It’s been over a week since I arrived home from the 48th annual Gobbler Getter Enduro in Alabama where I finished second (by 4 points) out of 7 in the Women class, which was good for 135th overall out of 211 finishers to all 5 tests (and 255 entries.) Top scoring Evan Smith dropped 17 points followed by Zack Hayes’ 19.41. “It was definitely one to remember,” according to the Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club.
At the riders meeting, one of the club members cautioned us about the amount of dust from 50+ day lack of rain. “It’s no secret we’ve got a challenge today…this is probably the dustiest it’s ever been (in ~50 years!)”
As for my row choice, I was literally buried in dust from the start. Pulling up to the line, I was the last of Row 20 to arrive along with a AA guy and two other A riders – and the only Yamaha against their shiny electric start KTMs. I noticed there was not enough room for me, which they also realized after I pulled up, nodding to each other but making no attempt to adjust some space for me, so I actually started behind the line at the start and lost a lot of time just waiting for the dust to clear so I could see. At the first reset, one guy on my row who was closest in speed to me said something like: “Don’t be afraid to get up in there.” I smiled, thinking, “Yeah, right.” I could tell they were not going to let me in front of them, which doomed me for a dusty start every time we took off. It literally could not have been worse. No, wait. Worse: I was the only one having to kick her brand new bike over. Thanks, Yamaha.
I can’t imagine doing that race “in the pack”. Did you wear a dust mask? I noticed many did. – Revo
At every reset, someone asked me how I liked my bike and I repeated over again: “It’s perfect except no button,” even though it kicks over pretty well. In the four months since I bought this bike, I feel like I’m just now getting to know her. (Yes, it’s a female.) For instance, as good as the front brakes are, the rear brakes are just as bad and heated up so much in the first section that my pedal went all the way down and I actually stopped to see if something broke off – no – but that cost me a few minutes. After a while, it seemed like my brakes were holding up a lot better (or I wasn’t using them as much?) I was able to make up some time after the gas, but it seemed like there was too much air pressure in my tires even after I stopped at one of the resets and took some out, and the rebound was way too fast for the soft, mountainous terrain. So, even though I finished second in my class, I managed to beat my buddy by 8 seconds (see below). Driving the 500 miles home took about 15 hours after a sweet 4-hour rest stop nap. Props to myself for spending the weekend doing everything solo (except load my bike after the race – thanks, Wayne!) I was gassed.