Timekeeping questions for first enduro

California

I am going to be trying my first enduro next month (Gold Rush Family on Saturday and maybe Sunday too) and I have a couple of questions about timekeeping and some about equipment too.

First, let me say yes I have read the stuff online at 4t.com and other places and also the good stuff at posted at ridechec.com so I am pretty well read-up on the Internet stuff about it.

My goals:

I don't want to do the "just pick someone who looks like they know what they're doing and don't pass them your first time out" thing. I will do that as a "Plan B" if I get into it and my brain just starts hurting but I have a college degree in Math and I am a Math teacher so I think I can figure this thing out for cryin out loud (hopefully I won't end up eating those words. :smirk:) But, I am also realistic and know I won't be taking home any trophies, so I just want to enjoy the union of riding and the mental stimulation of the timekeeping and have a fun long 4-day weekend in the desert.

Timekeeping questions:

I've been studying the route sheet and roll chart from the Jan 15 family enduro posted on ridechec.com. When looking at that route sheet, I am assuming the only known checks are the start and the end, is that correct? So all of the checks will be unknown with the first possible one being at mile 3.0 on minute 14? And then they have to be spread out at least 3 miles apart from each other? What about "resets" and "free time"... do those somehow affect the "3 mile rule" about where unknowns can be placed?

Equipment questions:

My bike is a dualsport (Suzuki DR350s) so it has a speedo/odo. Now the odo is one of those with the mechanical dial that rotates everything to 111.1 222.2 333.3 etc until it all goes to 000.0. Is this going to work? How would I handle forward milage resets? Would I have to account for these in my head or is there something obvious that I'm missing here? From the route sheet I was studying, all of the resets (other than to 0) were simple ones like "reset from 5.0 to 6.0" which would not be too hard to keep track of mentally but I assume the enduro on Sunday would have trickier forward resets?

Oh, and a riding technique question:

I was riding down in Spangler last month and any time I hit deep soft sand it was KICKING MY ASS. Any tips would be appreciated!

That's enough questions for now... maybe responses will prompt more though.

Thanks in advance!

LOL can't help you with the timekeeping thing as I'm just learning it also, but the sand stuff I can. Keep your weight back on the bike, run with as much speed as you are comfortable with (this will help in keeping the bike on top of the sand) and don't try to steer with your handle bars very much....use more lean and keep your outside peg weighted. This will keep the front wheel from under or over steering and also keep your speed up. Also with the 4ts as you know, letting off of the gas will push your front end down, so learn to use your throttle as this will also help in keeping your front end from pushing through corners.

I'll make an attempt to answer your questions, but please be aware that you should read the D37 rulebook to get the concrete answers to your course questions. I can answer from how D36 rules dictate.

Timekeeping questions:

I've been studying the route sheet and roll chart from the Jan 15 family enduro posted on ridechec.com. When looking at that route sheet, I am assuming the only known checks are the start and the end, is that correct?

The route sheet will detail all of the "known" controls. These are the only checks/controls that are given to the riders. Most common is that only the start is a known. D36 rules state that a check cannot be within 3 miles of a known control. You should check with the D37 rules to get their distance. Also, if the "end" on the route sheet does not detail it as a "known" control then it is not a known. In the many years I've riden enduros I've probably only seen a couple of events where the end was a known.

In reviewing the route sheet you've detailed I could not tell you if the "start" and "end" are known controls. Their route sheet does not provide such detail. It would have been best to ask the event referee what are knowns for their course.

So all of the checks will be unknown with the first possible one being at mile 3.0 on minute 14? And then they have to be spread out at least 3 miles apart from each other?

Specific checks/controls (D36 it's "secret" and "emergency") cannot be within a specified distance. Within D36 this distance is 3 miles. Some other controls often can be within this distance though; such as "observation" checks. As too checks cannot be placed in a position to exceed a distance; within D36 this distance is 35 miles. I'd definately recommend reading the D37 rulebook to get a good knowledge of these distances. Also, read about the definitions of each control type "K", "O", "E" and "S".

Possibles are always when a whole minute aligns with a mileage down to the tenth decimal position. You'd never have a possible at the mileage of 3.45 because this is down to the hundredth decimal position; must be to a tenth or to a whole number mileage number. The time must align to a whole minute. An event specific roll-chart can detail all "possibles" in an event.

What about "resets" and "free time"... do those somehow affect the "3 mile rule" about where unknowns can be placed?

Within D36 there is a rule that states a "reset" or "free time" cannot be within a tenth of a mile of a check; before or after. Resets and free times are usually excluded from the "3 mile" rule of check placements. I wouldn't doubt that D37 does not have a tenth of a mile rule for resets, for I believe D36 adopted it not too long ago to address another issue. So, once again, I'd recommend reading the D37 rulebook to get a proper answer to this one.

Equipment questions:

My bike is a dualsport (Suzuki DR350s) so it has a speedo/odo. Now the odo is one of those with the mechanical dial that rotates everything to 111.1 222.2 333.3 etc until it all goes to 000.0. Is this going to work? How would I handle forward milage resets? Would I have to account for these in my head or is there something obvious that I'm missing here? From the route sheet I was studying, all of the resets (other than to 0) were simple ones like "reset from 5.0 to 6.0" which would not be too hard to keep track of mentally but I assume the enduro on Sunday would have trickier forward resets?

If you can adjust the reading on your ODO both forwards and backwards then you should be okay with your odometer. When you come into a reset simply roll your odo forward to the stated mileage. There could be situations where the reset will detail to the hundredths of mileage, but usually there's a mileage marker after a reset as so you can realign your ODO to the course.

I'd recommend running a roll-chart. Depending on the roll-chart you purchase, the chart will detail all the known controls, resets, free times, possibles, etc. This should alieviate your need to keep information in your head.

A roll-chart will detail what time you're supposed to be at a specific mileage. This will help you understand if your late or early by means of what your ODO and Clock read. If you run a roll-chart then you will need a roll-chart holder to mount to your bars.

Oh, and a riding technique question:

I was riding down in Spangler last month and any time I hit deep soft sand it was KICKING MY ASS. Any tips would be appreciated!

Lighten the front-end of your motorcycle by means of your body position on the bike. Usually a rider will stand-up and get their butt over to rear fender to accomplish this. It is most common that a rider looses energy from muscling the bars through the sand. By getting your weight off the front end you will reduce the demand on your upper body where you'll need to steer the bike with your body mass via the rear-end of the bike. ....as too, more throttle usually makes the sand easier.

Last thing DTP, District 37 does have a message board. You'd probably get great responses there, for those members are most likely very familiar with the enduro rules of their District.

Edited by yzwiley
Read the route sheet referenced

DTP, good questions.

D37 rulebook (enduro rules start on page 32):

http://www.district37ama.org/offroad/tools/2010_D37Rulebook.pdf

After you read that and say "huh?", I should have more time to sit here and type out some answers to your question. Yzwiley did a real good job answering most of them, so chew on those answers for a day or so.

Thanks for the replies. :smirk:

I am hoping I can get down there on the Friday afternoon before and do some practice in some of those sandy spots I found implementing your suggestions. It seems so counterintuitive to "give it more gas" when you feel so squirly that you're about to fall so that's something I'll have to try. I only fell once when I was down in that stuff but it was like a white-knuckle "oh sh!t" experience the whole time through the sand. I also suspect that my suspension needs serious adjustment as I have done absolutely nothing to it when I bought the bike so it needs to be tweaked for my weight, style, speed, terrain, etc.

yz... I had already figured most of what you said out but thanks for helping to confirm what I assumed to be correct. It was very helpful. You do have some good stuff to think about in there too.

As far as reading the D37 rulebook, I should have stated I've already read the enduro section through a few times, which is why I know about the 3-mile thing and the checks on tenths and whole minutes only rule. I was mostly wondering about how you know a "known" check from the routesheet because the one I was looking at didn't explicitly list any at all. I looked at the Sunday route sheet and I did see some listed "known" checks so I guess its just safe to say that the Saturday enduro had no known checks? And then assuming that (if correct) the unknowns can start at mile 3.0 and go on from there... and that's where the mind-games begin and noone really knows until you pass the gates at the check.

I did find a video in the D37 forums that someone made with enduro tips. One cool tip was he writes the milages for all of the milage resets on white tape applied to the inside of his handguards in case he is behind on advancing his rollchart.

I do already have a chart box and plan to run it old-school with just a roll chart, odo, and stopwatch. I'll have to fiddle with my odo and see what I can and can't expect it to do. The only other advanceable odo option I've seen is the Vector Enduro speedo which runs about $80 new. I'd rather not have to spring for that if I don't have to obviously. I'l need that much cash to pay for the gas to get there and back.

Would something like a CatEye bicycle computer that displays average speed be helpful? It can be reset very easily (hold one button down for 2 seconds) at each speed change.

I was mostly wondering about how you know a "known" check from the routesheet because the one I was looking at didn't explicitly list any at all. I looked at the Sunday route sheet and I did see some listed "known" checks so I guess its just safe to say that the Saturday enduro had no known checks?

The only other advanceable odo option I've seen is the Vector Enduro speedo which runs about $80 new. I'd rather not have to spring for that if I don't have to obviously. I'l need that much cash to pay for the gas to get there and back.

Would something like a CatEye bicycle computer that displays average speed be helpful? It can be reset very easily (hold one button down for 2 seconds) at each speed change.

All know checks must be listed on the Route Sheet, that makes them known. Basically the start and finish of each loop.

Not "Advanceable" but tenths resetable just not reset to Zero. Any off road bike should have it almost no street bikes have it.

If you have mechanical drive, any off-road Jap odo will work. If you want to learn about enduros, don't start with a computer. Odo, clock, & roll chart is the only way to understand what is going on.

Over the hill, has been, time keeping expert!

All know checks must be listed on the Route Sheet, that makes them known. Basically the start and finish of each loop.

Not "Advanceable" but tenths resetable just not reset to Zero. Any off road bike should have it almost no street bikes have it.

If you have mechanical drive, any off-road Jap odo will work. If you want to learn about enduros, don't start with a computer. Odo, clock, & roll chart is the only way to understand what is going on.

Over the hill, has been, time keeping expert!

Great info. Thanks. Yeah I don't think my stock odo will work. It is a dual sport so it has your typical street speedo/odo.

The Vector Enduro is not an "enduro computer." it's nothing more than a fancy speedometer/odometer/hourmeter that lets you advance the odo milage manually.

I didn't read through everyone's replys so sorry if repetitive:

Knowns have to be indicated as such on the route sheet. The Start is always a Known. Gas is a Known if it is stated as Gas Stop, but not if stated as Gas Available. The finish is only a Known if stated as such. There cannot be a check 2 miles before or 3 after a Known. You can arrive up to 15 minutes early to a Known.

Reset mileage counts against your 3 mile buffer.

Always go as far forward on the course as you can (within ~.1 of the next possible or as the terrain dictates) if you are early. Don't join the herd at the reset if you can get up the course a little.

Always pin it after a check and use your 'three for free'. You never know what's coming up.

Enduro computers don't take the thinking out of the race, they allow you to think more about stratey and possibles than simple calculations.

Oh yeah, and if you are early or just cruising always adjust your odo mileage whenever given the chance (mileage markers, speed changes, resets etc.). Checks have to be accurate within 0.1 miles from the last known mileage only. Clubs can jack with the mileage before that to mess with you or put the check exactly where they want it.

Someone may have said this already, since my brain is stewing reading all of the well informed posts, but why not buy a Watch Dog Computer from Dugas Engineering?

I've used Pacemakers, Checkmates, and the good ol clock method. I find that these are easy to program, easy to read, and take ALL the guesswork out. The other reason I like it is becuase the screen display is big and easy to read at a glance. Unfortunately, several of my club members noticed this and I am on Watchdog #4 because I'm too generous.

http://www.dugasengineering.com

Any questions programming one, let me know. I'm a whiz at it.

I am going to be trying my first enduro next month (Gold Rush Family on Saturday and maybe Sunday too) and I have a couple of questions about timekeeping and some about equipment too.

Do both. Saturday will be a great opportunity to get your feet wet and make some mistakes and Sunday will be the day to execute what you have learned. I will be doing both, and I would be happy to have you ride with me on Saturday, but I assume you ride better than my 8 year old and I will be hanging with him. While you are out there, feel free to stop by United MC camp and ask questions. I don't know it all, but there are some guys in our club that are close. TWMC also have very knowledgable people that would be willing to help with any questions.

Timekeeping questions:

I've been studying the route sheet and roll chart from the Jan 15 family enduro posted on ridechec.com. When looking at that route sheet, I am assuming the only known checks are the start and the end, is that correct? So all of the checks will be unknown with the first possible one being at mile 3.0 on minute 14? And then they have to be spread out at least 3 miles apart from each other? What about "resets" and "free time"... do those somehow affect the "3 mile rule" about where unknowns can be placed?!

From what people have already posted, you should be clear on the "known" controls.

Regarding your "3 for free" question, the 3 miles can be eaten up in a reset. For example, first check is at 3.0 in a 30 mph section, then a reset from 3.5 to 5.5, your next possible is at 6.0. While it may be only 1 ground mile away, it is 3 miles away on the route chart.

Take a look at this route sheet:

http://www.district37ama.org/forums/showthread.php?t=42944

Look at loop 3. I was loop 3 captain. It started in a 90 because I needed to make miles because my first check was only 2.1 miles from the start. The 90 mph section means you need to cover 1.5 miles every minute. That was impossible. With the reset at 1.5 to 3.0, it was only a 1 minute reset that didn't matter since everyone was behind time. Now, they ODOs should read 3.0 and they are playing possibles in my 18 mph section (also an impossible speed in that terrain). The first check was at 3.6 on the route sheet (2.1 ground miles). I put in a reset at 3.9 to 5.4 (1.5 miles in an 18 mph section, 5 minutes) and out of there, the had to start playing the possibles starting at 6.9. The first possible out of there was only 1.8 ground miles from the last check, but because of the reset, it was legal.

Hopefully your head doesn't explode trying to understand all that. Any more questions, fire away.

Regarding your "3 for free" question, the 3 miles can be eaten up in a reset. For example, first check is at 3.0 in a 30 mph section, then a reset from 3.5 to 5.5, your next possible is at 6.0. While it may be only 1 ground mile away, it is 3 miles away on the route chart.

Take a look at this route sheet:

http://www.district37ama.org/forums/showthread.php?t=42944

Look at loop 3. I was loop 3 captain. It started in a 90 because I needed to make miles because my first check was only 2.1 miles from the start. The 90 mph section means you need to cover 1.5 miles every minute. That was impossible. With the reset at 1.5 to 3.0, it was only a 1 minute reset that didn't matter since everyone was behind time. Now, they ODOs should read 3.0 and they are playing possibles in my 18 mph section (also an impossible speed in that terrain). The first check was at 3.6 on the route sheet (2.1 ground miles). I put in a reset at 3.9 to 5.4 (1.5 miles in an 18 mph section, 5 minutes) and out of there, the had to start playing the possibles starting at 6.9. The first possible out of there was only 1.8 ground miles from the last check, but because of the reset, it was legal.

Hopefully your head doesn't explode trying to understand all that. Any more questions, fire away.

NP4M, you are golden. That actually makes perfect sense to me. Route sheet mileage is king and trumps ground mileage. That was my biggest obstacle to figuring the basics out I think and you answered that perfectly. It really helped to see that sample route sheet and then to know where that first check was especially since it was after a reset.

So, just to be sure I'm clear... in a "what if" situation, let's say the next check was in fact at 6.9 on minute 13. If that was the case then the next possible would be @ 10.0 on minute 19, right? (6.9 + 3 = 9.9 but that mileage is not on a whole minute so it would be 10.0 which is the next whole tenth/whole minute combo up from there.)

Then there's the whole thing with the hosting club "fudging" the placement of a check by .1 miles in either direction... and that's why you reset your odo at every opportunity you realistically can whether its an official reset or not, right?

Now most likely, I'll have gone through all of these mental gymnastics only to hour-out because my riding skill and/or my less-than-stellar bike are not up to standard. :smirk:

You can arrive up to 15 minutes early to a Known.

So if you know there are no possibles between you and a Known checkpoint, you can blast your way there and possibly make up time and/or gain a free minute or two breather?

Always go as far forward on the course as you can (within ~.1 of the next possible or as the terrain dictates) if you are early. Don't join the herd at the reset if you can get up the course a little.

Always pin it after a check and use your 'three for free'. You never know what's coming up.

These are good tips. I've not come across these but they make perfect sense to me as to why you would want to do that.

Enduro computers don't take the thinking out of the race, they allow you to think more about stratey and possibles than simple calculations.

That may be so but its way more $$$ than I want to spend at this point, even if I could get one used. The money would be better spent on upgrading my stock suspension or on gas for another trip to the desert. (it's about 300 miles one way for me.) So for now it's odo/rollchart/stopwatch for me. I also can't help but think knowing how to do it "old school" would only help to master strategy part of the equation.

Are you sure your odo does not reset by tenths? Give it a try it should. NP4M KNOWS this stuff so you'd be good to take his advice. Ride with him or someone else on the Saturday/Family enduro and you'll learn a lot, I sure did back in November, now I'm hooked. If you go up to the family enduro signups and tell them you're a newbie they'll get you on a minute with an experienced rider that will help you. Also check out Chilly White's http://www.enduro360.com/ web site, lots of good information from one of the top local enduro racers.

Enduro computers don't take the thinking out of the race, they allow you to think more about stratey and possibles than simple calculations.

True if they show the right stuff. A slmple pacer is for a simple mind.

Years ago I made and 8 diget computer.

It showed 2 digets of "seconds", two digets of "next possible", and 4 digets of "pacer".

The first four just amounted to an automatic roll chart and a seconds clock about like my old roll chart & minutes/seconds clock unit.

You used these for advanced "riding early" time keeping. My record was 7 minutes early at a national in New Mexico. I was the only non AA rider to zero the next check.

The pacer was a lot of computer just to make sure you were still late.

I was reading a thread somewhere that said an odo isn't even needed because the course is marked with mileposts. Thoughts?

Otherwise I am going to have to break down and get that Trail Tech speedo for about $70.

If it is an option, then get the ODO. The mile markers are few and far between (every 5 miles), so all it is really doing is helping you guess better. It isn't like they are every mile where you might get away with educated guesses.

Someone may have said this already, since my brain is stewing reading all of the well informed posts, but why not buy a Watch Dog Computer from Dugas Engineering?

I've used Pacemakers, Checkmates, and the good ol clock method. I find that these are easy to program, easy to read, and take ALL the guesswork out. The other reason I like it is becuase the screen display is big and easy to read at a glance. Unfortunately, several of my club members noticed this and I am on Watchdog #4 because I'm too generous.

http://www.dugasengineering.com

Any questions programming one, let me know. I'm a whiz at it.

.

I have the Watchdog, and it has everything needed to ride an Enduro (next possible, resets, etc) and it's also easy to program. You can enter the data in any order and it sorts itself. It's the only Enduro computer I've ever used.

Just curious as to why you would suggest the Watchdog over the ICO Checkmate (for example). The ICO has bar graphs, whereas the Watchdog is strictly numerical. Is it cost, or is there something about the Checkmate that you don't like?

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