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Hare Scramble #2

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  • Hare Scramble #2

    Today was race day #2 for me. The wrist is miles better and gave me no problem at all. No excuses today.

    The wife came along for this one and held my bike for the start. That was the first and only time she saw me racing. She stayed too far away from the track and could never spot me go by. Sooo, no pics.

    Got a better start today and was close on the heels of the pack for the first half mile or so. We came upon a slower rider and I was reluctant to pass right away. By the time I got around I was left all alone. It wasn't too long before the faster riders in the wave that started a minute behind began to catch and pass me. From that point on I was setting my own pace. I rode at about 90% of my max speed for the remainder of the first 12 mile lap. I took a tumble at about the 10 mile mark but was was undamaged. The riding is very tiresome, but there is nothing worse than falling, having to pick up the bike and restarting. I got passed by several riders while getting going and was determined to repass them and take up my rightful place. I did pass back all but a few, but by the end of the lap I was blowing pretty hard. Finished lap one just under 41 minutes.

    Lap 2 was a little more conservative due to several near crashes on lap 1 that I was thinking would surely result in some turf surfing if I continued to push the same pace in my now somewhat fatigued state. I actually ended riding a little smoother and likely a little faster than the first lap. But, by this time I was starting to get lapped by by the fastest who would go on to complete five laps to my 2. I worked hard at staying to the right side of the trail to let the faster guys(and girls) go by while still keeping a good pace. I ended up with a lap time of just under 42 minutes for lap 2. At start/finish I was given the wave through to go ahead and do a third lap, this was first for me. I opted to call it a day, something I kind of regretted later on. I could have gone around again, but likely would not have completed a third lap in time to be scored. So now I have a new goal......3 laps.

    Recent weather has been quite dry so the bulk of the coarse was deep, loose sand. There were a lot woods sections that were off camber, side hill traverses which were very intimidating. I fairly tiptoed through these sections, and still had several close calls with trees. I know it sounds funny, but there are some hills in Florida. There were several steep climbs and descents. I did the downhills slowly and safely, but nearly lost my sh*t several times on the climbs, back tire spinning wildly, and zigzagging up the hills. There were a lot of exposed tree roots in some sections and I could feel the the front wheel impacting rather hard. DIscovered after the race that my front tire was flat, likely for the bulk of the race since it felt a little wonky the whole time. I did run off coarse several times through some chest deep grass. Mostly from trying to stay to the right and let others by. When I got back to the pits I was covered in small burrs. I know put some smiles on the faces more than a few riders and coarse workers with my riding style(or lack thereof).

    At days end I was pleasantly exhausted, safe and undamaged, bike still in one piece. Had the wife with me for the first time(doubt she will do it again). Got to spend time with some good friends that also raced. And, did not piss off any of the fast guys. Rain was forecast at 75%, but save for a few sprinkles, stayed away. All in all, a great day. As I type this my quads are urging me to go get some Ibuprofen, and my back is telling me to set up a visit with a chiropractor. Can't wait for the next one.

  • #2
    Awesome report, way to keep the dirt adventure going!
    My ol' ZZR1200 pics:
    http://zzrbikes.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=156883

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    • #3
      This is a short vid from the race 2 weeks ago. It gives you a good idea of what takes place at a hare scramble. The narrator/rider is a much faster than I am and rides in a different class. I started about 4-5 rows further back.

      I did take my gopro to the most recent race but did not have the proper mount to attach to my helmet or chest. Next time.

      https://youtu.be/CE38loq53F4

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      • #4
        Pretty gnarly Mike!

        Looks like you really have to pick your line and commit to some areas.

        How many riders were there?

        So, two 12 mile laps is the course?

        Thanks for the vid.
        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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        • #5
          Yeah Mike, 2 laps for a total of 24 miles. Best guess is somewhere around 500 - 700 riders in total. That would include the under 16 y/o groups as well as the quad riders.

          Line choice can really make a difference. There is an hour set aside of each day for practice. Most riders take advantage of the time to go ride the entire course and check out to see if there are any bad lines that will cost time. Factor out those options and it simply becomes a matter of how fast you wanna be going when you fall. I don't do a practice lap because I am convinced that it will tire me out more than it will help find the bad spots. I only get an hour to rest between the practice lap and race, so, my first race lap is always somewhat experimental.

          Last weekend I finished 19th out of 21 riders in my class, but my lap times are improving at every event and I hope to be mixing it up with some of the midpack guys by the end of the season. If I don't get there it will not be a huge disappointment. As I said in an earlier post . . . my main goal is to be a better trail rider, and the racing has definitely made a difference. I ride the trails now with a lot more confidence and seldom fall down. Only fell once on a trail ride in the last 6 months. Unfortunately, that ended with a cast on my right arm.

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          • #6
            thanks for the ride, Mike

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dbsuperbiker View Post
              thanks for the ride, Mike
              Happy to repay the favor.

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