My Ride/Race report on the Perry Mountain 24 Hour Challenge
I decided several months ago to race the 24 Hour Challenge, problem is....no REAL dirtbike. Heck, I'll just ride my KLR.:lol3
So a few months of thought and bike preparation, the race weekend was here.
I'll start off by saying that I could not have doen this without the help of good friend and business owner Chris Branham(Branham Accessories, Cullman, Alabama for all your truck, motorcycle and atv needs:freaky ). Chris and I have worked, raced, and rode together for years, we raced the very first PMMC 24 Hour Challenge 7 years ago on a borrowed:huh DR350. Chris has continued to race this every year since then. The team this year finished fourth in their class, a good run, but I know Chris was a bit dissappointed:cry ....Ya'll get'em next year Chris.
I went to Branham's in Cullman on the Thursday before the race, Chris is hauling all my stuff down for me, allowing me the opportunity to ride the KLR down to the race. We mount up the IRC VE-33 tires on my wheels, and mount up new Shinko 244's on Chris KLR wheels, I'll put his wheels on my bike for the ride down, and back home after the race...(if I'm able:eek1 ).
So Friday, about noon, I climb on the KLR and head South. It's about a 150 mile ride down, I stop by D&H Cycle in Cullman for a quick hello. This is where Chris and I both worked part-time a few years back, and where I bought my 31,000 mile '06 KLR new. I wanted Gerald, the owner of 33 years, to take a look at the changes I've done to my bike. He says it;s still very, VERY heavy.....really????:huh Gerald has always told me that if your off-road on a KLR....you chose the wrong bike.:D I've chose the wrong bike I guess.:wink:
I stop at ethe Clanton, Al. Wal-Mart for a case of water and a few other items...bananas, granola bars, a couple of big bottles of Pedia-Lite:huh , etc....Planning on eating light for the next couple of days.
I arrive at PMMC and get waved down my Mark "Treeman" Powell. He had saved a pit area next to his, along with good friend Chuck "Just one more lap" Venable. I head down to Branhams pits to swap out my 16 tooth front sprocket for the race 12 tooth, and to put the wheels on. I get back to the pits to find that Mark and Chuck had put my canopy up for me...Thanks guys.
We are all running the 40+ Ironman class, this is gonna be fun.
Me and my bike race ready(if there is such a thing with a KLR):freaky
I've got to run now...more to come later.:freaky
:lurk This should be good. Kudos to you for Ironmaning a 24 hour race on a KLR. Some friends and I did a 24 hour at Glen Helen in SoCal on a DRZ400E. But we had a team of 6. It was a great experience.
At one point in the middle of the night, I crashed in a desolate section of the course, bike died and it was pitch black. I had no idea where the bike was. :dunno Was feeling around for it with my hands until another rider finally came by and lit up the trail. Then I could see the bike and got going again. :lol3
The night before the race.
Yeah...I'm 6'1" and 245 lbs....riding a 400 lb. bike, this should be fun:huh .
Getting ready for the start
Starting line,...Mark and Chuck, Where are the umbrella girls??
The race starts at 10am. Dead-engine start standing about 30ft. out in front of the bike. We have a short straight, a 180 degree turn, then a left into the woods across a 2 bike wide bridge. I guess they try to single file everyone right at the start.
I just fall in line, then a big jam-up at a hill just 1/4 mile or so into the woods, I jump off the trail and pass quit a few bikes, hey...KLR's can make trails were there are non:D .
The trails are just what I expected...sand, rock, and later on seat deep whoops, and roots that'll throw you all over the trail. A reall tight downhill that if we'd been going up it I'd really struggled. The big KLR goes up hills quit well, but a handlebar wide single-track criss-crossing a very, VERY steep hill would have been more than I could have handled I believe.
I ran two of the eleven mile laps, leading Chuck and Mike for those two.:clap . I'm feeling pretty good. I get a big ol drink of water/Pedia-lite and head back out. The third lap now, a few ruts deep enough to drag my feet off the pegs, it could not have anything to do with the KLR's ample ground clearance.:rofl Sandy area is getting whooped out prety good, what little mud we had earlier is getting better.
Now on the foiurth lap things turn for the worst at mile marker 8 or so. A pretty bad uphill I get crossed up in a couple of ruts and thrown off teh trail, a small tree, about the size of my forearm, catched inside my left radiator shroud...throwing me down the hill backwards. Now with the bike laying on top of me...I hear a BUZZZZZZZZZZZZ...The tree had smashed the radiator back into the fan.:becca :becca I get the bike back upright and moving again...the fan still buzzing.:eek1
About 200 yards up the trail they have a first-aid station set-up. I stop there and begin the repair...a bit of pulling, twisting, kicking, and cussing. Alright, got it. I head back out to complete the lap. I've lost maybe 15 minutes or so, I stop to take a break and check the bike over.
By now it's getting close to the hot part of teh Alabama day, so I decide to take a bit of time and cool off. Eat a bite of lunch.
I head back out the afternoon, about a 3 hour break. Wrestling a 400lb. bike out on that hill drained me a bit. I think I should have spent a bit more time getting the body ready, the bike was as ready as a KLR could have been, I was not.:cry
I go out and just "one-at-a-time" the laps till almost dark. The sandy parts are seat deep whoops by now, one muddy and wide creek crossing has gotten really nasty now...I'd just third gear it across aiming at the smallest rut I could find. I never got the bike stuck, momentum was my friend in several places here.:freaky
I just do 3 more laps before dark. I'd planned on riding at night, but I could only think of the mess I'd be in if I got in trouble at night with a 400 lb. bike. I decide to get some sleep.:cry
The pit area is cool at night.
Electronic scoring, I can see just how much time I'm loosing at night.:huh
Now I've only done 7 laps, 77 miles. My plans were to wake up as the sun's coming up and do at least 4 more laps.
I get up and on the bike, head out feeling great, a little sore, but feeling good anyhow. I find the trail has improved a little in some places, but some others are much worse...whoops that's swallow a bike, and ruts that I'd just hit and hope the bike didn't stop moving.
The first of my morning laps was great, feeling good I stay out for a second lap.
Now it turns bad again....4 miles into the lap a big rock jumps up and breaks off my left peg.:huh . I stop and go walk the trail looking for my peg, a fellow racer stops to help, I tell him to go on I'm just looking for my peg, he tells me he's in no hurry.:lol3 I find the peg and strap it onto my camelback, I drop it off at the next check station. Oh my....try one footing it around this crap on a KLR...:becca :becca I;d stand on the downhills, smooth parts I'd stand and place my left knee on the seat...uphills and rough stuff I'd just have to sit there...OUCH!!!! My right leg will never be the same:huh
So this ended my race, only 9 laps....99.5 miles
I found some bolts for a repair, but they wouldn't catch enough threads were I felt I could've gone back out. They'll last for the ride home anyhow.
The old bolts
More later....some of us are at work writing this.:lol3
So, not exactly how I wanted this to end, 100 miles of sand, rocks, ruts, and whoops on a KLR(my fastest lap was 38 minutes),...although it ended a bit better than Chucks.
Chuck will, from now on be known as "One more Lap" Venable....at about 9:45 am., 15 minutes before the end of the race, Chuck says "I feel good, I'm gonna do one-more-lap". Well, 10.5 miles into that last 11 mile lap...smash, and a broken collar-bone was the result. I hope your doing better now Chuck.
Chuck got Mark by, I bleieve 1 lap, Chuck ran 12, Mark 11, and I had only 9. But I was on a KLR.:lol3
Anyhow, I went out and took the checkerd flag. Then down to remove the transponder.
Friend ElectroJoe came around the morning just before the race ended with my favorite,,,KrispyKreme
I wheeled my bike down to Branham's pit to swap wheels and sprockets.
We load up everything back in Branhams truck, and I'm off for the ride home.
I take it easy, checking my footpeg a couple of times on the way. Just a nice easy ride home.
Now the next morning was another story....I could barely walk, the stairs at work nearlly killed me.:huh
I believe, if I do this again, I'll try to spend a little more time preparing my body. This year i done no training at all, that may explain the soreness:huh .
So,....just some random shots of the bike after the race, See ya'll next year.:freaky :freaky :freaky
Read the bike prep here:
Good on yah Al ! ! :clap
Wow!!!!!! Much respect to you:thumb. Thats a lot of iron to be tossing around. I love the way you represented us KLR riders with you're bike prep. Raidiator gaurd from Lowe's:clap . Iv'e got to get me a 12 tooth sprocket.
Great Job Allen!
It was a pleasure to get to see you again & do some racing.
You the Man!
Are you back to normal yet???
Great report, Al, thanks for posting. I've seen people do some pretty impressive stuff on KLRs, but never a 24 hour off-road ironman. Congratulations, glad you and your bike survived (mostly). :clap The coolest part ... you rode it home after all that! :clap I bet you were the only one to do that!
Found another pic:freaky
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