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Miss Black

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    are really fun!
  1. Miss Black

    woodland gp april 15

    LOL!! Where have I heard that offer before..... Nah, the only person I'll let start my bike for me is Kurt!
  2. Miss Black

    woodland gp april 15

    Had a blast yesterday! Thanks for an awesome course, Trackmaster! Sure cool to have some woods and Endurox thrown in to spice things up and I appreciate that you didn't let the girls off easy - same race length and course (even if we could opt out of the logs if we wanted). Can't wait for the next one!
  3. Miss Black

    Dirtbiking in Kenya/Tanzania?

    Howdy and thanks for replying (I thought I had my notifications turned on when someone replied but I didn't!) We'll most likely being flying into the JRO airport because the first item on the itinerary is to climb the big mountain. I mentioned Kenya only because I couldn't find anything in Tanzania, where we'll be spending most our time. I figured if we wanted to dirtbike, we might have to travel to Kenya! I've been trying to find out distance between between where we'll be and places in Kenya but not much luck with my limited Google skills Would be GREAT if you could ask some sources, let me know if there's any way I can make it easy or help in any way.
  4. Miss Black

    Dirtbiking in Kenya/Tanzania?

    I'm planning a trip to Tanzania in October and would love to find a way to ride bikes while over there. There doesn't seem to be much but I'm going to email these guys tonight: http://www.motorsportkenya.com/index.php/kmsf-recognised-clubs J.2 EAST AFRICAN MOTOR SPORTS CLUB (EAMSC) Can anyone tell me what the dirtbike scene is like there? Ideally, I'd rent a bike and do a nice trail ride, but not sure if there are rentals available, etc. Any help is appreciated, thansk! Miss Black
  5. Miss Black

    Heading to Maui in March, would love to do some riding

    sweet! I'm going there in March and thinking of making a trip out of it. Dirtbiking would be EPIC!
  6. Miss Black

    Hangover Scramble 2011

    can't wait for the hangover this year! Hmm...to stud, or not to stud...
  7. Miss Black

    Dual Sport Ride in Vancouver

    sweet! can I ride with you so I don't get lost? I'll be there Sunday, riding a Squidworth bike in his honor. And NW Scout, the benefactor of last year's anual ride will be there, too!
  8. Miss Black

    Washington a little Tecate story

    As we've been slogging through the winter months and it's been a little cold and rainy, I've been trying to think warm. Trackmaster and I went down to Mexico in December and I wrote a little story to take a stroll down memory lane to tide me over until spring and summer comes again. It starts like this: Steve Corrie is a man who has good things come his way. It’s probably because he is the kindest and most down to earth guy. He is also the most giving, which is how I ended up getting to go on the coolest trip ever! In December, he said that he was offered the ultimate hook up from Tim Morton of baja bound adventures, and a multi time winner of the baja 1000 to go down to Mexico and race the Tecate Harescrambles. When Steve told me about the trip and that it had been a dream of his to go, I was so excited for him. Okay, jealous and excited. Then a few days later he says to me, ‘If I can make it work, would you want to come with me?’ It might seem like an easy question to answer but there were a few things to be concerned about. For one, I know what type of race a harescramble is, in this case 2, 2 hour races through the desert of northern mexico. The last harescramble I raced at, I ended up sinking my bike into a mudhole that I literally had to swim out of. When I see the word ‘harescramble’ attached to the name of a race, it strikes fear in me. So, fly down to a third-world country, get on a big bike I’ve never ridden before on terrain I’ve never ridden on and race in a harescramble? Maybe I needed to frame that question in another way to convince myself: Fly down to a beautiful country, which you’ve only heard legendary stories about, get greeted at the airport with a van full of bikes belonging to the legendary Mortons and ride a new kind of terrain? Of course! Since this was a mere seven days before the race, there was little time to train and prepare, which posed a few problems for me. Not only was I trying to get over a wicked cold and lingering cough, I had no passport. I could just see myself sitting in secondary in Mexico trying to convince the border patrol that I really was an American citizen and I really wasn’t trying to bring a new virus into the states to eradicate the population. Mere days is plenty of time for the king of logistics, however. Tim really never misses anything when it comes to putting a ride together in Mmexico. So while I can’t say I solved either of my problems by Friday afternoon, Tim Morton had already mailed Steve the keys to a van packed with two Honda CRF450s, sleeping bags and refreshments, which was waiting for us somewhere near the San Diego airport. Passport and health or not, I was still getting on a plane to race in Mexico. One missed flight and an hour delay later, at 11pm, we arrived in San Diego and took a shuttle to the parking garage. I’m sure there is a more manly metaphor Steve might use here to describe his point of view, but when the valet brought around the Morton’s van, I felt like Cinderella watching her horse-drawn carriage arriving, beautifully bedecked and ready to take her to the ball. Steve had said Tim and Jennifer packed a van with two bikes and enough supplies to survive a night on the run but to actually see it driven up to our feet to whisk us away, it was a sight to behold and I could think of about twenty guys I knew who would be jealous of me at that moment. I was basking in that thought and also at how I had been in Portland only a few hours ago, working on a typical Friday and now I was suddenly on an adventure to Mexico where all I had to do was climb inside the van. How lucky to get invited on a trip where everything had been prepared for me and all I really had to do was show up. Well, almost. After we boarded the Morton adventure van, Steve suddenly snapped me back to reality as he reminded me that we still had to find a place to stay for the night. He gave me two options: Use the two sleeping bags and camp out for the night or find a cheap hotel. While, I wasn’t too excited about sleeping on the ground, I’m certainly not a princess, so I just said, "As long as it’s cheap enough that there are cockroaches in the room, I’m down with a hotel." The Budget Inn in El Cajon did not disappoint. We made the best of the smoky accommodations and dined in with the best chimichangas I’ve ever had from Dos Amigos. We managed to squeeze in a few hours of rest before the alarm went off at an ungodly 4am. We packed up and checked out of the Budget Inn in the brisk morning, my coughing fit reminding me how much I hated being sick. Driving towards the border in the dark, I wanted nothing more than to drift back to sleep, but not only was I too excited thinking of what we were going to be doing in a few short hours, I also needed to pay attention to the tutorial Steve was giving regarding driving and answering questions in Mexico. He is a seasoned vet when it comes to riding down there so I couldn’t possible absorb everything, especially at that hour. But amidst my mounting fear of getting thrown in a Mexican prison, I think I came away with the basics: watch out for stop signs and make sure you have cash on hand. Crossing into Tecate was smooth sailing and I took a sigh of relief as we got out of the small town and back onto a main road towards our destination, south of Santa Veronica. As the sun came up, I was able to see the beautiful country we were driving through: Close to the staging area for the race, we turned down the road to have a quick breakfast at Hacienda Rancho Santa Veronica, of which I only managed half due to my nerves and excitement. Hopping back in the van, Steve had just enough time to warn me about running into cows on the course before we finally rolled into the staging area at 8am. As I looked around at all the trucks and trailers in various stages of unpack, I realized we had arrived at our destination in Mexico, but the adventure was just beginning. I also realized then that I didn’t just need to show up to this trip, I had to do some work of my own: I had to ride! meeting up with the mortons, and crew, family tim jen, with longtime jcr guru tj jens really fast brother ron course official, and baja bound dude jim karen, myself, and jen I have no idea how I had the wherewithal to get on my gear in the middle of all my excitement. I had just met a few of the coolest women I was going to have the privilege to race with and I had no idea what the course would be like, especially on the big bike. The word Harescramble lurking in the back of my mind, I wondered if I’d be faced with a hill I couldn’t climb or if I’d drop the bike so many times, I’d have to forfeit the race out of fatigue from having to pick it back up. A warm-up loop was in order so Olivia and I went out to stretch our muscles. olivia Before I knew it, it was time to line up. Steve and I wanted to see as much of the course and terrain as we could so we signed up in the Ironman class, which meant we’d do the 2-hour race in the morning on the 12.5 mile course starting at 10am and then ride the 2-hour race in the afternoon on the 25 mile course starting at one. The Ironman class was right up in front in the five rows of racers lined up. Even though I signed up in the class, I got a little nervous being in front as I looked to my left, right and behind me and saw nothing but a bunch of guys looking like they were ready for war. I thought better of getting in their way and slinked to the very back of the lineup, where the women were. As the race started and the first wave roared off and the rows behind them ticked off each minute after that, I was glad I decided to stay a safe distance behind the battlefield and cloud of dust. The only downside to that: getting off the line almost dead last. After eventual liftoff, I followed the racers and course as it went up and circled around a small canyon then dropped into the bottom where there was some deep sand. I thought I was going to have my first mishap in that deep sand as I starting thinking back to the silt I had ridden on in Washington on my KDX220. If I dropped the bike then, I knew I’d be in for a long two hours. Fortunately, I was outfitted with a Honda 450 and the power kept me afloat over the sand. As I passed a few riders who were not as fortunate, I gave thanks to 450. Up and out of the sand, I soon discovered why Steve kept telling me to prepare for arm pump. ...stay tuned!
  9. Miss Black

    25Hr Race in Washington

    thanks all! I was hoping that my write up would be a reminder to anyone that they can do the same thing! I was a little suprised that very few women signed up, have signed up in the past for this race. Especially the ones that are faster than me. I would LOVE to see you guys at this next year!
  10. Miss Black

    25Hr Race in Washington

    I really wish I could have held on to that place but at that point in the morning, I was done. After that lap, I just had to sit down and rest for more than a few minutes. I was starving but I couldn't eat anything. I was swearing to everyone that I was never going to do this again and as I passed by Debbie and Scott (the people that put ont he event) on my way to the bathroom once, I asked them why they did this to us. The pit crew was razzing me about resting and warning me not to fall asleep but I just couldn't get back out there yet. I already felt too tired to go on but I had two laps to go so I just needed to rest enough to feel ready to get back on the bike. Well, I never felt ready enough so when 1.5 hours or so went by, and my friend said, 'alright, are you ready to go?' I had to just suck it up and go. I had done the math in my head before the race and I was calculating and recalculating in my head what I had to do to make my 12 lap goal. I couldn't rest any longer and with the amount of time it was taking me to complete a lap at this point, I wasn't even sure I could get another 2 in before the race was over. That second to last lap was painful. And I still felt like giving up. The bad and good part about Starvation Ridge is that once you start your lap, you have to finish it. It's a loop so, with the exeption of the first checkpoint, there is no place to bail out. I was happy that I was getting closer to completing my goal but I really couldn't imagine doing any more laps. I was so tired! Finally, it was time for my last lap. The sun had come back up and that helped me to not feel sleepy anymore. I felt mentally re-energized but my body was another matter. Strangely, I felt nervous before my last lap but maybe I was just excited. I had a bunch of friends around me to send me off and a few friends follow me/guide me on the course. Oh my god, that was the longest 25 miles of my life!! I've never been so frustrated on my bike. The miles were just crawling by and the course had gotten even rougher. I just wanted to the bumps to stop! I cursed those bumps almost to the point of tears and I was mad. Tired and mad. And then, I finished At 8:30 in the morning, I went through the last checkpoint in 6th place and I decided to call it. I think I had time to do one more lap before 10am but my body just wouldn't do it. My brain told me I had reached my goal so I was done. I rolled into the pits, got off my bike, went into the bathroom and cried One would think I would have crawled into my sleeping bag the second I got off my bike and slept for days but I didn't. I got out of my gear, ripped the contacts out of my eyes and got into street clothes to walk around and watch Trackmaster come in (and watched another Ironman steal 6th place away from me ) I was actually so pumped about finishing and accomplishing my goal and watching my friend accomplish his that there was no way I could sleep. There were other things that surprised me about how I felt after finishing, too. I swore to my friends that I was NEVER going to effing do that again and that same night, I was thinking about what I wanted to do differently for next year. I thought my legs would be waaaay more sore than they were and I thought I was going to have the sorest ass known to man but it didn't hurt a bit! I also thought I'd be nothing but proud of myself to have made it through the whole night without sleeping and reaching my 300 mile goal but I left with a part of me thinking I could have done more. A week later, I realize that this race was truly amazing for me! I'm not the fastest girl on a bike so I didn't think I was going to win any awards for this but for me to commit myself to something big for me, and stick to it is wonderful! It's kind of a trip to honestly believe that you can't do something and then try it out and realize that you can. I just want to give the biggest thanks in the world to Trackmaster. He is the most supportive and generous person. He did EVERYTHING to get me to the race and set up for success. T, I can't thank you enough! Also thanks to Squidworth who followed me around through all my painfully slow night laps just to make sure I was okay. oh yeah, and thanks for reading my novel
  11. Miss Black

    25Hr Race in Washington

    I realize that I spent much of the race worrying! But for me that was okay because it helped me focus on my strategy of not tiring myself out needlessly. I really tried to pace myself and at the end of lap one, I felt really good! I decided to go another lap without stopping and that one went even better. At the end of the second lap, though, I already felt tired. Makes sense, a 50 mile ride usually does leave me a little pooped but it did make me wonder how I was going to try to crank out 10 more laps. That's when I started thinking again, 'I'll never make 300 miles!' I decided to take MX813's advice and start eating and drinking after the first two laps. I was also really concerned about 'bonking' so I made sure to force myself to eat as often as I could. The other day on the elliptical machine I supposedly burned 1,000 calories after an hour's workout, I can only imagine what 25 hours of dirtbiking burns! After I ate, I got right back out for another lap. I figured that I would take this whole 25hour thing really easy. Maybe next lap I'd sit down for a half an hour, that'd be good! It's okay if I don't finish 300 miles to stay up the whole time, I'll just give it my best. The pit crew laid it down for me though after coming in from the next lap and grabbing something to eat. After just a quick bite, they go, 'okay, get back out there!' I was like, 'oh no, you don't understand, I'm not really going to ride the whole time, I was just going to take it easy!' I realized quickly that my vision of how this race was going to go was not going to work. I suddenly felt the pressure. Four laps later is when the soreness in my forearms and hands started setting in. I had been jostled around for 150 miles doing what felt like hanging on to a bucking bronco. I knew my arms would get tired and when they did, I envisioned the end of my race nearing. I thought, 'that's it!' My arms could only take an hour or two more of it and I'd have to stop. I've been on many rides before that were only a few hours long and the soreness in my arms was so intense, I couldn't hang on anymore. How did I expect to carry on for 14 more hours? I thought back to this workout I did a few days earlier, again on the elliptical machine. I was on it for 2 hours. Now, I don't consider myself to be in the bestf shape so 2 hours on an elliptical machine is EPIC for me. An hour into it, my legs started hurting and and getting tired and I figured that they'd only last a few more minutes. but an amazing thing happened - the pain and tired just went away. To me that workout was the most important training for the 25hr race because I realized that some of the pain and tired I go through is a wall I don't have to stop for, I can push past it. After my 6th lap, with my hands cramping up and blisters forming, I came into the pits, ate and drank and sat down for a minute, then pushed past my wall and kept going. I tried my best to loosen up and relax my hands and like magic, the pain went away! It was replace, however, by a new pain. This time out, my insides were feeling it. I don't know if my kidney belt was too tight or maybe it was because I did a lap without my kidney belt but all my internal organs hurt! Again, I thought, 'that's it!' Cause while I can believe my hands could stop hurting, I couldn't imagine my insides would stop hurting. Especially since, contrary to what I thought, the course wasn't getting any less rough! But once again, I was able to keep going and eventually the pain went away. I went through that a few more times with a few other body parts, hurting knees, aching shoulders.... I made an effort not to look at the time and just focus and the day actually seemed to go by quickly. But eventually the day turned into night and it was time to put the helmet light on. It was also time for the ipod. I had purposely not listened to any music during the day so that I wouldn't get tired of the songs and my ears wouldn't start aching from the ear buds. I was still in good spirits and I rode out of the pits bobbing my head to techno. I got lots of good advice for doing the 25hr race as an Ironman. Most who have done it before say, 'it's fun until about 2am, then you wonder what the hell you're doing out there trying this'. I reached that moment at around 11pm. I'd been riding and fretting about riding and going through all kinds of stuff mentally and physcially for over 11 hours and I just got sick of it at that moment. I knew that feeling would come so when I came into the pits after my lap, I decided it was time for a 5 -hour energy. That really gave me a boost and I went and cranked out one of my fastest laps! That seemed to be my last hoorah. I was getting pretty darned tired and I finally succumbed to sitting down for a slow lap. I figured I'd keep going but I'd just do a really slow lap and try to rest and gather some more energy. When I came back into the pits from that lap, I realized I wasn't going to get another boost of energy. By now a soreness in my shoulders had set it and this soreness wasn't going away like my other body aches. At that point, it was about keeping going and surviving through the night. I don't remember exactly when certain things happened during the night but I remember it getting cold and I remember going in to the trailer at some point to change and seeing someone sleeping on the couch and how wonderful that looked and realizing how sleepy I was on top of being tired. I remember getting a fist bump in the middle of one lap from one of my good friends who passed me (which he later told me was 3 in the morning) that cheered me up for awhile. And then I remember being told about Kevin Parks. The people in the pits were trying to motivate me at some point in the early early morning when it was still dark. One of my friends urged me to be careful. He said, "I was there when (Kevin) died." I thought back to the rider down I passed earlier during the day and the words hit me like a truck. I had seen the ambulance but I've witnessed that scene plenty of times before at races so I didn't give it another thought after I passed. I was in total shock and everything seemed to fall silent around me. I was just about to head out for another lap but I suddenly didn't know what to do. I couldn't believe that the race was still going on. I would have thought they would have stopped it. But I looked around the pits and saw that nothing had stopped. Riders were still getting on their bikes and riding off and pit crews were still bustling around to help them. I couldn't believe I was going to do it, but I got back on the bike and headed back out. Facing the cold, dark night after hearing about Kevin was unbelievable. For the rest of the night, it was pretty miserable. On top of the tragic news, I was so damned tired of being jarred around on the course and I just wanted daylight to come. At about 10 laps and 250 miles in, I was seriously wondering if I could make my 300 miles. I took another 5-hour energy but it didn't seem to do me any good. Plus my heart felt like it was going to explode so I started worrying about what this was doing to my body. It is not right to ride your bike for that long without sleeping. My shoulders were getting worse too and feeling like they were getting spasms. I wondered if they were going to give out on me. I turned my focus even more intently on the technical sections. I'd ride like a zombie until a tricky part, then stand up and concentrate with all my might on getting through it without crashing. Which would exhaust me to the point that I'd have to stop before and after to take a breath. In the middle of my misery was a also a little joy. I learned that Trackmaster was in first place and lap after lap, I was moving up in the Ironman class myself. About 20 signed up for the Ironman class but I'm going to say that only about 12-14 were legitimately in it to Ironman. Some signed up just for fun and some signed up just to support other Ironman riders. So the best feeling in the world was coming in from a lap at around 5am and seeing that I was in the top 5!!
  12. Miss Black

    25Hr Race in Washington

    Man, I guess it took me longer to recover from this than I thought! I've taken some of the best naps of my life this week though. okay, so here's my ride report: I found myself up at Starvation Ridge the night before the 25 hour race all because of Trackmaster. I met him early this year and we quickly because good friends as we seem to share the same desire for riding. He had mentioned that he wanted to solo the 24hour and win it again this time (after having won the event in 2004). I’ve ridden out at Starvation Ridge a few times and have actually been a sweep rider for the event so I volunteered to help him train and even provide support during the race, especially at night, when it’s the hardest. Without too much thought, we started ‘training’, which really just was a by-product of going out and having fun. It’s been the best spring, summer and fall riding of my life! We went on tons of rides together, all on the pretense that he was training. I was doing all this riding with him so eventually I got a little seed in my head that maybe I wanted to try soloing. I didn't say anything but Trackmaster must have sensed it because he suggested to me one day that I solo. I asked him if he thought I could do it. After all, I’ve never done anything like it before. I’ve never been on a bike for more than about 8 hours and gone more than 100 miles at one time so there was no evidence that I’d make it the full 24hours. But, being as he was a previous winner of the event, if anyone knew I could do it, it was him so I decided to trust in that fact. The second I committed to doing it, I started getting nervous. I’ve never really committed myself to something very big. Now that it was out there, I knew I couldn’t back down. There were two months left to train and now that I was going to do it, I was freaking out! I went back and forth in my mind thinking about if I could do it. One minute I’d think, ‘You can do this! You’ve been riding tons and you’ve got grit!” and the next minute, I’d think, ‘yeah, right! You’ll last 11 hours, drop your bike and not be able to pick it up again!” Eventually, I’d settle for deciding to give it my best shot, if I had to lay down and sleep for a few hours in the middle of the night, I’d let myself do it. Trackmaster had been telling me stories about his experience and giving me advice about the race. He said that the most important thing to have is a mileage goal. Don’t worry about laps or time, just set a mileage in your head and go for it. Since I’ve never done anything like this before, I had no idea what my mileage should be. I’ve ridden 100 miles before in Bend a few years ago and that just about killed me. I've done 90 miles in the Giffort Pinchot Nat. Forest before but I barely survived that one too! When Trackmaster said I should aim for 300, I thought he was nuts! He just said, ‘well, I think you can do 400, but 300 is a good goal” So, I had my mileage goal and as the race got closer, I just got more nervous. When race day finally came, though, all I really had to do was show up and ride. Trackmaster had put together a bike for me (XR400), got me the hookup on a helmet light and brand new tires. The start was kinda funny. Dead engine start and we all had to sit on the bike backwards. When the flag dropped, I had a different plan than everyone else. My heart was pounding from nerves and I was really worried about dropping the bike or not being able to start it so while all the other guys scrambled as fast as they could to get off the line, I took my time. I slowly got off, turned around, took a deep breath and kicked the bike over. Got it started within a few kicks and was off! My heart was still pounding and I let the enery take over a little. Within a mile, I came across a guy laying in the trail, quite a ways from his bike, being tended to by (I think it was one of the Shred Betty's??). He had obviously crashed. That's when I decided that I really needed to take Squidworth's advice and take the first lap really easy and just sight the course. I was surprised at how rough it was and after a few minutes of pounding, I had to start lying to myself and telling myself that the course would smooth out after a few hours and a few hundred people had ridden over it. There was no way I could do 300 miles on a course that rough. I've ridden at Starvation Ridge and been burned before so I knew of a a few technical spots to watch out for. One of my biggest worries was that I would drop the bike a lot and/or crash and tire myself out. Painful memories of falling on silty uphills and not being able to get the bike going and back up again were running through my head so I was on the lookout. No silty uphills this day but I found my first worry spot about 4 miles into the course at the "house." It's a neat obstacle but can be difficult to navigate through the 3 narrow doorways and on my first lap, I did what I've done there before-kill the bike trying to get it through-dang! This is going to be a long day if that keeps happening. Luckily I was able to easily push the bike through and start it up to get going again. The next 15 miles were easy, no trouble spots other than the constant bumps. At about 21 miles into the lap I was thinking, 'sweet! Maybe they are not running the rock garden section this year and I don't have to worry about it!' Wrong. The last 4 miles of the course turned out to be the most technical, including a rocky briar patch, a rocky uphill to the rock garden, more rocks there, and then a few rocky uphills after that. While none of these sections in and of themselves are impossible, doing the math was discouraging. I was going to have to through those sections 12 times, each time getting more and more tired. I've been on enough rides to know that when you are dead tired, even the smallest of obstacles can give you trouble.
  13. Miss Black

    25Hr Race in Washington

    ha! coming from the guy that WON the Ironman class with 475 miles and 19 laps! This event was amazing in so many ways. I will write a story for sure, forthcoming!
  14. Miss Black

    25 hrs of Starvation Ridge update

    yah, thanks a lot for bumping me into 7th! just kidding, excellent job! I came in from my last lap at around 8:30 in 6th place but I couldn't go on so I called it and watched you come in This was my first Ironman too and it was truly epic, in so many ways, words cannot describe. I'm most proud of the 2-time Ironman winner and the best training partner ever, Trackmaster. You are AMAZING! and congrats to everyone else! I will never forget this race or the tragic death of Kevin Parks. I saw him out there on the ground with everyone around but I had no idea he died until my 3rd to last lap. It was a shock and a hard way to face the night. My thoughts go out to his friends and family. RIP
  15. Miss Black

    rampart conditions?

    hehe, that was my exact same ride report today, Bryce! but mine's with pictures.... http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8777094#post8777094