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Old 07-27-2015, 03:40 PM   #1
CarbonJames
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Kenda TKO Extreme Enduro 2015

Last year I decided to ride in the 4th annual Kenda Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro, billed as the hardest race in the US by some of the top American riders, it was that, at least for me, it was definitely a tough and technical race.

2015 TKO Flyer V2 Page 1 zpsyze8omim

2015 TKO Flyer V2 Page 2 zps9tem3pvu


Some of my North Texas racer buds talked me into joining them, I signed up the week I returned home from racing the GNCC at Loretta Lynns. There were a total of 100 amateur spots available and it sold out in less than 1 week with little advertising.

Here's a few points about the event:
1. It's EXTREME
2. It's held at the nations top Trials training center (Tennessee Trials Training Center) so you know it will not be easy.
3. It's a long course and covered in boulders large enough to crush any everyday road going vehicle.
4. Saturday is a "knock out" tournament type race
Round 1, 12 miles of some tough terrain, 2 laps to be completed within 2 hours, top 40 riders move to round 2
IF you made it to round 2, the course is now 12 miles long, the same tough terrain with "added extreme" sections, 1 lap to be completed within 1 hour, top 20 riders move on to the final "main round" on Sunday with the Top off road racers in the world.

If I remember correctly, less than 20 completed round 1, and less than 5 completed round 2 last year. There were a ton of local series pro level riders, plenty of A and B level riders on the rows. As all enduros start, there were rows of 5 riders on each line, I was on row 10 on the inside for T1 off the start, I did end up getting the hole shot against an extremely fast North Texas racer named Cameron Ishmael, but as fate would have it, Cameron would make the pass on me, I held on for a mile or so through the woods and heavily scattered rocky terrain until it opened up to jeep trails for 2 miles, I couldn't hold on to him, he was riding someone else's 250sxf and just didn't worry about anything but pushing the bike as hard as he could.

6 miles in, I came to the "6 mile hill" tons of people crowded around, waiting, watching, blocking lines and just generally too tired to attempt the climb any longer, I joined them too, I had made several hard attempts to make it up this steep, off camber, loose rock covered hill that dog legged to the right half way up. I noticed my heart rate at the top end of 190BPM so I decided that it wasn't my time for a heart attack and just sat back and watched the destruction of several bikes, tires, pipes, etc. My race was over but I was still enjoying the view as riders made there way around for lap 2.

Well, as registration opened up for 2015, I quickly signed up. I feel that I'm a better, smarter, smoother and stronger rider than I was 1 year ago and I know that I will accomplish much more this time around. I'm all set to go, On August 13th we hit the road for Chattanooga, Tennessee another great road trip with our bikes in tow.

Here is some video action from last year, as you will see, my suspension was far from the optimal settings and I definitely had the wrong compound tires on for this particular event.

At 18:30 I lose my silencer but keep on pushing, if you listen close enough, you can hear my heart beating hard as well as my heavy breathing.

I do not plan to video this race, I've lost 3 gopros this year and will not buy another, if anyone wants to see video and is willing to loan me a camera on the condition that it may not be returned and I will not replace it, lol I won't mind attempting to video it.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:38 PM   #2
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".........!"

lol
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:39 PM   #3
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It looks like a lot of work and your body has to be in good shape to perform that well.

I'd hurt my self every time out! lol

Looks like a hoot tho.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:50 PM   #4
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The only part of that I could do is the grass start.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:34 AM   #5
GIXXERKELLY
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Cool write up! I wish I could compete on your level.
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:22 AM   #6
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That looks crazy...think my hands would be numb 5 min in..
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:15 AM   #7
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thank my name isn't on that Earned invite list!!! I would hate to turn them down

Good luck man!!
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:18 AM   #8
CarbonJames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIXXERKELLY View Post
Cool write up! I wish I could compete on your level.
You can in fact compete at my level, and beyond. I started where most here started, then moved to dirt and progressed from there b/c I wanted (no, I needed) to be fast. It's in our DNA to be competitive and fast, I work hard at it, I train on my own, I also work with one of the past decades top world off road racing champions several times a year. I also train others when time permits.

Curt, I remember my very first race was a complete and utter, 100% FKN failure, I thought I had that in the bag but, I set off at the start of the race and blew my wad in less than 2 miles, spent all of my energy trying to do something I knew absolutely nothing about and ended up quitting, I couldn't find the parking area quick enough to save my life. 4 years later, here I am doing quite well (not trying to pat myself on the back but,) in my game amongst much younger guys (early to late 20 Y/O'), I'm twice the age of some of my direct competitors who have been doing this there whole lives, remember, this is only my 4th year of off road racing.

Vegas, my hands go numb within the first 5 minutes of almost every single race, I'm used to it now and am able to ride through it in most cases, at least until I get arm pump which is the end result, numbness is a symptom of arm pump, I've narrowed that down to 2 explanations, 1. Gloves are too tight or, and most often the case 2. Holding on too tight.

The real key to what I do is to be smart enough to know how to "pace yourself", If you can't do this, you won't last. I've raced many 2 hour races, and setting up your race before it starts is the best thing you can do mentally, go fast in the fast areas, and slow in the slow areas, when you do it the other way around which is what happens often with many riders, you're in the wind.

If any of you would like some training or riding tips, I am probably capable of helping out anyone in need.
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