(Although I have to say, that at a casual glance I would have to call them inconsistent, there are some pretty big time differences for the top riders)
It has been over 10 years since the Los Ancianos club put on their last enduro in Tecate. In the years since then it has been a hare scrambles format. While many of those scrambles have been successful events, they have never had the true flavor of the old style enduros. A couple of years ago the club started talking about putting another enduro together and we have all waited anxiously for that to come to fruition.
This year the club and trail boss Paul Eddy made it all come together with a fantastic technical course that showcased 90 miles of some of the best trails the Tecate area has to offer. Using the newer national enduro format, as well as some of their own creative rules, eliminated the need for timekeeping and allowed everyone to race without having to be worried about computers and odometers.
While the course was quite technical it was not so much so that problems such as bottlenecks developed. Most riders were able to negotiate all the sections without getting too bogged down. The riders were also treated to nearly perfect conditions as the recent rains provided some of the best dirt conditions in recent years. With very little dust and great traction the virgin or seldom used trails were as near to perfect as possible.
The sell out crowd of racers were treated to a mid day lunch stop with food provided by the club. Along with the food there were even tables and chairs for the racers to sit back and bench race before heading out on the third and most technical loop of the day. The final section included some of the new trail that was cut for the 2009 hare scrambles. Last year the this new section was tight and had a number of very narrow side hill trails. This year that section was run in just enough to allow a great flowing race pace.
Mark Kariya photo of me
I chose to the race the 2011 300 Gas Gas Six Days model that I just received for testing. I only had a few break in miles on it before the start of the race, but I already knew that it was going to be a perfect choice for the tight trails. My day started off with a bit of a glitch as I ran out of gas about 50 yards before the end of the second test (and gas stop). To make it worse, I could not see the end of the test so I stopped for a couple of minutes before realizing that I could hear voices nearby. I quickly pushed to the finish line, but dropped a couple of points.
I am not sure of the exact reason for running out of gas. The float level might be too high and is spilling fuel. I did know that the bike was jetted just a little rich, so I dropped the needle at the check. Fortunately on the Gasser this is a simple task and can be completed in just a couple of minutes. After that the bike ran a little stronger and I had no other issues.
The 300 was just the perfect weapon for me and those kinds of conditions. I have to say that overall it was probably the most fun I have had at a race in a number of years. As the day progressed I got more comfortable on the bike and was able to push it more and more. The improvement in the brakes and suspension is quite noticeable over the 2009 Gas Gas that I last tested. So stay tuned for a full test on the GG in the near future after I put a little more abuse on it.
As for the race, it was an absolute success for everyone. It was challenging enough for the fastest riders like Destry Abbott, Charlie Mullins and Russell Bobbitt. In fact the turn out of fast guys was pretty impressive. Yet the course was such that even the casual racers had a great time. Everyone was of the opinion that this should be come the new standard format for the annual Los Ancianos event. Now we just have to talk them into continuing their tradition.