Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Racing Section => Topic started by: Buff on May 31, 2011, 08:51:26 am

Title: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Buff on May 31, 2011, 08:51:26 am
So this weekend marked my 2nd official Off-road event in Bonnievale. I was nervous as hell leading up to the event (what's new?) after reading the pre-race banter on Cape-Enduro forum saying that the route was "old school enduro" type layout and there was plenty of water lying about so it was going to be a mud bath. I was just getting used to sand and now suddenly there was mud to deal with  :o. Besides, the last event I did with the word "enduro" in it was Matroosberg and I still have nightmares about that ride. 

My preparation for this event was a bit better than for Wellington. I've been able to spend at least 2 hours per weekend over the past few weekends training on the KDX, and also 3-4 gym sessions a week. Not enough, I know but at least I was more comfortable on the bike and getting the hang of riding sand, berms and the odd jump or two  :thumleft:.

I was fortunate enough to have 3 mates come through and support me on the day, T-Dawg (who broke his shoulder a few weeks ago), Ian (old cycling mate keen on starting enduro's) and Dux, who is my main mackie and KDX guru ;-) 

The 3am wake up call on Sat is something I'm gonna have to get used to  :o  and so too the going to bed at 9:30pm on a Friday night   :'( The things we do for pleasure (or should that be pain?).

Thanks to T-Dawg for the photo's, not too bad for an oke operating with one hand  :D

1.The race area
2. Myself & Ian at the start line.
3. Riders flighting for first spot into the single track.

Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Buff on May 31, 2011, 08:59:51 am
So to the racing.

Got there early for a change, so no need to rush around like a headless chicken. The weather was overcast and chilly but the venue was something spectacular, set in the mountains along the road between Ashton and Swellendam. A couple of big boys were on the line, the likes of Altus de Wet and our very own Dakar hopeful, Tau  :thumleft:

Without seeing a map of the course layout, I can't actually remember the exact order of the route, because everything passed in a bit of a blur. So this is my take on it. 

I started way back in row 15, with 5 bikes going off at a time, in what I think was 30sec intervals. The route went straight into a single track through a nice flowing forest section, with a small river crossing popping out of the forest. I was stuck behind a guy on a 450 that was having problems getting traction, so I was able get past him fairly quickly. Then it was up and around some vineyards and planted lands. The route was very twisty, with a lot of ups and downs, and the terrain varied throughout. I think there was only one spot on the race where I was able to hook top gear; the rest of the time is was 2nd, 3rd and 4th stuff. There were also some nice steep rocky climbs and hectic descents and I discovered I was stronger here than on the faster flowing sections. At one stage we ended up riding a mountain ridge for a few kays which had an awesome flow to it, but a nasty little blind rise just before it dropped down into the valley.

Like a prime kippy, I chose this spot to try and pass a woman on a KTM (these chicks can ride a bike) on the outside and lost it when I locked up the back end and left the mountain  :o Fortunately the vegetation was very thick, and it broke my momentum quickly, and I was able to get back on track without losing too much time or suffering any damage.

I also had a big moment when I lost the front end on an off camber descent and went farming. I connected an almighty big rock lurking in the vegetation, but fortunately it was a glancing blow and the fork protectors and sump guard did their work. That woke me up and I slowed the pace down a bit, reminding myself I was doing this for fun and I had a family to go home to. Towards the end of the lap I also missed two left turns and ended up on top of a moerse steep mountain following the old enduro track which was still marked with old markers. I wasn't the only one because on the peak I encountered 5 riders coming back towards me. The error must have cost me around 5 minutes, but the view at the top of the mountain made up for the mistake  :thumleft:

I manage to get past a few riders on the first lap and I was only passed by one guy on a 450, so I was pretty chuffed with myself by the time I got to the pits. Dux refuelled the bike and I had a slug of energy juice and hit the track again.

1. Start of forest section.
2. Coming off a descent
3. Exist corner
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Buff on May 31, 2011, 09:03:59 am
The 2nd lap went better than the first and I managed to get an awesome flow going, having very few "moments" at all.  Being and amatuer, passing riders proved difficult for me. I wasn't aggressive enough to overtake them, so I'd sit behind them for ages, often stuffing things up when I got fixated on their back wheel instead of watching the track ahead. There was a major bottleneck at the one river crossing in the forest where the embankment on the other side was slick as hell and had rocks and roots sticking out. Plenty of riders bought farms going up there, but I was fortunate enough to have 3 clean runs through there. When in doubt, keep it pinned J A few lurking logs lying at 45 degrees also proved the undoing of a few riders, myself included. I'm sure elves had covered them in KY jelly  :D

Towards the end of the 2nd lap Altus and the boys started to lap me. I must be getting better because that started at the beginning of the 2nd lap in Wellington  :) Watching that oke ride a bike is something to behold. He slides and squirts that bike effortlessly, all the while standing on the pegs. I tried to stay with him for a brief moment just to see how he does it, but that was mission impossible  :-[ It was a case of bwaaap, bwaaap and he was gone. Tau was also flying and repaid my kindness of getting out of his way by hooking my bars and giving me a face full of roost  :o Frikkin animal  >:D  :D

By the time I pitted at the end of the 2nd lap I could feel the fitness was fading fast. I was getting arm pump and the hands were cramping. Holding the bars was becoming a mission. Dux got all excited and said if I kept this sort of pace I might be able to fit in a 4th lap... not sure what he was smoking in the pit lane?  ;D I stuffed a banana down the pie hole and glugged some energade and hit the trail again.

1. Dux & Ian refueling the green machine.
2. Into the forest again.
3. One of the riders laying it down just before pit lane  :D
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Buff on May 31, 2011, 09:05:50 am
Oops, missed the pics
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Buff on May 31, 2011, 09:11:34 am
The riders had thinned out a lot by now and I rode a few sections without seeing anybody else. The course was also well marked by now with lekka berms in most of the corners which helped with the traction. Unfortunately my lights went out about quarter of the way through this lap and I lost a lot of time when I started making stupid mistakes. I overshot the one corner and ended up in a thorn tree and had to dismount and wrestle the bike out again. Then I lost it when a rider fell in front of me on a steep decent and I was carrying too much momentum to stop. In an effort to avoid him I swerved off the track and planted the front wheel in a moerse big hole. The bike did an endo but I somehow managed to stop myself from going over the bars  :eek7: I had to dismount again but couldn't get the bike out because all the weight was on the front wheel so I had to lay it on its side and drag it out. By that stage I felt like lying down next to it  :D I was now cramping in my calves & thighs as well   :'(

I was extremely grateful to make it back to the pits and see the chequered flag waving. I was totally stuffed and I very much doubted whether I would have attempted a 4th lap if given the opportunity.

The little KDX went like a rocket again and the re-jetting that Dux had done before the race had improved the bottom end in 2nd and 3rd which helped a ton in getting up the steep mountain sides  :thumleft:

It's 2 days later and my body feels like it's been hit by a bus. This sport is way more demanding than I ever expected and I need to pull my finger out and lose some weight and get fitter... because I'm becoming seriously addicted to hurting myself like this  ;D. I just need to constantly remind myself I'm doing this for fun and not try and chase every bike that's in front of me  :ricky:

All in all it was an awesome track and I loved every minute of it. It had a bit of everything in it. The hectic mud never materialized and the bit that was there was manageable. If all the offroad events are on routes like this I'll be totally in my element.

Thanks to Chilli (Gideon), Alana and all the helpers for putting on a great race  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

1. Corner just before coming into pits.
2. Dux & Ian Loading the bike.
3. Storm clouds on the way home.

Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Pumbaa on May 31, 2011, 09:34:41 am
VERY JEALOUS!!!!!!!! :3some:
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: terminator1 on May 31, 2011, 09:39:41 am
awesome plek to ride it looks like! Well done on oversoming the fatigue. How many hours did you ride in total?
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Buff on May 31, 2011, 09:50:40 am
Thx. Finishing time was around 3hrs20min... well off the pace from fitting in another lap (thank goodness)  :D
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: terminator1 on May 31, 2011, 09:54:05 am
ya, we ride rover for about three hours, but with quite regular breathers. it's sapping and if you aren't fit, can be the first step to a heart attack  :o rover is all sand though - perhaps that terrain is a tad easier?
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Snafu on May 31, 2011, 10:06:14 am
Well done Buff and nice to see the new number :)

The most difficult is probably the reminder...its for fun!! :)
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Buff on May 31, 2011, 10:11:21 am
Stopping for a short while helps a moerse lot, even if it's just to stretch and get your heartrate down a few beats. It's being on the gas the whole time and concentrating like a rabid dog that takes it out of you. Bearing in mind that I might be going slowly in comparison to the front okes but I'm on the absolute limit of my skills basket and pushing as hard as what is safe (and sometimes not)  :)

But for sure, sand is also an absolute bitch and drains you very quickly, as I found that out 2 weeks ago when Yami punished me in the Atlantis dunes on his 700cc quad  :D It's a great way to build up fitness though and I'll be doing more of it in the future  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: tau on May 31, 2011, 11:55:35 am
Well done Buff it gets better with time.......the pain it is nice cause you know you went riding, but it won't stop coming :imaposer:.

Old School Enduro is proper discription of the route. Not hectic technical, but the average speed was low and the corners was lekker fast for the area we where riding.


Now this weekend we will work on that aggresion problem...
Title: Re: Bonnievale Offroad May 2011 - Ride Report
Post by: Buff on May 31, 2011, 11:59:55 am
 :D Thanks Tau & Ossie  :thumleft: You're right, I feel a bit banged up but I'm ready to give it another go a.s.a.p.  ;D

Looking forward to Sat, it's gonna be awesome to be in the presence of so much greatness. I'm bound to have some skills rub off on me  :imaposer: