March Hare 2006


A Ride Report for the 2006 Victoria Motorcycle Club (VMC) March Hare Endure

Run on March 5th 2006 at Boyds Pit, out in Sooke B.C.

Now, being the first enduro of the year, this is suppose to be a "Junior Friendly" event, at least by VMC standards, which means it can be ridden by people on dualsport bikes, maybe. Most years, they even have a beginner class that bypassed everything nasty, so riders can wimp-out and race with the 8-year olds.

For those that don't know, an enduro is a race where you try to maintain an average speed from check to check. Thus, an odometer and a watch are necessary. You ride around, over mostly single-track, following arrows and trying to stay "on your minute." It's a lot of fun, if you happen to enjoy pain and exhaustion. By design, earning bragging-rights is never easy. For this race only, the VMC actually trophies out to 10th place in the Junior class. For most of us, it's the one chance per year to FINALLY get that trophy for our TVs.

A decent rider, that can handle single-track, can usually do it on a dualsport 400 or so. I've ridden this event a few times on my KLR-650, but I ride single-track all the time, and I like it. If you are considering riding a VMC event, don't even think about it if you don't have knobbies. My bike is not anywhere near stock. The trails are usually tight, like weaving your handlebars between the trees tight, muddy, rocky, slippery, wet, rutted, and generally very challenging. What's usually missing from the March Hare are the "OMFG, "They CAN'T be serious" sections that spices up the senior and expert level races.

This year was the 4th March Hare enduro I've done, the 3rd on the KLR, and it was the hardest. I've ridden tougher VMC events, but not in the last while and not on a dualsport.

The run between the 1st and 2nd checks was the hardest part, with significant log crossings that were just brutal on Killer and I. I have yet to clean a log crossing where the skid plate hits; the KLR just stops dead and I suddenly realise I have over 300 pounds of bike under me. Every time I had to drag the bike over a log, I was so exhausted I'd ride a little ways and then loose it on root or something and go down.

Overall, I dumped 4 times (2 per loop), broke off both brush guards (one per loop), and bent my shift leaver around until it hit the footpeg (2nd loop). But, I finished. Just as a point of reference, I've been riding Killer for 16 years with the original brush guards - I lost them both in one day. It was a TOUGH ride. Maybe they decided to make it a little harder because of last year... I don't know.

Last year, in 2005, I came in first in the junior class for the March Hare. That and another race netted me the Junior Series Champion trophy for 2005 as well. I'm not sure how that happened. That year was a breeze compared to this ride. Still, this year, even after counting up over 40 minutes in penalties, I managed 3rd place. I still don't believe it, I was hoping for something like - not last. But, as it turns out, everyone else sucked too. The 1st place finisher was around 20 minutes. Last year, I counted up 2 minutes of penalties, second place went to a guy with 3. It shows just how much harder this race was than usual. Nearly half the junior field DNF'd.

Here's the course route but please be aware that the Boyds Pitt area is owned by Timber West. They do not allow people to ride on their land anymore. VMC had a special agreement to hold events but this is now history. As well, the area has been freshly logged. Such is the life of a dirtbiker.

 

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