Pre-Ride Reconnaissance  


TCCRA Race #

Pre-Race Recon The 4K Ranch in Malakoff, Texas


Date:  29 FEB 04


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 TCCRA Race Schedule here.


You can view a Mapquest Map by clicking the Map below, once there, zoom and print as you need to.



Click the radar map below to go the The Weather Channel for this track's weather forecast.




 Then Click here to get long range weather from AccuWeather.


 Below are some specific area maps, & photos. 

malakoff_FE1sm.jpg (78138 bytes)

 Remember this is last year's map, the course is running backwards from what you see here.

thermal.jpg (68624 bytes)

Here's one for fun. Then Black stuff is cold. Cold is water. Camping in green. Track in red.


Now, for the photo tour click here.








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 So then, it's that time again, round up your best gear, slap on some new tires, and let's get out to the "04 season opener at Malakoff. 

 As you may know, this venue was voted track of the year from last season, and with good reason.

 I didn't actually make it out to the track this week, but spoke to Marty on the phone.

 He tells me that the track is pretty much the same as I've described it here ( from a few months ago ) with the exception being that the track will be run in reverse ( making the map backwards of course ) and he tells me that he left out the parts that "may not be so much fun". He also said that he's gonna open up a little more parking and that the PeeWee track will be about the same as last time.

 When I say I can't ever recall having raced at a place like this I mean it. Check the map and pictures...and I'd advise you to come out and race!!


Now then. Other other thing, a good buddy of mine, and a fellow TCCRA member, Tom Moore ( H4 ) busted his ass out in New Mexico a couple of weeks ago.  It was pretty bad. Bad enough that we can't even get him home yet.  He's runnin' up hospital bills like crazy, and could use a little financial help.

There will be a few of his friends at the gate. If you can help out, do so. If not don't worry about it. We'll be happy with what we can get.


So...season opener, same place as last track last season, runnin' in reverse of last time...so...uh...that's it. 


And remember, this is last year's report, so bear with me on this until I'm up and running again.   And you can use the map to see where the track access is, but the track map is gonna be backwards. 





This one's just like going to Athens. If you're coming from Dallas, take Hwy 175 South / East towards Athens. In fact, just go on as though you were going to the Athens track, and when you get to the 317 loop, go to the right instead of to the left like we did to go to Ross' place. After a couple of miles the loop ends, and you'll continue to the right on what is now Hwy 31. It's about 6.4 miles to "the" traffic signal. You'll go left there, I think the sign says "To Crossroads". It's FM 3441.

 After another 6.5 or so miles, you'll turn right on CR 1309, which is kinda like a long driveway, 'cause it ends at the gate to the 4K Ranch. When you get through the gate, keep to the right, and stay on the dirt road until you get to the camp entrance.  


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 As I said before, this is not only a new venue, but also a fairly unique place to ride. Ya see, it used to be ( and still is in some parts ) a rock quarry.

 The guys who work it, would, some years ago, dig these long, fairly deep pits, to get whatever they were after and when they moved on, what was left was these long skinny trenches about 30 feet wide and several hundred feet long. Now, years later,  most of them are filled with water and have become ponds, tanks, and swamps, depending on their age. It's this mining effort that makes this property so unique. The reason is, that a byproduct of digging long trenches in the earth is the leftover dirt, which is now lots and lots of what appear to be levies. They're not of course, but with a 300 yard long, fifteen foot high, ten foot wide hill along side of an equally long pond, it just appears so.

 So, what would normally be a huge open flat piece of land, now becomes a place with lots of room for haulin' ass, and lots of man made terrain as well, in the form of all these "levies" all over the place. Did I mention the "airtime"?

  Out in the flat areas, the dirt is mostly black and ( at the time of my report ) very tacky. Around the swamp areas ( between mile 6 and 9 ) there's a lot of heavy sand, not silt, remember, this place hasn't been ridden before, and is still "virgin".  As I saw it on Saturday, and with the black clay on one side, and the heavy sand on the other, I'm not predicting too much dust here.

 Is it fast? Let's put it this way, and this is no bullshit, I counted just under a hundred major direction changes in nine and a half miles. That's about ten turns a mile...you figure it out.

In one place around mile four and a half, the track just out and out turns into a road. The grass section around mile 5.5, only has 45 degree turns, no 90s or 180s. And between mile 3.5 and 4.25 you only change direction once or twice. It's kinda weird to pass two mileage markers without having made a change in direction!

 Now then I said it was straight, I didn't say it was smooth. Or flat.  In fact, go ahead and change your suspension fluids today. There's no rocks...I guess they "quarried" them all away. But there's about six or seven small creek crossings, that may get a little...dirty, and about 37 deep "G-Outs" ( from going up and down the levies) and an equal number of off camber turns for when you come off or go onto a levy. Oh, and 6438 rain ruts across the fields. I think I lost a filling at mile 4.These may be smoothed out after the track gets run in on Saturday though.

  Between miles six and eight, the track winds back and forth between the huge trenches, that have long ago filled with water, and turned into some kinda swamp thing. Sometimes one swamp overflows into the adjacent swamp ( trench, strip mine, whatever ) and a big rut / whoop is left when the water pulls back. So these otherwise straight trails between the trenches are laden with uneven whoops. Pretty fun to ride, but you wouldn't wanna loose your line and go off into ...well you wouldn't wanna do that.

 This track promises to be loads of fun, and with the exception of the trails between the swamps, there's no excuse for not makin' the pass on your buddy. Intermediate tire. Gear up. No rocks. Firm suspension. +/- 0 tire pressure.


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The camp area seems pretty level after all it was a quarry at one time and was probably flat as a board. It's a little bumpy from years of rain ruts but nothing bad. Just don't go racing across the field to get to your favorite camp spot in the motorhome, cause you'll bounce your TV set off the shelf.

 When you come in the gate you'll be on a road that'll take you all the way through the camp area, and Marty says that you can park anywhere after you get in. If it get's too crowded Marty has an overflow camp area.

 Otherwise the camp area is fairly nice, and the property has grass, and is fairly flat. Not too much shade though.  

 One caution though. We quite a few ant hills, I tried to jump over one and wrecked my fourwheeler, and landed in another one. ( not really ) You would be wise to take this into consideration. Please watch your children and animals, and maybe bring some ground treatment, for your camp area...and bite treatment for yourselves, just in case.

Cell phone rating is high here, AT&T and Verizon both show 4 outta five bars.

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Spectator Rating Look at the map. There are roads everywhere. The terrain is fairly open and easy to get around on, But PLEASE, watch what ta hell you're doing and don't hurt one of our racers while goofing around on the fourwheeler. You won't have ANY excuse for doing so. If you or one of your brood hits a racer on the track, not only do you risk injury, but ...well you don't wanna be forever labeled a "squid" in a club this size.
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Hotels  I didn't see too much in the way of overnight accommodations in the "one light town" of Malakoff, so I would imagine that Athens would be your best bet. There  is this one...

Country Side Inn, 1614 W Royall Blvd, Malakoff, TX 75148, (903-489-0400)

And the rest are in Athens...

Best Western Inn, 2050 State Highway 31 E, Athens, TX 75751, (903-675-9214)
Budget Inn-Athens, 305 US Highway 175 W, Athens, TX 75751, (903-675-5194)
La Donna Motel, 611 W Corsicana St, Athens, TX 75751, (903-675-2279)
Spanish Trace Inn Motel-Athens, 716 E Tyler St, Athens, TX 75751, (903-675-5173)
Super 8, 205 W US Highway 175, Athens, TX 75751, (903-675-7511)
Victorian Inns, 1803 State Highway 31 E, Athens, TX 75751, (903-677-1470)

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Hours of Operation

 Gates open Friday at noon.



No actual soil was sampled during the gathering of information for this report.








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