Jeff Melik: Season Wrap-Up (14/11/2012)

ECEA Enduro Series

Result: 1stth OA

Whew… What a season, after competing in various rounds of the ECEA Enduro series off and on over the past few years I knew I had a good feel for what the series had to offer. For 2012 I finally made the decision to commit to attend all of the rounds and make a run at the overall championship. When I made this choice it didn’t really occur to me how much of a challenge a 19 round series would actually be. Not only is there more races than probably just about any other series it also covers a wide variety of terrain that ranges from the sand whoops and tight trees of New Jersey, to the slimy hills of New York, and the brutal rock gardens of Pennsylvania. To top it all off, 90 percent of the races are old school timekeepers where sometimes the fastest guy doesn’t necessarily win. I had six overall wins this season and as important as those are, in the end it was the damage control on my bad days that kept me in it at the end. Even though I’ve been racing for the last 20 years, this year taught me that enduro racing isn’t as much an individual effort as most people think. To win takes great equipment as well as help and support from a lot of people that want to see you win as bad as if they were the rider.

 

To say that this year was a dream season would be a lie. There is so much that can and did happen over the course of 19 races that I cant even begin to tell all of those stories here. Some of these highlights range from switching from a 2011 to a completely different 2012 model Gas Gas, five races into the series, to having a major mental breakdown at the trickiest timekeeping event that I have ever seen are just a couple of the challenges that come to mind. At one round, mid season, I was in a wedding on Saturday before the event and pulled into the pits at about 2:30am, somehow I pulled it together and salvaged a second overall. I know for a fact that the competition stepped it up in the speed department this season and all had their ups and downs this year as well. I just kept working hard and trying to stay focused and it ended up paying off in the end.

I can probably think of an instance at almost every round that could have easily changed the outcome of that race and the season for that matter. That even carried into at the last race this past weekend where all I needed was a 10th overall or better to wrap it up. I had a major close call when the rear brake clevis decided that it didn’t want to be connected to the master cylinder any more. About 3 miles into an 11-mile test I came into a corner and when I pressed the brake pedal, nothing. Knowing the championship was on the line, that 8 miles with no rear brakes was probably the longest 8 miles of my life, especially not knowing what failed and knowing that I still had one last 6 mile test to come. Somehow I was able to dig deep and just kept pinning it, I guess I just used the sand berms and trees as brakes. I don’t think I’ve ever hit that many trees in 8 miles ever. After the test I was able to re-attach it to some extent, and cruise through the last test to a 3rd overall for the day and the 2012 ECEA Enduro Championship.

Top 3 Year End Overall:

  1. 1. Jeff Melik GAS
  2. 2. Jeff Pasqua KTM
  3. 3. Jarrod Kulp KTM

I would like to thank: Gas Gas Offroad, Fly Racing, Vee Rubber, Pro-Action, Dirt Tricks, Smith Optics, Leo Vince, G2 Ergonomics, Rekluse, Ripped Vinyl Graphics, Motul, WER

-I couldn’t have done it without you guys.

Jeff