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Race Report: ECEA Round 3: Curly Fern Enduro
WER Rider: Zack Huberty
Bike: KTM 200 XC
Result: A-200 4th

At the second round of the ECEA enduro series, I showed some improvement by closing
in on the first place rider and losing by a gap of 10. Going into the third round of the series, I
was hoping to improve yet again and close the gap even more. It is hard to put into perspective
the amount of time or difference there is when you lose by 10. The difference of a point could
be just a couple seconds, or the fact that I made it into the check before a flip and someone else
didn’t. I was looking forward to the Curly Fern Enduro because it is usually a pretty fast ride
with fun trail. Before the enduro, the rumor was that the club was facing a lot of issues with the
rangers about trail that could be used. Going into the race, I was expecting an extremely fast
race and a lot of whoops.
On Sunday morning, I left before dark at 5am to head down to the enduro. For the Curly
Fern Enduro, I went alone since my dad was out of town. Once I arrived at the race, I double-
checked everything on the bike. I put the bike on our new MotoConcept stand that we just got
recently. They are very durable and they can even be customized with your name and number.
Before I knew it, I had to take the bike up to tech inspection and then head to the starting line. I
got to ride along with AA rider, Jeff Pasqua. I enjoy riding along with these AA riders because I
get to learn a lot from them and I learn how to improve my score.
The day began with a nice warm-up as we entered the forest. The first section of the day
followed car-width sand trails and a few fire cuts at a good speed average. On any warm day
this would be easy, but it was about 30 degrees out and going at a constant speed left your
fingers numb. Fortunately, I used my MSR mud/snow deflectors to keep the cold air off my
hands. In the nice wide open sections, most riders could be seen with either one arm behind their
back or a hand on their exhaust pipe to keep there hands warm. The first 3 sections were pretty
similar as they followed sand roads and fire-cuts, and I was able to zero these. The key to these
checkouts though was to arrive at the checkout on your minute and 30 seconds into the minute,
which gave you a score of 0-0. I was able to come into these close to the 30-second mark and
only lost a couple seconds here or there.
After these few sections, we had a leisurely ride back to the start. I was mentally
unprepared as we went back to the campground because I thought that we were going back to the
gas stop. Within a quarter mile of the gas stop, I realized that the mileage did not add up and
that the club had a secret piece of land up their sleeve. Right before the gas stop, we pulled into
a check and I was still a little confused. I left the check at a moderate pace but then realized we
would be riding a short 3-4 mile section behind the gas stop. This section of trail was a lot
different than the trail during the rest of the day. It consisted of very rooty terrain that I normally
see in the Millville area and even had some tight stuff. The toughest part of this section was a
small area that snaked through a mud hole and had a few logs in it. I maneuvered through this
without much trouble and then the trail opened up a little bit. I enjoyed this change of trail. It
then dumped us out into a field that allowed me to hold the bike wide-open but I wish I had
another gear because I could not go much faster. This then took us into an island of trees with
fun tricky turns and sandy downhills. This was the first real points-taker of the day and I was
able to pull the third fastest time in this section.

We took a pretty big break for gas where I re-energized myself and checked to make sure
everything was working right on the bike. We then headed back out for the second loop. The
next section consisted of two pieces of wide-open trail that were back to back. In this section, I
felt that I was fast, but I was only 4th fasted in my class. I felt that if I went must faster in the
wide-open fire cuts that I could make a big mistake. On the wide-open roads, I wish I had
another gear because my bike was going as fast as it could go. I think it would have been a good
choice if I had run a Renthal 46T in the rear instead of the Renthal 48T. I will be trying this out
to see if it will be an improvement for future sand-runs.
The next two sections of the day proved to be harder for me than I had expected. Going
into the section, I was cruising with a lot of confidence and speed, but I was getting lost. The
section had a lot of new trail, was not broken in that much, and I got lost a couple times. I
started to get into a nice groove when the disaster of the day occurred. While going between two
trees into a straightaway, a root got me off balance. Somehow I ended up getting chucked off
the front of my bike as it endo-ed. I landed face-first and then my bike’s front-wheel smacked
me in the back. It took me a minute to regain my bearings and get the bike off of me. The bike
seemed good except that the handlebars and front wheel were way off. In a rush, I got on the
bike and tried to get back into a rhythm. As I was getting back on the pace, a big tree lay ahead
that we had to go under. It wasn’t that low so I rode at a nice pace and put my chin on my seat.
As I started to go under it, I was hit hard by it. I had a sudden headache and pain in my head as I
looked back at what was the fin of my helmet and paint all over the tree. I continued on but my
day was ruined. At the end of the section, I noticed the fin on my helmet was shattered and the
painted was scraped off my visor. I tried to shake off the crash but it left me stunned and my
head throbbed. The next part of the race took us back to the start where we once again rode
through the 3-4 mile piece. Since I was pretty shaken up, I went about a minute slower in here
and even crashed on a slippery log.
My head throbbed as I straightened out the front-end of the bike at the last gas stop. I
just hoped to finish the day. The third loop took us back out onto a previous back-to-back
section that was pretty wide open. I was not feeling it as I went 3 minutes slower in this section
although I didn’t think I was going that much slower. As I got back to the truck, I knew my day
was over. I had just one small mistake that ruined my chance of showing people in my class that
I could compete. After looking back at the race, the results show that I was fairly close to my
competitors throughout the day until my crash. Without the crash, I think I could have pulled off
a 3rd place finish and closed the gap on the leader. A fourth place finish is good enough for now
as I get prepared for round four of the enduro series in May. I hope to continue to show
improvement at the next enduro and I look forward to writing the next race report!
Once again, I could not have done all of this without the support my family, especially
my dad for his race support, as well as my sponsors which are Johnny Limp at Torc1Racing,
Drew Smith at WER Suspension, PowerSeal USA, FMF, BRP, EKS Brand Goggles, P3, All
Balls Racing, Galfer USA, Sixsixone, Kenda, N-Style, Vertex Pistons, AXO, DT-1 Filters, AP
Brakes, Motorex, Acerbis, Matto Cycle, MotoConcepts, Renthal, Clockwork KTM, and Topar

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