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Hare Scramble

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  • Hare Scramble

    So I got this old dirt bike about 6 months ago and started riding with the guy I bought it from. He is a lifelong dirt bike rider and racer. I have since gotten comfortable enough to go ride by myself and have been going once a week for the past 2 months. Am pretty pleased with my progress, so figured why not take the next step and go compete. Was supposed to go race 2 weeks ago but broke a finger on a warm up ride a couple of days prior to that event. So fast forward to today which matched up a race with a day off from work.

    The event was held about 75 miles from my home, but it took much longer to get there than I thought it would. Only had time to register, put numbers on my bike, and get tech inspected. No time for a practice lap of the course. Good thing probably, because if I had done a practice lap I probably would have put the bike back up on the truck and gone home. Instead, I got geared up and made my way to the starting line.

    There were 14 rows of bikes with about 20 - 25 riders in each row. You are gridded by the class that you register for. I signed up for Golden Master B. That means riders 60 years old or older, the B means slow. I started in the 13th row. Each row leaves the start line one minute after the row in front of them goes. My turn came, and off I went.

    The course was somewhere around 8 - 10 miles long. The terrain was like nothing I had ridden previously. The property was an old abandoned strip mine of some kind, that was now pasture land, woods, and a little bit of swamp. I purposely got to the first corner last to kind of get a feel for the race. Most of the first couple of miles was open pasture land with an occasional duck into some trees. About mile 3 the course dove into some really dense woods/swampy area that I found to be extremely technical and very difficult. For the next 3 miles it was kinda into it, and outta it, it was exhausting. The final couple of miles back to start/stop was more pasture land, but by no means was it flat or straight. Lots of hard turns, deep sand, whoops, and short hill climbs. On the first lap I managed to stay upright and even pass a few people. Went past a bunch of downed riders all along the way. Start of lap 2 I picked up the pace a little and soon found myself with 2 very numb hands and a case of complete body fatigue. I fell over at least 3 times on the second lap, one of which was pretty comical. I lost rear traction on a rooted side hill section and landed wedged between some trees and bushes with my feet well above my head. My bike was nearly upside down. Had there not been a course worker close by to give me a hand, I don't think I could have gotten going again. Second comedic spill was in the boggy part of the course when a tree root knocked my front wheel about a foot off the intended line of travel. The bike dipped low to the left, but I stayed on the gas. What resulted was big 15 foot power slide that had me pointed back the way I had just come. The final off was a simple step off at low speed around an off camber slippery turn. As I was nearing the end of the second lap I was in a total quandary. I was sooo tired that I was sure I was gonna crash a lot more on a 3rd lap. I was seriously contemplating calling it a day and pulling off. Instead I decided that since I had come all this way, and put in all the time and effort to get here, I was gonna get my money's worth and continue. But as I came around to Start/stop there was a flagger waving a red flag which signaled race over. I was sooo thankful.

    I struggled all day with vision problems. Either my goggles were steamed up from sweating, or visibility was poor to nonexistent from all the dust being kicked up. My bike stalled often, many times in a really bad spot. My broken finger did not really bother me . . . until I was done. Then it really began to let me know that it was not happy.

    But I iced my hand, took some ibuprofen and took a shower once I got home and now I don't feel so bad. All in all I would call it a successful day. I am not sure how I placed since I left before they posted the results. But I know I did not finish last, and that I did finish, and I am quite happy with that. Will I do it again? Probably.
    Last edited by mehush; 12-04-2017, 12:21 AM.

  • #2
    Glad you accomplished your goal of finishing the race.

    While you may not have come in first it was still a personal victory!

    Good job Mike

    I have neither the time,or the inclination, to explain myself to a man, who rises and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner, in which I provide it. I'd rather you just say 'thank you' and go on your way.

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    • #3
      This sounds awesome and addicting! My dad raced enduros and hare scrambles for about 20 years. That's how I grew up, going to races and being on bikes. I'd love to get involved in it one day.
      --Kory--
      2008 C-14

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      • #4
        Originally posted by klb1122 View Post
        This sounds awesome and addicting! My dad raced enduros and hare scrambles for about 20 years. That's how I grew up, going to races and being on bikes. I'd love to get involved in it one day.
        My advice . . . Don't wait until you're 60.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BIG O View Post
          Glad you accomplished your goal of finishing the race.

          While you may not have come in first it was still a personal victory!

          Good job Mike
          Thanks Mike. This has been something I have wanted to do for a long time.

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          • #6
            In case you were wondering, the dirt bike crowd is an awesome bunch of people. Very supportive of one another. Even though I was there by myself, I did not feel alone. And they are a very courteous lot as well. I must have heard 100 thankyou's while I was racing.

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            • #7
              Sounds like a lot of fun. Good on you for checking out another aspect of our 2 wheel hobby.


              "I tried being reasonable, I didn't like it!"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mehush View Post

                My advice . . . Don't wait until you're 60.
                Better late than never! Way to go and do something you wanted to do despite your age. I started riding dirt as a kid and would like to get back in it and play again. Currently, I am having fun at the track but plan to get a dirt bike again.

                I enjoyed reading your story and good luck at future events!
                My ol' ZZR1200 pics:
                http://zzrbikes.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=156883

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                • #9
                  Results were posted today. I finished 11th out of 15 in my class. 263rd out of about 300 overall. It's official, I was not the slowest. I wasn't unhappy with how I rode, I just wish the others were a little slower. I could have ridden on Saturday instead of Sunday which would have been a shorter and less technical course, but I really wanted to do the real McCoy.

                  If I can keep from getting myself dinged up, I think I will try again a month or so. This was the 4th race out of a 16 race season. I will do at least one more to see if I am making any progress. At the very least, I enjoy getting out for practice and fun rides. Should have gotten involved long ago.

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