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Old 11-24-2013, 04:46 PM   #16
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Bob "The IronMan" Sloan.

I knew if I wanted to get better at racing I needed to race more or atleast ride like I was racing. Normal riding though, even when pushing, isn't the same. Trails you know don't teach the critically important "i'm not letting off the throttle if its straight no matter what" kind of thinking racing demands, it doesn't matter if there is a lot of trail junk you need to know you'll make it through, regardless.

I stripped the bike down, threw a new piston and rings in. Checked valves again, coolant, oil and filter and put a new MX51 on the back. Made sure it ran fine and parked it. On Thursday I loaded the bike for a quick test ride and tweaked a little bit with the clickers to accomodate the faster pace of the GNCC and loaded the van for the race.




Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) races are pretty simple; besides being on a national level they’re standard hare scrambles with a broader range of terrain and longer courses. The morning race, consisting of the “C” class riders, “Vet” classes, Trail Riders, and “Sportsman” (Non-points A and B rider) classes, all race for 2 hours on the same course as the afternoon riders who race three hours and consist of the fast guys and the pros.

The attendance rate for a national is much higher than a local race so to host such a large event the providers need to have a minimum of 500 acres and a course length of about 10-12 miles to keep the group spread out and the course from getting beat up too bad. This allows the race to have a really nice spread of speeds and technical sections.

The Ironman starts out in a farmer’s corn field and meanders in a serpentine pattern before darting off into the woods where the convoluted path is continued in a tighter fashion for a few miles before coming back out into the field where you really get a chance to put the hammer down.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:10 PM   #17
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I always have fun at this race, it has so much more diversity than any other race i've ever been in. To start off your row is so huge you can't even see everyone your racing against, my row had 92 racers on it alone! Not the time to choke! Or you stay to the outside and pass all the red necks who wad it up in the first three turns like I did

After the start you make turn after turn with spectators surrounding every inch of the race course. They're screaming their guts out, waving, and cheering you on making you feel like a real hero. Even halfway through the course you are routed through a, depending on the weather, nasty creek and pretty steep hill climbs with literally a couple hundred spectators on the hills that grab and hoist the riders who don't make it up.



Here is a buddy of mine just exiting the creek and starting a run-up for the hills, you can see some of the spectators. 62 years old and still throwing elbows with the young guns!


Here is the view after topping the hills, they literally fill the hill. Heads up for the occasional ghost rider!

After passing the aforementioned two stroke I finished the rest of the race without too much drama just focusing on riding my own race. I have a defective shoulder from a skateboarding accident that keeps me from riding hard for more than a full lap or so which may not matter too much in a harescramble where I don’t get that many miles in but I need to know that pace for the Enduro game.

I kept it on two wheels, managed the bottle necks well and stayed in a good groove finishing a little better than half in the overalls of about 750 entrants. It bothered me knowing I could have gone faster and done a lot better but I needed to keep my eye on what I really wanted and that is a finish at an Enduro.

Racing is a damn good way to practice. It’s never easy, if it’s muddy you’re riding ruts and if it’s dry you’re looking at whoops. Riding hard over rough terrain like that for two hours is damn good practice for racing and gets you into shape quick.

That’s why I decided to do it again the next weekend. I got invited to a team race by a local club that lasts three hours in a two man team. I’ve done it a few years before and many other races with that same club. I knew it would be another great race for practice and hey its only 5 minutes from my house . The course they lay out is always a bitch. Rough rock infested, rooty, off camber you name it they’ve got it and put a creek crossing with it.



Thumbs up boys!
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #18
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:12 PM   #19
racerron
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You the Man!


Couple local guys raced the Ironman GNCC. They did the hole series, said the Ironman was the best one.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #20
barnyard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osnabrock View Post
It's a video from made by one of our local guys, featuring other local folks.
Enjoy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzRWHQWHsxE
What a fantastic movie.

I rode with many of the guys featured. Actually houred out of an enduro when I stopped to help Mary at an enduro.

So many great memories.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:20 AM   #21
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Enoying this, Chris
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:35 AM   #22
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Someone say enduro?
I'm in:
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by chippertheripper View Post
Someone say enduro?
I'm in:
That's a great pic. My plan is to ride the D36 enduros next season...this thread is awesome motivation.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:52 PM   #24
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Very cool write up. I spent the better part of this year competing in AMA District 14 enduro, hare scrambles and family enduro series, so I know first hand what you've been going through. Michigan has great grass roots racing. I like the idea of trying a GNCC. It seems a lot like a fast hare scramble, which is what I like. I like being able to ride a course repeatedly and try to get faster. I will say you are my hero for riding such a big bike in enduro. Keep it up!
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