Sawmill Enduro

By Mike Baxter on

I rode the Sawmill enduro on Saturday. The End......

OK, key time was at 9:00 AM and I signed up on Friday night and made my way back to Ukiah to my room at the Motel 6. Back at the motel, I put number 15T on my bike and programmed my Checkmate. Then, I finished my beer and went to sleep. I got up at 6:00, put on my gear and headed out. The first stop was for gas and coffee. I picked up a Cliff bar for breakfast, because I really don't do breakfast. During my 38 mile drive to Middle Creek camp ground I forced myself to eat the Cliff barr and sipped coffee. Once I got there I taped my score card on my fender and checked my bike over. The tires needed air if I didn't want a pinch flat. Then, I checked my steering damper tower and it needed to be tightened. &^%$%^&*!!!!!!!! One of the bolts stripped and I had to remove the damn thing. No steering damper for me. So, I'm annoyed and I take of in 30 minutes. Oh well, I put it out of my mind and start thinking about how great the conditions are right now. It had rained in the area, but not too much. I was stoked to get on the trails.

I met the other guys on my minute at the start. 1 guy on a Husky 450 riding the A 4-stroke class. 1 guy on a Honda CRF riding the Super Senior class and another Super Senior on a KTM. I ended up leading the way on the minute. The trail that normally gets used to take us up sled ridge at the beginning was not used this year. There was a new trail and it was nice. It's what I call C rider friendly. The conditions were good to great depending on the terrain. Last year, it rained way too much and the event was called at check 6 after tons of water related DNFs. I overslept and missed it. Darn! Unfortunately, the ruts created last year are pretty bad and made choosing lines even more important. I chose poorly once and got stuck in a rut. Add to it that my stomache and the Cliff bar did not like each other. I had to get off the bike to puke. There went a few minutes. I clipped a tree with my bark busters on got off leaving a bruise the size of Rhode Island on my right quad. That made the leg start cramping about 65 miles into the event. The only other crash I remember is the high speed fire road low side that seemed to take an eternity. I swear I was falling for 50 yards. I caught a rut on a super slick fire road and the bike just went down. I'm definitely putting new tires on the bike before the next race. I missed a turn and that gave me a couple points that I shouldn't have gotten. The North Bay Motorcycle Club gave us A and B riders competing for overall points a third loop. It was pretty cool. They ran us up hill on the fire road for a few miles and dumped us over the edge on steep single track downhill that went on and on and on and on...........Once it finally leveled out it was just sweet TST through the lush under growth and trees. They dumped us out at the creek and sent us through the rocks and trees along the edge of the creek. It was tough and fun. Then it was into the water where I stalled my bike. I had a hard time getting it started, but no water entered the airbox. The check was only 30 feet away and the clock was ticking. I finally got the bike started and stalled again trying to find 1st gear. Doh! Anyway, It started right back up and I finished 6 minutes down on the final check 38 points down overall. It should be more like 29, but mistakes and puking cost me dearly. I cannot thank Aftershocks more for providing me with suspension that works so well. It is the shiznit!

Mike Baxter

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