Greetings everyone. Andrew Oldar has returned from the AMA/NATC Texas National, and has provided his personal diary of the weekend. Big thanks to Andrew for taking the time to document his experience.
Andrew: After making the 19 hour drive out to Texas with Cody Webb, I was welcomed to a very seemingly dry, desolate venue held at the the 4,500 acre Texana Ranch. We arrived at the site on Wednesday, with no riding permitted until the next day. On Thursday, I had some bike set up to do, such as throwing on my Ohlins shock, modified by Randy Lewis at Racing suspension. I also slapped on some Tec-Cycles reservoir caps and an s3 titanium pipe. After completion of bike set up, I got to get some practice time in with my Sherco teammate, Pat Smage. I went out for an hour or two more of practice on Friday morning to adjust more to the dry, but loose, Texas ground.
Saturday's event was dry and dusty, with about 90 degree temperatures as well as a 12 mile loop. My day didn't start off too well with two 5's in the first 2 sections, but I managed to get in the groove and start to ride a bit better as the day went on. I did manage a 1 in section 6 which had a huge climb and about a 6 foot drop on the backside, in which many other riders failed to make, which I was pretty happy about. I also cleaned section 3 which had a huge undercut that many other riders failed to make. However, as the day went on, I struggled to ride to my full potential and could not seem to get into a groove and even so much as enjoy myself. It definitely reflected in my results, with a 7th place finish for the day. I was 5 points behind the 6th place finisher, and I could see those 5 points in many places. Nonetheless, I took it for what it was and made it a point to have more fun and ride much better the following day.
Sunday's trial was quite the opposite of Saturday's, with wind gusts and temperatures down in the 40's. I started out a little bit better with cleans on sections 1 and 2. Section 3 was a tough one, but I managed to get a 3 in it my last loop of the day. After the first loop of Sunday's trial, I was sitting in 4th place with 24 points, behind Keith Wineland, Pat Smage, and Cody Webb, which I was very pleased with. My second loop was a 27 with a few slip ups from loop one. My last loop started out great, but I got a 5 in section 4 in which I completely miscalculated the gap. Another 5 in section 7 really added my total up for the loop with 30 points. I made up a few points here and there from the previous loops and tried to maintain a positive attitude. I still managed to get 6th for the day, despite not riding to my fullest potential. All in all, it was a great learning experience and it definitely went better than the last time I rode a national there!
I'd like to thank SWM for sponsoring the series, ShercoUSA, Ryan Young Products, Zip Express, Maxima, s3, Tec-Cycles, Gaerne, Galfer, Dunlop, Randy Lewis, my parents, and God for keeping me safe out there.