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Super Senior

Stumpjumper Keith Clyde gets his first trophy. (Co-written by Keith Clyde)

The race had a rough start. When the starting gun fired, I was so excited to enter the 50 plus super senior bracket, that I ran two steps, crossed my feet and tripped, almost taking down the gentleman who won third place in the 60 and over bracket the year before. He had to jump over me. I got up just as the other bikes were leaving.

In the winter, I work ski patrol at Schweitzer Mountain, setting up safety equipment and skiing the entire mountain, on and off duty. At the beginning of March, I switch gears by tearing my XR250 dirt bike down to the frame and rebuilding it for the Stumpjumpers Desert 100 race in Washington.

The Stumpjumpers is a family oriented, off-road motorcycle club that promotes safety and fun. Founded in 1967, the club started the Desert 100 in Vantage, Wash, in 1969, but moved it to Odessa in 2,000.

I have participated in the Desert 100 three times, and this year, I was able to enter as a super senior. I was glad I only had to race 50 miles this year. When I took off, I thought to myself, it’s kind of rough in the sagebrush and rocks. Just then, a bike passed me like I was sitting still. That bike hit a pile of sagebrush and flew 10 feet in the air. I finally got to the main trail and worked into my race pace.

The first half of the race went well. I was surprised when one of the checkpoint people told me I had reached the halfway point. It felt like I had gone 40 miles, not just 25.

The second check point had a different diversion. Pretty girls.

I must have been distracted. After I got my marks, I took off and wheeled over backward, flooding my bike. It felt like it took 5 minutes to start it back up. I bet those girls were real impressed.

Once I got my bike going, I proceeded to the rock cliff., where over 100 bikes littered the scene. The guy in front of me tried blazing up it and bounced off the top like a toy in a pinball machine. I thought this was a little like coming on to the beaches of Normandy in WWII. I sat there and looked at it for a few minutes, deciding not to do the pinball thing.

 I saw a line up the middle of the cliff and went for it. When I got near the crest, I hopped off my bike, slipped the clutch, and pushed. At the top, I dropped the clutch, jumped back on and hit the throttle.

The bike shot up and over the top; the pinball guy and I reached it at the same time, but he was spent and dropped over his handlebars. I took off and had a good run to the finish.

In spite of the tripped up beginning, the pretty girls, and the cliff, I placed fourth in the super senior division, which had over 100 participants.

I thought, no way. I was so excited, and I got my first trophy.

I also won a new RTT steering damper, but I picked one out for my dream bike, the KTM 450. I went to Boise to buy one, but liked the KTM 250 they had better. The steering damper fits it perfectly.

I’ll miss my old bike, but I won’t miss the blisters.

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Desire Aguirre Desire Aguirre lives in Sandpoint with her daughter, DaNae, and numerous pets. An LCSC student, she plans on graduating May, 2009, with a bachelors in communication. Her favorite sport is riding her horse, Splash-of-Paint, into the wilderness with Cholo, her son's faithful dog.

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