Any time you get involved with six-time national enduro champion Randy Hawkins, you learn what it means when people talk about Southern hospitality.
For a few weeks each year the race schedule aligns with life in Traveler’s Rest, and riders from all over converge on homestead Hawkins. I figured the break between the Louisiana National Enduro and the South Carolina GNCC would be a great time to hook up with hero riders for some real woods-riding pro secrets. It’s always nice getting back here where things are green.
The problems are a flight with three connections and a bunch of jet lag. As it turned out though, the trip started pretty well. Burbank to Phoenix, then Phoenix to Charlotte. As I got off the plane in Charlotte and checked my cell, it said I had a voice message. “Karel, This is Randy Hawkins, and your itinerary says Greenville North Carolina. I’m supposed to pick you up in Greenville South Carolina. Is this a typo?”
Holy submarine sandwich, Batman, there are two Greenville airports in the Carolinas!? Amazingly, I was able to get the flight changed, and my bags even made the switch. Sweet!
So six-time national enduro champion Randy Hawkins picked me up at the airport, and national hare scrambles champ Jason Raines picked me up in the morning. We were off to the Hawkins compound.
First a trip to the on-site gym for training tips from Raines, and then out to “the farm” for some riding tips with reigning GNCC XC2 champ Thad Duvall and Raines. It had been raining enough to postpone the previous weekend’s national enduro, so some of the other expected riders hadn’t made it. But that was fine, the Am-Pro boys were making great riding tips look easy. Tomorrow is trail riding after the morning rain stops. Muddy woods: man are these guys going to be laughing at me.