Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,858

    So what is "too long" for an Enduro event?

    Our trails alliance prides itself on putting on one of the best and toughest Enduro events in North America, the Fears Tears and Beers MTB Enduro.

    The Pro/expert loop in previous years was 34 miles with ~5400' of climbing and descending. Plenty tough, but this year we decided to add one more stage for the pros to separate the experts and pros and give the pros something a little extra....because, well, they are Pros.

    After putting this out there I received some feedback that many potential racers are a bit aprehensive about our race because of its length and difficulty.... even before we added the 7-8 miles and additional 300-400 feet of climbing (for a bonus 1500 ft final timed section).

    Are we being too tough? Or are people just spoiled by the glorified Super Ds many are calling enduros here in the US? Or are folks just getting whimpy (these were pro riders expressing apprehension btw)? Or maybe it's folks who primarily do DH racing most of the time that don't like the idea of an all day trail ride as part of the race?

    We figure if you're going to travel all the way to Ely and pay to race, you might as well get your money's worth.

    What do you think? Keep it tough or scale it back?
    Last edited by KRob; 06-06-2013 at 01:29 PM.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    233
    IMHO,

    Its probably a handful of things to different people:

    1 - In the U.S. we have a ton of multi-staged super-d races, nothing wrong with that, they're fun, but not true enduros...
    2 - If peeps perceive the climbing to descending ratio isn't "down" enough, they'll pass...
    3 - We simply have so few true EU style enduros, that most of the U.S. market is probably a little soft ( not trolling just watering the elephant )...

    I truly feel that as the market grows, so too will the consumer. We are in the commercial infancy of Enduro in the U.S. ( i mean mass scale ). As it matures, and the group think of what Enduro is evolves so too will mutual understanding between promoter/organizer and rider/customer.

    End game, grow your audience a little, but don't whomp them. I wouldn't create separate tracks for open/pro, instead I would do something more inclusive which adds a wildcard to the event. Instead of the last pro only stage, do a prologue instead. Find a spot, and let everyone play Jared for 4 minutes. If history is any indicator, everyone will think it fun, and a non "expected" person usually wins the stage. Mix it, combine, but don't segregate, separate, or split your riders.

    I don't truly believe that enduros need to be about 300 mile endurance levels, but more about a mix of intensity, technical challenges, consistency across varied terrain, fitness, and the ability to be self sufficient... you could add fun to that too, but thats my definition.

    Its also possible that your audience is looking for shorter but more difficult technicality ( if thats a word ) instead...

    Fun, that elusive element you're trying to package is different things to different people. Maybe pros don't need to have additional mileage to be "pro", maybe there are other ways to challenge people without tacking on "mileage" per se.... prologue comes to mind, unless of course you already have one!

    Just a couple of thoughts and my .02

    rodeo
    Last edited by rodeoj; 06-04-2013 at 05:59 PM. Reason: engrish

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Salespunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,520
    They are a bunch of Pansies. I heard that Punta Ala was 47 miles and around 7K of climbing.

    One other thing you could to is throw some "blind" stages in for the pros. Basically don't mark the course for them or give out route maps until the day of the race. Obviously the courses would have to be different than the Expert courses for it to work.

    Overall you want the exposure of Pros showing up so cater to them, but my personal opinion is these guys are paid to race and should be embracing how tough your race is and the bragging rights that go with it. Bottom line, if they want to race the Expert course then let them, but let's make fun of them behind their backs!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hardboiled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    458
    I think the key is how much climbing will be done on the clock (ie during the timed stages). any mountain biker that calls himself a "pro" in any discipline ought to be able ride 5-6K vert in a day. if they're not racing up the climbs then I would absolutely favor the longest course possible.

    one idea would be to split the race into two days. Given your location, most people that race probably come for the whole weekend? you could designate most of Saturday for practice with a single timed "prologue" stage on Saturday evening to kick off the racing... I kinda like that idea. you could even run it at night, which would certainly add another element. there have been a couple enduro/dh races in CA that have/had night racing elements to them.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    95
    It sounds to me like the perfect enduro event, I dont think that it should be changed.

    Climbing is a part of enduro.

    It sounds like a great event and I would love to do it sometime!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fix the Spade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,340
    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    What do you think? Keep it tough or scale it back?
    Keep it tough, they're supposedly pros.

    Besides, the Trans Provence is 45k (and 4400ft climb) in the Alps everyday for a week. 70k over a one day event is nowhere near too long, I've done more than that and I'm a complete slow coach.

    It may be a shock to anyone expecting a mini-downhill style event like a lot of 'Enduro' races turn out to be, but it sounds like an ace route to me.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,858
    Good input. Thanks.

    I like the idea of a prologue but we still want the main race on Saturday so it would have to be Friday afternoon/evening. Probably wouldn't work for this year due to permitting and insurance and the fact that we're only 10 days away from our race and the scedule has been posted for months. We'll have to look at that for next year. (Night race sounds fun)

    I should make it clear that many of the pros who've come in the past have chimed in in support of the tougher, longer course.

    In answer to the question about climbs, they are not timed and in fact there has never even been a deadline to meet or penalty for arriving late (within reason).
    On the timed sections they are 90% down with a few short climbs or flatter pedally sections mixed in.

    The final stage for the pros is mostly a car shuttle with only a mile or two of climbing with maybe 300-400' of elevation gain. What they get in exchange for that is a super fun 1500' timed descent back into town with multiple drops, gaps, and stunts thrown to spice it up.

    That's another question we've had: Should we make all the features mandatory or have ride around options? The ride arounds would likely be faster in most cases.
    Last edited by KRob; 06-06-2013 at 01:39 PM.

  8. #8
    26 ain't dead
    Reputation: -Chainslap-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    231
    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    One other thing you could to is throw some "blind" stages in for the pros. Basically don't mark the course for them or give out route maps until the day of the race. Obviously the courses would have to be different than the Expert courses for it to work.
    All stages should be blind/unknown in my opinion. In moto enduro's, all you typically know is the total mileage, fuel stops, and maaaybe how many timed sections there are. You have no idea when or where the timed section will end, granted someone with the trail experience will have a better idea than others...

    This is my biggest complaint with the format I see here in the US mtb scene. If someone lives nearby they can go hammer laps and get the section dialed. Keep it long and tough, this is the wussification of America! Same thing is happening in the moto world too, lots of whooped out GP courses replacing long hard enduros. And the trials scene is near extinction.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Joules's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,263
    I'd write the complainers back and tell them it's time to sack up, or suggest they try a sport more their speed, like power walking.


    Then I'd put their names and email on the race web site, letting those interested in competing that anyone who starts is tougher, and a better racers than all these people.

    Seriously, anyone that complains that a race is too hard deserves to be mocked unrelentingly. I don't care if it's the hardest race in the world, you are automatically a sissy beneath contempt if you complain about the difficulty.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,858
    Quote Originally Posted by -Chainslap- View Post
    All stages should be blind/unknown in my opinion. In moto enduro's, all you typically know is the total mileage, fuel stops, and maaaybe how many timed sections there are. You have no idea when or where the timed section will end, granted someone with the trail experience will have a better idea than others...

    This is my biggest complaint with the format I see here in the US mtb scene. If someone lives nearby they can go hammer laps and get the section dialed. Keep it long and tough, this is the wussification of America! Same thing is happening in the moto world too, lots of whooped out GP courses replacing long hard enduros. And the trials scene is near extinction.
    That's a good point chainslap. Even when I was getting out of desert racing 10 years ago few wanted to do 100-120 mile three loop hare-n-hounds anymore. Now most desert races are shorter GP courses like you said. Or if they do have a longer 30-35 mile loop (can't be longer or the wusses with the MX tanks can't make it around) they only do it twice.

    I also see your point about making all test sections "blind" but that is hard to do unless you have unlimited supply of fun trails like on Elden. It is definitely a huge advantage to know the trails. Not sure what to do about that in our location. We have limited trails but there are a few things we could do to change things up a bit... but it really complicates the permitting process.

    Build new trails I guess ( shrug).
    Last edited by KRob; 06-06-2013 at 11:47 AM.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,858
    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    I'd write the complainers back and tell them it's time to sack up, or suggest they try a sport more their speed, like power walking.


    Then I'd put their names and email on the race web site, letting those interested in competing that anyone who starts is tougher, and a better racers than all these people.

    Seriously, anyone that complains that a race is too hard deserves to be mocked unrelentingly. I don't care if it's the hardest race in the world, you are automatically a sissy beneath contempt if you complain about the difficulty.
    Ha, ha. I literally laughed out loud with your suggestion for speed walking. Though it would be difficult to single these guys out because I don't know who they are. I just heard back from one of the pro racers that comes over from Reno every year (and loves our race) and has been trying to recruit more people to come, that many were apprehensive about its length and difficulty.

    I see rodeoj's points (if you want to grow the race you may have to cater to what people want. Sounds like he may be a race promoter), but I agree with you and Salespunk and the others that say keep it tough and tell them to sack up or take up an easier sport, like golf or shuffle board.

    This actually is already the watered down version of what I wanted to do, but even the guys in my club thought my original suggestion would be too tough. It would've required a car shuttle out to Cave Lake State Park for their final stage. The full loop out there would've been about 10 miles with 1800 feet of climbing up to the start of the final timed section then an 1800' timed descent back down to the river.

    That would've been killer.
    Last edited by KRob; 06-10-2013 at 05:36 PM.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jlf.ski.bike.sail's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    169
    i disagree with most on this. 6k feet of climbing sounds like competitive exercise to me. how much climbing is in a typical xc race (no idea, i havent raced xc)? how much climbing is in a typical downhill race (0)? I would aim for somewhere in between. in my opinion enduro is who is the fastest over about 35mins to an hour of timed (virtually all downhill) sections.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    69
    Well, if you want 35 mins of timed downhill you will need to climb quite a bit.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Salespunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,520
    I think you should start advertising it as the toughest 1 day enduro in the US. It will bring in a different crowd that will relish the challenge. There are a couple now that are 7 day events similar to Trans Provence now here, but they have not really caught on.

  15. #15
    Zak
    Zak is offline
    Discernibly Turgid
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    211
    Krob - I'm psyched for this race BECAUSE it's long and hard.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,858
    Quote Originally Posted by Zak View Post
    Krob - I'm psyched for this race BECAUSE it's long and hard.

    Right on! That's what I like to heard. Glad I'm not the only one that thinks that sounds fun. In fact I'm thinking about signing up in the pro class just so I can do that final descent. It'll be a riot... eventhough I'd get my butt kicked.

  17. #17
    lidless ascender
    Reputation: problematiks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    809
    Slightly off-topic, but...is the climbing involved in this race really mellow or am I missing something?The race we had two weeks ago (Superenduro series in Gemona) had almost the same amount of climbing - a bit over 5300 ft - in not even half the distance and two of three big climbs were mellow with the third one only being steep in the upper half.

    Marko
    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

    Pictography

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,858
    Quote Originally Posted by problematiks View Post
    Slightly off-topic, but...is the climbing involved in this race really mellow or am I missing something?The race we had two weeks ago (Superenduro series in Gemona) had almost the same amount of climbing - a bit over 5300 ft - in not even half the distance and two of three big climbs were mellow with the third one only being steep in the upper half.

    Marko
    Maybe we should we remeasure it because even though much of the climbing is pretty mellow, there are at least two reasonably steep climbs. The final expert climb ascends something like 1600' in a little over three miles and there's two miles of pretty steep climbing towards the end of the first ascent.

    We amuricans aren't as tough as you euros though.

  19. #19
    lidless ascender
    Reputation: problematiks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    809
    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    We amuricans aren't as tough as you euros though.
    Yeah, I'm tough as...especially this year with less than ten rides under my belt.And that's counting the races

    Marko
    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

    Pictography

  20. #20
    inexperienced at large
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,800

    Re: So what is "too long" for an Enduro event?

    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Maybe we should we remeasure it because even though much of the climbing is pretty mellow, there are at least two reasonably steep climbs. The final expert climb ascends something like 1600' in a little over three miles and there's two miles of pretty steep climbing towards the end of the first ascent.

    We amuricans aren't as tough as you euros though.

    You're just riding with the wrong people!

    Enduro and super d aren't the same, keep your standards high-I hope to achieve then some day.

  21. #21
    formerly shabadu
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    890
    KRob, your race was awesome. I was a little skeptical of the pro bonus stage, but that ended up being one of my favorite segments. Such a fun trail. 10 minutes, absolutely pinned, with jumps, 7 hours into the day.

    I think the Cave Lake idea may have been a little too much. It was a long day, and I think that would have proven too long and more of a logistical challenge. It was kinda like herding cats to get the 5 of us on the short shuttle anyhow.

    Everyone from our Salt Lake crew had an awesome time and will be spreading the word for next year.
    It was not an easy race, but that's what makes it awesome. If people complain its too hard, that's their problem. If Euros say it sounds easy, they should come try it!
    Thanks to you, Kelly, and all the locals that volunteered and made it happen.
    -Joe H.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,858
    Quote Originally Posted by flowtron View Post
    KRob, your race was awesome. I was a little skeptical of the pro bonus stage, but that ended up being one of my favorite segments. Such a fun trail. 10 minutes, absolutely pinned, with jumps, 7 hours into the day.

    I think the Cave Lake idea may have been a little too much. It was a long day, and I think that would have proven too long and more of a logistical challenge. It was kinda like herding cats to get the 5 of us on the short shuttle anyhow.

    Everyone from our Salt Lake crew had an awesome time and will be spreading the word for next year.
    It was not an easy race, but that's what makes it awesome. If people complain its too hard, that's their problem. If Euros say it sounds easy, they should come try it!
    Thanks to you, Kelly, and all the locals that volunteered and made it happen.
    -Joe H.
    Hey Joe,

    Yeah, that Dookie Ookie descent we used for the Pro Bonus stage is one of my favorites. Lots of flow, lots of speed, old smoothed out moto whoops to pump... pluse jumps! What's not to like, right?

    Good to meet you and all the SLC guys. Glad you enjoyed the race and thanks for the props. We'll keep it tough.....Oh, and congrats on the podium finish. Nice job.

Similar Threads

  1. Maxxis Ikon EXO 29er "Long Term" Review
    By jd1072 in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 388
    Last Post: 11-21-2013, 03:24 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-03-2013, 06:44 AM
  3. Any Replays of the "Ask a Founder" Event?
    By Pelly_NH in forum Ibis
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-25-2013, 09:44 AM
  4. IMBA Summit art "event"
    By bsieb in forum Photography for mountain bikers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-07-2012, 05:44 AM
  5. Replies: 20
    Last Post: 03-25-2011, 05:00 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •