Harrison National - Race Reports & Tales of Carnage

Smit-Dog

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#1
Since I didn't ride the event or get much time to hear any benchracing, let's hear some race reports along with the trail carnage....

I know this guy had fun!
 

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Steve St.Laurent

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#2
It was my very first enduro I've ever entered and it was BRUTAL! I had to quit after the 2nd gas stop and was competely totally exhausted. I was 32 minutes off my minute when I arrived at the 2nd gas stop so I could've kept going but there was just no way - my legs had been cramping for about 10 miles and I was getting cold chills. I had to have help to get off the bike and basically collapsed on the side of the road. Had the time of my life though! Looking forward to doing another one. Entering a national for my first enduro probably wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done but oh well. Finished 27th out of 37 in the C senior 30+ class. I have a long multi page ride report that I did for the guys on a street bike site I'm on but I doubt you'd want to read through all that. I'll just leave you with this picture that was taken of me at the end - didn't even know it was taken.
 

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Smit-Dog

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#3
Definitely post the ride report Steve!

And don't feel bad... My first enduro was the Loose Moose National in 2003, and I didn't finish either. Didn't finish it in 2004 either. Or 2005 for that matter.

But... riding enduros will make you a much better rider, and it does get easier, er... scratch that... finishing becomes more attainable and desireable... and it becomes more addicting!

The next one up in Michigan is the Stump Jumper in Wolverine September 9th.... Given the terrain and promoter, you won't want to miss it.
 
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#4
I had a pretty good day, finished 5th in C-senior and I think there was only a few points seperating between 2nd-5th place. The trail was pretty much a 6” wide rut by the time minute 45 showed up. And the dust was a killer as well. If I would have had minute 35 like someone led me to believe, I think the trail would have been a lot less rutted. Thanks for screwing with me Smit-dog! Your time is coming.

Really enjoyed the whole weekend. Saturday I got to ride with my oldest son Justin and I finally dragged my younger brother out for a ride too. Maybe he will get the bug again!

Sorry Smitty, no trail carnage for you here…………………..that pic by Steve will be hard to beat!

By the way, hats off to the Buzzards and all that helped put on a great enduro! :cool:
 

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#5
I rode with "Farmer Joe" on 53 for 1 section. I could not believe how well he rode. I could not get to him to pass him until the end of the section!!

Great Race! Love the Race setup and Format! Club did a great Job!!! Noticed we re-rode quite a bit of trail from last year.

I started on min. 13 and trail was perfect. Not nearly the sand ruts of the later minutes. Just after the start of the 4th section I blew up a master link on my chain which then tangled in the front sprocket.
By the time I got my chain untangled and a new master link on I was riding back in the late 60's. Talk about rough and dusty and rutted trail!! It was awful. I houred out at the next check by 6 minutes. That sucked!!! I finished racing the course and had a great time. Just did not get to score well! I ended up riding the last couple sections around minute 35.

The dust stunk but I could not decide which would have been worse. If it would have been wet the black loamy sections which were dry would have been very very snotty and goopy!

I noticed on the later minutes when the berms and ruts were really bad your margin of error to stick your front wheel in the correct line was very small! I sucked at that!!!

I cant wait to go back and do it again!
 
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Steve St.Laurent

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#6
Ok, you asked for it! I was on minute 43 btw and the rut WAS real bad!:

Ok, after 12 hours of sleep here's the ride report. BTW, EVERY muscle in my body hurts - did you know you have a muscle on the back of your head? :doh It's hard to remember what happened where but I'll try to do my best.

At the start my plan was to ride at 70% of my ability so that I could hopefully finish the full 104 miles. Pulling into the field there were trucks and bikes EVERYWHERE. The factory KTM team was there with their semi and one of the large freightliner haulers (which was their CHASE truck!). Lining up I found out one of the guys on my minute was also a first timer. I figured I'd let them all go take off first and I'd take the back of the pack until I figured out where I fit in. We all took off into a cloud of dust - this would be a repeating theme for the day. I was almost totally blind - we've had very little rain here this summer so it was extremely dusty. The guy in front of me crashed in the second turn and I passed him on the outside. Since this was all on private property and this is the only event run on it I was expecting very good trail conditions - boy was I WRONG! The first 1/2 mile or so was in the field where we started and was bordered by tape. It was deep sand was rutted out badly from the previous 200+ riders.

After that we cut into the woods and to my shock (horror?) the trail was one tire width and was about 12 inches deep! I thought oh man is this going to be a long day. I crashed in the second turn in the woods and the guy I passed in the 2nd corner repassed me. I got back up and running pretty quick. It was TIGHT - and by tight I mean it was tighter than any trial I've ever ran and I've ridden some extremely tight ones. In the woods it was mostly 1st gear because it was so tight - usually I'm in 2nd or 3rd in the woods. There were many places where the bars couldn't fit through the trees at all - I had to put my front tire through then turn the bars and get one bar end through, lean the bike the other way and turn the bars to get the other end through then I could go. One set of trees was so tight in the middle of a corner that I had to get the bars through, then get off the bike and pick up the rear and and move it over so I could get the back of the bike through - and there was no other way to get through there. On another set of trees they were so close together that my radiator shrouds hit both trees - I didn't think it was possible to get through but I knew it had to be because everyone else had. Once I had the bars through I had to squeeze my legs against the tank hard and they were rubbing the trees as I went through. There were many log crossings, LOTS of roots and rocks, etc. I learned in this section that any trees 1" or smaller you just ignore - they will get out of your way. There were 2 2 ft+ log crossings that I got hung up on and had to lift the bike over - and many smaller ones that I just got over. The first tree section was 5.05 miles and it was BRUTAL - it felt like about 40 miles of our normal trail riding. I passed one guy that had already pulled off and given up in this first 5 mile sectoin - it was that hard. It was towards the end of this section that I was thinking there's no way I'll be able to finish this thing.

At one of the checks before the first gas stop (I honestly don't remember which one) the guy asks "is this your guy?" and I'm there panting thinking WTH then I notice my friend Randy who had ridden his street bike up to watch. I just kind of nodded my head towards him, he patted me on the back and said go for it man, and I took off (I might have said something but I don't remember). I found out afterwards from Randy that the organizer of the event was there at the check with him and he said the section up to that point was the hardest of the day, he said it was all extremely tight and just never let up - he was RIGHT. At the very first check I was running 3 minutes behind - not bad. I think when I got to the check where Randy was I was 23 minutes behind. I caught back up some with the resets. When I got to the first reset my group had just taken off (I was on minute 43 and the minute 44 guys were lined up waiting to get let go), they had me pull through the 44 guys and take off. Right before that reset Jon was there at the road and said "you gotta pick up the pace buddy" and I thought "oh yeah, I'll get right on that" - probably would have hit him if I could've gotten up the strength lol. No rest on this reset (this would also be a recurring theme all day) - DAMN.

They did have the road sections placed pretty well. I'd be banging and slogging my way through the woods and I'd think I sure hope there's a road section soon I don't think I can continue and then I'd hit a road section and get some strength back. Through all of this I'm getting passed left and right. I'd hear them coming up behind me and I'd pull off the trail as soon as I could find a spare foot on the side of the trail and they'd go by yelling thanks. Only once all day did I go to pull over and the guy was already there - he started yelling "HEY HEY HO HO HO HO" and I cut back to the right and he went by, he was the only guy I cut off. One guy ran into the back of me but didn't cause any problems. Slowly but surely the trail was less rutted as the day went on - it was obvious that a lot of people were dropping out.

There were some open fields that we'd blast through that you'd think would be times that you could rest up but with the dust you couldn't see hardly anything (sometimes you could pick out the helmet of the guy in front of you) and you'd hit rocks that would just launch you off to the side. The sand was SOOOOOO deep in many places that I could have used a paddle tire. You'd go through sections where even at speed (30+ mph) and on the gas the back end of the bike would just start digging in and you'd start slowing down. It was by far the deepest sand I'd ever ridden in. There were obstacles everywhere that I wouldn't have even considered attempting 2 months ago that I was riding right up or over.

I made it to the first gas stop 30 minutes past my time so I didn't have any time to rest. I had planned on sitting in a chair for a few minutes and downing a couple bananas. Braxton (Jon's son) fueled up my bike while Jon filled my Camelbak. I guzzled a gatorade between spewing oh my gods, this is the hardest thing I've ever done, pant, pant. Randy was there saying "yeah you dummy, enter a national for your first enduro" - he had helped talk me into it prior to the event btw :doh Found out afterwards that after he saw me the first time he figured I'd give up at the first gas stop. Jon thought I'd make it to stop #8 on the spectator list which was past the first gas stop and about 20 miles short of where I quit. As soon as the bike was gassed up and my water full I hopped back on the bike and took off. Never got to sit down.

After the gas stop whenever I'd pass spectators they'd be cheering and clapping, the checkers would be saying stuff like "don't give up - you can do it", etc. That stuff REALLY helped! When I'd pass someone cheering me on I'd get a couple minutes boost of energy - then it would fade away. Any time we were in the woods it was just brutal. By this time I had figured out log crossings and was just blasting over all of them. My thinking as I came to the first big log (2 ft) was "well, I don't have the energy to lift the bike over it so I'm just going to go over it and if I don't make it I'll just lie there" - I made it. On one log that was about 2 1/2 feet tall I bounced the front tire off it and the skid plate slammed into it HARD and I was over it. A skid plate was a mandatory item on this ride. I've never hit my skid plate in 75 hours of riding this bike - I hit it 10 or 15 times on this ride and not all on logs, some were just on the trail.

One of the hills was so rutted that I was on my knees so that I could reach the bars and crawling up the hill - the entire bike was in the rut, the bars were about 3 inches above the ground on either side, and my footpegs were folded up dragging through the walls of the rut. At another hill the arrows were pointing to the left, I could see a deep rut ahead that would be almost like that one but when I looked to the left the rut would swallow the bike and it would have been hanging from the bars - at the end of the rut was a 3 foot vertical wall with a root above it. I figured no way I can make it up that so I guess I'll try the one in front of me not sure if I could make that one either - I did. I got to one hill where there was a spectator running down the hill to I think help me get up it - it was VERY deep sand and VERY steep. As soon as I got onto it the bike started digging in - I just pinned it and paddle walked the bike up it. I must have been sending roost 200 feet behind me and I was just hoping that guy wasn't back there. I made it up it!!

There were two hills that I didn't make. On one, you were going downhill and there was a hard right to an immediate uphill with a left turn as you were climbing and a tree down on the inside of the turn and on the other side of that tree it was a bowl that dropped way down. I'm not sure exactly what happened but the bike spun out from under me and got tossed down into that bowl along with me - it was one of those that you see where the bike wheelies out from under the guy and gets tossed away. I'm lying down in that bowl with the bike upside down and I hear "are you ok?" "uh, yeah" "do you need help?" "uh, yeah"! Then I notice there's a large crowd of spectators watching that hill. They climbed down there and three of them got my bike out of it and around to the other side of the hill (it dropped back down after the left) and told me if it helped that I wasn't the first (hence the crowd) - lol. Man was I glad for their help!! It was at that point that I noticed one of the buckles on my left boot was loose and one on my right boot had pulled itself right out of the tongue. I clamped the left one down and fixed the right one. Took my helmet off while I was doing it and laid there on the bike for a couple minutes before I took off again. I was exhausted - about 600 feet later there was a check and then a road section - WHEW.

The other hill I couldn't make was REAL steep (I'd guess 60-70 degrees and 30 feet tall or so) and sandy - I was almost to the top and got off the right side of the trail and stalled the bike. I grabbed the front brake and it was so steep that I couldn't hold myself on the hill. The bike and I slid backwards all the way to the bottom of the hill. I kept it upright the whole way and the bike stopped about 2 feet short of the bottom when the right footpeg caught on a tree. I tried it again but couldn't make it. Then I looked to the left and saw fresh unridden hill over there (just as steep but about 5 feet shorter). I went up it and as I got to the top noticed it dropped right off on the back side! There was about 2 feet on the top of the hill so I cut hard right when my front tire crested the hill and made it - it would have been ugly had I gone over the other side. Rode another 20 feet to the right and got back on the trail.

At another point the trail ran along the edge of a corn field - there was about 3 feet between the last row of corn and a metal fence on the right. The trail was loose sand and it was quite scary having the bike moving around in the sand with that fence right there - I kept thinking man I don't want to get tangled up with the fence. Then I hit a rock that launched me to the left into the rows of corn. Corn was slamming into the bike and my forearms - it was LOUD "pop, pop, pop, pop" and I was ducking flying corn cobs, etc until I could get it slowed down and get back over the furrow and onto the trail - WHEW.

Before the event I had been talking to Randy about conditions there and he said he didn't remember many rocks - he was WAYYYYYY off, they were everywhere. In one of the fields we ran through they ran us over a rock pile (where the farmer had piled all the rocks he'd tilled up over the years) - it was about 15 feet high and 200 feet across. First time ever doing something like that and this was about 15 miles from when I quit so I was REAL tired. Made it through it ok by paddle walking the bike over it and taking it slow.

In one of the fields I went through I got lost it was right after a check and there were arrows angling to the right and just ahead the two track veered right so I thought that's where the trail went. About a mile down that two track I didn't see any more arrows so I figured I missed the turn. I went back and still didn't see the turn so I turned around and rode about 2 miles down that two track until I ran into the course coming AT me! I knew I'd missed it then so I headed back and found the turn - it was about 100 feet BEFORE the arrows and was about 3 feet wide into the corn whereas the two track was about 10 feet wide. So I blasted down it and missed the next turn which was about 60 feet down and went to the right (the arrows were hidden by corn stalks) - I ended up looping around and came back up the two track that I just ridden down! UGH The checkers were waving at me and trying to help me find the turn and I finally did - added about 5 miles going in circles there.

That was one place that I missed turns - the others were on road sections where I had probably taken my goggles off to cool my face or something and blasted past the turn. The worst one I went about a mile down the road too far before I turned around - another rider did the same thing right behind me. I'll know better what to look for now having done it before. When we were running through a field HAULING and then it would cut into the woods the last 50 feet or so would be stutter bumps from braking and made for some exciting moments. The bike would be swapping directions left and right and hopping up and down, etc. On one turn I was about 2 feet in the air completely sideways with the bars full lock left as the turn blew by on the right!

The only real good crash that I had was about 300 feet after coming out of the woods into an open section and I was WOT in 4th in deep sand and it started swapping ends and tossed me over the left side and onto my shoulder. I ran back to the bike and got going immediately - this was before the first gas stop (I think).

(continued)
 

Steve St.Laurent

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#7
Getting close to the 2nd gas stop I was thinking "man maybe I can make this thing yet" because I was only 30 minutes off my time - I hadn't houred out yet. I had been getting cold chills periodically and I wasn't sure what was going on there and shortly after that I started getting BAD leg cramps - on the back side of my right thigh and my left calf. I started riding with my water hose in my mouth and drank whenever I could thinking maybe I was getting dehydrated. There was about 4 miles of road to the gas stop and as I got onto the road thought that might be able to give me enough energy to finish but then I started feeling naseous. Thought I was going to have to pull over to let it fly but was hoping I could make it to the gas stop so I didn't have to get back on the bike afterwards! I pulled up to the truck and Jon and Brax grabbed the bike. I said "someone take this ****'n bike away from me" and then laid my head down on the bars. I couldn't even get off the bike. I waited a few minutes and then took my helmet off and asked them to help me off the bike. I just kind of collapsed on the side of the road. They kept asking me if I wanted water or gatorade and I couldn't even talk. They poured ice cold water over me and put that cold towel on my forehead. At some point Jon lifted my head and put that towel under it. After 5 or ten minutes I was able to roll over and stand up and they helped me get all my gear off. I've never been so exhausted in my entire life! When I pulled into the gas stop I was 32 minutes off my time so I could have kept going had I had more energy but I knew that I was going to hurt myself bad if I continued.

I got changed and they loaded our stuff and we headed back to the start/finish so that I could turn in my sheet (to get scored and so they would know I was off the course so they wouldn't send a search party out). We watched the AA riders come into the finish and then headed home. Had this been a regular D14 enduro I would have finished with the mileage I put in - the Jack Pine was 85 ground miles this year and I rode 80 plus in talking to guys the terrain is far easier. Entering a national for my very first enduro was probably not the smartest thing I've ever done in my life but I sure had a BLAST and I survived it. Given the conditions, etc even though I didn't make my goal of finishing I'm happy with making it to the 2nd gas stop. I enjoy pushing myself to my limits and this was DEFINATELY pushing myself to my limit - now I can expand that limit!

I have absolutely no doubt that my riding skills took a HUGE leap forward this weekend - regular trails are going to be sooo much easier now. Log crossings used to intimidate me and I'd usually walk/lift the bike over them - now I'll be able to ride right over them. I've yet to hit a log crossing on the trail that was as bad as the ones I rode over in the event (unless they were ones that were completely unpassable). I rode in sand WAY deeper than anything I've ever ridden in, over rock piles like I'd never seen, through tighter trees, up steeper hills, through deeper ruts, etc. Man what a blast!!

There's stuff I've missed in this report I'm sure but there was just SOOOO much stuff that happened I doubt I'll ever remember it all but I'm sure you get the jist of it all! Sorry for the long report but I don't know how I could have shortened it.

BTW, the results are in - I finished 27th out of 37 riders in the C senior (30+) class and 50th out of 65 in the C class overall (junior & senior). Here's a link to the check detail - http://www.moto-tally.com/d14/ama/Results.asp?EY=2007&EID=4&OCID=C15&vT=Score+Cards and score cards - http://www.moto-tally.com/d14/ama/Results.asp?EY=2007&EID=4&OCID=C15&vT=Check+Detail

Picture gallery here - http://home.centurytel.net/stevest/harrison07/ . Not many pics because it's hard to get them but that's all I have.
 

Smit-Dog

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#8
CR250R@WINTERS said:
... If I would have had minute 35 like someone led me to believe, I think the trail would have been a lot less rutted.
It's a mental thing!

Third overall B was on #59, third Overall C was on #54. :nener:
 

bbarel

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#9
LOL p.s. I don't think that rock pile was 200 feet long, but I'm sure it felt like it. Congrats for tackling your first enduro. Many guys don't finish their first one. They will get easier for you. Harrison was a toughie. Those deep sandy ruts are VERY hard to ride in. Sounds like maybe you got dehydrated. Been there done that. Drink every chance you get while riding, on roads, at resets, even if you are not thirsty. I usually drink around 1 gallon of fluids during a race. I use 50/50 water/gatorade or some kind of sports/energy drink. Were you wearing a camelbak?
 

fatherandson

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#10
The guy on # 53 is a friend of Cody Mastins. They road together at the Six Days in Spain. He and his son have been riding the Family Enduro Series. He is a nice guy and faster than his gear would lead you to believe.
 
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#11
Guess who else was on #59? I didn't notice much in the way of ruts. The trail had been widened considerably by the time I made my way through. Dust wasn't that bad either, although I have never seen my air filter look like one giant brown dust bunny. I had fun, and that's why I went.

Smit-Dog, a big thanks to you and your Son for driving our gas truck. Your Son would not even let me pour my own gas. I felt like a factory star. Thanks :cool: Hope the shoulder heels up soon for ya. Nice to see everyone

Mully, I even got to see you do a little dirt tasting in a corner, I think it was in the next to last section with all the 4 wheeler type sand turns. It looked like one of those tired lay down crashes.
 

Steve St.Laurent

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#12
Yeah I was wearing a camelbak but since I wasn't getting to the restarts in time I didn't have any time to rest. I was drinking lots any time I was on a road section or in the fields. I was guzzling water any time I could. I was told I drank about 1/2 my 100oz bag by the first gas stop (it was refilled), I guzzled a 32 oz gatorade, and I just emptied it and I drank almost all of it by the second gas stop. I drank nothing but water for the 3 days leading up to it and lots of it to make sure I was hydrated to begin with. I am very heat intolerant though (I'm a winter person) so it's possible it was just heat related.

P.S. I'm sure that a lot of my lengths, angles, etc are distorted ;)
 

TJC510

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#13
i had a blast. i was kinda intimidated when i seen the route sheet at just under 104 ground miles and 30 mph. this was my first national, so i figured it would be extremely hard and my goal for the day was to finish. once i got the first 2 sections done, i thought it was going to be a great day. i was only down 5-7 minutes each section the worst being the second which was 18. i only seen 5 people out there. a couple 3 people i kept passing after the restarts and then Cody and Kiel passed me soon afterword. i hope i didn't slow them down at all, i heard them coming and found a spot to pull off and got right back on track. the 2 other guys on my minute just let me take off first then they went, i never did get a chance to thank them for that.

i was starting to get tired at second gas, but you couldn't tell by the score card. i was having a ball all day. i was shocked when i seen the results. i ended up with 74 points, 1 point away from 1st in the open B class.
 

Smit-Dog

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#14
Zach and I were at the start watching some of the AA guys freight train through that first woods section. We saw #53 pull up to the start and thought hey, check out this local hayseed! But watching him rip through the grass track and attack the woods, he was going to be pickin' off riders instead of crops that day...
 

Mully

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#15
Great run, the dust in some spots was really bad, but that is how it is in the sand. Day started out slow like normal in the first section, then fouled a plug in the second section and fouled another on the road to the third section. I carried points into the check-ins at the next two sections. But the bike ran fine the rest of the way and once I got caught back up the rest of the day was a blast. Better then getting a flat tire and then running late.

Speaking of flat tires........

Many thanks to KTMmike and family for running gas for me again. And it is always good to see all of you MTR's. :)