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Author Topic: Racing Panda's AWESOME AMAGEZA 2014: START TO about halfway.  (Read 50578 times)

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Offline MissM

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2014, 01:03:55 pm »
Wait to you hear how I teach underprivileged township kids....  :pot:

Isn't that worth a free entry?  :peepwall:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #41 on: March 13, 2014, 03:00:35 pm »
Wait to you hear how I teach underprivileged township kids....  :pot:

Isn't that worth a free entry?  :peepwall:

Get creative: 130 friends/wildogs/sponsors?

OR even better: R250 per ticket - run a fundraising drive for LEAP - kids do it all the time for sponsored runs etc. - and get your entry paid. You're a girl in a 'boy' sport - you've got a good story... :)

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2014, 03:04:52 pm »
Wait to you hear how I teach underprivileged township kids....  :pot:

Isn't that worth a free entry?  :peepwall:

MissM Don't give up on the dream. Anything is possible :thumleft:

Assuming you had the entry fee, would you be able get the bike ready for it?
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Offline MissM

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2014, 05:20:01 pm »
Max - how does one go about doing something like that? Do I approach the fundraising team at LEAP? Why would LEAP go for it? What do they get out of it?

BB - hypothetically. I need someone to look it over and tell me what I need. I really have no idea how to go about this, but I'd love to do it!
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Offline weskus

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2014, 05:34:23 pm »
Ian, I also bought quite a neat one, just takes about 2 races then it's fine, just do it, or do-it on a R60 Ktm (which I actually reaallly wants) ..

Yeah, I'd happily trade this for one of those, but unfortunately buying one is out of the question.
Jip, same problem here, see you @ the next off-road race, see there's a funride 12th of April in Koringberg  :3some:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2014, 06:22:47 pm »
I sat on the start line with the din of howling racing engines battering my ears, and a fog of two-stroke smoke hanging in the air, thinking: "What the hell have I done? I don't belong here! I am a soulful adventure rider who casts off from society and rides long and far to escape, to cut loose, in search of open vistas and starry skies. What am I doing with this bunch of mad petrol heads???"

But I looked down and I was wrapped in protective plastic, sitting on a tiny angry wasp of a plastic motorcycle - and I was actually adding to the cacophony.  Am I one of them?

There wasn't much time to think about what I was doing, or what was going to happen, because we were off. My game plan was simple - stay out of everyone's way, drift to the back of the field and coast around checking out this crazy scene.

I sort of did that, but then we got to this first really steep hill, and I was cruising up it serenely and then some fool (haha) crashed half way up and fell right in front of me and knocked me over. And it was so loose there was no getting going again on the hill, and by the time I was back on track I was bringing up the rear or just about. So, the next fifteen kays or so passed in relative solitude, which suited me - I was getting the hang of the bike, which I'd only ridden briefly once, and finding out how to deal with a two-stroke power band and the almost complete absence of torque.

Eventually I came across this huge hill (it had a name, but I can't for the life of me remember it), and saw about twenty bikes littered across its slopes. It looked like a mini-Erzberg scene, and I joined the two guys waiting at the bottom for the carnage to clear so we could have a run at it. Eventually one of them said he's going, and somehow he found a line through the chaos and made it up. The other guy had already had a crack and failed, so it was my turn and I took a deep breath.

That little KDX - vintage off road race bike though she may be - is a mountain goat. We blasted up the hill no problem, and got a bunch of places back into the bargain. The rest of the lap passed without incident (apart from a tiny sideways somersault in the riverbed ravine) - Lap 1: done!

This is quite easy, I thought. I can do this. So I passed my pits - well, actually I hadn't managed to find them before the race - ate a quick energy bar and cruised on. Oh, I forgot to mention - I somewhat shamefully got lapped before the end of lap 1!

Lap 2 passed pretty much without incident. Cruised easily up the steep hills, and had picked up a bit of pace over the first lap, but then had a wipeout from a pure lack of concentration going down the steep hill to the ravine section. Scooterbike/Dirk from this forum was marshalling and he was behind me at this point. I was battling a bit at the beginning of the ravine section and he yelled at me that I needed to put my kickstand up. I kicked. It fell down. I kicked. It fell down. Damn spring had disappeared - probably in my last off. I yelled for cable ties (note to self for next race) but he had none - ever the helpful marshall, however, he returned with some red and white barrier tape and threw it down to me in the gorge. I tied up and finished lap 2, luckily bumping into my pit as I did. I ran to the car for petrol and cable ties, and gave my ride a bit of TLC.

Somewhat ominously, as I started Lap 3 I felt the twinges of cramp setting in. I was a bit surprised, as I wasn't feeling that tired. But apparently my body felt differently. About five kays in I stopped to re-attach a strap on my chest protector - a lovely bit of fancy new Leatt kit that makes you feel invincible - and got lapped by a few more bikes. Cruising on it became clear I was about to start a cramp fest of note. I started riding like a granny, mostly because just about every muscle in my body that was needed to control the bike was going into revolt. But I was having fun anyway, in a slow motion kind of way.

A newbie should always get a bit of a slap when having the cheek to do something they are completely unqualified for. At the bottom of the riverbed ravine was a huge bundle of old barbed wire that I'd passed twice already. This time, I somehow managed to pick it up with my fat knobblies, and wrap the entire thing around my wheel, chain and swingarm. I lent the bike down against the sand and pondered my predicament. I was going nowhere! Like an uneducated idiot I'd brought no tools of any description. But luckily some kind samaritan stopped and gave me a leatherman. I took about twenty minutes to cut the damn stuff off - alternately jumping out of the track and getting roosted by the fast guys coming past, but eventually my bike was free. Honestly, I'd probably been glad for the break.

I got back on and limped to the finish, delighted to see the chequered flag, as there was no way I'd have made another lap. I'd discovered that one can cramp in one's shoulder, under one's ribs, and even in one's appendix. And I don't have an appendix. I've just had a recovery nap at home, and I'm still cramping!

So, summary of the day? It's a strange world out there in the off-road motorsports fraternity. But I'm going to be an imposter for a little while. I'm coming back for sure - I'm guessing in two or three days I'll already be scheming about the next one. And this is definitely going to get my fitness and riding up to scratch for the Amageza - which was the master plan anyway. Three laps done - not too bad for a first attempt, but I'm going faster next time! The little bike was brilliant, but the suspension needs some serious attention. It's six years old - an oil change and re-gas is a good start, and maybe some new front springs because I was bottoming out a lot. It's a strong little goat - I definitely have enough power, for now anyway!

Clearly I have work to do on the old body!! I do quite a bit of long distance cycling, and unfortunately I suffer a lot from cramps in endurance events, but this was one of the worst ever. I probably need to work out some kind of proper rehydrate/electrolyte system, and I may not have drunk enough. Bailey/Richard from the forum was kind enough to swing over this shot - a helmet cam for sure next time! Bring it!


Offline SteveD

Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #46 on: March 15, 2014, 06:48:06 pm »
Well done  :thumleft: You write beautifully, I look forward to the next installment.
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #47 on: March 15, 2014, 07:57:54 pm »
Success!! Well done Ian!! :hello2: :hello2: You did really well!
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Offline BiG DoM

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #48 on: March 15, 2014, 08:30:20 pm »
Well done - nothing ventured, nothing gained. Those KDX's can still do the job, my lightie won his Junior U21 race today on his  :ricky:
I am sure I probably do not have to tell you about Magnesium tablets for cramp prevention - regular dosing and pre-race. 32GI has a great drink and recovery shake  :thumleft:
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Offline Cracker

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #49 on: March 15, 2014, 08:55:02 pm »
I sat on the start line with the din of howling racing engines battering my ears, and a fog of two-stroke smoke hanging in the air, thinking: "What the hell have I done? I don't belong here! I am a soulful adventure rider who casts off from society and rides long and far to escape, to cut loose, in search of open vistas and starry skies. What am I doing with this bunch of mad petrol heads???"

But I looked down and I was wrapped in protective plastic, sitting on a tiny angry wasp of a plastic motorcycle - and I was actually adding to the cacophony.  Am I one of them?

There wasn't much time to think about what I was doing, or what was going to happen, because we were off. My game plan was simple - stay out of everyone's way, drift to the back of the field and coast around checking out this crazy scene.

I sort of did that, but then we got to this first really steep hill, and I was cruising up it serenely and then some fool (haha) crashed half way up and fell right in front of me and knocked me over. And it was so loose there was no getting going again on the hill, and by the time I was back on track I was bringing up the rear or just about. So, the next fifteen kays or so passed in relative solitude, which suited me - I was getting the hang of the bike, which I'd only ridden briefly once, and finding out how to deal with a two-stroke power band and the almost complete absence of torque.

Eventually I came across this huge hill (it had a name, but I can't for the life of me remember it), and saw about twenty bikes littered across its slopes. It looked like a mini-Erzberg scene, and I joined the two guys waiting at the bottom for the carnage to clear so we could have a run at it. Eventually one of them said he's going, and somehow he found a line through the chaos and made it up. The other guy had already had a crack and failed, so it was my turn and I took a deep breath.

That little KDX - vintage off road race bike though she may be - is a mountain goat. We blasted up the hill no problem, and got a bunch of places back into the bargain. The rest of the lap passed without incident (apart from a tiny sideways somersault in the riverbed ravine) - Lap 1: done!

This is quite easy, I thought. I can do this. So I passed my pits - well, actually I hadn't managed to find them before the race - ate a quick energy bar and cruised on. Oh, I forgot to mention - I somewhat shamefully got lapped before the end of lap 1!

Lap 2 passed pretty much without incident. Cruised easily up the steep hills, and had picked up a bit of pace over the first lap, but then had a wipeout from a pure lack of concentration going down the steep hill to the ravine section. Scooterbike/Dirk from this forum was marshalling and he was behind me at this point. I was battling a bit at the beginning of the ravine section and he yelled at me that I needed to put my kickstand up. I kicked. It fell down. I kicked. It fell down. Damn spring had disappeared - probably in my last off. I yelled for cable ties (note to self for next race) but he had none - ever the helpful marshall, however, he returned with some red and white barrier tape and threw it down to me in the gorge. I tied up and finished lap 2, luckily bumping into my pit as I did. I ran to the car for petrol and cable ties, and gave my ride a bit of TLC.

Somewhat ominously, as I started Lap 3 I felt the twinges of cramp setting in. I was a bit surprised, as I wasn't feeling that tired. But apparently my body felt differently. About five kays in I stopped to re-attach a strap on my chest protector - a lovely bit of fancy new Leatt kit that makes you feel invincible - and got lapped by a few more bikes. Cruising on it became clear I was about to start a cramp fest of note. I started riding like a granny, mostly because just about every muscle in my body that was needed to control the bike was going into revolt. But I was having fun anyway, in a slow motion kind of way.

A newbie should always get a bit of a slap when having the cheek to do something they are completely unqualified for. At the bottom of the riverbed ravine was a huge bundle of old barbed wire that I'd passed twice already. This time, I somehow managed to pick it up with my fat knobblies, and wrap the entire thing around my wheel, chain and swingarm. I lent the bike down against the sand and pondered my predicament. I was going nowhere! Like an uneducated idiot I'd brought no tools of any description. But luckily some kind samaritan stopped and gave me a leatherman. I took about twenty minutes to cut the damn stuff off - alternately jumping out of the track and getting roosted by the fast guys coming past, but eventually my bike was free. Honestly, I'd probably been glad for the break.

I got back on and limped to the finish, delighted to see the chequered flag, as there was no way I'd have made another lap. I'd discovered that one can cramp in one's shoulder, under one's ribs, and even in one's appendix. And I don't have an appendix. I've just had a recovery nap at home, and I'm still cramping!

So, summary of the day? It's a strange world out there in the off-road motorsports fraternity. But I'm going to be an imposter for a little while. I'm coming back for sure - I'm guessing in two or three days I'll already be scheming about the next one. And this is definitely going to get my fitness and riding up to scratch for the Amageza - which was the master plan anyway. Three laps done - not too bad for a first attempt, but I'm going faster next time! The little bike was brilliant, but the suspension needs some serious attention. It's six years old - an oil change and re-gas is a good start, and maybe some new front springs because I was bottoming out a lot. It's a strong little goat - I definitely have enough power, for now anyway!

Clearly I have work to do on the old body!! I do quite a bit of long distance cycling, and unfortunately I suffer a lot from cramps in endurance events, but this was one of the worst ever. I probably need to work out some kind of proper rehydrate/electrolyte system, and I may not have drunk enough. Bailey/Richard from the forum was kind enough to swing over this shot - a helmet cam for sure next time! Bring it!



Cool write-up  :thumleft: :thumleft:

Brings me out in a cold sweat, reading this - I remember those same feelings from just a few weeks ago.

Dreading the next race but can't wait for it to hurry up and get here  :peepwall:
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Offline Buff

Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #50 on: March 15, 2014, 09:21:41 pm »
Well done Ian, you did really well for your first attempt at this  :thumleft: The force is strong in you, you will be back for plenty more  ;)

I only just got home now, feeling decidedly buggered  :-\

« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 09:22:08 pm by Buff »
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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #51 on: March 15, 2014, 09:59:11 pm »
You are such a closet petrol head...


I am a soulful adventure rider who casts off from society and rides long and far to escape, to cut loose, in search of open vistas and starry skies. What am I doing with this bunch of mad petrol heads???"
 

 ;D
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #52 on: March 15, 2014, 10:56:44 pm »
Well done - nothing ventured, nothing gained. Those KDX's can still do the job, my lightie won his Junior U21 race today on his  :ricky:
I am sure I probably do not have to tell you about Magnesium tablets for cramp prevention - regular dosing and pre-race. 32GI has a great drink and recovery shake  :thumleft:

Bought some USM cramp block yesterday - had two last night, four before the race and a couple during when I pitted. Did nothing for me. I guess it's fitness, fitness, fitness. I'm just super predisposed to cramping unfortunately...

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #53 on: March 15, 2014, 10:59:33 pm »
You are such a closet petrol head...


I am a soulful adventure rider who casts off from society and rides long and far to escape, to cut loose, in search of open vistas and starry skies. What am I doing with this bunch of mad petrol heads???"
 

 ;D

Well YOU should know!

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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #54 on: March 15, 2014, 11:01:21 pm »
Well done Ian, you did really well for your first attempt at this  :thumleft: The force is strong in you, you will be back for plenty more  ;)

I only just got home now, feeling decidedly buggered  :-\


Thanks Brett - really cool to meet you. I skulked out of there straight away and went home for some shuteye. Seeya at the next one! ciao >

Offline Garfield

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #55 on: March 16, 2014, 09:35:11 am »
Well done  :thumleft:

Still wanted to see the almost new little KDX yesterday but you were too fast  :ricky:
 

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #56 on: March 16, 2014, 12:33:34 pm »
Well done!!!  I will be following this thread with interest.  I pray that my time will come too for Amageza somehow.

Offline weskus

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #57 on: March 17, 2014, 10:50:00 am »
Well done.. :thumleft:
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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #58 on: March 17, 2014, 01:42:33 pm »
 :thumleft:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Racing Panda's Road to Amageza!
« Reply #59 on: March 25, 2014, 04:52:55 pm »
Why am I not attracted to trail running, professional frisbee or judo... i.e. a sport that can be done with less than 3 pieces of equipment, and for which it's impossible for obsessive magazines to exist, simply because there's absolutely nothing to write about? I mean, let's be honest, comparing this Nike trail shoe against that New Balance one, and debating the features of heart rate monitors until the cows come home is all a bit anorak. They need to man up and get involved in a proper gear-oriented sport! [Cough] I hope my girlfriend isn't reading this. And to think I considered kite-surfing expensive when I was addicted to that a few years back??

Haring through the desert at high speed is fundamentally unsafe, let's be honest. [God, I really hope she isn't reading this!] But one can kit up to offset the risk. Highsiding my 690 in Angola last year cost me R10k in hospital and plastic surgeon bills - and that was just the medical aid excess - so I now think safety gear is cheap at the price. Buy some decent shit and wear it all the time!

Somewhat disappointingly, I've discovered that adventure gear and race gear has very little overlap. OK, the boots can stay:



BMW make some reasonable enduro-style boots at a cheap price. They ain't no SIDI Crossfires, and the toe caps have fallen off, but nothing Cape Town's wonderful Rocksole crowd can't put back together. Been running them the last couple years on my adventure bike and I'm pretty happy.

But that's as far as I'd come with protective gear, except for some adventure pants and a DriRider Rally jacket. So it was time to melt the card. Leatt, being a SA company, offer pretty good pricing for their stuff in SA, and seem to be the class of the field in protection. So I ponied up for one of their latest 5.5 neck braces and chest protector.





The HD Pro is their top-of-the-line protector, and it's a fantastic piece of kit. Fits under the jersey or over it. and has slots that the neck brace fits into. Despite looking super chunky, it's actually quite slim and light and I don't notice it while riding. It also has rib protection, which I don't think any of the other protectors on the market have, and softish 3DF foam under the plastic to make it more comfortable. High marks!

The neck brace is also super awesome. I'd held off getting one for years cause it was another irritating piece of gear to cart around, but that's silly logic. I really don't notice it when it's on. It 'locks in' to the chest protector with slots and straps, and you feel like you've got a shell around you - a bit like a funky tortoise.



They may have a slight QC issue though - the little pads keep falling off - but Amanda from Dirtriders is trying to get them to sort that out. Let's see...

I went for the separate chest protector cause the adventure-style pressure suits seemed very big and clunky, didn't fit all that well, and the elbow guards are very loose on my body. So I picked up a pair of separate hard shell elbow and knee guards. I think I may have screwed up on the elbow guards - Leatt's 3DF elbow guards look like a more comfortable product and the key issue is that they don't budge when you come off the bike. These ones may still swivel around a bit too easily. May have to investigate more.

One tough choice was knee braces... they're fookin' expensive. Leatt have a pretty revolutionary product coming in soon called the C-Brace or something like that.



About half the price of the other premium stuff - so I've just got some guards for now and I'm going to wait and see what they look like. R5k or so is another tough pill to swallow, but ligament damage would cost a lot more, fo' shiz!



I like my new gear so much I just kit up and sit around the house all day.

After the very tentative Botrivier race, which was my first real ride on the KDX a couple weeks back, and where I came just about last, I got out at Zone 7 for an afternoon's training this weekend. Lifted the bars a bit more - I'm 6'3" - and although it seemed a bit odd at first after half an hour I could feel my confidence improve dramatically, and my speed increase. The body's going to need some long hours going round and round that track and the MX track to get the muscles used to that kind of position and activity. But a jol it was and will be...!

I can already see the little bike is going to develop skills much quicker than the big bike. It's much more up for being chucked around and if I bin it I can laugh, sit up, dust off and get back on. Much less fear of expensive repairs. It's also about much more exciting things happening at much slower speeds. At the moment I'm wondering if enduro doesn't sound like a lot more fun than rally racing.... but let's see what the year brings. I've been perving the Tuareg rally write-ups on ADVRider today. This is a sickness!

I leave you with this: