My First Harescramble Ride Report

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Apr 9, 2007
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#1
(TT gals this is the same report)

I made it. I survived my first harescramble. I am going to start off with:
THAT WAS THE MOST PHYSICALLY EXHAUSTING THING I HAVE EVER DONE WITH A MOTORCYCLE!


Now...the ride report. I am not sure how much of a ride it really was. One hour race. 2.5 mile loop.....Warning~there will be some, um, "colorful" language. Not horrid, but some color here and there. Purely for effect. :lol:

So we get to Azzie at about 9:30 A.M. Registration took almost one full hour. They ended up delaying our 11:00 race to noon. So finally it was time to go line up. I was feeling VERY confident. I survived MX on this course not more than 3 weeks ago. A few trails would not be an issue. I figured second gear and just putt through the obstacles. No big deal.

The shotgun goes off "BANG!" My 250F kicked right over....I was giddy. But then I dumped the clutch and killed her. Eh, whatever, I did not want to be in the mix of experienced riders anyway. Got her restarted and took off. I go over the familiar jumps of the MX course, up on the pegs I OWNED the mud bogs. I was smiling on the inside. I AM going to do well today. Up around the next bend I see red tape and arrows....I think 'no problem'. Off the track we go. I make the hard left into a grassy area. I looked about 10 yards in front of me. My smile left as quickly as it had appeared. "How the HELL am I going to get down that?"

I am cool with down hill. What I had no clue how to manuever was a LEDGE to drop over. Surrounded by trees, of course. So I took a very deep breath. Bit down SUPER hard into my mouth guard and basicaly flung myself and the bike down the hill. No grace. No control. Gravity was doing ALL the work. I was just along for the ride hoping for the best. Well, we did it. We not only got down in one piece, but we were still up on two and happily motoring to the next section. I was so proud of me. So I was smiling again.

Back onto the motocross track. The track is a hard right hand turn at the bottom of a tabletop type jump. So the rut is quite nasty, and of course nothing but sticky mud. Not soupy. Not the kind that splatters when you go through it, oh no. This is tacky, gotta clump to everything it touches, fall and you are done kind of mud. Some riders in front of me went through the center where the mud was as high as their foot pegs. So I found a nifty little line to the far right and made it through. Another internal high-five took place. I think I even tee-hee'd a bit. Up the hill I went.....more red tape and arrows pointing to a trail on the left. Up hill.

I look up soon enough to see three riders fall over in a row. Now let me tell ya, my confidence was not at all inspired. All these riders HAD to be better than me. I had no clue who they were, but I suck. So they were all David Knight in comparison to me. I got closer and had a good look at the hill. It was a fairly steep grade. Nothing too bad. I mean, it looked tricky with all the rocks in it. But I had made it up worse hills in Michigan last year. So, with a deep breath, I twisted the throttle. I managed to get an ok run at it. Up me and my 250F went. The guys hooted and hollared at me. It was AWESOME to hear the spectators root for you. I guess to have them recognize MY PERSONAL accomplishment verbally really sparked me up. It was cool. Another HUGE smile on my face. I could not believe how well I was doing! I CAN do this!

Back onto the MX course. Down a hill. Well, it's not so much of a hill anymore. My perspective HAS changed significantly. I had another hard right hairpin type turn into a whoop section. I handled it all just fine. Into a sandy sweeper to the left only to be greeted again by more red tape and arrows pointing me off the track. I was really going to miss the track.....

So off the track I went. Through a little chicane type thing between the trees. Out to an open section. I wanted to open her up a bit but decided against it. If I just maintain, I'll be better able to negotiate foreign obstacles. A dive back into some trees, a little hitch through some more and down a gravel road I went. I was tooling along thinking "This isn't so bad! I am REALLY having fun!" Around the flat track I went. Up a little bit of a hill and I stopped cold in my tracks.

Remember the way daffy duck or bugs bunny would let go of a balloon full of air and it would wildly deflate? Well that was my confidence. In front of me was a geological horseshoe. Six feet straight down (at least) only to shoot six feet straight back up. Who came up with this brilliant idea? I am certain my eyes were the size of silver dollars. Fortunately there were more spectators on the other side. "Oldguy" happened to be one of them. He had a HUGE smile. "Come on! You can get over that!" I shook my head...No FREAKING way could I negotiate that. I have NO idea how to get through there! I was worried about logs. Not six foot drop offs only to launch into trees on the way back up. Well I dug deep. Seriously. I dug deep into my soul. I took ANOTHER deep breath. Clenched my mouthguard. Went down the hill. I reached the bottom. "Don't lose momentum Tam, you need it to get up the other side." By some miracle of the motorcycle gods, I timed it beautifully. I released the clutch and the 250F tractored right up the other side. Well, more than tractored. I ended up saying hi to a really nice tree. So I guess I did get a slight launch out of it. But if I hadn't looked at the tree, I'd have made it through. Oh well. I DID IT!!!!! I did stall the bike and have to restart it. But no big deal. I got her running and off we went. Thanks Oldguy for the cheers! It really helped!!!

Up and down a hill in a serpentine fashion we went. It was a little iffy here and there but no real issues. We made it around the hill only to go through a dark tunnel. Very cool but scary at the same time. I mean, if you crashed in there it could be ugly. But on we went. Made it through the tunnel and it looked like we were headed back to the MX track-YAY!. I motored up the slope and killed the bike again. "What is it with you people and these FREAKING drop offs????" Again, I was looking at a very steep 6 foot drop into the MX track....One of the workers said "Get your bike started and just go very slowly over it. You will be fine." So I did exactly what he said....He was right. I was fine. Thankful to be back on the MX track, I was reflecting on how difficult those obstacles were to get through. It took so much energy. I was really getting tired. "Oh there's the Chicane, Brakes!!!!" Well, I was immediately saddened to see the tape blocking off my familiar chicane. "Damn it! Off the track again!"

I looked ahead to see another steep hill to climb. This one was taller than all the others I had done. Even more entertaining was the fenceline at the top. "How the hell am I going to have enough to get up that AND be able to turn without launching through the fence??????" Well I twisted the throttle and used the clutch. I got up the hill just fine but when it came to the turn I lost momentum and went down. First time the whole ride to actually look at the dirt. You shorter gals know what I am talking about. The angle is just a degree too much. The wind blows just a puff and maybe a leaf landed on one side.....down you go. Well that's what happened. A stupid invisible leaf landed on my left side and I just fell over....for no apparant reason. Fortunately my buddy Dave was working that corner. I was so happy to see him! He helped stabilize my bike for me. I looked at him and said "This SUCKS!" He hollered back "It will get easier!" I shook my head and went on my way. Picking that bike up took a lot of energy....again. I focused on breathing and headed down the narrow wooded trail.

The trail went down the hill again. I was happy to see it went at a slant rather than an immediate drop. Only to find myself going through another really sharp, sand filled turn to go straight up the face of this hill....back towards the fenceline. I saw the arrow pointing to the left so I took that line. I hit a bump and the bike came to a stop. I fell over again. I kept her running and tried to walk her up. Not happening. No momentum. Heavy bike. Tired little girl. I just stood there holding my bike. My thoughts were not as clear. I was thinking more about how tired I was than anything else. I mean, I just picked my bike up not more than two minutes ago. I felt so weak....What's that? Oh man, there is a line on the OUTSIDE of that arrow! DAMN IT! If I would have seen the track going to the right of the tree I would not have had a problem.....But for the time being I was stuck. And the faster riders were going on to lap two. And I was stuck in the middle of the hill they needed to go up. In the end, one of the workers helped me back the bike down the hill on to level ground. It took me a few kicks to get her going. I was so tired so I didn't have the oomph I needed to kick her over. I eventually got her running. If only I were an inch taller!!!

So up the hill I went. Using the outside line I had no issues making it to the top. Following that darn fenceline I see tape across the trail and an arrow to the left. I nearly fell over. I didn't know what to do. I was petrified. Frozen in my tracks.

I let several riders go by me. I watched them negotiate this hill. I couldn't do it. I was SO SCARED. I have never felt this scared on a motorcycle before....NEVER. The path went straight down this hill. This hill was taller than my garage. The path went straight down. It wasn't quite a drop off, but it was straight down. Did I mention it went straight down? Into trees, of course. I watched the other riders go. But I couldn't do it. I could not muster the courage to go. Finally after like 15 riders did it, I was going to try. I got positioned but then freaked out. Because even though the path went straight down, it first hooked back to the left. It was like a U-turn, but not. Going STRAIGHT DOWN! So I froze again. My friend rode up behind me. I yelled to him "You go ahead!" He replied "I can't. You need to do it first!" He ended up saying "One way or another you have to get down the hill so I can." I don't know if it was true or if it was a ploy. But I needed that to get me going. I tear up now thinking of how scared I really was. I cannot believe it. I am not a scaredy-cat. But this one got me. In retrospect, it was only because I had no idea how to do it. I did not have the skillset to get down that hill. I had NEVER ENCOUNTERED anything like it before. But I could not get in Pat's way. I could not ruin his race. So I had to go over. If I crashed, so be it. I had to get out of his way.

I crept the bike to the edge. I weighted the outside peg with all I had. I released the clutch and basicly did a "hail mary" over the edge. I wanted to close my eyes. Well, the bike went over the edge and down. Yes, I lost my stomach on the way down. I love roller coasters. This was like a kiddie roller coaster. I cannot believe how fast that bike dropped. I know I squealed as we came down the edge. The trail then hooked a harder left at the bottom. I pulled over and let Pat and the other rider get by. Of course, I had to make sure I didn't poo my pants too. I stood there for a minute and let my knees stop shaking. Drank some of my water and just tried to get myself back in check. " I did it. OMFG, I got down that hill. In one piece. I didn't fall. I didn't crash. Holy Sh!t! I am ok. Alright, let's go....up the hill and to the right.

The next few sections are a blurr. I struggle to remember them. I was so tired. There were a few hang ups here and there. But for the most part I got through ok. I stopped a lot to let the faster guys/gals go. I did not want to upset their momentum. I was struggling every step of the way. I remember thinking "This is supposed to be fun?" I wanted to quit so badly. But I talked myself into one lap. Just get one lap recorded. It's not a finish, but make one lap. So I set my course to get one lap down and then I would stop.

A few snakey sections through trees and up goofy muddy hills I made my way through the last wooded section of the course. I actually negotiated some tuff things, but was too tired to really care or make notice. The fear adreneline rush I experienced at the 'scary hill' zapped my reserves. I stopped and drank water, a lot. I tried to find that 25th wind, but it was nowhere to be found. I coasted down the path only to see a line of riders at the foot of another hill. Not a bad hill. But it had a lot of rocks and you needed a good run to get up it. Because there were already riders falling down the face of it, my 'good run' wasn't going to happen. When it was clear, I took a run at it. I made it halfway up but lost it. I don't know what I did wrong, but the bike stopped. I hopped off and tried walking it up. Somehow, I managed to stall it and fall over. Once again, I tried backing the bike down the hill. I ended up getting stuck on a mound of dirt. My body had nothing. My muscles were noodles. The hill ahead was too steep. I was too weak to to get over the mound behind me. I had no oomph to kick the bike over. "Well, I guess my race ends here" I thought.

And then the riders came. You woods riders are INSANE!!!!! Because I was stuck in a very bad place, I got to get very close to a few of you. I put my head down "please don't hit me please don't hit me I am very small I am not here you do not see me please don't hit me". Yes I chanted this mantra a few times. Finally a worker saw my predicament and helped pull me off of the mound I was stuck on. I got the bike down onto level ground. With the worker holding the bike up I was able to get some solid kicks. After my third kick I pleaded with her "come on baby girl, one lap. we just need one lap." She fired on the next kick. I am sure the worker got a kick out of that. Headed back onto the track. I don't know why I have to do things twice, but the second time I got straight up. No problems. God I was tired.

Finally I weaved through more trees and ended up back on the MX track. I was so happy to see the doubles in front of me. As I was going over the second set, I could see my son sitting in our pit. With a huge smile and a thumbs up he encouraged me. I nodded so he would know I saw him. But I was so tired......sooooooooooo tired. I could see the check point. Two more turns. Two riders came around behind me. I let them get to the check point first. I did not want to interfere with their laps. I had no idea how close it was to the end of the race.

I rolled up to the check point. I was looking for the way out. The lady scanned my helmet, patted me on the back and shouted "Go! Go!" I thought, ok.....so I headed out for lap two.

I made it probably 1/4 of the way through. I hit some easy mud and the bike just went down. I don't know if I hit the front brake, or what. I just know that the front washed out and I hit the ground. It's really quited fuzzy. It took me about 5 minutes to move the bike. Of course it died. When I crashed, she landed with the wheels high....I had to 'power lift' to get her back on two. I managed to get off the trail...not by much. But enough to let other riders through. I couldn't start her. I couldn't even get a spark off. So I figured I would just watch the race. As friends of mine went by, I cheered them on. Hell, I had the best seat in the house!!! :lol:

I finally got the bike restarted, headed up the hill. I went until I found a corner worker. I pomptly asked how to get off the track. I knew there was no possible way I could make it around. He told me I'd be DQ'd I told him I didn't care!:busted: So I went off the track and headed to the pits.......I found out the race was over anyway!!! So it wasn't a big deal.

So here is what I learned. My definition of a trail ride was not the same as others! The MX course does not have hills, they have mounds with slopes. A hill has ledges and drop offs. I learned that I have more talent than I give myself credit for. I learned that I let myself be overwhelmed mentally which is what damages me physically. I need to shut my brain off because I can do anything.

Most importantly, I did a harescramble today. I made it up every hill and over every obstacle. I did not win, but I made it through and that is a HUGE victory for me. I am SO proud of myself. I am actually quite emotional about it and I am not sure why. Maybe it's because I accomplished something that I told myself I could not do. Maybe it's because I overcame a HUGE mental stopping block. Maybe it's just because I am exhausted and not thinking clearly!

I don't know if I will do another harescramble. In writing this, I was able to reflect and process. I did REALLY good. Especially for someone who was absolutely clueless. Maybe I'll try again. But it will be awhile. The 250F was not the best choice for me to run. It's about 3" too tall. It's heavy and hard for me to handle. I don't have a TON of time on her and am not completely comfortable. I think I would have fared better with the 80. But then again, I accomplished so much on that big bike.

Yeah, I'm proud of me. I am amazed at what a dirtbike can do. I am even more amazed at what I did today....on a dirtbike.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2007
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#2
Its like I told you today, no one expects you to go out there and be a pro at it. At least you were out there giving it you best shot, you should be proud of that.
Now that you have a hare scramble under your belt, the next time you do a MX race it will seem like a piece of cake.
 
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#3
I know!!! I am SO gonna rock the MX course on the 13th!!!! hahahaha!!!

I am so lucky to have the support of great people. In the end I think I had fun....We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow!!!!
 

oldguy

Always Broken
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#4
Tammy great report and terrific attempt at your first harescramble (you'll be back :boss: ). You did more then a lot of riders out there did and should be proud of it. At least you were breathing and smiling when I saw you afterwards.
BTW you negotiated that drop in jump out section as well if not better then 60% of the riders on the first lap (once you made up your mind) :cool:

See you in 2 weeks and if you need anything let me know I am always there at Aztalan (2nd home you know :bang: )
 
Joined
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#6
I think shed be able to rock-out the shorttrack. I mean, she races ice and you wouldnt think that ice and shorttrack would be all that different.
Hey, Oldguy, were you the guy with the beard, camera and the DRN.net shirt? If so, you probably saw me there. I was the guy with red hair and the Toyota shirt talking with her afterwards.
 
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#7
Thanks again Oldguy!!! (You didn't happen to get a picture of me surviving that did ya?) ;)

I will be attempting shorttrack, but not until the RGNers do it. My plan is to focus on MX for the time being. I am going to have to bite the bullet and get my kids signed up. I don't know how much longer I can keep them in the pits. We went out riding today.....They both improved by 500%. I asked them who they were and what did they do with my kids? They both laughed and my son said "We watched you yesterday Mom. We really want to do this."
Awesome!
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
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#9
wisconsin riders

Hey Ya'all... somehow managed to find you wisconsinites...

You must all be East?? Did any of you ride Dyracuse today?

I'm just learning, and looking to meet other riders. My goal is to enter a race by the time I'm 50.... That might be a little too aggressive a time table if I can't get on some dirt more regularly.

But, as they say, it's all good. Spectating is a hoot too.
 
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#11
HAHAHA..yup, it's blonde.

Thanks for the kind words...I just go out and try hard.

We are in Fort Atkinson.
 

kmccune

2-Strokes forever
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Jul 3, 1999
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#14
blndebmbr said:
(TT gals this is the same report)

I made it. I survived my first harescramble.
THAT WAS THE MOST PHYSICALLY EXHAUSTING THING I HAVE EVER DONE WITH A MOTORCYCLE!

Yeah, I'm proud of me. I am amazed at what a dirtbike can do. I am even more amazed at what I did today....on a dirtbike.
Great write up, and glad to hear that you had a good time :ride: