Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1972 10 24

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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._-- .---------- , I' f' . N :f N ,... Ol ~ ". N ;:; o ~ w Z W ...J U ~ U Pit crews got a good look at the riders negotiating this steep 500 ft. downhill. Bob Steffan, making up time after stopping to pick up an unidentified Bultaco rider. ..... Sometimes the enduro got to looking more like a hare and hound. by Ron Schneiders SOGGY DRY LAKE, CAL., Oct. IS, 1972 - When an individual's ~sponse to a given situation seems to bear no relations to ufe situation, we say the individual is irrational or mad, and if it h.appens often enough or if the consequences of his irrational acts are serious enough, we have him committed to an asylum. But what is the term when large organizations, the building stones of a socie ty, act irrationally? Can an organization be insane, or a society? And if so what can be done about it? The organiurs of the Golden Bear World Championship Enduro had a great idea. To give the riders something new, they decided to rou te part of the course over a military base where there was some nice riding terrain. Itwas quite a lot of trouble to secure permission to use the area, bu t after some' weeks of effort they were successful. They had ohtained permission for the 360 en trants to ride one time over an area whose sole use, up until that time" was bombing and gunnery practice. It represen ted some sort of'a minor triumph of mind over military . Then, two weeks before the event, Secretary of Defense Laird, decreed that no grounds for war was to be used by mere mortals for sporting purposes. A directive was sent out from the Pentagon. Such directives, however, take time and since the individuals on the base were not opposed to the even t, they were quite willing to let the Golden Bear proceed as agreed upon pending the receipt of the directive. Enter the Sierra Club. The Sierra Cluh found out about the proposed run and the directive in progress, and proceeded to do what they do best: they wrote letters. They wrote to everyone concerned and made sure that the men in charge knew officially of the directive and the consequences if they failed to act. One week before the event, the permission to use the land was cancelled. Now when an organization dedicated to the preservation of things natural and beautiful forms. an alliance with a war department which is dedicated to destruction, for the purpose of preven ting the formation of tire tracks across an area used for bombing practice, and set aside for. total destruction, what can we conclude aboUl the sanity of the society in which we live? God help us if we ever decide to hold an enduro in North Vietnam. No telling what kind of ecological damage we might do riding through the bomb holes - or trailing through the defoliated woods! • To the CERA's credit, they refused to let the irrationalities of the Sierra Club deter them. They rerouted the run at the last minute and still managed to post almost 200 miles of fairly dec""t riding. The run began with a cold engine start, making a gradual shift toward ISDT-type running. The bikes were all - impounded the night .before and every en tran t pushed his bike to the line and was given one minute to start his engine. About 80% of the riders managed to get started in the required one minute and avoided the loss of 20 points. The rerouted course was good, but not spectacular. About every - type of terrain that was available in the Soggy Dry lake region was included and the sections were judiously pieced together so that riding was quite vaned. On the first loop, for instance, sections of road alternated with sandwash, rocky, choppy cross-country trail, narrow rocky wash and smooth, loping non-rocky desert trail. Although, in the main, the constan t 24 MPH schedule was easy to maintain, a couple of canyons with rock piles and ledges to be climbed gave riders a few problems. Loop two w'as the killer. Although not suhstan tially differen t from the first loop, it contained three sand hills that many riders considered u.nnecessary, unfair or both. Dave Evans, no slouch of a rider, said that it took three helpers to horse his 250 Ossa to the top of the first hill. He lost about 30 minutes. The sand was fairly firm for the early riders, but got progressively worse. Dave was riding a number in the forties. Apparerrtly once the sand gets loosened, engine size is of little importance. Big Nortons were having just about as much trouble on it as little Hodakas. Many riders dropped ou t at the hill and some who made it were too exhausted to attempt loop three. The sand hills are part of a range of such hills and one or more of them has been included in every Golden Bear to date. According to Orin Beck, one of the organizers of the run, as long as the Golden Bear is held in the Lucerne Valley region, a sand hill will be a part of it. According to several of the riders 1 talked to, if the sand hill is included in the next Golden Bear they won't ride it. In teresting. Will the entry-hungry CERA succumb to the pressure from the riders or will they stick to their principle, whatever it might be? Tune in next year at this time for the next episode of "CERA and the Sand Hills." After the sand hills, there was the second of the ISDT-type special tests, a timed cross-coun try speed test. Unfortunately. many of the riders were too tired to give it an honest effort. There were nine, however, who tied for to'p spot at 1-9 minutes indicating a need for greater precision in the timing. The third loop gave. the people in the pits something to watch as the riders circled around the pits, climbed a steep range of hills and then ·made a very steep descent down a sandy hill to the dry lake at the edge of the pits. They crossed at the edge of the lake in the mounded soft sand and then headed back up into the rocky hills on the far side. By comparison to the second loop, it was quite easy and most of those who started the third loop, finished. About 80 riders turned in their cards at the end, but promoter Ed Wight figures that only about 50 of them will be legitimate fmishers; that is, less than one hour late. 360 riders started.

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