Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

Chronicle of My Participation in the World's Toughest Enduro Rally – Again…

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Wild pony

Posted by desflurane on September 26, 2010

The enduro was just great! It would have been better if I had gone with some friends or something, but overall it was really a great ride. And being that it was a “youth and family” event, the pressure wasn’t really on. Everybody could kind of take it a little easy and just enjoy the course. That is not to say that it was just a pleasure cruise – the course was surprisingly technical and difficult. At least compared to my expectations. There were long runs of silty, whooped-out singletrack in the sagebrush, tight trees, difficult hillclimbs and (this is Nevada, remember) BILLIONS of rocks!

The hardest thing for me, however, was the whole enduro-timekeeping concept. Having only participated in hare-scrambles in the past, I wanted to just get on the throttle and rip! As a result, I consistently burned checkpoints (by as much as eight minutes) despite my attempts to hang back and waste time…

I’m sure it had a lot to do with the “youth and family” designation, but when I tried to just run at a comfortable pace – not even meaning to go “fast,” I was way ahead of schedule most of the time. The whole going slow thing was a little foreign, and seemed to make the riding even more difficult, since I was off my usual rhythm. I felt like I was doing better when I gave up on timekeeping and just ran the course the way I wanted to. As a result, my score stunk… but I had fun anyway!

This is the view of the Dayton Rodeo Grounds where the event was held. Interestingly, the info sheet offered no directions beyond getting to Dayton itself, and there was NO mention of the Rodeo Grounds -AT ALL!!- And in Dayton there were no signs suggesting where the race might be. I mean nothing! I was just about to head for home when I saw a sign for the rodeo arena (again no mention of the event) and I decided to go take a look, and there it was. The arena is a couple of miles from the highway and is not visible at all from town. The organizers should have given a bit more information!

Here is my “camp” once I figured out where I was supposed to be. I got all registered up, got a number, a timesheet and got on with business. The custom number on my front plate is fashioned from electrical tape (tres chic!).

This is my timecard. My arrival time is written down for each checkpoint. I was on minute 36, so a perfect race would be a 36 entered in each slot. As you can see, it didn’t work out so well… As you can see, I followed a program of “too early, then too late.” The last entry “28” was the last checkpoint. Only eight minutes early… crud! It seems like “winging-it” by watching the other guys who had enduro computers didn’t pay off.

My seat cover took a bit of a beating! I high-sided in the optional section and a sharp stick apparently did some damage…

As you can see, the seat foam got the business as well… Nothing a little contact cement and a new seat cover won’t fix!


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