Race Report (It was Ugly!!!)

CNM

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#1
Once again me and John left out Saturday morning for another enduro. This race was in Bismark, Arkansas which meant about an 8 hour drive. Once you add road construction and traffic jams it turned into close to a 9 hour trip.

Johns bike still needs a top end so I was riding this one alone. We arrived at camp and met up with some friends and dropped the trailer. We discuss my strategy for the race (mainly should I sign up now or wait until Sunday morning). They convince me to sign up now (so I can sleep a little later in the morning) and I head to the sign up tent. I hardly ever sleep much the night before a race but it was an amuzing argument anyway. I end up on row 60.

Sunday morning was pretty uneventful. We arrive at camp, get the bike ready and warmed up. I get myself ready and now wait for time to head to the starting line. Upon arrving at the start, someone tells me that there is an enormous rut about 5 turns from the start. I thank them for the warning and push my bike to the line. It fires on the 2nd kick and I follow the guys on my row down the trail. Ooopps, where was that big rut again? Oh, that huge, bike swallowing hole with a CR stuck in it must be it. I follow the others on my row around to the left. That was the last time I saw them the entire day. It seemed like every so many turns there was more mud and deep ruts. My XR200 is definately NOT a good bike for deep ruts and mud (especially with me riding it).
Anyway, I manage to stop and find alternate lines around the mud holes and somehow managed to not get stuck. This was either a miracle or just plain luck! The trail was really good at times but it was almost always full of rocks! I put rocks right up there with sand on my list of things I don't do well. Anyway, I pull through the last check on the first loop and into the gas where John is waiting. I immediately down the Gatorade and sit for a quick breather while I contemplate starting the second loop. Against all reason, I decide to start the second loop. This was a mistake!! I go about 50 yards from the gas stop and encounter more mud, I see a line around to the left and manage to make it through. Another 20 yards and a creek crossing with deep ruts coming out the other side. This is where I was overcome with what I call "Idiot Syndrome". Like an idiot, I enter the creek and try, (I stress the word "try") to climb out the other side by going through the deepest rut there. No luck, the XR is stuck. After getting help to get the bike out, I again fall victim to "Idiot Syndrome" (it comes and goes when I get tired) and I keep going. The trail is actually pretty good right now. I make a right turn and am faced with, you guessed it, more mud. I try to take the high ground but the back tire slides down into a deep rut. Oh yes, you guessed it, stuck again. I try to lift the back tire out, but with no luck. Now I have no choice but to wait for the clean up crew. The only good thing, I was already so late, I didn't have wait long for them to get there. It turned out that one of them was Lawman (you meet DRN's everywhere) and they get me out of the mud and take me to a road so I can head back to camp. It wasn't a great day. I never felt like I really rode well. It seemed like I was always fighting the bike. Oh well, can't have good days all the time.
 

bbbom

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#2
Originally posted by CNM
Anyway, I manage to stop and find alternate lines around the mud holes
My friend June and I were discussing this last time we rode with the boys. They go through whatever mess is in front of them, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. We almost always look for an alternate route and usually, there is one.

At least you stuck it out CNM!! Next one will be better!
 

Jonala

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#3
Another excellent report. You gals write the better reports. All those problems and not hour out Congratulations.

You had mud, we had dust this weekend. Don't know which is worse. I'm horrible in the mud. I ride slow when I can't see.:eek:
 

LoriKTM

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#4
Neely,

Sounds like you had a similar weekend to mine-- one we'd rather forget and move on. I see from your report that you were on row 60-- that must have been it. If you had been on 48, like your last report, I'm sure everything would have been better! ;)

I can't imagine driving a whole day for a race. You are one lucky gal. I know Dave wouldn't put up with that kind of drive just so I could race. He'd want to ride too, or not go at all.
 
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#5
Neely, good race report, but sorry you struggled! I know you mentioned you have most of the things that I also hate--mud, sand, rocks. Who doesn't? But that is not to say that you cannot become good at riding in those situations. Practice, practice, practice. Every time you come across a mud puddle, go thru it several times until you feel you did it properly--the same for the sand and rocks. I am, by no means, a great rider in these conditions, but I dont freak out so much anymore either. Bob makes me practice on them quite often. In addition, if you continue to ride in softer terrain, you might want to consider different tires---they make a WORLD of difference! I got the Michelin S12's a couple of months ago and it has helped immensely! Just a thought! Keep up the good work!!
 

firecracker22

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#6
Wow, sounds tough. That's about how I felt at the Muddy Butt a month ago--but at least you finished! Congrats on sticking with it.

Bbbom, I know exactly what you mean. Men are far more likely to go WFO through whatever's in front of them, while we'd rather find the better route. Problem is, you have to use BOTH methods to be fast . . . there are many obstacles better approached WFO . . . like creek crossings with a steep rocky bank on the other side. So speaks the voice of experience.