Las Vegas Endurocross Finale’

Packing papas van to the max (factor)

Packing papas van to the max (factor)

Ahhh, the Vegas Endurocross.  Vegas, in general, is a place where your either steaming hot, or cold as blue moon ice cream.  Luckier than a horseshoe-shaped, four leaf clover flavored lolipop, or feeling like a ditch-digger with a four leaf clover shaped shovel.   For the Smagical.com travelers, it was the latter.

  

 The trip started in a familiar manner, with a string of setbacks before leaving Smagical Acres.  Phil had lined up a Chevy cargo van from Norman at Al’s Auto Salvage to buy for the trip.  Unfortunately, the transmission (transmissions suck) guy wasn’t able to get the new transmission installed in time, so it was time for backup plan number one.  That began as the trusty Al’s Auto box van used to get to the Vegas Endurocross opener, but quickly changed to Papas conversion van with the purchase of his new truck.That lasted a long time…

 

   Backup plan number two.  Papa ended up trading the van in for the truck, and it sold the same day so he had to take it to the dealer for them to clean up and send out.  That set it back to Al’s Box Van, and yet another set back.  Norman was on vacation until the day after we left, leaving us van-less once again.  Enter Pitbike Paulie Harding.  He offered his van up for rental, and that put the crew with one final problem, a trailer.   After some awesome offers from some nice local shredders, the answer landed at Joe T.  The future Smagical Adventurer loaned out his double bike hitch trailer and all was set, for a few minutes at least.  Upon arrival back at Smagical Acres to load up, plans changed again.  Papa decided to cruise back to the dealership and snag his van instead of pack four people into paulie’s two seater van.   He brought it back, we loaded everything up, nearly ready to finally begin the 30 hour drive and we noticed the dealership had already removed the plates.  Feeling extra generous and noticing our sense of haste, Papa sped off to the dealership to snag em back.  And with that, the trip began.

smagical.com on the road again

smagical.com on the road again

Now a bit crunched for time, a competition sprouted.  In an effort to be sure to make the drive straight through, a prize would go out to whoever drove the most on the way there, and on the way back. Brittany took the early lead with a crazy 12 hours straight.  T Smalls and Karl Karleson battled mid pack, while Phil finished off the last stretch and brought the trip home to Pole Position Raceway just in time for a few laps of the Endurocross Pre-race party. After Karl won a sunday brunch at In-N-Out, the gang headed to pick Pat up from the Airport.  With only one loop around the terminals needed to time the arrival, things were looking good for a smooth weekend.

Wilbur, Novik, and Ambition all at Pole Position

Wilbur, Novik, Mantis, and Ambition all at Pole Position

The 6 AM sun stabbed its way through the Excalibur(wil)’s windows with as much acceptance as Lancelot had at the Round Table.  Pat and Phil had a sponsorship meeting with Bill, Tom, and Shelley from Vision Airlines.  The owner, Bill, is a Trials rider and enthusiast.  Tom runs Vision’s NASCAR racing efforts, and Shelley is the do-all-know-all-jack-of-all-trades-including-flying assistant.  The meeting went well as they were able to put some pieces of the puzzle together for the coming year.  The meeting ran a bit into practice, but the opportunity to be a part of such a forward thinking and motivated company as Vision was well worth any number of missed laps.  

Phil leading Tsmalls

Phil leads Tsmalls

   Aside from logging a few good laps in the morning qualifiers, Phil’s day was one to forget.  Just moments before the TrialX final, his Sherco decided to lock up.  This left Phil on the sidelines as he watched Pat wheelie his way to wins in both the TrialX main and the dash for cash.  His bad luck didn’t stop there, unfortunately.  In the 3rd corner of the first heat race his chain fell off…putting him a lap down in the process.

Phil during the day qualifiers

Phil during the day qualifiers

Phil on the gas for the Hot Laps

Phil on the gas for the Hot Laps

 The semi came around and the dark cloud lingered.  Just as he had worked his way into the top three, his rear wheel got wedged between two rocks in the rock garden.  A similar thing had happened in the morning qualifiers, and his chain had derailed in the process.  He whipped the bike out of the rocks and tried to get the chain back to functioning order.  

Dash for Cash start, Pat out-powered by the big bikes

Dash for Cash start, Pat out-powered by the big bikes

He hastily scrambled to figure out what was wrong, only to have GuyB (www.vitalmx.com) point out that the chain was crammed up into the chain guard and not actually off the sprocket.  Once again this delay put him a lap down and forced to play catch up.  Unfortunately time ran out and he was unable to make enough passes to get into the top five and transfer to the LCQ.  A huge congrats goes out to Smagical 2 cover boy Cody Webb for his first Endurocross podium with a third place!

Pat leads Ty Davis through the rocks

Pat leads Ty Davis through the rocks

Pat on the podium with Bryan Roper

Pat on the podium with Bryan Roper

Phil just moments before his chain derailed

Phil just moments before his chain derailed

After a quick bite at In-N-Out burger the crew headed to the airport and dropped Pat off for his flight.  Then it was off to the I-15 again to straight line it to Colorado to chase the powder, or so they thought.  Just over 2 hours into the trip the unthinkable happened, Papas luxury cruiser dropped the transmission.  Half-way asleep and fully confused on what to do, the crew backtracked 30 miles, at ten MPH, to the nearest civilization, St. Saint George, Utah.  The task: find Walmart and get some tranny slip oil.  After nearly an hour of smalls squeezing the contents of the bottle in, they found it to be a lost cause.    Next stop, Auto Zone.  They were certain it was a Fuel Pump Sensor,  but after buying one the certainty was lost.  After that, it was time to find a hotel and continue in morning.

On the road with EVS

On the road with EVS

First things first, Aamcco Transmission.  They solidified our thoughts of it being the tranny at fault.  Unfortunately, the $2,500 price tag on a new one was a bit over the budget of Phil’s winnings from the race, zero dollars.  The town of St. George has nearly every car rental place in existence…and after checking them all they came to the realization that they wouldn’t be able to rent a one-way car during holiday season.  There was nothing left to do but get some lunch.  While pirating the WiFi in the Wendy’s parking lot Smalls went in to get burger number 3.  He asked the cashier if she knew of any local cars for sale.  Just as he asked that a fellow walked in and the girl yells, “he will know of one!”  Surely enough, the guy did, and a mere two hours, and $500, later Phil was now the proud owner of a 1991 Saturn LS “Gas Saver”. 

loading up the "goat car"???

loading up the "goat car"???

Although the ride was definitely a looker with the fresh goat sticker, it had been sitting idle for 2 years, so the battery would not hold a charge. Next stop was the Shell Gas and Auto station to drop off the van and bikes.  The crew crammed everything into the four person Saturn that would fit…spare the skis and snowboards.  The only logical thing to do; strap the skis and boards to the roof with the moto tie downs.    Although it made the doors unable to close completely with the tie-downs in place, a little breeze was a nice thing after being stranded without a vehicle for a day.

Phil signs the van over

Phil signs the van over

 The Gas Saver rolled into Frisco, CO at 6 AM after driving through the night, maxing out at 25 MPH in the snow-covered mountains.  From there they hit a quick breakfast with Bryan and Erik from Novik Gloves, the coolest people ever, some say.   After breakfast they went out to jump in the Saturn and then realized that it was the one that needed a jump.  Without any jumper cables handy, Bryan lent the usage of his Novik Gloves truck for the days trip to Copper Mountain. 

Phil floats a method out of the fresh coloRADo powder

Phil floats a method out of the fresh coloRADo powder

The crew finally got what they came for, powder.  A foot of fresh snow awaited them at the Mtn.  After almost a full day of riding, it was time to hit the road again and make it back to Wisconsin in time.  It was actually pretty smooth sailing, as long as the car kept running, which it did.  A few days later and a lot of dollars fewer, and the “goat car” rolled back into Smagical Acres.

Powder slash anyone??

Powder slash anyone??

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