Oregon Enduro Series-Hood River Race #1
There's no shortage of beauty at Hood River, Oregon. Still very raw with endless amounts of land for trails. Photo by Fox
Enduros are a unique way of mountain bike racing. The vibes are so kick-back, it feels like you're on a big group ride with your friends. "Hey, the first one down is buying"!
It was easy tracking down Devon Lyons, Executive Director of the Oregon Enduro Series, because he was just about everywhere at the races, from directing parking to starting us off at the first stage of the race. We were able to get his mission statement as well, check it out.
"After a successful third year, and the first full year of enduro
racing, we are back for 2013! The Oregon Enduro Series believes that the
overall experience is the most important part of enduro racing. Having
fun is as important as the competitive aspect of our events. The
multi-stage gravity enduro format combines the best parts of riding with
your buddies and ripping down some of the best trails in existence,
with that of some good old-fashion competition. Our race courses require
a balance of both technical bike-handling skills and physical fitness
components to participate. The goal is to provide a level playing field
for both climbers and descenders so we may crown the top all-around
athletes. Plus, the enduro format offers a great experience for serious
competitors, weekend warriors and those who just want to enjoy our world
class mountain biking with an après-ride festival atmosphere.
"This year we will keep the existing race venues–Hood River, Bend,
Ashland and Mt.Hood/Sandy–and add a new venue at Camas, Washington, making
it a five-race enduro championship series. We will also add the NEW
Ashland Super D as the Oregon State Championships! As always, our goal
is to support and celebrate riders, not just racers. All individual
series races will have cash and merchandise prizing for top finishers in
each category with an overall award ceremony following the season
finale race at Sandy Ridge. Expect world-class courses, camaraderie,
epic dirt, raffle prizes, music, and solid local and industry support."
Race registration was held at Dirty Fingers Bicycle Repair one of the coolest bike shops we have seen. It's definitely a stop when traveling through Hood River.
There was no shortage of world class talent at Hood River this weekend. Trek's Factory Team Riders Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and wife Heather Irmiger were out to shred the trails and took the time to chat before their shuttle to the top. Why does Heather have the "Eye of the Tiger" look? Enduros can be playful but you also have to be in the zone, because high speeds and slippery technical sections can get the best of you, if you let off.
Loading-up. The pros share the last couple of stories and fight for who is going to get shot-gun. Our money is on Joe Lawwill. Tip #1, if you want your bike first off the van, then you try to load it last. Good luck!
Enduros usually take place in vast areas of wilderness and may tempt many racers to tweak the rules a bit. Not all stages of an enduro race are the same. Some stages may require more pedaling and some make you wish you had your downhiller. So to curb that urge to switch-out bikes before the next stage, the Oregon Enduro Series crew mandates riders to run their race sticker, to identify that this is the same bike you started on. This rule was strictly enforced because enduro racers were complaining that their Strava times were being shattered, by this guy (below). Whiners.
Photo-Phil Beckman/PB Creative
Behind these cool race plates are timing chips. The race official said don't bend or alter your plate because it may throw off your time. It didn't take long, before the racers, always looking for that edge, decided to customize their plates to route cables and cut back on wind drag. Officials should have said, "Look at these nicely designed race plates, you should cut them and bend them all up". Photo-Fox
One of the fastest young guns on the tour: 19-year old Cody Phillips-Team Santa Cruz/XFusion Presented by Frontier from Monrovia, California, and student-athlete of Lees-McRae College in North Carolina, is off to a great start for his first year on the pro circuit. Go get em Cody!
For more race information contact: