SMITH OFFROAD >> 2009 Greenridge Enduro Race Report (09 RMEC 7) [2009-07-26]

Two riders blast up the dusty track from the start.
2009 Greenridge Enduro Race Report
The Greenridge Enduro was RMEC's 7th race in the 2009 season. I missed race 6 (Sidney Qualifier), instead spending three days riding up in Taylor Park (see GPS track log here). Greenridge had a good mix of fast, slow, tight, and hard (though not exactly technical) sections.

The Greenridge Enduro was held in Phippsburg, Colorado, just south of Oakcreek, which is itself south-west of Steamboat Springs. It is just under four hours away from Fort Collins, taking the Hwy 14 route. I left home at about 2pm, and with stops, rolled in just after 6pm. The scenery on the route was beautiful. The Poudre river was teaming with people on rafts, kayaks, and tubes having fun in the hot July weather. Local altitude at Greenridge was 7800' and the weather was around 80. Rolling into the site, parts of the track were visible from the dirt road, and later we would learn the course criss-crossed the entire hill to the north of the camping/parking area.

I rode my KTM 250 XCW with Rekluse
Bike Setup
I raced my 2009 KTM 250 XCW (2-stroke). I left its setup the same as the last two races: Rekluse z-start Pro (med/hard), Fastway handguards, e-Line carbon fiber skid plate, SX head, FMF spark arrestor, and FMF Gnarly pipe (the stock pipe was destroyed at Cucharas). I programmed the KTM trip computer for our key time and wrote all the "start" times on a piece of tape on my gas tank so I could know when I was supposed to be somewhere during the race. I also got a new set of tires since the last enduro. I went with a new Pirelli Scorpion Pro front and a Bridgestone M404 rear (with a couple races on it).

I left my jetting the same as what I use at 5000': 38P, N8RJ-3, 162M- even though the manual recommended a little leaner setup. At Taylor Park (10,000'+), I raised the clip one position, and with no way to split the different, I figured I could just leave it and be a little rich at 7800'. I figured I'd have to open the air screw, so I started at 2.0 turns out (compared to 1/2 usual at home altitude). This ran OK but had some bog off idle - which turned out to be an issue on some of the loose, abrupt hills. I ended up messing with the air screw between test sections to get it tuned to idle but not bog as much.

Camping - and parking - was tight. I wedged my trailer and tent in next to the guys from Elite KTM.
I normally wear glasses, but I have contacts that I wear for riding. In combination with the Scott XiNoSweat goggles, I don't get very much dust in my eyes, although I do get some. I use the Works Rolloff system during races which has worked well for me so far. Even on Saturday evening, the dust was already very bad, so I knew getting dust in my contacts would probably be an issue during this race. I threw some contact solution in my Klim pants pocket so I could "wash" my eyes out between tests.

Facility and Camping
Parking was very tight, but I managed to squeeze my Xterra and trailer in next to Don's camper from Elite KTM, and find a relatively flat place to set up camp. There were so many RV's and campers and trailers packed into the limited, hilly, and off-camber parking area, I really didn't want to get stuck in the log-jam when people started to leave on Sunday afternoon. My parking space had two directions I might be able to "escape" (and it did turn out alright in the end). One suggestion for next year: more port-a-potties.

Race Prep and the Start Queue

On the first lap, a course-worker tries to alleviate congestion on a particularly abrupt and loose hill.
I was number 48D, so my start time was 8:48. I wore all my normal gear: Sidi Crossfires, Asterisk knee braces, Thor chest protector, my Leatt neck brace, Arai, and then Klim pants and riding jersey. I had about 60oz of water in my camelback and a couple Cliff "goo" packets in my pants pockets, just in case I started to run out of energy. I always race with a minimal tool kit (including spare plug) in my pack, and I always keep a little screwdriver in my pocket in case I need to adjust the air screw when riding the 2-stroke.

The race course was made up of multiple loops of the same terrain. Each loop started with an 8.4 mile test, then a short (less one mile) transfer, and then another 3 mile test, and then another very short transfer. There were no road transfer sections, and only a few places on the course bounced on a primitive road from time to time: virtually the entire course was on single-track. The trail was almost all "virgin", with only very vague trails visible beyond the "W" course flagging. The new trail was cut over grass in many spots, and the dirt below was very loose and extremely dusty. The C class would race 3 laps while the A/B classes would ultimately race 4.

Several sections in the tests went through moderately tight tree sections.
The route sheet was set up with 20 or 40 minutes between test sections; however, in practice, most people seemed to have 15-30 minutes to spare at the end of each lap.

The starts were dead engine and we had four racers on row 48 (however I didn't see one of them at our first start?). The pecking order was unknown, and I usually let other people go first, but I was started and in gear after only one had started, so off I went. There was no "warm up" section- you blasted right into the first 8.4-mile test. This was probably the worst part of the course for dust. With two or three riders in front of you, it was "white out" conditions and pretty much impossible to see the trail. After maybe a half mile of relatively open terrain, the trail quickly turned tight, with abrupt turns and hills made tricky by loose dirt and close trees. The first "backed-up" section was less than a mile in, with multiple riders stuck on a very steep but very loose uphill left.

Looking down on a big downhill section, the camping site is visible far away at the bottom.
A course-worker was present gesturing riders to "go wide and gas it!" On this first third of the test section, I was in first gear (or fanning the clutch in second) on some of the hills just to power up them.

Towards the middle of the test, we went in and out of sections that included extremely steep and loose downhill sections, and some pretty high tree sections. As the camping area down below came into and out of view, it became obvious that we were following an extreme serpentine path that covered much of the surface area of the big hill to the north of the camping area and dirt access road. From time to time, the trail would loop down around the base, hit a fast fire road or gully for a while, and then turn back into the tight terrain. With only a couple trivial log crossings, the trail was not really technical at all: almost no rocks, no rock gardens, few roots, etc. In some places, rocky would have been preferably to the loose talcy

When you see this, gas it!
dirt which seemed to have less traction than mud. Once down off the hill, the trail made big "W"-shaped loops up and down embankments and smaller hills to get in mileage on GP-like terrain.

The second test section was short and ran through the trees and terrain on the top of the "big hill" again, but it also had an "enduro-cross" section towards its end with inline tire crossings, flat tire crossings, and railroad-tie crossings. Many of the trail riders hadn't ridden over these obstacles before. I was surprised how pliant and soft the tires were-- on my first time over I almost endoed, expecting them to launch me over the top instead of sort-of collapsing under my front tire. The railroad ties were either pretty easy or hard, depending on he tie spacing. During the last lap, there was a backup on one of the harder railroad tie sections; I blasted in, looped the bike, picked it up, and got out of these, managing to pass people in the backup in the process.


Race (cont)
The second and third laps got progressively easier as I learned the terrain and could almost anticipate what was coming up next. As

Here's one of the fast, open sections.
another racer said during one of the resets, "During the first lap, it was like, `What will they throw at us next?'" However, the trail got more loose and even more dusty. As I was gaining confidence and speed, my arms were pretty tired at the middle of the last lap. The guys on my minute were pretty well matched for speed, with passes back and forth on every lap - we were all C-class riders. During the last lap, I caught up with Colin during an inexplicable back-up on a hill (the hill wasn't that hard), but he gained distance on me and ended up a few minutes faster at the end of the lap.

The Greenridge Enduro was definitely a fun race! The terrain wasn't technically hard and the hills weren't even that bad, but if you got tipped over or snagged in a tree, it could be time and energy consuming to get out. The visibility of the other parts of the course could be enticing ("I can catch that guy!") and confusing at times ("Wait, don't we go over there next?!"). I ran this race mostly in 2rd gear, using 1st in a few of the steepest hills, and 3rd and 4th on the open sections. All in all, a fun race!

2009 Greenridge Enduro Helmet-Cam Video
A half-hour compilation of helmet-cam video from the 2009 Greenridge Enduro Race held near Phippsburg, CO. The trails were loose, dry, and very dusty, and mixed between fast and tight. Filmed on a VIO POV.1 helmet camera on Zak Smith, row 48D on a KTM 250 XCW, Vet-C class.
Contents- lap 2 start 9:40; lap 2 transit crash 20:04; lap 3 start 21:09; 3rd lap backup 25:35; loop out on railroad ties 31:29
High Quality. Taking too long? Switch to Low Quality

I managed 5th in Vet-C with 116.57 points down.

Thanks To
RMEC and Timberline Trail Riders - Great Job!

Elite KTM for support!

You're the guy with the helmet-cam?