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Old 11-16-2013, 05:03 PM   #31
gun 4 hire OP
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:44 PM   #32
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Great thread! I've got my first ever race in the morning, a muddy 3hr event. Reading your report just gets me more and more excited!
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:07 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamequeazy View Post
Great thread! I've got my first ever race in the morning, a muddy 3hr event. Reading your report just gets me more and more excited!
Hope you have a great time at your first race ... Come back and share the details please .... 3 hrs in the mud ? Wow that's long and grueling.
Is this a Tough Mudder thing ?


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Old 11-20-2013, 09:24 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gun 4 hire View Post
Hope you have a great time at your first race ... Come back and share the details please .... 3 hrs in the mud ? Wow that's long and grueling.
Is this a Tough Mudder thing ?


All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
It was the 2014 turkey trot, a team event but my teammate had to drop out at the last minute.

So I was planning to ironman the 3 ht event. On a te610. And it had rained all night, everything was heavy and slippery clay-mud. It was probably not the best first race to choose, haha.


There was no riders meeting or anything, so I'm just wandering around waiting for my class to go. People start lining up, so off I go too. Turns out, they ate lining everybody up at once, all 40 "teams", and it would be a motocross start. Never done anything like that before, scared the crap outta me haha.

The gate dropped, and my goggles and covered, with a mouthful of mud on top of that. I'll keep my mouth closed next time.

The course started off on a motoX track and transitioned into a hilly field and then into very tight woods riding. I dumped the bike repeatedly in the first lap, wearing myself completely out. I'm not a very skilled or comfortable mud rider, on a tall heavy bike, so it was not a surprise.

I was so worn out by the time I hit the woods that I dumped it on a steep downhill (that normally isn't a problem) and got my foot jammed under the bike as it went down. Pop! there goes my ankle (a sprain, luckily) and now the bike is dumping gas on me, the hot engine and exhaust, and the ground. A petcock my IMS tank had popped out.

Eventually I jam the petcock back in somewhat, and with a little help get the heavy husky out of the woods and back to the pits.I gave up.Couldn't even do a single lap. In the dry, things would have been much different, but still a real challenge. next time I'm bringing my DT175 instead hah.

also, I rode through those tornado-producing Illinois storms on my way home. That was "fun" in its own way hah.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:06 AM   #35
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BE VERY CAREFUL when camping at Croom.

I've heard too many stories of people that woke up to find their bikes or quads were gone.
Lock that sucker to a tree!!
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:18 PM   #36
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Game queasy .... Wow ironmaning a 3 hr race in those conditions.... not sure if i could do that. Sorry about the Dnf. Sounds like you learned a heck of a lot. There's so much that has to go right for even a marginally successful race. It ain't easy ! Hope u are planning to do it again.

Keep racin


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Old 11-20-2013, 06:22 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTL900 View Post
BE VERY CAREFUL when camping at Croom.

I've heard too many stories of people that woke up to find their bikes or quads were gone.
Lock that sucker to a tree!!
Ftl900: wow I never heard of this. Are u originally from Florida ? We have camped there a dozen times. We park the bikes right next to our tents and wake at the slightest movement
( usually raccoons) I pity the fool that tried to walk away with a bike. That being said we do lock the bikes when we camp at any race property because of the same issue. Just never heard of it at Croom.


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Old 11-20-2013, 10:55 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gun 4 hire View Post
Game queasy .... Wow ironmaning a 3 hr race in those conditions.... not sure if i could do that. Sorry about the Dnf. Sounds like you learned a heck of a lot. There's so much that has to go right for even a marginally successful race. It ain't easy ! Hope u are planning to do it again.

Keep racin


All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
Yup, I sure do plan to hit some next season, probably on the dt175 heh. There's one this Sunday, but with a high temp of 29 degrees I might stay in the garage and avoid the 4hr round trip and frozen ass haha.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:05 AM   #39
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Season Update: I've done 2 more races after that first one of the season where I scored a 5th place and my first "wood".

Next race was Myakka city, known for its many water crossings and a challenging enduro cross section that I elected to skip.

I learned how to do the water crossings without getting soaked and blinded but not until the first lap was over and I did the first 3 crossings with too much speed getting soaked in the process and losing a ton of time. You just can't race in the dark woods with smeared up goggles, and going slow meant the goggles took forever to clear up. I ended up in 8th at this one, not very happy with that, but lesson learned about going much slower thru the water sections. This was also the second race that I ended up in dead last right at the start... I was running hard in 5th or so thru the first 1/2 mile, then lost it and stalled in a deep muddy pit when I got blinded to the trail ahead by following guys too closely. I crashed and the bike ended up leaning downhill and stalled, which never ends well. The whole field of 20+ passed while I was restarting. So once again I had to work my way thru the whole field of riders. I was able to come back to score an 8th place. No trophy on this one.






All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
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08 KTM 300xcwe {hare scramble bike}
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:29 AM   #40
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Next race was in Brooksville Florida. Aka "Mondon Hill" is always a favorite course and as the name implies there are a ton of technical challenges involving "hills". In Florida that means a small but steep elevation change of 10-25' or so.

This year there was rain prior to race day so it made alot of the course slick (exposed roots and rocks were everywhere) but it also made alot of the open fields and dirt areas have very good traction. There was Zero dust.

Physically I was in good shape for this race as I have kept up on working out for strength plus biking and spinning class for endurance.

My wrists were a bit strained though since I had a couple hard get offs while practice riding for 5 or so hrs on the 2 days prior to this race. I hadn't ridden in 5 weeks and really needed some seat time.

Race day: my wrists bothered me in practice so I only did 3 of the 9.5 mile course. Then the race started I got off into the first turn at around 8th place. Stayed there and was able to work up to 5th or so until a crash near the end of the first lap. I tried to slip past 2 riders crashed out on a rocky hill called the "claw". I didn't take enough time to pick a line and ended up picking a line that have me a nice sized boulder that threw the front sideways. Once again the bike crashed upside down and stalled. I lost a minute at least getting back down hill and restarting the bike.

I did the rest of the race without a crash, but was slowed way down with a numb Left hand which plagued me for a good lap plus. Sometime into lap 3 it went away and I was able to rip again. I felt great and made up alot of time. This course has quite a few jumps and step ups in the MX section... And I got some nice air here and there ( nice for me anyway).

I ended this one with alot of energy to spare and
Snagged my best finish to date.... 4th place.









All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
__________________
08 KTM 300xcwe {hare scramble bike}
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07 Buell xb12x
87 Honda Rebel 450 {soon to be ratted}
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:08 AM   #41
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Next race for me was the"Snake River 4" in Okeechobee. It was 28 degrees when I awoke at 6:30 am ....yikes ! (And Yes, this IS Florida).

By race time at 10:30 it was in the 60's so perfect weather for racing. Got a decent start and held on for 3 laps to score another 4th place.

I had the most fun to date in this one as far as racing battles with guys in my class. About three times I got to 3rd position only to lose it a short time later and get passed back by 2-3 guys in my class. My rear brake which sounded and smelled funny the whole race finally gave up working on the last 3 miles of the course. I. Had another rider behind me about an 1/8 of a mile... I could see him cause we were in the open fast field section leading up to the scoring chicane.

I concentrated hard on going fast in the straights and slowing only with the front brake which was challenging as these were fast flat corners and there was a lot of loose grass on top which can get really slippery. I made it to the checkered just 6 seconds in front of 5th place and got my third trophy in three races straight.








All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
__________________
08 KTM 300xcwe {hare scramble bike}
97 Honda xr600r {Plated}
07 Buell xb12x
87 Honda Rebel 450 {soon to be ratted}
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:32 AM   #42
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Sounds like things are starting to "click"..congrats Steve!

Now all you need to worry about is John..
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #43
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Nice! This thread has me pumped to finally start racing this year.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:32 AM   #44
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A First Hare Scramble Blow by Blow

The next race was called the "Buffalo Stampede" in Myakka city Florida. A mere 7 hr trip for us .... That's a 14 hr r/t. We left early Sat 6 am and were back Sun by 9pm.

I was Really Really looking forward to this race.
I made it a point to eat, sleep and do all of my workouts properly while maintaining an ever changing schedule. I even got some solo practice riding in the prior weekend at my favorite spot -Croom (8hrs away). I was up there for a wedding so I dragged the bike along.

I had just changed the rear spring and brought all comp and reb settings back to a stock baseline then tweaked from there. I needed seat time before racing with all those changes. I got just enought time to dial it in. The bike never felt better. I don't think I ever rode faster or stronger in the woods than after this practice. Besides a nagging pain in my left wrist from a crash in the sand 4 weeks ago... I was injury free.

To me this race was all about proving that I can run in the top of the class and can keep improving. I had scored 5th, 4th,4th in the last 3 races. I really wanted podium this time.

It was also about keeping my classmate and "teammate" John B 10c behind me. We have been battling all season. I have beaten him in every race so far this season and he was out to catch me. No question about it. He just got 3rd in a race that I missed and has actually run strong all season but has always had a major stall or other issue take him out of the race. He is not slower than me.... He has just been unfortunate.

Our story is the typical one told of two racers who will constantly help each other in the shop to improve and strengthen the bikes... Share tips on fitness and technique.... Even share the same workspace and carpool so we can bench race the whole way up and back. We genuinely want to help each other, we genuinely want to see the other improve and win.

But when we race it's real. And this race was as real as it ever got.

Raceday Sunday 2/09/14

Nice cool day. Rain overnight so no dust but a little mud. I do the full practice lap, trying to prep in anyway I can. I do a strong practice lap... Then after 4 miles of it.. My hand started going numb....i finish the 10 miles...and I take ibu after. John skips the lap to save energy.

John is now dialed in on his 300xcw so we are very evenly matched as far as hardware for the first time.

All I can think about is getting a great start and keeping out front. I practice kicking it to life with the bike in second gear so I can shoot off without a wheelie. I feel confident I can get out of the hole one kick this time. ( Prev owner removed the estart)

Racetime: Horn goes off and I run steadily to the bike, One big ass kick and dump the clutch. I get out of the field in 6th out of 14.

I can see John is running in 3rd just up ahead.

Within 1/4 mile I pass the two racers separating us in one move. I trail Johnny keeping him in sight at about a 3 bike distance. Just enough to keep a watch so I can see his moves, not so close that I'll crash if he does.

Somewhere before we are a mile or two in I get tired of waiting and blast past with a fury and get gone. I am running very strong. I even pass the leader Joel at some point after he went down on a sandy right hander. I didn't realize I was running in the lead at that point until the first lap was over and I saw that I came in second ....I knew He had passed me back within a mile or two after his fall, but I was sure there was another in my class up in front.... But there wasn't.

Seeing "90c -2nd place" on the scoring board after lap one really fired me up. I continued to charge as hard as I could. I concentrated on running my race my way and not getting distracted. I did battle with # 278... I could hear him shadowing me forever ... He has a 450 and it's sound is unmistakable. I never turned to look but I knew it was him. Finally he overtook me somewhere in lap 2. I still felt great. He has been leading our class all season. He pulled away and I tried like heck to keep up.

What I didn't know... Was that at the end of lap one John was 1 second behind me. I never heard his bike... I had no idea.

My left hand was completely numb. I could feel the clutch lever with the pinky only. It was as if. The rest of my fingers were not there. For the first time, I told my numb hand to go f - itself and I kept going fast.

I was almost 1/2 thru.... Damn this hand.

Then in an open field I hear yelling behind me. It's Johnny pulling up next to me out of nowhere. He yells and screams .... He's excited that he caught me as that we are now going to battle... -And We do. For the rest of the race we are passing back and forth and giving it all we got. I'm faster in the straights, only because I'm a little more nutz and have a but more trust in the bike since I have more seat time on my 300.

We are 1 second apart at the end of lap two & running 3rd and 4th. Scoreboard says I am 50 seconds behind #278. Thats far....I forget about catching him. My Hand is still dead.

John and I go into lap 3 locked in battle.

He passes me at some point...then I pass him back in some open flat curvy bumpy ass fields ... I take off into the woods. He catches me up a while later as I make a tiny mistake and come to a brief stop with my front tire against a small tree after making a last minute line change.

I had no idea he was still right behind me. I was
riding better than ever. I was impressed that he was still right on me after all this time. It caused me to doubt myself a little..... I was riding as hard as I could I thought... And there he was pulling away in the woods now after I made a tiny mistake. I lost sight of him..... It was tight so he could have been right there... The first opening I came to confirmed that he was indeed out of sight... Didn't even see any dust settling.

It was last lap... But still we had lime 6 miles to go I figured... Anything can happen. I started catching up to an orange and white bike... Swore it was him.... Followed and squeezed all I could... It wasn't him.... I passed him fast as I could though.. Didn't want to hang up... 5 minutes later I see three more guys up front ... Johnny was in the pack.... I slowly slowly reeled him in. I get up on him... He had stopped looking back.. He Thought I was gone he told me.

I took him in a narrow straight big enough to safely pass. I was yelling back at him as I slowly passed by going just a bit more on the edge.

I couldn't believe I found him.... Passed him... And now there was only a couple miles left and it was going to be tough for him to pass as it was some challenging slippery tight stuff between us and the finish.

As we got into another heavy woods section he tried to squirt in between two small trees to take a straighter line and pass me. He was so close I could hear him yelling to me that he was "coming to pass your ass !!!"

I thought he said "not in your class-" - which is what fast guys do so you pull over and let them by.... I was confused as to what I heard so I turned and saw it was in fact him.... I saw him hitting the ground by a small tree... Just a small crash.

I looked forward and kept my wits about me. My hand felt better. I had a lot of technical stuff ahead to do right.... Motocross, endurocrossish, slippery tight woods, a water crossing and a bridge. I went as fast as I could without slipping. I made it.

John came in 12 seconds later and was shaking his head but had the biggest smile.

Within seconds, both of us were already thinking about the next race ...Okeechobee next weekend. There can be no mistakes now.
Everything has to go right from here on out.

Holy crap that was fun.

Note: Due to a DQ of our class leader who was caught on camera blowing a double green ... We were all moved up one spot to 2nd and 3rd place. My first podium finish in any sport ever in my life.

To me... I can to relax and celebrate just a little...This is a milestone if there ever was one.

.





Now it's on to a win






All who wander sure as heck ain't lost
__________________
08 KTM 300xcwe {hare scramble bike}
97 Honda xr600r {Plated}
07 Buell xb12x
87 Honda Rebel 450 {soon to be ratted}
http://tat09.blogspot.com/

gun 4 hire screwed with this post 02-10-2014 at 08:47 AM
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:39 PM   #45
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awesome job!
and great write up
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