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KENT RICHARDSON
Age: 48
Weight: 175 lbs
Bike Ride: Honda XR650
I started out with the anticipation of
taking the bike from JN Roberts who took the bike from
Malcolm Smith, two super heroes. The class 40 bikes
were coming through and the leading Quad had come
through. The day was perfect. There had been rain the
day before and there was little to no dust.   Another benefit of the rain was that the silt beds that I
had ridden through pre-running had been turned into moist dirt.  

A helicopter overhead alerted me that JN was coming. JN delivered the bike in perfect condition.   A
quick seat change and I was off on my adventure. (Note: Malcolm and JN preferred a lower seat
height on the bike and wanted the stock seat). The bike was set up well and worked great. Other than
being slow in top speed it was fun to ride. The close ratio gear box reminded me of Formula 1 racing.

The first part of my section of the race was new to me due to the assumption during pre-running that
the course was the same as it has always been through Ojos Negros. In fact it was all new so I
throttled back a little over the new terrain. As mentioned before there had been rain the previous day
and the condition of the dirt on the course was excellent.

In the first mile I was passed by one of the leading Quads. This was a moment of truth and decision
for me early in the race. I thought no way am I going to let this Quad pass me and then I realized my
goal and that of my team mates was not to win this race or even our class but to get this motorcycle
quickly and safely to Cabo San Lucas which was over 1,200 miles down course. So I did the hard
thing and let him go.

The ride was fast and fun, the top speed on the motorcycle was brought to my attention again while
going up the long dirt straight from Hwy 3 towards Mike’s Sky Ranch. A Honda XR650, that I had
caught and passed earlier, blew by me so fast it almost startled me. Then a CRF450 followed suit by
passing me also albeit slower than the XR650. My saving grace was that I caught and passed them
back when it got rough and tight after Mike’s Sky Ranch.

About 10 miles from Santa Domingo the bike felt loose over small whoops. I stopped and checked
the rear wheel and swing arm but all was tight and I accounted it to a little fatigue. Later I heard that
one of the guys at the next pit stop noticed that the handlebar mounts were starting to come loose
and tightened them up. My only surprise was that Curt was waiting at Santa Domingo to take the bike
rather than his dad John.  My ride of 170 miles took me three hours and fifty minutes. It was over too
soon.
The pits were right where I expected them and always fast, friendly and efficient. The course was
really beat up and there was hardly a smooth stretch to be found anywhere. I was thinking how glad I
was to be on a motorcycle.