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Old 11-17-2015, 11:43 AM   #1
LSTD/TTBC Instructor
CarbonJames's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: ELLIS TD
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Posts: 13,803

Experience: 1-3 months
Trackdays: 1

13 250sx
13 350sxf
12 150sx
07 CRF 230
04 CRF 50/70

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TSCEC Indian Nations Enduro video

We traveled to Scipio, OK this past weekend for the Indian Nations 2 day enduro hosted by Black Jack Enduro Circuit and the Tulsa Trail Riders, they had a great trail system set up and the best part was that the transfer sections were very short. I didn't know how the terrain would be but, I rode around warming up Saturday morning and found some race trail, I noticed lots of rocks scattered everywhere which meant it was going to be rocky, not what I'm used to and I have very little experience in the rocks.

I decided to make some suspension changes and it proved to be too drastic in the 1st test section alone. I softened my compression up 5 clicks on the forks but left the shock as it was. As we started the first test, I had a ton of problems with the front end pushing and washing out, it was really either a crash fest or a save fest for me (most of the day).

Before the start of Test 2, I added 3 clicks of compression back to fight the front end trouble, this helped a lot but I was still riding like a first timer. I had a 50B guy and another 40A Sr guy (same class as myself) in my row, I think I allowed this 40A rider to get into my head, it was his very first enduro as he's a H/S racer and he's from Tulsa and only rides in the rocks, he was right at home. He was a smooth rider and knew how to have his bike set up for the rocks.

Any way, at the end of the 4 test sections on Saturday I finished out in 9th place which is not what I wanted to see.

At the start of Test 1, we were already racing for the lead, they merely said go and we were fighting through T1.

A closer look at the tires, you can see myself and the guy in the middle, our tires are kissing we're so close to each other.

I was unable to video Saturday since the gopro wasn't charged, that evening I threw it on to charge for Sundays race and I was good to go, so I thought. The gopro only recorded sporadically at best. I did manage to get 2 short videos worth watching.

I did some talking at dinner with another more experienced racer Saturday and took his advice on suspension settings, I made another change to the front and also matched the rear to the front settings, this was the key and me being somewhat of a noob to suspension hacking I didn't know.

In Test 1, the suspension was way better but it still didn't feel as good as I thought it should but, it was better and I was making far less mistakes due to the current settings. As we began Test 2, still much the same feeling until somewhere around the halfway point where me and the bike finally became one!! I had no idea what had happened or what had changed but whatever it was, it was soft, slow, gentle music to my soul. As I completed Test 2, several riders pointed out that I had a rear flat, I personally felt at that time, that was the key to my better riding, (now I run a Tubliss system so my tire wasn't completely flat). I did not touch it, I felt it made a huge difference and just left it alone. I made it through the next 2 test sections just fine, picking up my pace and riding well.

At the beginning of Test 5 I talked my buddy (Curt) into dropping the air pressure in his rear (same set up with the Tubliss system) as I felt it changed my whole day. He was leary of doing so and without having a gauge he dropped the pressure. The next test went well for me again but Curt had mixed emotions and was concerned with his tire, it went flat, he hit a sharp rock and put two holes in his tire, rendering it "flat" just like mine.

He was ready to quit, at the end of test 5, the short course race was over but the long course race had 2 test sections to go. He was determined to go to camp, I started talking to him, begging him to finish the race and some other guys jumped in with me and together, we finally talked him into continuing the race.

Low and behold, Test 6 was by far our toughest and most technical section of the weekend, we were running test 3 again from the previous sessions, but, in the middle of T3, they surprised us and sent us left through several miles of off camber, virgin train covered in rocks, it was very difficult for me to navigate given the fact that I have short legs. It was here in this section that the flat tire helped me the most, effectively giving me 2 inches of leg length more.

Curt was hating life by the end of this test but, with just one more test to go until the end, he pushed on and finished up with me. He wasn't happy but I talked him into finishing and he actually ended up on the podium since he pushed through the brutality of the Oklahoma rocks.

In the end, I went 9th on Saturday and 4th on Sunday, I had a much better race the last day. Saturday, Ty Howard took the win in our class, just over 6 minutes in front of me, on Sunday, I rode well enough to only have 3 minutes between he and I while he took the win again.

The video is very deceiving of course, you can't tell the amount of and the size of the rocks by watching the trail but, if you watch the front end, it will give you a better idea of how rough it was.

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