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  1. #1
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    BME Angel Fire stages comments

    What does everyone think of the stages for Angel Fire?

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    Looks legit.

    Hope I have a chance to ride the South Boundary trail on Friday, I never have. From Angel Fire, how long would that take with shuttle and everything?
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    Coming down from Denver, never ridden this area, would the locals suggest pre-ride Friday on South Boundary or hit the resort to pre-ride Sunday stages?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado View Post
    Looks legit.

    Hope I have a chance to ride the South Boundary trail on Friday, I never have. From Angel Fire, how long would that take with shuttle and everything?
    From Angel Fire you will have some ***** climbs. Might as well just put in at Garcia Park. You can climb up the dirt road or just drive up.

    Here is my buddies Strava from our ride starting from the Angel Fire side:
    Mountain Bike Ride Profile | South Boundary Trail, mixed group near Taos | Times and Records | Strava

    We had some slower riders and waited a bit more than we wanted to, but it should give you an idea at least.
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by sledder View Post
    Coming down from Denver, never ridden this area, would the locals suggest pre-ride Friday on South Boundary or hit the resort to pre-ride Sunday stages?
    I think the Angel Fire courses will be more challenging, I say hit the chairs.
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"

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  6. #6
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    Probably going to have nix the 29 for this... lots of gravity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by markmyers View Post
    What does everyone think of the stages for Angel Fire?
    They have chosen the most fun routes down the Mountain in Angel Fire. Boulder Dash is a bunch of berms and tables. The hardest track will be World Cup, which is where Stage 4 starts.
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"

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    Thanks Calhoun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    Probably going to have nix the 29 for this... lots of gravity.
    Good call. It would be fun for the first day, but I think it would get overwhelmed quick on the second day.
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"

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    So I can't quite figure out day 1. Will we be climbing on a dirt road? Is the stage 1 race on a trail? Thanks. Buck, coming from Flagstaff.....

    Oh ya, any idea where to camp? I think I am sleeping in the bed of the PU someplace close...

  11. #11
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    ahhh, just watched a youtube south boundary trail.

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    Who wants to ride south boundry tomorrow?

    Im looking for a group. I have a truck and can help shuttling. I don't know the route...
    pchen@live.com
    719.351.7254

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    this is going to be a blast!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calhoun View Post
    From Angel Fire you will have some ***** climbs. Might as well just put in at Garcia Park. You can climb up the dirt road or just drive up.
    Yeah, I meant that we'll shuttle. I'm just curious how far from Angelfire this is, and how long the shuttle takes. If we were gonna shuttle ourselves, would we leave one car in Taos and drive one up to Garcia Park?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckholz View Post
    Oh ya, any idea where to camp? I think I am sleeping in the bed of the PU someplace close...
    I'm coming down from Denver and was going to try and camp near by as well, looks like Eagle Nest might have decent spots?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledder View Post
    I'm coming down from Denver and was going to try and camp near by as well, looks like Eagle Nest might have decent spots?
    looks like there is a ton of camping all around the area as far as I can tell. I heard it may be possible to set up shop in the parking lot too

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    Re: BME Angel Fire stages comments

    Quote Originally Posted by Calhoun View Post
    Good call. It would be fun for the first day, but I think it would get overwhelmed quick on the second day.
    Curious: why do you say the 29er would get overwhelmed? Not looking to start a debate, but I was going to use a 140mm 29er instead of my 150mm 26. My theory is that I'll appreciate the stability at bike park speeds.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  18. #18
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    BME Angel Fire stages comments

    A big group of the guys I ride with went out to angelfire a few weeks back. They all brought bikes and anyone without a DH bike ended up renting. You can do the lift sections on anything but all the DH guys just soaked the gnar up and kept going while the 4-6in travel bikes got left.

    It's like a $100 a day plus $20 insurance fee iirc and you get a fully decked DH bike. Small price to pay for some serious hardware.

    I hope you guys have fun either way.

    The guys were just blown away when they got back. They said one day there on the right bike showed them things they didn't learn from years of riding.

    My two cents

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    I've never been to Angel Fire, but I am coming down for the race.

    From the courses, it looks like the first day is 5 miles of climbing followed by 5 miles of descent, and Sunday is all lift-assisted.

    I have a Giant Faith, old but good, with a Boxxer, dual chainrings and low gears, I've ridden it on The Enchilada in Moab and thought it worked fine. I also have a Trek Slash, 160mm bike made for "Enduros".

    It looks to me like I might as well suffer up the ONE climb with the Faith and be better equipped for Sunday. Does anyone familiar with the courses have a comment?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfxc View Post
    Curious: why do you say the 29er would get overwhelmed? Not looking to start a debate, but I was going to use a 140mm 29er instead of my 150mm 26. My theory is that I'll appreciate the stability at bike park speeds.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    I ride with Mr. Hazard and know that he would be faster on his SX Trail compared to his Hobgoblin. I am sure there are some 29ers that would slay the courses. Just don't think that a 100mm travel bike is one of them.
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"

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    Re: BME Angel Fire stages comments

    Quote Originally Posted by Calhoun View Post
    I ride with Mr. Hazard and know that he would be faster on his SX Trail compared to his Hobgoblin. I am sure there are some 29ers that would slay the courses. Just don't think that a 100mm travel bike is one of them.
    I figured this was the case... so it's a matter of choosing travel/suspension/geo, not wheel size.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoPaul View Post
    Who wants to ride south boundry tomorrow?

    Im looking for a group. I have a truck and can help shuttling. I don't know the route...
    pchen@live.com
    719.351.7254
    I wish I could ride this one with you Paul. My plan was to race all these this year, stupid money and job stuff. Kippers is down in that area tomorrow shoot him a call ( text me if you Dont have his number) I know he said he had some folks that he was pre riding stuff with. Good luck at the race!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfxc View Post
    I figured this was the case... so it's a matter of choosing travel/suspension/geo, not wheel size.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    I'd agree with that.

    Calhoun speaks the truth: there's some chunk on a couple of those runs that will really slow down a shorter travel bike. Have to say I'm really torn on this. IF my 29er were 140 in the rear, I'd try it for sure (its 140 front, 100 rear). But there's no way it would hold speed through some of the rocky stuff.

    So I'll suffer through Saturday, and try to pin it on Sunday
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    Me thinks the better rider is more important than the better bike........

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    True, if there were a better version of myself I could sub in, that'd be great.
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  26. #26
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    I'm riding my Bronson. 160mm front, 150mm rear. Hans Dampfs on there now, DH casing High Roller 2s as spares if the course warrant them. Stoked! Leaving in a few hours!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    ...if there were a better version of myself I could sub in, that'd be great.
    My new favorite quote from MTBR
    Foundry Overland : Advocate Hayduke Ti : Mojo 3 : Fatback Corvus : VO Piolet

  28. #28
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    I'll be the chubby 53 yr old geezer on a Transition Covert.... wearing blue Bell Moto 9 MX helmet, leave middle of the night, look for yawl lift served tomorrow practicing, give me a "hooty hooo!" when you want by!

    Buck from Flagstaff

  29. #29
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    I'll be on either a black SX Trail, or an Orange Airborne 29er. Bringing both. I'll be sure to holler!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calhoun View Post
    They have chosen the most fun routes down the Mountain in Angel Fire. Boulder Dash is a bunch of berms and tables. The hardest track will be World Cup, which is where Stage 4 starts.
    I've never been there, but comparing the general Angelfire trail map with the BME stages map, it seems that most of the stages utilize "blue/medium" difficulty runs, nothing in "double black diamond" territory. I think I appreciate that-- makes it more approachable for many riders but still challenging enough for the experts. Hope that precedent continues into Crested Butte and Keystone... although I expect Keystone will be the gnarliest course.

    Anyone with local knowledge confirm that Angelfire BME course is mostly the "medium difficulty" routes rather than "full on dh race" routes? My assessment seem accurate?

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    I'm coming down from Durango. I'm a fat, slow old man but I could not be more stoked about the course selections. I have wanted to ride Angel Fire for years, but have never made it. The family are in Missouri for the week, I have some flex time and I'm going racing!!! gonna bring the Tall Boy LT. It will handle the chunk just fine and slay everything else. Maybe not gonna race the cheap chinese carbon wheels though! I rode it at Crested Butte park last summer and aside from needing better rubber, it did great on the jump lines: rolls fast to make me over shoot the landings, but i am a... weakling and fade the brakes on the face. Perfect balance. I love things that save me from myself. Can't wait for the race to come back to Durango though. That one is gonna be rad. I love hitting the trails that it will be on, but I am always afraid of killing someone. Riding them closed, at race pace will be real special.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfxc View Post
    I've never been there, but comparing the general Angelfire trail map with the BME stages map, it seems that most of the stages utilize "blue/medium" difficulty runs, nothing in "double black diamond" territory. I think I appreciate that-- makes it more approachable for many riders but still challenging enough for the experts. Hope that precedent continues into Crested Butte and Keystone... although I expect Keystone will be the gnarliest course.

    Anyone with local knowledge confirm that Angelfire BME course is mostly the "medium difficulty" routes rather than "full on dh race" routes? My assessment seem accurate?
    Pretty spot on. The Blues are still difficult. Duke has some awkward rock gardens, but nothing too scary. World Cup is a Black and has some chunk to it and can kill your wheels if you thrashing too hard.
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"

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    I'm driving down from Denver super early tomorrow morning, hoping to get some practice in at Angel Fire during the day. I'll be racing with and Enduro EVO which should be perfect for this course (I hope!)

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    I am so f'ing jealous right now of everyone going. Have promotion ceremonies for the kids though which is cool as well. Everyone have fun and be safe!

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    BME Angel Fire stages comments

    Exciting to hear some discussion about this race finally! Can't wait for my turn in Moab. Wish I could make it to Durango too, love those trails. Good luck everyone and have fun at race #1!

    P.S. Just curious if there are any flatlanders like myself doing these races (I'm from the Kansas City area). Currently going solo to the Moab race and would love to hear from some mid-westerners (or I guess Great Plains area according to mtbr forum).

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    Re: BME Angel Fire stages comments

    Quote Originally Posted by conekilr View Post
    Exciting to hear some discussion about this race finally! Can't wait for my turn in Moab. Wish I could make it to Durango too, love those trails. Good luck everyone and have fun at race #1!

    P.S. Just curious if there are any flatlanders like myself doing these races (I'm from the Kansas City area). Currently going solo to the Moab race and would love to hear from some mid-westerners (or I guess Great Plains area according to mtbr forum).
    4 people from Omaha are assigned up for Moab bme.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  37. #37
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    The South Boundary Trail is pretty awesome. Highly recommended as a shuttle.

    I just wish I wasn't one of the people who had to do the extra 7 miles of dirt road climb to get to the "start". The first day was supposed to be a rolling 6 mile ride on the trail, followed by the six mile 98% downhill timed section. The rider's bikes were put on a trailer and the riders were loaded on to buses to get to the start of the transition. Apparently the first load of about 100 riders/bikes were dropped off, but the trailer broke down coming down, blocking the buses. After a two+ hour delay, the rest of the riders were shuttled to a spot that was a seven mile mostly uphill gravel road ride to get to the six mile transition to the six mile timed section. So it was a 13 mile transition to the timed section instead of 6, and it was a lot more climbing. And they ran out of beer at the finish before we got there! What a hardship.

    The real issue if you were affected by the shuttle issue was that we got back to Angel Fire too late to practice on the next day's runs, even if you had the energy after the day's riding.


    The four runs at Angel Fire were very DH oriented. We aren't talking Super-D, we're are talking sections of full on DH trails. (For example, the 4th stage started on the World Cup DH course.) There were alternate lines around the big air, but you had no way to go around the nasty rock gardens.

    The conditions were super blown out, deep talcum powder in many places. It is dry, dry, dry down there. For a more novice rider like myself, it was really challenging. By the last stage there ware a lot of scraped up riders.

    Angel Fire is definitely worth the trip. Angel's Plunge is super fun, and once it packs in will be one of the best trails anywhere.

  38. #38
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    I had a great time riding, and overall it was a fun event.

    Challenging indeed. I've ridden Angelfire so for me it was not a surprise (but challenging on the bike I chose to ride). Must have been fairly intimidating for non-locals though. For what it's worth, I'd expect similar terrain for the Keystone race, so riders beware!

    Logistics left a lot to be desired. Loading bikes on the trailers was pretty much a free-for-all. One trailer took off with bikes and riders, then the next trailer took bikes but wouldn't take the riders. Communication (after the trailer mishap) to the riders in waiting was terrible. There was a lady running around saying something to the tune of "this is not the fault of Big Mountain Enduro! This is Angelfire's fault!" <--- not very professional to finger point like that, and who cares about fault, we just wanted to catch a shuttle.

    First shuttle left at approximately 8am, next shuttle left at 10am, boarded last shuttle at 11:17.

    Instead of being shuttled to the beginning of the transition stage, we were dropped off at the turn to Garcia park, with a sign saying: Garcia Park ---> 7 miles, and were instructed to basically hit the road.

    After the 7 mile climb TO the transition and another 6 mile rolling ride through beautiful trail - we're greeted at the stage start with an atmosphere of HURRY UP.

    I won't get in to particulars, but that was also quite unprofessional. I understand they were under logistical constraints, but at LEAST an apology would have been... nice. Instead, the guy was actually bit confrontational and pushy. They were concerned that nobody was getting in line to enter the stage, I guess riding and extra seven miles uphill is standard fare in their book... I was just looking for 5 minutes to get myself together.

    Never got the chance to use my tickets for the meals.

    Staging for the individual stages at Angelfire ended up a bit out of control too.

    Despite my griping about "details" - I'd do it again. Next time I'll train (at least a little bit), and be more prepared.


    Angels Plunge felt very "Mammoth Mountain" to me - which is a good thing. Agree, it will be very cool once its bedded in.
    Last edited by jhazard; 06-18-2013 at 08:51 AM. Reason: grammar
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  39. #39
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    Your post sums up my thoughts perfectly on the race. The logistics could have been handled A LOT better, hopefully they get things straightened out for Crested Butte.

    Edit: I still had a great time and I would definitely ride Angel Fire again. Organizing a race of this magnitude can't be easy.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Moranis View Post
    Your post sums up my thoughts perfectly on the race. The logistics could have been handled A LOT better, hopefully they get things straightened out for Crested Butte.

    Edit: I still had a great time and I would definitely ride Angel Fire again. Organizing a race of this magnitude can't be easy.
    Agree. To be fair, it was an enormous undertaking, and that they pulled off what they did was a feat. Glad I was able to be a part, and I'll do it again next year. Might even hit the Durango event. Probably the most fun race I've been to.
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  41. #41
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    I liked the extra 7 miles to the transfer stage, got my best strava times there! LOL
    I thought enduros had pedaling stages involved? There were none at AF.
    Bring a big bike to the rest of the BMEs if AF is a sign of whats to come.

  42. #42
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    I think jHazards summary is on the money.

    Criticisms:

    - The extra 7 miles for some and not others... at the point where the trailer broke a management decision should have been made immediately in favor of equitable requirements for all riders... ie, everyone rides up. To do anything else is really not in the spirit of fair play or Enduro for that matter. Yes, those of us who climbed 7 miles sucked it up and went but... It isn't the climbing i'm talking about, i love to climb, its the fact that several people had to climb an extra 7 miles before stage 1 and others did not.

    - Four stages on one day is just unrealistic... This either should have been 4 stages on Saturday, or 2/3 on Saturday and the remainder split up. Over half the field had at least a 4-6+ hour drive home... I am not willing to get home at 2 a.m. on a Sunday just to ride what is realistically a "good" off-resort trail. Boundary was fun, but epic enough to push 4 stages into one day and the mayhem that it brought? Nope, no way, not even close. Whole Enchilada, yes, Boundary, no.

    - Point system. Brandon, you are now in a region and market that has been dominated by USAC for years and years. Everyone who has raced in the MSC prior looks at the points system and thinks WTF?.... At the end of the day, you are providing a service/product. People expect, come end of the season to know how they racked up against others/themselves and to view their "points"... Looking back at the end of the season for many will result in: 0 points. Yes, you received zero points for the season friend. Consider using USAC type scoring instead, everyone goes home with a prize. Yes, its only mental for everyone consistently outside the top ten, but that is part of the consumer experience and expectation in this market for the last decade.

    - Free for all - lack of organization or realistic time expectations led to a complete free for all for non-pros on Sunday which created a mixing of all classes running at the same time. Young guys don't want dinosaurs in their way, and dinosaurs don't want young guns pinning past at warp speed.

    - Track standing at start allowed... too nice. Call it immediately. A .01 second advantage isn't going to affect me, but it does affect the minds of those people watching others do it, even if for 99% of the riders it will make zero difference in the results. Its mental, and a perception of the riders watching it happen.

    - There is no honor system for some with regards to bikes if history is any teacher. Having said this, I didn't see anyone getting stupid with sled choice but given time and opportunity, people WILL reach into the cookie jar at some point.

    - Communications can be improved, both in print, and verbally. This is top down...

    - Vendor tents are better placed IMO where most people are pitted. It would also be nice if there were actually people in the vendor tent to help versus racing. Kudos to the vendors that had people manning the tents to help the racers with issues. Vendor tents are pretty for photos, but if there is no there to man them if your component X blows up in the race why have them really? Beggars can't be choosers I get it, but...

    - You might try and see if someone like Avast is interested in attending the events like the MSC had for providing good photos to the participants, because lets face it, outside of family and friends, typically only the pros get shot ( and probably rightly so ).

    - Bike transport, I get that the trailer broke. Just looking at it I thought it wasn't that solid being a builder myself, but... The alternatives provided, stacking bikes into smaller trailers by the riders left my bike scraped all over the place. I'm OK with it, its going to happen at some point, but I watched peeps with carbon bikes biting nails over it. This was far from "safe", or organized, or anything remotely close to it.. just saying. Bike transport staff needs some refining in terms of communication, and procedures imo... and to those guys, I know it must have been a royal PITA so thanks for doing what you could given the circumstances.

    Commendations:

    - Registration staff was great, Sara, Kim, and everyone was incredibly helpful and is trusted by the racing community. Its good to see them on the scene, they know the score, what needs to be done, and how to get it done. Brandon is lucky to have them.

    - Level of riding skill required: A+. Many were afraid of watered down MSC style Super-D stages, and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that you actually needed a high level of athleticism AND bike handling skill to be competitive. Kudos to Brandon and team on this one, more of the same please, may we have another.

    - Timing, I have to say the system we used was really smooth IMHO. I didn't have to think about it at all. Staffing at the timing starts was pro IMO.

    - Participants/Riders/Community, I can't remember the last time so many people asked if I had everything I needed while fixing a flat in a gravity race. I think the racers themselves really create a series, the "spirit" of it, and make or break it. I think we have a really good bunch of people. It was really refreshing to see all the familiar MSC DH/SD people out competing. It was also great to see the ranks filled with a whole new group of riders, welcome!

    - Location, AF is a nice place, there is tech, lots of rocks, holes, and everything is centralized.

    - With a little tweaking, better stage scheduling ( and I know permits are a PITA ), and backup options in place for unexpected events, I think this is really going to be a stellar series, and I am really glad I have a season pass.

    - Brandon, contrary to my criticisms above, a huge THANK YOU for taking over the series, we look forward to growing and participating as we all grow together. And a huge thank you to all the staff that made this event happen!

    My .02

    rodeo
    Last edited by rodeoj; 06-18-2013 at 03:33 PM.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waafoo View Post
    I liked the extra 7 miles to the transfer stage, got my best strava times there! LOL
    I thought enduros had pedaling stages involved? There were none at AF.
    Bring a big bike to the rest of the BMEs if AF is a sign of whats to come.
    I thought they were too (supposed to have pedaling stages).

    Enduro in the US will probably evolve in to something a bit different from what they have in Europe, as permits/trail access seems to be an issue. Or - maybe some new venues will have to be invented/created. I'd probably expect a similar experience for CB and Keystone, but I think Durango's event will more closely resemble what the media portrays "Enduro" to be (meaning pedaling between stages).
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard – website

  44. #44
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    Guys be aware that it varies in Europe regarding pedaling. The next race in the EWS will have almost ZERO pedaling transfers. Punta Ala was almost 50 miles from what I saw. BME races will vary as well based on the locations.

    Overall I am still bummed I missed the race. Sounds like typical early series teething issues that will probably be smoothed out by the third round. Hopefully they are reading this and other threads and soliciting feedback from the riders.

  45. #45
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    Yeah. I'm hoping that by the time I do BME Durango logistics will be dialed...and they'll have a way to not scratch the crap out of my brand new HD. That would be lovely too
    Foundry Overland : Advocate Hayduke Ti : Mojo 3 : Fatback Corvus : VO Piolet

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