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Old 10-24-2012, 12:44 PM   #46
DirtyDog OP
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Originally Posted by ct-ktm View Post
Around here people would say you need to get a little bike..You will not find 1 wr400 at a race.

I think he knows the klr is a pig that was kind of his point of doing it no.??
Yep.

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Old 10-25-2012, 07:41 AM   #47
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I was just looking at the BJEC results for the year. Looks like you got 4th for the year. That entitles you to a year end award. Coming from a guy who has ridden a lot of BJEC events and also now owns a KLR (not ridden in the events however-no way in hell) you deserve a standing ovation at the awards ceremony next year. Great job!
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:28 PM   #48
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This is an awesome thread. The tales of your enduro exploits make work so much better!

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:19 PM   #49
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KLR dirt bike

I rode my 01 KLR in a few dual sport rides in Pa and Va. Even with knobbies and lower gearing, it is a pig in the woods, now have a DR 350 for the woods, It was ok to do it, but now that you have bragging rights, get a lighter dirt bike and enjoy the ride. Really enjoyed reading it, thanks
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:54 PM   #50
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Train Robbers Enduro, Bismarck, AR

Hosted by the Arkansas Dirt Riders, this race was the 4th in the circuit, but my 3rd.

I had a 4-hour commute to the race, so I trailered. Between Hardwood and Train Robbers, I made a transition and got rid of the POS truck in favor of a sweet Econoline van.

I worked a deal with my brothers and we decided it was time to have a van wrapped with our company logo, so you'll see the transition in later installments.

On the way to Train Robbers, I had the fortune of interacting with a different style of adventure riders. These guys were dispersed all around a gas station tweaking their rigs, checking/adding fluids, and bench racing. Cool stuff, so I figured it was picture-worthy.






First camelback?



Sorry for the diversion, but it was part of my experience.
I guess the concept of these guys turtling around on public roadways was a good allegory for my KLR in an enduro race.

The pits were situated on a powerline/gas line within the woods. I set up camp where I could. It was dusty as hell and starting to get pretty hot.




Despite the fact that I was surrounded by loud generators, dust, and heat, I had some pretty cool neighbors. Three dudes rolled up in an SUV with one race bike, a quad, tons of beer and some Doritos. Oh, and a window unit air conditioner.

I cooked some fine cuisine over the camp stove.


We stayed up late shooting the shit over beers. I generally try to temper my consumption the night before a race. The last thing I need is a hangover.

I got the best night's sleep that I could, what with the heat and noise. The rider's meeting the next morning was a bit different for me.


The Arkansas Dirt Rider's club is a tratitional and patriotic one. This was the first time I had seen a middle-aged man in full moto gear stand at saluted attention to sing the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America. Furthermore, there was a full sermon from what I could best describe as the moto-pastor. He even had a church tent set up in the pits and had one or more scheduled worship ceremonies.

I also got to see some other enduro buddies- Marvin and his son Manuel.


As usual, I was surrounded by typical enduro bikes and riders. Some faces are starting to look familiar. Nods of recognition are becoming more common.

I registered in a sexy row to go with my curvy bike.


I didn't do any particular bike prep. Basically just the basic fluid service, etc. Tires were still pretty good from last enduro.

The race was about as challenging as any other. The dry conditions and heat were pretty tough, but the dust was usually a temporary inconvenience when being passed.

Like usual, I had a fun first loop and the second loop whipped my ass. I got to see my camp neighbors on the trail. I came into a nice series of rock ledges which are probably no big deal for most riders, but they were tall from my perspective. The two dudes had loaded up some beers on the quad and ridden to the rock ledges to watch riders on this obstacle. As the ledges came into sight, I instinctively slowed to assess. As I did this, I was met with hooting and hollering from my camp neighbors, each with a beer in one hand. "Hit the gap!!" the both yelled as the pointed at a small crevice with each empty hand. I gassed it in that general direction and bucked my way over the ledges. "Woo Hoo!!!" I heard their cheers as I got a second wind and headed into the latter half of the second loop.

Unfortunately, what would come next was the experience that stuck with me as the only real sour note for the whole season.

To be continued...
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:24 PM   #51
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Oh....CLIFFHANGER!!!! Where's the damn nail biting smiley???? ....yeah, those will work.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:27 PM   #52
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Oh....CLIFFHANGER!!!! Where's the damn nail biting smiley???? ....yeah, those will work.

No kidding.


Pass the salt.....

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Old 10-25-2012, 10:29 PM   #53
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Train Robbers Enduro (continued)

I wasn't keeping a good enough pace in the second loop. The woods were just too tight and I just wasn't man enough to push the bike to higher speeds given the terrain. I was super fatigued.

In my last installment above, I alluded to a less than positive experience which soured the event for me. No, it wasn't a crash, injury, or otherwise. At the riders' meeting that morning, the club outlined the details of the course, checks, and whatnot. They mentioned one rule that would later bite me in the ass. They said that if you hour-out at a check your race is over.

This happened to me. I'm certainly not whining about it, well maybe a little bit, but that isn't the rub. Yes, I was late to the check. I don't recall how late because they refused to mark my card, but I know for a fact that I was just barely late. The "Hour-out" status is easily determined in the digital scoring process after the race. It was no mystery that I was houred-out. They could have just marked my card and let me finish the 2nd loop like everyone else. But no, their policy was to close the check at 1 hr and hold hostage anyone that came to the check late. Again, this kind of sucked, but it was their club, their rules, and their race. I understand.

That still isn't what ruined my day. I swallowed my pride and was told to wait at the next road crossing while the check crew disassembled their gear. After that, I would be led back to camp.

So I waited. They didn't seem to show any concern for who I was or why I was late. Never asked if I was doing OK, needed any water, or had crashed or anything. Sort of non-typical, really. I wasn't looking for attention, but when I was replaying the day's events later, this struck me as a bit odd.

And I waited some more. It probably wasn't really that long of a wait, but plenty of time for me to get off the bike and shed some gear. I was waiting at a crossroads in the forest next to the check. The check crew had gathered up their stuff and was heading out, so now we were free to go. Another racer and myself were directed to follow a course worker (geared up and on a bike) back to camp. The check crew was in a pickup. Our leader said "Let's go" and we scrambled to gear up and depart. I was 3rd/last in line. Again, nobody asked me if my bike or body were capable. Our leader just hauled ass. I can only assume that the other rider was keeping up with him because there was nothing but dust in front of me. Again, the conditions were dry and hot- even moreso on the forest roads. I stopped to put on my goggles so I could follow and it wasn't long before I came to a split in the road. No evidence of which way they went. Nobody waiting there to make sure I was following (you know, basic ride leader etiquette...).

It wasn't long before I was fucking lost. Occasionally, I would find course arrows which I could only assume led me back to camp. These were on forest roads, afterall. But it just never made sense. I stopped at every split to really examine the intersections for burnouts or other signs that I should be going one way or another. This wasn't helping. If they are looking for me, I'm now a moving target. That isn't wise, so I back-tracked. As I approached the original crossroads location where I waited at the check, I really hoped I'd encounter the pickup truck or anyone that could guide me back. No dice. So I waited there for about 10 minutes. I hoped someone might come back for me. Nope. In all, I made several attempts to retrace our path thinking maybe I missed an obvious turn or something. No luck. I wandered around in the forest within the general area for about an hour. Meanwhile, I'm beginning to fume. Why the fuck would someone leave me out here? If I was 2 minutes earlier to the check, I'd have been done with the race and relaxing by now. Instead, I'm bumbling around in an endless forest with no clue how to get back.

Obviously nobody is looking for me at this point. They simply don't give a shit that they started with two bikes behind them, but ended with one.

I continued wandering around the forest in the general vicinity of where I started. It was a maze of roads. Fortune shined upon me as I was heading back to the check area and passed a course worker. He looks familiar. Yep, it's Jeff Gaston (inmate JGAS aka Jeffro). My mood just brightened a bit. One of my first singletrack forays since I moved back to OK in 2008 was with Jeffro and others at Brock Creek in NW Arkansas. We did unspeakable things to my KLR that weekend, but it was amazing fun.

I explain my predicament to Jeffro and ask if he can lead me back to camp. He didn't seem to surprised that I got left behind and we made haste back to camp so he could continue his sweep work. I didn't see him again after that, but I owe him one. Thanks, Jeffro.

Back at camp, I head over to the scoring trailer and turned in my incomplete card. I houred-out at check 6 of 8. I explained to the scoring chairman (inmate BMeador) how I got left in the forest and oddly, there was a general consensus in the area that "they like to do that shit." Lame.

Just to add a bit of insult to the whole thing, I saw the check worker later that afternoon and with a wise-ass grin on his face, he smirked, "So I guess you found your way back, huh?" Prick.

Anyhow, I'll digress from my sorry ass experience at Train Robbers. Like I said before, this was really my only regrettable moment in the whole circuit and it was simply due to the poor decisions and attitude of a single courseworker. It won't sour my overall experience with Train Robbers or Blackjack, but I definitely wanted to share it here.

When all the scores were tabulated, I ended with a 5th place finish out of 9 riders in my class (and 4th within BJEC). It pays to have a small class sometimes.


Up next... Golden Eagle Enduro, Stillwater, OK
This one is not to be missed...
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Beer is a god damn miracle, and don't you forget it!"
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:42 PM   #54
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Golden Eagle Enduro

Hosted by Stillwater Trail Riders, the 5th race in the Blackjack circuit (4th race for me) was in Stillwater, OK. Go Pokes!

I've ridden at the Stillwater 500 numerous times so I was comfortable with the terrain and location. Since it was only one hour from home, I was able to convince a couple local inmates to suffer with me and ride the event. Newner had a new-ish XR250 and Tomski74 joined me in the "650 Class" with a DRM650 (DR650 with RM front end). We call it the "Durm". Dirt2007 was supposed to join us, but he had a conflict. Of course, I would ride the KLR50. Tomski trailered with me in my van and Newner took his truck.

We made a humble camp among the toy haulers and RVs.


The Crowmobile Adventure Van made its second enduro trip. It was a hot weekend in late June and I didn't have the AC working in my van yet. Tomski and I got some funny looks on the highway. I guess they were in awe of our sweaty, shirtless physiques.


We stayed up a bit too late "pre-hydrating" and cooking performance-enhancing hot dogs. I managed to convince Tomski that sleeping on the trailer was a good idea. It sure looks comfy.




I brought my usual modest, pre-race breakfast- oatmeal, banana, juice, and espresso. So far, this has served me well.

Newner had other plans. He brought some of those Jimmy Dean microwave sausage, egg, and cheese croissants. I couldn't resist the offer. Bad decision.

We had the typical riders' meeting at 7am and we were pretty excited to race.


Looks like Tomski is cutting a fart.


Reminds me of OK State's football sideline play-calling.


Fresh as daisies at the start on row 21. Dirt2007 showed up on his 950SE and cheered for us. I charged him with taking some pics.


Dirt2007 made his way to an observation point for pics. I eluded the camera somehow, but here are Newner and Tomski on the course.



Misc. random shots. Gotta teach Rick how to focus my camera.



Unfortunately, neither Newner or Tomski was able to complete the short course and both bailed after the first loop. Newner developed some oil burning issues and it looked like he was riding a fog machine. It was a hot day (high of 99 degrees) and the heat was taking its toll on everyone, especially the 650 riders. Tomski called it quits after the first loop and a lone 650 persisted.

The course overall was firm and fast. They had rain a few days before the race and it was just enough to firm up the sandy clay and make for excellent traction.

The KLR performed like a champ and I had no real crashes to speak of. A few careless drops, but traction was perfect. Trail was only dusty in the sections with consistent sunlight, otherwise it was great. I was riding a gear up from what I normally can handle. I zeroed several sections and even passed a few people. The Stillwater 500 is known for it's roller coaster sensation, as it has lots of sweeping banked turns with numerous elevation changes. They had quite a few course split options in this race where longer chicken lines were available. Of course, I can't be caught doing this sort of thing. I have a reputation. Tackled ALL technical sections (instead of easy alternates). Some of those downhills were. I just had to hold on and trust that I'd make it.


My eyes could tell a story here. You can see the redness of my face indicating that I was getting overheated. This was the last time the crew saw me for several hours.




Well, the heat got the best of me and I only I made it about 50+ miles out of 56 scheduled. I made it through 9 of 10 checks. Going into the 80-acre section (pictured above), I was really nauseous and light headed. I was sipping water and choking back the vomit. The 80 section was simple with no technical stuff, so I just slogged through at a relatively slow pace. I had to pull over one time and get off the bike (to separate myself from the heat source). I leaned against a tree (standing up) because I knew that if I lay down, I would definitely be through. Still no puke somehow. Maybe I'll make it. Meanwhile, I was passed by 6-10 riders as I gave them an extremely lazy "OK" sign with my fingers- not even looking up from the tree bark. I don't know how long I stood there like a drunk with wobbly legs. At some point I decided enough and I got back on the bike and continued my relentless crawl to the next check. This short section felt like it lasted forever. I was concentrating so hard on riding clean and slow giving myself pep talks as I went. Don't drop the bike because if you do, it will surely sap any remaining energy. Finally, the checkpoint. This ended in a brief jog on the county road to re-enter the 500 for the last section ~6 miles of easy terrain which I had already ridden once.

Stopped the bike in the road and stripped off some gear to sit in the shade. I was through. My body was completely spent, my brain was baked, and I likely was suffering from heat exhaustion. Any respectable corner man would have thrown in the towel on my behalf long ago. I must have been out of water at this point (I can't fully recall), because I begged a bottle of water from a spectator. I carry a 2L camelback and I top it up between loops. I generally drink a gatorade between loops, so it's likely that by this point, I had already consumed about 4L of fluids during the race, but it simply wasn't enough to cool me down. I made it half way through The bottle of water before I felt the most intense and violent vomiting of my life. Three times.

I later described it as the sensation of having my rib cage slowly cracked open at the sternum and pried apart. Then, in an instant, Bruce Lee punched me in my vulnerable, naked heart with a board-breaking jab.

An amazing volume of liquid was now soaking into the ground. It was shockingly painful and awe-inspiring at the same time. Unlike any vomit experience I have ever had. Now I was thinking I shouldn't have eaten that sausage egg croissant with breakfast. It was readily identifiable.

Eventually, I regained my composure and continued to sip water and sit in the shade. Spectators were long gone by now (they missed the puke show, thankfully). I really wanted to continue on the last 6 miles, but camp was SO close and I was fucking dying here. I took the short county road back to camp, turned in my incomplete scorecard, received my DNF, and went back to my shaded chair for some water (and a trip to the porta-john). I was still losing fluids... painfully. Meanwhile, Rick, Tom, and Brian were somewhere on the trail waiting for me to pass. I never did.

After an hour or more, they finally made it back to camp where I was still trying to replace fluids. I eventually recovered, but I certainly pushed myself way beyond the limits this time. Fortunately, it was just temporary discomfort and an epic story.

We finished 9th, 10th, and 11th in C-Vet out of 12 riders and I got 6th in Blackjack points.

Many thanks to Newner, Tomski, and Dirt2007 for sharing in the experience. Despite our collective trials, it was really fun and gratifying. Wish we could have trophied, but that isn't what really matters.



Here are some pics that Tomski took








And one from one of several "Pit Stops" on our way home. It was rough.




Up next... Lead Belt National Enduro
Strategery afoot and riding 9 different bikes in one weekend (none of which was mine)
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You're hot, cold, thirsty, hungry... beer will fix that.
Beer is a god damn miracle, and don't you forget it!"
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DirtyDog screwed with this post 10-29-2012 at 11:52 AM
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:21 AM   #55
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I'm getting thirsty just reading these DD! I really don't know how people can hydrate enough for conditions like that. I get really nautious about 1/2 hr after a race and if i don't eat right away afterwords I'm screwed.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:54 AM   #56
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I'm getting thirsty just reading these DD! I really don't know how people can hydrate enough for conditions like that. I get really nautious about 1/2 hr after a race and if i don't eat right away afterwords I'm screwed.

No kidding. I don't know how you guys down south manage. More than 80* up here and we all get heatstroke.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:57 PM   #57
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The "80" is pretty much a jungle ......Trees block the wind but trap the heat and humidity.
Grass grown over everywhere except the trail.
99 Degrees and humidity was more then likely over 80%, yea, you sweat Alot!!
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:53 PM   #58
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Well, up next was supposed to be the Lead Belt National Enduro, but allow me to divert for a moment. The summer was a break between spring races and fall races in the Blackjack Circuit. Idle hands and bikes are evil and whatnot, so when August came around, I decided to stir up some trouble. I had the (mis)fortune of getting to participate in the first ever adventure bike class at an indoor endurocross event.



The club putting on the event had a last minute conflict over using the term "endurocross" due to copyright issues or something. We tried to convince them to name it the Stillwater Indoor Super Enduro Extravaganza... SISEE. They didn't bite.

Yes, I did it on my KLR, but I wasn't the only one. Two brave souls participated with me- RedDirtJoe (XT225) and Crash217 (red KLR in touring trim).

Not a lot of pics of many of the races. I was one of several ADV spectators last year and took numerous pics if you want to see how the facility and course are arranged.

This year, they really improved on the look and feel of the course. It was clear that they knew what they were doing. I'm amazed that they transformed the arena from flat dirt to this in 6 hours.

Unfortunately, the pond obstacle wasn't to be, but at least they made a bit of mud.





The forest was a cool effect.



There was a grouchy troll living under the tires.


For reference, here is what real offroad bikes look like on the course:


Joe and Crash both rode in the Trials class. Crash also rode in the Veterans class on a YZ125. All three of us rode in the Adventure class. Fortunately, I had the energy reserves to ride a single class, while the other guys were sufficiently whipped and beaten.

And here is the slow race.
Items to note while watching: crowd silence, battle of tweetys, Joe loses his cowling, we all crash in the same spot, skid plate contacts increase with each lap, multiple bike stalls.


My drop in the rock garden looks particularly painful in retrospect. After one lap, the forearms, wrists, and hands are basically toasted. Throttle control gets way sloppy.

We all managed to get trophies. Crash won the Veterans class. Joe won the Trials class (and 2nd in ADV class). I won the ADV class.

Fun was certainly had by all.






Sorry for the diversion.
Up next... Lead Belt National Enduro
For real this time.
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You're hot, cold, thirsty, hungry... beer will fix that.
Beer is a god damn miracle, and don't you forget it!"
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:28 AM   #59
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That's cool and you guys are nuts
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:37 AM   #60
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That is totally awesome! Would totally do that with you!
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