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Wanted - Enduro World Series Whistler entry

Aug. 12, 2014, 2:29 p.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

oh and to the idiots who were riding Hardtails…….you guys f'n rock. What an amazing feat to go out and do and I think you guys knew what you were in for before you started which maybe you should go see a doctor about…lol.

Juliane Hine and Sean Dinwoodie from Chromag rode their hardtails and did very well.

Both amazing bike riders and super fit, just another Friday type ride in the valley for them.

Aug. 12, 2014, 4:16 p.m.
Posts: 85
Joined: July 5, 2010

I have to admit that until Stage 5, I wasn't enjoying myself like I was last year. Crashing 4 times in the first 3 stages really hampered my mood and I totally babied Stage 4 to make it clean. Surprised myself though on Stage 5 thinking beforehand how I was going to maintain any semblance of control, except for a dropped chain had a really clean, fast, and fun run which made my day. Didn't even lose feeling in my hands like I did 10 minutes in last year, haha.

Agreed on the transfers, awful marking. Me and the riders around me definitely got turned around a few times between 2-3-4 and pedalled further than I needed to to get back to the village. At this level is it really too much to ask for to put signage up at most junctions, and I'm sure a few guys missed their starts due to this.

As far as timing for transfers, not sure what to make of it. Sad to see the guys riding down from the start of Stage 4 but we had time to stop twice for water and stand in the Creekside river for 5 minutes (which really seemed to help the contusion on my thigh and refreshing my legs).

I thought this year was def a step up in technicality from last year, and would have liked to see more terrain variety like last year. Funny to see on the PB results page the trail ratings, how is it that RDS is only rated single black and the first two stages get a double???

In more pain today than yesterday:crazy:

Aug. 12, 2014, 10:30 p.m.
Posts: 367
Joined: July 8, 2005

Another opinion, FWIW, from another amateur woman. 7 of the 18 in our category didn't finish. Several chose to skip a stage. Others (including Sparkplug and I) did all of the climbs, but were several minutes past the grace period for Stage 4, so were turned around. I also missed my start for Stage 3, but was in the 5 minute grace period and was started 15 sec after another racer (whom I passed; I myself was passed later in the stage when I was off to the side fixing a mechanical). I don't think the racer behind me was terribly bothered that I only had 15 seconds on her…all the women are super friendly, supportive, and (I think) happy to let those of us struggling be allowed to still continue.

I liked the course, both the physical and technical challenge. This is my third year doing the race (I was on the podium last year) and I will sign up again next year. My favourite stages were 2, 4, and 5, and I was, like Sparkplug, disheartened that I wasn't able to race Stage 4.

I think it is unrealistic (and ridiculous) to expect the fitness level of the amateur women's category to be the same as even the amateur men. I didn't need the climbs to be easier. I just needed more time to get there. For those saying you had time to swim, rest up for 10 min before your start, etc… I did not. At the end of each stage, I switched helmets as quickly as I could and immediately pedaled off to the next start, and I know Whistler well enough that I didn't get lost.

It was an amazing event. And probably the hardest day I've done on a bike.

Aug. 13, 2014, 10:18 a.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

Was gutted to see people that had slogged all the way up to Stage 4 have to turn around and head down.

It would be a logistical nightmare for timing to try and have different times for any of the groups, the only way would be to add more time between categories and then an addition to the 5 minute rule. If you miss the 5 minutes they you need to wait till the end of your category and drop in between cats. But that would potentially clog up the trail. Is it fair to the first few people of the next cat to have to deal with all the extra rider on the trail?

I predict they dial it back next year and the difficulty level lands somewhere between 2013 and 2014, but that they'll still aim to be the most challenging one day EWS in the whole series.

Aug. 13, 2014, 10:55 a.m.
Posts: 396
Joined: May 27, 2003

It would be a logistical nightmare for timing to try and have different times for any of the groups, the only way would be to add more time between categories and then an addition to the 5 minute rule. If you miss the 5 minutes they you need to wait till the end of your category and drop in between cats. But that would potentially clog up the trail. Is it fair to the first few people of the next cat to have to deal with all the extra rider on the trail?

Agreed Shirk. After missing S4 cut off by less than two minutes, I can see both sides. I wonder if the cat order could change through the day to give more time to slower cats?

When I left the end of S3 I knew it would be close. I ate a sandwich on the road spinning downhill in top gear, jumped lights, buzzed by pedestrians and generally ignored usual sensibilities, all driven by making the cut off (NB endangering only myself, not others). I thought I could make it, even if just within the 5 mins but I'm simply not up to it.

At the end of the day, a world level event should test weekend warriors to the limit but I think surprising us a couple days out with more than double the climbing of the Test of Metal was too much. Had I known earlier, I could have trained harder, or given up the entry to a worthy racer, but by then I was committed.

Sustainable will be around forever.

Aug. 13, 2014, 1:09 p.m.
Posts: 5738
Joined: May 28, 2005

wasn't (insufficient) transfer timing an issue at the whistler enduro two years ago?

"Nobody really gives a shit that you don't like the thing that you have no firsthand experience with." Dave

Aug. 13, 2014, 1:57 p.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

wasn't (insufficient) transfer timing an issue at the whistler enduro two years ago?

Yes there were issues in 2012 with transfer times. Also poor explanation of how the timing worked. Your stage time started with or without you, people didn't properly grasp that in 2012.

Aug. 13, 2014, 5:48 p.m.
Posts: 409
Joined: May 29, 2008

IMO - the EWS races should be hard to complete, never mind compete. It is meant to be the 'world cup' of the discipline.

I loved the stages, length, technicality, etc… I hope that next year it's burlier and longer (stages and transfers). I would love to race for 2 days.

Aug. 13, 2014, 6:49 p.m.
Posts: 7566
Joined: March 7, 2004

Dumb question….why the need for assigned start times after the first stage? If the first stage starts with the faster categories first, wouldn't they get to the start of the next stages first also?

Aug. 13, 2014, 7:38 p.m.
Posts: 4857
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

The am cats run first - i imagine to get them out of the way prior to the live broadcast of the pros that finished last.

Aug. 13, 2014, 9:31 p.m.
Posts: 904
Joined: June 26, 2012

From the pen of Jared Graves:

"This year there seems to be a fair number of race organizers pushing how far is too far within the sport. It seems like one race keeps trying to out-do the last, as far as making it difficult for the riders to race. Races like this one won’t do a whole lot to get people into the sport. Stages 1-4, while fun to ride, were a whole different ball game to race. Where was the flow there was no real variety in any of Stages 1-4. We need to be tested and pushed, but these stages weren’t enjoyable to race. And that’s been happening more and more this year. The 2013 race in Whistler was tough, and it was almost doubled this year. Seems this course was picked without a thought of potential rain getting involved. If it had been muddy, a lot of sections of most stages would have been extremely dangerous, even borderline unrideable. I read Charlie Sponsel’s Team Robot blog, and I have to say I agree with a lot of what he says not all of it, but a lot of it. Seems to be a lot of people drinking the Kool-Aid, worried they will be called (in Charlie’s words) “pussies” for saying they don’t like something about it and having a fear of being labeled as such. People have said to me that they don’t like the direction some races have taken, but then say the exact opposite to the organizers. Seems to me, the best direction for the sport to go is finding that happy middle ground between being pushed to our limit and keeping it fun. I don’t think you’re a “pussy” Charlie, in fact I commend you for saying it how you saw it. People don’t always share the same opinions, but if you have a concern that you feel strongly enough about, you should find an appropriate way to voice it."

Aug. 13, 2014, 10:59 p.m.
Posts: 1959
Joined: May 2, 2004

I didn't race, but do you guys think the climbing was too much, or the gnar factor was too much? Going back to two lift access stages for next year might help? Then have sram kick in funding to 'revive' upper Babylon or something would be neat

Aug. 13, 2014, 11:10 p.m.
Posts: 10010
Joined: March 11, 2003

Blind, lift accessed on B-comb.. Win

Is there a Vancouver in Taiwan?! I had no idea!!

Nothing sums up my life's achievements like my stuffed corpse, suplexing a cougar.

Aug. 14, 2014, 7:35 a.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I disagree that the stages weren't fun to race, I agree that overall it probably shaded towards too much hard stuff and not enough variety. They could've let us use WIzard for one of the first stages too and I think that would have made things a bit more reasonable. It does seem like it's a never ending balancing act however, in years past our courses were called lame and too easy, now they're being called too hard. I still firmly believe in racing whatever the course is and not whining about it. Offer constructive criticism, but Sponsel just came off as his typical racer bitch self where everything sucks and race organizers don't know anything.

The thing I think is missing here though is context of Whistler style events. I've always looked at 'enduro' events as trying to emulate the style of riding and racing in the town it's being held in. In Whistler that means our lineage in these types of events comes from the Samurai's, or the Royal Trilogy, where you're staring down the barrel of something that scares you a bit and you don't know if you're going to make it to the end, whether because of physical capability, mechanicals, or crashes. But you accept the challenge, you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you conquer that challenge and persevere with new and old friends. That's what this event was in my opinion, an extension of what we have done in this valley for over a decade of gnarly, insane events. I understand that some people don't get it, or they don't think that it should be that way, but I know in my masters group, that was the vibe and at the end of the day most of us were on the GLC patio toasting each other for making it to the end, regaling each other with stories of close calls, mechanicals and what not, and laughing and proud that we had made it. And to me that's the embodiment of completing a hard Whistler event.

Aug. 14, 2014, 11:28 a.m.
Posts: 11
Joined: July 8, 2011

Don't post here too often and don't want to get too involved in the polemic about too hard/too easy/too tight transitions/not enough variety/etc and I don't think I really get what "Enduro" is supposed to be, especial at EWS level even though supposedly it's just "moutain biking" (although Shirk would say "Timed Section with 80%DH and 20% uphill/xc so should be simple) but I really think organizers put on an amazing event this year with a super original course. Was most of it steep, rough, rooty, blown out, etc? Yes. Were the climbs savage? Yes. Was it long? Yes. Welcome to Whistler folks. The problem is by not having pedally trails in it you don't have that many options left or potential variety. If trails like Danimal North or Foreplay or Business Time aren't DH enough all that's left is the type of stuff they used. They could throw in Crank It Up or No Flow Zone or Lost Lake again and imagine the dissent that would cause.

As someone who put on events for a lot of years I find it mind blowing how many people seem so dissatisfied with courses/organizers these days. It is an insane amount of work to come up with something as original and gnarly and epic as the EWS did in Whistler this year. Even more impressive is to run it safely on trails like that. Kudos to all involved as I thought you guys really nailed it this year especially in terms of operating within the parameters of the EWS!

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