The long drive to Forest Hill, Louisiana started Friday afternoon like always after school and took us into Saturday morning (around 5 am.) before we stopped and slept in the truck for a bit at a Cracker Barrel in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Dad wanted to ride the family enduro they were having on Saturday, and I was really excited to be going to a new location. So we made the trip as fast as we could.
Saturday I got my row assignment, took the bike through tech inspection, changed out the rear wheel to one with our new bib and tire, and finished prepping my new Oakley goggles from Perkinsville Powersports while dad rode the family enduro. Dad had a great time riding and said I would like the trail, and I was just happy he got to ride for once on our trips.
Saturday evening we went out to eat with our friend and ServiceMaster Clean sponsor, Eric Terrell, at a fantastic local restaurant called Tunk’s. It had an amazing lake view and the deck we sat on was literally on the water as boats could dock up. I ate some fried alligator for the first time! It was definitely a trip highlight. Thanks again Eric!
Sunday morning we got up early at the hotel and headed to the start. I was really psyched to ride the sandy trails! I was on row 39 which was definitely an improvement from row 91 in Tennessee.
The first three sections were fairly similar – mixes of sandy berms similar to Michigan with different colored sand and hard pack almost rock like dirt with hard pine roots everywhere. I felt pretty good in those sections and ripped pretty good times.
The fourth section started off with some fun hard packed gullies that were like jumps. I had my only crash of the day in that section, just a small tip over in a tight corner after hitting neutral. I did bend up the front of the bike later on when I hooked a root and slammed a tree pretty hard, but didn’t crash and was able to finish out the section pretty strong.
The fifth test was the shortest of the day at around 6 or 7 miles but had some of the weirdest terrain I’ve ridden. Since the race was located on an old army base, there were some old concrete foundations out there and sometimes you’d find yourself bouncing through old broken up concrete – definitely not your normal enduro terrain!
By the final section, the race was starting to wear on me. The transfer between race sections was more trail, not roads like most other enduros. And this section was tight! The heat, technical trail, and no “road rest” were definitely a brutal combo. About 3 miles into the long 15-mile section I was whooped, my body was just out of energy. Coming from temperatures in the 60’s we’ve been having at home to the mid 90’s in Louisiana was definitely the toughest factor.
I ended the day somewhat surprised to have my best finish of the year with 4th in Open A and 29th Overall! I’m glad to finally be in the top 30. Top 25 is on the to-do list now. Louisiana was a great enduro with fun trail and a good result!
Our next race is a District 14 event on the second weekend in June when we’ll travel to Marquette, Michigan for one of our favorite district races! Until then, this coming weekend is my senior prom, and the month of May will be extremely full of graduation prep!
I’d like to thank my awesome sponsors: PerkinsvillePowersports.com, Floyd Farms Racing, Steve Comer Farms, AS Racing, ServiceMaster Clean of Anderson, Throttle Jockey/Graphics Lab, Kerlin Trailers Motorsports and Western World, Enduro Engineering, Unabiker, and IndyMoto, without their help I wouldn’t be out there racing!
Until June, stay safe and have good rides!
Jesse Warner #165