Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The John Penton GNCC at Millfield, Ohio May 21

Let’s get dirty! Maybe that was Elmer’s intension for the race? I can’t tell, but certainly Elmer got stuck in the mud on every lap of the track, and, without making excuses for him, even Juha Salminen admitted that he found every mud hole on the track.
Well, Elmer’s weekend began quite comfortable by driving to North Carolina and jumping in with the Hensons. Brian and his Dad, Steve are avid racers and Brian is a consistent top 20 racer and competes in the Pro class. This trip was a ten hour trip for Elmer and he was actually looking forward to getting dirty, as this event is known for it’s slippery surface and muddy woods.

Sunday morning and the conditions were just as expected after the previous week’s rain and the mid-morning drizzle: The ruts were footpeg deep and went on for miles! Elmer had a pretty good start to the race as they went through a motocross track and off into the woods. He kept third until he got to the first mudhole. Elmer hesitated and before he knew it, he was being passed. Elmer then chose a line and drove his 250 through the mud towards the opposite bank. Unfortunately, the rider in front didn’t make it. Elm swung right and got stuck up on logs that were beneath the mud. With suppose to be the last 250 A by the time he got out, Elmer was determined to make up some positions in this three hour race, even if he was tired and covered in mud. So, pushed on and even tough Elmer seemed to walk his bike more than riding it, he did not stop and finished up the race in 47th overall and 15th 250 A.

“Man was that tough. I felt like a total beginner in the mud. I have to find my feet in that kind of terrain, so I am looking forward to my next mud race.”
text: Julia Nau

Monday, June 19, 2006

Terrible Towns, Best in the Dessert (May ?)

The question here is: Can you race without a pit crew? I would say "no way", but I am not Elmer, so believe it or not the African did it, okay finally with some help of David Dunn and his bunch of guys! So, many thanks to them!

Well, here comes the crazy story: Elmer flew from Atlanta to Las Vegas, quite a long way to go to take part in an event that is very demanding. Just arrived Elmer prepared his KTM 250 XC for the 250 miles long race. He was entered in the 250 Pro class, and chose on top not to race with a team mate and solo the event. Conditions on Friday morning looked good, the bike was ready to go and Elmer eager to put a charge on for an overall postion. Conditions should change on friday afternoon as the support crew ran into some issues, and was not going to be able to make it to the race. Well, as mentioned earlier, it is virtually impossible to race without support, as there are eight fuel stops on 250 miles! Eventually meeting up with David Dunn, who kindly offered some support from his pit crew, gave Elmer hope that things will work out.

Saturday morning 4:30 am and Elmer was up an getting ready to go! 5:30 am and the racing conditions should change again as David's crew made some changes. Unbelievable situation, but Elmer wouldn't be Elmer if he could not handle these situations. So, he quickly worked matters out in his head and emptied his bumbag of tools, and squeezed two small bottles of fuel and some two stroke oil in there. He then proceeded to squeeze another two bottles of fuel in his drinking system bag, and then notice that the drinking system had started to leak. Worsed case scenario! Elmer now started to panic as he only had a couple of minutes before his starting time. Eventually Elmer made a plan, but was ten minutes late. He charged through the start and made his attempt to make up some time.

This event is extremely dusty and also dangerous as a result of a veryrocky, silty landscape. Elmer got past 2 motorcycles, which was kind of hairy, so he decided to only go when he could see. That was only when there was no one in front of him, or the wind was blowing in the right direction. Elmer was up into 21st by the first pit. Didn't sound good, but he kept moving on. Elmer really appreciated the help that he got from David's guys,but it was hard for them to look for him and also take care of their bikes that were entered. Elmer missed them at pit 5, but as he left the pit, the cameraman stopped him and told him to go back, as they had just arrived. Elmer moved on, and by pit 7 he was up into 8th. A lot of people had dropped out due to bike damage and crashes. The crew were not able to make it to this pit, so Elmer pulled out his 2 stroke, and begged some fuel from the Honda team. They were kind enough to help him out, and so he was off.
Elmer finished up 6th overall and 1st Pro 250, and was able to go home and get ready for his next event. So thanks again to David Dunn and his bunch of guys!!! Text: Julia Nau

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Showtime! GNCC at Seymour, Missouri May 7th
Sierra Employers Alliance LLC/JJE Constructors Inc. sponsored offroad racer Elmer Symons scored a disappointing DNF at Rd. 6 of the GNCC, held in Seymour, Missouri over the weekend.

The weekend started quite well for Elmer as he was having a good feeling and thought of being well prepared for the upcoming race. He made sure of being at the race track early, so that he could take in the start and a few danger areas. Well, feeling good obviously does not mean anything at this type of racing, as Elmer was only able to race for 20 min. A creek crossing then was the African-Americans fatality. He went through the crossing and did not see the angled rock below the surface of the water, Elmer then went down into the middle and deepest part of the water and came up with his bike engine locking up. He could have probably drained the water that the bike had sucked in, but, unfortunately Elmer did not carry any tools. What made it even worse was the fact that Elmer was stuck between two steep hills. So, he had to wait for four hours before getting towed out by three 4x4 quads. Luckily Elmer had some company down in the mud, as two other guys joined him by duplicating what he had done!

“Having that DNF was a big disappointment, because I was actually feeling really good at the start! I will be getting my bike back to racing conditions and will be at the next event in Ohio. I have a lot to learn still, and do not want to miss out on any opportunity.”
Text: Julia Nau

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Loretta Lynn's GNCC Hurricane Mills, Tennessee Apr 23
JJE Construstions sponsored Offroad racer Elmer Symons scored his best result of the year so far with a ninth place in the 250A class and 30th overall finish at Rd. 5 of the GNCC at the Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

Starting off the race in front by holeshoting the 250A class Symons entered the woods by leading the pack, but losing shortly after his first two positions. Unfortunately setting in arm pump then relegated Symons back to 6th, so after an impressive start Elmer then got into trouble with making more mistakes. He put his head down and kept 6th for four more laps. Of somehow physically reason Elmer then was exhausted and got moved back three more places and finished 9th in class and 30th overall.

"I am definitely happy with my end result, especially after I just managed my exhaustion in the last laps. I could not figure out what was the problem, but I had to literally just ride the reminder of the race. I started the race on an empty stomach, and didn't realise it until my body said it needed a break. The lesson I learn't from this was to eat before the race."

"The event was a lot of fun, with a lot of elevation changes, soil texture changes and many obstacles. It has been one of the more demanding GNCC's that I have competed in and I am looking forward to the next!" Text: Julia Nau

Event Finish Summary

Round 1 - The Orange Crush - DeLeon Springs, Fl

GNCC Bike p.m. - 250 A Class Finish: 10 / Overall Finish: 42 / Machine: KTM

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Round 2 - The General - Washington, GA

GNCC Bike p.m. - 250 A Class Finish: 14 / Overall Finsih: 45 / Machine: KTM

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Round 3 - Steele Creek - Morganton, NC

GNCC Bike p.m. - 250 A Class Finish: 15 / Overall Finsih: 39 / Machine: KTM

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Round 4 - Big Buck - Union, SC

GNCC Bike p.m. - 250 A Class Finish: 10 / Overall Finish: 42 / Machine: KTM

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Round 5 - Loretta Lynn`s - Hurricane Mills, TN

GNCC Bike p.m. - 250 A Class Finish: 9 / Overall Finish: 30/ Machine: KTM

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Big Bug GNCC Union, South Carolina April 9
Union, South Carolina - Here we go, Elmer did his fourth GNCC and finished 10th in the 250 class. At round four of the Grand National Cross Country series - the Pirelli Big Buck - Elmer showed again that he is ready for tough competition. Suffering from bellyache before and while racing the signs weren't all happy for Elmer and didn't let anticipate a good result. Regardless the circumstances he said:"The race was very rough and demanding, but I had fun!".
Besides Elmer being sick there were heavy race conditions. The very dusty track made a quick start and being wide awake the whole course absolutly necessary: "I was good of the line, and came out the first turn in 4th, what I didn't know they had just sprayed the red clay by the 5th turn. I went down and got ridden over!" After that Elmer found himself at the back of the pack, definitely not where he wanted to be. But Elmer wouldn't be Elmer if didn't work even harder to come back in the race: "I was patient and worked my way slowly through the field to end up 10th in the class." Text Julia Nau
More GNCC News: Juha makes it Four for Four at the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC...