Saying Goodbye is Hard to Do...
Yes the time has come for me to turn my helmet in and hand over W1. With the encouragement of my partner Eric, I chose to race one more year so I could go out with 12 #1 District 37 Hare and hound plates. Why not stop last year with 11 #1's? Eric said that was bad luck to end on an odd number, so I did what I had to do. But this year was not easy, I experienced Mechanical problems one after another. One moment I was on the starting line, warming the bike up, next moment the bike seized. Figuring that was it, I backed up my bike to throw in the towel and a moment later, there was a man standing there with a bike and removing my number plate to put on his bike, while his friend went to hold the start and have the Tech people come and tech the new bike. Reluctantly I accepted his generosity and rode. While I raced that day, I thought to myself, Why did this happen? Then in my heart, I began to realize this is what desert racing is about, kindness, consideration and generosity of others. We are like one big Family, something that you cannot just explain nor find in any other competitive sport. At this point, the only emotion that I had was tears of joy, so I raced on with some blurred vision but a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.
There are so many people who I feel that I must thank over the years, I just do not know where to go to do that, so I thought I would start here, I am going to say thanks to some very special people who played a major part of my life. Lets take it back to the beginning of racing time:
- Morris Norman and my father for taking me to my first desert race in 1981, the Rovers MC, where I finished 2nd Woman novice.
- Mark Johnson and Larry Roeseler of Team Green, adding me as a Team Green rider, when no off-road women had racing support. These two men gave me a chance and allowed me to perform at my best racing days of life.
- My best friend and racing partner Lillie Sweetland ( god rest her sole) we conquered and divided the racing world. There will never be a racing dual as ourselves and I miss you so much.
- The man who taught me to lift my elbows high in a turn, Danny Hamell, you taught me everything I know and as I race across the desert there is not one desert race where your voice does not come into my mind and tell me how to navigate the obstacle, I get my inner strength from your voice and can only say I have been honored to have known, ridden and watched you race.
- My friends Al and Nan Guzman, what can I say, you guys were the best, you helped me through some very difficult times, and backed me all the way. Yes, Al you always were a pain in the [butt] to me, but my respect to you for your brutally honest truthfulness and yes, I fully respect you as a racer, damn how the heck do you get those starts, and yes I was very proud to be able to race your bike in 1990 and lead the Bomb over Larry Roeseler, Brett Howell and John Brash, I know that was your highlight as well as mine. if only I could have held onto it, but instead I had to settle for 4th overall, I guess considering the top 3 racers that wasn't half bad -- god, to be 22 again!!!
- Tim Clark, of Manana Graffics you're the man, I wish I knew how to contact you, it's been so long since we talked
- Oh yes, then there is my pal Paul Krause, I think you and I have been racing desert since age 13, and have been friends since that time, I can't recall someone I have been friends with that long, we both show up every weekend, injuries or not. We are both there and true to our sport. Many years ago, Paul taught me that I must respect him. I won't go into detail, however to this day if Paul tells me on the starting line, I better not get in his way, guess what, if Paul's bike does not start, and I am next to him, I am going to sit my [butt] there until his bike fires, as I will mind the master.
- Than there was Scott Harden and Sal, who helped me with a KTM sponsorship. I had a great time racing the bike and racing the Nevada rally, I very much enjoyed our partnership and thank you so much for everything.
- I then rested for 2 1/2 years, only to be persuaded back into the racing world, I purchased a KX and took off where I let off in 1994, feeling very strong I raced for 3 years. Then, one unfortunate day, on the Motorcross track, I destroyed my knee, leaving no ACL, and both anterior ligaments completely destroyed. I sat in front of a Doctor with grim news. He said you have a long road of recovery in front of you. I really did not care. I have broken several bones, including my neck and back. I had always come back, but this was a different kind of injury. When the emergency room alerted me that there were no broken bones, I knew this was going to be bad. However this was the first Dr who talked about recovery. Most say your done, but this guy gave me hope. He said you have 9 months before you can even think about throwing a leg over a motorcycle. The best part was about 3 months into recovery, at my most depressed time, Gas Gas Moto West approached me, and asked me if I would be part of their team for the upcoming year. I chose to accept, and developed a very special friendship with Steve from Motowest, and Charlie and Darlene Barney. The Dr gave me the ok to race Adelanto, only six months into my recovery. I did terrible, and finished 2nd Woman Expert, and was heckled by the Montclair Yamaha crew, which I really felt was unfair. They had no clue what I had been through over the last few months, however this made me even stronger and I came back with a vengeance and won the next National Hare and Hound.
- Steve from MotoWest was one of the greatest sponsors I have had and it broke my heart when I chose to move on. It was a very hard decision.
- Ray Banfield, God rest your soul, you were my inspiration and motivation. You left before it was your time. I am really pissed about that. You and I had some bombs to race. May you, Danny, Lillie, Bill and Mike make some awesome tracks for me when I get there.
Here we are, yes I may have forgotten those who helped, basically I have recalled the most important people who have really influence my life, but there is someone who I am going to end this with...
CHECKERS MC => I was the first woman in 52 years who was legally voted into this club. I had to suffer 13 black balls. That's 13 months of driving from Santa Barbara to Glendora to meetings to became a member. For you rumor spreaders, I am NOT leaving this club. Once a Checker, Forever a Checker!!!!!!!! For those of us real checkers, you know what I am talking about. A note to you newcomers: mind your own !@#$ business and as a word of advice, don't spread one more rumor that I have quit, because I have NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
We'll its taken 2 1/2 hours for me to write this. I also want to thank GPR Randy Norman, FMF, Mooseracing Earl Schuler Suspension, FMF, Hollywood Motorsportsm LRS Motozone, Richard Chandler, Rob Giddeon, John Southerland, Rovers MC and of course the LOVE of My life Eric Sedor V2x (I love you forever baby, and thanks for it all!!! You're the Man)
Also, I want to dedicate my racing to my mother. She brought me into this world. She raced motorcross and would have kicked everyones [butt] in desert racing. She had been and supported me all these years and believes in me and my Brother Quinn Cody, and we love her for that.
God Bless everyone, and remember, this game is for Fun. Have a good time, treat your competitors with the upmost respect. I will see you all in the VET 250 Expert class (move over boys)
Anna Jo W1 X12 -- Checkers MC