Enduro racing is hot and the popularity is ever growing for 2013. The number of events is increasing by leaps and bounds this year as mountain bikers from many diverse backgrounds realize the appeal of a competitive race that is fun, social and doesn’t require hours and hours of base training and Strava KOM chasing. Recently announced is a brand new 4 race series called the California Enduro Series that has just released their schedule. Find one near you and give it a try! For a sample of the kinds of trails that these courses run on, check the video at the end of this article. (Note: we have updated this article with questions we posed to each of the event directors. Read on for what each one has to say about their specific events.)
SANTA CRUZ, CA – The California Enduro Series is pleased to announce our 2013 race series schedule. Consisting of 4 events showcasing the amazing diversity of California’s terrain, the California Enduro Series will definitely have something for everyone.
- April 6 – PCA Enduro – Box Springs Mountain Park – Riverside, CA
- April 27 – VP/KALI EnduroFest at The Dirt Club – Dirt Club – Los Olivos, CA
- June 29 – China Peak Enduro – China Peak Mountain Resort – Lakeshore, CA
- October 12-13 – Santa Cruz Super Enduro – Soquel Demonstration State Forest – Santa Cruz, CA
The inaugural series will kick off April 6th in Southern California with Robert Herber and Eric Carter’s PCA Enduro event in Riverside, California.
“We are really excited to bring the California Enduro Series to Southern California! This will be the first time an enduro has been held at Box Springs Mountain Park and this venue is really going to impress a lot of people.” says Robert Herber of the Progressive Cycle Association.
The series then heads north for its second stop on April 27th for the VP / KALI EnduroFest in Los Olivos, California.
“Getting the CES off the ground with such a dedicated group has been very exciting and I look forward to it growing with more great people and events. The VP / KALI EnduroFest at the Dirt Club is going to be a great race for people to experience the fun and camaraderie that this format can provide.” says Erik Saunders, VP / KALI EnduroFest Event Director.
Mtbr had the chance to ask Erik some additional questions, too:
Q: Given your experience from last year, what improvements do you see for the Enduro events for this year?
Erik Saunders: “After last year, i think all of us who had done an event or two have a lot of small fine-tune improvements. at the VP / Kali event, we are looking at improvements in staffing that will be necessary to scale up to meet the demand that more riders will create. We also are making some schedule changes to get efficient with the time schedule and the awards process. There is a lot that goes into race day planning and we want to be able to accommodate more riders, which can be tricky with the enduro format, so our changes will have to do with efficiency on race day so that we can maintain our standard for the rider experience even if we have twice the riders- we obviously wont get twice the hours in the day so we have to get other areas dialed in.”
Q: How did the relationship between you and CES come about and what will it mean, from both your perspective and from racers who might be interested in participating?
Erik Saunders: “I am a founding board member of the CES. it is an idea that i first socialized with MBOSC after promoting the VP Dirt Club Enduro. I am also a sponsor of the SCMBF, so i knew and respected their ability to get the ball across the goal line. Through the grapevine, Evan Turpen later contacted me about launching a series according to some ideas that he had, and so we all got together on it. The CES is a not for profit, board run organization whose mission is to promote mountain biking, in part, through supporting a series of independent enduro races in California. For the riders, this means that this is a for the riders/by the riders thing and we put value for the paying athletes and development of the sport above all. We want the CES to be fun, competitive, and something that people look forward to. Our
perspective as CES board members, and as independent event promoters doesnt really deviate from this, it is about fun and value and a top level experience because that is what we think will get more people on bikes.”
“Usually, we think of the Enduro competitor as someone who already has a high level of skill, but we learned last season that the Beginner and Sport Classes are larger in size than the elite categories. Enduro is for riders who have the fitness and power to ride up the mountains and put in the hours, but who really enjoy being bike pilots above all. This should not exclude new riders. In the CES we have a focus on creating events that all riders can enjoy safely, but also that provide lots of opportunities for people to push themselves and progress their skills. Designing courses that offer line-choice and rewarding riders who take risks is one way to do this, and we also build some ride-arounds for the newer riders while leaving in technical features for the pros. I think we have hit a good formula on the course style that wont disappoint.”