Buffalo GP race report

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#1
Buffalo Range sponsored their annual GP--woods vs mx riders! The course used the MX track plus 2 loops through the woods and clay hills. This time there was NO womens class, so I entered in the C class (and Sue Diaz also).

We started out in the back (as usual) and did a section of the MX track then headed into the woods. There was a somewhat of a steep downhill at first, then rolling hills and a trail along the creek. Across the creek I saw a LINE of riders waiting to conquer a STEEP hill and riders scattered on the hill. Panic set in. I got in line with the rest of them and waited, and waited. Then the officials came and saw the bottleneck---and lo and behold they were going up a hill that WAS NOT even part of the course!!! Silly men! The hill we were supposed to go up was somewhat technical, but doable. After that it was more rolling hills then back out onto the MX track. Back into the woods, no big deal until I came upon this gnarly downhill!!:think It was infested with large roots and VERY steep! If that was not enough, there were 2 trees toward the bottom that kind of made a triangle--and guess who slid and aimed right for one of them! Talk about an eye opener!! I let off the brakes and cruised right through the middle of them. Scared the @#?! out of me! Then cruised the rest of the course until a check point. After the check point, I then saw a HUGE uphill (that I absolutely refused to do a few weeks ago riding with Bob and the guys!!) Only this time it was dry at the bottom and not muddy. I hugged the gas tank and took a deep breath and went for it!! No problem, what was I afraid of??;) Then no big deal, back out onto the track and started again. We rode for an hour and I actually had fun.

On previous outings (my previous bad riding days) I have struggled with this section of the park and have pretty much refused to ride there. Needless to say this was a HUGE step for me, as I never wanted to ride over there, especially without Bob to help me along, had I gotten into any trouble.

My buddy, Sue Diaz, will hopefully write her ride report of this race also. Sue did not fare as well. I just want to tell Sue that she is doing a GREAT job of riding this year (her 1st real year, I believe) and to keep up the good work! I am sure all of us have nursed many bruises and suffered the psychological trauma of doing an "endo" or "over the bars", so let's try to give her some encouragement to keep it up, as she will advance and soon be kicking my butt!:confused:
 

Jonala

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#3
Congratulations Anne.

Just think a few weeks ago total fustration, now we have a new rider for the GNCC. Over coming your fears always seems easier when you don't allow yourself time to think about them. Peer pressure helps. I hope to do as well as you did, the next race I enter. Thanks for the report.

John
 

Michelle

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#4
Way to go

Way to go Anne :) It's such a buzz when you do something you thought you couldn't, but a bit depressing when you realise you need to find another challenge ;) Why the heck do they put trees at the bottom of downhills, this makes no sense to me (as well as scaring the **** out of me).

Glad you've found your confidence again :)

Sue, congratulations for even attempting & starting, now you get back out there & have fun (haven't come across a post from you yet about it, but am slowly catching up the reading). Just don't get discouraged & keep riding.
Michelle
 

LoriKTM

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#5
Good job, Anne! You probably made up time just by waiting at the bottom of that first big hill, only to find out it was the wrong one! Buffalo Range presents a wide variety of terrain-- it's always kind of been my motto that if you can ride all of what Ottawa has to offer, you can pretty much ride anywhere. Which is the nasty downhill with the triangle trees at the bottom? Was that the one on the other side of the creek (toward the woods parking area?).
 
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#6
Awesome-Anne! Thanks for the report and for the words of encouragement. You shone on Sunday and did us women proud! As for my report, well, it’s much different than yours but for the sake of closure, here goes….

You know it’s bad when: 1) you arrive at the bottom of the hill before your bike does, 2) you rejoice over bending the handlebars because you’ve been wanting new ones, 3) all you can see through the new rip in your riding pants is black and blue skin.

On the bright side, there were a few sections that I felt good about and I aced the various hillclimbs, some rather steep. Last week, my husband Jon and I spent a couple days at the Trials Training Center (TTC) in TN where we learned a LOT from Laura Bussing aka Trialwench. It was a fabulous time and I was looking forward to applying my newly-learned techniques to Sunday’s race. Apparently, there wasn’t enough gel time because in moments of panic, looking down the steep root-covered precipice, for example, every reasonable thought in my head vanished. <sigh> But the peg-weighting technique seemed to work well because I didn’t hit one tree all day. Rejoice in the small victories, right?

The first steep downhill, in the first 10 minutes of the race, was the scene of my premiere endo. Going too fast, in a very deep rut, maybe too much front brake, and the front end washed out, sending me over the bars, bouncing down the hill. The bars were bent and I was a bit shook but I continued on. The trail finally emptied out alongside the creek and after another needless wipe-out there, I did the muddy creek crossing without thinking and surprised myself by a brilliant execution of it.

The second major downhill, the ‘gnarly’ one Anne mentioned with the roots, took me by surprise and partway down I got to practice my flying/falling technique again. Silly girl! Poor bike! After this spill, the bars were very loose but I kept going because I was feeling immortal, having survived some death-defying crashes already, I was unstoppable. Following the trail with shaky bars made for an interesting ride so after the checkpoint when I arrived back on the track, I rode to the first corner and stopped to chat with Jon who had been waiting and waiting and waiting to cheer me on. I told him I’d gotten my money’s worth, my bars were bent, and my body was beat-up. One lap was enough of an accomplishment on this 'given Sunday.'

I’m feeling ok about the race. Not great but I’m holding onto the small victories of the day (not hitting any trees, slaying the uphill dragons, and the perseverance to finish a lap) and looking forward to more practice and more races. Jon and I had a good talk about our new dirtbike lifestyle (we’ve been avid streetbike riders for many years), he wanted to make sure I was ok and still having fun and was there anything I need, like a new bike, to make it easier or more fun. Whatta great guy!

So, that’s that. Thanks for listening, if you made it this far. And thanks for this wonderful forum!

Sue
TTR250
 

LoriKTM

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#7
Sue, another good job! You conquered all the obstacles, and finished the lap, so next time it's just a matter of adding on laps. Ottawa sure isn't the easiest place to learn to ride, but it's good experience! Thanks for the update. Hope you and your bike are feeling better soon!
 
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#8
Thanks everyone!

Lori--the downhill was not the one you are thinking. We did not even go near that area of the park. It was on the north side of the MX track, near the clay hills. I've never even seen this one before sunday. It was much shorter than the one you are talking about, but STRAIGHT down, riddled with roots at the top and 2 trees 3/4 way down and big logs down at the bottom to go around. It was quite a hill!
 

firecracker22

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#9
Congrats to you both. There are some GPs up here that sound like my kind of deal—the fast guys do it in 4th gear so that means I can do it in 2nd maybe. But I’ve seen part of the course and it looks like a lot of fun—about 12 miles long, kinda muddy in the river bottom but fun. Good job. I didn’t do so hot on my own weekend racing foray.
 

Michelle

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#10
Sue, great report

Sue, you too did great. I think women are more likely to give up riding than guys because of injuries. But once it's in the blood forget it, impossible. It's just getting it into the blood that can be the problem. Every time I hear of a woman having a fairly bad crash and her not having been riding long, I hope I'll see her again (or read another report) - I've had the same comments made to me after bad crashes, but now those that know me know it won't happen.

Did the bolts on the bars come loose? Or just because they were bent? If they did loosen, get Jon to get you some tools so you can tighten them if it happens again (the motion pro little toolkit's good for stuff like that and easy to shove in your camelbak).

But you've all done well, I'm jealous. And I agree with Kali about it's great encouragement :)
Michelle