So you've been having fun riding your local MTB trails and want to see how you fair against the clock or just meet more mountain bike riders? Sounds like you'll be entering your first Enduro race soon. The Australian mountain bike scene has a number of great local race series scattered across the country. Here in QLD we have (surprisingly) the 'QLD Enduro Series'. These local races are a great way to get more involved with the sport and we can't encourage riders to get out their and experience them enough. So, what should you expect at these events?
If you're hesitant to enter because you don't want to be at the bottom end of the results list that could be your biggest mistake. There are a number of categories for riders to enter in, catering for various abilities and ages. We're not racing to put food on the table, we're racing for a good time! We may be doing our best against the clock on the descent but on the way up you've got plenty of time to meet other riders and have a chat about your run, their run, their dog, your dog, etc. Sharing your racing highs and lows with other riders is what it's all about, our sport has a unique sense of community that is hard to find anywhere else.
The tracks found at your local Enduro races often feature the best trails in your region, there's no better excuse to check them out. If you're considering racing you may of gone wild on the internet looking at photos, helmet cams etc. of what you'll be faced with. Seen some big jumps or challenging sections you're not sure you're up to? That's cool, big jump lines and steep sections will also have 'B-lines' which offer an easier route for you to descend. If you're still a little green to the sport and unsure we recommend you ride the track before race day. Many public tracks are featured in the QLD Enduro series like Toowoomba and Mt Joyce. Private venues like 'Garapine' also give you the opportunity to ride the trails before race day with 'open days' held leading up to the race.
Local races will be run in different ways at the relevant series organiser's discretion but we'll give you the run down on how the QLD Enduro series has run to date. Firstly, it's not an EWS, you don't have start times for each stage you need to hit or suffer a time penalty, things are a little more casual. You get your timing chip at the start of the day, have a rider briefing to discuss safety protocols etc., have your timing chip activated and you're let loose. You'll be given a set time frame to complete all necessary stages, any stages not complete won't be put towards your time at the end of the day and will detract from your result. In saying this, the time frames aren't super strenuous and it isn't common that riders don't finish all required stages.
What are you waiting for?
There you have it, a brief run down of what to expect at your first Enduro race. Here at For The Riders we love racing, as much as we've got our rivalry's with each other its a fun day out on the bike with friends. We encourage all Australian mountain bike riders who are considering an Enduro race to dive in and give it a go. If you've got any further questions about the events, what you need and gear advice don't hesitate to shoot our experienced team a message or stop in for a chat.