Front Royal, VA
Front Royal is a small town about an hour south west of DC, nestled in the Appalachian foothills. The skyline drive starts here and runs along the top of the Appalachians. The drive is supposed to be spectacular, but the entrance was closed due to ice the day I was there.
On the outskirts of Front Royal is the 4h Club.
Saturday, November 30
About a month ago Bob mentioned that there might be snow the day of the race. I got to DC yesterday, the weather was nice for late November, although it was windy and cold. I woke up and the sky was mostly clear, with a few high clouds, sounds promising. But it was cold, it might have gotten into the 40's.
We used the common room for an indoor pit area.
Practice got started a bit late, but everyone was ready.
Lunch was provided, pizza along with soft drinks.
The weather was worsening. It sprinkled a few times, but generally the track stayed dry. Buttboard ran next. After the third heat it started to sprinkle again. Not quite enough to make the track slippery, but it was getting there. And then, after the fourth heat, snow flakes started to fall! Sean Clarke and I ended up in a tie for second. So we had to have a run off to decide the podium. The track was now slick, and snow was still falling. I decided to take it easy, and slam on the brake if needed, but still try to win. I lost Sean at the first turn, I thought he was going to draft me, it turned out he slid out a bit. At the bottom turn I slammed on my brakes hard, as I was sliding, it gave Sean enough time to catch up to me. We had a photo finish!
The snow continued for the am and pro luge. Since I was still recuperating from my broken limbs, I didn't need the extra distraction of an icy road. I knew there was the possibility of the road drier out for later roads, but I also knew I couldn't hold back if I did race. The road was slippery the first hear. Several people slid out in the first turn. Of course the course was completely dry by the last heat.
Darren Lott has on fire most of the day. He was trying out a new Abec 11 pour and found they were slow. In practice I usually caught him on the uphill. He switched wheels and I could never catch him. Darren double podiumed.
After the racing was over, while the results were being studied, we posed for group shots.
Jason started up a business earlier this year, Predator Bearings. He was one of the sponsors of the race, giving a set of bearings to as podium prizes.
Bob Swartz and Neil Orta put this race on.
Doug's wife expecting, so he took off as soon as the racing was over. Woody sat in for him.
Landluge.com paid prize money to the top five spots.
We had about 30 racers today, and only two serious injuries. A standup guy sprained his wrist, and one of the rookies flipped and landed hard on his back, claimed he pinched a nerve. The road was a lot of fun, not too challenging, and not too dangereous with lots of grass runoff. The weather was interesting, with even a few flakes of snow. I heard the Monday the eastern seaboard got a ton of snow. We were lucky weatherwise this year, perhaps next time the race will be held earlier in the year.
Jeff and I went back to the hill the next day. The sun was shining, but it was bitterly cold. In one of his last races, Jeff took the inside line in the turn at the bottom, and just barely ran off the road to make it. It worked, he passed and won the heat. He wanted to check the turn on in the daylight, we found some ICE there.