I’m getting stoked about the upcoming California Enduro series! With the addition of 2 extra races, one being in Mendocino and the other in Ashland (both places I have not yet ridden) I can’t help but be super excited! CES does it right and puts on a variety of races for any skill level with a few gnarlier, more technical races such as Kamikaze and Northstar, and a few somewhat tamer races as well.

Northstar Livewire Enduro. One of my favorite races of the series

Northstar Livewire Enduro. One of my favorite races of the series

Enduro is more than just racing, as we all make it a point to get out and camp, hang out with some good friends, and drink some tasty beer. The races will test your skill, your motivation and most importantly your bike and equipment.

Pre-riding Demo Forest with all these Shredders

Pre-riding Demo Forest with all these Shredders

My goal last season was to be consistently fast, race every race, and have a great time doing it. And that I did! All this adds up to some awesome memories, and I can’t help and think back on last season’s epic Enduro race season and some of the funny stories that went with it.

China Peak had a gnarly rock garden followed by this steep rock section

China Peak had a gnarly rock garden followed by this steep section

It was the last race of the season, the coveted Santa Cruz Super Enduro and as any mountain biker knows, the trails in Demo Forest are some of the best.  I was so excited to gear up and defend my current 2nd place series standing, and knowing if all goes well I could possibly pull off the series win. My bike was dialed and I was super pumped to make use of my new Fox 36 fork that I got specifically for this race. My buddy Ben and I had just passed the Summit Store where we took a much needed pit stop before getting back in his rig to continue down the windy somewhat sketchy Highland Way Rd. I couldn’t help but to start talking about how I’m always a little nervous to get to the races on time, especially driving in on the morning of the race. “My car only has 400 thousand miles on it” my buddy Ben said to me. I already knew that it was his pride and joy and he was expecting it to run to 500k. “I know dude, at least we are almost there!” Not 5 minutes later did we hear a loud CRACK and the feeling of a 2 foot deep pothole as the front of the 4 Runner dropped to the ground! Skidding about 100 feet on the lower ball joint, we finally came to a stop, on luckily the only straight stretch of road. Frantically jumping out to take a look, in disbelief, the front wheel was completely folded under the front end of the rig. We weren’t going anywhere.

Ben's 4 Runner's final day

Ben’s 4 Runner’s final day

Thanks to a couple fellow racers who pulled up minutes later, snapped some photos, and loaded our gear in their cars to bring us the final couple miles to the venue. As for the 4 runner, it was towed not long after, deemed beyond repair and Ben scrapped it for a couple hundred bucks. Fighting back the thought of our crazy morning, I had a solid race that put me in 15th, and gave me the last nudge I needed to move me into the series lead!

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Demo Forest. Epic singletrack

I could not have done it without dialed equipment that held up through the toughest situations. I may have not been the fastest Pro at each of the series races, but to me, riding consistently fast and hitting every race in the series is what counts. It paid off in the end with mostly top 10 results, and 1st overall! As we all know, a dropped chain, flat tire or any other mechanical issue will cost you the race. Unlike our gnarly mechanical on the morning of the season Finale, keep your wheels rolling and the rubber side down!

Thanks to all my sponsors, Santa Cruz Bicycles, Enve Composite, Fox Racing Shox, Shimano, Chris King, Giro, Capo Cycling Apparel and Clif Bar for making it happen! Thank you California Enduro Series for hosting a great set of races, I can’t wait for the upcoming ones! Have an awesome next season everybody, see you at the races!

Series win! Congrats to Doug Thayer, Jake Dore, Casey Coffman and Tom Doran for your overalls standings!

Santa Cruz Super Enduro. These people know how to have a blast!

Santa Cruz Super Enduro. These people know how to have a blast!

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