Randy accounts his goggle mistake that almost cost him his eye sight.
By: RANDY LAWLOR
District 36 hare scramble
On my 5th birthday I got my first dirt bike a PW 50. I always had a dirt bike growing up and upgraded in sizes until I was 27 years old. In 2012 I sold my dirt bike to help buy my first Rickter and pursue my love of Freeride (Surf Jet Ski Riding). I have stayed pretty busy since selling my dirt bike with having two boys and jet skiing a lot. I have always missed dirt bike riding these past few years. A couple months ago my buddy Tony was selling his 2016 KTM 300 XC-W so I bought it! We went ridding a couple times with the crew when my buddy Rich Saum told me a lot about the District 36 hare scramble he was doing last year and convinced me to race a couple rounds with him this season.
Jet Ski (Freeride)
Randy Getting Muddy
The first hare scramble of the year was Prairie City GP. Unfortunately it rained a lot prior to the race and was scheduled to rain all day on race day. Needless to say, I did not prepare with the right gear for that kind of weather. I had never been to a race like this, so at the starting line it was pretty intimidating. There was 300 riders in different lines getting ready to start the race. I was in the dead center of everyone and it was pouring rain. Each minute they were releasing rows of riders. Each row was a different class. After the first turn I was in third place. I quickly moved to second place and shortly after I was able to make a pass for first place in my class.
The pack quickly came to a hill climb that had down riders all over it, the chaos began. We were in a traffic jam! The classes that were released before us and after us were everywhere. I was able to pass several more riders from the pack, when all of a sudden my goggles became two muddy to see through them and I had to take them off. Mistake #1.
We ended up doing 4 laps of 11 miles each in some tough mud conditions. On the last lap I got hit in the eyeballs by some roost off another rider and it started to bother me pretty bad. I was struggling to see with all that mud in my eyes. I did fall 4 times throughout the race but ended up finishing 1st place in my class and 9th place overall out of 300 riders.
THE POINT I KNEW MY EYES WERE IN TROUBLE
After the race I started to clean out my eyes which were really bugging me horribly by this point. I had to have my wife drive home because it hurt to bad to open my eyes. My vision was extremely blurry. I ended up going to the eye doctor the next day to find out I had a 1.5 x 2.5 millimeter chunk out of my cornea. I got some antibiotics but was only seeing 20-200 when I had 20-20 before the race. This lasted a little over 3 weeks before my vision started to get better. It was a pretty scary feeling. I went went back to the eye doctor for a checkup and they said things would heal up and I should get all my vision back over some time. Overall I had a blast on my first hare scramble and can’t wait for more to come. Lessons learned always wear your goggles.