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Old 04-30-2012, 07:11 AM   #2821
WRC51
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Way to go Dirty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:09 AM   #2822
Jettn Jim
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:28 AM   #2823
Gooch
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Love the 5R-H thing. Get some stickers made, yeah?

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DirtyDog:
"Riding a KLR in an enduro is like trying to put a bear in a wetsuit."
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:36 AM   #2824
Asatrur
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tooltube pics

I think I found a place for the tool tube. Right now I mounted it with zip ties and will stop by the home depot near me and get some proper hardware for this. My only concern is whether on a big dip will the tube hit the chain guard, but it seems unlikely.


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Old 04-30-2012, 09:35 AM   #2825
DirtyDog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
Love the 5R-H thing. Get some stickers made, yeah?

Yeah, we did. It was intended to be a clandestine society and those stickers were handed out by Redeye_AZ to a select few when he felt they were deserved. He was big against trailers. The blanks were there for a date, IIRC.

I tried to find mine the other day (I had a batch), and wasn't able to. Maybe it's time for a reprint.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:56 AM   #2826
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+1 Dirtydog!
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There's roads and there's roads and they call, can't you hear it? Roads of the earth and roads of the spirit. The best roads of all are the ones that aren't certain. One of those is where you'll find me till they drop the big curtain. Bruce Cockburn
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:19 PM   #2827
DirtyDog
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...continued.

Like I said, I rode this same enduro last fall too. It was really fun and I scored pretty well (for an idiot on a KLR). My local ADV buddies and I have also ridden the trails at Scipio several times, so I know the terrain.

The enduro last year had a slow pace in the first loop - mostly 12mph. It was a comfortable pace. Maybe too comfortable (or so they figured).

Back to 2012...

We started the first loop (18mph) and it appeared that many riders (including everyone in my class) weren't keeping pace. I was late to the first two checks.

Scipio is a rocky trail system, but the weather was just right for an enduro- somewhere around 70-75 deg, overcast, slightly damp (the ground anyhow). Dust was minimal and the traction was good. The creeks were generally shallow, but there was the occasional stretch of epic mud which rapidly turned into deep, slimy ruts. One of these would haunt me later.

I can make the KLR do some pretty nimble things on a trail. When geared the way I have it, and with knobby tires, it has some pretty good throttle snap and traction. It climbs hills like a tractor. But there are some weaknesses that no rider can overcome (AFAIK). One is the sheer weight of the KLR. For me, it's most evident in banked turns, where the front end feels like a handlebar-high stack of bricks. Seems like no matter what I do otherwise (i.e. steering with the rear, weighting the pegs, leaning, dabbing, etc.) when I reach some sort of speed threshold, the front tire tries to skitter over the high side of the banked turns. This sort of forces me to really slow down entering turns and try to make it up otherwise. I guess pushing the limits for man/machine is what racing is all about.

As you can imagine, the beefy bike attracts a lot of looks on the trail. One rider commented that it must be like wrestling a bear. I later thought a more fitting analogy would be: Riding a KLR in an enduro is like trying to put a bear in a wetsuit.

The first loop was somewhat uneventful. It was just a fun, fast-paced trail ride on familiar terrain. I recall dropping the bike two times due to front-end wash-outs. My physical conditioning was the real limiting factor. I'd hoped to do some heart-rate training prior to my first race, but this was unplanned.

After loop 1 of 2, there was a gas available rest stop at the staging area. Fuel was not a concern for me , but I used the time for hydration, snack, and rest. Loop 2 would prove to be the game-changer.

to be continued...
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:31 PM   #2828
Jettn Jim
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Keep it com'n!
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:03 PM   #2829
DirtyDog
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... continued. Loop two. Keyword: ugh.

Loop 2 started strong. I had already gotten over the arm pump, hydration cravings, and general lack of conditioning (aka sucking wind) that the first loop had to offer. I was now energized and ready for loop 2.

Yes, I get passed a lot. But, it's a timekeeping event and you're really only racing yourself. On a slow, heavy bike, you better come to grips with that in a hurry. In my first enduro, I made the mistake of trying to keep up with other riders- using their speed as a motivator. This doesn't really work for me and I was pinballing off of trees and disabled my bike before the first check in the 2nd loop. I have to remind myself "slow and steady wins the race"- no matter how contradictory this sounds. Victory #1 has to be to have fun. Victory #2 is to finish the course. Victory #3 involves being competitive. If you focus on #3, you may miss out on #'s 1 and 2. If so, what's the point?

But even if you're riding with fun/finish as the end game, things can change with just one slip-up. That's what happened.

I don't really recall the exact circumstances, but I think it was a short straight leading into a flat "chicane" of trees. One which requires the bike to be upright and the trees are separated by not much more than handlebar width. This one was a left-right chicane and the trees were relatively small and sparse, though placed in all the wrong places for a quick entry/exit. I guess I was a bit too hot and took the left turn too wide. I had the balls of my feet on the pegs and my weight was forward (which pointed my toes down). I clipped a tree with my right boot and footpeg. I heard/felt an awful sound and the weight of bike and rider culminated at the junction of my foot and the tree. It was a small tree, but it was way bigger than my bones.

I stayed on the bike. Oh shit. I just broke my foot. Before I even have time to really process what happened, I come to a checkpoint. Inmate Fotobo marks my card and I murmur something about breaking my foot... onward I go. With trepidation.

I slowed down a bit (actually, a lot) and took stock of the situation. The pain isn't intense, let's try to wiggle some toes. Shit. At least two of them are accompanied by shooting pain- my big toe and 4th toe, I think. It was the little piggy that had "none" roast beef, IIRC. Just feels like roast beef now.

Now I have a decision. I've just started the 2nd loop and have made it through one check. I have no idea how many miles are left. I consider quitting. Well, "consider" doesn't really describe it. I basically slow down to a putt, and start weighing my options and what they would do to my ego and my future outlook. Example: Today is Sunday and I have X,Y,Z planned for Monday. I think I can get an x-ray tomorrow morning... shit like that.

Ok. Fuckit. I'm not quitting. Nor am I going to be competitive. This might not be fun (i.e. some pain), but at least I can try to finish. Ok that's the plan. In the meantime, I have basically been passed by EVERYONE.

What I quickly realized was that riding the bike wasn't really hindered much by the injury- just the dabbing of my right foot on the turns and to regain balance in the rocky or off-camber stuff. Ouch. Gotta slow down and ride clean.

So I did that for a LONG while. Like I said, I was already passed by nearly everyone, so I didn't see many other riders for a long time. I was running way late. Of course, any offroad rider knows that slower isn't always better. Some obstacles require momentum and speed. Well I met my match numerous times while turtling along. The worst one was one of those epic mud ruts that I alluded to earlier. It followed a left hand turn and the natural line leaving the turn plops you right in a deep, muddy rut. At the end of the rut is a cross root, which provides a natural "step". In the first loop, I made it through this with no hesitation. Well, ~150 riders hitting that rut 2x deepened it somewhat. As I entered the rut on loop 2 with a bum foot and travelling at 1/3 to 1/2 speed, it didn't work so well. I tried to pause and knew there was no getting out of the rut, so I gassed it hard. Front wheel popped over the rut and root got acquainted with the shock linkage and stopped the bike cold. That is when my nards got acquainted with the gas tank. Oh boy. No sooner than I got stuck and am limping off an impact to the nethers... more riders show up behind me... repeatedly... locked in to the same rutted line. It took me 3 tries to get the bike drug out of the rut and over the root. Nice. So much for riding clean.

Well the rooty rut was the toughest obstacle for me and I just kept riding. I resigned myself that it was a trail ride now, not a race. I made it to another checkpoint manned by inmate Dickosaurus and I implied that I was just in survival mode. He replies that "you still haven't houred-out" and that I was doing well. That's the great thing about doing this stupid shit on a KLR- the expectations are naturally low.

Anyhow, Dick's comments reminded me that I can still get DQ'd by going too slow. And my foot was feeling better by some miracle of nature. Am I just an uber-puss who has psyched himself into thinking I had a serious injury when all I had is a wittle boo-boo? When I take that boot off, I better see blood and mangled flesh!

Foot is feeling relatively ok, and I'm feeling more comfortable going faster. really, I only got it back up to about 3/4 speed in the last few sections. I'd capitalize on stretches where I knew I wouldn't need to dab my foot. I made up some time, but not without a few more crashes and tree impacts. I have a nice contusion on my forearm to show for it.

Well, I finally finished the enduro. Most everyone else was already sipping cold beers in the parking lot waiting for the sweep riders to clean up the wreckage. But I was victorious. I achieved goals #1 and 2.



I stuck around for the awards just to make certain that everyone else wasn't DQ'd or DNF'd resulting in a lone C Veteran champion/survivor, but that wasn't the case. I got 6th place out of at least 6 riders in my class , but there was an understandably large point gap between my 5th place enemy and myself. Aside from the foot thing, it would have been a potentially tight finish for 5th. At least, I'd like to imagine. I mashed my foot right before checkpoint #5.


So I completed my 4th ever enduro on the KLR and finished the first one of the season. I eventually took my boot off to find no mangled flesh. A little blood and bruising, but no cool scars or compound fractures to make this psychosomatic injury a real one.

I swapped my sprockets, had a cold beer, packed up, and rode my KLR back home. I got the last laugh as I repeatedly passed all the trucks hauling trailers full of true offroad bikes. In the end, they ate my dust.

Fun shit as always. Three weeks till the next one.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:44 PM   #2830
PacificPT
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Go dirty dog go! Excellent effort and great Race Report.
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There's roads and there's roads and they call, can't you hear it? Roads of the earth and roads of the spirit. The best roads of all are the ones that aren't certain. One of those is where you'll find me till they drop the big curtain. Bruce Cockburn
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:46 AM   #2831
Sourjon
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Great RR Dirty Dog! Glad the foot wasn't worse.

John
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:30 AM   #2832
Gooch
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Great tale! If this site does nothing else, it lets me benchrace with guys I'll likely never meet. Superkudos for your enduro model (1 Fun 2 Finish 3 compete, in that order). I have trouble with that equation on trail rides some times.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDog View Post
Riding a KLR in an enduro is like trying to put a bear in a wetsuit.
That's going into my sig section. Hi-larious.

Thanks for the entertainment!
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DirtyDog:
"Riding a KLR in an enduro is like trying to put a bear in a wetsuit."
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:53 AM   #2833
Kawidad
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Very cool indeed Dirty!
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:56 AM   #2834
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Great Read!
You've got the magic touch with the keyboard too.


Jim


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Old 05-01-2012, 06:04 AM   #2835
Jettn Jim
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Great stuff DD... aaand good job!
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