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It has been since the last VIHSS race in Campbell River that I have written on my 10-4 blog. With somewhat a lack of motivation the past month to keep in racing spirit, I have been slacking on my training and keeping up with the updates on my site. But, with last weekends first 2 rounds of Canadian Enduro Championships in Kamloops, my motivation is right back to where it was at the start of the season.
Kamloops was my first ever Enduro type Off road race. With living here on Vancouver Island and for the last few years being tied down with building houses I have not made it to any of the 2009 or 2010 Enduro Rounds. So, I came into last weekends rounds anxious but unsure what I was up against.
First mistake of the weekend; I signed up at the last moment I could. Not knowing that pre registering would give you a definate good starting minute. There was no lower minutes left so I had to start on the 59th minute behind everyone. I didnt think it would be too much of an issue or a disadvantage so I just went with it. We began with the Moto test as our first test and the first dirt we would encounter on the day. The pros were all pinned around the test. Everyone trying to show that they had done their homework over the past year, and were ready to make a statement. Myself, I watched and watched patiently for next hour trying to stay energized for my starting time. Finally on the 59th minute I was able to race. I charged through the moto test. Quickly feeling a little arm pump, but trying to remember that the test was only around 90 seconds long then I could relax. After the test we were all blessed to hold it wide open up one of Sun Peaks' ski runs. When I say wide open I mean WIDE OPEN! It was a blast. The transfer loop was around 30 km long. Being behind all of the B riders I had to deal with some bottle necks and some carnage. I and fellow A advanced racer Hall both made it through and stuck together all weekend. With some rain the days leading up to the weekend, it made for some interesting mud sections through out the trail system. There was some deep mud holes that had formed from the hundreds of bikes roosting through them. But other then the Enduro test section that served unusable to count, the mud areas did not get unrideable and I would say most were actually getting better through out the day and weekend. Some were getting worse, so everyone was definately trying to find any line around to make sure to not get stuck.
At the end up the loop was the Extreme section. It was around 2-3 minutes long for the racers and had a little of everything. Some rocky creek beds, multiple logs, Some off camber corners, and ALOT of roots. At the end of the first day part of the A section was so exposed with deep roots that they had to re-examine a new line and redirect the racers for day 2. For me, I did not fare to well in the extreme test. With being at the back and not being able to watch other pros go through the test, I did not know if my pace was actually fast or not. To see what others are doing is a big help in deciding your plan of attack. Bobby Prochnau was definately the fastest through this test all weekend. I wish I would have been able to see what he did to shave off so much time. Oh right he is a monster and makes logs look twigs and boulders look like pebbles.
With the Enduro test portion taken out of the first day, racers were only scored for their moto and extreme tests. The 2nd day they relocated the Enduro test to a monster hill that everyone kept it pinned. With a few abrupt streams, some were jumping into or even over them to carry more speed. I felt pretty good up this hill all 3 times, but a few others were faster. Scrhage was definatley on the gas in this test. Josh Allen was keeping his kawi on the throttle as well.
So, if you may be confused about this racing style and what I have been talking about the past few paragraphs, I'll explain the format in short.
There are test sections that racers timed on. You are only counted during these test sections. The rest of the loop is strickly a transfer section. But all racers have to do this loop or else you will be disqualified. You may ask, whats the point?, but there is a point. These transfer sections arent always easy. So you still need to be good enough to make it through and conserve enough energy for the test sections. For most racers the transfer sections are enjoyable because it is more or less play riding at your own leisure.
After 2 Rounds of racing, 15 tests, 2 flat front tires,(right I forgot to mention this) and close to 200 km of riding I was definately thrilled with the experience. With the likes of Prochnau, Nelson, Scrhage, Rego, Cuthbertson, Wojo, Giroux, Hoyer, Chaine, Graffunder Bros, Allen, Hett, Dyck, Cordner, Murray and many more, I was happy to say I just cracked the top 10 and placed 9th overall for the weekend. For my first Enduro I am happy with this result but am so extremely excited to head to Blairmore, Alberta for rounds 3 and 4.
It was also great to meet some of the important people in our offroad racing industry. It was my first time meeting Lawrence Hacking, Lee Fryberger, and Dan paris. All great guys and are doing so much for the sport.
I would like to give a huge thank you to Blaine and KTM Canada for making the first 2 rounds of the 2011 CEC's a great experience. Also, Spunkys Motorcyles for some much needed help and the RTR Performance crew for helping me out through out the weekend and being very kind. Last but not least, Guy Perrett and his Volunteer crew for putting on a great event at one of B.C.'s pristine locations. I had the great honour of meeting, riding, and camping with Guys dad Al Perrett when I was just starting to ride when I was younger. I learned many things from him and some other fast old guys. But the most important thing I have learned from his is, PAIN IS MY FRIEND!