The penultimate round of the 2021 Fall Series was held up in the foothills of Calaveras County. Home of the Jumping Frog Jubilee. In a tiny town called Wilseyville at Camp Lodestar the 68th running of the event kicked off with perfect conditions. A light rain earlier in the week coupled with cool temps had the dirt as good as it can get.
I have heard about this race for several years and have always wanted to attend it, but just never made until this year. The promoters brought in famed motocross celebrity Uncle Ronnie and did a good job hitting social media to promote this event and it did not disappoint.
The Norcalmotcross.com crew did not get to see the craziness that was the Straight Enduro on Saturday night, but check Instagram for some highlights. Look for #420. He gave it all he had.
Our crew rolled in Sunday morning with about an hour to go before the first moto kicked off. Taylor was in that first moto. Usually we have plenty of time to get signed up, and to the line, but the sign up area is not close to where you park. They use a cabin about a 1/4 mile away. As we were walking to sign up, people kept saying we should ride our bikes. It couldn’t be that far right? Next year we are riding to sign ups. Once we made it to signups, the line was pretty long. We were at least 20 people back. I sent Taylor back to get ready and got him all signed up.
The final racer count was well over 1000 racers for the weekend. I think several factors brought this many racers to Wilseyville. It was the last round of the Western Hare Scramble Series, the race has been around for almost 70 years, they brought in Ronnie Mac and perfect weather.
The first moto kicked off about 30 minutes late, I am guessing because all the people still signing up. Moto 1 on Sunday had over 200 racers with more than 15 in the AA pro class. This class is usually quite a bit smaller. Ronnie Mac took off as the Hare and the AA headed off to chase him down a short time later. 35 minutes later, Ronnie came across the line with the first of the AA right behind him. 851 Zane Roberts. Taylor, the Norcalmotcross rider took off around Row 8 and finished hist first lap around 50 minutes, about 9 minutes behind the leader of the B Vet class. Riding a stock 250f he came in for gas and let us know that the track was rough with multiple water crossings and some spots barely wider than handlebars. Taylor called it quits after the 2nd lap. He felt he was getting in the way of the AA guys and was not feeling it. A solid effort from one of us Motocross guys trying to ride off road.
I was in the 2nd moto and all I want to say is that we had 439 racers on the course. 12 rows deep of racers all trying to fit through very skinny technical terrain. 95% of these racers were C level including myself. So as you can imagine absolute CHAOS ensued. Check the videos at the end of this article. I was on row 10, got a decent start and as soon as I hit the treeline, ROADBLOCK. Bikes everywhere, people going off road getting stuck, the smell of burning clutches and radiator fluid. Once we got that through that mess, a steep uphill caused another log jam. Shortly after that we got some high speed sections where I saw a squirrel that looked as though he tried to make it across the course. He did not make it, in case you were wondering. The course had a semi steep, very wet and muddy downhill section right before the first water crossing. The rut after that water crossing was long and deep and got longer and deeper every lap. I came through lap 1 and 2 in 7th place. Lap 3 I was determined to gain a spot or two. Well that plan went sideways. I ended up on the ground at least 4 times and got 2 flat tires. I was pretty happy with my 8th place finish, only about 20 minutes behind the overall winner, Pro racer Kaitlyn Jacobs.
This was the 3rd race in as many weekends and when I was pulling out, I was not sure I would ever ride a bike again, much less race, but now a week later I am ready to go for the final round at the Lazy Bumb. See at the races.
Check some videos: (Watch for a few minutes until we get into the trees)