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Brentwood Enduro Ride Report - Intermediate - 2007/11/05 09:20
Ride report from one soaked intermediate rider's perspective:



A wet day on the West coast proved no match for the endurance of the 40 or so riders braving the elements and obstacles of this new riding area.

The ride started out with a run through relatively new trails cut into the dense forest leaving many many exposed roots and slippery mud sections to navigate. The experts led the pack for the first of a three loop event while the intermediate riders followed for two loops, each rider leaving at a one minute interval. That minute however quickly evaporated as riders alternately bunched up and let one another pass through the tight singletrack and frequent creek crossings. Speaking of creek crossings, the intimidation level rose quickly near the start of the 20km loop with a crossing reminiscent to some, of the recent Terra Nova (now dubbed the Aqua Nova), however, this proved more of a psychological barrier as the creek bottom was relatively firm and passage proved less significant than it appeared, drowning only a handful of motors.

As luck would have it, I was one of those whose bike was drowned in the creek crossing. The first loop crossing was without trouble but by the second loop, the bottom was dug out enough that the water came into the intake of my bike and it sputtered and died. I had to remove the plug, flip the motorcycle upside down on the narrow trail, and crank the engine over several times, with the first couple of turns yielding what seemed to be about a half liter of water. Luckily I had a Bic lighter with me that still worked and I was able to heat the plug to dry it out while shielding the process from the rain with my upper body. I didn't have much hope of the plug staying dry but after re-assembly and righting the bike, it eventually flashed up under full choke and would only run with on and off use of full choke for the first 30 seconds or so. The resulting cloud of steam from the exhaust was impressive and was left behind as if a warning to the next riders.

Further on into the course, a breakout into old logging trails provided a welcome relief from the constant pounding with a gentle climb and a short stint through an open log block. Following this the ride continued as a run along old logging branch roads and skid trails leading riders to the first check. At this point, although the clock was still ticking, many were found to be "relaxing" or should we say draining though this is no more accurate a description as the rain continued to fall, trying to muster the energy for the unknown second half of the loop.

As if designed as a warning, the second half began with a drop off the side of the logging trail down into a water filled ditch complete with floating deadheads, but in fact, the next section proved a bit of a relief as it was a clean run for the most part through many hundreds of puddles and small stream crossings. This did however, lead to the rider being largely power washed and having the boots filled with splashed up water prior to the run up the logging road for 20 minutes or so providing a nice chill to top things off before arriving back at the starting point. What to do now, well do it again of course, and then once more for expert riders.



The final result being a feeling of having conquered a water and mud spitting, branch whipping, sanity testing beast that, strangely becomes a warm glow of accomplishment! Is this crazy?... No, this is being alive.



Many thanks to the efforts of those who spent months clearing trails to allow this event to happen.



IB
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