My First EnduroCross

Michael Allen racing EnduroCross

Not being able and Flailing

Story By Michael Allen Photos By Adam Booth And Drew Ruiz


At the end of 2013 I was provided an opportunity to race EnduroCross for the first time. The Dirt Rider crew loaned me a Husaberg 300 two-stroke with a very soft and sticky rear car tire, the perfect weapon to show off the skills. Or so I thought.


Early Saturday morning I got to walk the particular track. After eyeing it up plus down, I figured it would be a piece of cake, nothing looked too hard and as an avid desert racer I’ve encountered plenty in the way of technical riding. I’m not cocky, but fairly confident in my abilities on a motorcycle. I figured qualifying wouldn’t be a huge problem.

Michael Allen riding over logs

When first practice came, we were let out one by one and I took off with Dirt Rider’s Boothy in tow using his GoPro to record the mayhem. First came the particular Matrix, and I attacked it about as aggressively as a vegan at a hog dog eating contest. We went way too slow, tried to wheelie all of the logs, and stalled along the way. I got it started and hobbled my way to the next obstacle. The wood pit looked seemingly safe and I thought I’d just cruise right through it. Wrong again! I got bounced off of my line immediately, almost going down in the process. I switched the corner and popped up 2 large logs and entered the particular rock garden, which was the only area of the track I rode well. Right before the finish, there was about a 50-foot section of big rig tires that I had been supposed to blitz across; my version of a blitz looked more like a sloth crossing the 405. We turned the last rocky corner without an issue and rolled over the complete line jump before taking 2 more pathetic laps. When I had been done and headed back to the particular truck, my hands had grabbed to the grips and my arms felt like I had just finished a 20-mile whoop section in Lucerne.


There was one more practice session before qualifying started, which went a little better, but it still left me sensation unsure about how qualifying would go. As luck would have it, just before qualifying for gate picks, all of us realized my transponder wasn’t functioning so I would have to be hand obtained. This made me even more nervous, knowing they would be watching me flail over the obstacles. When the qualifier for the night show started, We lined up at the gate and watched the 30 second board convert sideways, then turned my attention to the starting gate. At the initial movement of the gate I slipped the clutch and grabbed a number of throttle. Unfortunately, I didn’t go anywhere; since I ran into the door and got to watch everyone else take a flight into the first corner with me trying to play catch up. The next four laps consisted of my flailing around the training course trying not to die, while at the same time getting away from the leaders’ way when they exceeded. Once it was over, I understood that I clearly didn’t make the major and would have to go to the LCQ for just about any hope of being part of the night display.

Michael Allen riding

My group was called for the particular LCQ and I headed to the door trying to think of a way that I can pull off a win, but I had been drawing a blank. The gate slipped and to my surprise, I left turn one in second place. I held onto that spot and didn’t push too hard in hopes that the leader would make a mistake plus I’ d be able to capitalize onto it. Unfortunately, in the process third place had been making ground on me and when I bobbled in the wood heap, he pounced, leaving me in third all the way to the finish. They only take the winner from the LCQ to the night show, so at that point I figured my hopes (and fears) of riding in front of a packed arena were over.


Because I went to the EnduroCross with Dirt Rider Magazine, and had been riding the event for a story, the kind people at EnduroCross granted me a wildcard spot into the main event from the evening. I wasn’t sure whether to be honored or terrified. We went with the latter after I had been told the only stipulation was regardless of what happened I could not finish within the top three. Once the Monster girl put the 30 second board sideways I was ready to go, thinking this was the chance to show off the skills I had discovered throughout the day. When the gate dropped, We spun the rear tire as the remaining pack thundered toward the first convert. By the time I got there, everyone was piled up on the inside of the turn so I discovered a clear outside line to go over the very first log. Only problem was We didn’t make it over the first record and found myself high focused. I rolled back and took a second run at it, clearing this with ease. What ensued over the next four laps (the leaders do 5 but I got lapped) was obviously a complete how-to on what not to fag front of thousands of people. We proceeded to get stuck not once, but twice in the Matrix, secured up the front wheel on the dusty concrete and almost low sided, stalled in the split logs, went careening through the tires almost taking out a flagger, and whisky throttled from the finish line jump landing upon flat ground just in time to slam into the next log.

Michael Allen riding over woodpile

Now that it is all said and completed, I have a huge respect for the sports activity of EnduroCross. I will fully admit that when I showed up that early morning I figured I would easily be able to make the main, but after the initial practice I felt like a first year who was fresh off training tires who was sent to line up at Anaheim 1 . A big thanks to Dirt Rider Magazine for giving me the chance to make a fool out of myself before a packed arena. Like We said before, I wasn’t cocky by any means, but that weekend really humbled me and showed which i have a lot to learn if I consider and compete at another EnduroCross!

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