was so stocked to be talking to us, that he might have wet himself.
Well the next day, I normally watch the race before mine to see the course somewhat and see who is doing what in the expert level, but I remembered this kid from the night before and since I had time before my race started and suited up and headed over to his race to see him race. I hung out by the finish shoot as they would come in and make a lap to head back out into the desert again. I was cheering him on each time he came by. At the end of the race, I went up to him and congratulated him on a great race. I can not remember if he won again that day, but it did not matter. When he saw me there and realized I took the time to come over and cheer him on and give him a hi five after his race, he lit up. He could not believe that I would show up and cheer him on. I told him I had to take off as my race was going be starting in 15 mins, so I left.
I lined up at my race with a new feeling in my soul that I gave a little back to someone of who I once was a few years back. I had my race and as I do not recall how I did that day, I will still remember coming in the finish shoot at the end of each lap and seeing this kid hanging out over the banners yelling as loud as he could for me. He was so loud, that it drowned out my family and friends which was hard to do..
After the race as I was sitting there bench racing with some other class rivals and my family, this kid rode up and said "Great Race". I stopped my conversation and said "thank you and to you too today". I introduced him to the people that were around me and they all stopped and shook hands with him. He even got a hand shake from the #1 plate rider that day and you could see the smile through his helmet. I said "you see, we are all the same". He rode off and everybody asked me how I know him, so I told them the story of the night before.
I hope you enjoyed this story and it made you warm inside beside the nice flame from the fire. I did not write this to put me on a pedestal, but to remind people that we are all the same no matter what level of riding we do and that if we have good riding skills to take the time to share them with others as they are trying to get better. It is not all about getting out there and seeing who can get back to the truck first. If you want to do that, then enter a race and do it there.
Enjoy - CDA