On The Road With Bolt-On: Sandlapper National Enduro

Photo by 88Fotos.com
Photo by 88Fotos.com

So, once again I made the trip a few hours south for another round of National Enduro action. This time it was the Sandlapper in Salley, South Carolina. Well, there’s really not a ton to talk about this time, so I’ll probably keep this one semi-short. Or at least try to. I’ve said that before and ended up doing some typical Bolt-On style rambling, sort of like I’m doing now. But hey, this site has that name for a reason.

Anyway, I drove separate from my dad and his buddies this time because I drove straight to Florida after the race (more on that later). I ended up getting there a little ahead of them and mingled around a bit until they got there. Once they arrived we headed over to do some of the available demo rides. I rode the GasGas 250 and 300, which are both pretty sweet bikes. They were basically bone stock straight out of the crate and were pretty sweet just the way they were. I also rode the Sherco 300 (4-stroke) which if you haven’t heard about yet, look it up. That bike is MEGA sweet.

After the GasGas and Sherco rides, we walked all of 20 yards and did the KTM/Husaberg demos. I rode the new TE300 for the first time and I was even more impressed with the 2013 than the 2012 model. I also rode the FE350 with a Rekluse EXP, and that was hands down my favorite bike I rode all day. The thing was absolutely amazing in the tight woods and the power was perfect. Of course, the 200XC-W came a pretty close second as I was way more impressed with it than I’ve been with some of the previous 200’s. I also rode the 150XC which, I think would be fun in wide open stuff but it suffers in the tight stuff. You just have to work it way too hard. Guess that’s why Dick Burleson rides the SX version.

Anyway, onto the actual race. It went better than Cherokee but at the same time it really didn’t. I didn’t really plan on “racing” as much as I had just planned on going out and trail riding, which is really what I ended up doing. The first section was pretty horrible for me. I never found any sort of a groove and basically rode like I didn’t know what I was doing. The results showed too. I think I was 17th in that section? I mean, I knew I sucked, but come on!

Second section started off kind of slow. I did manage to get back to my plan of just riding with my dad and his buddies all day, which proved to be really fun for me and that’s what I did. I was riding with Keith Bennett for a while in the 2nd section, and we got to a road crossing and I’m not really sure what happened.  I don’t know if it was just because I saw people or what but Keith moved over and let me go, and I went absolutely flat out for about 1/2 mile. Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but I felt like I was going pretty fast. I ended up closing back in on my dad and Allen Wood after a couple of miles and I actually got back around Allen for a little while until I stalled the bike near the end of the section.

Sitting at the reset for the third section, I took my left glove off and noticed I had gotten a pretty nasty blister on top of an older one. It stung a little bit but judging by what everyone on social media says (You know, because that’s so important) I was just being a little bitch and it was fine. Third section basically started out the same where I was following my dad and Allen and I stayed with them for the majority of the section, until that blister popped and I had blood in my glove. I backed it down a little bit then. In other words, I got tired.

After the gas stop I had a pretty solid fourth section. Same deal as before. I let my dad and Allen go ahead and I followed them for a bit. They got a bit ahead and I turned it up and caught back up. This time I even caught all the way back up to my dad too, thanks to a nice little hotline I found. Of course, it was at the end of the section so if I hadn’t have found it, I might have not caught him.

The fifth and final, for us B riders, section was only 8 miles but the fatigue had sort of set in and I knew it was going to be tough for me. It started out decent enough and I was just cruising with my dad and Allen once again, until I managed to wrap a vine around my rear wheel that brought me to a complete stop. It took me a while to get it out and made me a little more tired. The last bit of that section felt so long to me after that. I basically just cruised all the way to the end and was glad I suck too much to be an A rider (would’ve had another 13 mile section)

I ended up 12th which sucks about as much as I thought it would but hey, I was just there to goon it up anyway. Wait, I always do that. Never mind.

Afterwards, I loaded up and drove straight through the night all the way to River Ranch, Florida to get things ready for the GNCC opener. Monday I rode around with Barry Hawk a bit scouting some trail. It was actually kind of tough riding after I had raced the day before but I still had fun and had fun riding over some downed trees and stuff. Barry did some much cooler stuff than me, and here’s a video to prove it..

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for this time. I’m sitting here at River Ranch enjoying the nice weather! Stay tuned for more tales of adventure from River Ranch.

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