Quicksilver National Enduro
Round 1 - Sunday, February 19, 2006
For the second year in a row, the Overall Quicksilver trophy was taken home by a first time national enduro winner. The Salinas Ramblers wish to congratulate Patrick Garrahan on his first National Enduro win! Pat conquered a challenging Jordan Brandt designed course to beat out the defending National Enduro champion Mike Lafferty on tie-breaker points. Adding to the drama was a Saturday night snow storm and a last minute decision by the Bureau of Land Management to allow the event to proceed despite the ominous looking conditions.
The Salinas Ramblers wish to thank the our product sponsors, trophy sponsors and volunteers for their help and support and the Bureau of Land Management for trusting the club to promote an incident free event. Most of all the Salinas Ramblers wish to thank all the riders who braved the conditions to contest the longest running enduro on the national enduro schedule.
And now for the rest of the story.....
Mother Nature once again played a significant role at the 2006 Quicksilver National Enduro. As has been the typical pattern for most of this century, the weather has been beautiful right up until the race date and then Mother Nature dishes out her annual surprise. This year was no exception. In the weeks prior to the event, the Rambler course crew was treated to almost ideal riding conditions every weekend. In fact, the Sunday before the event the thermometer hit the low 80's in camp and workers wore one jersey while doing course work.
All that changed almost overnight. A high pressure system that had been protecting Clear Creek from winter storms shifted position and allowed cold and moist storms to assault Central California. The first wave hit on Thursday evening and left a coating of white in Rambler camp. This quickly disappeared as the sun reappeared on Friday afternoon and the moisture left the ground almost perfect. Saturday dawned partly cloudy and the sun melted most of the remaining snow at the higher elevations. Stars were out as riders retired on Saturday evening and then Mother nature unloaded.
Sunday dawned on a winter wonderland. The club quickly sent crews out to assess conditions accompanied by BLM Law Enforcement Ranger William Schwarz. The start was postponed initially until 8:30 and later to 9:00 AM in order to give check crews additional time to get to their check location. It was also decided to eliminate the third loop (for the second year in a row) much to the chagrin of third loop course workers who had gone out of their way to put together a challenging special test at the very end of the loop including a short endurocross course that featured a tour through an old trailer previously owned by long time enduro trail boss Ed Tobin.
Unlike previous Quicksilver enduros that used a road section to the 2.9 mile marker, this year Jordan designed a special test right off the start that saw riders passing beside the contestants campground on their way to the infamous "rocky uphill after gas" that is now the "rocky uphill after the 2.9 mile marker. The rest of the course was typical Clear Creek fare consisting of rocks and manzanita topped with a coating of mud and snow. One tight single track trail at around the 10 mile mark turned into a bottleneck of many C-riders and proved their undoing. There was only one injury that required medical treatment by the National Motorcycle Patrol.
Here is a link to one C rider's experience. Stay tuned for more stories and links.