Barrett Junction, California
Barrett Junction is a little outpost out in the middle of nowhere. Actually its about 4 miles from the Mexican border and the town of Tecate. There are a few homes and a cafe that make up the entirety of the outpost.
The course is interesting. Its an old road that has long been superceded by the current highway, as such it makes a great road to ride. The road starts off with two hairpins which leads into a straight followed by a couple of chicanes, and ends in a couple more straights. The problem is the road surface is old and cracked, full of potholes and bumps, which make it interesting to ride.
Saturday, February 22
I wasn't too sure when the festivities would start, but knowing streetluge I guess they wouldn't get started till late. I made plans to arrive at the hill around 10:00. The first run down the hill was just finishing up as I pulled into the pit area. Several more runs took place while I put my boards together. There really wasn't any organization. A few people had pickups, and when one filled up, it went to the top. Unfortunately by the time I noticed a truck was filling up, it was too late to climb on board. But that was ok, I spent the first couple of hours greeting the late arrivals, most of home I hadn't seen since my accident last year.
Chaput's Old School Bus showed up late. But it came bearing many goodies, like standup boards with fairings, wheel covers, Big Red X's, and LOTS of green wheels. So many some were trying to get ride of red ones.
We had a riders meeting around noon, We had around 50 athletes! Quite a turnout for an "outlaw" race. But we only had a small toyota to haul equipment and a mini van to haul riders. I volunteered to pick up a U-Haul. We got back around 3 or so with the U-Haul. Entire groups of riders would go down at once. We would start off with close to twenty lugers heading out, with the first hairpin stringing everyone out. While there are disadvantages to letting so many people go at once, the advantage is plenty of time on the hill. I sat out a few of the runs to change out equipment (tried the brand spanking new 92mm flywheels) and still got at least a half dozen runs in. I quite as the sun was going down and I didn't like the light too much, several of the riders went for a few more runs.
We headed to Mexico for dinner. There is a taco stand just across the border. This place is phenomenal. Moody clocked the cook at one taco every 7 seconds! They kept bringing us plates of tacos, which disappeared in no time at all. We all had a great time, eating some awesome Mexican food. This is one of the greatest things about racing.
As we passed through the border station on our way back to the States, Dave discovered a vehicle, and decided to demonstrate its proper use. I wonder if we'll see any new enhancements to the Rogers Bros luge any time soon?
A bunch of us stood outside Chaput's Old School Bus and talked for several hours. A few of us headed off to civilization, a bed and a shower, while we let the rest of the die hard crew rough it. As many of the riders were camping out.
Sunday, February 23
At the bottom of the course is a large flat area where most of us pitted. Chaput's Old School Bus parked at the interesection of Barrett Smith Rd with Barrett School Rd. I thought he was making himself feel at home by also putting up a mailbox, but I found out later in the day the mailbox belongs to the sole home owner on the race course. While his house is closer to the top of the hill, the mailbox is down at the bottom, so its closer to the other house in the area. The home owner didn't mind us using the road.
I got a couple of practice runs in before the Standup race started. I had no idea that racing was about to start so I hopped into the truck at the end of practice. I noticed that it was filling up with standup guys and was about ready to get out when Waldo hopped on. Said we'd fit a quick run in. Ahhh the glories of an outlaw race. Rick Wilson got roped into starting. He ran the start line until streetluge.
Despite what the pictures look like, the standup was actually four man. One of the closest races was between John Rogers and Chaput, in the speed suit. I missed the finals, cause I had to head to the top for the buttboard race.
I'm not really sure what they were doing, but every single Gravity Biker lined up for a race.
McIntyre looks a bit left out without a fairing. As you can imagine the start was a bit hairy, with McLemore stumbling. The buttboard race was held in three heats, with points given placement. The top four guys ran again for a final, there was also a consolation between places 5-8. As expected the final was pretty tight. With Dave edging John out, followed closely by Moody.
At last it was time for the streetluge race. We had 28 people signed up, but I think a couple dropped out due to equipment problems or injuries. With so many riders it was decided to do a normal elimination race, except that the losers in the first round would get a second race. The first set of riders were underway. With Wilson racing, McLemore took over the starter duties.
Chaput was pretty tired after a day of racing standup and buttboard. He decided that the stock Rogers Bros head rest just wasn't enough. He first tried the patented Pepsi bottle head rest. He decided that wasn't enough, so he scavenged part of his fairing prototype.
I took a couple of pics before I had to race. The outlaw race was starting pretty much at the start of the road, while IGSA had us start down the road a bit, the white line in the pics is the IGSA start line.
I of course didn't last very long, I was still recovering from last years injury, so I got to watch the finals from the start line. Rhuman is excited about his win in the semi's. Of course the finals were pretty close. The interesting thing about this pic, Dave is out of focus, I saw lots of other pics of the finals, and Dave was out of focus in most of them, are we discovering his secret?
I had a plane to catch, so I quickly broke down my equipment and repacked everything, while other people tore down there tents. I was able to make it to the awards ceremony, but missed the raffle that was held afterwards. Abec 11 provided the trophies.