Mud, Manzanita and Memories
Every year for the past 3 years, BatteryStuff has had the opportunity to be the title sponsor for the MRA Cross Country Motorcycle Race. This year it was known as the “Make it or Break it" race, and was held on MRA property near Jacksonville, OR.
The promoters decided to utilize local property rather than holding the event in the central Oregon Desert as they had the past couple years. With the change in format came a change in name. Formerly the Fort Rock Enduro, the newly named ‘Make it or Break it XC’ lived up to its moniker. No doubt the promoters were trading inside information on the weather situation, and I am sure somehow knew that our fall weather would quickly devolve into winter conditions and allow the event to earn its new name!
To be fair, it did not snow much, with only trace amounts on the course Saturday morning, and about an inch or two on Sunday. The course was a mix of Southern Oregon single-track, higher speed logging roads, and the newly setup Enduro X style section for the spectators. The straddle-the-log start was a dead giveaway that something wicked this way comes, but if that did not clue the racers in, perhaps the 3 giant tire crossings and the Firewood Pit of Doom informed them of what was coming their way.
Saturday’s race went for 6 laps around the 12.8 mile course, which held up pretty well considering the snowy conditions. Riders reported that traction was supreme and they even saw a bit of dust once the snow was blown out of the trail. As this was the final race weekend in the OMRA XC 2011 series, there was some definite strategy at play for some of the riders. Reid Brown was able to sew up the overall AA championship by riding safe, hanging back, and in the case of Saturday’s race, simply waiting for the rest of the AA field to crash out or run out of gas to take the checkers.
Sunday was a different story, with a mix of snow, melting snow, melting snow runoff, and of course mud mixed with snow making for interesting, if not difficult conditions. Due to the quickly deteriorating course, the race was shortened to 5 laps this day. The level of mayhem on the Enduro X section was definitely tweaked upward, giving the spectators the best show of the entire 2011 series. While there were no added obstacles over the Saturday race, the 1-2 inches of snow covering the logs, tires and other traps skill demonstration opportunities made for a great race, with plenty of passing going on whenever poor choices were made.
Kudos to the MRA for putting on an outstanding event weekend, and congrats to all the class winners and every other rider that chose to leave the safe confines of their couch to get out and enjoy this event!
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Mud, Manzanita and Memories