Athletic competitions that cover a combination of different disciplines have been around for a long time. It makes sense that this idea would transfer into the mountain biking world. Downhill mountain biking is about using technical skills to navigate a steep course on very rough terrain. While cross-country bicycling is based on applying athletic endurance to ride a single track path through a forest.
Enduro is a combination of the downhill chaos plus the vigor of uphill/cross-country biking. To add another layer of complexity the downhill section is timed, but the uphill section is untimed. That doesn’t mean taking a leisure cruise to the summit though. The problem is you only have a certain amount of time to get to the top of the next downhill section. Now that you’ve got the basics the next challenge awaits and that is choosing the bike for the competition.
Choosing the Right Bike
To do this each competitor must understand the topography of the course. If the route contains rougher terrain and you choose a cross-country mountain bike you will most likely break down on the downhill segment. On the other hand choosing a downhill bike when there is a lot of uphill sections means you will be cursing the heavens on how tough it is and may not even complete it within the allotted time. This translates to having a hybrid bike that makes it easy to climb for that route, but at the same time can take the beating of the downhill sections.
The Origin of Enduro
Now that you got the basics the next question that comes up is where did this sport come from? The motorized version started way back in 1913 from the ISDT race in England. The International Six Day Trial covers over 700 miles and is an off road test of rider skill and motorcycle reliability. Based on this the Enduro mountain biking concept was born in France in 2003. The popularity of this event has exploded in Europe but its just now gaining momentum across the pond in the U.S. and Canada.
Events in North America
There has been so much momentum that there are now TWO Enduro World Series tour stops in North America this year. If you are anywhere near either of these stops we HIGHLY suggest you check them out.
Thursday July 28th – July 31st, 2016
Aspen Snowmass, CO
- Thursday & Friday: Practice Days and Race Registration/Packet Pick-Up from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Thursday Night: Free EWS welcome concert in Snowmass Village featuring Chali 2Na from Jurassic 5
- Friday: Mandatory Rider’s Meeting at 7 p.m.
- Saturday: Race Day starting at 9:00 a.m.
- Sunday: Race Day starting at 9:00 a.m. followed by Awards and Post Party at 5 p.m.
Thursday August 11th – August 14th, 2016
- Thursday night: Race Registration/Packet Pick-Up from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- Friday: Rider Briefing/Training 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday: Race Day starting at 8:45 a.m.
- Sunday: Race Day starting at 8:00 a.m.