Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's been a while...Thanksgiving

I haven't blogged in a while here. What can I say....BUSY! But I wanted to share some racing Thanksgiving memories with you all.
Every year we would load up the van and trailer and make the 18 hour drive south to sunny, usually wet and sometimes cold Florida for our Thanksgiving week. Of course, all you motocrossers know where we went. Gainsville...the home of the Gators...the Gator pits...THE MX MINI OLYMPICS!!! :-) Around the MX track there were huge holes with water in the middle which we were told they put Gators in. of course it was probably a complete lie, but as a kid we believed it. We always joked that it would suck to fall into one of the'd end up gator bait. But those giant holes made for an awesome motocross track. One I can still picture in my mind..even though it has been some 16 yrs since I have been there. Man has it really been that long! I am getting old!
The race was an unusual one, but that is what made it so cool. There was a TT track (flat hard packed track), a SX track, a MX track, and then the cross country track that mixed all 3 tracks and a huge tree section. Plus it had the start like non other. A stalled bike and riders 20 yards away running towards their bikes with kick stands out. Riders running in full is funny, but if you made it 1st off the start and got your bike started in one kick you were freakin awesome and probably practiced it some 50 plus times in the pits. hahaha It was just a sight to see and then a 60 minute moto. At least I think that is how long they were. I know they had to refuel and that was key! It was always exciting to see who came out of the trees 1st.
BUT with all the racing aside the real highlight was the FEAST! There was a few guys manning the fire and cooking turkeys all day. The entry fee was bring a side per family. It was amazing. To see the come 20 tables put together with food on it and the line of families. Then we sat on blankets, chairs, some went back to their trucks, but it was something special. It was one BIG...I mean BIG family atmosphere. We usually sat with the Bowyer's, Skaggs/Basingers, Windham's, Ferry, Clark's, Carmichael's and anyone else who wondered over. Then we would have entertainment. Usually riders...I can still remember Jason Edwards singing his own words to the Garth Brooks song Rodeo..instead it was called Motocross.
Other nights we had Bingo, a mechanics competition on changing tires. They always tired getting my dad to enter them, but he never would. He hates being in the spotlight.
At the end of the week it came down to 3 trophies that every winning rider wanted. The golden Boot, the bronze goggles and the silver tire. And they were actual items. Then we would load up and make the very long drive home. I was always sad. I usually made new friends and knew it would be a few months before I saw all my old buddies again. (During the Spring Nationals at Whitney)
There are many fond memories of that place. I will share another with you next time. How we missed the exit and ended up on the side of the road half a mile down. Until then May you all be Blessed!

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