the first section was a bit of trail next to the road and I instantly remembered what I didn't like about desert racing.... whoops... I passed a couple of guys that dumped their bikes. after that, there were a couple of sections with relatively smooth sand that I could go a bit faster on, then some rocky sections... whenever there was a rock in the trail section, they put up a hazard sign. it was tempting to go off the trail to get some smoother ground during the whoopy parts, but that was risky, since the bushes can hide rocks (that are not marked when off trail).
much of the course consisted of going up the dry creek beds of the washes until the top and then turning sharply to go up a sandy hill over the saddle to the next wash and go back down the wash until it intersects a road to cut over to another wash. the rocky parts where comfortable, since that's what I ride all the time. the sandy uphills were a bitch. a xr200r does not make a good desert bike for this type of riding. usually there was not enough space to get up some speed in 2nd. so, when you realize you're going up one of these hills, I'd hit the gas in first and wind'er out until the rev limiter kicks, but on several hills it just didn't have enough to make it to the top without bleeding off enough speed for the front to start digging in. on one of the hills the sweep caught up with me, they asked me several times whether I wanted to keep going, which I wanted to. that's the problem being on row 83 when the last row is 87... one of the sweeps had some nostalgia of riding xr200r and asked if he could ride it up one of the more challenging hills. he made it, barely. the problems with the whoops in the sand were similar. when the whoops started getting big, I'd have to slow way down and then the front wheel to dig into the sand, and I'd lose control or tip over...
however, I was actually enjoying the ride. the hills were hard and the whoops sucked, but I really liked the terrain, saw some old mines, a scorpion. with the hills and the whoops slowing me down, I was getting progressively farther behind until I hour'ed out on the 4th check, which was the end of the first loop (about 50miles). I was finally figuring out some strategies for the hills, but they wouldn't let anyone who hour'ed out to start the second loop (another 68 miles). too bad.
back at the pits I loaded the bike and chatted with the neighbors until the gas truck came with my cans. defeated, I went home. a challenge with the truck going over the sierras. there was one section where they split the lanes and made the left lane run next to the opposing lanes. it was dark, really tight, curvy as hell with dividers on both sides, with barely enough room for a standard size truck with worn steering... RVs and trucks had to go on the other (right) lane, which I should have with my truck. it was about 15-18 miles of white knuckle time, worse than anything on the enduro course...
it sure would be nice to finish one of these things this season... three more enduros left !