Stoked and surprised at finishing second – 1.79 seconds off the win – at the National Gravity Enduro race at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra on the weekend. It was crazy how close the racing was after over 23 minutes of total racing time for the elite riders, especially with such a mix of riders and bikes there.
I worked hard to set up my brand new Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29er and plush Fox 34 forks so I could effectively use every bit of my 130mm of travel and work the bike hard to maximise time where a lighter and shorter travel bike would make time, but minimising time lost on tracks made for big hit bikes. In the end it wasn’t quite enough, but I’m happy with runner up.
The main thing I noticed with the enduro format is that it’s the riding I do all the time. Cruise out and up the hill at a nice brisk pace while chatting with mates, then pin it down, then repeat a few times before rolling home. The only difference was I was I was on a dualie instead of hardtail and wearing a full face lid and knee pads.
Chatting with other old school riders, we also concluded it’s like the old days of downhill racing, where shuttles and chairlifts weren’t around and riders had to spin up or sometimes walk up the hill for their runs. Enduro seemed like that, but with a mix of runs instead of just one. Pretty much ideal, as long as the race is run well with minimal waiting around. And this one was. CORC/MTBA did a great job, running it like clockwork. I’ll be back for more for sure.
Thanks to David Blucher for the action shots.