Monday, August 26, 2013


Not my first Enduro actually Enduro's used to be pretty big in the Province but since their decline the name seems to have been pillaged by the Gravity crowd and is now used o describe this new kind of hybrid event.

What is DH Enduro: well put simply your Dh's are timed top to bottom and hopefully these runs also have some pedalling sections to help even it out for the xc'ers. In between these DH stages you need to then climb back to the next start area. These are timed in some way and aren't meant to reward a fast climber but penalize a slow one. If you go over a set time then that time gets added to your DH time.  Essentially a great way to keep the DH'ers from bringing their DH bikes and full gear to then shred the DH's.

Horseshoe hosted the first Enduro(on a weeknd) in Ontario put on the by the DH O-cup organizer Tuf Rack. The format seemed to be very fluid as the days ticked down and actually was finalized on the start line by a show of hands. With dissenters getting a kick in the shins, at 1:15 we started, the Expert wave had a lot of the xc'ers in in and of course we don't know how to not go hard off the start even though the first climb didn't count for anything.

First Dh stage is actually the same as the last DH in the XC provincials course, a fun bermed dh with two rocky features which on a AM bike are nothing but on a 20 lbs xc HT could be exciting. Second climb was hot and steep, the folks on the lighter xc bikes easily pedaled away. Arrived at DH 2 had a little break at the top, yes you can stop and just chill out if you want.

DH 2 is an O-cup DH run, a few steep sections and rock gardens,  nothing crazy but im glad i was on the Norco Sight. I can see the thrill of DH racing, having a bunch of people standing beside a fast berm or after a huck to rock garden at speed is kinda fun, usually in xc were going so slow you can wave and smile at spectators if you want too. Sprinting over a little kicker and peddling hard to a finish line, kinda fun.

Uphill 3 was the same as the first climb, which is also the last XC climb in the provincials course, a nasty sandy steep climb, which to ride "easily" is the same as riding at race pace.

DH 3, runs parallel to 1 but a less bermy more rutted run, had a "oh S$%t" moment when the Sight got going a little faster then my brain could process the info (not enough Ram) but kept it upright and hit the line to go up hill 4...which is the same as Climb 2.

Got to the top of DH 4, and realized it was almost over, a bit sad, but I enjoyed the last DH, the most "airy" run, im sure my wheels were very close to the ground but in my head I was sending it huge. 2 wooden launches and few fast drops, this also had the most amount of pedalling at the bottom which i hit hard,

all said and done it was a little over 30 minutes, not epic by any means but a lot of fun and something that could evolve a lot here. Al had his hands full timing and results are still pending but everyone had a great time and really the results don't matter (just saying that cause i know i got worked by the DH'ers)

overall tons of fun, thanks to Norco for the loaner 2014 Sight, I looked the part of enduro rider at least. And Tuf Rack for putting in a ton of work on the course and of course Al for timing,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Past few

After a not so good Sudbury/Nationals week which concluded with a pretty sore left knee after some non-crash- crashes that I tried my best to ignore and just get through it, I was finally able to give it some needed rest the following week.

By midweek the knee was feeling a lot better and I signed up for Road Provincials in the cookstown marsh north of Bradford. Which was a blast in a painful road racing type of way, after 2 hours of some good efforts  I could start to feel some cramping in my left hamstring, probably a little left over strain from the weeks before, so I backed off and followed wheels till the last lap when essentially all heck broke loose and sure enough full leg cramp in the crosswind section with about 10 to go. Not the 4th I had a few years ago but made it to the finish.

Long weekend ended up not racing Vermont and took some folks out on a Big Chute ride on the Sunday, beauty day for it, (pic is of another ride but basically the same folks...)

Then it was off to St Anne, for my 10th run at it. No matter how much they change it around its always going to be a tough race, steep climbs, rooty rocky singletrack, and this year a killer headwind to deal with. The trip out was great with Josh our super Soigneur ...minus the massages. It was a odd weekend weather wise, chilly and rainy one minute then chilly and humid yet still kinda warm the next. The track was shortened in dramatic fashion with the removal of the gravel climb and Beatrice descent.

Race was good, got caught in traffic(not sure its possible not to) and missed out on some of the groups, and ended up in no mans land for 6 laps, which isn't always a bad thing but that wind was killer riding solo. Rode well and consistently no real mistakes or crashes just didn't have that final gear to make it on the final lap. Rolled in for 41st(ish)  huge thanks to Kevin, Jonathan and Josh for all their help this weekend.
*action shots by the Bailey Clan

up next Duntroon, always awesome riding, then the Horseshoe Enduro... then we'll see