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Blackjack Enduro

Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
570
Location
Longview, TX
I'd like to do the Blackjack Enduro Circuit race on Nov 18th near Callisburg, TX.

Anyone like to join?

It'd be my first race like this. I did an Arkansas Hare Scramble race last month and a few TORCS races (like 10 years ago), but am still a total noob when it comes to going fast on purpose. I haven't embarrassed myself *yet*, so that's a good start.

BJEC Home page: http://blackjackenduro.org/schedule

A sample of the terrain:

[ame="https://youtu.be/QANaUvsSdDY"]https://youtu.be/QANaUvsSdDY[/ame]

Any takers?
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
7,058
Location
Huntsville
I'm signed up but not sure if still going. They changed date on us.

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Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
2,111
Location
East Texas
I bet it will still be wet. I used to enjoy wet enduros, it was a long time ago. Its also been a long time since I have ridden past 30-35 miles. With decent weather it is supposed to be a fun enduro.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
570
Location
Longview, TX
Row numbers apparently update every-other day and currently I show as a no assignment, but I DO show up as registered. I will keep my eye on it.

BTW, in case you're reading from home and thinking "I could never finish an enduro", this guy finished a whole SERIES on a 400lb KLR. Good motivation and worth a read!
 
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Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
7,058
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Huntsville
I've finished a few, lol. 2 this year. Just not sure I have the funds for a long trip and motel.

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Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
7,058
Location
Huntsville
Pictures didn't look bad . Check Blackjack site, you'll see what I mean.

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Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
570
Location
Longview, TX
Checked results, looked like a lot of dnf's, what is that about?
Couple of guys I talked to said they thought this was one of the "harder" enduros they've done. The organizers did a great job on re-routes to make it smooth, but the 5th test was pretty rutted out as it was a redo of tests 1 and 2 together.

It wasn't too wet, but would be chilly if you weren't prepared. Dirt was excellent.

Here's my mini ride report.

_________________

Heather had some things to do Saturday morning, so she took care of those while I loaded the trailer and did a few last minute improvements on the ever-evolving toy-hauler build.

We started the 3.5 hr drive to Callisburg with a cup full of Texas Pecan coffee and a few nervous jitters about my first enduro.

About 8 miles outside of Sherman a passing car motioned to us that something was amiss with the trailer. We didn't feel a thing, but pulled off to find the left rear tire going flat. At least it wasn't a fire or a KTM bouncing down the road. I've changed my share of trailer tires and had us going in 10 minutes. Heather made sure passing saw us and kept me from getting run over. The nice weather was a plus.

IMG_6943-X2.jpg


Fortunately there was a Discount Tire in Sherman, but would you know it?...they were out of Goodyear Endurance trailer tires. I bought'em from Discount last year and paid for the free replacement *that seems smart now* and so we headed to McKinney to the Discount Tire location there. While the pit crew at Discount got us a new tire we grabbed Thai food at the adjacent eatery. Pro tip - don't eat Thai the night before a race.

Per usual we arrived in the dark and made our way out into the pasture to find our spot among the toy-haulers, tents (brrr), and motorhomes.

Photo of our setup the next morning...

IMG_6933-X2.jpg



When we arrived on Saturday night it was in the high-50's with a calm breeze, but by morning that had given way to gusty-spitting-30's. BrrrrrrRRrrr.

IMG_6935-X2.jpg



I recently installed a furnace in the trailer (a must for Heather to tag along) and this was its maiden voyage. Pleased to report that I didn't blow us up, give us carbon monoxide poisoning, or encounter any other mishaps. It felt balmy in the trailer...

IMG_6941-X3.jpg


...and putting your mx boots in front of the furnace before slipping into them is a REAL treat!

I was up by 5:30 on race day and had breakfast, coffee, and the Thai food all taken care of before 6:30. Registration went smoothly and they had a riders meeting at 7 to tell us not to smoke in the refueling area, etc., etc.

Doing a few pre-race squats to warm-up before our start of test 1. That's me breathing 2-stroke smoke.

IMG_6949-X2.jpg


Ready to start.

I'm 2nd from right.

IMG_6947-X2.jpg


The start is nothing fancy. Everyone is VERY friendly and since you're all in different classes we quickly sort out who is fast and who is slow. I was in C vet and several of the other riders were A and B classes, so I sorted to 4th of 5 on the starts. A couple of times I caught one of the B riders, but he was probably twice my age, so I can only gloat so much.

The 1st test was a little under ten miles of single-track. It only took about 20 minutes and I was kind of surprised that we finished so quickly. I took one slow spill when I got crossed up in a set of ruts *doh*, but otherwise had a grand time.

The second and third tests were much of the same, but over different terrain. Between each test I had ~20 minutes to pee, grab a snack, let Heather know I was still in one piece, and clean my goggles. The mist let up by the end of test two and the conditions were pretty good considering it was in the 30's.

Somewhere between tests 1 and 4.

IMG_6952-X2.jpg


Test 4 was a bit more intense with multiple step-ups out of creeks, hill-climbs, and snotty-slick, off-camber descents. The Rekluse did its job and made me feel like a rockstar. I passed a lot more people on this test and had my best place. By the end of test 4 we had done a little over 35 miles of single-track, but test 5 was a rerun of test 1 and 2 together bringings us to ~53 miles on the short course. The long course (A and B riders) had a 6th test. Thank goodness that didn't include me.

About 1/3 of the way into the 5th test I went into trail-ride mode. I was trying to go fast, but I was also trying to stay up-right. Faster riders from rows (like 7 rows) behind me were catching me and I could tell they were racing where I was more trying to finish. The trail was not only well marked, but was well grooved due to us running it a second time, so I was carefully watching the mile-markers ascend to 17.

The finish seems anticlimactic (shouldn't there be fireworks or something?), but I completed my first enduro and with a smile on my face.


What will I do different next time?

I was running a worn rear tire. I sometimes felt like the rear was breaking loose unexpectedly, so a fresh tire and Tubliss would have helped.

A steering stabilizer seems like it would have helped me to mellow my handle-bar inputs. I often felt like I was over-steering, but perhaps that's just my inexperience.

Ride more. Fore-arms, hand, and specific leg muscles only gained through riding were fatigued. I work-out regularly, but there is no substitute for seat-time.

No Thai food the night before. Nuff-said.

I finished 5th out of 13 in my class, C-Vet (30+), and 21 out of 82 in the C Overall. Only 44 of the 82 C riders even finished the race, so I guess that's an accomplishment. I'm pretty happy for my first race given the conditions and my fatigue. I can definitely see a path to improvement. My best test was #4 where I was 19th and my worst was test 5 where I was 26th in C Overall.


If you're reading this you should join us on the next one!! :rider:



After-race bike shot. Bike ran like a champ!

IMG_6938-X3.jpg



More info on this race series here:

http://blackjackenduro.org/
 
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Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
7,058
Location
Huntsville
Great write up! You think it was slick enough for that to be a factor in dbf's? If I had been there , my class had 19 riders, only 7 finished. Usually the guys in my class do better than that. Over 60 riders.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
570
Location
Longview, TX
reat write up! You think it was slick enough for that to be a factor in dbf's?
I didn't think it was so slick, but it was chilly. And it got colder through the day. It was 39 at the race start, but closer to 34 by 2pm.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
7,058
Location
Huntsville
Over A-17 of 34 finished
Over B-24 of 41 finished
Over C-44 of 84 finished
Senior short-33 of 58 finished.

I'd say you did great finishing!!
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
2,315
Location
Bryan-sort of-Texas
Hey, you did great! For your first race just finishing this one is reason to feel good about it. It was a tough race. I was on row 6. Would have been a hoot to ride the extra test section but the regular course wore me slap out. My hind end may never be the same again.

They did the best job of marking trails that I've seen at any enduro...which was a darn good thing considering how tight the woods are. I'm not familiar with how big their club is but most other races have goggle wipes, water, etc. at the check ins. That would be a nice touch for future races up there.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
2,315
Location
Bryan-sort of-Texas
Great write up! You think it was slick enough for that to be a factor in dbf's? If I had been there , my class had 19 riders, only 7 finished. Usually the guys in my class do better than that. Over 60 riders.
Rob, it was physically punishing. Guys warming their hands over the exhaust while waiting to go and low temps but sweating from head to toe made any stop a shivering situation. They had the test section times set pretty close so that jake-leg riders like me had darn little time to show up at check-in and blow a little bit before having to line up and go. This was a loops course and the trails got beaten up so that every little root across the trail had a mini whoop around it. Very tight tree dodging with very few spots to stand up. There was precious little technical riding...just a non stop dodging of trees.

One of my friends quit before the last test section. When I latter made it back to the trailer, the EMT's were in his rig watching him soak up a bag of IV fluids. He just plain lost his mind there for a while. Dehydration is serious stuff.
 
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Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
2,111
Location
East Texas
Sounds like this ole fat man did good withdrawing. Lol.

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blah blah blah, you would have probably trophied. Regarding that guy who needed the fluids, I have seen many folks not drink enough on cold days and get into trouble. Always hydrate more than you think you need regardless of temps.
 
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