These last past 5 months I have had the pleasure of traveling throughout the state of California competing in the California Enduro Series. The 5 race series has taken us the the Nevada desert, high into the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, and deep into the loamy trail system of Soquel Demonstration Forest above Santa Cruz. Traveling to and racing in these amazing locations has taught me a lot about racing, as well as inspired me to keep going.
Three of this years venues were in places where I have never ridden before. This was exciting since I love experiencing new trails. I love seeing how the trail curves with the terrain. I see each trail as a person’s vision on what mountain biking is. Something about that really impacts me. Not to mention the thrill of getting one practice run and then racing down that trail like you own it.
Despite the racing being extremely fun, it was also extremely challenging. In total we rode for about 10 hours, covered 85.5 miles, and climbed 15,500 feet. Not to mention most of this riding was in the mountains with much thinner air than I am used to at sea level. Racing up to 4 stages as hard as you can is extremely taxing on the body. The mental aspect of racing a trail that you barely know is also always on your mind. Thats part of the beauty of racing to me. Shutting of your brain and just riding. Eating the trail in front of you.
I have come out of this season with so much knowledge. I have learned how to approach an enduro race, how to train for it, and what it takes in order to do it all. I truly believe that I am a better rider than I was just six months ago. To me, riding unfamiliar trails is one of the best ways to improve your riding. I especially noticed this at Mammoth where we could practice all the trails multiple times via ski lift. The experiences that I had this season were all amazing, and I had so much fun. I really do thoroughly enjoy racing enduro. I can’t wait for next year, and am hungrier than ever to be the fastest man down on the hill.