Throwback Thursday – 2017 Hardwood Enduro
All racers have their stories, some exaggerated and some the complete the truth. This story is taking us back to 2017 at the Hardwood Enduro in Mansfield, MO, one of my last races on the Beta Xtrainer.
Hardwood Hills Ranch is one of the rockier places on any Missouri race series circuit. The trails are established single track full of rocks, hills, and creeks. It is tough but can be made fun.
This race was an enduro with restart format. That is similar to a NEPG. Pretty much, there are 4 people on your row, not necessarily anyone in your class but if you are lucky, it has your friends. Each row takes off every minute. I was on row 3, so my first test started at 9:03. Each test is anywhere from 3 miles to 12 miles long. If you are ahead of schedule, you might get a little break in between each test.
I have done harescrambles at HHR but never an enduro. I signed myself up on row 3 with Megan Kennon and Carley LeRette. It kept it entertaining. All of us signed up in the Open C class.
The conditions were ultra-dry, making those rocks loose and extra sketchy. I felt good all day long. I was not wrecking a lot or really struggling but most importantly having fun! I was not real sure what place I was in or how I was actually doing.
The last test, I felt like I slowed down a lot. With a mileish left of that test, the CRAZIEST thing happened. I was on the trail and I knew I was almost finished so I picked up the pace a little bit. I hit a log that was on the edge of the trail and it LAUNCED me like a rocket ship, off the trail and over a barbwire fence!! Like WHAT?!? I landed it and came to a complete stop. Proceeded to freak out! How am I going to get back across? What am I going to do? BREATHE! CRAP! How’d this even happen? My mind was going faster than I rode my bike lol. I rode along the fence and couldn’t find a hole or a way back so I turned around and went back to where I went over it. By this time, some fellow riders seen me on the other side and were throwing their hands in the air, like what are you doing! I am reexamining this fence. My mind is still racing. So, I thought OK, I am going to try to wheelie and just launch it over this fence. Of course, that was not a bright idea. I got my rear wheel waded up in barbwire. So, now what! I FREAK OUT EVEN MORE! I had just went by Meg’s dad, Doyle, right before this happened, so I started yelling. HELP ME! Lol. He came along with Kevin Henslee. Which was perfect. It took both of them to get me out of the fence. Doyle had been timing since I went past him and I lost around 2 minutes there. Trust me, it felt like 30 minutes. Anyways, I was on my way to finish the last mile, shaking and riding recklessly. I finally finished.
After I finish, I tell my story to everyone I see on my way back to my van lol. I make it back to the van and someone shows me the results…. I got 2nd place by 20 SECONDS! That literally crushed me! My fence jumping trick gave me a 2nd. I was disappointed but dang I have a cool LEGIT story to tell. Have you ever jumped a fence on a dirt bike without a pile of dirt being there?