To say my anticipation for this event was high is an understatement. I haven’t looked forward to a “race” as much as this in quite some time. Very quickly, the Enduro format is different than the typical Cross Country(XC) races I’ve been competing in. Enduro combines actual cross country riding with timed stages. These stages are generally more downhill focused and even have some very technical sections. The idea is to ride your fastest during these timed sections and have the lowest combined time once they are all completed. It hearkens back to the early days of Mountain Biking, riding for the pure fun of it!
There were a few key components to my excitement; 1- There aren’t many Enduro’s this close to home. 2- I was very curious to see where I fit in on the Enduro spectrum. 3- I wasn’t quite sure how my Mach 429 would handle the terrain. To be frank, I felt going into the day that it might actually handicap me a bit. Well, I was certainly wrong!
My weekend started with a less than stellar pre ride on Friday. The weather hampered the delivery of a crucial piece of equipment, a dropper seat post. Lowering my seat from it’s typical XC height made quite a difference, but it was still sketchy on a few sections. With no course markings up yet, I sessioned what I felt were the first two stages of the race. Although comfortable with some lines I was able to find, I was still leery at not pre-riding the 3rd and 4th stages.