National Enduro – good news and bad news

Today was the National Enduro up in Marquette. It was pretty sweet. Weather was perfect, and the crowd was just about the right size.

I have good news and I have bad news. Let’s start with the good news.

I woke up this morning, and found it was freezing. It is June, but it probably was only about 45 degrees last night. The heater was on in the camper and both John and I were stuffed down in our sleeping bags trying to stay warm. Damn, there has been nothing but cold weather when we have camped this year.

The day started off great. Oatmeal, coffee and grapefruit juice. The perfect breakfast. No PA and announcements going on, so I knew I was not at a GNCC race. No quads either.

The way a National Enduro works is you race down a trail 4 people at a time. The groups are spaced 1 minute apart. It works a little bit like a car rally race. There are timed sections and transfer sections that do not count against you, as long as you arrive at the next time section before your minute is supposed to start that section. In other words, there are sections that you race like hell, and then you ride a transfer section to get to the next timed section. The timed sections were almost 70 miles long of trail. When you add the transfer section distances it made the whole ride almost 100miles long. 100 miles of singletrack! SWEET!

Key time was at 9am. That means that the race started at 9am. John and I were on minute 23. With the fast guys. They do not let the pros and AA riders ride on the same minute together. They all get spaced out 1 minute apart. The best minute is minute number 20. That way the trail is beat in a little bit and it allows you to go faster. So, last years national champion is on minute 20, last years number 2 is on minute 21 etc… you get the picture. Our guy on our minute was unbelievably fast. When you watch the video, you will see that he disappears right away. Wow.

It was cool starting just after Mike Lafferty, last years national champion. I am sure that was going to be the last time that I was going to see him though.

The bad news, is that I did in my other knee. Not the knee that was worked on this past fall, but the “good” knee. I was lifting my bike over a rock on a hill. When I did that, I felt it pop and boy did it hurt. I knew right away that it was not good. It felt like someone had hit me with a hammer in the back of the knee. I was done.

Damn, Just 8 minutes into the ride. It was going to be a good one also. Wow was it a great trail.

I did get 5 minutes or so of video of the first part of the ride. I am working to edit that down and will get it posted on Youtube or something and link it hear.

BTW. The little kid Hank was doing his own enduro ride this morning. He was riding around the camping area on his bike when we left for the race and he was still riding around the camping area when I loaded up and went home. He is truly the Ironman.

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