Black Bear Enduro adventure

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by dirtyboy, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. dirtyboy

    dirtyboy Adrenaline junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    525
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    Seattle, WA
    It all started out just fine, a cloudy morning with threats of rain but not too warm. Clouds were swirling all day but only a few drops and some mist managed to come out of the sky. Trails were in the best condition that I've ever seen at Capitol Forest...in other words, very little of that nasty slimy greasy mud and the deep ruts were dry and pretty easy to avoid. Things started out great, made it to checks 1 and 2 on my minute. Felt really loose, fluid, and confident. Check 2 was in a pretty fast section and the woman marking my card seemed to be surprised that I was on my minute, so I got some satisfaction out of that and felt like I must have been doing really well. This just might be my day! That's when things started to get a little dicey. Another mile or so up the trail and there's a road crossing...the trail continues straight across the road, but there's one sign that says the trail is closed for logging, another paper note that says the trail is closed but open for the racers, another pink sign (same color as all of the course markers) that says "< Trail Re-Route" with an arrow up the road to the left, a pink ribbon all the way across the trail about 7 feet off the ground, and then to top it all off I could see all of the pink course arrows going right up the trail beyond the pink ribbon.

    Now, we were warned about this spot at the riders meeting, but we weren't told about the "Trail Re-Route" signs that match the course markers. So what you do here?? Also keep in mind that this was in the middle of a fast section that was challenging to stay on time, I knew the guy who was on the minute ahead of me was somewhere behind me since I passed him before the last checkpoint and I didn't want him to come by me because it was real dusty and I didn't want to eat more dust and worry about getting around him in a more challenging section, it was hard enough with him behind me. And I thought things were going really well so I didn't want to waste any time.

    So, of course I figured that maybe the logging folks or the DNR dude made an executive decision after the race had started that we couldn't go thru the logging area after all and there was a short course detour. So I turned left and went down the road looking for the next detour sign. Less than 1/2 a mile up and another "Trail Re-Route" sign with an arrow, so everything's cool and I just keep riding along. A little further and another sign, and then another sign pointing the opposite direction. WTF? I think to myself and just keep going thinking somebody either screwed up or someone just happened along and decided to mess with the race. So after about 3 miles of this I follow one more arrow for the Re-Route down a trail and start riding looking for some sort of course markers. Nothing.... Hhmmmm.... Okay, maybe they were in a hurry and didn't have time to put up more markers, just keep riding, don't second guess yourself. Another couple miles and I'm starting to really worry. There has to be a checkpoint here to let us know we're on course. Sh#t, I'm not seeing anybody out here... Just keep going, don't second guess yourself, focus, ride, stay loose, focus. Finally I realize I'm totally screwed and decide that there's got to be a trail junction soon and I can pull out the map to figure out where in hell I am so I can decide what to do next. Well, it was about a total of 8 miles before I hit a junction. Now it's time for a little side story...

    At registration in the morning, I noticed a little stack of trail maps for the Capitol Forest sitting off to the side of the registration desk. I have never seen an official trail map for CSF and didn't have any map for the forest at all. An official map? Cool! I'd love to have one of those. I decided to snag one since nobody was looking (cheap bastard) and stuffed it in my pocket. When I was getting dressed and deciding what to put in my pack I almost left the map in my truck. What dumb luck that I grabbed it and stuffed in my pack!! Otherwise, I might still be roaming around CSF about now...

    So I pull out my map and figure out that I'm totally on the opposite side of the forest, a minimum of 20 miles to get back to the start area and definitely no chance of avoiding a DNF. Or I could just backtrack the 8 or 10 miles to where I made the original blunder and try to beg the race marshals to let me finish. After about five minutes of debate with myself, I chose option 2 and headed back from where I came...

    After finally getting back to the original point of confusion, I decided WTF just go up the trail and see what happens. After about 4 miles or so I come across a checkpoint. Cool!! I'm back on course!! Unfortunately, I'm told the hour sweep has already passed and I'm officially a DNF. Mother fuck$r!! Oh well, time to kick back and ride the next 30 miles for fun. Another couple miles and I come up to a couple guys on the side of a road. I stop to ask if they need any help and they ask me where I'm going. Turns out they're with the host club and are pulling the short course (my course) markers and placing markers for the long course second loop. So my only option was to follow them for about 1/2 hour to a point where the long course markers were already placed and just follow them in.

    The cool part here is I got to ride this killer hidden section of the long course that drops about 1000' vertical in 1/2 mile where only about 10 bikes total have ever been down it. Yeehah!! My kind of trail! It was super steep thru brush, pretty much a bushwhack trail that you would never know was there if it wasn't shown to you. That's my silver lining to the story...

    After all was said and done, I got the pleasure of riding an extra 18-20 miles of sweet trails on a beautiful day when I felt invincible on the bike, everything just felt right. Too bad it's probably the last enduro of the season and I'll have to wait until next Spring for another shot at glory...

    And it turns out that the "Trail Re-Route" signs were placed by DNR the day before but nobody from the host club thought to pull them down. And they didn't think to put someone at that spot to direct traffic...

    So Ron and Dave, how did things go for you?? Ron, I think you have a story of your own? I hope you didn't get injured. I saw your guys results, Ron what happened? Sorry I missed you guys at the finish, looks like you were long gone by the time I got back (they were just getting ready to dole out awards for the short course).

    Cheers,
    Brian
    "db"
    #1
  2. gentry

    gentry For Reasons Unknown...

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,251
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    thanks for the report. I had hoped to ride in that but just couldnt get organized enough last week. Need bar risers first too.

    Glad it came out alright!
    #2
  3. Davidovich650

    Davidovich650 KLR-ista

    Joined:
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    Homeless
    Brian,

    You weren't the only rider out there that got turned around. I had a guy coming at me on an open section of gravel road - traveling in the opposite direction, I was trying real hard to make up lost time (guessing he was too), - our combined speeds were probably somewhere near 100mph. I nailed my rear brake, and basically slid the XR off into the ditch, and gassed her back up onto the road after he passed (that wasn't you was it? :eek1 )

    Yeah, Ron's got his own story. I'll let him tell it. My checks were: 0, 0, 8, 2, 2, 8, 1, 1. Yeah, the first sections were easy to stay on your minute - we had to burn some time on the side of the trail a couple of times. The first eight was from a 19mph nasty trail that we just couldn't keep pace on. The second eight is another story. We came up to that active logging area, and frankly, I wasn't reading anything other than pink arrows. I saw where other riders had taken a right turn off the trail. I actually had to stop, back up, get some RPM's up and nailed it. Tire width trail through really crappy recent clear cut, but rideable. Dumped out onto a gravel road after 100 yards or so - definitely the toughest part of the race.

    Funny, other than that one rocky trail section and the clear-cut, I found that they laid out the course and the average speeds and possible-checks in such a way that it was very possible to make up for lost time from the difficult sections. That 1mph section - I think we came into that after my first 8 - and just pegged the throttle - got it back down to a 2 for the next check. Funny.

    My foul-up of the day was a dead enduro computer (operator error in mounting the sensor), so I was doing it with a stop-watch and a street-bike Odo, which didn't allow for the reset - so after the one reset, I was subtracting the reset distance (3 miles) from current mileage. Towards the end of the race, I'd just have to pull over and figure out WTF I was at in the race! Fatigue was kicking in. But all in all, I felt pretty good at the end. Don't think I could have done the long course - something to work for next year.

    And - Iain and another rider rode down Saturday night on DRZ400's - they went out on the course as spectators and got some video footage of us. Oughta be quite entertaining - especially at a certain gas-up checkpoint that gave us a little added excitement. (Iain - we gonna see the vids soon?)
    #3
  4. gs dakar

    gs dakar live to ride

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    167
    Location:
    snohomish, wa
    I will elaborate when time is on my side....lets just say that a 50 cent clutch mount bolt determined my ultimate fate...I ran close to what I think was 8 miles with no clutch....kept it in 1st and lugged the motor....power bumped it up to second and back down to first.....those 180 switchbacks are quite challenging with no clutch to pull into....all I can say is that the 13-52 sprockets saved my arse....until the entire lever just fell right off......had a great day ......overall the bike was running the best it ever has....and I can say that both Dave and I probably were running with the best skills we have had all season.....I had a blast......FYI......Cranberry lake hare scramble at the end of Oct.....any takers?????
    #4
  5. dirtyboy

    dirtyboy Adrenaline junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
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    525
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    Seattle, WA
    Nope, not me, the only time I was going the opposite direction was when I was off course!

    I think I remember that spot, I thought it was a detour around a big tree.

    Yeah, it was a fun course especially since the trail conditions were so good. That first 13 mph section would have been brutally hard if it was wet and muddy like it was for the Timekeeper. I must have spent a total of about 10 minutes waiting on the side of the trail in that first section.

    Bummer about the computer, my clock started to wig out during my little detour. Not sure if it got damp or the batteries were running low. For now on, I'm always putting in new batteries and checking ALL fasteners before the event.

    Yeah, the long course for me is just a matter of endurance. I just don't get to ride enough. But I felt pretty fresh after the 70+ miles yesterday so maybe next year for me too. But I won't try to do a long course at CSF if it's wet!

    Lookin' forward to some video action!!
    #5
  6. dirtyboy

    dirtyboy Adrenaline junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Bummer about the clutch. I'll bet a few of those harder switchbacks were ass clenchers! 13-52 rocks in the nasty stuff. Cranberry Lake, is that out by Anacortes? There's also a Halloween Poker run at Belfair in Oct.

    FYI- I'm thinking about doing the LA-Barstow-Vegas dual sport Nov. 25 weekend, trying to find someone going down with trailer space so I can fly down and back. I've already got the go-ahead from my wife and fortunately don't have any other obligations after Thanksgiving.
    #6
  7. Bat1000

    Bat1000 n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    North Creek, WA
    #7
  8. gs dakar

    gs dakar live to ride

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    167
    Location:
    snohomish, wa
    ah wrong bike you are thinking of as it is the katoom I was on.....mmmmmmm although the dakar on the course would have been a ride report all of its own..... spare bolts?????WTF...I have to have some level of confidence in the equipment....however I see that I am going to have to backout all bolts and pull out the ol'red locktight for greater confidence.....
    #8
  9. bluesurf

    bluesurf en dos ruedas

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    Jun 18, 2004
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    1,014
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    Taxville
    Nice reports, guys, good to hear everyone's safe and ready to go again.

    Lessee the pics and video!
    #9
  10. Bat1000

    Bat1000 n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    North Creek, WA
    Ah the mighty KTM. Nope. I didn't fling that one to the ground. Although the season isn't over yet...:evil

    Confidence? Always. But certainly with a nod to Mr. Murphy. Loctite should keep him out of the picture. Bolt wise anyway...
    #10
  11. d0gWateR

    d0gWateR Goat Stuntaz DSMC

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
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    Chilliwack, BC CANADA
    Hey Brian, long time no ride. Sounds like a fun event, what bike were you riding?

    Paul
    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. dirtyboy

    dirtyboy Adrenaline junkie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yo Paul, good to hear from ya! I was on my 520EXC, the stump-puller. Love that bike!! Wish the LC4 had that six-speed tranny...

    Cheers! :freaky
    #12