Hood River Round 1 – The Enduro Experience

Last years assault on the North American Enduro scene was memorable, filled with good times, adventure, new friends and amazing experiences. We were just two guys out having a blast riding bikes. This year will be no different.

Fresh kits and new bikes we thank our affiliates for providing us with the tools to be at our best! Photo – Todd Hellinga

As winter rolled out for another season we were counting down the days for the first round of the 2013 North American Enduro Series. The Weeks prior we had our trusty home the “Thunder Pig” serviced and tuned up ready for another big year on the road. We had our last days of work for the season and with an early start to spring we were out on the trails getting up to speed and trying out new equipment.

Home away from home

After the stories shared from our experiences last year we had a small army of friends from BC that would join us at Hood River to get a taste for the enduro scene and see first hand at what all the fuss is about.

Top Left – private shuttle friday practice, Top Right – At the start of stage 5 getting our stoke on. Low Left – Fanny & Emily fueling up ready for race day, Low Right – a laugh a minute for breakfast sunday morning at Dirty Fingers coffee shop.
The Dunbar Cycles Crew – these boys are hilarious! Carlos (left) has just won the ride with Wade competition for the BC bike race! He also has a new found fitness thanks to Marx conditioning that he was eager to test on the trails in Hood River! yes he has taped his nipples! Adam Mantle (right) one of the leading forces on the Dunbar DH team stepped outside his comfort zone for the weekend to see if he really was “Enduro”!
We pulled this guy out of his natural habitat of Whistler! Matt Ryan aka “the dingo” is a man with a wealth of experience, knowledge and is just plain fast on a bike. He had plenty of great tips for us over the weekend and he walked away with a solid 12th place.

Over the years living in Whistler i have had the pleasure of riding with these people. They are not all racers but all of them have a passion for riding their bike! From adventuring in the Chilcotins, hanging out in the bike park, riding in the valley and ripping each others lungs out at the local toonie xc races, i have spent time with all these people separately in different areas of mountain biking. It was great to see this one format of riding bikes called Enduro has brought these people together to hang out for the weekend, ride together, laugh and share there biking experiences.

There was some amazing tech support from Shimano and Fox keeping everyone out on the trails. With these brands supporting races like this Enduro has a bright future!

The competition this weekend was solid with a packed pro field which is great for the series. We had an interesting weekend of racing, i think the anticipation and mental game of hanging in the gym and on a trainer during the winter months waiting for the first race to arrive placed alot of pressure to come out of the gate swinging.

Chris dropping into the slick rock garden stage 2 Photo – Todd Hellinga
The conditions could be described as slick, slippery and variable with a touch of hero dirt over the weekend! This was the exit of stage 7 braaaap!
Dylan on his way down the rock garden stage 2 Photo – Todd Hellinga

Chris had a good start but had a few minor issues and mishaps that seen him just inside the top 10. Lets just say he may have done stage 4 chainless from the start. Myself, well i decided to get a few soil samples one on stage 2 with a nice high speed wash out and then followed up with a scary fall on stage 3 that felt like i had a visit to the chiropractor that had me down for a while. It may not have been the results we where looking for but its early days and the season is long and we have plenty of time to get our groove on and back into the mixer! What i can say is that we had an amazing weekend shredding trail with a bunch of rad people!

Kari, Emily, Fanny and Katrina all smiles after a fun weekend in the Hood!

The next stop in the Oregon Series is Bend!  Bring your friends, hang out, ride hard and get a load of the enduro experience!

Photo – Danielle Baker

Big thanks to our 2013 affiliates – Santa Cruz Bicycles, Shimano, Fox, Enve, Race Face, Giro, Ergon, Maxxis, MRP, Smith Optics, Marx Conditioning, Suspension Werx, Boeshield T9, Nite Rider and Suspension Therapy.



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