NICK FAHRINGER RACE REPORT:
NEPG/ AMA National Enduro Series; Round 2 -Greensboro GA
The Cherokee National Enduro is always a favorite event of mine. The course mostly consists of fresh, tight, and well marked trail. Isn’t that all we could ever ask for? Well the club delivered with near perfect weather. There were a number of road transfer sections that made me wish for a riding vest and grip heaters. Sign up went quick the day before and KTM offered up a spaghetti dinner, saving me the hour drive to decent dinning. I was so excited; I literally was up half the night, completely wired on thoughts of railing my new Husaberg through some single track.
This race is somewhat similar to the southern Ohio races back home, and was a perfect opportunity to see how I could stack up against fellow national enduro riders Bobbitt, Lafferty, Kirkpatrick, Melik, as well as the many new comers Raines, JJ (Jarrett), Buttrick, and Watts to name a few while coming back from ACL replacement on a completely new bike. My day started with arm pump and missing a few miles in section one. Many riders, myself included, blasted down an established trail straight off the fresh single track catching arrows shortly after, missing a few miles in the middle of the section. Fortunately the NEPG officials tossed that section and spared me the guilt of putting unfair minutes on otherwise close competition. The rest of the day rolled on without a hitch unless your bars were wider than 31”.
Sections ranged from 8 to 11 miles with terrain ranging from bar-stop to bar-stop trees to 5th gear pinned, eye-watering-speed sections stretched across rolling Georgia hills, offering something for all 450cc’s of my ‘Berg to snack on. The second section was a nice mix of flowing trail, avoiding extreme tight trails. The third section was long and second gear tight. I was in the zone, over the front end and ripping through the trees. I became so relaxed in this zone that my mind wondered off the trail ahead of me and I had a face to face with a tree, taking a handguard to the inner thigh. From this, I walk with a limp days later and I will remember how this cost me several seconds, where I lost an overall position. That’s right, I missed 4th overall by 1 second over the entire day.
The second to last section was the tightest of the day and really finished guys off physically, while “C” riders were booted off the course prior. I had the 3rd fastest time in what was hands down the tightest and gnarliest section of the day. I raced my way (at times, pinballing) to within 24 seconds of eventual winner Bobbitt. The closest score behind me was another Ohio native and 3rd overall finisher Cory B, 12 seconds off my pace. Mike Lafferty was on another planet here (41 seconds faster than my score) and can only be described as an animal. This proved the handling abilities of my new Husaberg to both me and my new friend. I met this friend in my pit while he and his son were wandering the pits, gazing at my steed and referred to it as “wopperjawed”. I laughed thinking the term wopperjawed is something you might experience if you ate at the BK one too many times, but not about a motorcycle with a design as technically advanced as my Husaberg with a 70 degree cylinder. After explaining the advantages of the new design, he was intrigued and demanded a test ride. Unfortunately, the day before a national enduro I denied my wopperjawed friend a ride.
After a relatively trouble free ride and a long day of work, I managed a 5th overall finish. This gave me a boost in the series points and to my motivation while I trudge through my final semester of college as an engineering student. The Guys at the Cherokee Cycle Club put on another great event. The NEPG continues to improve the way things are run, making the National Enduros more enjoyable for the average rider and helping to rewarding us pro riders as well. Speaking of average riders, everyone on the trail did a great job of diving out of the way when I came up behind them, gold stars to every one of you. Next stop on the schedule is the Alligator National Enduro in Florida.
I would like to thank all my sponsors for helping me out this Season-
Husaberg, Pirelli, Motorex, EBC Brakes, Motion Pro, Renthal, Smith Optics, KRW Cycles Suspension, Regina, TireBalls, Enduro Engineering, Powersport Graphics, One Helmets, Scotts Performance.