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  1. #1
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    Keystone Enduro - opinions?

    Ok - this could get messy.

    This was my first Enduro (and first day on a lift). It's was a bit rough - more than I expected - but I came away without a cast or an ER visit. I have no experience to base things on; however, a lot of folks there were saying this was on par with most DH courses. From what I've seen of the other US Enduros (based on images, video, and experience on some courses) some stages were more rough.

    If you actually went and did this, what did you think of it?
    Was this a bit too much gnar? Was it hard but just fine? On par with what you expected? Do you think this fits what most expected for "enduro" vague as that definition may be?

  2. #2
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    Had I known this was a DH Stage Race, I would've joined this. However, I was under the impression there was an uphill portion to this that was to be timed. Apparently not. Many of the DH racers were at Trestle racing for the weekend. From the people I've been talking with, they hated it (not enough uphill) or loved it (more DH).

    So, here's the philosophical question: What is an Enduro?
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  3. #3
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    My first Enduro also. I thought it was a first class A$$ kicking. More gnar than I expected but they dialed it back a bit considering what they could have included. I don't think there are any tried and true standards for Enduro's so perhaps they come in many flavors? If so, this one was Cayenne. Maybe the next one will be Safron...

    I am amazed that some - perhaps the majority - were riding as fast as they were without any significant body armor and "enduro" helmets.

    Some seriously fast dudes and dudette's this weekend. I do not count myself among them.

    Definately worth every penny.

  4. #4
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    I didn't race Keystone, but I did race the Angelfire/Taos stages - and I've ridden Keystone a few times and am familiar with the terrain the race was held on.

    My thoughts about it/them:

    While I enjoyed the courses at Angefire, I really expected MORE climbing, or SOME climbing between stages. But it was lift served all day. Personally, I LOVED it, but I'm really more a dh rider than anything... That said, each stage did have a significant amount of pedaling in it to keep it honest. The gnar factor was pretty high on about 3 out of the 5 total stages, but in hindsight I don't think it was a bad thing. A good portion of stage one was quite aerobic/pedally, and while the last 2 miles was very tricky at speed, if you went slower the trail was very manageable.

    I figure if you're not pedaling your a$$ off, you should be working HARD to negotiate the trail at hand. Its supposed to be a test of all-around bike riding, after all - something to take you out of your comfort zone a bit.

    Also, while there are individual events, the BME is a race series - so they're getting a good sample of all the terrain people ride in four corners states. If you race Durango, it will quite a different experience terrain-wise and pedaling-wise, compared to Keystone or Angelfire. Same for Moab.

    I'm guessing the race a bit gnarlier than you were comfortable with or expected?

    Congrats on making a clean race, btw!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    I'm guessing the race a bit gnarlier than you were comfortable with or expected?

    Congrats on making a clean race, btw!
    Too much gnar for comfort?
    It was more than I had done but one always has the option to slow down or even walk so it's all good. I don't let pride get in the way of my sense of safety.

    More gnar than expected?
    I really didn't know what to expect. I have no baseline so I could only go off of others ideas and opinions. Honestly I was sort of looking to see if others love the mostly DH stage race nature, or hated it or what. I realize it's a series and I will be at Durango. We work with what we got so across the entire series we have a pretty broad spectrum and good showing. Probably set the bar a bit high for my first event but I still had a good time.

    Clean?
    Ha! only after I took a shower. It's nice to know that the chin bar on my Down-o-matic works!

  6. #6
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    That is the best part about doing the whole series is the variation in terrain and format. I have done 3 out of the 4 races in the California Enduro series and they have all been completely different.

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    I had to sell my registration due to an injury, and I was really bummed when I saw the courses. Exactly what I was hoping for! I would expect more climbing/XC from an "Enduro" race, but the Keystone course is what I would want all of them to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  8. #8
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    I thought the same for Angelfire, but the South Boundary stage had a good amount, though not much real climbing.

    There will be plenty of climbing in Durango
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdemars View Post
    Too much gnar for comfort?
    It was more than I had done but one always has the option to slow down or even walk so it's all good. I don't let pride get in the way of my sense of safety.

    More gnar than expected?
    I really didn't know what to expect. I have no baseline so I could only go off of others ideas and opinions. Honestly I was sort of looking to see if others love the mostly DH stage race nature, or hated it or what. I realize it's a series and I will be at Durango. We work with what we got so across the entire series we have a pretty broad spectrum and good showing. Probably set the bar a bit high for my first event but I still had a good time.

    Clean?
    Ha! only after I took a shower. It's nice to know that the chin bar on my Down-o-matic works!
    I enjoyed the DH-ness of the races - that's my favorite type of riding. But I didn't want to just have 4 dh races in an afternoon. I wanted to be challenged all-around. At Angelfire, they did a good job of combining the trails so riders had significant sections of pedaling, where gravity was not helping out. Riders were challenged to "keep it on" for sustained periods, and of course it was a little more DH than anything - it suited the terrain.

    I hope I can make it for Durango. Not sure there's a definition of what "Enduro" is, but the terrain/courses there seems to fit what I imagine it to be.

    What a cool series though, and a great way to sample all the unique riding around the four corners.
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  10. #10
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    It was a full-on ass kicking and fun as hell! It was definitely a challenge to keep it all together for 6 long runs. I felt it was a great balance of testing your fitness and bike skills. Looking back on ways to improve that race, anything would be minor course tweaks. I was hoping they'd run the new Paid In Full instead of the old. Is it still not clear from runoff? I know it was closed a few weeks ago.
    Having raced both the Crested Butte and Keystone enduro, and having a DH background myself, I preferred KS, but also had a blast at CB's. I think it's good to have a mix of terrain throughout the series, I just felt the challenges that Keystone threw at the racers was more fun.

  11. #11
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    I really enjoyed keystone. I thought it was the best of the three so far. Pedaling all out for 1hr and the roughness of the courses def take a toll on the body. I talked to a few of the pros with Euro enduro experience and they all felt keystone was much closer to a euro enduro race. Rough, fast, tech, and quite a bit of fitness. Look at the total times for the EWS or other large enduro events and the combined times are pretty similar. The venues all offer something different and I think the overall series winners will be the best/most well-rounded riders for a given category. That's the goal of enduro right? Lets ride a bunch of different trails and conditions, have a lot of fun, and see who gets the bragging rights in the end.

  12. #12
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    I loved it. Personally, I would've been good with it just as is but with the addition of extra timed climbing (not on a road). As IE says, "what is Enduro?"

    At the end of the day, though, the courses were great, and the BME crew kicked butt. This was the terrain I was expecting but I wasn't expecting it to be as full out DH as it was. Way better than CB, IMO, too. CB was super smooth and fast with short runs. Keystone took quite a bit more overall fitness.
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  13. #13
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    It was awesome.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    I loved it. Personally, I would've been good with it just as is but with the addition of extra timed climbing (not on a road). As IE says, "what is Enduro?"
    From what I've read, Enduros generally do not included timed uphills (and seems they've been around and happening for quite some time).

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    I for one, hope it stays that way (so yeah, I suck at climbing!) I think as it stands, the format is pretty good at weeding out the best all-around rider on a given day.

    But can't argue - it was the most fun racing event I've participated in. Hope the series continue next year.
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  15. #15
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    Not saying a strictly uphill stage, but what I'd love is a long backcountry stage with an overall large net descent with climbing in the middle. All timed. To me, that's trail riding. I talked to a few BME guys this weekend and they indicated that Durango and Moab might possibly only have 4 long stages. That should be sweet.
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  16. #16
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    I see where you're coming from. An uphill tech stage would be interesting too, not too long, but something that lets people use that skill. As it stands, most of the tech riding is gravity or speed fed.

    If they can get the permits, there's definitely trails for backcountry stages like you describe in Durango. Would be cool. Would probably be at severe altitude too! Really curious what they're doing to do for Moab.
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  17. #17
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    I've been eyeing Enduros for the better part of a decade. I love stage racing, did the G3 back in 06, which was very much like this format, but only 3 races. Super D seemed to be the answer for the all around rider, but (IMHO) failed when they raced the easiest course down the mountain. I wanted the hardest tech-gnar combined with some climbing; not biasing any one bike.
    But my search for the ultimate race hasn't surfaced yet. If we're looking for the best all around rider in a race, it would include a trials section. Any rider can walk their XC bike down a hard DH section, and a DH bike up a hill. But what if there was a trials section at the end? You dab, you get 30 seconds added to the clock. Hell, throw a set of Dirt Jumps (yea, with gaps) in there too.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    Not saying a strictly uphill stage, but what I'd love is a long backcountry stage with an overall large net descent with climbing in the middle. All timed. To me, that's trail riding. I talked to a few BME guys this weekend and they indicated that Durango and Moab might possibly only have 4 long stages. That should be sweet.
    Looking forward to these ^^^. I think in Durango on the Kennebec day we should get long segments. I'm hoping the first (5 mi) and second (11 mi) major descents are the stages.

    The series as a whole seems pretty well rounded. There's plenty of variety. We have backcountry and we have lift serviced. We have buff, chunky, loose, and jumpy. While enduro is for the most part timed descending stages with untimed transfers, there are a couple of events that are one long timed segment but still mostly descending (e.g. megavalanche). Personally I think it's the only format that seems to be missing from the BME series. Of course one could do the Whole Enchilada as one long segment... It might not be to everyone's taste but I think something like this would be a fantastic series finale.

  19. #19
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    Max climbing in any one stage should not go over 20% of the stage. 80/20 is kinda the limit in my opinion. Stages also shouldn't just be 100% DH.

    Enduro isn't really the format to find "the best all around", it's not a true all around riding. The climbing portions on Enduro are usually short enough that it's basically a full anaerobic sprint. If you train specifically for Enduro, you won't do as well on XC or marathon race formats.

    We had a trilogy of races in Whistler that were a better representation of all around than Enduro. Four day stage race, an XC TT, DH bike park day, super technical xc and a marathon trail race. Races were called the Four Jacks, Four Queens and Four Kings.

  20. #20
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    It was awesome, a true test of bike handling skills and fitness. I'm glad it was as hard as it was.

  21. #21
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    Keystone Enduro - opinions?

    Enduro is short for Enduro DH. Sounds like Keystone did it right.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    Enduro is short for Enduro DH. Sounds like Keystone did it right.
    And yet, the people who invented Enduro, most often have the riders climb out of a downtown area to the start of the first stage...

    Looking at most Euro courses, they seem to feature nearly the same amount of climbing as descending, but the climbing is at your own pace.

  23. #23
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    Yes...so the racing part is 90%+ DH. IE - you don't have uphill timed stages.

  24. #24
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    Is there a list of most euro enduro course we view somewhere?
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  25. #25
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    I put all the US stuff I knew about on this page, but since I don't fly across the pond much I didn't bother with the Euro events.

    The best source I know for all others is here.

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