Joined: Nov 2007
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.