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Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by 602, Jan 27, 2014.
Looks like Matthew lost his chain!
Yup, and Jeremy too (251) right before him in the same spot:eek1
Awesome to watch them.
That Chocolate Thunder made some pay!
From the live text feed under the video...
Good effort Matthew, it was a blast watching you do your best!
Now the big question... you going back next year? :huh
Damn. . . I must've missed this somewhere.
Cheers for the effort #602! Fun to watch indeed.
Wonder how 251 and 616 are still (?) doing out there?
Dammmm what a shame!! He upgraded the radiators and improved the impeller to boot.
Well, it looks like one of our Front Rangers made a super-solid finish:
Brad Hendry was only 1:40:00 behind the leader, Webb.
Impressive! Great job riding Brad!
Nice work Matt and Jeremy !!
Thanks for the update Cam
Way to go Matt! You rock!
I had no idea Brad was riding this. Helluva nice guy! Helluva great rider!
CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH!!!
Can you give us a quick update?
Bikes broken, bodies OK?
Race report enroute?
Long drive home. Heading east out of grand junction towards northern colorado right now. I didn't miss the snow.
Two out of three bikes are alive. Three of three bodies are in mostly functioning order.
Expect a race report in the coming days.
We arrived in Johnson Valley on Thursday morning of last week. After getting our rig level, we unloaded the bikes and began preparations for exploring the California dessert. Just three campers down from us was Jimmy Lewis. This man is the mastermind behind the King of Motos race. He gave us a practice loop that allowed us to get used to the Trail Tech GPS units. He also gave us a very helpful 5 minute introduction to some of the major features. These units are REALLY cool! Here you see us in the final stages of importing the day's tracks.
Once we left the King of Hammers compound, we headed north to pick up the loop that was showing on our gps units. We decided to space ourselves out to ensure that we were each given the opportunity to read our individual computers and not just follow the rider in front of us. All three of us found these units easy to operate while riding. The buttons on the gps were easily articulated with our gloves.
After a while, we decided to converge as a group. This is when the practice loop put us through the first rough section. Once we all made it through we stopped at the top to share some initial opinions and trail food. Nothing but smiles. We were having a blast!
Up over the canyon wall and onto the dry lake bed we rode. The terrain was no longer gnarly. I am now doing 5th gear tapped and screaming across the dry lake bed at 70 miles an hour. With the low gears I put on the bike, this is all she is able to push. At the other end of the lake bed we are funneled to the base of this steep mountain. With a little bit of focus, I made it to the top with no drama. Brad's attitude in this picture sums up the day's ride. And really the whole weekend.
After climbing the mountain, the only place to go is down. We quickly drop to the dry river bed on the other side. Back to the gnar. This is a section called Highway 19. I think the only man who rides at the speed of a highway is Cody Webb. This section was an easy version of the hard stuff.
Towards the end of the day's loop we find this sign. Seems like a half dozen trails converged on the single point in the canyon that we were riding in. We decided to drop into the trail called Sledge Hammer. This damn thing kicked my ass! While picking my lines, I picked the wrong one! Smashed my new Recluse Clutch Cover and my brake pedal. I also snapped the kick starter bolt off of the shaft and now the kicker has been tossed into the rocks. We stop for a trail side repair.
I haven't mentioned the wind yet. The wind and sand storm that came with it was insane. This presented an issue for taking off my clutch cover. I needed Jeremy to use my jersey as a wind break while I took off my clutch cover. He then stuffed it over my exposed clutch assemby. Keeping sand out of the motor was a top priority. Using a t-handle and a rock, I was able to fix the damaged clutch cover. Fire up the motor, then toss the kicker in my backpack. Now we finish off the loop and head back to camp.
Remember the wind I mentioned? Here is what it was doing to the tents.
As soon as we got back that night I tried to remove the bolt that was stuck in my kick start shaft. No go. I couldn't get a bite on it with the "easy out" set I was using. I must have the kick starter on the bike. I am running a recluse and cannot start it any other way. So what did I do? Welded it! :huh
Here is Chris from Poision Spyder Customs doing the job for me. This man kicks ass!
Any of you Jeep guys will surely recognize the team. They had a big presence at this event.
I'm off to work now. Race report to be continued...
The bottle necks are pretty much what I envision Hell to look like. All that is missing are some flames and pitchforks.
Saturday was the first day for scheduled activities.
At noon we had a rider's meeting. This was hosted by Dave Cole and Jimmy Lewis. We all know Jimmy. Dave is the founder of the King of Hammers event. He is a great man. Dave was under a tremendous amout of pressure this past week and never showed it. Always a smile on his face and very social.
During the rider's meeting, we picked numbers out of a bucket to determine our starting order. I pulled 9. Taylor Roberts and Colton Haaker were just in front of me.
I had a real hard time finding my groove on Saturday and produced an awful time. I was seeded 70 our of 71 riders. But honestly, I wasn't too bothered by the position. I was at KOM with the intent of making the main event. I couldn't care less about the riders around me. Here I am. All smiles before my run.
Enduro 21 has a picture of me during Saturday's Qualifier.
After the qualifier, it was time for some more bike prep. I decided to change out my tires, bleed the brakes and adjust the recluse clutch.
Race day is inching closer...
Sunday morning the top riders left the line at 8 AM. Since I qualified at the back of the field, I didn't leave the line until 8:20 or so. They were releasing 2 riders every 30 seconds.
The AM look started off rather easy... For the first quarter mile that is. After that they dropped us off into a trail called "Backdoor". After battling the steps, we then entered a canyon that was called, "Resolution". This is where the biggest clusterfuck of loop one was found. All around me, I see bikes and bodies scattered. And plenty of media crew watching the carnage. I smell boiling KTMs and burnt rubber from spinning on the rocks. The canyon was long and steep. I made some strong passes and found myself at the top in about 20 minutes. Passing through check point one, I zoom out on the gps and see that it is now time to open the throttle and ride hard in the desert.
Here is a video of some jeeps battling to get up the steps on Backdoor. It wasn't much easy for the moto riders.
The fast section now slows down and I am dumped onto some single track. This become the next section of gnar for this race. My speed begins to suffer. At checkpoint two, I take a short break and eat some trail food for some much needed energy. I am now feeling better and make my way through check three. After battling some tight rock sections, I am again dropped out into the open expanse of the desert. For the next 20 minutes or so, I am battling with two other riders. I know that I want to enter the next rock section in front of them.
The tracks funnel us to the base of a massive sand hill that was steep and long. I struggled to get to the top of this one. Energy and time were both lost in this section. Now I am though check four. I zoom out on my gps and see that I am close to the finish line. Looking over the ridge I confirm my suspicion when I see Hammertown just below me. Close enough to touch it...
Then I am dropped into another long and rocky canyon. Looking down I can see this one is going to take me a while. I struggle to ride over the rocks and am constantly battling to find the good lines. I often lose the battle and am forced to pick up my bike and re-position it. A couple times I endo-ed ass over apples down this canyon.
Eventually I find myself at the bottom and pass through check five. Now I am really close to the finish. Like a mile or two. Really close! And then disaster strikes. I RUN OUT OF GAS!! :ddog
ADV, meet Steve. This man was my savior. He stopped and provided me with some petrol that allowed me to finish the race. He also helped me out earlier in the loop when I was about to take a very high risk line. The man pointed out the line that mere mortals are supposed to take. Awesome guy.
Once I got a splash of gas, I made my way across the finish line.
Damn, this loop was hard! But I made it! I qualified for the main event!
It was now time to do a quick inspection of the bike and get some calories in my body. I popped my chain off the rear sprocket in the last canyon so I decided to check chain tension. All was good here. I also was worried about my coolant level. Those canyons were intense and I was getting my motor very hot. At one point I saw 340+ degrees for a coolant temperature. Open up the cap and I see a full radiator. Thumbs up for the Evans water less coolant.
I then get on the bike and head over to the start of loop two. The start was on a trail called, "Chocolate Thunder". The name is fitting because that's the color of your pants when you see the trail for the first time.
Here is a video of the start. It was a Le Mans Style Start. Off the bike.
This is what is looked like from the rider's perspective.
I was one of the last riders to make it out of the canyon. But I made it. Check one of ten was at the top. The promoters alloted up to 50 minutes to make it to this point, I was here in 20.
Loop two was a lot harder than loop one. It was always throwing gnarly terrain at you. Soon enough I found myself passing a handful of riders and then battling this canyon. It was about 1500 vertical feet of climbing. I would guess that about 30 minutes of my time was spent trying to get to the top. At one point I begin feeling very weak. I take the time to eat some food and put a little bit of liquid in my stomach. Now I continue on.
Nearing the top of the climb there was a small vertical step that I struggled to conquer. I wreck. Again. I pick up my bike and gather myself. I can see the summit of this climb. Fire up the Kawasaki and then I loose control again. Bike goes nose first into a pile of rocks. She makes the most aweful of all crunching sounds. My day is finished. I destroyed my right side radiator. The Devol Radiator Braces / Cages didn't hold up to the abuse.
I am not the only one who struggled with the climb. This rider had his own ghost riding to deal with. Lucky for him, he didn't sacrifice his radiators.
I am able to limp my way back to camp and spectate the rest of the race from the Hammertown Compound. Within a short period Jeremy arrives in camp. He and his bike are both alive. But he timed out at check 4 of loop two. Now its just Brad.
Over an hour goes by and we see a lot of riders finishing. But no sign of our friend. Brad is a local AA racer so we begin getting worried. Brad should have been here by now. We contact the race organizers and they inform us that they have no additional information on Brad. He is not listed as broke down, medivac or timed out. No news is good news right now. And then! Brad comes racing down the final hill in the race and across the finish line. With 30 minutes left in the race, he finishes. Brad was the last solo rider to finish the 2014 KOM event. I think there was a team that finished just behind him.
75 riders began the event and only 25 finished. Yes, this race really is that hard.
Earlier in the week while preparing for King of Motos, my grandfather passed away. Marvin was an honorable man. On Sunday I rode in honor of the values that he lived. Whenever faced with a challenge he would attack it head on. There is no time to waiver.
I made the main event at America's most difficult extreme enduro. I knew that racing the afternoon loop was going to take everything that I have. I made it to check two before suffering mechanical failures and being forced to withdraw from the event.
Mark my words. I will be back in 2015. Stronger, faster and wiser.