I haven’t had this much mountain bike stoke since having kids – but it’s back! As the 2016 Enduro season comes to a close, I’m just getting started.
My goal for this year was to get out and ride now that the boys are becoming a little more independent and I’ve got great friends to help with them, that’s been happening. This past weekend was my first mountain bike race in years and I’m happy to say that I stayed upright and haven’t totally forgotten how to go fast, which landed me a 4th place finish with the expert ladies! I raced the Vail Lake SoCal Enduro – the last one of the season. I’m thrilled with my off-the-couch performance.
It’s been a big confidence boost just riding the park at Snow Summit and all the tech trails of Idyllwild and Big Bear, to prep for this. I’ve been riding an Intense Spider 27.5 and for this first race it was the PERFECT choice.
I fumbled the first stage with a funky path through the tech – nerves. As I watch my gopro footage and hear my freewheel just spinning away, it is clear that I was just happy to get through the tech and kinda forgot I was racing in the flats. Nonetheless, it was a boost to just keep the rubber side down amidst the expert women’s field. My time wasn’t great but I had a great time!
Stage two was a little less techy and a lot more sandy. I decided to go last with the expert women since there was some good competition and I prefer the pressure of chasing, rather than being chased. I joked with the masters men to just try and catch me, knowing that I really couldn’t mess up or they would! I was very happy to have my super wide (41mm) rims and my new tires which are wider than anything I’ve run in years (2.5 minion DHF and 2.4 Minion DHR.) My wheels and tires were awesome on the rock with great floatation in the sand. I finished this stage and was sitting in 5th two seconds behind 4th and 7 seconds behind 3rd.
Stage 3 was my time to shine! It was a very pedally run and the challenge for me was to just not eat it when screaming downhill so fast. I came in two seconds behind the 17 year olds who were in first and second which also bumped me up to 3rd. My speed legs aren’t gone! This run reminded me that even a young momma who has been off the bike managing babies still has base miles and a little game!
The 4th stage brought back some tech and although I pedaled my butt off, I fell back into 4th place.
It’s a great feeling walking away from my first enduro with new excitement and room to improve. This winter will be all about getting my fitness back and it’s looking like I still have more time to be on the trails now since SoCal doesn’t really get a winter!