Dispatch : Hangover Hare Scramble '17


Photo by Mike Sponseller

So it’s the day after Wicomico Motorsports Park's Hangover Hare Scramble. I’m

pretty sore—especially my back and legs. I definitely had no idea what I was in for. I went into the scramble blind—I had practically no experience on serious dirt.

I’d done farm riding, but nothing like this. The course was about nine miles long, and we had two hours to complete as many laps as possible. I was in the “Lites C” category, riding an XR100 dubbed “the Africa Twin.”

Photo by Tyler Dillard

The start was staged on a section of the park’s motocross track. The noise and the smell on the starting line was something else. There were probably around 200 other riders, and they covered the course with two stroke smoke. It was earsplitting. After about 20 minutes of staging, they started waving each class to start.

I got off to a pretty good one. The track was covered in about a foot of mud so riders

were sliding out left and right. On the second turn, a guy fishtailed right in front of me and I ended up t-boning him. Once we got that sorted out and the bikes started again, I crashed on the second hill. It was a pretty steep learning curve, but after a while I got used to the insanely slick conditions and made it into the woods in one piece.

Photo by Tyler Dillard

From there it was single track through the woods, with deep ruts -up to the engine- building up with each passing rider. I started to get a pretty good rhythm going, and even passed a few folks.

That was huge for my confidence—and I felt relaxed and like I’d gotten the hang of it. But with all the tight turns and muddy conditions, the hill climbs and logs over the track, this course started to get seriously difficult [for me anyway]. After about thirty, maybe forty, minutes in the woods the pros started passing me on their second lap.

Man, I’d look back and there’d be nothing but trees—and then all of a sudden these guys would just shoot past me, sometimes even bumping shoulders or bikes with me.

My first real crash sucked. I crested a hill and just lost it, narrowly missing a tree

and coming down pretty hard at the bottom of the hill, just letting go of my bike and going rag doll, and really whacking my head when I came down. Good thing I had a solid helmet.

I started to get pretty gassed, and couldn't tackle the corners and the hills with the same “just throttle through it” attitude that I had earlier. My second crash had taken me 25 yards, whiskey-throttling, through the woods and I was beat.

Photo by Tyler Dillard

The bike finally had enough when, about an hour and forty five minutes into the race, the rear wheel loosened up in a deep rut and kicked my chain off. Dragging the bike off the course really took it out of me and I ended up walking the bike, throttle assisted, up the last set of hills, through the woods, and onto a service road.

Man, was I beat. I was covered in mud and drenched in sweat, overheated and dying for some water.

I have to say though, this was some of the most fun I've had on a motorcycle. It may have been difficult, but I know that there’s tons of room for me to improve next year. Hell, finishing a lap would be a huge improvement! I definitely have to work on my conditioning in the meantime, not to mention my technique in the dirt. At the end of the day, just facing the challenge was worth it.

So who’s coming along next year?

Post race w/ Mike, Tim, & Tyler

Photo by Mike Sponseller

Tyler rides a SRX600 and a CB450. You can find him on Instagram @hadakty.

The Hangover Hare Scramble is an annual January Scramble at Wicomico Motorsports Park .

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