First-Time Hare Scrambler
September 18, 2017
I am going to try a hare scramble next spring! My riding buddy, Mike, talked me into it... but first I need to get into better shape. Both my body and the Big Red Pig (my bike) need improvement. My son, Joey, is going to do the kid's hare scramble, so it looks like a little father-son conditioning is on the horizon.
What's a Hare Scramble?
A hare scramble is a sprint from start to finish. Unlike an Enduro, a hare scramble has no technical tests or time-keeping skills required. The race we are entering is in the desert surrounding Grand Junction, Colorado.
I am entering the senior class (40+), and Joey is taking on pee-wee class with either his Honda 70 or old Yamaha 50. Mike will compete open class against 20-somethings. Each lap could be up to 40 miles long depending on the course layout.
My aim is to lose at least 30 pounds this winter by eating more fruits and vegetables and making it to the gym 2-3 times per week. I've incorporated swimming for a total body workout; by the end of a 45-minute swim, I can barely walk. Once my cardio conditioning improves, I plan to lift weights to build muscular endurance for the 2-3 hour race.
Bicycling is a good alternative to swimming. Mountain bikes are similar to motorcycles in that they train you to move your body with the bike. The bonus with a pedal bike is cardio and stamina, and the ability to travel around my location while getting a workout.
Joey has taken to drinking milk, eating high protein foods, and fruits. I've overheard him telling others he can't have candy because he's trying to get ready to race. While he doesn't need to lose weight, he could use some muscle to boost endurance and strength for the race.
Mike is in his twenties, works hard for a living, and is in excellent physical condition. Lucky guy.
We will likely head to the race area sometime this fall/winter. We used to ride here all the time, but it's been years since we've made a trip out. While we don't know the course map, we plan to familiarize ourselves with the terrain. We plan to bring the ATV to take the trails at a slower pace so we can see the lines for the dirt bike.
The four-wheeler will need a bit of maintenance before that, like an oil and coolant change, fluid checks, and cable, brake and general parts inspection per the owner's manual. The ATV tires are in great shape, so I'll check their pressure before taking it out.
Winter maintenance will need to be more detailed. I have 30 years of motorcycle experience, but this race will be a first. As I'm going into this blind, I'll use my Honda manual to first examine signs for maintenance I don't usually perform. New tires and tubes are a must, so I'll be investing in some Maxxis desert motorcycle tires. Joey's tires are okay on both bikes, so we will maintain and adjust them up until we decide which bike he'll run.
Mike needs a replacement for his 2-stroke KX250. When we attended Endurocross, he fell in love with the Kawasaki KX450F; he's been working extra hours to purchase one, though he may get an ATV for pre-running. A new bike will require pre-running to adjust the suspension to his needs.
A New Chapter
The hare scramble has me looking forward to training and prepping our machines. This is a new chapter for my off-roading life. Joey and I will have a father-son new activity, and it gives me an opportunity to bond with Mike. Wish us luck!