Today I finished my first Enduro. I have tried to do other Enduro races, but it has never worked out. I even did the first 5 miles or so of the National Enduro up in Marquette this summer, hurt my knee and had to stop.
But, today was the Leaf River Enduro in northern Illinois. It was fantastic. The race was a restart format, meaning that time keeping is not necessary. You just check into a section and go like hell. Then check out of the section and transfer to the next section where you wait for your minute and then check into that section. It is a superb format.
I went down to the race with Enduro hot shot Brian Terry, and John Buechner. Brian knows everyone that is involved with Enduro’s. He cannot walk into the room without talking to 4 people. He is a super friendly guy. John has been doing a bunch of Enduro’s this year. He has really taken to them.
The race was 2 great big long 35+ mile long loops. Each loop had 3 timed sections. There was one timed section that was fast, one that was mixed and one that was incredibly technical. In Illinois, they love log crossings. Each of the timed sections must have had at least a hundred log crossings. The technical section had to have 200-300 log crossings. I suck at slippery logs at angles. It is ok when they are just 6 or so inches. But, when they are 24+ inches in daimeter, they get pretty tough.
There were also at least 6 stream crossings per lap. Some of the stream crossings were up to your knees. You could hear water sloshing into the airbox – ugh… The high temperature today was 39 degrees, so the creek crossings were pretty cold.
When it was all said and done, I had an incredible time. The ride took about 5 hours. 5 hours of riding. Yeeha! Rocks, roots, logs, more than 70% singletrack, creek crossings, mud, fields etc..
I had a good race. My bike is set up completely wrong. Wide bars, suspension set up for high speed GNCC racing, no lighting coil etc… I still did ok. I was 5th in the +40B class, out of 20 riders. My friend John Buechner won the +40B class overall. His woods skills have improved dramatically. Brian Terry was 3rd in the +30A class. Congratulations guys!
I liked it so much, that I am going to keep my second RM250 and set it up as an enduro bike. I am going to cut my bars down a bit. Not a lot, but just a little to help them go through tight trees. I will send the suspension on the Enduro bike off to Factory Connection to have it made much softer. It needs to be softer to absorb the logs and rocks better. I will add a light kit from the coil to power a headlight and a tailight. I will put my Q silencer on as well, and probably a Gnarly pipe to get rid of the hit even more.
I cannot wait for next year now.