Tansky Enduro 2019

Last weekend was the second annual Tansky Enduro out in Jordan River. It was raining on the way out, and with the location being that far west, I figured it would be a wet race. We rolled up to the race site, got a primo parking spot, and got our race timing chips.

This race last year was pretty chill, and this year was the same. There were a lot of familiar face from the Island Cup series, but there were even more new faces. 100 racers max meant it was a small field.

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After the pre race briefing we headed up to stage 1. There was a bit of a line there, but it suddenly disappeared as a large train of about 8 racers took off. The start of stage 1 included a huge puddle. The racing line went right through it, but many of us opted to go around. Silly really since that stage was pretty flat, and included a lot of very big, and very deep puddles. Hub deep. With dark thick water that made it impossible to see the bottom. This stage was a killer. Slow, wet, muddy. Two corners in I realized I had forgotten to let out some air from my tires so I was slipping and sliding on everything. I slid out on in a few puddles and was drenched in moments. My glasses fogged up so bad that I had to stop and take them off. This really was a disaster of a stage for me. I was pretty winded by the end, soaked, and mad at the tire pressure issue.

Off to stage 2. A long climb up, then a super technical and slippery descent to the stage start. There was the group again, but nobody was going. An official came up on a quad and we found out the volunteer that was starting the stage was in the wrong spot. Once we got situated I remembered stage 2 from last year. This one was much better for me. Tire pressure was spot on, the trails were steeper and less puddles. The loam was still flying off the tires though. I felt pretty good about this stage.

Climbing back up we went over to stage 3. I knew this one would have some big climbs in it so when I started I didn’t go all out. Sure enough there were some climbs that I had to run up. I managed to pass someone despite leaving lots of room at the start. Thankfully there was a good place to pass and he didn’t have to stop for long. The longest stage of the day was a lot of fun. The bottom third had lots of great beamed corners eventually dumping us out on to the fire road.

Back through the pits and around to stage 4. I remembered this one from last year as well. From what I remembered, it started off in the trees, kind of flat before busting out into an open area and getting steeper. Dropping into the stage I was feeling pretty good, until I hit the last big mucky section before the open area. My front tire washed out on something deep in the mud and I went down elbow first into that mud. My left grip was stuck in oozing mud and to get up, my left hand was also wrist deep in the oozing mud. I righted my bike and got going as quickly as I could. The open area was pretty good, with some decent flow and sunshine. There was a stump jump that I launched, but landing was another issue. My front tire washed out on a slippery root, the tire planted, and I got bucked. I flew a few feet, landed and rolled. No damage to me, but I had to run back up to my bike and get going again.

I wasn’t too happy with that stage but there wasn’t anything else for me to do but wait and see the results. When they were posted, I discovered that I placed 18th out of 31 racers. I’m pretty happy with that. I wasn’t too happy with how much cleanup I was going to have to do though.

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2019 Island Cup Enduro Series

The 2019 Island Cup enduro race series has drawn to a close. Starting back on March 31st (my birthday) and running until Sept 29 makes for a long season. 8 race in total, and I managed to compete in 6 of them. Some races went better than others, but overall I feel like I progressed a lot through the season. During yesterdays race I felt like my speed was pretty decent, and my cornering was the best I’ve done all year, and these are two things I’ve worked on a lot through the summer.

I’m still not as fast, nor as fit as the 20 somethings that are also in my category, but I think I hold my own against the other 40+ guys.

Bear Mountain

49/50 (0 points)

This was the one race all year that I trained the most for. Sadly it was all for nothing since I flatted on the second stage (Bearback). That killed my time despite a very quickly tube install. I managed to slice the sidewall of the front tire halfway down the trail, and could only watch as three separate racers passed me while I was fixing it.

Nanaimo

38/50 (0 points)

This race was a doozy. Super hot, lots of climbing, and some killer trails. I was pretty nervous on Meat Draw, having had several people mention how hard it was, and seeing some pretty bad crashes right off the start. I took it super easy since I was riding it blind. I ended up having to stop in front of the last drop, then run back up the trail to get a roll into it.

For the rest of the day, the heat sapped my energy and by the third and fourth stage I was pretty cooked. Fun DH sections, but killer climbs.

Hammerfest

20/39 (240 points)

I had managed to pre-ride this course last year, and a couple weeks before the race. No big changes, but lots of fun.

Tzouhalem

29/36 (150 points)

No pre-ride, but I had ridden the same course the previous year. It is a fast, fast, fast course. I like speed, but even this was too much for me. On some of the straight aways I found myself tapping the brakes when I should have been fully pinned.

Cumberland

33/41 (0 points)

Another big day on the bike. Long climb to the top of stage 1, followed by an hour wait for the first racing stage. It was another race I was doing blind, but my buddy and I had the inside scoop from a local. Deciphing the text message while waiting for our race run was interesting.

Stage 1 was long and technical. Steep, loose sections with rocky bits, and some uphill. I crashed on this stage, but only managed to coat myself in dust.

Stage 2 was another difficult one, but the rest of the stages were really fun and flowy.

Maple Mountain

16/24 (280 points)

I did manage to pre-ride this course (for the most part) the week before, which was a blessing. Knowing that all the rocks and steeps were rollable, there were some big hills, and that the final stage was nasty we’re all good things. Come race day, things went pretty well despite my bike barely holding together (tire kept losing pressure, front brake was acting up, seat post needs to be bled, and my chain guide got mangled and was rubbing my tire. The first stage was a lung buster with a large uphill in the middle. Stage 2 was decent, but stage 3 was a lot of fun. The final stage has a long section I ended up having to run.

Overall

34/127 (670 points)

I’m super happy with this placing in the overall season. I had a couple crashes during the races, but no major injuries and no race ending mechanicals (though the Bear Mountain one could be considered race ending). I managed to get to a lot of the races only missing Mt Washington, and the Pro City race at the dump. I’m not sure what next year will hold either. It’s been fun, but the race series takes up a lot of weekends.

Maple Mountain Enduro done and fun. The @islandcupseries is over for the year and it was a blast. I really feel more comfortable on my bike and feel like I stepped up a few notches with my racing. A few issues today with my bike but she held together until then end. Time to get a few things tuned up before next weekend’s Tansky race. #mtbvi #mountainbiking #bikesarefun #enduro

Shattered. What a day for a race. Lots of great trails and great people. So hot out there. I was sweating from places I didn’t know had pores. I really suffered on the uphill, but felt comfortable on the down. I felt like I was picking good lines and making good turns, but I was lacking in power and endurance.
I realized on the drive home that maybe doing five hours of yard work in the sun the day before a race isn’t a good idea.

Thx @islandcupseries for another well run race. You guys and your volunteers rock 🙌🤟 #gnarnaimo #enduro #mtbvi #yyj #mountainbiking #bikesarefun