Washington State Enduro Series Benefits Trails


Photo Courtesy Cascadia Dirt Cup/Paris Gore

While it’s not garnered the same attention as better known enduro series in Oregon or the Rocky Mountain region, Washington State’s Cascadia Dirt Cup is one of the best examples of how this fledgling every-man racing discipline is benefiting mountain biking — and mountain bikers.

On top of driving technological innovation and opening up the sport to riders that don’t have the time to train for hardcore cross-country events, or the gumption to take on full-on downhill events, the five-race Cascadia Dirt Cup series is giving back to local communities by donating a portion of its revenues to trail development and trail maintenance.

The five-race series, which kicks off this weekend with the Yacolt Burn Enduro in Battle Ground, is being supported in part by a cooperative of cycling industry companies, including Diamondback, Transition Bikes and Shimano.

“We feel like this is a truly remarkable effort,” said Jon Kennedy, Diamondback’s marketing manager, who will be racing his first enduro this weekend. “The whole thing came together pretty quickly last summer. We had a few small independent races here and there, but we saw what was happening with other enduro series and decided to start something beyond those smaller events.”

Kennedy put in calls to various cycling industry connections and it wasn’t long before the whole thing come together. “We had a bunch of conference calls and managed to pull together the series in about 6 months which is pretty spectacular,” added Kennedy.

Photo Courtesy Cascadia Dirt Cup/Paris Gore

Organizations who stand to benefit include a who’s who of Washington State MTB advocacy groups, including Cold Creek Mountain Bikers, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Friends of Capitol Forest, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition and the Olympic Dirt Society.

“Cascadia Dirt Cup is dedicated to increasing funding and awareness for local mountain bike trail advocacy groups in Washington State,” reads the mission statement on the series’ website. “Costs associated with this series are offset through generous sponsorship and support from industry leaders. This means that from the funds generated by race registrations, we’re able to make a bigger donation to the trails we all love to ride.”

For those who haven’t been paying attention to the hottest thing to hit mountain biking since disc brakes, enduro racing is a hybrid of cross-country and downhill where competitors pedal roughly 10-20 miles per day, but are only timed in pre-designated downhill sections that typically take 2-5 minutes to complete. In between you can hang with friends while pedaling uphill however fast you like. When you arrive at the next downhill section, the stopwatch is turned back on and racing renews. Enduro events typically last two days (though all the Washington events are one day), with 4-5 timed sections per day. Final race rankings are based on cumulative time, the lower the better.

The new Washington series is an amalgamation of pre-existing enduro races at Capitol Forest and Tiger Mountain, plus new events at Yacolt Burn, Port Angeles Dry Hill and Bellingham. In each case, the goal of the of the race is to both showcase the local riding scene and also raise money to give back to that local community helping maintain and grow the local trail network and resources.

2013 Cascadia Dirt Cup Schedule
  • June 29: Yacolt Burn Enduro – Battle Ground
  • July 20: Dry Hill Enduro – Port Angeles
  • September 14: Capitol Forest Enduro – Olympia
  • September 28: Tiger Mountain Enduro – Issaquah
  • October 20: Bellingham

Here’s a cool stoke video from last year’s Capitol Forest event that gives a taste of what the riding is like.

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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