Hmm. Where to start? Well I’ll just say that I had a blast this weekend, and I am hooked on enduro racing! Last weekend was the Santa Cruz Super Enduro here on some of my home trails. My last post detailed some tips that I had been using to prepare for this event, and prepared I was. Now let’s get to the race!
I usually can barely drag myself out of bed at 6AM, but this day was different. This was the day I had been preparing for. I hopped right out of bed feeling excited and confident. I had some breakfast, gathered the bags I packed the night before, and started the half hour drive to Soquel Demonstration Forest, or “Demo” as we call it. I had the heat blasting in my truck while driving the sketchy, pot hole filled roads of the Santa Cruz Mountains because I knew that it would be unbearably cold at Demo.
|Bell was the title sponsor for this year’s event.|
I arrived, met up with my teammate Mitchell, and picked up my number plate at the registration booth. We then waited around for what seemed like forever before starting the race; we just wanted to ride! Finally we could start the 30 minute climb up to the top. We then proceeded to wait in line another 30 minutes before starting the first timed stage. The first stage consisted of some single track and then finished off with a super high speed fire road section.
I wasn’t very nervous before this race, but the nerves I did have were alleviated after that first pedal stroke. It’s time to do what you came to do. This won’t be hard. You know these trails. You have ridden here last weekend. You know every corner, every jump, and every rock. I ended up passing three people on this stage, and finishing with a time of 7:05.
|I rode a Specialized Enduro Expert Carbon 29er. This bike is fast!|
We then had another 20 minute climb over to stage 2. Stage 2 was much more difficult. The stage was about 10 minutes long and consisted of twisting, technical single track. If that isn’t hard enough, there is a short, steep climb smack dab in the middle! I ended up passing three more people on this stage and finishing with a time of 9:45. I was exhausted after this one! The trail never gave up. A true test of endurance.
And that concludes the race! There was another long climb out of the canyon after stage 2, but that’s no fun to talk about. Unfortunately, the Junior racers did not have a third descent to complete, even though I could have easily completed the full course. The rest of the day was spent celebrating the spirit of enduro! We topped the day off with awards in the dark after the much anticipated results were posted. I ended up winning the race, as well as both stages! Super stoked on the result!
Huge shout out to everyone who made this race happen. I can’t wait to see what this race grows into. It truly was an amazing experience being able to race in this event the first year it was open to the public! I would also like to extend my thanks to Scotts Valley Cycle Sport, who let me demo a bad ass Specialized Enduro Expert Carbon 29er to race on. The bike definitely gave me a ton of confidence on the rougher sections of trail.
It would be an understatement to say that I am excited about enduro. I can’t wait to get out to more enduro races!
|First Place with my teammate Mitchell in second!|