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Old 08-15-2012, 03:55 PM   #106
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Race Recap

http://andrewgore.net/?p=643

Iíll be the first to admit that Iím not excited to be reporting that I finally completed my first event of the year. I am excited however in how the day panned out for me. It wasnít a top finish as I had been hoping, but all things considered, I felt I did really well. In my class were 12 riders, of which I placed 6th. Out of all the B Group riders, I placed 19th out of 54. While not the most stellar, there were a few things that definitely didnít help my situation.
I began my morning with an appropriate breakfast (albeit at 4am) of 4 giant strips of bacon, 3 eggs, and a pile of home-made home fries. Plenty of energy packed in there to keep me going through at least the morning. Hopped in the truck, and I was on my way over to Johns to reload my stuff in his truck and get going. The drive down was quite uneventful with plenty of jokes about whether or not the Husqvarna was the right choice for the day, or if I should have chosen the Mighty XR for the event.

We arrived at the event with plenty of time to spare. Rows 10 through the end were already spoken for, so we found ourselves on row 7. It didnít bother me, as I figured the trail would be what it would be. Before I took the bike off the stand, I gave it an inspirational speechÖ.Telling it it WILL finish the race today. I dropped the bike off the stand, fired it up, and rode a couple little circles to get some blood flowing to my arms.

We pulled up to the line, along with a couple others. I noted the one rider was on a brand new WR250, and noted that the red\black looks 100x better than the older blue\yellow, but I suppose thatís all subjective. Either way, our minute came up and the other rider on the Husky took off. He was going a decent pace, so I figured Iíd ride behind him a bit and find a groove for myself. This proved to be a good strategy as the rider was at the same speed as me, but much much smoother.

First section was a bit so-so for myself. I knew itíd take at least that section to get my blood flowing. Completed (docking 3 minutes), and onto the next section. I took the lead this special section and found that while I rode faster than the other guy on my line, my form did not allow for me to maintain the higher pace for the entire day. I messed up a corner or two (or 10), and was passed by him. I was ok with this, as I keyed off of him again, and found myself to be more consistent. The following section, I rode behind the other Husky rider as well. This proved to be a good strategy.
The 2nd special was interesting to say the least. Most of it seemed as if they chose a random line through the woods, and just tacked up some random arrows. Since there were so few guys ahead of us, we were making wrong turns quite consistently. The section just downright sucked. I like riding as much as the next guy, but when youíre just bashing through shrubbery, trying to guess which way to go based on some random arrows, well it kind of sucks. It also makes you wish you had an auto clutch. haha By the end, it opened up a bit and had me feeling much better. That initial part just annoyed the snot out of me.

After the 2nd special (I think?), I decided to take a look down at my little roll chart I had taped to my fuel tank. I believe I was supposed to be heading towards fuel or something along those lines. I was heading down an open grass area, with corn to my left, and a drop-off & ravine & corn to my right. I glanced down for a second while still accelerating, and found myself heading right towards the drop-off. I would have been able to pull out of it, but the drop-off was all this really tallÖ.corn like stuff. No idea off hand what it was, but it sucked me in, and down I went. I couldnít let gravity do itís work to help get me up, as there was a creek or something down there & a bunch of water. I had the joy of lifting the bike uphill up this drop-off. It sucked for sure, but really pounded in my head to pay attention. I got the bike up and worked my way on down to go fuel up my bike.

I realized while filling up the bike that I would have been fine using just the stock sized fuel tank (which Iíll be doing at the next Enduro). I attempted to eat one of my energy bars. Unfortunately it was just too rich & dense that I couldnít put it down. I took in a good amount of water and then headed out to the start of the next special with the other guys on my line. When we got there, we had a good 30 minutes to relax. In this time, I was able to put down one of my protein bars, so that provided me with some energy for the ď5 mileĒ special we were about to head out on. As soon as we took off, I could feel that my body was running low on energy. My proper breakfast held me up for 1/2 the day, but no way it was going to hold me over for the entire event. I failed to bring the proper ďquick energyĒ supplements (sugar\carbs), so found myself really working as things went on in this 5-mile section.

This 3rd Special was to me kinda like the 2nd special. Just a bunch of annoying stuff, though I suppose that is why this was an Enduro race. There was a long section, which appeared to be on a slight ridge. The trail was pretty much straight, but you were riding under low hung trees\shrubs for what seemed an eternity. You had to stand in an odd crouch position to ride quickly, and this quickly sapped the energy out of me. I also managed to have a branch catch on my hand guard, and promptly fling into the tip of my thumb. I decided to not stop and investigate, as I figured Iíd be seeing some blood. By the end of this special, I was really feeling drained and wishing I had more stuff on me to give me some much needed energy.

Just before the 4th & final Special, I ate my last 3 Gatorade energy blocks, and hoped for the best. Not quite the greatest plan of attack, but what you gonna do? About 1/4 mile into the special I had the strangest thing happen. A random tree jumped out right in front of me. The thing pile drived itself into my shoulder\right arm. The tree literally stopped me in my tracks and knocked a good bit of wind out of myself. I did my best to push on, and rode as hard as I physically could. I got through to the end, and was mighty thankful that it was the end.

I had no idea what place I came in, no idea of much of anything, but I was quite pleased at how the Husky rode through the day, and felt pretty positive in my own riding through the event. I was kicking myself for not having a better source of energy for the event, but it was a great learning experience for the next one. Iíve also decided that my bike could handle some slightly lower gearing. Currently my gearing allows for me to do 85+mph, which is more than enough for these events. Iíll be adjusting that and see how it goes at my next race.

I also found that my riding style needs some slight work, as I was having a heck of a time with front end confidence in the loose stuff. This was my own fault, as I was using too much front brake, and putting too much weight over the front in general for turning in the softer sandy areas. It seems this Husky steers with the rear, which is another reason for dropping my gearing. 2nd & 3rd Gear just need that little extra pep that I think it will get with this gearing change.
Anyway I cut it, Iím ready for the next event. Iíve got 2 harescrambles this month, then a weekend off for my birthday, and then Iím off to the UP for a weekend of riding with some friends. Looking forward to the riding Iíve got ahead of me.

-Andrew

ps Ė If youíre riding an EnduroÖ..make sure you have a kick-stand. Iím kicking myself for losing mine the last time I rode. Sure you can always find a tree, but what a pita. Time to make one!
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:25 AM   #107
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Trees: they do that. Sneaky things.

What sort of format is the enduro? We usually do ISDE style, but last year there was some new format that they tried once. It sounds a bit like what you were doing.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:22 AM   #108
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It seems most of the enduros around here have gone to the Restart Format. I'm ok with that, since I think I'd be totally screwed if I were worrying about making sure I wasn't blowing through a check too early, or one of them possible checks, and all that confusion.

Andrew
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:34 AM   #109
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Nice write up. I've had a tree or two clean me off my bike, being a desert guy I don't like them much.
As for energy food, when I'm going to be prerunning all day I pack 3 or 4 peanut butter and honey sandwiches in my back pack or fanny pack. Plenty of energy in these and they don't have to be kept cool,(ie-wont spoil in the heat). I also use Hammer Gel from Hammernutrition during the race. I keep it in a small sports top plastic flask that is attched to the front of my chest protector in a cell phone holder/pouch. When I come into a pit I just pull it out and take a shot with some water and I'm good to go.It takes less time than putting fuel in the bike. I also eat a banana or 2 about 30 minutes before the start. All good energy food that is easy on the stomach and easy to carry.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:06 PM   #110
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What race was this? A district 15 race or are you staying in Illinois (district 17 right?)?

I ask because I entered my first enduro on the 12th this previous weekend and it was up towards your way. I didn't get to race because they only took cash and I only had a debit card (can't remember my pin so ATMs didn't help) and besides selling a steering damper for way less than its worth I couldn't find a way in.

In case anyone is wondering, driving six hours round trip for a race you can't compete in WILL piss you off.

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Old 08-17-2012, 06:49 AM   #111
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that would suck ! Our series takes checks/cash.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:14 AM   #112
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What race was this? A district 15 race or are you staying in Illinois (district 17 right?)?

I ask because I entered my first enduro on the 12th this previous weekend and it was up towards your way. I didn't get to race because they only took cash and I only had a debit card (can't remember my pin so ATMs didn't help) and besides selling a steering damper for way less than its worth I couldn't find a way in.

In case anyone is wondering, driving six hours round trip for a race you can't compete in WILL piss you off.

It was the Roselawn, IN Summer Bummer enduro. It was D15\16\17 I believe. Were you there on Sunday or Saturday? I was parked like 2 cars away from registration area on Sunday. I'm really surprised that they turned you away from riding the event. There's a big enough struggle to get people just to go to events, but dang yeah, that sucks.

If it makes you feel better, last year I forgot to bring my helmet to a race. I had the joy of borrowing my friends helmet, that I put on 2 minutes after he finished his race, and it was 1 size too small. Not sure if I'd rather do that again, or drive 6 hour round trip and not race.

On a side note. During the Family Enduro a D23 rider (Ray Cole I believe) Passed away while riding the event. Very sad to hear. I was fortunate enough to pit next to the rider who had driven down from Minnesota with him. I believe his name was Justin. Justin spoke very highly of him, and had many kind words about him. From the sound of things, the local Enduro community lost a great rider, and a great spokesman for the sport. I didn't know him, but he will be greatly missed.

Andrew
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:13 PM   #113
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Thats the one! I was in shorts and a T-shirt pacing back and forth doing a good impression of that guy you don't want to fuck with

I really wanted to do that race, I don't do well in Harescrambles and had high hopes for enduro races. I don't really desire riding non stop singletrack but I like how enduros are setup much more than anything else. My only goal was to finish in one piece and without damage. Believe me when I say I was pissed after they told me I couldn't race.

I swear, I haven't had a good experience racing yet.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:05 AM   #114
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The Husky pulled me through another race. Decent race. Found I was fast in some sections I thought I shoulda been slow in. Lost my gopro (has been recovered by track owner). Ripped the snot out of my knee pressure suit (thankfully no crash). I need to smooth out my riding style.

Full report later. I got a long meeting here shortly. Oh fun.

Andrew
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:00 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by andrewgore View Post
On a side note. During the Family Enduro a D23 rider (Ray Cole I believe) Passed away while riding the event. Very sad to hear. I was fortunate enough to pit next to the rider who had driven down from Minnesota with him. I believe his name was Justin. Justin spoke very highly of him, and had many kind words about him. From the sound of things, the local Enduro community lost a great rider, and a great spokesman for the sport. I didn't know him, but he will be greatly missed.

Andrew
Ray was a good guy. We worked an event together, he stayed up till 4a telling stories at the campfire and still got up at 6:30 to work his checks.

For his funeral, his club arrowed the route to the church and the cemetery.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:12 AM   #116
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Forgot to post up after the last race. I'll blame it on catching up with the old guys in age. Turned 27 last Thursday.

Last race I placed 5th\11 in my class and 23\46 overall for the race. Not as good as what I was hoping for, but really can't complain. I was in 2nd for the first 2 laps, 3rd for the next 2 laps, 4th for the next 3 laps & then dropped to 5th for the last 2 laps.

I need to smooth out my riding. I'm using far too much braking & hard accelerating. Towards the end when I started to smooth things out, my pace felt to feel better & my body didn't feel like I was beating the snot out of it. Prior to that I was just using too much brakes. I don't know why I'm riding like that either. I suppose I've ingrained too much of the idea of needing to be 100% on the brakes if I'm on the brakes, or 100% on the gas when I'm on the gas. I'm just not subscribing to that theory quite just yet.

Odd thing I found was that in the very tight (handlebar width & narrower) and technical terrain I hold a LOT more speed than the other guys in my class, and even some of the other classes. Yet, when things open up slightly, they just seem to rocket off. I think this is partially due to at that point in the race, my body was just not in the mood to deal with the bike at 100% power, and my all too heavy use of brakes.

I'll be working on it this weekend. I've got 3-4 days of riding with my buddy from Seattle. I'll be on the mighty XR350R, and he'll be on my Husky. I'm kinda excited to see how the XR performs for me. It should be better than the last time I rode it, as I actually have foot-peg springs on the thing now. The rear tire is beat to snot though.

Andrew

PS - I got the GoPro back, so now I just gotta get around to doing the footage for it. I'll see if I can grab some while I'm up north this weekend.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:28 PM   #117
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Things finally panned out for me. I opted to race my mighty XR350R at a harescramble today. I ended up starting dead last due to thinking the bike was started.....and it wasn't. Made up some great time and pulled off a 2nd in my class. Needless to say I'm quite pleased. I felt great on the bike all day.

The XR needs a new clutch though and a rear tire. It will be raced again

Andrew

PS - I got some haggard blisters on my hands though. Mighty XR just has too much power?
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:09 PM   #118
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Awesome! Now that's what I like to hear.
Don't you find it more sporting competing on a bike as old as you are?
Just think how good you made the poeple feel that you finished in front of.
That paint job really adds to the effect too.
I love the old XR's. Keep the drum brakes clean and keep kicking ass.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:22 AM   #119
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Results from my class:


Still waiting on seeing overall results. That 2nd to last lap & part of last lap was when I was behind Mr. "won't move over" KTM. Sucked up some time, but what yah gonna do.

It obviously feels good passing guys on new bikes, when I'm on one that's the same age as myself. The drum rear brake sucked. That was my fault though. I installed new shoes in it & didn't properly bed them in before the race. Lesson learned.....get discs. I was mostly glad to know I was able to really push all the way until the end.

I also greatly improved my feeding the night before & morning of the race. I did some proper carb loading Saturday PM (brown rice pasta) with some chorizo & vodka sauce. Sunday AM I pounded down a pile of bacon, chorizo packed scrambled eggs, with some gluten free waffles on the side. Around 930AM, I had a LarBar, and at 11AM (hour before my race) I ate one of my Pure Protein (35g) bars. I was also alternating all morning with water, a straight water & then a bottle with an electrolyte mix. Just before my race, I ate a Clifshot Gel. I also put one of these on my handlebars which I ate about 60 minutes into my race. Not the easiest or prettiest thing to do, but I feel it helped.

Heart Rate Monitor showed I averaged 160ish BPM with a peak of 185. Total burned calories was 2300. I know I'm doing something at least closer to "right", as my body doesn't feel totally destroyed today.

That's about all I can think of right now off the top of my head, while trying to get some paperwork sorted for some ISO fun we got going on at our shop. Time to get some work done.

Andrew

PS - I got someone coming to look at the WR either Tuesday or Wednesday. As much as I hate to say it.....I think 4-stroke is the better race machine for myself.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:43 PM   #120
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Thats pretty darn good man, you should be proud of that. And on an old clapped out XR too!

Was this another enduro or a harescramble?
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