Russ "Rooster" Wyant lives in Fernley Nevada and has been a Nevada Old Timers member for over 30 years. He is their current President and a REAL character. I was witness to his desert humor when a rider complained about a section of the track with tight sandy "S" turns. Rooster looks him in the eye and says " Well if you don't like any part of the track" then he pauses.......................
"You can just slow down,let everyone go by, then try to negotiate that part the best you can" it was hilarious. This is the kind of off track fun that was going on at Fernley. People were great, there was alot of hanging out, visiting and stories.
I hadn't been to Fernley since 1993. To an Old timers Vintage Classic. I wasn't racing bikes at the time and a friend Wes Baker loaned me his backup bike a 400 CZ. He was racing a National Vintage series on a Rokon 340 and wanted to do Fernley for fun. 15years pass by, now I am racing, Vintage MX and another friend Chuck Nerviani offers to lend me a P.V.= GP 3 bike to ride at Fernley. Boy the more things change the more they stay the same. 15 years apart same track location, riding borrowed bikes I've never been on, racing in sand.
Chuck Nerviani races a Maico P.V.=GP bike and has a 490 Yamaha YZ as well. Chuck was kind enough to loan me this really nice bike to try my hand at GP racing. I had been racing vintage MX exclusively for 2 years and I thought I was ready to try GP. To make things interesting I entered 2 other classes on my 72 CZ 400. 6 motos for the day, 2 on the 490 YZ and 4 on the CZ.
Racing in sand is something you should try at least once if you haven't. It is tricky but it will make you understand weight placement so much and make mud and other obstacles easer to handle. I've been lucky riding Fernley both times on big bore bikes. Riding sand on an open class bike is a BLAST! With enough power to steer with the rear wheel when needing to, it really opens up more possible lines exiting turns. Another nice thing is you can carry the front end over obstacles and get nice air over the jumps. I was a little nervous about making the long travel 490 YZ work in the turns and at first this showed in my riding style on the track. I wasn't leaning the bike into the sand berms properly and over shooting them often times taking the "last chance" outer edge berms which are always softer in makeup and tend to be wheel grabbers.
Racing the Vintage classes was pretty standard for me a few bobbles a soil sample here and there but no Helo-action The compitition was close and a few little dices that made it fun. The GP bike after a short adjustment time really started to work for me. All the stuff I forgot about loading up the front suspension, getting it short and powering out of the turns started coming back to me by my second GP moto which was my sixth of the day I really started to feel comfortable on most of the track and had a lot of fun dicing with a much better GP 1 rider. I liked it so much I'm digging up my own GP motocross bike.
Rooster did an awesome job on t
he track for the 120 riders in attendance. It was all sand. The jumps and obstacles were well spaced and challenging and besides if you don't like any part of the track, you can just slow down, let everyone go by, then try to negotiate that part the best you can. Thanks to Chuck Nerviani, the Old Timers, Advra, and all the people involed with making this event so much FUN!