Last Saturday was my 40th birthday. On Sunday I got the best present yet!
I somehow managed to get 3rd in my class at the “Gypsy Moth” enduro down in Connecticut. OK, it isn’t quite as impressive as it sounds, there were only 5 entries and technically I would have been 4th out of the 5. I lucked out a bit because the guy who was actually 1st in C-Veteran had C “High point” (best of all of the C classes). So since he got the “C high point” trophy everybody else in C-Veteran moves up one spot. Regadless of all of that I am still happy to have my 1st (hopefully of several) motorcycling prize.
The “C” class is for novice riders. If you do well you get moved up to B, A and AA over time. The C-Veteran is a sub-class of C for riders aged 30-39 however the rules state that you do not have to change classes in the middle of a season if your age changes to the next class. So, for this year I can stay in C-Veteran. Next year I will be C-Senior (40-49) which you would think would be a bunch of “old guys” and not very competitive. In reality the C-Senior class is MUCH more competitive than C-Veteran. So it will take a bit more to manage a top 3 next year.
The enduro went pretty well. In the past 2 enduros I didn’t even make it to the 1/2 way point before houring out. The course for this one certainly had some difficult bits but they were usually fairly short and then there were some easy sections that allowed me to get back some of the time. At the 1/2 way point they give you about 40 minutes or so for fuel and to rest but you are allowed to take less time if you want to get back on time. It does not help your score (it would with AMA rules but enduros around here usually run Brand-X rules) but it does help prevent you from houring out. I was about 45 minutes down at the gas stop but managed to make up 25 or so of that by gassing up quickly and getting moving again.
I did have some pretty good falls throughout the day. None of them were high speed, in fact most of them were zero speed. I would loose momentum and traction up a difficult climb and fall over. Of course I would always fall DOWNHILL and occasionally on to rocks so I did get a few whacks on some of them but no injuries.
Things were going pretty well late in the day. I made it through check 12 (I think there were 13 or possibly 14 checks total) with 10 minutes to spare before houring out. Then when climbing up a steep bit with loose chewed up dirt I lost traction. I “carefully” tried to get it turned around so I could go down and take another run at it but I lost control and before I could get on the brakes I whacked HARD into a tree. I was OK and the bike appeared to be OK but then I noticed it would not start.
The on/off switch on the bike had taken the brunt of the force and was destroyed. So, there was no way to get power to the ignition. Even kick starting would not have helped because there would have been no spark. I had no tools with me so I was done.
Luckilly another rider came up pretty soon and asked if I was OK. I told him I was fine but the bike was dead. Since he was out of time already anyway he stopped to help me. He had enough tools that we were able to strip the wires and hot wire the bike and make it run again. By this time of course I was long past my hour so I was out anyway but I was glad I wasn’t going to have to wait for the sweep riders. Thanks Brett!
Through the day I managed to break my fork guards, rear view mirror, and on/off switch. None of this is too expensive so I am pretty happy with how the bike (and I) survived. I really did smash it against several rocks through the day! That Yamaha is one tough bike!
Next weekend I am doing my last enduro of the year. Probably won’t get around to my “end of year review” blog post until after then.