Black Bear Enduro, Tahuya State Forest, WA

the Eel

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#1
This goes off on Sunday. I'm heading out on Saturday to sign up and do a little jetting ride, then camp out and race Sunday morning. They do 2 riders per minute instead of 4 apparently. About 83 ground miles and over six hours on the bike ! Yikes.

I already ran across a guy who was in TWMC from '85 to '91 who will be there and KTMChick and her friend also (I think she is DRNer). Report and pics to follow. Route sheet attached. Pretty interesting - kinda like a road book.
 

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#3
Nice, looking forward to the report.
 

the Eel

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#4
I'll have a full report tonite but needless to say I've had my ass kicked. I houred out and did not finish. There's lots more to share but it'll have to wait.
 

scar tissue

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#6
How could you hour out? Those pics were all fire roads. :p

Were you doing your own bike maintainence again? :p

Go out next week and get us a better result otherwise I'm not sure if we can keep you on our team. :pissed:


:)







Glad you're getting out there. My next race isn't until December. :(
 

the Eel

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#7
Dude - I am so hammered today. I was so late to the last check that they packed up and left. I had to wait on the highway for directions back to the staging area. It was pretty pathetic.
 

the Eel

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#8
Anyway - it was an interesting weekend. I drove out to the riding area Saturday afternoon - the Tahuya State Forest - which is kinda west of Tacoma - closest major town I think is Belfair. The weather was really, really nice - as it has been lately - in the high 50s - no rain. The staging area was pretty full and wasn't real tent camper friendly so I headed up the rode a 1/2 mile or so and went to a campground - Spillman I think it was called. Got a nice elevated spot there - picnic table, fire pit. All free by the way - no camping fee. I set up, made a little fire and had a few IPAs. Wet woods all around - sound of running water close by too and the sound of bikes in the distance. Once done, spun the bike up and down the fireroad a few times to get it sorted out - had to change the needle setting twice before I got it right. Elevation is pretty low in Tahuya - around 500 feet. 3rd clip, 45 pilot, 180 main. Nice. Went back to the staging area for sign up but missed it so back to camp - had little simple dinner of some cold pasta and cold meat. Saw a deer and a fox on the way back. The trails here are mostly loamy with some rocky areas - and big clear cuts where the trails run like a crazy maze over vast open areas surrounded on all sides by the forest. Kinda wet with puddles here and there. During the night I had a really bad dream and woke up startled - and also had to deal with the sounds of the couple camping across from me - use your imagination - reminded me of sharing a dorm room in college. :think: Nature all around me. LOL. Woke up about 6 AM the next morning, ate a little and broke camp, and then over to the staging area for signup. They gave me minute 13. Thanks. I ran into Kiwi's friend Endoquest there - he had driven up from Oregon - and we shot the breeze for a little while while I waited in the soundcheck line. The GG blew 91 DB. This is a pretty small series - probably about 100 people between all the classes. The hosting club, Cascade Family MC, is an enduro club but they also put on the Grizzly Bear Scrambles earlier in the year. They boast Paul Neff, an ISDE veteran and the local fast guy, as one of their current members. They had a good riders meeting and the race stared at 8 AM. Everything was going pretty well for me to this point - programmed, suited up, etc. - when my front fender fell off. Classic. And with 10 minutes before I was supposed to leave. I recently broke my bike down completely - engine out, swingarm off, subframe off - and the fender was the last thing I put back on. I hadn't used any washers and it just slid down over the bolts. :yell: I quickly put washers on two of the four bolts and it was OK - cockeyed, but functional. I made it to the line on time. They do two to a row here to cut down on bottlenecks in the tight stuff. I was with a kid on a KTM 200. I had posted over on thumpertalk about coming out for this and word apparently spread - folks were like, oh so you're the guy from CA, etc. It was cool - they were pretty friendly. Off we go ...
 

the Eel

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#9
I made the first check on time, the next I missed by 15 seconds, then zeroed the next. OK - not too bad. This is really demanding riding - it's so tight that maintaining your balance becomes very important. I was definitely struggling with it and riding way too tight. Plus gear selection is critical. I was definitely not smooth. There were big roots to go up and over and now I know what they're talking about when they say roots are slippery - I crashed off my first one pretty good. Front wheel goes up and over but when the rear wheel hits it just spins and the back slides out across the face of the log/root. Unfortunately I also lost my rear brake somewhere along the way - I think I hit a stump or rock and messed it up bad enough so it wasn't working. By the time I reached the first gas at 28 miles I was hurting pretty bad. They had cookies, coffee and drinks at the stop. Nice touch. I leave the gas stop and the rest is just brutal singletrack for basically the next 62 miles. And I mean brutal singletrack for me. I probably made hundreds and hundreds of turns. You think Training Wheels uses a lot of turns ? LOL. Stumps, roots, turns, turns, turns. During this race I personally dragged my bike over nearly a dozen logs across the trail. I would have ridden over these logs if I could have. At this point I was dropping 20 minutes, then 35 minutes, and eventually was just in survival mode in a bad way ....
 
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#10
Wow, what a change of scenery.

This is great.
 

the Eel

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#11
... I was getting so tired I started tipping over regularly and stalling frequently. My hands would periodically stop working. When I would tip over a few times I would just lay there and think about how I should not get up. Just lay there ... you don't have to get up. Lay there. Go to sleep. :) The forest was dark and you had to look right down at your front wheel to follow the trail. The maze went on and on. At points along the trail the club had posted signs or tokens of their affection ... I saw an arm hanging off a tree, I rode through areas with names like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and once passed a pair of dirty underwear draped in some branches on the side of the trail. Chernobyl in particular was nightmarish - literally fresh cut by the club - bushwacked through dense brush - about 1/2 mile if that - and I stalled the bike about 20 times it was so tight and slow - all logs to drag over and cut off stumps to pull around. It was a death march for me after mile 65 or so. I marched like a dead man to 88.5 where there was supposed to be a final rest stop, but when I arrived - 80 minutes late - it was no longer there. The place was deserted and the ribbon back to the staging area had been pulled. I never saw sweep, or if I did, they had just kept on going past me. Luckily 88.5 was at a major road, so knowing I had now certainly houred out (verging on 2 houred out!), I took off my gear, ate a powerbar, and just thought for a bit. You become pensive at times like this. You think about life. Besides, with only a handful of gas left in the tank and not knowing where I was, I wasn't going anywhere soon. At this point I had been on the bike for about 7 hours. After a little while a guy in a blue Mustang stopped to ask if I was OK and it turns out I was just up the road from the staging area. What a relief. I rode back toward Elfendahl and stopped for a little gas from some cool guys along the way. Thanks fellas! When I arrived back at camp, with 90.47 on the ODO, I was a little surprised to find out that noone even knew I was still out there. When I handed in my card I was just told I had houred out and was DQ'd. Cool - thanks for the 411, bud. it's all good. I'll be back next time better prepared - better bike setup and better fitness. And as a member of a club so there's someone who's got my back. Great race. Well marked. Super trail. Glad to be in Washington - it's gonna be a steep learning curve !
 

kelsorat

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#13
So did you swap out the trials tire?

Sounds like stuff they put you on up there requires some low-speed skills. Down here we point and twist the throttle(with the exception of rock waterfalls)

Search the web for some log crossing tips, sounds like you need those too.
 

thumbs

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#15
I read the first part of your posat and forgot to log off the other night. When Julie got on the computer in the morning I guess she read your post and then sent me an email asking about the rest of the story. You got her hooked and she said you write well.

What up with no sweep rider?

Great read.