Brian - how did your 1st enduro go?
Posted June 12, 2000 - 02:08 PM
How did you first enduro go? Tired. Notes in timekeeping? Impressions of bike. Second loop hard?
Hope it was at least fun.
Posted June 12, 2000 - 02:10 PM
Posted June 12, 2000 - 03:36 PM
Posted June 13, 2000 - 05:07 AM
I didn't finish the second lap of the enduro. But, hardly any of the 'B' riders did.
This course was straight from hell! It had a fun factor of about 1.5 out of 10. And that 1.5 was just from hanging with the boys before and after the enduro.
This was 36 miles of VERY rocky, VERY twisty, VERY loose narly stuff. This course was brutal and frankly not much fun. Now don't get my wrong, I like brutal terrain, but in moderation. And to make things even worse, after 31 miles of hell, they threw the 'B' and 'A' riders through 5 miles of real nasty crap! VERY loose and rocky and technical. It was totally brutal. The turns were 90 degree sharp turns around a tree with big-ass rocks on all sides. You had to slide your back end into them and punch the gas once inside the rut. And the turns couldn't be railed because they had big rocks on all sides. The trail was always in low hanging trees. I hit my head VERY hard several times with big branches and saw stars and got a headache from the impacts. This trail would have been fun for about 5 miles, but not 36 miles! And especially 72 miles had I finished the second lap.
The target speed was 24 mph. They thought most riders could complete the course in 2 hours. NO WAY! Most didn't finish the 1st lap in time to make their 2nd lap start. I was about 10 minutes late and finished the 1st lap in about 2 hours 45 minutes.
Cary (scarymyth on DRZ400) of course made the 2nd lap start but flatted 4 miles into the 2nd lap. That's too bad because based on Carys awesome first lap time, he probably could have taken 3rd place in the 'B' group. He raced 'A' in the mid west for years and said this is the hardest enduro loop he's ever done.
Dave (xr400), the best rider of the weekend again, finished the first lap with about 8 minutes to spare, got gas and water, and started his 2nd lap. He was the only one of us to finish both laps. His second lap was fun for him because, since most riders didn't finish their 1st lap in time, he was all alone on his second lap. Plus he didn't have to do that last 5 miles of hell on his second lap.
I passed Dave on a technical climb about 30 minutes into my first lap. I somehow held him off for about 1/2 hour. But I started to fatigue and stopped to let him by. When he passed me, he looked very smooth and fluid. That's the difference between me and Cary and Dave. I can go fast for short sections, but it just seems like I have to work a hell of a lot harder at it than they do. Experience I guess.
I was cussing the weight of my Thumper during the race. But one of the top AA finishers was on a YZ400 pretty much stock. And Carys DRZ is quite a bit heavier than our WR's. So I'm over that.
The field was full of two strokes. They seemed light and fast. Although on many of the NUMEROUS technical climbs, I passed two strokes littered about the climb with ease. Between my torque and ability to walk up the climbs, it was no problem, those little bikes can't do that. It's like they have an on-off switch on the throttle. But they got even with me in the turns.
Jake and Kerry and I thought we were at the end of the pack because hardly anyone passed us in the last 45 minutes or so. But after we finished, a constant stream of riders came through for quite some time.
There was really no time keeping on this course. You basically rode as hard as possible until the check point after the first lap.
Things I learned:
1) Next time, don't let Cary talk us into 'B' class. Do the 'C' class while you can and just have fun. If I would have done the 'C' course, I wouldn't have had to do that horrible 'B' section at the end and I would have finished reasonably fresh and happy and had much more fun. The 'B' class and above is something you would want to work up to if you got serious about racing. This was my first race EVER and there was no reason to join that division.
2) Know more about the course before sigining up. This course wasn't fun. I need to have at least SOME fun sections.
3) My strength is in wider open higher speed stuff. The tighter it gets, the slower I get. I need to work on that weekness.
4) At the biginning of the race, I was wishing I had my old 50 tooth rear sprocket even with my YZ timing. I needed my old gearing back. However, by the end, I felt the 52 tooth was a MUST! I rarely stalled (unless I crashed) and needed that crawling gear over and over again.
5) I need to have my legs shortened so I can stand more. Although, it was hard to stand much on this ride because there were so many turns. There was only 1 fast streatch and it was way too short. I was in 1st and 2nd hear all day.
6) The only encouraging part for me was I noticed when I was in zone and riding confident, I could keep with the other 'B' riders pretty well. But when I slowed down just a little, I got passed. So now I just need to work on constant speed.
And Moto-Mike is right, I appreciate it more now that it's over.
I can't wait to do a FUN ride again.
[This message has been edited by Bryan (edited 06-13-2000).]
Posted June 13, 2000 - 09:09 PM
Posted June 13, 2000 - 09:24 PM
I'm on board with that TW. Yes, that was the Enduro we rode, RMEC Dry Creek Enduro near Montrose. I didn't fair that well. I did get passed a lot. Mostly by two strokes. I just couldn't seem to maintain my speed and concentration through all that narliness.
'C' is where it is at for me next time. Fun first and I'll work up to pain if I feel the need.
I saw that Wyoming Inya Kara Enduro advertised. That does sound like a lot more fun. I'll have to try and get some info on it soon.
Thanks for the encouragement,
[This message has been edited by Bryan (edited 06-13-2000).]
Posted June 13, 2000 - 05:06 PM
Number 7 for your list – Enduros are endurance races to push your tolerance for life threatening speed over uncertain terrain – not for fun. Even the really good guys on those light two strokes were limping Monday.
Number 8 – Someone has to be paying for the pros’ bikes. After seeing several really good guys fly by me (literly in the air more than on the ground!) – they can’t be paying for it themselves! They were riding like they just stole their bike! I'd flat almost instantly.
Number 9 – Those short stubby pinon trees are much tougher that the trees in this part of the state. Don’t think you’re going to cut a turn through pinon branches! WHAM, your bike goes further – you stay!
Number 10 – Young guys heal faster! I put a twenty pound beer-shed around my middle and it didn’t soften any of those rocks!
The only goal I reached for the entire weekend was Cary Smith finally admitting a trail was hard. Other than that - I was pathetic. The WR needs to be riden agressively. You read it all the time on this web site. I wasn't doing it right. Either my lungs or another pair of organs in my body weren't up to it
I don’t know that I agree with your Upton, Wyoming recommendation. I rode that one a few years ago and it wasn’t exactly a party. Shredded my jersey, broke my chest protector, and ruined my helmet.
I'm looking forward to the Divide Enduro. I've heard its very fast! I'm reading - "not too tight for big 4-strokes" Have you every done it? How about the Texas and New Mexico races?
[This message has been edited by Jake (edited 06-13-2000).]
Posted June 13, 2000 - 09:45 PM
New Mexico a couple of years back. Trail ridden Muenster Texas a few times. You ever try Pine Ridge, it's fairly open and alot of fun. Might have to try the Divide race. The new 250F is in the works for me, and at my size the 400 is a bear and a half in the tight, love it in the not so tight stuff and for climbing.
Posted June 13, 2000 - 10:31 PM
I used to make fun of enduro riders back when I was around 18 or so. I’d call it an “old man’s sport”. A buddy talked me into entering the West TX 100 down in the Midland/Odessa area, and the great friend that he was, let me ride his 1980 Yamaha IT 425G. My bud was an A rider and we were on the same minute so I figured, no problem, I’ll just ride with him and he’ll do all the time keeping.
Somehow I managed to hang with him till the first gas stop but I was about to DIE! I learned that day that normal humans do not layout enduro courses. No sir, only some sadistic freak would EVER dream of marking the course through the most tree/whoop/rock oatmeal like sand infested piece of terrain in the entire state. I hit the “wall” (my absolute physical limit) about half way through the second loop. I must have crashed 237 times in the last 18 miles. The mighty 425 would only start after 67 stabs at the kick starter following each crash. I think it was about 142 degrees out that very sunny September afternoon and I began to hallucinate after about the first hour of this crash, ride for 30 feet, crash ride for 30 feet, crash… torture!
Some how I finally made it back to the finish (needless to say I houred out, no, make it, I two houred out). My buddy’s bike was already loaded up in the truck, but he was nowhere to be found. I managed to lean the majestic, engineering marvel, IT 425G against the truck and stumble off of it and on to a lawn chair owned by some people in a motorhome we were parked next to. I did not have the energy to even take my helmet off. I just sat there thinking about how nice it would be to just close my eyes and go to sleep. The little voice in the back of my melon kept saying, “don’t close your eyes, you will never wake up and die in some stranger’s lawn chair”.
Several minutes of this mental struggle went on before a little old lady emerged from the motorhome, saw me sitting there, helmet (with broken duck bill) still on, and mumbling to myself. She asked if I was alright. I’m not too sure what I told her. This is about the time everything starts to get fuzzy in my memory. I think my buddy (the guy who likes these “wimps only, old man’s sport” enduros) took my helmet and boots off for me, loaded my bike and body in the truck and drove me home back to Lubbock. I think I must have puked 10 times along the way. That night, my roommate drove me to the emergency room after I passed out on the couch. They treated me with an IV for sever dehydration. I think I lost about 15 pounds that day. I believe it was a WEEK from that following Thursday that before I started to think back on how much fun that enduro was, and I started looking for another one to enter in.
I will never think of the fast guys running enduros/hare scrambles and like as anything less than superhuman. Davis, Roeseler, Hawkins, and my hero, Malcolm Smith (he replaced Bob Hannah after that day in Midland) are truly great riders. My lessons learned that day are pretty much the same as yours, Bryan. Always, always, always start in the C class. Drink plenty of fluids during the event (duh!). And DON’T EVEN think about running an IT425G in anything except, maybe, your garage. There’s a VERY good reason there is no vintage class in enduro racing. At least I don’t THINK there is a vintage class. I could be wrong about this. Those who would ride the required machinery in this class would be even more demented than the clowns running around laying out the courses! SICK! SICK! SICK!
Posted June 14, 2000 - 08:01 AM
Posted June 16, 2000 - 12:13 PM
While riding in this enduro from hell, I was having absolutely NO fun at all. I was miserable. I kept thinking, 'I'll NEVER do this again'.
But now that it's over, I can't stop thinking about it. Sometimes it takes some pain and suffering to really make you feel alive.
I can't stop thinking about:
That easy hill I took three trys to get up at the end when I was so freak'n tired (yes Jake the one you caught me on).
That high speed digger I took. My left handlebar crashed into a tree and jerked the bars out of my hand. No steering damper help here. The bike went left and I went right. I did a superman and landed on my FACE. Luckily, I landed in the ONLY soft dirt spot in the entire ride. My chin protecter acted like a scoop and I had dirt in my eyes, ears, nose and mouth for the rest of the ride. My teeth were black for HOURS!
That narly ledge I successfully wheelied off of right into some big rocks without even thinking twice. I never would have done that in a casual ride.
The time I came across about 4 other riders strewn about on a rocky technical climb and calmly picked a line right past them all and got a 5 or so minute jump on them. Remember that one rock Kerry?
The time I came across 6 two strokers trying to get up a very loose hill, some where crashed, some were just spinning out, and I ripped right past them (good hill for WR tractability).
The fact that I got past a rider I know is faster than me on a nasty climb (he crashed) and got enough ahead of him to make him work for 30 minutes to catch up.
All these memories are clear in my mind.
I need to do another Enduro before I start remembering the bad stuff more clearly.
[This message has been edited by Bryan (edited 06-16-2000).]
Posted June 16, 2000 - 11:26 PM
Sounds like you've been hooked! Let us know how the next one goes! What will really get you sucked into this sport is when you actually start keeping up with accurate timing while simultaneously crashing your brains out, pushing/pulling your bike through/over impossible obstacles and cursing yourself for paying good money to enter in these rides from hell. It won’t be long after this when you catch yourself thinking about laying out some trail through some really ridiculous piece of real estate as your bopping along on a normal trail ride with your normal riding buds. When that happens, you might as well join a club that puts on enduros and start marking trails to make other normal folks’ lives just as miserable! I am convinced this perpetual psychological evolution (more like brain washing of a once rational trail rider or innocent motocrosser!) is why enduros have been around for so many years with so little change to the sport as a whole. You gotta admit though, survival is rewarding… and addictive.
Posted June 23, 2000 - 09:54 PM
Dave, the only one in our group to finish this nasty enduro finished 6th in the 'B' class! He rides an XR400 and is a great rider. Congrats to Daver!
Apparently, this course was so nasty that only HALF of the 'AA' riders even finished!
Now I don't feel so bad!
The enduro director said he would have let us go a second lap even though we were so far behind and missed our 2nd start. We didn't know that. We also didn't know that we wouldn't have to do that REAL nasty section at the end of our 2nd lap. The knowledge of those two things could have made at least one of us try the 2nd lap (or maybe not).
So, anyone that even FINISHED this sucker ranked well. Especially in the 'B' class.
Another funny note: Jake, KerryT and I, all friends and WR400 riders, all finished within two minutes of each other after our first lap. At no time were we ever trying to keep track of one another either.
Posted June 24, 2000 - 06:30 AM
I spoke with one of the organizers a week ago, that said there were whole divisions that NO ONE finished! They didn't give any of the trophies! You just had to drag your machine across the line to earn metal. (most DNF'ed due to flats)