I prefer Enduro and have been drawn to it as a longtime rider because I can handle most terrain well (rougher the better) and have enough fitness to be able to climb a bit. Life is too busy for me to train extensively for cardio filled XC racing and pure DH events don’t provide enough riding for me on event day! Enduro blends a day on the bike, with socializing with other racers on slow climbs, with fun fast technical terrain ridden with finesse and speed and mostly downhill against the clock. These events are not bar to bar battling with other racers which I like. If you blow a turn your weekend is not lost as there is lots of racing over the multiple stages which leads to more instinctual riding and less memorization!
PIC: Blue Cup DH Race in June 2018, 4th place Amateur Men 30-39.
RACE REPORT – CAMP FORTUNE
Camp Fortune MEC Canadian National Enduro was on July 1, 2018. 45 Celsius with humidity, 5 timed Downhill stages, all pedal powered climbing of the 1000m vertical day. So hot the natural granite was soaked with sweat and was slick like it had rained, and Camp Fortune has rocks for days and some serious ‘steeps’. Organizers stressed course was not for beginners or even intermediate level riders as an indication of technicality, plus heat factor. Many would be racers tried the course Saturday but then decided to not race the clock Sunday given challenges of course and weather. I trained the course Friday and Saturday and allowed my XC fitness base carry me through the weekend heat. Having never seen any of the trails prior to the weekend, and with a strong local crowd, I was in tough as stages were full of intricate linked rocky and steep sections that it paid to know well. I rode clean, with a bit of an error in running very high tire pressures to avoid flats that were plaguing the other racers so I gave up a bit of speed for mechanical security. I place 6 out of in the men’s 30 year old category and I was happy with on a very new, very dangerous track with the heat mixed in.
I am doing Blue Mountain Enduro this Sunday which is also a Canadian National Enduro Series event and I hope to improve on my 5th from 2017. Squire Johns, Specialized Bikes, and 4Wheels Performance Inc are helping with my season in 2018.