A couple weekends ago I took part in my first enduro race. The premise is there are a few timed sections, then some non-timed liason sections. Each racer rides to each timed section under their own power, then races as fast as they can down the trail. Most of the timed sections are downhill(ish) trails.
The Bear Mountain Enduro was close to home and seemed like a decent race. There was a new trail that was built, so I wanted to make sure that I knew it well enough to race, so I headed up to practice a few times. The new trail was pretty fresh, but well built. Unfortunately it was also pretty rocky and had a long flat secton on blast rock; making stage 1 a very energy draining one.
Overall practice was fine. I felt like I knew the sections well enough to race and not die. The things I didn’t know were the exact start and end points of each stage. THe other downside for me was the Chainsaw trail had some huge jumps, and I am not a jumper. Still, I figured a way around most of them so I could hopefully keep my time down and still not have to make the jumps.
Come race day I got out to Bear Mountain and got my timing chip. The racers briefing was all pretty normal stuff, and soon we were off. Sue and the kids arrived just as I was heading up to stage 1, so I stopped to talk to them. Most of the intermediate field then got ahead of me, so when I did get to the stage start, there was a long line, and plenty of waiting.
The weather was deent enough, but super, super windy. Stages 2 and 3 weren’t really affected, but the first stage was getting hit pretty hard. This cooled everyone down that was waiting. Soon enough it was time for me to drop in. I tapped my chip and I was off. A couple corners in there was the first little jump (maybe a couple feet high). As soon as my front tire left the ground a huge gust of wind took the bike out from under me. Landing awkwardly I felt something hit my right leg, but somehow I managed to stay on the trail, and on my bike.
I gathered myself and kept going hitting the rest of the trail the best I could. At the end I tapped my chip and stage 1 was in the bank. My calf was killing me though and when I finally looked, it wasn’t pretty.
I headed down to stage 2 where I knew Sue and the kids would be watching. I lined up, and sent an estimate to Sue of when I would be taking off. When it was my turn I got set up, tapped my chip and I was off. I mostly remembered the trail and did my best to keep light on the bike and to roll as smoothly as possible. Then I flubbed a corner. Then I really flubbed the next. Deep breath to calm down and re-focus. I could hear Sue and the kids cheering up ahead, but all I could think about was my race run. I got it together and managed to hit the rest of my lines on the stage.
Looking like I know what I am doing.
Sue and the kids said goodbye as they passed me on my way to stage 3. I lined up and waited my turn, dreading the first section of this stage. Off I went, dropping into the big rock roll, skipping over the first couple gap jumps. Up ahead I could see the big ones, but I could also see somme newly created ride arounds. These threw me with some indecision. I managed to mostly hit them, but messed up one slowing me down on a smal uphill. At the end of stage 3 I tapped my chip and I was done. My first enduro race was over.
I waited around a bit for results, but it was taking too long so I headed home. Later I found out I placed 13 of 42. Pretty decent I would say. Later that got bumped down to 14th but I’m still happy with that. The shower when I got home did not feel very good, but I did manage to clean up the injury pretty good.
Next up is the Parksville enduro next weekend. Looking forward to it.