TWMC Enduro - Blazen Trails Report

the Eel

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#1
This was an inaugural TWMC club enduro in part of the Red Mountain area called the"Mud Pots", very near Johannesburg.

Scar Tissue and KelsoRat were representing once again and I was glad to see them. Plus it was good to get back into the season after what seemed like a very quiet summer. Too quiet if you ask me.

Kelso was already there when I arrived on Saturday evening ... he already had his "pit" area set up. It was dark when I got there but I immediately spotted his factory canopy, his factory lantern, and his works astroturf. He knows how to do the rough-it desert overnite in style. :aj:

He also brought an awesome looking ride with him .. a spotless 1991 KTM 540. It was a beauty. No doubt it has the stiffest clutch pull I have ever had the (dis)pleasure to experience. I could barely pull in the clutch on this beast. (OK, OK ... you can stop the limp-wristed jokes right now). :laugh:

Tim showed up about the same time I did and we set up our little camps.

We spent the evening over beers and bike talk. Both of them are bike shopping ... looking at 300cc off-road bikes, or maybe a CRF for Scar. Several times the subject of So Cal group rides came up ... we really need to get one together. The Crew is way overdue in that respect. We hit the sacks at about midnite, and Kelso set his alarm for 6 AM. OUCH!

The next morning it was warm but not too warm ... it got up to about 90 degrees. The amateur race wound up at about 52 miles, with the novices going around 58 or so.

The course was another winner ... about as good as the one that Dean Bishop and Tim Stoner laid out earlier in the year. One really cool difference was that this course had a split on the 2nd loop which was entirely different from the first loop, a special test of sorts. The course rocked.

We started by going up and around on some twisty trail laid out on these 30 or 40 foot high mounds of hard whitish dirt. Really slippery and all the turns made it challenging. Then we had a few hillclimbs connected by sand washes and hardpack trails ... some whoops but not too many. There were quite a few more hills to climb and lots of turning in this race ... good and technical but not bike damaging like some of the rock races we've seen. But just when you think there are no rocks .. here come the rocks. Some were along a very narrow off camber hillside trail and there were also 3 or 4 really rocky, chewed up downhill sections .. just hairy enough to get your attention. I started to see people getting stuck on the hillclimbs too. That always gets your attention. There was one 4 or 5 foot rock waterfall to go down .. it came up around a blind turn and boy was that a surprise. They also threw in some great open stuff where you could just rail through the scrub. It felt great to chase some ribbon again. Quite a few of the checks were placed in tricky areas which made zeroing more difficult .. plus all the checks were tiebreakers so every second counted.

Had a great time ... Scar and Kelso ? Report ?
 

CPT Jack

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#2
Nice report there Eelio! I really need to get outta the Active Reserve. It's screwing up the enduro season for me!

You down for this weekend ala Thumbsy's request?
 

the Eel

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#3
I am ... let me know the where and when ... I'm good for an overniter.
 

holeshot

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Originally posted by the Eel
The amateur race wound up at about 52 miles, with the novices going around 58 or so.

:eek:
 

CPT Jack

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#5
that's gotta be a typo - I'll bet he meant 38.
 

the Eel

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#6
Yup ... Novice was about 48 or so. Piece of cake for you holeshot.

How are you feeling ?
 

holeshot

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#7
:laugh:

Hope to be out for the November enduro on Saturday. I probably won't ride the main event on Sunday (unless a miracle happens or it's a real timekeeper), but I'll scoot around on Saturday.

The ROTMX has a "fun" (no race) day at REM at beginning of October. We have the track to ourselves to practice all Sunday. I might check that out (very slowly).

I haven't been riding since the qualifier. :silly:
 
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#8
Good report Eel.

Holeshot: glad to hear you're getting better. If you do go to the next enduro, it's almost as much fun working a check with an experienced hand (plus you won't have to pull ribbon and arrows/stakes!) We did just that often when my younger sons would come out; gives them something to do, and they liked it. Bonus: you get credit/year-end points.
 

holeshot

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#9
Originally posted by placelast
Good report Eel.

Holeshot: If you do go to the next enduro, it's almost as much fun working a check with an experienced hand (plus you won't have to pull ribbon and arrows/stakes!)
Yeah, I thought of doing that with my daughter (if they let me). Could be a good time in the cooler weather.
 
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#10
Originally posted by holeshot

Yeah, I thought of doing that with my daughter (if they let me). Could be a good time in the cooler weather.
...believe me they will more than welcome your/her help. If my sons did it - who haven't the slightest clue, and even looked forward to doing it - then by all means she'll do fine.

The strange thing is most folks don't know how much fun it is helping out at a check, especially when you are new to the club. Yes, riding is much more, but it's good to take a break from the action and give back to the club by lending a hand, all the while getting to know the folks. We've always had good times. You learn can only learn more about timekeeping, moreover it's great conversation time with the check leader; we got to know the early club founders and pillars that way; Tom, Anne, Bernie, etc.
 

scar tissue

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#11
It was a good time. Lots of good hill climbs. I screwed up my timekeeping twice which kind of made it fun, because I had to haul A$$ to catch up . I railed the first section of the 2nd loop in 4th gear mostly to catch up to my minute. It kinda felt like teh Goman qualifier for a while. That effort took most of my energy and I had to suck it up for the rest of the loop. The large rock section at the end of loop 2 sure beat crap out me.

It was a fun ride overall. I'm still kinda sore. Spent most of the free time test riding bikes. 300 2 stroke or 450 4 stoke I went back and forth tryign to make my selection. Look for my next post for my decision. I'm still keeping my 250f.

Thanks Eric for letting me ride the 300.

I'll try to make it this weekend.

Otherwise, I'll see you at dirtweek.
 

kelsorat

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#12
One of these times I will finish a TWMC enduro. I enjoyed the course, and actually the trails were the easiest TWMC enduro yet. Probably somewhere around mile 2.9 the course opened up to some fast desert trails that were really a blast to ride. In true TWMC fashion most of the uphill runs couldn't just end with downhill once you crested the hill--they prefer to turn you right or left exactly on the crest-- and that keeps you on your toes. Since I was in the back of the pack and way off my time, I tried to work on some of my riding skills-mainly downhills, of which there were several. Some of the downhills were fairly clean trail, others were littered with ruts, rocks, and boulders. Most times I freak out and just lock up the rear brake to skid down steep hills, this time I tried use some advice Kiwi Bird gave me and look past the bottom of the hill and ride through the decline smoothly. After I tried doing this a couple of times, I actually felt more comfortable rolling down the hills as opposed to slowly skidding.
I also used Eel's advice on rock riding. If I used more speed through the rock sections and let the suspension work I actually got less hammered than if I went through the rocks at my normal slow speed. Thanks Eel.
Anyway, somewhere in Loop 2 (probably around miles 10-14), my KTM 540DXC was wearing me out, I had leg cramps, was hot, and since those particular miles winded up back near the start area, it was just too easy for me to quit. This portion of Loop2 was actually different from the same section of Loop 1. The course was some tricky up-down hard lava rock,up-down loose rock, up-down.... I had just had it.
Great event---thanks Eric and Tim for good campfire chat.
Now let's all do a group ride damnit. :aj: