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#477132 - 09/09/10 02:04 AM Enduroitis!!!
Maladjusted Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 222
Loc: Longview, TX
Another great read copied from SERA website. Enjoy!

(The Enduro Disease)
I was first exposed to Enduroitis in 1968 when I took a stripped down (meaning no lights) Honda 305 Scrambler to Gainesville Florida for something called an Enduro. I was 20 years old and in spite of the motorcycle, and the trails, I finished the run. Up until that point in my life I had no idea the human body could hurt in so may places, and in so many ways. On the ride back from Gainesville to Mobile Alabama I pleaded with my fellow riders to end my misery, but as I was to learn, Enduro riders are a sadistic bunch.

And so, here I am today, over thirty years later, signing my entry fee to the Hatchet Creek Enduro, still stricken with Enduroitis. It has been a strange affliction in that it has brought both pain and pleasure. The pain, of course, is obvious. Broken bones, knee surgeries, stitches, lacerations, bruises, sprains, abrasions, heat stoke, frostbite, and fatigue are all expected symptoms of Enduroitis. The pleasure part, a little less obvious, comes when another poor battered body asks "how'd you do?" and you respond, "I finished".

Luckily, there are different degrees of Enduroitis. Most people exposed to Enduros have enough common sense and instinct for self-preservation not to let the sickness really grab hold. Like antibodies, reason eats away at the gnawing urge to ride a motorcycle through the woods at an alarming rate of speed. For some, economics and ability kill the enduro virus before it can take hold. Kind of like a hitting your head against a wall. It feels so good when you stop, pretty soon you don't do it anymore.

For many, however, the sickness moves into a second, more permanent stage. The second stage lasts from 1 to three years. During that time the infected rider can be recognized by his absence from the family at least two weekends a month, a circle of friends who all wear tee shirts with some type of motorcycle icon printed on the back, a motorcycle and racing gear in the garage, dirt under his fingernail, calluses on his hands and a cut or bruise somewhere on his body.

If treated properly, the second stage of Enduroitis can be controlled and many go on to lead normal healthy lives. The relentless pounding of woops, the battering of trees against bark busters, the scrape of razor blade vines across your neck, the slap of a tree stump on you boot at 45MPH, the driving for hours on end just to ride for hours on end in dust or mud or heat or cold, all take their toll over the years. Couple this with an aging body, growing children and the responsibilities of adulthood and you have a pretty good chance of a cure.

If however, the second stage is encouraged by outside factors, say a Third Place in the 200C class on your first Enduro, it could be enough to move a rider into the final, and incurable stage of Enduroitis. The symptoms are easy to recognize. There are at least three bikes in the garage. A van or motor home is parked near by with an enclosed trailer attached. The rider doesn't have any friends, only riding buddies who are as hard core Enduro as he is. He no longer rides, but practices and his family's yearly calendar is based on the Enduro Series he is currently running.

Even at this stage relapses can occur. In my case, knee surgery provided an opportunity to "lay off for awhile", which turned into 17 years. Work took over and sitting at a computer replaced riding. Weekends were spent cruising in the boat, or puttering in the yard. It was a good life. No aches or bruises. No cuts or sprained wrists. Oh, there was that heart attack. You know, high cholesterol, no exercise, and too much good food. I recovered nicely, and was heading back to a normal life when my son, now 28, decided to start riding again. He too had been enjoying his remission when he came in close contact with a final stage veteran. Enduroitis is so strong it can be reactivated by the slightest reference to Enduros, but close and continued contact with another infected rider is usually fatal. One thing led to another and now we are both riding Enduros again.

So it's back to the pain and pleasure of Enduro riding. Choking dust, tight trails, diagonal roots, three foot woops, mud bog creek crossings, rocks, up hills, down hills, busted knuckles, and scratched arms are all suffered with calm acceptance. And for what? You can ride in the woods without riding an Enduro. Why would you continue to do this? What pleasure could you possibly get from all that pain?

I was recovering from finishing the "Loggy Bottom" Enduro in Mississippi when a young rider asked, "How'd you do old man?" I told him my score. The look on his face when he realized my score was lower than his is a pleasure worth the pain.

Victor Ostrowski
Ft Walton Beach Fl
KDX 220
TSCEC #303 +40B
'08 KTM 250 XC
Barnwell 1%'er
ROR - Row One Riders - "It's 8:01 somewhere!!!"


#477137 - 09/09/10 02:44 AM Re: Enduroitis!!! [Re: Maladjusted]
ktmlance Offline
Gang Veteran

Registered: 08/18/04
Posts: 977
Loc: Watauga, TX
Please delete this post before my wife finds it.


#477141 - 09/09/10 03:22 AM Re: Enduroitis!!! [Re: ktmlance]
samintexas Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 03/07/09
Posts: 144
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
You know I read them both - started not to take the time to read the lenghtly letter but found myself still reading to the end - well written and VERY VERY accurate!
Fort Worth
'12 300 XC-W(e)
'07 TTR125
'02 Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird


#477159 - 09/09/10 02:46 PM Re: Enduroitis!!! [Re: samintexas]
caebte Offline
Old Boot

Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 41
Man that nails it right on the head! I'm 41 and my first Enduro was Cycleland, 2007. I was just getting back into riding so i was pretty green. After 30 miles or so of hellish heat, humidity and a long miserable battle to get past a creek crossing (that I wouldn't even blink at today!) I was DONE. Totally and completely finished. I thought I was going to die. Sweepers picked me up and I barely managed to ride back to the truck... hand's cramping, legs cramping, stage 4 monkey butt.. gawd it was awful...
BUT, in spite of all that pain and misery, the virus somehow managed to take root inside me! It took a week for my body to recover, but my spirit bounced back very quickly...the reason was because I felt such a sense of accomplishment! I actually raced my motorcycle! Sure I was slow and didn't even finish (and probably nearly croaked) - but who cares? I got off my butt and did something I never imagined I'd do!

The next one was better - i even finished the course! And this year at Concho I miraculously managed to get a 2nd place in 200C! Enduros are never easy, but when you manage to finish there is no better feeling. And if you keep riding and racing then you get better, and that feels good, too!

I don't ride as much as I'd like to, but I sure am glad I do it. I do believe I will never stop riding - barring injury (heaven forbid, knock wood, etc..). Anyway, great story, thanks for posting Chris.


#477163 - 09/09/10 03:35 PM Re: Enduroitis!!! [Re: caebte]
Danman Offline
Gang Boss

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 344
Loc: Texarkana, Tx
Full blown second stage. Is ther any hope? I just can't afford a motorhome or toy hauler yet!
2013 KTM300XC


#477166 - 09/09/10 03:48 PM Re: Enduroitis!!! [Re: Danman]
DeeKay Offline
Hall of Fame

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 1149
Loc: DeeKay Island
Motorhomes and toyhaulers are for the Elite. Join the ranks of the fully addicted motohead....

Go out and get you a 15 passenger van. You can find em for under $10,000.

Yank out the back few rows of seats and have a fully functional, inexpensive toyhauler/motorhome.....

Bathroom is conventiently located OUTSIDE and you never have to dump it. Motorcycles are safely hidden inside and while traveling around you look like nothing more than a van full of Baptists on their way to a retreat.....

Load it up and come to Houston....

Or find one of them richyrich Lubokites and pile in with them!

In fact my last van was a GMC vanduro (vandura)!!!!


If the van is a rockin.......
I was EXTREME....
Before Extreme was cool!


#477257 - 09/10/10 05:50 AM Re: Enduroitis!!! [Re: DeeKay]
Bobby Administrator Offline
Head Honcho

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 3422
Loc: Spring, Texas

Good storytelling....the addiction, the smell of gasoline, the taste of mud, not realizing you're bleeding, yeah...

Have you ever seen that guy who rides out of the camping area while the dew is still on the ground...with a roll of toilet paper on his front brake a big hurry...then returns about 20 minutes later, all bright eyed and bushy tailed? Yeah, that was probably DeeKay.... the hardcore moto-preacher driving the bus from the Church of the Great Outdoors...


#477260 - 09/10/10 11:58 AM Re: Enduroitis!!! [Re: Bobby]
DeeKay Offline
Hall of Fame

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 1149
Loc: DeeKay Island
LOL....awesome Bobby! But what you really had to see was that SlowFatMan and his specially adapted lawn chair. It was totally AWESOME.....just your basic old aluminum lawn chair...with a big hole where you sat down. Brilliant!

Yes, well, Enduroitis, Trialomania, MXannonomous, EnduroXogenous, and dear gawd...I am getting so old that even Dual Sport (or Dip Shirt Riding) is starting to look interesting....

Fortunately at CandyCreek my van comes with this way cool cinderblock facility that even has a FLUSHER!

BUT as they learned in Oh Hi OH.....

If you come blasting around the first trail DO NOT RUN OVER THE FUNNY LUMP OF WHITE PAPER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIL...

Unless someone is following CLOSE behind you!

Hahahahaah.... laughter.....
I was EXTREME....
Before Extreme was cool!


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