by Roberto Quintanilla
Hey there I am Roberto “Beton” Quintanilla 43 yrs young and have been riding since my dad gave me a PW50 for my 4th Bday. I have raced in Mexico where I am from, as well as USA, Latin America, New Zealand and Europe now. I mostly did traditional Enduros and hare scrambles. In 2015 was my first ever hard enduro race in a Romaniacs and boy it was a hard awakening LOL. Since then I’ve been hooked on it.
The grindstone was in this amazing place in Page, Arizona, filled with sand dunes and washes and some sandstone hills with crazy steep uphills and downhills all over the place. Some very sketchy off-camber rides (almost went down on one).
With COVID the borders are closed so making the trip was expensive and complicated to say the least. We had to send the Van to the border, get a US Citizen to drive it across and all the way to San Antonio, TX. We then had to fly our driver to SAT so he could keep on heading to Page. To make things more interesting he missed his flight because of some stupid paperwork missing but was able to catch the night flight.
We flew on a red eye to Dallas to connect to Flagstaff and then drive for 2:15 hrs to Page.i was dreading the red eye but it was worth it, as we got to ride Friday and Saturday on this amazing venue. Trying to understand it and test tires, mousses, sprokets, jetting, etc. Decided to run a soft mousse with a Michelin Xtreme gummy that did an amazing job and lasted the sandstone well.
17 mile course and 4 hrs plus 30 min to do as many laps as posible. Word in the pits was that 70% wouldn’t do one lap so that made me nervous and kind of think of an Erzberg type of race. In the end managed to complete one lap in like 2:20 and went to the second one but only made it 3/4 of the lap. Bottlenecks where the main issue and trying to find a line without going off course was the hardest part. We has to team up in a couple of sections to carry/ pull the bikes over some crazy obstacles. No outside help rule was implemented so we had to team up to keep on going.
Overall it has been one of my favorite places to ride and will definitely be back for more sand!
One thing I would suggest the organization is more check points and make them all count. This will help them with the results. They decided on only 4 and only 2 mattered so this makes it very hard to score IMO. You had the people in the tough section already, just give them the tools to scan and that way you’ll have a better and faster scoring system.
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