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Discussion in 'Racing' started by cynicwanderer, Jun 16, 2012.
I should clarify that this is the cowbell in california enduro, not up north.
the final enduro of the season was the Buckhorn at shasta dam. It was a little surreal getting to the staging area. you have to stop at a guard station and "state your business", show your driver's licence. they will inspect you tag/registration sticker and look under the vehicle, before lowering the anti-terrorist barrier in order to proceed across the dam, where another barrier and guard house awaits.
I arrived before 10pm, found a quiet place to park the truck and went for a walk around the pits. stopped at a fire to chat a little with some of the people who where there. went to back to the truck and went to sleep. I didn't think much of all the bikes with their own space heater running next to them and being covered.
woke up the next morning to a hard frost, over sleeping slightly. I meant to get up around 0600 to register, but slept in until about 0700. key-time was at 0800. went over to registration. a friend who arrived the night before held a spot on her row. turns out there was a mixup and we went back to get it straighten out.
unloaded the bike from the truck, afix'ed my numbers and score card, loaded my jart roll chart and tried to start the bike. it wouldn't... apparently, 20w50 is a little thick during freezing temps and it was hard to kick it over. no worries, got myself ready, had something to eat, went to the bathroom and tried it again. this time it finally started after trying for about 10-15mins... warmed up the bike and proceeded to tech. inspection. I have noted that these go a lot faster now, since I keep the old inspection stickers on the number plate. they probably figure that it's OK, since they didn't bother to do the sound level check.
back to the truck, another bathroom stop, filled my camel back and ate some more clif bars/cookies and drank some sports drinks. adjust my ironman wrist watch on the handlebar to the key time, preset the timer on the Honda enduro computer to 59:00. preseting the time, allows me to to start the time when the row before me leaves. the timer then advances to 00:00 on my row. I didn't bother with the odometer calibration check procedures. the wristwatch is my backup timekeeping device. I set the time so that it reads 8:00 when my row starts.
off to the starting line, reset the odometer back to zero and waiting to start. we start with a little single track section, which promptly drops us into a small quarry, which is laid out like a trial course. this short section was brutal and surely meant to weed out the weak riders so they would not attempt the rest of the race. which is a good thing, since there are certainly some tough section in this enduro. after the quarry, we do some more single track, access roads and a fun canyon single track, back to the pit area, where they ran us through the motocross track and down and up some near verticals. on with more single tracks, access/fire roads and rocky climbs. once climb finished with a small log across the track, pretty tricky. the first 10 miles were pretty uneventful until check #1. then some more access roads and single tracks, a little tight stuff, more rocks... and then the log section. apparently, the lumberjacks forgot to pickup their logs and we had several logs (small and largish) across the track. I biff'ed one log and stalled/flooded the bike, which put behind somewhat. the rest of the logs went OK.
down the hill with some fun switchbacks and rocks and then some virgin event only tight single tracks and more uphill rocky sections. all in all very fun. we finish loop1 in the pits, refuel and take off.
now, here it got weird. the jart shart showed a "restart", however, there was also a check point. I didn't notice the flags, so I still don't know which the restart and which the secret check was. I will have to pay more attention the next time. on a restart, you are allowed to arrive early and wait until your row goes. on a secret, you will get penalized for being early. in any case, I got a 1 on one and a 0 on the other all is well.
now on to bohemoth mountain. some very cool rocky single track high consequence trail and steep uphills and switchbacks. I stalled the bike a couple of times spending some time starting the flooded bike. in one uphill bottleneck I had to wait for two stopped bikes, stalled my bike and had a tip-over. while trying to restart my bike I noticed some spilled oil on some rocks... damn, I put a hole in my clutch cover. luckily it was high and not leaking when the bike was right side up. well, I kept trying to start my bike, while some guys in motorcycle gear was walking up the trail. I asked whether he was OK. apparently, he was OK, but he launched his bike over the cliff and was walking to the next check. yikes.
finally got my bike started and rode carefully to the next check. I checked out the crack some more and decided to quit, while I was ahead and ride out over the fire/access road to the pit area, rather than risking losing more oil on the next tip-over and damaging the bike.
I was a little disappointed that I didn't finish, but overall this ride was a lot of fun. I'll be back next year ! I felt totally comfortable with my timekeeping skills and whenever I thought I was on-time, I caught up with my row mate who was in the exact same place. she was using a checkmate.
Sounds like you had a good time up until the clutch cover issue. All of our enduros are the new format so it's good to see the traditional time keeping still alive.
yes, I prefer the timekeeper enduros over the national format and I'm happy they still have them here.
"it hurt like hell and I almost froze my balls off, literally."
umm, which part don't you get ?
I'm in awe of your ability to endure pain & suffering! Great thread and I really like your writing style.
it's been a while. there haven't been any new enduros. the season has closed out. I finished 23/208 overall, 23/54 in C-Senior and 18/27 C-SuperSr (only two events). I'm pretty happy to have finished the season as well as I did. I made some cool new friends.
this season, I will attempt to hit all enduros in the series. I'm planning on staying on only one bike (xr350r) for enduros and keeping the xr200r as a backup. I also want to race some hare scrambles and maybe some family enduros, as I have time.
I also picked up a '83 CR480R (2T Death Trap) for entering in Vintage Blue Plate class (Cross Country). the bike is in parts (the price was right) and missing a rear wheel, but doesn't seem too bad.
Vintage Blue Plate class around here is '84 and older, with drum brakes and air-cooled motor. the CR480R will be a beast to ride in a scramble (or trail); it will make riding the xr350r, like riding a play bike.
this weekend is the prairie city grand prix, which is the first race of the cross country series. a grand prix is like a hare scramble, but also includes some asphalt, which will be cool. my xr350r is mostly prepped. I had to add my rider number on the plates, which is required for cross country.
Finished a weekend of racing at the Prairie City GP. I entered two races, the C-SuperSenior on Saturday and C-open on Sunday. Here are a couple of videos from Saturday. The first one is of the asphalt go-kart track; a grand prix is a hare scramble with some asphalt.
Here is a clip of all the 4x4 obstacles that were on the course. The 4x4 area is normally closed to motorcycles other than trial bikes, but they sometimes include it for events.
On Sunday, the added a section to the course, which made it more difficult/interesting and longer. something like 14miles/loop, while Saturday was more like 11miles/loop.
Overall, it was a blast and I haven't done a hare scamble for 30 years. However, I think I like Enduros better. The scrambles are a bit short and there is a lot of traffic.
I was going to do the Oasis hare scramble, but was called away to the North Sea for work and missed it, following Oasis there was a National Hare Scramble at Pecacho, which I also missed. I finally managed to attend the E-Street Hare Scramble last weekend. Both races I wanted to enter (C-SSr and C-open) were back to back races at 8:00 and 10:00. Since registration for a race closes 30minutes before race time, I registered for both races at the same time... they just accepted my entry fee and wished me good luck.
The first race was a mix of the age classes, the Vintage blue plate and the C-women class. I had a couple of friends who entered the Vintage and C-women class to race with. It's always more fun when you race with people you know well. The race started off well and consisted of a gnarly/fun MX track, and some runs back and forth along the riverbed in deep sand. they managed to throw in a couple of "technical" spots, but nothing serious. I quickly discovered that my new'ish Alpinestar boots weren't as broke in as I would have liked and I had difficulties shifting precisely to the point where I finished the last few laps mostly in second gear.
I finished the race and went back to the truck to swap boots, get something to drink and head back to the start for the second race. this was the sportmen race and the B-women. certainly a lot of youger people/kid. basically seemed like mostly under 30. this race was about the same pace, but I felt much faster having better shift control. the whoops felt OK and I was getting more used to the sandy sections. overall, I felt pretty good until about the last 20minutes of the race, when my body just hit a wall. this usually happens to me during enduros about 2-3hrs into the event, so running two scrambles back/back was a pretty good simulation of a quick paced enduro, sans the technical sections. I finished the last lap just in time for the checkered flag. I was happy not to have to do another lap. the sand and whoops really wear me out. anyway, even with the slow last lap and the course getting more whooped out, my average speed went up by 2mph for the second race.
on monday, I was more sore than I have been for a long time. I wasn't expecting this. I think it means that I was working my whole body on the whoops and jumps and I may have been just a little dehydrated towards the end. it took much of the week sllnking around at work, and whincing getting in/out cars/bed, to recover enough to consider doing some recreational trail riding this weekend.
lessons learned, hare scrambles are good ways to condition and test gear and technique. my boots need to be broken in, or I'm going to find another pair of Sidi Crossfire SRS. I bought my last pair (Alpinestar Tech 3 All Terrain), because I want some tread on my boots for pushing bikes. My old boots were Sidi Discoveries, wich are not full MX type boots and while offering good flexibility and traction, not as much protection. they were also getting pretty worn. I like the Sidi Crossfire boots, I had a pair in the past that was too tight. while I could only wear them for a few hours at a time, they felt very good and control was very good with them. The SRS version allows one to replace soles. recently, they have come out with a "Enduro" sole which has more tread than MX soles, so I might consider this combo. They are expensive, but used boots in my size pop up every so often. Besides, I earned some extra offshore pay working on a boat in the North Sea, so I can spend a little on gear, especially if it's good quality and not feel guilty. after all, it was winter and we did have storms.
one more hare scramble (hollister) to test some new gear (boots hopefully) and then off to the first Enduro this season in April (Sawmill). I can't wait to do a real Enduro again.
Here is a video of the second lap (first race) of the Estreet Hare Scramble:
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here is some video from the boat:
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My T3s took forever to breakin as well. :eek1
thanks. yeah, that's what everyone says. my "pro" however says, by the time they are broke in comfortable enough to walk, they will have lost most of the angle protection because the material has become soft. in any case, I think the big problem for me is that the toe box is really bulky on a size 12.
I broke down and bought some Sidi Crossfire SRS' and ordered the E1 Enduro soles for it. I'll keep the T3 for less technical riding where I don't need as much "feel" and flexibility. it's a night/day type feeling wearing the Crossfires vs. the T3.
Now, I have to figure out how to get my Discovery boots repaired, so I can use them for DS again.
went for a four hour trail ride at Georgetown today (trail #1. #2, #1, #4, #9 counter clockwise) with new Crossfires. plenty of technical stuff, even had to get off and push a couple of times, in some muddy/slippery stuff. I don't know why I didn't buy any earlier. no discomfort, no missed shifts (that I can blame on the boots), no issues. the Enduro soles for it should be here this week, I'm looking forward to trying them.
Nice reports, they have brought back alot of memories. I rode the Sawmill, Jackhammer, 49er, Cowbell, Polecat, etc. on my Brand New 1983 Xr200r back in the 83, 84 seasons. Great to see that still going on, keep up the good work.
Who rebuilt your XR200R shock? I have an 83 model I am resurrecting and it needs some TLC.
it was the local dad&son motorcycle shop. Sr knows everything XR, as he used to race Enduros with them in the eighties. they replaced seals, and refilled/charged it. all stock, 200% improvement in ride.
most shops should be able to do it. if the seal isn't blown, you might only have to change the fluid and recharge the nitrogen . the '83 can be rebuild; I believe the '82 not so much. some of the bigger shops (reactech, etc...) should also be able to rebuild it.
two weeks until the start of the Enduro season. of course, last weekend I tried to start the xr350r and nothing, no compression. tore it down and it needs some valve work. the head is at the shop now. if I don't get it back in time (the guy who usually rebuilds my stuff has been out of town), I'll ride the xr200r. Probably a better bike for Sawmill anyway.
Just got my E1 enduro soles for my Sidi Crossfire in the mail, yesterday, and they are installed. went for a small test ride with my kid (three year old) and they felt great. he rides in front of me, and loves doing some of the semi technical stuff with me. (daddy, go down that way !).
we went to Prairie City OHV watched the trial event that was going on this weekend. we rode between the different event/obstacle areas. there are some awesome expert trial riders in the area. I can probably do most of the "sportsmen" lines on my xr200r, the intermediate looked hard and the expert lines, looked, like, well for experts *only* !
XR200R is Prepped for next weekend's Sawmill Enduro.
last weekend was Sawmill. I missed this one last year and had been looking forward to this event. it rained some days during the week and the day before the race and the course was wet/muddy. some described the first half as "brutal". it was tough, but a blast ! I got a flat and hour'ed out before the gas stop.
the first half consisted of several single track specials through the menzanitas, and a rocky section with a hard and easy split. C level was supposed to take the easy split. I have video of the first 2.5hrs of it, however, only part of the first special is curse free. Enjoy !
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Lesson leanred: I rode my XR200R, since the XR350R is in the shop and sometimes, less is more and it turns out that the XR200R was the perfect bike for most of it.