KDX in National Enduro Series

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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by KDXGarage » 01:12 am Mar 11 2019

Thanks for the report and congratulations on racing!

Cool ass pop up camper, thirdgenlxi!
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by doakley » 06:07 pm Mar 17 2019

New clutch pack in the EFM auto clutch seems to have solved a lot of problems. Not slipping so much anymore and rode for a couple of hours today on very tight single track without overheating at all. I think I’m ready for the Alligator National Enduro this coming weekend, or as ready as I’m going to get anyway.

Forecast to be dry in Daytona area all week so hopefully there won’t be as much of the infamous Alligator mud to navigate!

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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by KDXGarage » 06:38 pm Mar 17 2019

Good! I know you were dealing with that for a while.
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by doakley » 09:51 pm Mar 21 2019

Who Hooo! KDXRIDER.NET will be on the starting line at the Alligator National Enduro this weekend. Thanks Julien D!! I'll finish packing up the trailer tomorrow afternoon then my buddy, Travis, and I head south at "O-dark-thirty" Saturday morning.
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by KDXGarage » 11:16 pm Mar 21 2019

Nice!

Best of luck!
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by GATOROC » 06:52 am Mar 24 2019

Very inspirational to see you getting back into riding, and especially racing! Thanks for keeping us updated on your racing adventure, and BTW, nice bike. :grin:
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by doakley » 04:21 pm Mar 25 2019

Alligator Sightings!!

How many of you have a "bucket list"? You know, things you just gotta' do before you leave the planet? One of the items on my personal list is, or now perhaps I can say "was", riding in the Alligator National Enduro. This weekend, with a little help from my friends, I was able to check that item off my list! Rolling down I-95 with my friend Travis driving his van pulling my cargo trailer, we were talking about expectations for the enduro, how we hoped to do in the event. I predicted Travis would get 3rd in class, a "podium" finish and that I just wanted to finish the event, no matter how long it took. Travis, in his calm way, simply said, "you can do better". I said, possibly but not realistically. The 65+ class was large for an enduro, 17 people had pre-entered. I recognized some of the names and felt like a top 10 finish was a fantasy for me. I would be happy just to realize a 47 year old dream and finish the event.

Short version, I realized my dream this weekend by finishing the 2019, 68th annual Alligator Enduro! To make it even more memorable, I have to tell you Travis was right.....I managed to finish a respectable 7th in class! Sometime, perhaps tomorrow, my head just may shrink back down to its normal size. I managed to take a few pics before the event and I made a couple of new friends that promised to send me riding pictures over the next few days. If they come through I'll put something up.
And oh yeah, Travis...3rd in the 40+C class as predicted!



Kenda is the title sponsor of the NEPG National Enduro Series. As such, they have a huge display of tires at each event with a "recommended" rear tire choice for each, based on anticipated terrain and conditions. You can purchase their recommended tire (Southwick II for the Alligator) or most any other Kenda tire. For an additional $15 they will mount it for you. I already had a good IRC soft terrain tire mounted so passed. I'll probably take advantage of their services before we get into hard rocky races though.
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We got there pretty early Saturday afternoon so the registration line was short. Of course I had to buy the souvenir tee shirt!
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Just had to pose for this shot. Probably the only time you'll see me on the podium!
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I was able to find our own "DDR26" from the KDXRIDER.NET forums who served as Trail Boss, responsible for the course layout. This is Travis on the left, me on the right and DDR26 in the middle. I'm holding up the route sheet and trying to get some tips from DDR26.
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And here is the proof!
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Impressions and comments: Racing in the Florida sand is a little different for me. I've seen my share of sand whoops but I got my first exposure to palmetto stumps in this race. We rode one section where the sadistic crew had posted a sign saying "Palmetto Hell". I gotta' tell you, it was just that! Glad we had an early number (row 2) because I heard it was really a mess after the pro riders got through chewing it up! FYI, the top pro riders are usually assigned to rows 31 and back in order of their prior race finish. They want enough of us "cannon fodder" riders up front to knock out some of the limbs but not so many as to clog up the trails in front of them. They don't really care how rough the trail gets since they fly over this stuff at speeds that normal riders can't even imagine. If you've never been passed in a race by a pro hell-bent on winning the overall, it is an experience for sure! I can say this, thank goodness it did not rain and was dry.

The woods in FL are also a little different. There's actually a mixture of really, really (did I say really?) tight small pine trees interspersed with those damn palmetto stumps. I'm talking the kind of tight where your bars don't fit through and just as you do manage to get between the trees, wham! Your front tire rockets off a Palmetto stump and you shoot off blazing your own personal trail through this thick mess! I wish I had a GoPro so I could share some of this stuff with you. It would be worth your while to search on YouTube. NEPG usually puts up a highlights video.

The bike: This stuff is heaven for a KDX and the bike was perfect. One rider on a Suzuki actually told me at a checkpoint that he wished he had ridden his father's KDX instead. Jared at SR1 Suspension set me up perfectly again. Best of all, the new clutch pack solved the auto clutch and overheating problem. Not an issue all day. (BTW, I may have to start sleeping with the auto-clutch. I'm in love with it and don't want to ever ride tight, gnarly single track without it again!)

That's about it for now. Big shout out to DDR26 and the entire gang at the Daytona Dirt Riders. Excellent course and excellent event. I'm looking forward to returning next year (if it doesn't rain. I'm not going into "Palmetto Hell" in the rain!)

Next stop is the Cajun Classic enduro in Forest Hill, Lousiana. Yeah man! Bring on some Cajun' Crawfish and Gumbo!

Cheers!

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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by KDXGarage » 08:35 pm Mar 25 2019

That is INCREDIBLE!! CONGRATULATIONS on your seventh, his third and everything that went with it! I am also glad to hear that the clutch work improved it for you. I know that was bugging you earlier.

MAN!! JUST WONDERFUL!!
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by John_S » 02:26 pm Mar 26 2019

Wow! Great job on the 7th place finish. Thank you for sharing your experience. We're rooting for you.

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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by doakley » 06:54 pm Apr 11 2019

Hey, guys (and gals)! Just doing a little updating on the NEPG National Enduro series. They've had a couple of changes. If you go wayyy back to my original post, you'll see a schedule summary. Unfortunately the race scheduled for May 12th in Arrington, VA, the Dragon's Back Enduro, was cancelled due to land issues. Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more of a problem, especially for enduro events which do not cover the same trails twice. We need enough land to lay out 50-65 miles of trails, including transfer sections, as opposed to say a hare scrambles which typically runs multiple laps on the same 6-12 mile course. I don't know all the details, just that it was cancelled. I was especially sorry to hear this since the Dragon's Back was to be held about 35 miles from my daughter's home. I was planning on showing the two boys, 5 & 6, around the grounds and them have them watch "Pops" at the start. Oh well....

To their credit, the people at NEPG got in touch with the folks at the Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club in Alabama and they agreed to make the 51st annual Gobbler Getter enduro a national event again this year. It's another long drive from coastal NC, but I really liked their event and course last fall. Looking forward to riding it again for sure.

This week I pimped out my race trailer/camper a bit more. See how you like these photos.
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The KDXRIDER.NET sticker I obtained from Julien D (same as the one on my fender). I found the Team Green sticker online. I like it, although my buddy Travis has started loading his Honda in his van now and towing my trailer with only the KDX inside!

The next race is scheduled for April 28, in Forest Hill, LA. I don't have medical clearance to ride in it yet (still recovering from the back issue) so I haven't pre-entered. I am planning on going though right now even though I haven't been able to train due to the back. I'm in much worse condition than I had planned at this point. Unfortunately not pre-entering will probably put me in the back so I'm really hoping it doesn't rain! Last year this enduro was cancelled due to excessively wet conditions. It is held entirely inside a national forest so there is pressure not to tear up the land too much lest we lose use of it for future races.

I'm pretty excited about riding in this event. At the moment, after only the first 2 of 10 races, I've got a thin grasp on 5th place in the points standings. Now would be a bad time to miss a race! There are already 15 people registered in 65+, a pretty large class for us geezers. A top 10 finish would go a long way and since Daytona, I've seen I can do it!
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Guess that's about it for an update for now.

Y'all ride safe!

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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by KDXGarage » 09:41 pm Apr 11 2019

Heal up and get back at it!
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by thirdgenlxi » 12:10 am Apr 13 2019

Awesome job on the finish!! Hopefully you're healed up soon and can get back at it :grin: :supz:

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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by doakley » 10:44 am Apr 15 2019

A very nice lady whose husband was riding on our row took a few pics at the start of the Alligator. Thought I would share them here.
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by KDXGarage » 08:07 pm Apr 15 2019

HELL YEAH!!
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by GATOROC » 11:19 pm Apr 16 2019

Great job on the racing, and thanks for sharing the pics. Your trailer looks great too!
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by treelimb » 05:52 am Apr 17 2019

I've been reading your exploits (making productive use of) and adventures and am stoked for you. You truly inspire. Keep both your riding and yours posts going man. Best of luck out there-

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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by doakley » 05:56 pm Apr 19 2019

Travelling to the races is a bigger deal than most people might realize. Next weekend we’ll be heading out to Forest Hill, LA for the Cajun National Enduro. Here is a route map of the roughly 1007 miles each way.
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In my youth I would have teamed up with another buddy and we would have just driven straight through after work on Friday until we reached the race sometime on Saturday. Today, I know I could still do that, but I wouldn’t ride very well on Sunday. A few years ago I had to work Saturday night so I didn’t arrive at the enduro until about 2AM and slept in the back seat of my truck. The next morning I was predictably exhausted on the starting line. I rode terribly and could not finish the race. I learned not to do that again. I try to break up the long driving and arrive at the race Saturday early afternoon so I can get some rest. Actually I’ll start going to bed early to “bank” some sleep, making sure I get a good 8 hrs sleep every night next week. Still, driving over 2000 miles and sleeping in the back of a cargo van at almost 67 yrs of age....well...some people might call that a little sick.

The long range weather forecast actually looks pretty good. Maybe a little rain, hopefully just enough to keep the dust down and make the sand tacky.
Cajun Weather.PNG
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Actually, I'm not sure why I even bother to check the weather except to know if I'll want to pack an extra towel or dry pair of underwear! (I hate riding back home in wet underwear! Doesn't everybody?)

check back in with you guys later!

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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by doakley » 10:16 am May 01 2019

WOW! What an experience riding in the 38th annual Cajun Classic Enduro, the third race in the 2019 NEPG National Enduro series. This is a part of the country I’ve not ridden in so wasn’t sure what to expect.
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Travis and I got started on the 1000+ mile trip to Forest Hill, LA Friday morning. It was too far to drive nonstop but we wanted to get close so we wouldn’t have too far to drive Saturday morning. Experience has shown us both we are better to arrive early and try to have as relaxing of a Saturday before race day as we can. Unfortunately, our choice of places to overnight, a truck stop in Jackson, MS, turned out to be a bad choice for sleep. We couldn’t find anywhere to park except near the big rigs who tend to run engines all night and come and go at odd hours. Live and learn, we’ll pick a quieter location in the future!

The Cajun Classic is held on the grounds of a former WWII US Army training site, Camp Claiborne. A lot of old military roads, some in ruins and a few buildings, also in ruins. It is all forested over now with mostly mature pines, some growing right through the broken up ex-paved roads. Most importantly, the camp is noted as the birthplace of the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions, some of the toughest guys in the military. The event lived up to that reputation with miles of solid single track trails. I think this particular enduro may have the most virgin trail amount of any enduro I’ve ever ridden. Even the transfer sections between tests were largely single track trail. Hands off to the Acadiana Dirt Riders for laying out such a quality course!
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We were looking for something other than the standard hamburger/hotdog dinner offered at these events so we back tracked into “town” (a cross roads actually) and found an authentic Mexican restaurant complete with outdoor seating. Turns out Travis is quite the fan of good Mexican food and this was good! Again, maybe not the best choice of pre-race meals but you have to experience the area at these events! It was so good, we stopped in again on our way home after the race Sunday.
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The club and NEPG started off on a high note with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner by a lone electric guitar player who was dressed and played in Jimi Hendrix style. For you younger members who may not remember, Jimi Hendrix was one of the greatest guitar players of all time. His screaming version of the National Anthem at the 1969 Woodstock music festival is nothing short of classic and was considered quite outlandish in its time. What many people do not realize is Jimi Hendrix was a member of the 101st Airborne Division in the early 60’s and was medically discharged after a parachute injury. Thus the significance of the Club's version of the National Anthem.
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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by doakley » 10:29 am May 01 2019

I always enjoy roaming around looking at the various bikes and especially looking for other KDX’s.
I found two others parked at the riders’ meeting. I was interested to note one of these would be on row 88, just three rows behind my row 85 assignment.
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Just before my row 85 start time, I located the owner of the KDX on row 88C. Meet KDX owner Clarence Bonifacius, 81 years young and still brapping! It was a pleasure to meet this gentleman. People milling about the start were coming up to him to shake his hand. I told him to rev me when he was ready to pass and I would pull over. He smiled and said he might just do that! Thankfully I was able to hold him off thru the race but what a pleasure to see him still riding.
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I also caught up to the guy riding KDX # 71D during the race. Unfortunately he had run out of gas about 2 miles short of the gas stop! I was contemplating not stopping for gas and risking being able to finish on a single tank, a strategy that has served me well in the past when I needed to make up time. However, he changed my mind so I took the time to add a splash just to be sure I wouldn't run out also.

Results:
As mentioned, this was a tough enduro. No major elevation changes of course in southern Lousiana, but the tight single track just was relentless! It didn’t help that I was only 4 weeks post back surgery and was in horrible physical condition from not being allowed to exercise by the Dr. No excuses though, I just didn’t ride well at all. I fell hard a couple of times, and am nursing some bruised ribs now. Just sloppy riding on my part.
Maybe the drive got to me, I don’t know. I didn’t fare as well as the Alligator but I managed to finish 11th (there were 19 registered but fewer actually started). I dropped one place to 6th in the overall points stands which I can certainly live with. Travis on his Honda 450F, finished 9th in an equally large class and managed to hang on to his current 3rd place in season points for the 40+C class.
Heading home after the race Sunday afternoon we drove until 1:30AM and ducked into a GA welcome center for a few hours of rest before continuing the journey back home. We had hoped to get through Atlanta before stopping so we could miss the Monday morning traffic, but we were both just too tired to continue any further.

Next stop is the Cherokee National Enduro in Greenville, GA (near Atlanta) on June 9th. Registration opens at 8PM tonight (5/1) and I will be right at my keyboard. We’ve decided to go back to the front of the pack so the course won’t be as beat up. I have a little bike repair work to get done and desperately need to get in some more seat time before the Cherokee. Fortunately I have obviously been released by the Dr. so I can get back at some more serious exercise to work on the cardio and this extra few pounds I’m carrying around!

The Bike:
The ole’ green KDX did just fine! No issues other than this continued cold cranking thing. I’m still saving up for that Lectron but with so much having to be devoted to upcoming travel expenses in the coming months race schedule, that will likely have to wait. Time to replace the front fork guards as I’ve beat them up beyond continued use and I think I’ll take the clutch pack out and measure the plates just to be sure all is well. I think I’ll clean and grease all the linkage bearings while I’m at it. The overheating problem seems to have been solved by the combination of new clutch plates and Evans Waterless Coolant. I did abuse the clutch a LOT this race though, so I think it would be wise to just check everything before the next race to be sure.

Thanks for reading along with the adventure!

Brapp on!

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Re: KDX in National Enduro Series

Post by KDXGarage » 10:59 am May 01 2019

WOW! Thank you for continuing to take us along your incredible journey.

That is an awesome picture of the older gentleman out there at the race! (him, not you, you're not as old as you try to trick us into thinking). :mrgreen:
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