Saturday, May 13, 2006

 

D.O.M. - About the Annual (part one)


The D.O.M. Annual is less than two weeks away, and I was thinking it's time to start writing about our club's biggest event of the season. After all, this is the unofficial blog of the D.O.M. (in addition to being my personal blog), and I also have the the unofficial website of the D.O.M. Please keep in mind that even though the club name is Dirty Old Men, it's not like we're all a bunch of dirty old men. We're actually a family-orientated club. But the club has changed a lot in the 30+ years of its existence. More on club history some other time.

The Annual has been going on for over 30 years, almost as long as the club has been around. I've only been in the club about 9 years, and only missed one Annual in that timeframe. Well, I do have my priorities straight - I had to attend a family wedding. So here's what goes on in a nutshell:

The club has organized, timed race events. Most of these are conducted with one rider at a time on a marked course. There are two events that have all the riders together (in their respective classes) on a marked course. Now let me emphasize that SAFETY is everyone’s utmost concern, particularly for the child riders. Also, the events are for FUN, and even though there are ribbons and trophies, it’s just for fun.

We hold three race events on Saturday of the Annual. These 3 events take place in a large flat open area nearby where we camp. We cordon off the whole area with cones for SAFETY. The 3 events are: (1.) The Slalom - where the rider navigates in and out of cones as fast as they can. Time is added if the rider knocks over a cone. If the rider is on a motorcycle, time is added if they put their foot down. (2.) The Barrel Race - where the rider navigates around 3 trash barrels as fast as they can, but one particular barrel (which is identified and the same for all riders) must be last. Time is added if the rider knocks over a barrel. (3.) The Blow and Go - where all the riders are on the course together facing the finish line. At the signal, they blow and go and the fastest one to the finish line wins. Basically it's a short fast race to the finish.

We hold one race event on Sunday of the Annual. This one is called The Scramble. The smaller kids classes are held on a small track, and the riders race one at a time with the fastest times taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

The larger kids classes and up take place on a nearby course, which is marked with bright ribbons. These ribbons are recognized by riders participating in the event, spectators of the event, and other persons in the area who may be camping nearby and riding for fun. So again, it's for SAFETY. The Scramble has all the riders on the start/finish line together (within their class), and are signaled to begin racing. Depending on the class, the riders go 2, 3, or 4 times around the track. The faster riders are able to pass the slower ones. The Scramble is more of a marathon race as compared to the Blow and Go, which is more of a sprint.

I've mentioned class a few times. The class a rider is in depends on different factors: Their age, their ability, and the vehicle they're riding. Currently we have 9 classes, and will be adding 1 more this Annual. The 9 are: Pee-Wee (approx. 2-to-4 year olds riding whatever they have); Brats (approx. 5-to-8 year olds riding whatever they have); Girls (approx. 9 & up riding small motorcycles & quads); Boys (approx. 9 & up riding motorcycles ONLY); Women's Quad (female teen's and adults riding quads ONLY); Men's Quad (male adults riding quads ONLY); B-class (male & female adults riding larger motorcycles); A-class (more skilled male adults riding larger motorcycles); and finally AA-class (the most skilled male adults riding the largest, fastes motorcycles). Breathe.

The new class being added this Annual is Boys Quad (approx. 9 & up riding quads ONLY). The reason for this is that the club has been changing over the past few years. There are more and more quads in general, but many of the kids are starting on small quads and working their way up as they grow up and get more skilled. The original classes were built around motorcycles (until Men's Quad and Women's Quad were added years ago). It's also not fair to the boys on quads to compete with the men on quads - even though its for FUN. It's also not fair to the boys on motorcycles to compete with the boys on quads. The boys riding motorcycles are competing for FUN, but there is one very special trophy associated with Boys Class. I will explain that in my next post about this topic, along with the awards portion of the Annual.

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