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  1. #1
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    Cal Enduro Series 2020

    New schedule up 2020 Events — California Enduro Series

    Questions for those who've raced these:

    I've never done a CES race, so apologies for the noob Qs. I've done the Downieville XC race 4 or 5 times, and looking to do more races. XC isn't really my thing, so enduro seems a better fit.

    Do you sign up for each race individually through CES, or a race-specific website?

    Should I plan to be at the race area the day before for check-in/pre-race walking the course? Or do folks show up day of? Is there group camping or does everyone fend for themselves?

    What do these races cost?

    Are they fun for washed-up, never-been-fast but love to have a good time riders? I'm reasonably fast, but nothing compared to the monsters I see on Strava.

    Is there a Noob/beginners guide so I don't have to bother all of you?

    Thanks y'all.

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  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I have raced the series the past couple of years, including doing all of the them this last year.

    For most of the events you sign up through the ces event. There may be an exception(like if it is a ews race) but this year it looks like that wont be an issue.

    Practice is held the Friday before so plan to be at the venue a day early. If it is far away from home plan to be driving on Thursday. You will also pick up your packet on Friday so you wont be rushed race day morning.

    For lodging it is everyone for themselves. I usually stay at a motel or airbnb close by. Some venues do allow camping in the parking lot (china peak and shasta) but in ashland or northstar you will likely need to book something.

    Each race is in the $120-$150 range.

    Yes they are very fun and often challenging events that will push your abilities. Everyone is very supportive of each other and at the end of the day we are all just having fun since there isnt prize money in the non pro races.

    The races differ pretty wildly from stop to stop so it really makes you stay on your toes. One week it is ultra steep rocky stuff , and the next can be smooth pedally flow trails.

    This years calendar looks like half the dates would be suited for a shorter travel bike and the other half a long slacked out bike. I was hoping to get a tallboy already so this just gives me more reason to get it.

    Any questions just ask!


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  4. #4
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    To get started in the CES world, you need to get a CES RiderID number. You need this ID when registering for any CES events. It is used to track your series points and overall standings. It's been a couple of years since I signed up but it looks like you do it here:

    https://www.californiaenduroseries.com/ces-riderid/


    Edit - yes, they are fun for "washed-up, never-been-fast but love to have a good time riders?" That would be me.

  5. #5
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    Stoked to see Shasta in the mix. They deserve it after working hard. Bummed, as always, not to see Mendocino on the calendar, but i get it. That was the Blue Moon..

    Speaking of CES races I have always wanted to see added.. How about the Mad River? I mean, how bad ass would it be if it was Mad River on one weekend and Ashland the next (so we working folk could ride them).

    And entering fantasy land, you had to race Mad River to qualify for Ashland!? Ha!! "Sorry, Riddle, you have to race something besides Ashland this year, or no dice.."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Stoked to see Shasta in the mix. They deserve it after working hard. Bummed, as always, not to see Mendocino on the calendar, but i get it. That was the Blue Moon..

    Speaking of CES races I have always wanted to see added.. How about the Mad River? I mean, how bad ass would it be if it was Mad River on one weekend and Ashland the next (so we working folk could ride them).

    And entering fantasy land, you had to race Mad River to qualify for Ashland!? Ha!! "Sorry, Riddle, you have to race something besides Ashland this year, or no dice.."
    Mad River is limited to 120 racers and is not suited to CES-level mayhem and is on private property and would ruin the vibe of a small race that already flat-out sucks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Stoked to see Shasta in the mix. They deserve it after working hard.
    I really hope they can get more hands to help do maintenance before the race this time. Last year it was beyond loose/dry.

    With how closely spaced the first few races are, it will be lots of driving for us in so cal. This yeah I wont make the mistake of driving to shasta. Flying into Medford makes more sense.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Mad River is limited to 120 racers and is not suited to CES-level mayhem and is on private property and would ruin the vibe of a small race that already flat-out sucks

    Aaaaaand were back to reality.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by austink26 View Post
    I really hope they can get more hands to help do maintenance before the race this time. Last year it was beyond loose/dry.

    With how closely spaced the first few races are, it will be lots of driving for us in so cal. This yeah I wont make the mistake of driving to shasta. Flying into Medford makes more sense.


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    If your going to fly to a race you should book that plane ticket a little further north and do some of the Race Cascadia series in the PNW. I rode at a few of the locations they race at and they are all exponentially better than anything in Ca. Unless you prefer blown out bike park over steep deep loamers.



  10. #10
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    Glad to see they are back at Toro this year. My bucket list includes riding in a CES race, having watched past race videos, it is well within my riding ability. At 58, I plan to be one of the 'old dudes' out having a good time and hopefully put in a decent time.

  11. #11
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    Toro in May? Hope it doesn't rain.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Toro in May? Hope it doesn't rain.

    -We're not expecting much rain this year unfortunately. It could happen though.
    Hopefully CCCX get's the go-ahead to use some of the "other" trails this year.
    "There's two kinds of people in this world - Walkers and Talkers." Which one are you?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Toro in May? Hope it doesn't rain.
    Yep. If it rains, Toro Park will be closed FOR SURE 100%

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMFT View Post
    -We're not expecting much rain this year unfortunately
    What about 2020?

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    Great info - thanks yall, especially austink and DH40. I'll be coming to some of these from Truckee, probably with the wife and kids in tow. Hope it's a cool scene - the fam loves Downieville race weekend...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    Great info - thanks yall, especially austink and DH40. I'll be coming to some of these from Truckee, probably with the wife and kids in tow. Hope it's a cool scene - the fam loves Downieville race weekend...
    How old are you? I may suggest registering for the appropriate sport class of your age group vs beginner as beginner always has some young kid ringers who would podium in expert. That is assuming you would try beginner in the first place.

    Either way I am sure it will be fun. Everyone who does them are nice people.


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  17. #17
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    I raced ces mt shasta this year and drove shuttle for ces Ashland. It was my first ces race, and super fun. Really enjoyed it, probably do it again this year.

    As for what to expect, depends on the venue. Ashland is awesome and ran tight and right with Bill and Sue. Others, not so much. Not bad, but definitely chill and not a high stress atmosphere.

    On the ski park maintenance, I did a volunteer day, they only had one. I think they did a great job with what they had. I would have been happy to do more, Skyler had his crew on it. The dirt is what it is. I hadnt done trail work in dust before. Lol. I hope to see some changes next year, fingers crossed! This is from a local, growing up riding Mt Shasta.

  18. #18
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    I will be there.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Bummed, as always, not to see Mendocino on the calendar, but i get it. That was the Blue Moon..
    Just too small of a pool of riders/volunteers to pull it off too many times. Two years really stretched the workers/promotor. Great place to ride, obviously since I moved here!, and fairly off the beaten path but yet not thaaaat far away.
    www.velocitybicycles.comWhere customers become friends, not simply a dollar sign.

  20. #20
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    Bump. Just a few months ago and a different world...

    China Peak event is scheduled. Will it run?

    I'm signed up for Shasta, Mammoth Bar, Northstar, and Ashland. Anyone else?

    Would love any beta on how to prepare for these races.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    Bump. Just a few months ago and a different world...

    China Peak event is scheduled. Will it run?

    I'm signed up for Shasta, Mammoth Bar, Northstar, and Ashland. Anyone else?

    Would love any beta on how to prepare for these races.

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    Those races are all very different. My best advice is try riding technical terrain when your heart rate is maxed out to mimic race scenarios. Something may feel easy in practice because most people will sit at the top of it until their heart rate dies down, then drop in. But in a race you most likely arent gonna stop to catch a breath right before the gnarly rock garden. Even if you dont have trails with punchy uphills in the middle of them, one thing you could do is a 30 second sprint right before the top of the trail and then just drop right in.

    I think this is one of the biggest reasons why people tend to crash in races more frequently. Not because they are riding faster than normal, but because they are not used to sprinting a short uphill in the middle of the downhill trail. (At least Im not. My favorite trails are ones that require zero pedal strokes from top to bottom).

  22. #22
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    Thanks! Good idea. I definitely focus on pedaling speed as much as I can. I'm not the fastest pure downhill rider, so I'll try to make it up on the climbs and rolling stuff.

    How long are the race segments? Both in terms of minutes and distance/vert? If I'm doing 1000 vert descents, say 7-15 minutes, as fast as possible all the way down, is that what I should be aiming for? Race segments seem a bit shorter - maybe 4-8 minutes, at least based on looking at old Northstar enduro race maps.

    Shasta says 1500 feet of climbing, 3 lift rides, 4000 ft of descent. How much "rest" time is there after a climb before dropping the next timed segment? Is there any bonus for climbing fast?

    Thx again

  23. #23
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    Cal Enduro Series 2020

    China peak is definitely going down. I will be up there next week.

    Yeah all of those are very different. For shasta I highly recommend working on sprinting out of corners and handling really loose riding. The transfers last year were not too bad. You can take your time and just spin on the way up. The hardest part of that race is just dealing with how loose the dirt is. It could be worth running flats if you normally clip in as getting a foot out is almost required for many turns. I really didnt enjoy this race last year and wont be doing it this year.

    For northstar I would practice as much tech riding as you can. Some of the stages there are pretty long. The queen stage was like 15 min. I was completely beat up at the end last year. Everything hurt. The transfers there can be hard too. As far as terrain goes, this is the hardest race imo.

    I havent done mammoth bar yet but am signed up.

    Ashland is super fast and flowy. I would really work on your cardio as there is a ton of pedaling there. The transfer is a legit 2 hour climb and the longest stage is a 15-18min effort with 3 punchy climbs. There isnt anything too tech there, just high speed narrow single track. This was the most fun race last season imo. If you have a short travel bike, bring it out for this race.

    There is no bonus for climbing fast and you can chill for as long as you want after the climbs.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by austink26 View Post
    China peak is definitely going down. I will be up there next week.

    Yeah all of those are very different. For shasta I highly recommend working on sprinting out of corners and handling really loose riding. The transfers last year were not too bad. You can take your time and just spin on the way up. The hardest part of that race is just dealing with how loose the dirt is. It could be worth running flats if you normally clip in as getting a foot out is almost required for many turns. I really didnt enjoy this race last year and wont be doing it this year.

    For northstar I would practice as much tech riding as you can. Some of the stages there are pretty long. The queen stage was like 15 min. I was completely beat up at the end last year. Everything hurt. The transfers there can be hard too. As far as terrain goes, this is the hardest race imo.

    I havent done mammoth bar yet but am signed up.

    Ashland is super fast and flowy. I would really work on your cardio as there is a ton of pedaling there. The transfer is a legit 2 hour climb and the longest stage is a 15-18min effort with 3 punchy climbs. There isnt anything too tech there, just high speed narrow single track. This was the most fun race last season imo. If you have a short travel bike, bring it out for this race.

    There is no bonus for climbing fast and you can chill for as long as you want after the climbs.

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    For me, China Peak is the hardest CES race. Both the stages and the transfers which are a tough climb. But I also have ridden northstar a ton more times so I know those trails well.

  25. #25
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    Cal Enduro Series 2020

    For some reason I always am hurting on the northstar transfers. It is probably because it has been so dry and warm the last few years. The brown pow is also something I cannot really practice for down here in so cal. I love racing on gypsy, it has a great mix of everything I like in a bike park stage.

    We have rocks down here so I can better practice for china peak. Last year I blew my race missing one of the turns off the fire road and ended up off course. This year I have focused on doing some more upper body work to reduce the fatigue from all the big chunky hits. I will say I am a little nervous for stage 5 coming in the first race of the season. I managed to get in 2 park days last week and that was a confidence boost. I know you guys in norcal may have 0 park days coming into the race.


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  26. #26
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    Damn. Guess itll have to wait another year for me.
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  27. #27
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    They released the digital rider meeting and there are some fairly big changes coming due to covid. Biggest being no food or drink resupply provided. So we are going to have to make runs to the car to resupply. I suspect this goes for all the events this year.

    They also now have a B line for stage 5. It is slower but could be worth it to avoid an early season crash. Especially since I am probably not chasing the podium after upgrading.

    Here is to hoping the lift doesnt break down during their extended practice day!


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  28. #28
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    Just signed up yesterday randomly with no preparation. Gonna race my ebike even though I love my 2020 enduro. A little worried about hanging my 55lb bike from the chairlift hooks that are already kinda sketchy.

  29. #29
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    Haha my friend said a few years ago someone he was racing against had his bike fall off the lift. It got totaled.

    I put some frame protection on the underside of my top tube since last year my bike got pretty scratched up on that hook.


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  30. #30
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    I've asked for an extension for China Peak race entry transfers; if they say yes, I'll have an entry available.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by austink26 View Post
    Haha my friend said a few years ago someone he was racing against had his bike fall off the lift. It got totaled.

    I put some frame protection on the underside of my top tube since last year my bike got pretty scratched up on that hook.


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    Yep. I know of 2 different bikes that have fallen off that lift. Not ideal.

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    just confirming: the extension has been GRANTED. I have an entry to sell. PM me.

  33. #33
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    Ebike keeping the poll close. Almost canned the idea of racing the ebike after riding ST the other day and hating every minute of it. But Im too out of shape to race my normal bike and have fun.

  34. #34
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    Cal Enduro Series 2020

    China Peak was absolutely a war of attrition. Those transfers were brutal, especially coming back to back before stage 5. I saw some dude getting carted off of 5 as well as 3 women take some heavy slams within 30 seconds of each other. From the lift I was actually worried as one was a face plant after falling like 5 feet down. I felt good just being able to get down 5 without any walking and only had 1 issue where I just washed in a corner. I encountered many people who downgraded to sport after practicing 5.

    I camped out there for the 1st time and it was a super fun experience. Great start to the season!


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  35. #35
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    Racing ebikes was a drastically different experience that normal bikes. Pedaled up the mountain 7 times in total and it took very little effort. Cant even count how many times during the race we got asked Can you tow me? I really struggled going downhill on this bike. Feels so heavy and poor rear suspension performance. (Possibly my fault for getting the decoy 29 and not the long travel mullet).

    The one bright spot was that I had my best run ever down stage 5. I didnt even ride 2 sections in practice without stopping or going off trail. But in my race run hit everything clean and didnt even have to unclip in any of the technical sections. Got 2nd in ebike Open on that stage, and I sucked on every other one.

  36. #36
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    Dude the is a huge accomplishment on stage 5!

    I bet having a motor was nice on those climbs. Just being out in the sun for that long was draining. The second time up I was with a group of 6 other guys and we just took turns setting the pace and there was minimal talking. Everyone was deep in the hurt locker.

    I imagine it must have been nice to engage turbo mode on all of the fire road sections. I just completely ran out of pedaling power after the rock slabs on 4. I was toast and struggled to put any power down.


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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by austink26 View Post
    Dude the is a huge accomplishment on stage 5!

    I bet having a motor was nice on those climbs. Just being out in the sun for that long was draining. The second time up I was with a group of 6 other guys and we just took turns setting the pace and there was minimal talking. Everyone was deep in the hurt locker.

    I imagine it must have been nice to engage turbo mode on all of the fire road sections. I just completely ran out of pedaling power after the rock slabs on 4. I was toast and struggled to put any power down.


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    At 20mph the motor completely shuts off. Youd be surprised (I know I was) how often you need to pedal and are going over 20mph in a race run. Stage 3 I just sat up and cruised at the speed limit on the fire road. Stage 1 I sprinted the whole thing and the motor never offered any help on the fire road. Definitely some strategy in using the power to its best advantage because sprinting a 56 lbs bike sucks.

  38. #38
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    Seriously bummed northstar got cancelled. I signed up for Shasta even though I had planned to pass on that one. I figure it will be the last lift access race I do this season. After shasta my megatower will get usurped by my tallboy as my race bike considering toro, mammoth bar, and ashland are pedal heavy.


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  39. #39
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    Hoping that they don't cancel CES Toro, they just announced that Sea Otter was canceled by the organizers due to not being able to find a solution after working with the County due to COVID-19 fears. The events are/were located a few miles of each other and within a couple of weeks.

  40. #40
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    Question: Are they offering refunds for races that are cancelled?

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    i think there are refunds only for Northstar

  42. #42
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    Northstar was advertised as full refunds. I saw them comment about shasta saying if it didnt happen and couldnt be rescheduled, the reg fees would be rolled over to next years race. I dont suspect there would be a situation where we all just lose our money.


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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCalTaz View Post
    Hoping that they don't cancel CES Toro, they just announced that Sea Otter was canceled by the organizers due to not being able to find a solution after working with the County due to COVID-19 fears. The events are/were located a few miles of each other and within a couple of weeks.
    Sea otter is a biking festival where the whole point of to congregate everyone to a small area to show off product.

    Toro is an Enduro race where you can hang out at your truck when not physically riding.

    Im hoping toro ces still happens as I like that race.

  44. #44
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    Slow ebiker looking to buy an entry for Shasta CES. PM me if you have one youd sell. Thanks,

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