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Sawmill Enduro Report

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What a ride! I met up with OldDude in the morning and we shot the breeze while waiting for my minute. I lined up with the riders on my minute and sized them up. Hmmm... one on an old XR-600 and the rest look kinda slow. I decided to go for it at the start and my auto clutch Husaberg did not let me down. First kick in gear and I was off before they knew it. The Husaberg howled for about five miles when mega arm pump got the best of me and they all zoomed by me. OK, maybe they aren't so slow. I soldiered on to the first check and we lined up together for the last time. Meanwhile, I got out a bag of stuff called "Goo" that a friend of mine recommended and sucked it down. It's kinda like snot in a bag but it does work to give you energy. After a few miles I actually began to recover. Most of the beginning of the first loop was easy fast stuff but things got interesting very quickly. Once we started to head out to Pebble Point, I noticed that we made a turn up the hill. The locals rarely ride up there because it is pretty ugly. The uphill went forever with tons of loose grapefruit sized rocks to bounce you around and ledges to climb over on top of that. By the time I finally got up on top, I was out of breath and wheezing like an old organ. Snot bubbles were coming out of my nose and I didn't care. But... I made it. I figured hell, it should be easy from here. Wrong-o. The next five miles or so were very tight hand cut trails through Manzanita and scrub brush that ripped at your arms and the trails were full of rocks that bounced you around. I was happy to leave that area. The rest of the first loop was a mixture of fast roads and trail. I finally got to gas and put a gallon or so in the tanks and yes, sucked down some more snot in a bag. It worked.

The second loop began with a long road section. All day, the wind blew cold and the chill factor from hauling butt on the road did not help. By the time I reached the first trail section I actually fell over because my muscles were so cold that they wouldn't react. The first part was fast trails and roads but they mixed in some new hand cut stuff that was challenging. About five miles from the finish I was headed up this hill that didn't look like much. When I got around the corner I was greeted with three guys struggling to make it up. The hill was rock covered with a slippery white talcum powder dust. I went back down to get a run at it and was passed by a few other riders while doing so. I made a new run at it in second gear Hauling butt only to discover that all the new riders had created a bottleneck. Bummer. I waited untill some of them had cleared the top and moved over to the far right where there was fresh dirt. I cranked up the Husaberg and rode right up over the top - to my surprise. The final check wasn't too far and I was happy to discover that I hadn't houred out! The club had laid out a fun section for the last 3 miles of the course and my only regret was that I was too damn tired to enjoy it. North Bay M/C did a great job! The time schedule was very fast!

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Hey CelticDude, glad to hear you finished without houring out .......... that's more than I can say :thumbsup: , and I'm betting the same is true for most of the C class. One thing you forgot to mention, IT WAS F:censored: ING DUSTY!!!! Thank the good Lord for the wind because at least when we were going with the wind broadside to us we could see. If I didn't know better I would have sworn it was midsummer conditions, not even any moisture riding in the trees. Worst conditions of any enduro I've ridden yet. :rant:

Did you say the pace was fast? That is certainly an understatement! In my opinion this new "National" format sucks anyways, but setting things up like today just makes it worse. It definitely helped me make up my mind on future events running this format, I won't go, except for maybe the real Nationals. :lol::mad:

Now on to how my day went, along with some stuff I heard after I finished. We started with about a 12 mile transfer section of crappy dusty roads and doublewide trails, wow my one zero for the day. Lucky for me I was on an early C minute though, there was a little uphill at about mile seven that gave a lot of C riders a hard time. There were a couple stuck there even when I went through, but they didn't hold me up. I heard that later maybe as much as 1/3 of the C class houred out at check #1 due to the bottleneck that happened at that spot. :p

The first test section was fun and uneventful, I passed a few riders and wasn't passed by any. :ride: Unfortunately I was unable to make up the time I lost in the next transfer section and started the next test section late. That's when my day started to go to hell. We headed up that uphill that CelticDude mentioned, the one with all the loose rocks and step ups, and the bottlenecks started right away. The first big step up, which I remember getting through last year with no problem, was already a 15 - 20 minute bottleneck. After finally getting through that it seemed like I had to wait at least a minute or two about every few hundred yards. When I finally got to the top where we were supposed to turn into the rocky manzanita single-track the turn arrows were gone. That was another couple of minutes wasted trying to find the turn. I finally got through that section, and I was WAY LATE. ;)

I got some time back before the next test section, which was an easier and longer section, and all was going well until I smacked my left elbow on a tree. You know what it feels like when you smack your funny bone? Well my elbow felt like that for the rest of the day, which also resulted in loss of grip in my left hand. It got really hard to use the clutch, and I was riding the Smoker. :eek: By the time I got through the last test section going into second gas I think I had stalled my bike a thousand times. That section had some of the tightest twistiest tree riding I've done. Lots of places where the trees were less than bar width. :D

When I finally pulled into the gas stop I was REALLY LATE AGAIN, and I could hardly pull in my clutch lever. I was taking a break, to hell with the score, and who do I see? Enduro4Fun, and he was in worse shape than me. He had caught his foot on a manzanita stump in the second test section and really wrenched his knee. The two of us limped through the next long transfer section, but when we got there we were both hurting, and knew we would hour out in the upcoming 8.5 mile test section, so we called it a day. We had to wait until sweep came through and ride the roads back with the check crew, a couple of cripples that couldn't finish. :o

Thanks to all the volunteers that helped put this on, the check crews were great all day, as were the folks working signups, road crossings, etc. :bonk:

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this new "National" format sucks I tole ya. created by elitist AA riders who are connected to AMA and Rider mags that sell MX bikes. STUPID STUPID.

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Thanks to Oldedude for hanging with me:worthy: I got back to camp and one of the guys from the club made me a couple of ice packs for the knee, and my wife drove me home. The knee feels better today but is still tender. I had a feeling that the new format would turn this race into a five hour hare scramble which is exactly what it was. Aside from zeroing the first check I got later and later all day and never caught up. I talked to a couple of people that houred out on the first check due to bottlenecks:eek: A kid from our club broke his leg and a club member on the same minute as me blew up his bike. What a day.

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Yeah there was lots of dust and the only saving grace was the constant wind. I took off my sweatshirt at the top of the rocky hill which helped me a lot initially but later on the cold wind froze my ass off. :ride: I felt sorry for the C riders because there were several places where the ruts were bad already and they were only going to get worse. The time schedule was way too fast. I realized early on that I wasn't going to be able to keep up so I blew through all the stops and gas to try and make up time. I absolutely love my Husaberg. Even though I puked the radiator twice, she never lost a beat. The only negative is that she doesn't have a fast turning radius and I had to struggle a bit on the tight trails. My EFM auto clutch was flawless. On those nasty bottlenecked hillclimbs where you have to pick your way around riders it is awesome. I can just feed it a little throttle and she takes right off. An autoclutch really saves a lot of energy because you don't have to pay attention to your clutch and you never kill the motor.:thumbsup: My ass was definitely whooped yesterday and I'm really glad that I have a day to recover before going back to work! :rant:

Sawmil_2008.jpg

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The Sawmill was my first Enduro and I loved it. I was pretty shaky on how to keep time and milage, so I just tried to do my best through the sections, and cruise the transfers. I have to reprogram my wheel size on the WR's computer because the milage did not jive with theirs, which screwed me up more. The first rocky test section was brutal, and made it through with a few stalls. I got lucky with all the bottlenecks, and was able to move around people. My two buddies started 15min after I did and they were stuck at one for an hour. The thing that really saved me was my Dunlop trails tire. That thing made it so I hooked up on stuff that others were spinning out. The last rocky loose hill climb I got to there were people sprawled all over the place. I got to the middle and I guy was coming down and said I would need to get to the bottom and get momentem to make it up. I just popped the ol WR in first gear and motored around people and shouted at the top " Trials Tire Baby!". I took a bad spill at the end, the dust was so bad I got cross rutted trying to pass people to get in front to keep from getting dusted out. The last creek section made for an wet ending.

I had a great time. Set out to just get the finishers pin and got it. I learned a lot and did not hour out, which was a bonus. Thanks to the NBMC they did a great job.

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this new "National" format sucks I tole ya. created by elitist AA riders who are connected to AMA and Rider mags that sell MX bikes. STUPID STUPID.

That and a pathetic attempt to "Grow the sport" (read that sell more entries)by attracting cross country and MX riders. How do they do that? By dumbing it down to the point its not an enduro any more of course. :thumbsup:

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Thanks to Oldedude for hanging with me:worthy: I got back to camp and one of the guys from the club made me a couple of ice packs for the knee, and my wife drove me home. The knee feels better today but is still tender.

Yeah, I went over to signups to turn in my scorecard and saw UncleMoose up there. I told him I had come in with you and that you had tweaked the knee pretty bad, he immediately asked a couple of other CERA guys to go help with your bike and see what else you might need. THAT IS THE BEST PART OF BEING IN A GOOD CLUB! Its kind of like having an extended family. :ride:

Glad to hear the knee is feeling better, hope it turns out to be nothing serious. :thumbsup:

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It was a bummer for me and the guys I came with.

One buddy blew his bike at the first bottleneck 7-8 miles in

Second buddy did the secone loop twice (???? he says the fella running check ? gave him bunk directions, who knows)

I got stuck at the 2nd bottleneck, 50 plus bikes in front of me. I decided to help out and push, communicate with guys below to let em know the coast was clear. In my opinion somthing the club should of been doing.

I think the club did a poor job of planning for the cluster**** at those hills. C riders probably make up 1/3 to 1/2 of the PAYING riders and should have some consideration in course layout or at least course workers.

I was very un impressed and will not do another national format enduro. :thumbsup::ride::rant:

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OldDude you are right. That was not an enduro. It was a fast cross country.:thumbsup:

Nice write up (both of you guys).

Could you elaborate on what the difference(s) is(are) between National and regular format?

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It was a bummer for me and the guys I came with.

One buddy blew his bike at the first bottleneck 7-8 miles in

Second buddy did the secone loop twice (???? he says the fella running check ? gave him bunk directions, who knows)

I got stuck at the 2nd bottleneck, 50 plus bikes in front of me. I decided to help out and push, communicate with guys below to let em know the coast was clear. In my opinion somthing the club should of been doing.

I think the club did a poor job of planning for the cluster**** at those hills. C riders probably make up 1/3 to 1/2 of the PAYING riders and should have some consideration in course layout or at least course workers.

I was very un impressed and will not do another national format enduro. :thumbsup::ride::rant:

Yea, that rock section should have had some workers there to help get the bikes through. In my opinion if you were not an advanced rider there was no way you could negotiate those tough sections. People bitched that if they were not going to spilt the C riders to a different loop that the club would make the course to easy. Catch 22. I also ran into several people on the second loop that did it twice, but in the clubs defense at the riders meeting we were told that the first gas stop you took Loop 1 and the second gas stop you took Loop 2. I have never run a timekeeper Enduro, but I found this format fun and plan on doing it again along with trying them in timekeeper.

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Could you elaborate on what the difference(s) is(are) between National and regular format?

Basically in a timekeeping enduro the goal is to stick to a predetermined schedule. The route sheet will tell you that from mile a to mile b you need to average x mph, then from mile b to mile c its y mph, and so on. There are checkpoints throuout the course at unknown locations, get to a check late and you lose points (1 point per full minute), get there early and lose lots of points (2 points for first minute, 5 points for additional minutes). So not only do you have to ride very fast in technical terrain, you have to pay very close attention to the schedule during the easy stuff. Someone that knows the rules, knows how to keep time, and can still be sharp enough to stay on schedule throughout a 90+ mile event will be rewarded over someone that doesn't.

The "National" format has no penalty for being early to a check, so no timekeeping required. They setup a "restart control" or check at the beginning of a test section. You wait there for your minute (row you're riding on) to come up just like at the start, and they send you into the test section where you go as fast as you can until you get to the check at the end of that section, the speed averages in test sections guarantee that you will be late and lose points. After a test section you will ride a transfer section to the next restart, usually set up with low speeds an free time so everyone gets there on time or early.

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Yea, that rock section should have had some workers there to help get the bikes through. In my opinion if you were not an advanced rider there was no way you could negotiate those tough sections.

We ran that same section at last years Sawmill too, and as far as I know there were not nearly the problems as this year. I was on the first C minute last year, so there was really no one in front of me to create a problem for me, but I never heard of big problems behind me either, and if it was like this year I would have heard about it. I was on the 5th C row this year and there was already a bottleneck when I got there. :thumbsup:

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OldeDude sorry to hear about you and Enduro4fun :ride: .

How would you compare the Saw Mill race vrs Wild Boar race. I didn't make it my kids had a T-Ball game and now i'm going to cut back on the weekend rides because my family has planed out every weekend already... Thank god for week days.:thumbsup:

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"If you're not an advanced rider there's not way you could negotiate those tough sections"

Bottlenecks can be a bitch for C riders but if getting up a rocky hill is the problem then you need to consider practicing more (on technical trails) or get your bike set-up properly. Enduro events are supposed to be difficult. If we don't have time-keeping then the only thing that makes an enduro different from a Cross Country race is the length and difficulty of the terrain. I enjoy the technical single track more than the fast fire roads; it's challenging and tests my skill set. Having "workers to help you get your bike through" is laughable. It would also be lame to have the C riders run a different course. Guys that can't hack it should stick with family enduros/dual sport rides/Cross Country/moto cross. Me and my friends were flying up that rocky section last year in 2nd/3rd gear, it was a blast. Not much you can do about bottle necks except pick another line or advance to B. I'm working to get to B class for that reason, almost there.

I'm glad you enjoyed your first enduro and encourage you to try another. I prefer time keeping events, it's even more challenging because of the mental aspects. It's sad to think that with the new format and newb riders, we'll end up with even less challenging courses. Today's kids just haven't had a chance to ride really gnarly trails and I fear they don't have what it takes anymore. It's not their fault, with all the trail closures and quads, we don't have many interesting trails left. :thumbsup:

Yea, that rock section should have had some workers there to help get the bikes through. In my opinion if you were not an advanced rider there was no way you could negotiate those tough sections. People bitched that if they were not going to spilt the C riders to a different loop that the club would make the course to easy. Catch 22. I also ran into several people on the second loop that did it twice, but in the clubs defense at the riders meeting we were told that the first gas stop you took Loop 1 and the second gas stop you took Loop 2. I have never run a timekeeper Enduro, but I found this format fun and plan on doing it again along with trying them in timekeeper.

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Yep, the hard part is over, now I just have to wait another month before I can "do anything strenuous". :ride::thumbsup:

1stgear how you doing, are you all better now.

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