There was a several month gap between this bike and the previous one. Things kept getting worse at the video game shop. My boss was now convinced that there was some
kind of conspiracy, and strongly suspected that I was part of it. One of my perceived powers was the ability to schedule an install more than a week ahead of time, and
then have it rain that day. The third time that this happened in a row, I feared for my life, as I desperately tried to explain probability theory to someone who was
about as rational as a typical character in an Oliver Stone movie
I was actively seeking other employment, but was having trouble finding work in the greater Tidewater area. I was offered a job up in Fredericksburg. This
was about a three hour drive from Norfolk towards DC,
and home to one of my favorite Virginia tracks at the time, White Oak MX Park. I didn't know anyone up there, but figured that I barely ever saw my friends in Norfolk
anyways, so life wouldn't be that much different. Besides, for the first time since I got my expensive Electronics degree, my job title would be Electronic Technician.
Titles aren’t everything, as I would learn.
After finding a storage space, and saving up a bit of money, I went looking for a bike. I can't really remember why I got a 125. It must have been a good deal. I bought
this bike from someone I worked with. It was in really good shape and I convinced myself that the 87s weren't that much of an improvement.
I hadn't ridden a 125 since 1981 and they were much better now. It felt light and easy to handle over the jumps and bumps, and handled really well, but it was tough to
break my short-shifting habit. I also missed the power of a big bike in sand or loose dirt. When I kept it in the powerband, the bike was quite fast, even stock. I got
to practice a few times during the early part of the winter, but then Fredericksburg experienced a freakishly large amount of snow.
Their average snowfall was about two inches a year, but the winter that I spent there, they had over twenty inches all together, including more than a foot in three days.
There was still at least 5 inches of wet snow that never really got cleared off, and then it snowed another 8 inches. The town came to a standstill. People would get stuck
and just leave their cars there in the road, so the next ones would make these swerving paths around them. Eventually, some roads just became completely blocked.
I still had a little pick-up, with no extra weight in the bed, and seen-better-days rear tires, yet I made it up the big hill, up from the river, when many other cars
couldn’t. The main concepts they were not getting were momentum and throttle control. It would be just slightly worse than usual, winter day in Minnesota, but the drivers
in Fredericksburg were not used to it at all.
This was a good looking bike. CRs had this basic look for many years
Even with the snow, I thought I was ready for a season on the 125, but again, trouble brewed off the track. I had sold my truck, and bought what would turn out to be a
very unreliable van. My new job paid a bit better than my previous one, but my van was bleeding me dry. I had to replace something after nearly every time I drove it.
The job itself was not going well either. Despite my lofty title of Electronic Technician, I was basically an apprentice mechanic, a job that I didn't end up being very
good at, especially since I knew nothing about printing presses.
As far as my electronics work, the company didn't want to invest in expensive things like oscilloscopes, multi-meters, or schematics, so I didn't fix circuit boards. I
knew I wouldn't be able to draw my salary for much longer. It was just a matter of when the axe would fall.
That March, I raced the first White Oak race of the 1986 season. It was great living less than 15 miles from the track. I raced in 125B and was about mid-pack. I thought
that with more time on the bike, I'd could probably get to trophy range. Off the track, racing just didn't seem the same as it was back in my (perceived) glory days,
five years earlier. Five years may have well as been fifty.
Much had changed in the years since I left Virginia. Most of the people that I had gone to the races with, and hung around with, had gotten married, moved away, or quit racing.
Where the mini storage used to be a place filled with other people working on their cars and motorcycles, now I was there all by myself, concerned that I would get kicked out
for working on my bike. It all seemed like such a solitary endeavor and for what? Mid pack and hoping to trophy in B class? After being a moderately competitive A rider, the
thought that I couldn't win B class anymore was pretty discouraging
A few days after that race, my boss called in me in to his office. I knew the news wasn't going to be good when I saw his boss and an HR person in there with him. After they
told me that I was being let go, in an odd way, it was a huge relief. I packed everything I could fit into my van and was headed back towards Minnesota the next day. Once
again, I was driving a van back from Virginia with a lightly used CR packed in with all my other earthly possessions.
A few weeks later, and now temporarily settled in with my parents, I raced at Cambridge. I did quite poorly, didn't know a single person, and didn't really have much fun.
The money was also running dry. I didn't race it again and went out riding maybe once or twice. In my mind, my racing career was done until I got a decent job and could
afford to live somewhere with a garage. I sold the bike for (what had become all too predictable) quite a loss.
I knew I had to go cold turkey as far as racing goes. After that day at Cambridge, I decided that if I wasn't racing, I wouldn’t go to any race other than a national.
I would not go to another amateur motocross race unless I arrived with a race bike in the back of my pickup.
Previous Bike Bike List Next Bike
I only did one "home" race
Revised September 2017