Riding a mountain bike used to mean pushing your bike up a hill, then flying down the gravel roads and hiking paths hootin' and hollerin' while burning out your brakes,
Now, we've got variously built and maintained trail systems, we've got instructors, licenses, sanctioning, and sick edits. The world of the mountain bike is growing and changing faster than ever. The culture is changing quickly, and technology is keeping up. Or vice versa, depending on your views of the bike industry.
One of the big changes we've had the pleasure of experiencing from the inside is the evolution of mountain bikes in how they're ridden and how they're raced. When Wilson discovered the world of mountain bikes there were hardtails and full-suspensions in only a couple flavors, and races were either cross-country or downhill. Now we've blasted straight through "all-mountain," "trail," "aggressive trail," and "long-travel XC" to this place where the lines are so blurred that labels don't particularly matter. Somewhere in the aftermath of all that lies "enduro."
Enduro, how the internet loves to hate you. The number of ironic hashtags used to make fun of this new category is surpassed only by ironic hashtags about hashtags. If you go to an Enduro, it's very likely that the people and culture will fulfill your internet-fueled expectations. The people you find at an enduro will by turns make fun of themselves and be no nonsense about bike racing. All of the why-so-serious tire pressure, line selection, and pacing talk can come from the same people wearing ridiculous costumes and partying in woods between in the stages.
All hashtags, memes, and mockery aside, Enduro is just a radical way to ride your mountain bike.
The Richmond Bicycle Studio Off-Road Team made the trip up to Bruceton Mills, West Virginia to race round one of the West Virginia Endure Series at Big Bear Lake. Team member Matthew Browne has more than a dozen enduros already under his belt, while Wilson is pretty green to the whole timed-downhill thing. A trip like this is destined to be worthwhile, whether you're Batman or Joker about racing bikes. Success at bike racing can make it great, but it's going to be gobs of fun regardless.
End of day stats for WVMBA Enduro #1 :
- Matt Browne 2nd, Wilson 7th in the Pro/Expert
- 4 Kona Process 153s and 3 Kona Honzos
- 6.5 hours on the bike for 24 minutes of racing