This year I finally made the trip to the Perry Mountain 24 Hour Challenge in Maplesville, Alabama. For many years I’ve said that I wanted to go, then when it rolled around I would always say “I’ll go next year”
I got an offer for a ride to the race with Ben Weathers who was going to help out with the Gas Gas team. Needless to say, I jumped all over the offer and Friday afternoon, we were off.
I got the chance to see first hand what it takes to make a successful team as I hung around the Gas Gas Offroad team pits throughout the weekend. The event is really unique and takes a lot of preparation beforehand and also a lot of work to stay in the race throughout the entire 24 hours. This of course requires an awesome pit crew, and each of the successful teams have exactly that.
I was very impressed by how professionally ran this event was. The Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club put in a lot of time and work but it was all well worth it. The venue, the course, scoring, presentation and pretty much everything involved in the race was very well done.
Rob Mitchell and myself showed up to shoot video of the event, and the Perry Mountain club welcomed us with open arms, I was even granted permission to ride Ben’s KTM 525 to various spots along the course. Club president Glenn Holingshead basically gave me full access to the course as long as I stayed out of the riders way.
I can’t express how great it is to be welcomed like that. There’s some series that seem to not care at all if we’re there to cover their events, so to be welcomed by the club was awesome.
I’m also thankful to all the riders and spectators who were excited to see us out there shooting video. Without you guys, being out there shooting video would be pointless. You’re the ones who make the work all worthwhile.
Now to come to the unfortunate part that I’m actually embarrassed to mention. I made a huge mistake when uploading my video footage from the weekend. I thought that I had transferred all of the footage from my cards onto my external hard drive. I then proceeded t0 format the cards, thus deleting all the footage. Unfortunately, the footage had not transferred to my hard drive, so all the video I shot throughout the entire weekend was lost.
I tried for several hours to recover the files via various recovery programs and other methods. None of which seemed to work. Thinking about losing all that footage makes me sick to my stomach and it also makes me feel like I’ve let down all the racers, spectators and the club. I guess it’s just a hard lesson learned for me. I apologize to everyone for making this mistake and I hope I can make it up to you guys next year.
The good news is that Rob Mitchell’s video footage is still good, and his video will still be posted on Digitaloffroad.com soon. So while my video footage may have been lost, Rob’s action will still be seen!
I’ve also made the decision that I’ll try my hardest to make up for this error next year. As long as the event is still on a GNCC off-weekend, I will definitely try my hardest to return to the 24 Hour Challenge next year, and I’ll be better prepared for the event. I also have a great idea in mind for video coverage of the event, I’ll leave it at that and let it be a surprise.
Be sure to check out my recap of the racing action at http://www.digitaloffroad.com/2011/06/06/perry-mountain-24-hour-race-recap/
I’d like to thank Ben Weathers for my ride to the event, Chuck Ware for a place to crash and a toilet to destroy Friday night, the entire Gas Gas Offroad team and organization, all the riders and spectators, and last but certainly not least, the entire Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club for putting on the event and welcoming us video guys with open arms.
For more on the race, check out www.24hourchallenge.com
For more on the Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club, check out www.perrymountain.com