Happy New Year to everyone.
Silver, here is the race report I did for our local riding forum. The race was great, doing it again this year, 2013. I'm thinking of doing 2-3 harescrambles as well. If they go well, I may upgrade the XR to something new like a KTM 200XCW, or a Husaberg TE250.
Its 0530 in the morning, I'm having my morning fruit smoothie, and a gallon of coffee before I head out the door, load my bike on the truck and head off for my first enduro race......ever.
I got back into dirt biking this spring, after a small 33 year hiatus. I've been riding BMX, mountain bikes and street bikes since, so I don't feel completely foreign on the back of my new to me 2003 XR250R.
Within days of getting the bike, I foolishly signed up for the Breast Cancer Extreme Enduro. I was told it wasn't that extreme, and asked if it was doable for a 43 year old newb on a 9 year old bike. My answer was.....well there is a 16 year old girl entered on a KX85. Great that helps, she's probably been riding since she was 5, and we all know what teenagers are capable of. It's for a good cause....boobies, so what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. Seriously, my wife lost her mother to breast cancer and she was only 54 years old, so this rider is for her.
I have always been in pretty good shape, raced triathlons, half marathons and marathons, and did an Ironman once, however since the beginning of May on top of my usual running routine I added some strength training and ab work to get ready for this event.
So I head out into the early morning fog for the one hour drive to Anagance, located between Saint John and Moncton, New Brunswick. Race meeting starts at 0830 so I get there around an hour early. I don't really know anyone, but quickly my mint XR250R draws quite a crowd of one, another rider on a XR400. I recognize a RM125 from the site and go over and introduce myself to Addy. We traded a few pm's and he let me use his track last week for some practice. That woods riding practice saved my arse today on this course. Thanks again Addy. Brooksie came over and introduced himself, nice fella, nice Husaberg.
Also met a couple of guys from Moncton, Brent on the XR400, and Jordan on a KTM 400.
Race meeting starts a little late, the organizer is still checking the race markers in certain areas, and altered the course a little bit. Before long we are getting the do's and don'ts of the race and we head to the bikes.
There's 60 riders in the race, and I'm in the novice category, so one 58km loop for me following the green arrows. Before I know it my line is called to the start and away we go. No worries of being passed I'm in the back row.
The beginning is a straight dirt road, and I am pulling up the rear as everyone tears off in a mad rush. My plan is take it easy on the dirt and ATV roads and save my strength for the single track. I passed my first rider at the second turn, and we start the climb into the woods. On the tight single track I catch up to a couple of more guys, and I'm feeling good. My downfall is my old XR, or at least my inability to get the old girl started when it's hot. At the checkpoints we are supposed to shut the bike off, and my wasted time getting the bike started has me lose some time.
The course continues to climb and descend alternating between fire road, ATV trail, single track and tight woods riding. The woods are wet, making the roots and rocks slick. I am having a hoot, the most fun I've had in a longtime, however at the 35km mark I can feel the fatigue starting to set in.
The real surprise comes in the last 5km, tight, bumpy woods trail, that is at best a trail. I take a couple of close calls with some trees, and before long I'm upside down with my bike on top of me. I try lifting the bike off myself but somehow the footpeg has lodged itself in the top of my boot, and I feel like a turtle caught upside down on its shell. Before long I'm upright with a flooded bike trying like the dickens to get it started, following all the hot start, flooded procedures I know. I am exhausted, finally I ditch my helmet and have a breather. The GPS is showing 48km, 10 more to go. In the meantime I'm passed by another 3 riders. All of which check to see if I was OK. I finally get the XR going and a guy on another KTM passes me, I follow him, both of us struggling through this section taking turns dropping and picking up our bikes. Finally after another 10mins we emerge from the woods. Surprisingly the finish line comes into view with only 52km on the GPS. It took me 2hrs and 8mins.
Turns out it was Oldcow that I shared the pleasure of riding, falling, duck walking our bikes through the last section with. We had a nice chat at the finish, super nice fella.
I was pretty knackered when I was done, between the last section in the woods and all the kicking to get the bike going I was wiped. On top of it all, my lack of riding skill used up a lot of energy. I probably could have done another lap like the intermediates, but I would have seriously ran the risk of hurting myself, and since I've only been on the bike 9 times since I got it, I'm as novice as you can get.
Overall, it was a great race, a big thank you to all the great volunteers, sponsors and organizers. I can't wait for the next one.
Now I need to save up some money for one of those fancy orange bikes with a magic button.
If Jordan is on this site......thanks so much for the beer, that was the best tasting beer I've had in a longtime.
My hats off to you guys who did 2 and 3 laps in that heat, my car was showing 30C.