If you’re anything like me, you probably spent the week leading up to Freeflow XC checking the weather radar on an hourly basis. We all know that racing in October and staying dry is about as likely as Ronnie Mac taking on sobriety. Granted we have a few sick puppies out there who were hoping for rain, the majority of us wanted to stay dry.

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Early morning classes would have some prime conditions. Photo: Jill Carney

Goodmorning

The day started out beautifully, a nice day for late October. Early morning classes would enjoy some nice conditions although they would have to deal with a few slick sections thanks to some precipitation early on. By the time the late morning classes got started, the sun was trying to poke out and the dirt was looking mint. However, these near perfect conditions would soon end and afternoon classes would have their work cut out for them.

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Devon Moore had wrapped up his XC title prior to the this round so he moved up to his 85 for this race. Photo: Jill Carney.
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It’s great to see more and more ladies racing dirt bikes! Chloe Alphonso has been improving all year. Photo: Jill Carney
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Guess what class this is? Even with a lower turnout, Novice B is still stacked! Photo: Jill Carney

The Course

Warren Thaxter would host this race at Freeflow MX park just outside Shannonville Ontario. The terrain is mostly hard clay and can be slick to ride even when it’s dry. The loop was 12kms long and featured some of the motocross track, fast trails and a few grass track sections. Unfortunately there isn’t much elevation on the property and technical terrain was limited but that didn’t mean the racing wasn’t close. Battles were raging as many championships were coming down to this last race.

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The 12km Freeflow XC loop.
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Nigel Hill enjoys one of the only dry laps during the afternoon class. Photo: Jill Carney

The rain

As the morning races were in their final laps, afternoon classes were getting dressed and the rain slowly started creeping in. By the time we got to the riders meeting it was clear this was going to be a mudder.

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The road crossings were a nice spot to knock some of the mud off your bike. Ryder Heacock demonstrates.

I had never raced Freeflow in the mud before but I know what clay does when it gets wet…It sticks and packs into things. If you mix in some long grass and more water, you essentially get something they used to build houses with. Think about riding with an extra 40 lbs on your bike, maybe another 15lbs on your boots and don’t forget to throw your goggles away, they’re useless now.

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This mud would work itself into every nook and cranny on your bike.
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It took several hours to free my bike from its new Freeflow mud mold.

Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Actually it is. Riding in the mud is a great equalizer. Mistakes are made so often by so many that it really levels the playing field. I was involved in battles nearly every lap. Not always with other riders, I also battled the mud and lost ending up on the ground more times than I can remember.

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This small endurocross section became extremely difficult once it got wet. The chicken lane to avoid it would only cost an extra second or two so most riders avoided it after the first lap. Photo: Jill Carney
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Congrats to Aaron Wilkins on his Pro class win at Freeflow. Photo: Jill Carney

That’s a wrap

The 2017 season is now over and the mud action at Freeflow XC made the final round quite entertaining. Thank you Warren Thaxter, Off-road Ontario and all of your volunteers for your amazing efforts this season. We also have to thank Robin from Freeflow MX park for the use of his facility. As always Thank you Jill Carney for taking photos and allowing us to use them.

Please keep posted to hoodsmoto.com for a full season wrap up as well as some insights as to what we have in store for 2018. Thank you for your support and for reading these reports each week.