1997 Quicksilver National Enduro
Being the trail boss and laying out an enduro is a lot of work, both physical and mental. One of the rewards for this effort is taking points from very good riders. Taking points at a check-out is easy, you just up the speed average to a level that even the best rider can not attain it. Taking burn points at a check-in is much more difficult given the computer technology on the handlebars and the skill of the riders. So, the best reward as a layout artist is to be able to lay out a check-in that burns the best riders. As you can read in my comments on the 1984 National, I was able to do that using psychology and the memory of the previous year's event.
To beat a good rider and his computer would take something special, and that special situation presented itself in 1997. For years we had used a series of trails below Spanish Lake and the Atlas mine as part of the first loop. After the 1996 event I found an overgrown route that would open up additional route opportunities in that area. We planned a workday and for the first time, the Club invited wives and girlfriends to join the work crew so they could see what trail work was like. One woman distinguished herself with the zeal and energy she put into the trail clearing. Her name is Terry Mendez but after that day she was nicknamed 'Terry Tobin'.
On investigating the new trails I found that there was one down the hill from R11, Spanish Lake Road, that paralleled R11 and tied into our normal enduro course. There was also an uphill trail that connected the two. The connector, an old bulldozer cut, ran straight uphill, was steep and had lots of rocks. My kind of trail!
For a couple years I had been trying to find a way to put two checks, a check-out and then a check-in very close to each other so as to catch riders early and burn them. Enduro rules state that there can not be a check within three mile of another check and it is common for riders to blast the three miles after a check and then start timekeeping again. Enduro rules also allow for mileage resets on a route sheet that are equivalent to actually riding the mileage. I decided to use the common practice of blasting three miles after a check along with a mileage reset and the steep, rocky tractor cut to create a scenario that I hoped would burn the A and AA riders. I also hoped that riders would not expect to have two checks so far from camp. I set a check-out right at the bottom of the tractor cut and I set the speed average into the check such that the A riders would be a minute or two late and eager to make up time in the free area after the check. On exiting the check the course immediately turned up the tractor cut that was strewn with rocks and took all of your concentration to navigate. Right in the middle of the uphill I placed a 3.8 mile reset on the route sheet so that the check at the top of the tractor cut on R11 fell exactly 4.0 miles from the previous check, a possible at 24 MPH. Satellite view and route sheet
According to the write-up by Mike Carlo in an article that appeared in D36's LAND newspaper (copied below), my scheme worked to perfection, catching many early A riders very early and ruining a number of rides. I also acquired a new nickname - Diabolical Ed! Ed Tobin
D36 LAND Newspaper
Mike Carlo Eric Warren