The month Of July has flown by with 2 National Enduros and 2 Extreme Enduros as well as a district 14 Hare Scrambles for fun.
Working backwards from this past weekend, The inaugural AMA Bad Medicine Extreme Enduro in southern Ohio, July 28-29. I was skeptical of this new event as it was booked the weekend of a classic ACES Enduro just an hour down the road. Because I am committed to the cause of breathing life into an AMA Extreme Enduro national championship, I have prioritized these extreme events to get behind the movement. The promoters are enthusiastic and laid out a great course utilizing the awful “knockout” format. Again, great course, amazing terrain. With riders such as Jordan Ashburn, Quin Wentzel, Cory Buttrick among others, there was legitimate racing going on for a start-up event. After a 6 lap, 2 hour main event consisting of creeks, climbs, rocks and logs in every combination you can imagine, I set the fastest lap of the day from the white flag grabbing the checkers in 2nd to Ashburn. I was slow off the start and let him run away before I hit my stride. Regardless, Jordan has always been a tight competitor in these events and he rode well.
July 22, 2018 National Enduro, Cross Fork, PA
The first time this race was a national in 2011 I handily took the win. The lush campground staging area made for a great cookout and campsite for joining friends the Saturday before hand. Saturday night an inch of rain fell on the course making for a slick grass track and ruts through the forest that would either hit a shallow irregular rock bottom or drop to footpeg deep. Being a venue I typically thrive in, the conditions negated me to a safe and comfortable pace. Perhaps the heat exhaustion from the previous weekend played on my nerves but I did not feel safe pushing it today. While I had an improving day up to the final section I lost just a bit of time and fell to 13th. A look at the scores will show just how tight the racing is throughout the top 20
July 8,2018 National Enduro, Greensboro GA
Rescheduled due to severe rain, a July race in Georgia can get HOT. Fortunately, the heat was manageable and conditions were absolutely prime. They had 7 sections of lengthy singletrack trail. I was working to adapt to the aggressive pace from my extreme enduro focus as of late. I got into it and started having an absolute blast. When the roosting ended I found myself in 14th. Not where I wanted to be but shifting disciplines caught me off guard. Again, proving the depth of the field in the National Enduros. A sprint marathon.
June 30 / July 1- Tough Like RORR Extreme Enduro, Tamaqua PA.
This 2 day extreme race has proven to be a true challenge. In it’s 4th running, I was determined to improve upon my best of 5th place among some talented and well versed riders in this terrain. Heat and humidity haunt this difficult race. After a day of qualifying and all around wear and tear, we set sights on Sundays final qualifier moto and main event. The goal is to qualify top 10 to start on the front row for the main. I made the cut and the heat was on! Not far off the start a huge bottle neck of a hill climb bunched a majority of row 1 and then the 2nd row of pro riders. After 2 poor attempts I crawled up the loose rocky hill and re-joined the race. I found from the next check worker that I was in 11th position. I put the hammer down to meet my goal of top 5. I quickly reeled in riders that would struggle with the technical rock gardens and other obstacles. As the hours past it was getting more difficult to progress but I was in 5th place and trucking. In an unfortunate turn of events, things started to get wobbly. My body gave out on the approach to a climb from a large ravine. I collapsed off the bike upon cresting the ridge and propped myself up on a tree. 2 riders went by before I got pissed off enough to keep it moving. I pitted for some cold water and managed to finish 7th, just 12 of 200 managed that feat. This was encouraging considering my struggles with heat exhaustion but to give up 5th when my riding was speaking volumes was a difficult pill to swallow as I hit a truck stop just 90 minutes down the road to sleep for the night.