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#592795 - 08/11/17 10:02 AM Baja 500 2017
willie68 Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 194
Loc: houston,tx


Attachments
baja finish 1.png

baja finish.jpeg (19 downloads)

_________________________
2014 KTM 450 XC-W,

To our biggest fan! God rest your soul momma, even when we crashed she laughed along with us. "R.I.P 08-25-16 the day part of me died."

Twin W racing team
Torcs 617
Score 237x
www.patriaenergy.com
www.psupps.com

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#592798 - 08/11/17 10:11 AM Re: Baja 500 2017 [Re: willie68]
willie68 Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 194
Loc: houston,tx
4:20 am finish line!!! missed it by 1 hour but we crossed the finish line


Attachments
baja finish.jpeg (35 downloads)



Edited by willie68 (08/11/17 10:12 AM)
_________________________
2014 KTM 450 XC-W,

To our biggest fan! God rest your soul momma, even when we crashed she laughed along with us. "R.I.P 08-25-16 the day part of me died."

Twin W racing team
Torcs 617
Score 237x
www.patriaenergy.com
www.psupps.com

Top

#592800 - 08/11/17 10:27 AM Re: Baja 500 2017 [Re: willie68]
willie68 Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 194
Loc: houston,tx
I wrote an article for the police news magazine but for some reason its not letting me post it on here, It keeps erasing it after I cut and paste it. I will tell you this television does this race no justice. You say the word epic is over used in racing and over rated for those who have seen On any Sunday, Dust to Glory and said to themselves I would like to race that. Stop putting it off it was EPIC!!
_________________________
2014 KTM 450 XC-W,

To our biggest fan! God rest your soul momma, even when we crashed she laughed along with us. "R.I.P 08-25-16 the day part of me died."

Twin W racing team
Torcs 617
Score 237x
www.patriaenergy.com
www.psupps.com

Top

#592802 - 08/11/17 11:28 AM Re: Baja 500 2017 [Re: willie68]
Reed68 Offline
Gang Daddy

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Houston, TX. Spring Branch
It's because it's formatted text. Go paste it into notepad, save it, and then copy that and paste it. That should make it plain ascii.
_________________________
Craig

AMA Member

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#592808 - 08/11/17 01:25 PM Re: Baja 500 2017 [Re: Reed68]
willie68 Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 194
Loc: houston,tx
Nope that didn't work either.


Edited by willie68 (08/11/17 01:31 PM)
_________________________
2014 KTM 450 XC-W,

To our biggest fan! God rest your soul momma, even when we crashed she laughed along with us. "R.I.P 08-25-16 the day part of me died."

Twin W racing team
Torcs 617
Score 237x
www.patriaenergy.com
www.psupps.com

Top

#592825 - 08/14/17 11:55 PM Re: Baja 500 2017 [Re: willie68]
willie68 Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 194
Loc: houston,tx
When our mother and father was alive I told them we were going to race the Baja 500! HE laughed. He said that will be a tough race. As we prepared for the race and before he passed he asked me are yall still going to race the Baja? I replied yes sir we are, his response was well it will be tough hope you finish, how right he was again.
This is our Baja 500 story written from the perspective of four rookies to desert racing and the whole Baja experience.

Three eggs over a fried tortilla covered in beans and some green sauce. It wasnt guacamole but at this point I didnt care, five large glasses of tea, two Kelly size pancakes with butter and syrup. This is what I ate the morning after taking the checker flag with my team at the 49 th running of the Baja 500. I felt as if someone had hit me in the back, knees, elbow and wrist with a bat. But yet it could not wipe the smile we had from ear to ear.

Everyone gave us a list of reasons why we should not do the race. You can get killed, people die in that race, you could get lost or hit by a trophy truck. My answer was always Have you ridden a police bike at 5 pm on the freeways of Houston? The Baja 500 was a pretty ambitious goal and has been a bucket list of mine ever since I was in elementary school and saw the move On any Sunday. Starting out in the preparation for the race it was clear to us and to me that we were not that far out of touch with the race logistics. How naive we were, As we drove to San Diego through New Mexico, Arizona and southern California we looked at the desert and mountains and thought this isnt going to be that bad.

We arrived in Mexico on Memorial Day Monday, and as we crossed the border I told everyone to kiss your constitutional rights good bye. We crossed with little to no problem all the border guards knew what was about to take place and were very cool. As we arrived at our house we quickly unloaded and prepared for pre running we were at the BAJA MAN! The section we selected was my section referred to as RM 1 - RM86 (RM stands for race miles) RM 1-RM 20 was closed SCORE had not opened it up yet. Mostly because it was on the main road and still used for local traffic. We decided to start the pre running at RM 40 along the main road. As I first rode this section I thought wow what a boring section till the red arrows directed us off the pavement and onto the dirt. Was I ever so wrong , after about a mile we were met with three foot whoops followed by an off camber thirty degree up hill. The uphill was blue grooved from the trophy trucks doing their pre-running and was as slick as the pierce elevated after a small shower. The down hills were epic 40 degree where you sat on the rear fender with the rear wheel locked up feathering the front break and tell myself dont lock the front break, dont lock it up !! There were hidden rocks that looked small but like an iceberg the bulk of it was hidden underneath. This type of terrain went on for the next 300 miles. Half way thought this section I pulled up to my brother and told him this race isnt for the weak of heart! with a sweaty look on his face he shook his head back and forth.

The scene in Ensenada on contingency day before the race was epic. There were people everywhere for blocks around the line started to form and it was standing room only. Fans were looking at the race vehicles, drinking adult beverages and asking us for stickers and autographs. They had no idea we were broke blue collar workers who have never raced a desert race. But honestly I dont think they cared, to them we were rock stars. There were $500,000 dollar race trucks from all over and every manufacture. There was the Monster Energy truck or should I say trucks. Fox racing trucks, Ford, Chevy, the Cops truck, which I found was actually the producers of the show and his pit crews were all Las Vegas sheriff officers along with the support driver. Race trucks and buggies were wrapped around the streets most with armed guards standing next to them.

We had to attend a mandatory riders meeting which in the beginning we were star struck we saw Robbie Gordon , the man Ironman Stewart and also Rick Johnson who ate breakfast the day before right across from us and actually spoke to us wishing us good luck.
Like good police officer we sat in the back by the door and guess who sat behind us? Yep the cops team from Vegas. After about 20 minutes on how not to die in this race the feeling started to set into all of use. just like a mandatory in service or safety class you have attend we didn’t want to hear anymore. I turned to the cops team and made the joke I am sure we are not signing out of this and dont tell the L.T. but we are gone. They all started to laugh and we left.

The morning of the race no one on our team talk much everyone was doing their own thing in preparation for the race. I would start the race for my first leg and all I was telling myself was dont throw up and dont crash in the first turn but mostly dont throw up. My nerves and stomach were a wreck and to top it off it was cold. Mixed with the Pacific Ocean it was foggy and damp and it felt like rain the fog was so thick. Once on the starting line I pulled up to the Honda pro team rider the 1x bike why not I thought it will be the only time in the race I could say I saw him. Guess what? It was the only time I saw him! Those factory riders are unbelievable fast.

When the flagged dropped I was in first place in our class mostly because we drew first out in the drawing prior to the race. Technically though I was in the lead through town. Once on the dirt road and into the mountain area the track headed directly into the rising sun accompanied by the fog and the dust and no wind I couldnt five feet in front of me. I looked down at the front wheel touching the ground and was able to see that but thats no way to ride at 50 miles an hour on a mountain road, at least not for this Texas boy. Besides our goal from the very beginning was to just finish, you cant win it from the start but you can lose it. After four hours I came to the end of my first section and turned the bike over to James Huckabee who would take it for the next 70 miles along the pacific coast what a beautiful ride this section was. I am so glad we pre rode this section. Rocks, sand, coast line, local kids running out to give us high fives as we went by. rock stars!

My brother would get the bike from James at RM 180 and take it up the mountain towards Valley T passed Mikes sky ranch to RM 250 where I would get back on it. His section was the toughest more up hills with boulders not rocks like what you think but boulders like in a John Wayne movie. Ten miles into his section I hear chase truck, chase truck over our sat phone. Thinking to myself this isnt good, bobby said the front break were locking up and the rear break was totally gone. He quickly resolved the issue and was back on track and back in the race.

When he handed the bike off to me at RM 250 the breaks were working fine, it was the operator who was becoming broke. The section I had was sand, desert whoops that were four to five foot deep and as far as the eye could see. The first part of this section was awesome it was sweeping turns with deep sand and flowing ground. After that it was a dried lake bed that was about 10 mile long that looked like the salt flats, stuff westerns movies are made of. I thought to myself, self why not!! Flat out sixth gear pinned laying on the tank trying to keep my helmet on at 103 mph and there was no more.
I was passed by two trophy trucks at 170 mph plus and made me look like I was going backwards. One word AWSOME the next sixty mile was nothing but whoops, whoops, whoops, whoops and you guessed it whoops!!! Half way into the whoops yes! More whoops with tall cactus and some type of tree that had thorns on every branch about as long as a hypodermic needle but twice as thick that could penetrate a pair of fox boots, guess how I know? This was a single track area there was no getting off the sandy tracks. Now fear is when you hear a siren coming from behind you, except this wasnt a fire truck, ambulance or a police car. Its a trophy truck and its not stopping. You know he is on the siren because the helicopter support team has told him I was in front of him on the track, basically in the way. Trees with thorns and cactus as high as six foot, not a problem ill pull over right here, he blew by me at about 70 mph and honked which I thought was kind of cool so I waved. Now, they said dont pull out right after your passed by a TT wait for the dust to settle because the guy behind him is driving by GPS and cant see whats in front of him he only looking at his GPS. So I waited then I added another two to three minutes just to be sure. Sure enough another TT passed me except this one lost control, hit on the drivers front side bounced up struck another set of whoops and rolled over right in front of me. Being a police officer my first thought was wow how cool was that! Second thought was hey, no report needed and let me help. I helped them get out and dust off, the first thing the driver said was S@#$ I think we broke the steering. They assured me they were okay, thanked me and off I went more whoops. On the back side of the loop I noticed trophy truck tracks leading off to the right away from the marked course. I thought hey why not, about 4 miles into it I realized my lead navigation was not working because I had lost signal and now I was lost but still following the tracks, where they lead to I have no idea.

Well they led to several more tracks going in every which direction like the west loop and southwest freeway while it was under construction during the hurricane evacuation after everyone had left. No one to look at, no one to follow, not even the slightest noise of a truck, buggy or other bike could I hear. Well all tracks lead somewhere and I picked one and followed it about 2 miles later I was back on the track but this time the arrow was turned around and had a big WW on it. In racing you do not want to head towards the WW sign on the track this I know. You guessed it WW means wrong way, in Spanish and in English. So like a good police officer I kept going because everyone knows the police know more than that sign just ask me. As luck would have it I found a red arrow that showed me I was still headed in the right direction I smiled because some local turned the sign around as a joke. Know in the middle of this section were cliffs the type of cliffs that bandits are hiding on top of ready to ambush the trail wagons. In the middle of nowhere under the overhang of one of the cliff sits a man in his lawn chair, cooler by his side along with his dog watching the race. He also waved and I started to laugh and smiled waving back thinking only in Baja!

Coming out of the cliffs I started to see more and more people just sitting on the side of the track with whole families, Bbq pits going, kids playing, dogs were running around everyone cheering this idiot to keep pushing. I was so happy to see the flags of the Baja pits because I knew I was getting off this bike and James could have it. My race was over I rode 180 plus miles and it was up to the other guys to cross the finish line. Honestly baring someone getting hurt I didnt want to ride again. The last 115 miles was easy to split up because it crossed the road several time. Both riders would do 30 to 40 miles at a time Bobby was the last rider who would finish the race on a 35 mile stretch. Parts of the course ran right next to the road or just far enough from the road where you could still see the rider. In the Mexican night you still see the head light and we knew where the rider was. Once bobby took the bike for the last 35 miles there was no following him. I said a prayer got into the chase truck and waited at the finish line. At 4 am we saw the head light make the last right turn to cross the finish line. Guess what mom and pop? We just finished the 49th running of the Baja 500!



Edited by willie68 (08/15/17 12:08 AM)
_________________________
2014 KTM 450 XC-W,

To our biggest fan! God rest your soul momma, even when we crashed she laughed along with us. "R.I.P 08-25-16 the day part of me died."

Twin W racing team
Torcs 617
Score 237x
www.patriaenergy.com
www.psupps.com

Top

#592831 - 08/16/17 01:51 PM Re: Baja 500 2017 [Re: willie68]
ktmdirtrat Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 145
Loc: East Bernard, TX
Great story and congrats.............you're very right also, they say you could die out there, and you could also die at Westheimer and Kirby on your bike. I know which place I'd chose.


Edited by ktmdirtrat (08/16/17 01:52 PM)
_________________________
Steven Harp
TORCS #76
2015 KTM 350 SXF - Open C
East Bernard, TX (home)
Sugar Land, TX (work)

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#592832 - 08/16/17 03:05 PM Re: Baja 500 2017 [Re: ktmdirtrat]
DCS978 Offline
Gang Boss

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 316
Loc: Georgetown, Texas
Very cool!!
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#592835 - 08/16/17 05:04 PM Re: Baja 500 2017 [Re: DCS978]
Reed68 Offline
Gang Daddy

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Houston, TX. Spring Branch
That's awesome, thanks for sharing!
_________________________
Craig

AMA Member

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#592841 - 08/18/17 07:15 PM Re: Baja 500 2017 [Re: Reed68]
CR3999 Offline
Gang Daddy

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 563
Loc: College Station, TX
Congrats!
I waited to long. I'm to old for that now.
_________________________
just gas it!!! #8 2017,YZ-250; long live the two stroke.
2017 Road-glide.1995 Cub, 15 Grom pit bike
College Station

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