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4th Round of Oregon Enduro by Tim Evens

July 27, 2013

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July 14th marked the 4th round of the highly competitive Oregon Enduro series with a stop in Camas’ Larch mountain. Its been three years since riding these trails and I was excited to see how the Cold Creek cycling group had managed to shape their new trails. Before ever seeing the course there was plenty of hype going around the blog-o-sphere about the technical and dangerous nature of the two trails we’d be racing. full face helmets being REQUIRED is uncommon in pacific northwest enduros and gave a pretty good hint to the dangerous trails we’d compete on.

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Although I’ve been riding with some Northstar team Alumni on a regular basis i was excited to finally get to meetup with a team member and do some practice runs. Patrick Romano made his way up from Tahoe to try his hand in the competitive Junior field. Over the years there has been a steady influx of talent through the Northstar program and its been amazing to watch team riders take what they’ve learned in the Northstar team program and continue on to highly competitive ranks.

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Friday was to be my only day of practice, which was not ideal as it would pay off in spades to memorize the extremely technical course. I setup my Giant Reign with some serious fresh rubber, Schwalbe Muddy Mary’s, and dialed in suspension for a true beating. Rarely do i need  to wear body armor but after some of the hits I’ve taken this season I decided why not…. Having buddies like Adam Craig can sometimes save you from a trip to the ER. And he even washed the armor so it would smell spring-time fresh BEFORE i used it. Less so after a weekend of sprinting in 90 degree heat.

Within 3 minutes of beginning the first practice run I’d witnessed my first casualty as I witness Hood River native David Carr proceed to grade 4 (requires surgery) seperate his shoulder off the first of a many rock drops. Nothing like watching your friends squeal in pain to get you pumped up….

The course consisted of two major trails broken up into 5 stages. The first two involved some unreal rock gardens. Visualize riding 20 mph through a field of grapefruit to cantelope sized rocks with zero dirt. hilariously fun. Stages 3,4, and 5 would reward those willing to send huge jumps and carry massive speed through some of the best (albeit beat up) DH trails around.

The next casualty I witnessed involved my buddy Santa Cruz pinner, Scott Chapin. He knows how send jumps but on this day he’d enjoy a massive endo off a table top. Nothing like a concussion to get you pumped up. Needless to say my practice was spent with far too much time helping buddies scrape themselves off the hillside.

The Oregon Enduro series’ most endearing quality has always been the folks who ride/race these trails. Race day was an awesome time with friends pumping each other up, cheering each other on, and motivating each other to take their game to the next level. I love coming up to a trail/jump that scares me and using the screaming crowd to get that extra little boost. Enduro is about riding/racing your favorite trails and spending time with buddies. In the end I didn’t impress the clock but I did impress myself as I hit every obstacle that scared with with complete composure. And that was my real goal.

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