NSMB.com Enduro Week Intro

For the week of January 24 to 27, NSMB will be bringing you exclusive content about Enduro racing. But why? Why should you care? What possible relevance has this got to you and your experience of riding?

Well this week we will bring you exclusive news about the cycling world’s governing body and why they are looking to involve themselves and many more riders in Enduro worldwide. We will bring you exclusive news about three Enduro events that are taking place in the Sea-To-Sky Corridor this summer. We will speak to some of the riders who are leading the pack in Enduro racing to ask them why they think Enduro racing is picking up momentum and how this racing format affects our everyday riding experience.

  Until now, Enduro has defied categorization. For example, the Canadian Open Enduro in Whistler was a mass-start event up until 2010 – but not all Enduro events follow this model.

The logical starting point is to define what Enduro is. The problem is that mountain biking has never had a neat relationship with names and titles.

Mountain bike racing has taken on many different forms over the years; cross country, short course cross country, downhill, eliminator, dual slalom, four-cross, marathon, super D to name the ones I can think of. But the two formats that have really stuck are the ones resembling NASCAR and drag racing the most: cross country and downhill.

Cross country and downhill are the most straightforward and understood, they make up a large percentage of the races that take place all over the world each weekend, and the UCI has recognized and organized a world cup series since 1991 (downhill came on in 1993).

These two formats represent, to most riders, what mountain biking is all about. Or do they? When was the last time you kept your seat up for the downhills on a sunday ride and how many people ride their bikes just downhill? For most of us the kinds of bike we ride allow us to go up and down equally well and doing so is the basis of most rides.

A third type of race format is rapidly gaining traction. The bikes aren’t so specialized and represent what many people ride anyway, it doesn’t require the public embarrassment of wearing lycra – I concede that for most XC racers it is not at all embarrassing for them to wear lycra, which is another topic entirely – and anybody can have a go from weekend warrior to veteran racer of either cross country or downhill. It takes the format of most of our recreational rides and adds an element of competition to the fun bit: the downhills.

This is Enduro racing.

Sort of.

Trans provence 2011, nico vouilloz, mark weir, marc beaumont, fabien barel, andreas hestler
  Another model of Enduro event is the Trans-Provence, a multi-day Enduro stage race in France.

You see Enduro races can take many forms. It can mean a mass start race down a mountain. It can mean a day of loops where only the downhills are timed. It can mean a week long point to point backcountry adventure with predominantly downhill timed sections dotted throughout each day.

Things still aren’t that clear about what exactly Enduro means yet as we will see over the course of the week. But is that so bad? At the moment all Enduro organizers are focused towards maximizing the fun for entrants, guaranteeing maximum value for money, and trying to find the best all-round mountain biker.

This week we will be asking the people that organize, partake and understand what Enduro means. Keep tuned in to NSMB this week as we unravel Enduro.

Stoked on Enduro? Stoked on Enduro Week? Stoked in general? Speak below!

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