finished my first dutch enduro! not a big deal?
well … maybe not, although i tend to think that riding off road for 4.5 hours is pretty good under any circumstances. dutch enduro tracks may not be too technically challenging, but … let me explain.
the start is already pretty tough. no, not the start of the race, getting up at 5.30h in the morning to get there on time. it is for me, especially on a saturday. at least the weather was fine, we saw a great sunrise on our way to geesteren. sound’s pretty weird, doesn’t it? whatever. got myself a day license, got ready. exciting times.
a little meditation before the start helps focussing on the trials that are to come. well, maybe i was rather a little tired, too. certainly looks a bit like it. last check: protectors, boots, gloves, helmet, goggles, drinking bag, tools. no, this is not a major expedition to the uncharted and wild east of the netherlands, just one-day enduro. yes, i need all that stuff.
then the start. in the earlier days we were sometimes a little nervous whether the bike would start or not – you have to push it out of the depot and are not allowed to start it until your starting time has come, then you got one minute to get going – but nowadays those very considerate guys from ktm have introduced this little starter button. nice feature. won’t miss it.
this is the only sort-of action picture. well, not action as such. anyway, me on the bike.
a bit on the small side, too, i agree, but to be fair i have to say that it is pretty difficult to make good action pictures of an enduro race. the track is long (70 km in this case) and most of the race is a bit tucked away from interested visitors. which definitely does not make it a spectator sport. this is also why kris usually does not come along; i don’t blame her, it is pretty boring. to watch, that is.
so, off i went. the track was pretty much what i expected. straight, 90 degrees, straight, 90 degrees, straight … and flat! quite some tarmac, lots of fields, some off road tracks. not too difficult. what i did not really expect was the speed these guys expect you to do. 70km and 85 minutes: an average of nearly 50 km/h!
you see the straights in a different light, i can tell you, when you are forced to go over them with speeds in excess of 80, max over 110. never went that fast in an enduro race before. a bit scary, and i do love to keep my bones in one piece! getting old, i suppose, but then again i’m not getting paid for putting vital parts of my anatomy at stake.
i thought i would have a nice time – the weather was dry, no mud, which is definitely a bonus – but it wasn’t to be. got one minute in the first lap, and another one on the last (third) one. i was simply too tired to push. the last cross test was a bit difficult.
‘brain to right hand: could you grab the brake, please … and could you do it now? … shit. ok, we overshot the berth. thanks, left hand, good going grabbing the clutch. let it go now. left hand … the clutch … left hand, this is your wakeup call, let go of that stupid lever now … ok, feet on the pegs … stand up …. feet: can’t …. tired … eyes: whoops ahe-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d …. bum: thank you very much ….’
changing (to more civil clothes) after the race was a real challenge, i can tell you. really. anyway, i did it, and considering i had almost no practise for the last 6 months – and certainly not the right physical condition either – just plainly finishing was ok. in the rag-tag class of the one-day-licensees i finished 27th out of 55, pretty disappointing, but then again what could i expect? need some more training, got some real bad times on the cross tests.
no, not because i got lost. 😉
it is just tuesday and i can almost walk normally, too! there is another one coming up this weekend, but i’m not sure … it’s raining. can’t see how i plough through the mud at 80 km/h. no way.
maybe i’ll jut relax a little. i’ll decide on friday. 😉