SMITH OFFROAD >> 2009 Sno-Shoe Enduro Race Report (09 RMEC 8) [2009-08-16]

The Sno-Shoe enduro featured great trails and organization. The dust hanging in the air is visible in the sunlight here at the start.
2009 Sno-Shoe Enduro Race Report
RMEC's 8th race of the 2009 season was Sno-Shoe. Held on public land west of Montrose, it featured fast, flowing trails with select rocky and rooty sections and was a lot of fun.

The Sno-Shoe Enduro is held near Montrose, Colorado, which is west of Gunnision. The drive from Fort Collins takes just over six hours if traffic is favorable. I packed up and left at about 8:30 AM, taking I25 to 270 to US 285. With a couple stops for gas and food, I rolled in around 3pm. The race site itself is 45 minutes west of Montrose, most of that on dirt and gravel roads. There were two large areas for camping, with the request that tent campers (ie non totally "self contained") camp near the porta-potties. I usually like to tent camp in trees for shade and shelter from the wind. Many of these spots were taken, but I was able to sneak in between two campers in the woods-- and one of them turned out to be the owner of Vast Action Photography!

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 three 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 Pirelli Scorpion Pro front and a Bridgestone M404 rear (with a few races on it).

I tweaked my jetting a little bit, but mostly left it similar to my setting for 5000': 38P, N8RW-3, 162M. Last race I ran N8RJ, and I wanted to experiment with it a little richer at low throttle settings to get more pull at low speed and avoid some of the bog I had at Greenridge.

The site had good camping, but remember folks: turn off your generators at night!
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.

Facility and Camping
The facility was very nice. There was ample room in the two main camping areas with porta-potting and trees for camping. For those that wanted to be spaced out away from everyone, there were more camping areas in the forest. I managed to find a good camping spot close to the bathrooms, sign-up, and the main start area. My only complaint is that one guy left his generator on all night and it was extremely annoying.

Race Prep and the Start Queue
My row number was 41D, so I started at 8:41. There were three other C-class riders on my row: a dad and son pair, and another guy on a Kawasaki. I wore all my normal gear: Sidi Crossfires, Asterisk knee

The start was on sandy double-track. Low visibility in dust made passing a little scary here.
braces, Thor chest protector, my Leatt neck brace, Arai, and then Klim pants and riding jersey. I had about 70oz 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. Row 1A was reserved for Jary Penney, who recently passed away.

The C class route was four test sections separated by mostly short transit sections. The trails were all moto/ATV trails on public land, and there was no other traffic on these trails during the race. The terrain ranged from sandy double-track (at the start), to fast, good-traction double-track trails through trees, to some rocky and roots, to some tight and thin singletrack. The first three test sections were between 7 and 12 miles, separated by short 1/2 mile transit sections. After the third test, A/B riders had a transit and then another test, while C riders just had the 8 mile transit back to pits. The 4th lap started the same place as the 1st test, but quickly branched off to new terrain. After the fourth test, there was another long transit back to the pits, and the A/B riders had one last test.

The trail itself was not very technical, nor very tight. The trails had good flow and were fast for the most part. There were a few sections that were moderately rocky, and some rocky and rooty hills, but nothing really bad or technical. The last part of the 2nd test section was notably fast. My speed on these fast sections was limited only by how well I could see through or beyond the dust kicked up by those riders ahead of me.

Chase through the trees!
The route sheet schedule had some break time between the tests, and I had at least 10 minutes to wait before every reset. I had almost an hour between getting back from the transit after the 3rd test until the restart for the 4th and final C test.

The starts were dead engine and we had four racers on row 41. 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 test. The dirt was loose and there was quite a bit of dust kicked up on this first section. Soon the trail closed up a little bit and became single-track and there was less traffic. There were almost no backed-up sections, just a little traffic now and then on two or three short, abrupt tricky hills (if you were going too slow anyway).


A few rocky hills were thrown in to keep us honest. I'd catch this guy on rocky sections and he'd lose me when it opened up and he could take advantage of the 4-stroke power.
Race (cont)
I started off kind of slow on the first test, but I was warmed up on the second test. The terrain on the second test also seemed faster. Once I saw a rider on my row out ahead, I got motivated to catch him, and that's what I tried to do until the check. He would slow down on the rocky or uphill sections, and I'd catch up, and then on the wide-open parts, the 4-stroke power of his bike would make me catch up again. Catching and passing someone in the dust was a real challenge due to low visibility: I knew his line was OK to follow at-speed, but branching out to my own line could be dangerous since I couldn't fully see the ground for obstacles. The third test started in some real tight trees on the side of a ravine, with some steep downhills. This got backed up a little bit since there were no places to pass. This terrain gave way to double-track that was extremely overgrown. The fourth C-class test started on the sandy double-track but quickly gave way to some flowy singletrack in an aspen forest, which was pretty awesome. This gave way to rocky, rooty double-track until the check. The whole second half of this test I was right on the Kawasaki's tail, but unable to get past him.

The Sno-show enduro was a great and very fun race! The terrain was excellent; the trails flowed well, and the pace was fast. The resets were paced out so even C class riders had a chance to rest and get water. The weather was perfect, with a hint of cool in the air.

2009 Sno-Shoe Enduro Helmet-Cam Video
A 20-minute compilation of helmet-cam video from the 2009 Sno-Shoe Enduro Race held near Monstrose, CO. The trails included both single track and fast double-track, with a few rocks and roots for good measure. Filmed on a VIO POV.1 helmet camera on Zak Smith, row 41D on a KTM 250 XCW, Vet-C class.
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TBD when posted to RMEC.

Thanks To
RMEC and Book Cliff Rattlers MC club - Great Job!

Elite KTM for support!