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by Ebony Nielsen

What’s your name? Ebony Nielsen (Benny)

How old are you? 23

Where are you from? Kingaroy QLD

When did you get into the sport of hard enduro and when did you ride a dirt bike for the first time? My first hard enduro race was in 2020 however I have been riding dirt bike since I was around 5 years old and racing enduro and motocross for over 10 years.

What bike did you ride for the race? Your own or rental? If rental, can we have a few details? My own – 2021 KTM 250 EXC TPI

What team do you ride in (if any)? N/A

How many hard enduro races have you entered (roughly, doesn’t have to be 100% accurate)? 3 (Tenterfield Terror 2020 – Bronze, Hinterland Hard Enduro 2020 – Silver, Tenterfield Terror 2021 – Silver)

If possible, what would you characterize yourself as? Beginner, weekend warrior, ambitious amateur, privateer, semi-pro or pro. Privateer.. I’m not really sure? 😂

What was the race format like – how many days, hours or races did you have to do to finish/win the race? Saturday prologue and 4 hour hard enduro race on Sunday. Most laps in 4 hours wins.

What excited you the most about this race? Was it the terrain, the grip, the camaraderie, the organisation, the weather, your own performance or something entirely different? The terrain that Tenterfield provides is unreal to race on, the big hills and long creek sections. Also the atmosphere of the whole event, the scenic property and friendships in the off-road racing community.

What kind of tires/mousse/tubliss/tube did you use and why? More importantly – would you recommend your setup or did you learn that something else would have been better? Rear – Mitas EF-07 single green tire with a soft mousse. The Mitas EF-07 assist with traction in the hills and wet creek sections however was still suitable for the common track section that were a little faster.  Front – any Mx tyre I can get with a mousse

Was there anything bike setup-wise that you discovered to work great and that you’d like to share?  Something simple but putting tools on the bike, such as in the air box so you don’t have to carry them on your body. 

How tough did you find the track physically and mentally? Riding in the silver class this year was definitely more challenging. The track is physically demanding especially as you approach the 4 hour mark. Some sections had a lot of riders stuck on them which can make it a bit more of a mental game. When a lot of riders are stuck I immediately doubt that I may not be able to make it. 

Was the track easy to follow (markings or GPS) and was the difficulty level of the track what you expected, easier or harder? Markings were great to follow and difficulty level was as expected.

Where did you stay during the race, was it a good choice and would you do it again? (camping, hotel, private etc.) Camping. Camping was a good choice as the event was an hour drive from the closest motel and a lot of dirt road. However if the event was closer to town I would normally stay in a motel as the event does not have shower and when you camp you must pack and take a lot more things, which sometime can be challenging to fit in. 

Did you feel like you got a good bang for your buck at this race? For sure! Would highly recommend.

What would be your best piece of advice, to a person who is considering entering this race for the first time?  Pace yourself and take your time. Have a look at the challenging section before you ride them, it’s much easier to make it first time then have to push your way up or redo a section. And practice! 

Finally, would you do this race again and recommend it to other riders? Yes! Really enjoy this race and the property and would recommend it to anyone wanting to give hard enduro a go. Would not disappoint!  Grassroots also support the ladies, giving us our own classes to be scored in but still getting to ride the same track as the guys. 


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