Continuing on from part one, I decided to take part in a Hare and Hounds Enduro Race!
Now, I grew up in the dirt, riding Trials is how I got in to Motorsport. And once again my (over) confidence/ Ego gently whispered to me… You’ve got this.
Shortly after, and to be honest, most of the way around the course I made the conscious decision never to listen to that little voice again.
The idea behind this two-part story was for me to take part in the events our young riders take part in, during the winter period. However, this slightly backfired on this occasion. Lewis had technical issues with his bike and was unable to ride and Jack had been double booked to take part in an Enduro Legends training day.
I had been deserted, that was until I was pointed in the direction of a special young lady by the name of Christina Palmer.
The event was organised by the Scottish Borders Enduro Club (SBEC) at Tyninghame Links. The event itself had been put together in a very short period of time, but looked like it had taken months.
The course was roughly a 15-minute lap (or if you were me 22-30-minute lap) and started in an open field ‘test’ section. From there we headed off in to woodland and continued to race through narrow trees and mud.
I was kindly loaned a 2014 KTM500EXC by Race 2 Off-road, a fantastic motorcycle, if not a little pokey for my level of skill. However, once I got used to the power it had an unbelievable amount of grip in the corners and across the open fields under power.
The youth section competed before the adults, they had a slightly shorter course and a one-and-a-half-hour time limit. I must admit, whilst I stood in my kit watching the youth race, I started to get slightly worried at the speed of these muddy youngsters.
The wait was over, the youth race had finished, the big boys and girls had made their way to parc ferme. All of a sudden I was sat on a start line with a lot of aggressively positioned Enduro racers, things got extremely real at that point. It continued to be ‘extremely real’ for the next three hours until I took the flag. Looking back, it was the most fun I’ve had on a bike in a very long time. And my level of respect and awe for these racers who compete
week in and week out is at the highest it could possibly be. The level of fitness involved in this sport is unreal, it took me over a week to stop limping and moaning.
With my YRF sidekicks gone I caught up with nine-year-old Christina Palmer to hear about Enduro and the event.
“I ride a Beta 80 trials bike and a KTM 65 motocross bike and I started riding when I was three. I started competing when I was seven years old, and have been competing in club rounds ever since. I just love the adrenaline, speed and fun you can have on a bike. When I line up next to all the other bikes I get butterflies in my tummy and feel really excited. I am aiming to be a professional female Enduro racer like Jane Daniels.
I really enjoyed the race today, I was leading for over an hour but I hit the wall and was really drained. I was fighting all the way with Jack fletcher for the entire 15 laps, then I slipped back to third but managed to keep going. I really enjoyed the second wood section, it was a lot tighter with a lot of hard turns. I probably could have been quicker through the first wood sections, but I really had fun and would like to thank all the organisers for putting the course together.”
I also would like to thank SBEC (http://www.scottishenduros.co.uk/99/sbec.htm) and the organisers for putting on such a fantastic event and I hopefully will manage to try another one during the season.
Also I would like to thank Race 2 Off-road (https://www.facebook.com/Race-2-off-road-1592350867706127/?fref=ts) for the loan of that amazing KTM500EXC. And finally Morson Photography (https://www.morsonphotography.co.uk) for catching the action from the event.