So here it is – the infamous Hangover Hare Scramble – it’s normally a fast paced race – a two hour cross country event in the woods of Southern Maryland… Racing for me is the best – I push myself to get through when normally if I’m on a casual trail ride I tend to talk myself out of challenges. As the clock starts to count down towards race time I am running my checklist over in my mind and thought I would share:
My Bike – A.K.A. My Lady/My Girl – She is a 2012 Honda CRF230 – She is wonderful and dependable. She simply chugs along. She may not be the raciest but shes’ got heart! I am fortunate to have a “Factory Ride”… well basically – my man handles all the maintenance on her and I am pretty much hands off. However I understand what should be done prior to a ride or race. It’s extremely important to pay attention to your bike – if its missing gears – over heating – constantly pitching you – well you need to check out why…
- Oil – Verify that she is at proper levels.
- Fuel – Nothing special here – just fill her up and go (but if you can get the stuff without the Ethanol that’s a plus!)
- Tires – What does the tread look like? Some people change their tires for the conditions of the specific track they will be riding – I however use whatever I have handy. I have noticed that my rear tire has lost it’s bite so I will be getting a fresh one for this race – my weapon is the ARTRAX (it’s an inexpensive option and has been working for me) – my front will be fine for the conditions. Tire pressure – usually for an off-road adventure I will run 10lbs of air pressure.
- Suspension – In June my man insisted that we upgrade my rear shock to Works Performance – it is so amazing – no really… I’m not sure how I rode the trails without it! The stock 230 shock barley moved – now I can roll over stuff and it soaks it up! So glad he insisted on this – I never thought about it.
Now for me… I have been trying to hydrate – drinking lots of water – I’m not one for Gatorade or that type thing – so I keep it real with plain ol’ H2O. I rode last Sunday and my bike was working fine – so as far as I’m concerned I’m ready for the festivities! Here is a small list of goodies I will pack for my ride:
- Hydration Pack
- 1 Mandarin (thank you Amanda)
- Lara Bar
- Small Trail Tool Set
- Extra Gloves and Goggles (roll off and regular)
- Small Towel
- Burts Bees Chapstick
This will be my fourth Hangover Race – Each year it seems to be freezing or just above freezing. Last year was icy and slimy in the virgin trail. This year seems like it may be similar. The original race day was scheduled for last Sunday however the race was postponed because of rain and 65 degree weather – you know – if it’s not miserable then it cant be the Hangover!… So tomorrows forecast is 35 – 40 for highs and it has been frozen since Monday night… So the ground will be hard as a rock even though its a sandy soil. The trail is 90% new and somewhat technical as well as pretty tight – so passing (not that I will be passing but for those that will be passing me) will be a challenge. I do always look forward to this race – this is the one race in particular that my man pits for me – this is such a treat since I have been his pit-tootsie for over 20 years! It’s also a race that just feels the most fun. I do not know how I will place but I do know that as long as I’m out there I am enjoying the ride – even when the struggles are great and amplified by freezing temps there is something to be said about racing your dirt bike for 2 hours in the woods with a smile on your face!
~ Happy Trails~ Nancy #DBGA