So today’s California Enduro Race in Los Olivos was pretty awesome!! My school schedule has been pretty busy so I decided to head down to the race the day of. I figured I could get a couple of practice runs in of each stage. I know more pre-riding would be better, but after my crash last weekend on the Sea Otter XC course I realized maybe I should take it a bit easy for a couple of weeks anyway.

So I arrived at 7 am it was pretty cold and foggy out. I knew it would burn off soon though and that the temperature would soon reach mid to high 80’s (which it did). Dang, it was hot out there today…

So I met up with my teammate Mashall Eames who arrived Friday evening and managed to get one or two practice runs in, so he guided us to stage 1. He and I made it to the top of the hill and started out down the trail. Burm here, Burm there and a couple railroad tie jumps that you could really huck it off if you wanted to. Then… Skidding!! Off a good dropoff that I thought I didn’t have enough speed for so I got all sketchy. Dang, why didn’t I just watch Marshall in front of me?!

So that was my one and only crash of the day. I focused from then on to keep it upright, and just be as smooth as possible. The trails were actually very technical with many jumps and pretty steep drop-offs that could really mess you up if you weren’t paying attention. Aaron Bradford was talking about how he accidentally launched it off a dowhill shoot by trying to hop into the transition and landed 10-12 feet down onto flat ground! I didn’t feel like doing that today!

I managed to better my times on most of the stages. Since there were 4 stages and you raced each twice, you could get a good glimpse of the trail at race speed and make changes for the second run. My most competitive time was on the most pedally section of the course (go figure) where I was only about 3 seconds off the leader, whereas the others I was close to ten seconds away. I think next time I will run some much bigger tires, because I noticed on many of the corners in the technical sections I was slowing down way more than I needed to, afraid of washing out. Pretty much all of the top dudes had large knobbed tires on their rides. Another thing I learned from the race is that I could really work on my 2-3 minute all out effort. Downhill racers have to be able to sprint the entire course since it all comes down to seconds for the win. I haven’t really trained for sprinting so maybe I should try to sharpen the blade a bit more.

All in all it was an awesome day, and I am stoked that the California Enduro Series is becoming such a great hit! 150+ riders out there today and Amazing Tacos and Tasty beer were provided to all the entrants, and there was a ton of swag handed out to the winners! All in all I am happy with my result of 15th place, and my teammate Marshall took a solid 13th! We were in good company with some VERY fast dudes!! Congrats to Marcel Osborne, Aaron Bradford, Tom Doran, Ryan Gardner and Anthony Medaglia for placing 1,2,3,4,5!

Check out this cool video, thanks to Kyle Hogan. at 1 minute 20 seconds “116” (me) comes through!