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Todd Elsworth | 10/12/2015 | Bicycling, Insider Blogs, Mountain Biking |   

Bellingham's BIG Mountain Bike Race - "The Enduro"

Bellingham, WA, is a Mountain Bike Mecca in the Northwest. Or as our Mayor Kelli said last week, "Why not be the Mountain Bike Capital of the World?!" Well, we're working on it for sure. But that's a whole other can of worms! Back to bikes. On Saturday, October 17th at Larrabee State Park you can get a glimpse into why we are increasingly known for our community mountain bike trails and continuously drawing more top-level riders (and bike companies) here to live the dream. It's the people that bring it all together. ChuckanutEndurologoThe 2015 Enduro of Subdued Excitement is guaranteed to be one of the most challenging events this season- only paralleled with the fun it brings. If you want in, you better sign up now. Scroll to the bottom for the details of the Course Routing. Want the skinny: Read Spencer Paxson's insider account of how it all works. Event Schedule: 8:00 am to 9:00 am: Packet Pick Up 9:00 am to 9:20 am: Riders Meeting 9:20 am: Riders to Start 10:30 am: First Rider Starts 1:00 pm-ish: First Riders Finishing We went out to check out what was in store for folks Saturday. It all starts with the classic climb up the road to get to the top. We were joined in the parking lot by local mountain bike celebs Derek and Nicola from Trailhead Athletics and climbed for a bit with them on the way UP. Keep an eye out on Saturday for people with their Trailhead kits on! EnduroTrailhead We climbed at a casual pace with Scott, another local rider and chatted a bit to help get the lungs going. The fall colors covered the ground and the smell of nature pervaded the air. The crisp air felt refreshing being sucked in through my nostrils as we ascended. EnduroClimb They all left us in the dust as we made our way up the road, stopping to soak in the sights and smells of the forest (and stretch). We wove our way to the top and set our sights on the favored sections of trails that would be featured in the upcoming ENDURO. Our first pick was Double Black Diamond. EnduroStart There was a group of riders that were coming up on the trail and we jumped out a head for a bit to catch them on their way down. Totally Focused!! Endurorider When we asked them if they were practicing for the Enduro, only one guy said YES! He also had the biggest smile on his face. Here he is tackling a rooty section of the trail. Good LUCK! EnduroWarmUPdown It was fun to stand on the side of the trail and watch their group whizz on by. Everybody was silent and only a hoot was called out at the end as their train rolled on through. Check out the quick video. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmBkFsiYNRU&feature=youtu.be[/embed]   We met up with them at the bottom of the trail and shared our photos and videos- as is so much the case these days! It's a fun way to share and connect with others on the trails. EnduroWarmUP The Double Black Diamond Trail is designed for Mountain Bikes ONLY. This is for the safety of all concerned. The WMBC is doing great work with local land managers to make this possible around the county. Here, they are working with the state park to make this happen! Hats off. It's also called Double Black Diamond in relation to the skiing signs for "Expert ONLY" trails. This is a technical trail = SO MUCH FUN!!! DoubleBlackDiamond Once you get going on these trails, it's GO - GO - GO! Challenging single track through incredible scenery makes this trail a northwest classic. The ENDURO will make you earn it too. EnduroGhostMellick While we were OUT THERE we also got to watch local unicyclist Mark make it happen on, Yes, his unicycle. Check him out on Facebook/BellinghamUnicycling. He's getting ready for next weekend's Enduro too! He's got chops. EnduroUnicycle We had to stop for some fun shots through the big cedars. Watch the video of Mark Mountain Unicycling Double Black Diamond in the Chuckanuts. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aByCZjqObH4&feature=youtu.be[/embed]   The course is incredible and it will draw riders, spectators and the media. Here's a shot from last year that Ryan Duclos captured and Spencer Paxson shared in his February 2015 Mount Baker Experience article, "Enduro of Subdued Excitement" which gives insight into what to expect from this popular type of mountain bike racing. [caption id="attachment_32771" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Photo credit: Ryan Duclos Photo credit: Ryan Duclos[/caption] As with all mountain biking events, there is bound to be a big party at the end- actually ALL DAY! Hook up with the best, brightest and all the rest of the Bellingham Bike scene at the end for the awards on the podium in the park. Below, Eric Brown, WMBC Trail Director calls it out for the winners in the last Enduro. If you haven't read Spencer Paxson's, "Enduro of Subdued Excitement" he also gets the photo credit for this one. SpencerPaxsonEnduro Expect to see Spencer on the podium this Saturday! The competition is growing out of the fertile ground we have here in "The Ham". If you got it, bring it on Saturday for the 2015 Enduro of Subdued Excitement! 2015 Enduro of Subdued Excitement: Course Routing The packet pickup, start and finish will be at the Larrabee State park campground area (South Day Use shelter). Race Stages: 1. Double Black Diamond Trail. 2. Two Dollar Trail. 3. Upper Chuckanut Ridge Trail and LEFT down Galen’s Step. 4. Double Black Diamond Trail to Double Down. Transition stage 1: From Larrabee campground, follow the signs and go directly across Chuckanut Drive and up to the Interurban Trail. Go RIGHT on the Interurban trail and then go LEFT (up) towards Fragrance Lake Road next to the sewage ponds. NOTE: You can either take the trail next to the sewer plant or go through the Clayton Beach/Lost Lake parking lot and go LEFT through the gate. Stay straight on this road and keep going PAST one split in the road and also past the Fragrance Lake turnoff until you hit Cleator Road. Then, turn RIGHT on Cleator road and climb up to the Cyrus Gates Overlook parking lot. There is a quick push up on the LEFT side of the parking lot (directly across from the viewpoint) that goes to the top of Double Black Diamond and the Upper Ridge trail. NOTE: A Fanatik Bike bacon station with water coolers will be at the parking lot up top. Race Stage 1- Double Black Diamond Trail From the top of the mountain, go down (riders RIGHT) Double Black Diamond trail to Lost lake trail. This will utilize a newly rerouted section of trail in the middle of the trail. The stage will end RIGHT before the trail exits onto Lost Lake Trail (old exit). Transition Stage 2: Go RIGHT up the Fragrance Lake Road and turn LEFT through the split rail fence towards Fragrance Lake. Go straight across from the entrance and go up the push up/ hike-a-bike trail. Bypass the trails on the LEFT and continue up to the RIGHT where the start of the two dollar stage will start. Race Stage 2 – Two Dollar Trail The stage will start with a technical pedaling section with lots of off cambers and roots before it descends and connects riders into the more established section of the Two Dollar Trail. Racers will finish after the last RIGHT hand switchback before reaching the Cleator Road. NOTE: The Freehub Magazine Aid station will be located at the exit of 2 Dollar Trail and stocked with Clif products and water coolers. Transition Stage 3: From the bottom of Two Dollar Trail, go RIGHT (up) Cleator Road and ride all the way back to the Cyrus Gates parking lot and push back to the top of the Mountain. Race Stage 3 – Upper Chuckanut Ridge Trail to Galen’s Step From the top of the mountain, go down (riders LEFT) the Upper Chuckanut Ridge and take the LEFT turn down towards Cleator Road. If you get into a big section of hike-a-bike, you’ve missed the LEFT turn. This stage will end ~100 feet before the road. Transition Stage 4: After completing stage 3, go LEFT on Cleator Road back to the Cyrus Gates Overlook parking lot. Go back up the quick push up to the top of Double Black. Race Stage 4 – Double Black Diamond to Double Down From the top of the mountain, go down (riders RIGHT) the Top of Double Black Diamond. This will again utilize a newly  rerouted section of trail in the middle of the trail. Just before the exit, go LEFT at the Y on a newly routed section that crosses Lost lake Trail. Follow this section down to Fragrance Lake Road. Continue down Fragrance Lake Road for 200 feet and take a RIGHT into Double Down. Double Down contains several rock rolls with optional lines that will give riders easier/harder lines through those sections. Transition Stage 5: After completing Double Down, riders will take a RIGHT immediately after exiting to Fragrance Lake Road. This will connect to the Interurban trail where riders will go RIGHT for 200 yards and then go LEFT downhill and cross Chuckanut Drive and back to the Larrabee Campground. Please pay attention when crossing the road here! PLEASE NOTE: Larrabee State Park is extremely popular with families hiking, dog walkers and equestrians, so please be extra courteous to all trail users while practicing for the enduro. Also, Cleator Road is open to the public, so expect vehicle traffic on it. Get it ON! See you Saturday. 2015 Course Map pdf (LARGE)

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