postalguy03

Jake-Tom Enduro - First Time Racing

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I have been following the ACES Races for years and am just now diving head first into the series; I signed up and paid for the Jake-Tom Enduro.  I have been riding for years and have no issues with any skill it takes to race rather I am just trying to understand how the race formats work (restart) and learn some of the "Race Etiquette" so I am making more friends and enemies out there. I am really looking forward to getting into this series and the community around it.

I would love to make some friends with others around the Columbus area who race this series as well to be honest.  Any tips or anyone who would want to connect to do some riding in between races is what I am looking for here. I have just under 300 acres east of Columbus that I ride at and have been maintaining trails for years.  At the end of the day, this stuff is about passion and ultimately community.  I have friends that I ride with out at my land/perry/wayne/etc. however they do not race; I simply want to take this hobby to the next level and am looking for feedback/people to connect with.

2017 Husqvarna TE250
2011 Yamaha WR450F

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Check the Perry thread. Lots of guys on there race the series. Some are in the Columbus area.

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Restarts are the easiest for new racers IMO. No time keeping to worry about. If you are worrying about making friends it's just plane ole good etiquette, if someone runs you down from behind, get out of their way. Some will run you over if you don't but most will be pissed if you don't. After they go by try to tag on their back wheel. You will pick up speed and learn lines. Unless you fall way behind you will restart sections with some of the same riders behind you and will pass you again.  So keep that in mind.

Remember we do this for fun so relax and have fun.

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The format is as follows, you will be assigned a starting minute that you will share with 3 other riders. When your minute arrives you will leave the start of that "test" and will race to the end of that test , the elapsed time during that test section will be your score. This will occur for approx. 5-6 times during the day, and assuming you can arrive to each test on time you will start with the same riders all day. At the end of each test you will ride connecting trails and roads to the start of the next test. The wise thing to do is to "hustle up" on the connecting trails and roads in order to arrive at the next start with ample time to spare so that you can rest, rehydrate, adjust/repair bike,etc. prior to beginning the test. Assuming all riders are able to reach the starts on time this will mean that you are surrounded by those same riders throughout the entire race. Due to this fact you will soon determine a "pecking order" of ability for the riders on your minute and that will eliminate the need to jockey for position at each start, the slower riders will yield to the faster guys off the start. Also as the day goes on you will be able to determine the speed of the riders on the minutes following yours and thus will anticipate those riders catching you so that you can move over to the side allowing them to make a clean pass.

If it should happen to rain late in the week be sure to have new very aggressive mud tires mounted or else don't even attempt to ride any ACES enduro, if it is raining on race day my advise to you would be to skip the race and instead choose to ride the dual sport event which follows the race. Being your first race it needs to be fun or it could leave a bad taste in your mouth and you may never return, no one wants that to happen. Make sure you come with a realistic expectation of your ability, many of us thought we were ready to race when we attended our first event only to learn that we had a long way to go before we could finish the race much less be competing for the awards.

Drink a lot of water, get a good night's rest, be prepared to ride harder than what you've ever done in the past, and remember we ride for enjoyment!

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Posted (edited)

I really appreciate everyone's feedback here!  I am really looking forward to this race now more than ever.  I have always considered myself a good/experienced rider but I guess the important thing to take away here is a bit of humility and caution as I dive into these races.  Last thing I want to do is hurt myself or hold someone else back because I think I am better than what I am relative to the other racers. (key being relative to the other racers).  

Chopper61 - that is the exact information I was looking for, things like the pecking order which is naturally felt out during the course of the race.  Being prepared to have the same racers pass you through every section, etc.

I do have one question that I have not seen in the youtube videos of these races, etc.  How clear are the routes marked from one section to the next?  I assume it should be relatively obvious.

 

Edited by postalguy03

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The course marking between sections shouldn't be an issue, if nothing else you'll be able to "tag along" with other riders during these transfer sections. You will also be given a route sheet to follow. Be sure that you have a route sheet holder mounted to your bike so that you can easily utilize the route sheet. Many times the course is marked with arrows well enough that you can navigate fine without the use of a route sheet, but as soon as I would recommend trying to do so a race hater would pull down the arrows on the road sections and you could get lost.

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On ‎7‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 10:41 AM, postalguy03 said:

I really appreciate everyone's feedback here!  I am really looking forward to this race now more than ever.  I have always considered myself a good/experienced rider but I guess the important thing to take away here is a bit of humility and caution as I dive into these races.  Last thing I want to do is hurt myself or hold someone else back because I think I am better than what I am relative to the other racers. (key being relative to the other racers).  

 

 

Well how did it go? Did you have fun and what did you learn from your first enduro?

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Chopper61 - all of your comments about the race where 100% spot on.  I thought I rode through tough stuff before but this was some pretty extreme stuff on the front half of the course. I came up on multiple hills with 3-4 riders at the bottom waiting for a turn to climb it; on the hill where another 3-4 riders who where stuck.  This morning I tried to find a few muscles that didn't hurt with no luck; I will try again tomorrow.  My biggest mistake of the entire race was not hydrating properly; I felt severely dehydrated/fatigued/cramped by the time I got to the first gas stop which was 40 miles into the race.

Things I discovered that i need to practice to be somewhat competitive in these races is single track riding in the sense of running fast through other peoples ruts/lines which have developed during the race.  My arms are shot from constantly fighting with my handlebars jumping around in those rutted lines.

The next race I do I will try to start on one of the last lines so I can just run the race for myself and practice what I want to practice until I get faster and faster.

All in all I absolutely had a blast minus the dehydration and long gap (40 miles) before I could get any sort of liquid after my camel pack as empty; it did not help that the last 10 miles of the 40 seemed to be the toughest part of the entire course.  I 100% plan on racing as many of these as I can this year. 

I am really eager to take my daughter and brother to the Family Enduro now on the 27th.  They came to watch me race and meet at the gas stops; being at this event got them more excited about the sport.

On a side note; I know they have to make the course challenging enough for the top riders but why would they make some of these hills so difficult that some of the novice people could not get up?  I consider myself a good rider and got up all of them but not after a few attempts on the rough ones with lines.  By the time I got to the gas trailer my wife was telling me that at least a dozen people quit the race after that and just left.

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I rode on Sunday and thought that the ride was about an average difficulty level for an ACES event, trust me it could have been much worse had they received the rain we had north of there! As far as the difficulty of the hills and why they choose to include those in the course all I can say about that is the terrain is what it is. Many times the hills must be tackled to unlock additional land which allows the length of trail to be increased. I felt that all of the hills were only difficult due to traffic creating bottlenecks and if you were patient and chose a good line they were not bad. Many times it is "faster" to spend some time evaluating trouble spots rather than making a hasty decision which could lead to greater time lost and additional spent energy.

I see it as a positive that you don't seem discouraged and eager to continue. I also noticed on your sig that you may have a WR450, if so you should consider using it to participate in the dual sport rides around the area, many times these are similar to the enduros only without the competition and would be a good source for practice and experience. I also get the impression that you are the best rider in your group you normally ride with. If that be the case it is very difficult to increase in your ability, in order to learn new techniques you will find greater success if you can "hook up" with a group of more experienced riders on a regular basis. Seat time on challenging trails is what you need and if that can be accomplished while surrounded by more experienced riders then the learning curve will be much quicker.

 

 

 

 

 

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I am not going to lie, it was discouraging having so many people pass me because I thought I could hang with everyone better than I did.  During the first 5 minutes of the race I was doing well; however I kept missing my turns and could not stop fast enough, etc.  After a few crashes I knew I had to just start going at a pace that I could handle and try to work my way into a faster pace. This is simply a new style of riding that I need to acclimate to; this is not the riding you do at Perry or Wayne (generally speaking).  I just spent a week at Hatfield & McCoy and I thought those single tracks where a bit challenging however I would say they are on par with the difficulty level of the ACES Races.  I will definitely plan on joining the dual sports as well as traveling to some single tracks such as the ones I hear about near Toledo, etc.   My family also owns a few hundred acres near Columbus so I will be setting up my own single track trail system that I can practice the styles/obstacles that I faced during this race.  I was very disappointed (but not discouraged) with my performance so now I have a month to practice for the next one  :) 

I would just like to thank everyone for their feedback and support on this forum topic; I was a bit nervous going into this race since i have never participated in these before.  This helped out tremendously.

chopper61; if we ever meet in real life, I will owe you a beer or 2 for taking the time to respond to me with all of this.  I am very grateful.  :)

I would also like to acknowledge how friendly absolutely everyone was at this event; the club who put this on (Hocking Valley Motorcycle Club) was probably the nicest, friendly, non-judgement group of people I have ever met.  You could have came in dead last and they would have pat you on the back and acknowledged what you accomplished in a positive manner... then continued to talk to you about the trails and riding like you where best friends.

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One thing I wish would have been different was the gas trailer. Although very much appreciated for guys like me  by myself without a crew. Waiting 2+ hrs. for it to return so I could go home sucked. I think they should consider a different gas truck for the sweep crew and dualsporters. Probably a man power issue.

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I got nailed by someone at the ONE MILE MARK....Rode till the gas stop with no front fender and tweaked front end. Other than that the race was great!

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, ghog said:

One thing I wish would have been different was the gas trailer. Although very much appreciated for guys like me  by myself without a crew. Waiting 2+ hrs. for it to return so I could go home sucked. I think they should consider a different gas truck for the sweep crew and dualsporters. Probably a man power issue.

Back in the day when I was racing they never provided a gas trailer, you brought your own crew or begged someone at the race to haul it for you. I needed a crew so bad that I was married back then and I could force the wife to haul our gas! Another one of 10,000 reasons that I'm now single!

As for the long wait, if you hadn't been waiting then you would have missed out on a conversation with the Carpenter boys and me!!!!

Edited by chopper61
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19 hours ago, chopper61 said:

Back in the day when I was racing they never provided a gas trailer, you brought your own crew or begged someone at the race to haul it for you. I needed a crew so bad that I was married back then and I could force the wife to haul our gas! Another one of 10,000 reasons that I'm now single!

As for the long wait, if you hadn't been waiting then you would have missed out on a conversation with the Carpenter boys and me!!!!

On my way home I was wondering if that was you. 

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Hey Postalguy- glad that you made it out to the HVMC ACES enduro. I am in the OhioWoodsRiders Club out by Zanesville. Any time you want to ride, you are welcome to come out with us. We'll be out on the trails a bunch getting ready for our events... We are doing an Enduro weekend at end of August and a dual sport in Sept...

 

 

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On 7/24/2017 at 10:11 PM, motodirtlover said:

Hey Postalguy- glad that you made it out to the HVMC ACES enduro. I am in the OhioWoodsRiders Club out by Zanesville. Any time you want to ride, you are welcome to come out with us. We'll be out on the trails a bunch getting ready for our events... We are doing an Enduro weekend at end of August and a dual sport in Sept...

I would love to take you up on this offer; I plan on attending your event (both days) at the end of August.  I have a few friends who want to run the full race as well as my daughter and another novice who will be attending the family enduro to get a feel for what this is all about.

What is the best way to get a hold of you; I would love to ride and help out if there is anything that i can do.

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